365 Writing Prompts, by thinkingwritten.com – Day 005 – Food

The complete list of 365 writing prompts can be found at thinkwritten.com

A big meal.  A small snack.  A quick bite of breakfast as you run out the door in the morning.  A raid of the fridge in the middle of the night.  Working all day to prepare a family feast.  Feeling no shame in feeding your family something from the drive-thru.

We all have to eat.  Some enjoy it more than others.  Some find joy in the preparation.  Others find joy in the consumption.  But nobody likes doing the dishes when the meal is over.

Food is a central part of life.  Not just for physical survival.  Think about all the times when you ate when you weren’t hungry.  My family has a favorite frozen yogurt shop that we visit on Saturday nights.  They have a huge variety of FroYo flavors, and every topping you could ever imagine.  The three of us make our FroYo sundaes and we sit at a table and laugh, talk, and share bites of our treats.

At our church we share  meals together in our small groups, and together as a whole church.  Sharing a meal is about more than eating.  It’s about fellowship.  It’s about sharing time with each other, getting to know each other, growing closer together.  So much can happen over a burger, chips, and lemonade.  Yes, a group of people can just hang out in the same room and talk, but think about how much more open and relaxed a social setting is when there is food involved.  Catered food is good, but the best food for social settings potluck.  Tell everyone you are having a potluck and watch everybody show up with their best and favorite culinary offerings.

Last Thanksgiving we had a potluck at work.  One person brought the turkey and everybody else brought the sides and desserts.  We all piled into our conference area and anticipated diving into the bounty laid before us.  We prayed over our meal, and then stuffed ourselves silly.  We spent the rest of the day grazing on the leftovers.  As we all crowded around our conference table with our plates piled high, we set aside every thought of work for an hour.  We laughed.  We talked.  We told stories.  For a short moment in time we were not co-workers.  We were a family sharing a Thanksgiving meal that was prepared with love by every person that sat around that table.

We use food to show joy when we have a party.  We show food to show sympathy when a person is sick or grieving.  So many events in life are not just events to be experienced, but instead are events to share a meal with those we care about.  It’s no coincidence that some dishes are referred to as comfort food.  Those dishes are made with more than just cheese, seasoning, and broth.  When we cook for those we love we pour our heart into those dishes.  We prepare those dishes to make others happy because we know those same dishes make us happy when we need them.

I love to cook.  I love preparing new recipes for my husband and son.  I enjoy finding out that they enjoy and what they don’t.  I enjoy bringing new foods into our home that we have never tried before.  The world is a great big place, and I doubt I’ll ever be able to explore it all.  But I can bring the world into my home through my kitchen.  Yet no matter how culinarily adventurous my family gets, there is something simple and comforting about a good old fashioned peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Some things a person just never outgrows.

For the record, I am 40 years old and tonight for dinner I enjoyed a bowl of Froot Loops.  There is never a wrong time of day for cereal.

Here is a sneak peak at the topic for day 006:  “Eye Contact: Write about two people seeing each other for the first time.”  I’m excited about this one.  I already have a mental picture working.

Until next time . . .

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365 Writing Prompts, by thinkingwritten.com – Day 004 – Dancing

The complete list of 365 writing prompts can be found at thinkwritten.com

What is it about music that moves a person?  We each have some form of music that moves us . . . rock, pop, country, opera, classical, bluegrass, jazz, edm . . . the list goes on and on.  We hear a piece of music and it reaches deep into our mind and soul and speaks to us.  The lyrics, the deep groove of the bass guitar, the driving tempo of the drums, the heart of the guitar .  . they all come together is for a short moment in time that makes everything else disappear.  We lose ourselves as we sing along.  We allow our bodies to become one with the song as our feet tap, our hips sway, our head bobs . . . we dance.  We dance in the car.  We dance in the shower.  We dance as we clean the house.  Where there is music, we dance.

Thus, day four of the 365 writing prompts is introduced.  Dancing . . . who’s dancing and why they are tapping those toes.

dancing

Today is Sunday, and there is one person at church that this particular writing prompt makes me think of.  She is the pastor’s sister, and she is basically the grandma to the entire church.  She is always ready with a hug.  She is harmlessly flirtatious.  She is friendly and exuberant.  She is vivacious and she worships the Lord with her whole body.

Our church services follow the same pattern each week.  2 songs, welcome and announcements, 2 more songs, the message, invitation, closing song, and then dismissal.  When our band starts playing at the beginning of the service and continue through their four songs, Grandma, as we’ll call her, allows the Spirit to move in her.  She sings, claps, and dances.  I don’t mean that she simply taps her foot or shakes her hips.  Her arms are raised.  She bounces and and shimmies.  She reminds me of a teenage girl at a Taylor Swift concert.  She worships freely and without inhibition, and we love her for her it.

Dancing is something that is too often suppressed by inhibition.  Not everybody is blessed with rhythm.  Some people look beautiful when they dance, while others look like they are trying to get a wasp out of their shirt.  When it comes to worship, some people are reserved.  They keep their hands to their sides.  They sing at a moderate level.  They are safe and reserved.  Others worship more openly and flamboyantly.  Arms are raised.  They sing loudly.  Their body moves with the Spirit.  There is no right or wrong way to worship.  Each person in a sanctuary worships differently.  But it is Grandma, on the front row every Sunday, that throws inhibition to the wind and chooses to worship God with her whole voice, and with her dancing.

Until next time . . .

365 Writing Prompts, by thinkingwritten.com – Day 003 – The Vessel

The complete list of 365 writing prompts can be found at thinkwritten.com

Traveling is one of my favorite things to do.  To get out and explore this great big and all of its tiny hidden corners.  To visit a small town and eat where the locals eat, shop where the locals shop, do what the locals do.  To stay away from the bland and sanitary tourist traps, and instead to find the true personality of a location.  There is a great big world outside of my little corner of western Kentucky.  There are adventures to be had.

