Inside the soul of a writer

Tag Archives: writing prompt

Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger all play important roles in Inside
Out, Pixar’s movie about the emotions inside the head of an 11-year-old girl
named Riley. Now it’s your turn to let one of the emotions have control of the
console.

Write five or six different emotions on little slips of paper and put them in
a bowl. Draw one at random. Write a review of a recent movie or TV show
you’ve seen using only the one emotion you drew.

In the first two episodes of Season 4, it has been easy to tell that the show has turned in a new direction. New elements have been introduced along with new characters. With the introduction of Gabriel Luna as Robbie Reyes/Ghost Rider, an edgier element, or one could say an element involving fear, has become a part of the show.

This was evident in Tuesday’s episode entitled Meet the New Boss. As the title suggests, we got to see who the new director was and found out things we weren’t expecting to find out. What was unexpected about the director along with the other parts of the episode added fear which upped the stakes and made the show exciting to watch.

The question could be asked as to why this is, but I think all of us who are consumers of media instinctively know already. Fear, or conflict overall, makes things more interesting. People don’t want to watch or read about people whose lives have nothing wrong in them. They want to know how people get through their problems and resolve whatever’s happening.

This is what makes shows like Agents of SHIELD popular. The people who watch it want to know how Agent May gets over her fear of her colleagues because of the pathogen she’s been infected with. They want to know if people will stop being afraid of the Ghost Rider. They want to know if the ghosts will be cured so people won’t be afraid of them. And finally, they want to know if people are afraid of the new director now because he’s an Inhuman.

So, Tuesday’s episode had more questions than answers. It had the emotion of fear as well as other emotions. But, mainly, it had the conflict that everyone who watches it has come to expect.

Hope everyone has a great day!

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I’ve been wanting to post in this blog more regularly, but have had problems coming up with content. That problem was solved yesterday when I received a free writing prompt book in my email from American Writers and Artists, Inc. It has a month’s worth of prompts, and I’m hoping to get myself in the habit of writing every single day by using it.

Here’s the first prompt.

What was your favorite book as a child? Do you remember? Did you read
it by yourself, or did someone read it to you? Did they do the voices? Were
you tucked up in bed, or curled up in a favorite chair? These days, do you
read to someone else? Do you enjoy acting out the parts while you read?
Today, write about a beloved book and relive your memories of time spent en-
tranced by a wonderful story.

I’m going to answer these questions on behalf of my younger son. He’s 17 now, but I remember well when he was in kindergarten and first grade. One of his favorite books was Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner. I read to him and his older brother every night, and when it was his turn to pick, more often than not, he would pick Skippyjon Jones or two of the other books we had by the same author–Skippyjon Jones in the Doghouse or Skippyjon Jones in Mummy Trouble. He loved it when someone would make up voices for the characters, and I remember him trying to make up voices himself. These books were the first books he enjoyed reading, and I am grateful that his kindergarten teacher in South Carolina gave him a copy when we moved to Michigan in the middle of his kindergarten year.

Reading out loud to them was a precious time I will always remember. Each boy would usually want to be on one of my knees, and they would want to make sure the book was equally in view of both of them. It was a time my attention was solely focused on them and a time their attention was solely focused on me. I’ve recently become familiar with a song that illustrates how fast this time went for me–a song called Blink by the group Revive.
Here are the lyrics.

“Teach me to number my days
And count every moment
Before it slips away
Take in all the colors
Before they fade to grey

I don’t want to miss
Even just a second
More of this

It happens in a blink, it happens in a flash
It happens in the time it took to look back
I try to hold on tight, but there’s no stopping time
What is it I’ve done with my life?

It happens in a blink
It happens in a blink

When it’s all said and done
No one remembers
How far we have run
The only thing that matters
Is how we have loved

I don’t want to miss
Even just a second
More of this

It happens in a blink, it happens in a flash
It happens in the time it took to look back
I try to hold on tight, but there’s no stopping time
What is it I’ve done with my life?

