Friday

When everyone talks about wishing Friday would hurry up and come, I just nod and keep quiet. I hate the weekend. I’d rather be at work, in my cheerful cubical with its images of islands and palm trees, than running Saturday errands for my mother. She . . .

Please leave a comment with your first 50 words on the topic “Friday.”

Posted in Children's Writing Prompts, fiction, Writing prompt | 4 Comments

Thursday

Thursday Anderson was her given name. There was really no good way to create a nickname out of Thursday. Thur sounded stupid. So she went by the name Mac, a name she gave herself in 3rd grade after reading a book with a character by that name. She thought when she turned 21 she might change it officially. She hadn’t told her mother about her plan to officially stop being Thursday. When . . .

Please leave a comment with your first 50 words on the topic “Thursday.”

Posted in Children's Writing Prompts, fiction, Writing prompt | 2 Comments

Wednesday

“On Wednesday? Let me think. Oh, that was the day I went up to visit my mother in Longmont. Stayed with her nearly all day.”

“You drove your own car?”

“Yeah, sure. Of course.”

An officer tapped at an iPad while I spoke. The one who was asking all the questions just stared at me for a while. It was making me nervous. The guy with the iPad tapped Mr. Long Stare’s shoulder and he turned around and looked at it.

Mr. Long Stare turned back to me. “The thing is, Tommy, we don’t have any record of your car driving on either I25 or 287 that day. No camera anywhere shows you on either route. But where we do have a record of your license plate being seen last Wednesday is . . . “

Please leave a comment with your first 50 words on the topic “Wednesday.”

Posted in Children's Writing Prompts, fiction, Writing prompt | 5 Comments

Tuesday

The same act was at The Continental Club every Tuesday night for years. The same crowd appeared each Tuesday, with a few newcomers mixed in every week just for spice. When out-of-towners came through on a Tuesday, that was where those in the know sent them. It was an event celebrating love, music, booze, and dance. It was the place to be.

Please leave a comment with your first 50 words on the topic “Tuesday.”

Posted in Childhood memory, Children's Writing Prompts, fiction, Writing prompt | 2 Comments

Monday

She hummed that old tune “Monday, Monday” by the Mama and the Papas as she walked. It had just the right rhythm to keep her feet moving and she had a lot of ground to cover. After a while she tied a shirt around her head to keep the sweat from dripping in her eyes, and she kept walking. Her empty water bottles went back into her back pack to refill when she found a water supply. She kept walking.

Please leave a comment with your first 50 words on the topic “Monday.”

Posted in Children's Writing Prompts, fiction, Writing prompt | 2 Comments

Sunday

Remember Sunday dinner after church? Everyone gathered around the big table at Grandma’s house. Fried chicken and the kids’ favorite “gobby gravy.” A tussle over who got what chair. Laughing and joking through a meal with the world’s best dessert after a big meal?

Please leave a comment with your first 50 words on the topic “Sunday.”

Posted in Childhood memory, Children's Writing Prompts, Food, memories, Writing prompt | 4 Comments

Sprinkle

A sprinkle of coffee grounds decorated the bottom of my cup: an artifact of using a French press to make my coffee. I wondered if the grounds spoke with divination about my future the way tea leaves might. Why only tea? Does coffee not speak of the future, give portents and warnings for the unwary?

The message in the grounds seems to be, “get up and get busy before the energy wears off.” So banal, coffee.

Please leave a comment with your first 50 words on the topic “sprinkle.”

Posted in Children's Writing Prompts, fiction, Food, Writing prompt | 4 Comments

Everyone Must Die

Everyone must die. Everyone does. Yet we persist in taking it personally when it happens to us or to someone we love. When it happens to someone we love, we always wonder how we could have saved them by being a better person. And when it happens to someone we don’t love, why that’s clearly because God has judged them and found them worth punishing with some horrible disease.

Please leave a comment with your first 50 words on the topic “everyone must die.”