That brings us to the topic of day three of the 365 writing prompts.  Today I am to write about “The vessel.”  The directions for this writing prompt are as such:  “Write about a ship or other vehicle that can take you somewhere different from where you are now.”

Right now I am not near water, so a boat is out of the picture.

Right now I am in a small town, so planes are also out of the picture.

Right now the most easily accessible modes of transportation would be a car, or good ole Amtrak.  I am not averse to either option.  I love land travel.

Some of my greatest memories have been in a car.  My husband and I took our son to North Platte, Nebraska about a year-and-a-half ago for a vacation.  Don’t laugh at the location.  It was a lovely little town that is sustained by the world’s largest freight rail yard and the visitor’s center associated with it.  Union Pacific owns Bailey Yard and the Golden Spike Tower visitor’s center.  Thousands of railfans visit Bailey yard every year just to see the 8-mile-long freight yard that operates 24-hours-a-day.  My husband and son are both HUGE railfans.  So we made the 900 mile roadtrip to Bailey Yard in my husband’s Kia Optima.

bailey panarama

golden spike tower

We laughed.  We sang.  We got lost.  We bought too many souvenirs.  We ate snacks from rest stop vending machines and seedy gas stations.  We explored the unfamiliar.  We bonded as a family.  All of that happened withing the 4 doors of the brick red Kia Optima.

museum

We depended on it to get us safely to our destination, but it did more than that.  It created a cocoon around my little family that forced us to focus on each other.  It took us across long distances with little to no cell phone service.  We actually had to turn our attention away from Facebook and YouTube and interact with each other.  We played road games and looked for odd and interesting landmarks . . . my favorite was a huge covered wagon that turned out to be a golf store.

covered wagon

We forever changed our outlook on corn after driving across Northern Missouri and Nebraska and seeing corn EVERYWHERE.  We were modern day explorers setting out across the country and into the unknown, and the car was our covered wagon.  It was our space shuttle into the the cosmos.  It was our ship across unknown waters.

The car did not make the memories, but it was the vessel as the memories were made.

nebraska sunset

Until next time . . .

Stronger (poem)

I know where I’ve come from
I know what I’ve done
I know where I’m going
and what I’ve overcome
But sometimes silence tries to creep back in
when the day is near its end
Old demons come back haunting
regretting a battle they did not win
Sometimes I am weak
I stumble and I fall
Sometimes the darkness grips me
and am tempted by history’s call
Sometimes the past grips me
in claws so sharp and strong
Sometimes the fight for freedom
seems a fight that is so long
But the fight lies only with me
The demons are all my own
Self-destructive at the bottom
of a recovery path so long
The demons will live
only as long as I give them breath
The demons will fight for strength
until they are banished in death
My soul can not be had
It is no longer a prize to win
And though my demons rear their heads
I am stronger than my sin

Heather L. Flood
04.19.17

365 Writing Prompts, by thinkingwritten.com – Day 002 – The Unrequited Love Poem

The complete list of 365 writing prompts can be found at thinkwritten.com.

Who hasn’t been there at some point in their life?  You found that special someone.  You adore them.  Their hair.  Their eyes.  Their laugh.  You think you love them.  Everything is perfect except for one little thing.  They don’t love you back.

Unrequited love . . . the subject of today’s writing prompt . . . but it’s got to be in poem form.  Poetry has always been one of my favorite forms of writing.  The challenges of maintaining rhythm and rhyme while adequately conveying the emotions of the subject . . .

For me it’s an emotional purge.  Pouring out joy, sadness, anger, and love through the tip of my ink pen.  Putting out into the world a physical representation of what is in my heart.  To finish that last line, to sign my name and write down the date . . . those small moments are epitaphs to a space in time where my heart overflowed onto the paper.

Not all poems come easily.  Some just do not want to be written no matter how badly my heart needs to get the words out.  Those poems are always the ones that I am the most unsure about when rereading the finished products.  But those are also the ones that I love the most when they are finished.  The poems I had to work for to bring into the world.  The poems that fought me with every single word.  The poems that made me earn them.  They aren’t always pretty.  They don’t always flow well.  But sometimes they are the most raw and honest poems I write.

So, let’s see if I can pull one out today.  I’ll have to think back to a person that was once the subject of my unrequited love . . .

I see you so close
But you’re so far away
The sound of your laughter
I reach out my hand
You reach for it with joy
Right in front of me everyday
Your voice fills my heart
with every word you say
I see the way you
We are friends,
but do you you don’t see me
We are friends, but I want more
I see what lies behind your smile,
and with you my heart feels free
I’d give you my heart if you’d let me have it
I’d give you everything I am within me
But silently I stand by you
with my heart on my sleeve,
I’d rather have nothing
I try to hide what doesn’t belong
I try to hide my truth
I’d rather It’s easier to hide what’s really in my heart
Than to give live without my life without you
So, I’ll silently go on through each day
wishing we were you saw in me more than a friend
And I’ll bandage my aching heart
And I’ll comfort my aching heart
As each day comes to its end

Heather L. Flood
04.19.17

As you can see from all the strikethroughs, this poem did not come easily.  It’s difficult to write about unrequited love when there is no unrequited love to pull from.  I had to think back to a specific time and person, and I could see him so vividly in my mind.  I could see his eyes and his smile.  I could hear his voice.  I could remember exactly what I felt like when I was around him.  That was a trip down memory lane that I didn’t expect, but a trip that I enjoyed, even if it was just for a few minutes.

charlie brown

Until next time . . .

365 Writing Prompts, by thinkingwritten.com – Day 001 – Outside The Window

The complete list of 365 writing prompts can be found at thinkwritten.com.

