This blog reflects some of what I’m doing these days. I’m Loitering With the Intent of writing as much, sharing as much about writing, and connecting as much (as possible) before my time is up. It sounds like a solid plan, doesn’t it?  If only I’d figured it out five years ago.  <sigh>  As Cesar Milan says, “Let’s live in the moment!”


I created and collected writing prompts during my years with Southwest Writers Club (one of the oldest writing groups in Texas), and you’ll see some of those prompts in this blog.  Being mathematically disabled, I like to consider prompts as word problems. At this point in life, I have no intention of getting close to any genuine form of math. I have enough neurological damage already.

You are welcome to post your answers to any of these prompts in the comments sections, or you can just use the prompts to inspire yourself at home, to break through a writing block, to clear your head, amuse a relative, etc. You cannot, however, copy any of these prompts and pass them off as your own. {Of course, I know YOU wouldn’t do that. But I have to post that disclaimer to discourage the few members of the criminal elite who are interested in writing.} However, you may borrow some of these prompts to use with your groups or on your site, provided you credit the source.

If you’re interested in writing your memoirs (putting your life story on paper for your family, yourself, profit, etc.), I encourage you to try it!  Your memories and tales of your experiences will be treasured by future generations.  If you find that you need a bit of help from someone with some experience, there are websites and writing groups devoted entirely to memoir, life stories, and creative nonfiction.   Be sure you find someone who possesses: (a) writing experience, (b) compassion & understanding, and (c) a sacred respect for your privacy and the confidentiality of your information. And whether you end up hiring a co-writer or a ghostwriter, never pay the full fee in advance!  It’s customary to make a partial payment at the start of the agreement, and additional partial payments as the process continues to your satisfaction. The final payment comes only when the manuscript is finished.

No matter who you hire, or how nice he/she might be, a written agreement is always a good idea; you can stipulate the terms of your arrangement, along with any confidentiality issues.  (Remember, anyone can be hit by a runaway bus or squashed by a meteor – if that happened to the person you hired and you’ve paid for everything in advance, you’ll be out all that money, and stuck with a half-finished manuscript.  The upside:  you could always include the story about a meteor hitting your co-writer!)  Seriously, never pay everything up front.

Below are the first prompts. They’re ready to jump-start your creativity!

Prompt #1:  House Fire You’re at home with your family and pet dog/cat/bird/python or whatever when you hear a “boom” and see flames peeking at the edges of your ceiling.  Your house is on fire!  Your spouse grabs the cell phone to call 911, and together you get the family and pets out safely.

You rush back into the house alone, where you have just enough time to save just three items.  What three items would you save, and why?  WHAT IF you could run back and save two more items – what would they be, and why?

 Prompt #2:  Modest Writer, Friend of Children.  You witness a woman violently {and you think, inappropriately} slapping a small baby at the supermarket. All the other shoppers walk away, embarrassed. Would you intervene to stop this and protect the baby? Would you talk to the woman to see what’s wrong? Would you call the police?  WHAT would you do?  If you knew you could walk over, take the baby out of the shopping cart, and carry her out of the supermarket with no consequences at all, would you do it?  {Yes, of course you’d think about it, but would you do it?}

Prompt #3Who was the greatest influence of your early life (up to age six) This could be a relative, friend, nanny, teacher, author, or even a character who deeply affected you. As long as you had a genuine connection, your answer can be anyone you actually met OR who was part of your daily life.  Explain why this person or character was so important to you.  Examples: (a) Your Grandmother, who read to you every day, (b) the librarian who introduced you to storytelling magic when you were five, (c) your Aunt Loretta, a renowned psychic, who predicted success for you, (d) your Uncle Arthur, the family genius, who said you inherited his intelligence, or (e) Superman, whose deep commitment to truth, justice, and the American way of life inspired you to become a public defender (or prosecutor).

Prompt #4What was the first musical group or individual to catch your interest as a pre-teen or teenager?  If it was a group, did you have a favorite member?  Do you have any special memories of this group or individual?  Do you have a favorite song they performed? Are you smiling as you remember?

Prompt #5What was the first naughty thing you did that resulted in being “grounded” for a period of time?  How old were you?  How long were you grounded?

Prompt #6:  You get to choose between the ability to fly and the ability to be invisible (whenever you desire) for one week, i.e., seven (7) days. Which one of these super power would you choose, and why?

Prompt #7How would you adapt if some prankster turned down Earth’s gravity setting?  Would you wear heavy chains?  Add patio stones to your wardrobe?  Tell us!