January 16, 2018

random subject prompts

I've resorted tonight to using a site that offers random creative writing subject prompts to get one's brain chugging on something.

It isn't going so well.

"Write about a special summer's evening."

Trying to think of one.  Can't.  They all have bugs in them.

"Is there anything you regret?"

Hails!  Hails of derisive laughter, Bruce!  *wipes tears from eyes*  Oh Jesus, is there anything I regret?  Seriously?  Too many to list.  I'm 40.  They dot the landscape.  But there's a lot I don't regret, and most of it was the hard stuff in life.  A lot I have no regrets about whatsoever.

"Write about how you drive."

When I'm not singing in the car, I'm cussing out other drivers.  P.J. says I drive like a granny, but she wouldn't know because she used to race sports cars.  I go eight miles per hour over the speed limit and use my turn signals religiously.  I'm basically like the other grannies, but for their part, I can't speak to the cussing liberally.

Oh my god, a few weeks ago, I was going down the interstate and I saw a truck with a license tag that said "ROWSDOWR," and I wanted to follow the guy until he stopped, even if that was five states away and I had to wait until he ran out of gas, just to tell him that I understood what his tag meant, and then turn around and leave.

"Write about a phobia."

I once wrote an essay about my house centipede phobia.  I'll have to post it.  I can't do the little fuckers justice here.

"What kind of animal are you?"

A sparrow, obviously.  But a mutated sparrow with opposable thumbs that can throw things and that chirps way too much.

"What do you keep in your purse?"

After removing the beeswax candle and the artificial sweetener and the Christmas ornament, I'm left with a checkbook with a Hello Kitty cover on it, a vial of Tylenol tablets (because I can't take Advil any more), a really good pen that I stole from work, a really good pen that I stole from my wife (*see comments), some receipts that need to be thrown away, a multipurpose screwdriver tool, a few random computer parts, loose change, two pairs of earrings that I think I've lost but actually haven't because they're in my purse somewhere, and a glasses case.

"If you could pass a law right now, what would it be and why?

Soft ball.  I would pass a law introducing term limits of no more than two terms per senator or representative, national and state levels, every state in the U.S.  This would fix so much; so very, very much.  A girl can dream.

"Write about swimming."  

I don't remember learning to swim, and my daddy says I didn't.  We went to White Lake, North Carolina when I was four, and he threw me into the water to find out if I could.  That was the 1980s, when you did that sort of thing.  Inflatable arm floats and helicopter parents weren't around yet.  And I swam. 

"What is in your fridge?"

This is way more complicated than the purse.  Right now, there's an awful lot of cheese, because the store was clearing out my favorite kind.  Rather a lot of cheese, really.  Sugar-free jams and tubes of ginger and basil weigh down the door, followed by sugar-free pancake syrup and 14 bottles of expired salad dressing.  Ignatius the Sourdough Starter is still hanging out on the bottom shelf, unwilling to give any signs of either life or death.  It has not yet produced written language or tools, unlike the cottage cheese that is back there beside it.  The cottage cheese has gotten as far as corporate mergers and class action lawsuits and daytime television.  There is way too much coffee creamer, which is to say, we're almost out and need more.  There's almond milk that I drink and regular milk that my son doesn't.  Some asparagus and a pork roast for later in the week, mixed in with half an onion, some ground beef, and some cauliflower.  There's a tiny carton of a half-dozen free-range eggs that I paid way too much for, but they promise 101 square feet per chicken, and god damn it, I have to do something good once in a while, seeing as how I salivate when staring at slices of dead cows that probably had names at some point.  I can at least support whatever is represented out there as humane treatment these days.

Oh, and my leftover stromboli.  Don't touch my leftover stromboli.  I will cut you.

"Describe a special place using all five senses."

Sheetz has me covered here.  Sheetz is a place where you sit on a hard plastic chair at a table in a cold room and drink delicious, fragrant coffee that burns your mouth while staring at the hypontic ad screens showing various sandwiches for sale and trying to filter out the TV in the snack room that's blithering on about some team sportsing against some other team.

See?  I have nothing to write about.  Not yet.


  1. Wait, what pen? Confession is good for the soul, but bad for the pen thief. Give it up.

    1. Not a chance. Anyway, it's the one that has "Nuance" written on it, so it's tainted with the blood of a thousand transcriptionists whose souls now follow the sun. But it's a hell of a good pen. Neener.