Day one for this task seems simple enough . . . outside the window.  I am surrounded by windows though.  Right now I am at work.  I work at a radio station, and I’m in the studio as I type this.  The studio is shaped like a rectangle and the two long sides of the studio are lined with windows.

The windows on the front side of the studio look out into our lobby.  Cream colored walls with white floorboards, door- and window frames.  The lobby is tiled with cream and brown ceramic tile.  It’s a very neutral and bland space.  There are a few splashes of color from the very worn, brick red, leather couch which may hold the history of the radio station.

The couch has been the place where countless numbers of new employees have filled out their new-hire paperwork, where prize winners have waited, where artists have sat while awaiting their time to play live on our radio station, where coworkers have sat and shared stories and jokes, where tears were cried after we lost a member of our radio station family, where naps have been taken and newspapers have been read, where staff meetings have been held, where phone bank operators have taken pledges for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital during our annual radiothons.

That couch is the silent heart and soul of this radio station as everything and everyone changes around it.

Despite everything I can see through the windows of the studio, it is the couch that is the life of the station station.  People have spoken of replacing it, of bringing in something newer and more fashionable, yet the people leave and the couch remains.

couch

Until next time . . .

365 Writing Prompts, by thinkingwritten.com

You know how it goes.  You get busy.  Life happens.  Family, work, school, church.  All of these things have converged to keep me from exercising the written word.  No time.  Due to the lack of exercise, my written word has atrophied.  The fingers want to write, but the mind is struggling to find its voice again.  So I did a web search of writing prompts . . . something to get the written word flowing again.  Expecting to find a small list, or prompts that were not worthwhile, I was pleasantly surprised when I found the list below.

I have copied the writing prompt list from this website:  thinkwritten.com.

I did not come up with any of these prompts myself, nor did I alter their list in any way.  I also poked around some of the other pages on their website and discovered a wealth of useful information for the writer whether their medium is poetry, non-fiction, fiction, the memior, and even writing for children.  For those searching to be published, the website also includes tips on publishing and author marketing.  It appears to be a hidden gem in a world of writing websites that proclaim their own importance, but to little to help the individual writer hone their craft and skills.

I look forward to taking on this 365-day challenge.  I can pretty much guarantee that I will not do all 365 days consecutively.  Life happens and sometimes the laptop just does not get turned on.  But I will do my best to complete this list despite how much time it make take me to reach the end.  I would love to have you join me on this exciting journey.  I wonder where it will lead.

 

365 writing prompts
by thinkwritten.com.

1. Outside the Window: What’s the weather outside your window doing right now? If that’s not inspiring, what’s the weather like somewhere you wish you could be?

2. The Unrequited love poem: How do you feel when you love someone who does not love you back?

3. The Vessel: Write about a ship or other vehicle that can take you somewhere different from where you are now.

4. Dancing: Who’s dancing and why are they tapping those toes?

5. Food: What’s for breakfast? Dinner? Lunch? Or maybe you could write a poem about that time you met a friend at a cafe.

6. Eye Contact: Write about two people seeing each other for the first time.

7. The Rocket-ship: Write about a rocket-ship on it’s way to the moon or a distant galaxy far, far, away.

8. Dream-catcher: Write something inspired by a recent dream you had.

9. Animals: Choose an animal. Write about it!

10. Friendship: Write about being friends with someone.

11. Dragon: Envision a dragon. Do you battle him? Or is the dragon friendly? Use descriptive language.

12. Greeting: Write a story or poem that starts with the word “hello”.

13. The Letter Poem: Write a poem using words from a famous letter or a letter from your own collection.

14. The found poem: Read a book and circle some words on a page. Use those words to craft a poem. Alternatively you can cut out words and phrases from magazines.

15. Eavesdropper: Create a poem, short story, or journal entry about a conversation you’ve overheard.

16. Addict: Everyone’s addicted to something in some shape or form. What are things you can’t go without?

17. Dictionary Definition: Open up a dictionary to a random word. Define what that word means to you.

18. Cleaning: Hey, even writers and creative artists have to do housework sometimes. Write about doing laundry, dishes, and other cleaning activities.

19. Great Minds: Write  about someone you admire and you thought to have had a beautiful mind.

20. Missed Connections: If you go to Craigslist, there is a “Missed Connections” section where you can find some interesting story lines to inspire your writing.

21. Foreclosure: Write a poem or short story about someone who has lost or is about to lose their home.

22. Smoke, Fog, and Haze: Write about not being able to see ahead of you.

23. Sugar: Write something so sweet, it makes your teeth hurt.

24. Numbers: Write a poem or journal entry about numbers that have special meaning to you.

25. Dread: Write about doing something you don’t want to do.

26. Fear: What scares you a little? What do you feel when scared? How do you react?

27. Closed Doors: What’s behind the door? Why is it closed?

28. Shadow: Imagine you are someone’s shadow for a day.

29. Good Vibes: What makes you smile? What makes you happy?

30. Shopping: Write about your shopping wishlist and how you like to spend money.

31. The Professor: Write about a teacher that has influenced you.

32. Rewrite a Poem: Take any poem or short story you find anywhere. Rewrite it in your own words.

33. Jewelry: Write about a piece of jewelry. Who does it belong to?

34. Sounds: Sit outside for about an hour. Write down the sounds you hear.

35. War and Peace: Write about a recent conflict.

36. Frame It: Write a poem or some phrases that would make for good wall art in your home.

37. Puzzle: Write about putting together the pieces of puzzles.

38. Fire-starters: Write about building a fire.

39. Coffee & Tea: Surely you drink one or the other or know someone who does- write about it!

40. Car Keys: Write about someone getting their driver’s license for the first time.

41. What You Don’t Know: Write about a secret you’ve kept from someone else or how you feel when you know someone is keeping a secret from you.