It happens in a blink
It happens in a blink
It happens in a blink
It happens in a blink

Slow down
Slow down
Before today becomes
Our yesterday

Slow down
Slow down
Before you turn around
And it’s too late

It happens in a blink, it happens in a flash
It happens in the time it took to look back
I try to hold on tight, but there’s no stopping time
What is it I’ve done with my life?

It happens in a blink, it happens in a flash
It happens in the time it took to look back
I try to hold on tight, but there’s no stopping time
What is it I’ve done with my life?

It happens in a blink
It happens in a blink
It happens in a blink
It happens in a blink”

When we are in the middle of those periods with small children, it seems like they will never end with all the teaching and molding of character, with the preparation and cleaning of meals, with the washing of laundry, with…everything, but in the blink of an eye, they are over, and we don’t know where the time went. In two years, my nest will be empty, and I will be in the next phase of my life. My sons and I still read a book together at Christmas, but it’s different now. They don’t fit in my lap anymore, and I’m the one that’s about to go to bed. They are young men now, and we have a strong bond. A bond was established when they were small children, and we were reading together every night. My fondest hope is they will remember those times when they have children of their own and read to them.

Hope everyone has a great day!


I was able to find a writing prompt book for my Kindle that holds a lot of promise for keeping the creative juices stoked. When spring weather comes, it’s a prelude to summer which is when I generally have more time to put more words down on paper or on my computer screen. It’s my favorite time of year. So, you’re probably asking where’s the prompt. And I would say to you, right here.

“One of the best parts of summer is going to see a big blockbuster movie on the big screen at the theater. What kind of movies do you enjoy and why? What movie snacks would you eat during the most exciting moments of the movie?

I have so many memories of going to see big blockbuster movies as a child. When I was a child, the movie premieres tended to be around the Memorial Day Weekend. I remember specifically being at the premiere showing of the first Star Wars movie on May 25, 1977. I was fascinated by the commercials for Star Wars, and as an 11-year old girl, I was particularly fascinated by watching a girl go on an adventure. My favorite television shows at this time were shows like The Bionic Woman, Wonder Woman, and Star Trek, and I was so excited to see Star Wars. It didn’t disappointment me at all, and it was at that time I realized I was different from the other examples of women I was seeing in my daily life. My interest in these shows poured over into my reading and writing, and helped form me into the kind of person I am today. The words geek and nerd were not words that girls wanted to be called back then. They were considered derogatory, and if people considered you a geek, you didn’t fit in real well. That was hard as a teenager. It’s not hard anymore for me though. As I told someone at church last night after a discussion of how his daughter liked Captain America and Iron Man, I wear the title of geek proudly. He said his family wore it proudly too.

Fast forward to today. In the last few years, I have seen such movies as all the movies in the Hunger Games franchise, Divergent, Captain America 1 and 2, Thor 1 and 2, Iron Man 1,2, and 3, and the first Avengers movie. I am also a big fan of The Flash, The Arrow, and Agents of SHIELD on television. I have watched all of these shows with my husband and sons, and they are something we have been able to enjoy together. I am looking forward to the premiere of the second Avengers movie at the beginning of May. It is a special weekend for my family. Not only will Avengers: Age of Ultron premiere, we will also celebrate my older son finishing his senior year at our church on that Sunday. So, as you can imagine, I am doing a lot of reflecting in the time leading up to the premiere. Going to see this movie and seeing my son and his friends honored will be one of the highlights of this year. At the movie, I will enjoy popcorn and soda and sit on the edge of my seat. I will also reflect on the strong and confident woman I’ve become by acknowledging who I am and not falling into what society wants to make me.

Hope everyone has a wonderful day!


Thought I’d go a little bit different for a Monday. Here’s the prompt.

Write about your name–where you got it, how you feel about it. 