Posted in Essay, Writing prompt | 2 Comments

The Earth is Flat

I’ve thought about my personal manifesto a lot and I’ve reached some principles, some prime rules for living. These eternal truths shall rule the future:

  • The earth is flat. Anyone can see that.
  • Humans are not causing global warming. It’s just summer time. Anyone can see that.
  • AIDS only affects gay men because God is trying to punish them for their sins. Anyone can see that.
  • The Holocaust was a fiction perpetrated by a bunch of liars. Anyone can see that.
  • The moon landing was a fake made in a movie studio. Anyone can see that.
  • It’s perfectly okay to rape someone if they aren’t paying attention at the time. Anyone can see that.
  • God wants you to love everyone. Unless the person you love is the same sex as you are. Anyone can see that.
  • Immigrants are the scourge of American society. Anyone can see that.

Please leave a comment with your first 50 words on the topic “the earth is flat.”

Posted in fiction, Opinion, Writing prompt | 3 Comments

My Story

I wrote this in 2006 as a guest post for a blog called A Little Red Hen. It popped into my face the other day for some reason and I decided to put it here.

I didn’t imagine when I was younger that I would enjoy my 50s and 60s so much, or look forward to my 70s with such anticipation. The elder years have been among my happiest, a bit of information that would have shocked my younger self.

I was an only child and I live alone now. It suits me, being alone. It’s one of the reasons I’m happy. I love my family and my beautiful grandchildren, my friends, my online communities. But I like having a room of my own, too.

I made some major changes in my life after my 50s began. Many people thought it was bold or brave, but to me it was merely finding that soul-place where I’d always wanted to be. My internal image of myself always was as a writer, never as a teacher. Yet I spent a lot of years teaching. Toward the end of that career, I trained in cooperative learning and in the writing process. The combination of cooperative learning and writing process were a perfect fit for me. I wrote four books that help teachers teach writing. I was also very active in writers’ groups and attempted all sorts of writing on my own.

I wanted to retire from teaching in the public schools and leave the little town in New Mexico where I lived. Someone told me Austin, Texas had a great writers’ group, plus seven nearby universities and a nice music scene, so I moved to Austin. I drove a U-Haul truck by myself with my car hitched on behind. I didn’t know a soul in Austin. The writers there were wonderful and helped me find work and keep writing. I took a class that I thought would help me find a day job as a technical writer, which led me to a class in HTML. That HTML class really changed my life. It was about 1995, the Internet boom was just beginning, and I thought if I knew HTML I could publish some of my writing on my own web site. This was long before blogging. Little did I know that everyone would be her own publisher in a few years! I fell crazy in love with HTML. I was in the zone, in the groove, a goner. I couldn’t stop making web pages. I did find work as a technical writer, but what I was actually doing was making web pages that happened to be on technical topics. I was soaking up new technical information as it if would sustain me like food. Ambrosia!

I started teaching web page building at the same college where I’d learned it myself. That started me on a crusade to change the way the books that teach web design approach the material. I’m still yapping on about that topic, and have written two books of my own about making web sites now. I blog about teaching web design at http://www.webteacher.ws.

The Internet boom hit Austin hard; thousands of people a month moved there for high tech jobs. The traffic was awful and I was at an age where an 8 to 5 job didn’t look as good as Social Security and retirement income. I also realized I missed the mountains and the seasons. Austin is beautiful, but it’s endless summer there. I wanted some spring and fall to go with summer.

I packed it all up again and headed back to New Mexico. I downsized in the process: smaller house, fewer things. If I still have something, it’s because I really want it.

I missed my old writing practice group from Austin, though. I decided to make my own writing practice group of one. I started First 50 Words. No technical writing allowed, instead I write 50 or so words about anything at all. I can’t seem to stop dreaming up writing prompts as if I were still teaching youngsters to write. I love that minute or two each day when I can be creative for 50 words.

I can’t say I’m actually retired, since I’m writing more than ever, but I don’t have to go somewhere during rush hour each day to get to my computer. I just crawl out of bed and start typing. There’s a mountain right outside my front door, and the full array of all four seasons. For me, this is the right place and the right time.

Please leave a comment with your first 50 words (I went way over today. You can, too.) on the topic “my story.”

Posted in About Us, Essay, memories, Writing prompt | 6 Comments