42. Warehouse: Write about being inside an old abandoned warehouse.

43. The Sound of Silence: Write about staying quiet when you feel like shouting.

44. Insult: Write about being insulted.

45. Mirror, Mirror: What if you mirror started talking to you?

46. Dirty: Write a poem about getting covered in mud.

47. Light Switch: Write about coming out of the dark and seeing the light.

48. The Stars: Take inspiration from a night sky.

49. Joke Poem: What did the wall say to the other wall? Meet ya at the corner! Hahaha.

50. Just Say No: Write about the power you felt when you told someone no.

51: Sunrise/Sunset: It goes round and round.

52. Memory Lane: What’s it look like? How do you get there?

53. Tear-Jerker: Watch a movie that makes you cry. Write a poem about that scene in the movie.

54. Dear Diary: Write a poem or short story about a diary entry you’ve read or imagined.

55. Holding Hands: The first time you held someone’s hand.

56. Photograph: Write a story or journal entry influenced by a photograph.

57. Alarm Clock: Write about waking up.

58. Darkness: Write a poem or journal entry inspired by what you can’t see

59. Refreshed: Write a poem about a time you really felt refreshed and renewed. Maybe it was a dip into a pool on a hot summer day, a drink of lemonade, or other situation that helped you relax and start again.

60. Handle With Care: Write about a very fragile or delicate object.

61. Drama: Write about a time when you got stuck in between two parties fighting with each other.

62. Slip Up: Write about making mistakes.

63. Spice: Write about flavors and tastes or a favorite spice of yours.

64. Sing a New Song: Take a popular song off the radio and rewrite it as a poem in your own words.

65. Telephone: Write about a phone call you recently received.

66. Name: Write a poem or short story using your name in some way or form.

67. Dollhouse: Write a poem or short story from the viewpoint of someone living in a doll house.

68. Random Wikipedia Article: Go to Wikipedia and click on Random Article. Write about whatever the page you get.

69. Silly Sports: Write about an extreme or silly sport. If none inspire you, make up the rules for your own game.

70. Recipe: Write about a favorite recipe, or create a poem that is a recipe for something abstact, such as a feeling.

71. Famous Artwork: Choose a famous painting and write about it.

72. Where That Place Used to Be: Think of a place you went to when you were younger but it now no longer there or is something else. Capture your feelings about this in your writing.

73. Last Person You Talked to: Write a quick little poem or story about the last person you spoke with.

74. Caught Red-Handed: Write about being caught doing something embarrassing.

75. Interview: Write a list of questions you have for someone you would like to interview, real or fictional.

76. Missing You: Write about someone you miss dearly.

77. Geography: Pick a state or country you’ve never visited. Write about why you would or would not like to visit that place.

78. Random Song: Use the shuffle feature on your MP3 player or go to a site like 8tracks.com or Songza.com and pick a playlist. Write something inspired by the first song you hear.

79. Hero: Write a tribute to someone you regard as a hero.

80. Ode to Strangers: Go people watching and write an ode to a stranger you see on the street.

81. Advertisement: Advertisements are everywhere, aren’t they? Write using the slogan or line from an ad.

82. Book Inspired: Think of your favorite book. Now write a poem that sums up the entire story in 10 lines.

83. Magic: Imagine you have a touch of magic, and can make impossible things happen. What would you do?

84. Fanciest Pen: Get out your favorite pen, pencils, or even colored markers and write using them!

85. A Day in the Life: Write about your daily habits and routine.

86. Your Muse: Write about your muse – what does he or she look like? What does your muse do to inspire you?

87. Convenience Store: Write about an experience you’ve had at a gas station or convenience store.

88. Natural Wonders of the World: Choose one of the natural wonders of the world. Write about it.

89. Facebook or Twitter Status: Write a poem using the words from your latest status update or a friend’s status update. If you don’t use Facebook or Twitter, you can often search online for some funny ones to use as inspiration.

90. Green Thumb: Write about growing something.

91. Family Heirloom: Write about an object that’s been passed through the generations in your family.

92. Bug Catcher: Write about insects.

93. Potion: Write about a magic potion. What is it made of? What does it do? What is the antidote?

94. Swinging & Sliding: Write something inspired by a playground or treehouse.

95. Adjectives: Make a list of the first 5 adjectives that pop into your head. Use these 5 words in your story, poem, or journal entry.

96. Fairy Tales: Rewrite a fairy tale. Give it a new ending or make it modern or write as a poem.

97. Whispers: Write about someone who has to whisper a secret to someone else.

98. Smile: Write a poem about the things that make you smile.

99. Seasonal: Write about your favorite season.

100. Normal: What does normal mean to you? Is it good or bad to be normal?

101. Recycle: Take something you’ve written in the past and rewrite it into a completely different piece.

102. Wardrobe: Write about a fashion model or what’s currently in your closet or drawers.

103. Secret Message: Write something with a secret message hidden in between the words. For example, you could make an acrostic poem using the last letters of the word or use secret code words in the poem.

104. Vacation: Write about a vacation you took.

105. Heat: Write about being overheated and sweltering.

106. Spellbinding: Write a magic spell.

107. Puzzles: Write about doing a puzzle – jigsaw, crossword, suduko, etc.

108. Taking Chances: Everyone takes a risk at some point in their life. Write about a time when you took a chance and what the result was.

109. Carnival: Write a poem or story or journal entry inspired by a carnival or street fair.

110. Country Mouse: Write about someone who grew up in the country visiting the city for the first time.

111: Questions: Write about questions you have for the universe. Optional: include an answer key.