I’m not sure where my name came from, but I have plenty to tell you about how I feel about it.  As you can see in the about section of this blog, my first name is Alisa. This name has a variety of spellings and a variety of pronunciations. It used to drive me crazy as a child and especially as a teenager when I would have to spell my name every single time for a teacher to write in her roll book. And more often than not, I would have the same teacher calling out Alyssa or Alisha or even Allison the next day from what they had written down. I didn’t understand how they weren’t able to pronounce it. And as a teenager, having that quandry didn’t do an awful lot for my self-confidence. I think that was one of the reasons I chose traditional names with traditional spellings for both of my own children. 

My feelings about my name continued into adulthood. I sometimes turned it into a game, trying to guess which people would not be able to figure out how to pronounce my name or who would misspell it when they were sending me a letter. I found that people who actually wanted to take the time to get to know me would have the highest percentage of spelling and pronouncing my name correctly. That was pretty cool. There were some people though that just didn’t get it. 

As the years passed, I began to appreciate the uniqueness of my name and found ways to help people learn how to spell  and even pronounce it correctly. My most recent innovation is to tell people–“Think about it this way. My name is like Lisa with an A in front it, and that is how you spell it.” Most of them have been able to figure it out, and my mental poll still works. If a person is really interested in getting to know me, they have a higher percentage of both spelling and saying my name the right way.

Hope everyone has a great day! 


Here’s an interesting prompt to end the week.

“Write about losing something and then finding it.”

A few months ago, I lost my favorite pair of small scissors. They had a curved edge and worked perfectly for cutting my fingernails. My family always teased me about using them to cut my nails instead of fingernail clippers, but I told them to each his own and that I wanted my own scissors. I tore our apartment apart looking for them. I thought someone must have hidden them to get back at me, but everyone swore up and down that they hadn’t seen them. I finally relented and bought a fingernail/toenail kit at the store which included small scissors and everything else necessary for caring for fingernails and toenails.

Fast forward to two weeks ago. I had just gotten some bad news from an email and was stomping around my room in frustration. I turned around to go back towards my bed, and low and behold, there was my favorite pair of scissors lying on the floor. I stared at them in astonishment because I didn’t know where they possibly could have come from. Both of my boys came running into the room to find out what was the matter. After I told them the news, I showed them the scissors and told them where I had found them. I asked them if they had any ideas where they had been, and my younger son looked at where I had found the scissors and snapped his fingers. He said they probably had slipped out from the edge of the bed frame where they had most likely been stuck the whole time they had been lost. I thought about it and then realized he was probably right. Things had a tendency to slip down the frame, and if they weren’t big enough for me to see, I would never know they were there. It was so good to have my scissors back.

Have a great weekend! 


I am going to use a combination of writing prompts today. Here’s the first one I saw.

                       “Write about a time you were in a jam.”

And here’s the second one.

                        “Take your notebook to a public place and spy. Write down what you see and hear.”

And here’s the combination I’m going to use.

                  Write what you see and hear when caught in a traffic jam on 280.

 

280 is the main thoroughfare in and out of the big city I live near. It is the bane of everyone’s existence, and ever since I’ve lived here, I’ve never stopped hearing complaints about it. Fortunately, I don’t have to be on this particular road very often during the main traffic hour. But, I do have to be on it on Wednesdays to get to church on time. This summer has been no exception. To add to the fun, there have been several Wednesday nights when it has been storming or has just been pouring rain. On one particular Wednesday, we were on the road, and my husband was inching along in traffic. I have never seen water coming down that fast, and it seemed that everyone was trying to get to where they needed to go. I looked out one window and then the other seeing people to the right and left of us. I wondered where they were going. Were they trying to get home; were they trying to go shopping; or were they wanting to get something to eat? My patience level has never been good on this road as I have always seen too many people taking chances they shouldn’t take. People were going slower on this particular day though because they couldn’t go fast. And it calmed me; made me more patient. It was funny because we ended up being late. But, when you’re forced to slow down and actually pay attention, patience will come even when you’re not looking for it. 

Hope everyone has a great weekend!