112. Rushing: Write about moving quickly and doing things fast.

113. Staircase: Use a photo of a staircase or the stairs in your home or a building you love to inspire you.

114. Neighbors: Make up a story or poem about your next door neighbor.

115. Black and Blue: Write about a time you’ve been physically hurt.

116. All Saints: Choose a saint and create a poem about his or her life.

117. Beach Inspired: What’s not to write about the beach?

118. Shoes: What kind of shoes do you wear? Where do they lead your feet?

119. The Ex: Write a poem to someone who is estranged from you.

120. My Point of View: Write in the first person point of view.

121. Stray Animal: Think of the life of a stray cat or dog and write about that.

122. Stop and Stare: Create a poem or story about something you could watch forever.

123. Your Bed: Describe where you sleep each night.

124. Fireworks: Do they inspire you or do you not like the noise and commotion? Write about it.

125. Frozen: Write about a moment in your life you wish you could freeze and preserve.

126. Alone: Do you like to be alone or do you like having company?
127. Know-it-all: Write about something you are very knowledgeable about, for example a favorite hobby or passion of yours.
128. The Promise: Write about a promise you’ve made to someone. Did you keep that promise?

129. Commotion: Write about being overstimulated by a lot of chaos.

130. Read the News Today: Construct a poem or story using a news headline for your first line.

131. Macro: Write a description of an object close-up.

132. Transportation: Write about taking your favorite (or least-favorite) form of transportation.

133. Gadgets: If you could invent a gadget, what would it do? Are there any gadgets that make your life easier?

134: Bring on the Cheese: Write a tacky love poem that is so cheesy, it belongs on top of a pizza.

135. Ladders: Write a story or poem that uses ladders as a symbol.

136. Bizarre Holiday: There is a bizarre holiday for any date! Look up a holiday for today’s date and create a poem in greeting card fashion or write a short story about the holiday to celebrate.

137. Blog-o-sphere: Visit your favorite blog or your feedreader and craft a story, journal entry, or poem based on the latest blog post you read.

138. Mailbox: Create a poem, short story, or journal entry based on a recent item of mail you’ve received.

139. Sharing: Write about sharing something with someone else.

140. Cactus: Write from the viewpoint of a cactus – what’s it like to live in the dessert or have a “prickly personality”?

141. It’s a Sign: Have you seen any interesting road signs lately?

142. Furniture: Write about a piece of furniture in your home.

143. Failure: Write about a time you failed at something. Did you try again or give up completely?

144. Mystical Creatures: Angels or other mystical creatures – use them as inspiration.

145. Flying: Write about having wings and what you would do.

146. Clear and Transparent: Write a poem about being able to see-through something.

147. Break the Silence: Record yourself speaking, then write down what you spoke and revise into a short story or poem.

148. Beat: Listen to music with a strong rhythm or listen to drum loops. Write something that goes along with the beat you feel and hear.

149. Color Palette: Search online for color palettes and be inspired to write by one you resonate with.

150. Magazine: Randomly flip to a page in a magazine and write using the first few words you see as an opening line.

151. The Grass is Greener: Write about switching the place with someone or going to where it seems the “grass is greener”.

152. Mind & Body: Write something that would motivate others to workout and exercise.

153. Shaping Up: Write something that makes a shape on the page…ie: a circle, a heart, a square, etc.

154. Twenty-One: Write about your 21st birthday.

155. Aromatherapy: Write about scents you just absolutely love.

156. Swish, Buzz, Pop: Create a poem that uses Onomatopoeia.

157. What Time is It? Write about the time of day it is right now. What are people doing? What do you usually do at this time each day?

158. Party Animal: Have you ever gone to a party you didn’t want to leave? Or do you hate parties? Write about it!

159: Miss Manners: Write using the words “please” and “thank you”.

160. Cliche: Choose a common cliche, then write something that says the same thing but without using the catch phrase.

161. Eco-friendly: Write about going green or an environmental concern you have.

162. Missing You: Write about someone you miss.

163. Set it Free: Think of a time when you had to let someone or something go to be free…did they come back?

164: Left Out: Write about a time when you’ve felt left out or you’ve noticed someone else feeling as if they didn’t belong.

165. Suitcase: Write about packing for a trip or unpacking from when you arrive home.

166. Fantasy: Write about fairies, gnomes, elves, or other mythical creatures.

167. Give and Receive: Write about giving and receiving.

168. Baker’s Dozen: Imagine the scents and sights of a bakery and write.

169. Treehouse: Write about your own secret treehouse hideaway.

170. Risk: Write about taking a gamble on something.

171. Acrostic: Choose a word and write an acrostic poem where every line starts with a letter from the word.

172. Crossword Puzzle: Open up the newspaper or find a crossword puzzle online and choose one of the clues to use as inspiration for your writing.

173. Silver Lining: Write about the good that happens in a bad situation.

174. Gloves: Write about a pair of gloves – what kind of gloves are they? Who wears them and why?

175. All that Glitters: Write about a shiny object.

176. Jealousy: Write with a theme of envy and jealousy.

177. How Does Your Garden Grow? Write about a flower that grows in an unusual place.

178. Jury Duty: Write a short story or poem that takes place in a courtroom.

179. Gifts: Write about a gift you have given or received.

180. Running: Write about running away from someone or something.

181. Discovery: Think of something you’ve recently discovered and use it as inspiration.

182. Complain: Write about your complaints about something.

183. Gratitude: Write a poem or journal entry that is all about things you are thankful for.

184. Chemistry: Choose an element and write a poem or story that uses that word in one of the lines.

185. Applause: Write about giving someone a standing ovation.

186. Old Endings Into New Beginnings: Take an old poem, story, or journal entry of yours and use the last line and make it the first line of your writing today.

187. Longing: Write  about something you very much want to do.

188. I Am: Write a motivational poem or journal entry about positive traits that make you who you are.

189. Rainbow: What is at the end of a rainbow?

190. Museum: Take some time to visit a nearby museum with your journal. Write about one of the pieces that speaks to you.

191. Cartoon: Think of your favorite cartoon or comic. Write a poem or story that takes place in that setting.

192. Copycat: Borrow a line from a famous public domain poem to craft your own.

193. From the Roof-tops: Imagine you could stand on a rooftop and broadcast a message to everyone below – what would you say?

194. Time Travel: If there was a time period you could visit for a day, where would you go? Write about traveling back in time to that day.

195. Changing Places: Imagine living the day as someone else.

196. Neighborhood: Write about your favorite place in your neighborhood to visit and hang out at.

197. Pirates: Write about a pirate ship.

198. Interview: Write based on a recent interview you’ve read or seen on TV or heard on the radio.

199. Hiding Spaces: Write about places you like to hide things at. What was a favorite hiding spot for you as a child playing hide-and-seek?

200. Extreme Makeover: Imagine how life might be different if you could change your hair color or clothing into something completely opposite from your current style.

201. Empathy: Write about your feelings of empathy or compassion for another person.

202. Opposites: Write a poem or story that ties in together two opposites.

203. Boredom: Write about being bored or make a list of different ways to entertain yourself.

204. Strength: Think of a time when you’ve been physically or emotionally strong and use that as inspiration.

205. Hunger: Write from the perspective of someone with no money to buy food.

206. Greed: Write about someone who always wants more – whether it be money, power, etc. etc.

207. Volcano: Write about an eruption of a volcano.

208. Video Inspiration: Go to Vimeo.com or YouTube.com and watch one of the videos featured on the homepage. Write something inspired by what you see.

209. Sneeze: Write about things that make you sneeze.

210. Footsteps on the Moon: Write about the possibility of life in outer-space.

211: Star-crossed: Write a short modern version of the story of Romeo and Juliet or think of real-life examples to use as inspiration for your writing.

212. Font-tastic: Choose a unique font and type out a poem using that font.

213. Schedule: Take a look at your calendar and use the schedule for inspiration in writing.

214. Grandparents: Write about a moment in your grandparent’s life.

215. Collage: Go through a magazine and cut out words that grab your attention. Use these words to construct a poem or as a story starter or inspiration for your journal.

216. Oh so Lonely: Write a poem about what you do when you are alone – do you feel lonely or do you enjoy your own company?

217. Waterfall: Think of a waterfall you’ve seen in person or spend some time browsing photos of waterfalls online. Write about the movement, flow, and energy.

218. First Kiss: Write about your first kiss.

219. So Ironic: Write about an ironic situation you’ve been in throughout your life.

220. Limerick: Write a limerick today.

221. Grocery Shopping: Write about an experience at the grocery store.

222. Fashion: Go through a fashion magazine or browse fashion websites online and write about a style you love.

223. So Close: Write about coming close to reaching a goal.

224. Drinks on Me: Write a poem or short story that takes place at a bar.

225. Online Friends: Write an ode to someone online you’ve met and become friends with.

226. Admiration: Is there someone you admire? Write about those feelings.

227. Trash Day: Write from the perspective of a garbage collector.

228. Mailbox: Open your mailbox and write something inspired by one of the pieces of mail you received.

229. Fresh & Clean: Write about how you feel after you take a shower.

230. Energized: Write about how you feel when you’re either at a high or low energy level for the day.

231. Rhyme & No Reason: Make up a silly rhyming poem using made up words.

232. Tech Support: Use computers or a conversation with tech support you’ve had as inspiration.

233. Hotel: Write from the perspective of someone who works at a hotel or staying at a hotel.

234. Underwater: Write about sea creatures, and under water life.

235. Breathing: Take a few minutes to do some deep breathing relaxation techniques. Once your mind is clear, just write the first few things that you think of.

236. Liar, Liar: Make up a poem or story of complete lies about yourself or someone else.

237. Obituaries: Look at the recent obituaries online or in the newspaper and imagine the life of someone and write about that person.

238. Pocket: Rummage through your pockets and write about what you keep or find in your pockets.

239. Cinquain: Write a cinquain poem.

240. Alphabetical: Write a poem that has every letter of the alphabet in it.

241. Comedy Club: Write something inspired by a comedian.

242. Cheater: Write about someone who is unfaithful.

243. Sestina: Give a try to writing a sestina poem.

244. Fight: Write about witnessing two people get in an argument with each other.

245. Social Network: Visit your favorite Social Networking website (ie: Facebook, Pinterest, Google, Twitter, etc.) and write a about a post you see there.

246. Peaceful: Write about something peaceful and serene.

247. In the Clouds: Go cloud watching for the day and write about what you imagine in the clouds.

248. At the Park: Take some time to sit on a park bench and write about the sights, scenes, and senses and emotions you experience.

249. Sonnet: Write a sonnet today.

250. Should, Would, And Could: Write a poem or story using the words should, would, and could.

251. How to: Write a poem that gives directions on how to do something.

252. Alliteration: Use alliteration in your poem or in a sentence in a story.

253. Poker Face: Write about playing a card game.

254. Timer: Set a timer for 5 minutes and just write. Don’t worry about it making sense or being perfect.

255. Dance: Write about a dancer or a time you remember dancing.

256. Write for a Cause: Write a poem or essay that raises awareness for a cause you support.

257. Magic: Write about a magician or magic trick.

258. Out of the Box: Imagine finding a box. Write about opening it and what’s inside.

259. Under the Influence: What is something has impacted you positively in your life?

260. Forgotten Toy: Write from the perspective a forgotten or lost toy.

261. Rocks and Gems: Write about a rock or gemstone meaning.

262. Remote Control: Imagine you can fast forward and rewind your life with a remote control.

263. Symbolism: Think of objects, animals, etc. that have symbolic meaning to you. Write about it.

264. Light at the End of the Tunnel: Write about a time when you saw hope when it seemed like a hopeless situation.

265. Smoke and Fire: Write inspired by the saying “where there’s smoke, there’s fire”.

266. Railroad: Write about a train and its cargo or passengers.

267. Clipboard: Write about words you imagine on an office clipboard.

268. Shipwrecked: Write about being stranded somewhere – an island, a bus stop, etc.

269. Quotable: Use a popular quote from a speaker and use it as inspiration for your writing.

270. Map it Out: Create a mind map of words, phrases, and ideas that pop into your head or spend some time browsing the many mind maps online. Write a poem, story, or journal entry inspired by the mind map.

271. Patterns: Write about repeating patterns that occur in life.

272. Scrapbook: Write about finding a scrapbook and the memories it contains.

273. Cure: Write about finding a cure for an illness.

274. Email Subject Lines: Read your email today and look for subject lines that may be good starters for writing inspiration.

275. Wishful Thinking: Write about a wish you have.

276. Doodle: Spend some time today doodling for about 5-10 minutes. Write about the thoughts you had while doodling or inspired by your finished doodle.

277. Chalkboard: Imagine you are in a classroom. What does it say on the chalkboard?

278. Sticky: Imagine a situation that’s very sticky (ie: maple syrup or tape or glue) – and write about it.

279. Flashlight: Imagine going somewhere very dark with only a flashlight to guide you.

280. A Far Away Place: Envision yourself traveling to a fictional place, what do you experience in your imaginary journey?

281. On the Farm: Write about being in a country or rural setting.

282. Promise to Yourself: Write about a promise you want to make to yourself and keep.

283. Brick Wall: Write a poem that is about a brick wall – whether literally or figuratively.

284. Making a Choice: Write about a time when you had to make a difficult choice.

285. Repeat: Write about a time when you’ve had to repeat yourself or a time when it felt like no one was listening.

286. Outcast: Write about someone who is not accepted by their peers. (for example, the Ugly Ducking)

287. Scary Monsters: Write about a scary (or not-so-scary) monster in your closet or under the bed.

288. Sacrifice: Write about something you’ve sacrificed doing to do something else or help another person.

289. Imperfection: Create a poem that highlights the beauty in being flawed.

290. Birthday Poem: Write a poem inspired by birthdays.

291. Title First: Make a list of potential poem or story titles and choose one to write from.

292. Job Interview: Write about going on a job interview.

293. Get Well: Write a poem that will help someone who is sick feel better quick!

294. Lost in the Crowd: Write about feeling lost in the crowd.

295. Apple a Day: Write about health.

296. Cravings: Write about craving something.

297. Phobia: Research some common phobias, choose one, and write about it.

298. In the Moment: Write about living in the present moment.

299. Concrete: Write about walking down a sidewalk and what you see and experience.

300. Stars: Write about the stars in the sky and what they mean to you.

301. This Old House: Write about an old house that is abandoned or being renovated.

302. Clutter: Is there a cluttered spot in your home? Go through some of that clutter today and write about what you find or the process of organizing.

303. Go Fly a Kite: Write about flying a kite.

304. On the TV: Flip to a random TV channel and write about the first thing that comes on – even if it’s an infomercial!

305. Fruit: Write a poem that is an ode to a fruit.

306. Long Distance Love: Write about a couple that is separated by distance.

307. Glasses: Write about a pair of eyeglasses or someone wearing glasses.

308. Robotic: Write about a robot.

309. Cute as a Button: Write about something you think is just adorable.

310. Movie Conversation: Use a memorable conversation from a favorite movie to inspire your writing.

311. Easy-Peasy: Write  about doing something effortlessly.

312. Idiom: Choose from a list of idioms one that speaks to you and create a poem around that saying or phrase. (Ie: It’s raining cats and dogs)

313. Playground: Whether it’s the swings or the sandbox or the sliding boards, write about your memories of being on a playground.

314. Romance: Write about romantic things partners can do for each other.

315. Rock Star: Imagine you are a famous rock star. Write about the experience.

316. Come to Life: Imagine ordinary objects have come to life. Write about what they do and say.

317. Airplane: Write about meeting someone on an airplane and a conversation you might have.

318. Health & Beauty: Take some time to peruse your medicine cabinet or the health and beauty aisles at a local store. Write a poem, short story, or journal entry inspired by a product label.

319. Determination: Write about not giving up.

320. Instrumental Inspiration: Listen to some instrumental music and write a poem that matches the mood, beat, and style of the music.

321. Wait Your Turn: Write about having to wait in line.

322. Personality Type: Do you know your personality type? (There are many free quizzes online) – write about what type of personality traits you have.

323. Decade: Choose a favorite decade and write about it. (IE: 1980’s or 1950’s for example)

324. I Believe: Write your personal credo of things you believe in.

325. Lost and Found: Write about a lost object.

326. Say it: Write a poem or story that uses dialogue between two people.

327. The Unsent Letter: Write about a letter that never made it to its recipient.

328. The Windows of the Soul: Write a poem about the story that is told through someone’s eyes.

329. Trial and Error: Write about something you learned the hard way.

330. Escape: Write about where you like to go to escape from it all.

331. Recipe: Write something inspired a favorite recipe.

332. Records: Go through your file box and pull out old receipts or records…write something inspired by what you find!

333. Banking: Write about visiting the bank.

334. Sweet Talk: Write about trying to convince someone of something.

335. Serendipity: Write about something that happened by chance in a positive way.

336. Distractions: Write about how it feels when you can’t focus.

337. Corporation: Write about big business.

338. Word of the Day: Go to a website that has a word of the day and use it in a poem, story or journal entry you write.

339. Pick Me Up: What do you do when you need a pick me up?

340. Unfinished: Write about a project you started but never completed.

341. Forgiveness: Write about a time when someone forgave you or you forgave someone.

342. Weakness: Write about your greatest weakness.

343. Starting: Write about starting a project.

344. Mechanical: Think of gears, moving parts, machines.

345. Random Act of Kindness: Write about a random act of kindness you’ve done for someone or someone has done for you, no matter how small or insignificant it may have seemed.

346. Underground: Imagine living in a home underground and use that as inspiration for writing.

347. Classic Rock: Pick a classic rock love ballad and rewrite it into a story or poem with a similar theme.

348. Night Owl: Write about staying up late at night.

349. Magnetic: Write about attraction to something or someone.

350. Teamwork: Write about working with a team towards a common goal.

351. Roller-coaster: Write about the ups and downs in life.

352. Motivational Poster: Look at some motivational posters online and write a poem or journal entry inspired by your favorite one.

353. Games: Write about the games people play – figuratively or literally.

354. Turning Point: Write about a point in life where things turned for the better or worse.

355. Spellbound: Write about a witch’s spell.

356. Anniversary: Write about the anniversary of a special date.

357. Gamble: Be inspired by a casino or lottery ticket.

358. Picnic: Write about going on a picnic.

359. Garage: Write about some random item you might find in a garage.

360. Review: Review your week, month, or year in a journal entry or poem format.

361. Detective: Write about a detective searching for clues or solving a mystery.

362. Camera: Take your camera for a walk and write based on one of the photographs you take.

363. Visiting: Write about visiting a family member or friend.

364. Trust: Writ about putting trust in someone.

365. Congratulations: Did you write a poem, short story, or journal entry every day for a whole year? Write about what you’ve learned and that celebrates your achievement!

Until next time . . .

Weight on the cross

Look at this cross.

CROSS

How much weight do you think it could carry?

We know it carried the weight of a man.  If you look at the cross you can see his head, his arms, and his legs.  But do you see what is in the center?

Right there in the middle of the cross is the strongest and most overlooked part of the cross.  It is more than the intersection of two boards.  It is the heart of the cross.  It is the heart of Jesus.  It is the intersection of the path of the lost and the road of the redeemed.  It is right there in the heart of a man who loved us so much that he was willing to be hung on a cross and die for us so that we could spend eternity in Heaven with his Father.

So when you look at this cross, see more than two boards.  See more than the nails.  See more than that blood that was shed for our sins.

Look at this cross and see Jesus’ arms that wrap around you in your best and worst moments.  The moments when you feel hopeless.  The moments when you feel thankful.

Look at this cross and see Jesus’ head with his face turned to Heaven as he prayed to his father, knowing that he was dying for you.

Look at this cross and see Jesus’ legs that carry the weight of not just my sin and your sin.  But the sin of the entire world . . . on two little boards.  All you have to do is lay that sin down at the cross.

You may have already given your life to Christ, but we all still carry baggage.  Addiction, anger, lying, stealing, fear, anxiety . . . something that we have not yet been willing to give up.  You know that the moment Christ came into you heart you were made new.  You are not defined by the sins you carry around.  You are a loved, redeemed, and forgiven child of God.  So whatever sin you are still holding on to . . . even that secret sin that you think nobody knows about . . . now is the time to lay it down once and for all at the cross.

Jesus was nailed to the cross to cleanse us of our sins.  He was the ultimate and final sacrifice for anything that comes between us and God.  So what is still standing between you and God?

There is no sin too big or too small that can not be forgiven.  All you have to do is be willing to let it go.

Romans 3:9, 10 says, “What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. As it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one.’”

1 John 1:8,9 says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

ALL unrighteousness.  Even what you are still hanging onto right now.

Take a moment to think about what you need to nail to the cross.  This is just between you and God, but we all have something to nail to this cross.

What is God laying on your heart right now?  What is God saying that you’ve been holding on to for too long and that it is time to finally let go of?

Write it down.  Get on your knees and pray.  Do whatever you need to do right now to get that sin out of you, and confess it to God.  There is nothing that you can say to Him that will make Him turn away from you.  There is nothing that you can say to Him that He doesn’t already know.  He is with you always, so he already knows everything you’ve done.  But to be forgiven you must admit to him.  You must take ownership of what you have done.  Then the slate can be wiped clean.  Nail it to the cross.  Nail it to the cross, and do not pick it back up.

No matter how strong you think your sin is, this cross is stronger.  The love of Christ is stronger.  Whatever sin you are still carrying around, the forgiveness of God is stronger.

No matter how dirty you think your sin makes you, this cross can cleanse you.

Freedom from your sin is found in the intersection of those two boards.

CROSS

Forgiveness is found in the heart of the cross . . . in the heart of Christ and the love of God, because this cross was built strong enough to carry it all.

Until next time . . .

Nothing Left to Give (poem)

How do you give from an empty cup?
How do you refill what you lack?
When everybody wants something from you,
how do you get it back?
When emptiness takes its toll,
and exhaustion builds each day.
When what once brought you joy
is now a target of rage.
When tears are at the ready
and self-doubt finds its way in.
When giving up now seems easier
than fighting to the end.
When old habits start to reappear
and rear their ugly heads.
When you float through days and weeks, emotionless,
until you fall fitfully into bed.
When another days seems impossible.
When scraping the bottom is inevitable.
When tempers flare and tongues are unleashed.
When the damage done seems irreparable.
When fumes are the only fuel in your life,
and even those are running thin.
When everybody wants something from you,
but there is nothing left to give.

Heather L. Flood
04.17.17

Silently Loud (poem)

My head and hand on your chest
I can hear your heartbeat
I can feel it against my ear
You feel so close to me
You seem almost real
You seem so near
I can smell your scent
I can hear your voice
I can close my eyes and see you
But the illusion is broken
The moment reality takes hold
And the illusion is nothing new
You haunt my memories
As they spill over into dreams
You are there when you’re really not
How I wish I could forget
How I wish I could let go
Of the past sitting in ny heart
But too many yesterdays
Not enough todays
The past outweighs right now
Until there are more tomorrows than todays
Until your voice is no longer in my memories
I will hear your heart so silently loud

By: Heather L. Flood
04.10.17