by Deb Norton
from Part Wild: A Writer’s Guide to Harvesting the Creative Power of Resistance

  1. Make a list of rooms you’ve been in: kitchens, bedrooms, playrooms, classrooms. Include bathrooms, closets, and basements. From example, Grandma Norton’s kitchen, the D Street sunroom, the violet-papered bedroom. Don’t think. Don’t be selective. Just list.
  2. Choose a room to work with.
  3. Write about each of the following for a few minutes:
  • Do you have a favorite spot in that room? Chair, bed, bench, window seat? Find your regular spot and settle in.
  • What are you sitting/lying on? How does it receive your weight? Is there give? Texture? Is it smooth, plush, slick, cool, warm?
  • What are you wearing? What clothing goes with this room?
  • What is the light like? Windows? Lamps?
  • What can you hear from this room? Traffic? Voices? A neighbor’s TV? Radiator?
  • What are the smells in this room? What are the smells coming from beyond this room?
  • What’s below you, under your feet?
  • What’s above you?
  • Someone enters the room and speaks to you. Where do you feel their voice in your body? What does their voice do to you?
  1. Write about something that happened (or didn’t happen) to you in that room.

Alternative Prompt: Classic Snacks
from Poets & Writers: The Time Is Now

Watermelon, Mississippi Mud Pie, Red Velvet, Pumpkin Spice, Firework. The original Oreo with its classic pairing of chocolate cookie and white cream filling might remain unchanged, but over the years the Nabisco company has released limited edition flavors to the delight of some fans and the confusion or disapproval of others. Write a poem dedicated to a beloved snack from your childhood, exploring how it has changed or remained the same throughout the years. Consider the effect that consistency has on your life, even in the form of a favorite snack.

by Deb Norton
from Part Wild: A Writer’s Guide to Harvesting the Creative Power of Resistance

  1. Launch from the sentence starter “I know . . .” and finish it as many different ways as you can. I know my name is Deb; I know I’m writing this sentence; I know trees grows up toward the sky. Write for a few minutes.
  2. Launch from the sentence starter “I wonder . . .” and finish it as many different ways as you can. I wonder what my lizard does while I’m at work; I wonder who they’ll elect to chair the committee; I wonder why my mom won’t talk about her childhood. Write for a few minutes.
  3. Read through each list and notice which one makes you feel more like writing.
  4. Read through your writing and underline anything that draws you in, piques your interst, or feels like an invitation.
  5. Choose one of your underlined items and accept the invitation. Let it be the starting place for an energetic exploration.

Alternative Prompt: State Your Beverage
from Poets & Writers: The Time Is Now

Many people associate drinking apple cider with popular fall activities in the northern and eastern United States, such as apple picking and leaf peeping, but few likely know it is New Hampshire’s official beverage. The state approved the official designation in 2010 following a petition submitted by fourth-grade students. In fact, more than half the states in this country have official beverages, a trend started by Ohio, which made tomato juice its official beverage in 1965, and followed by Massachusetts (cranberry juice) and Florida (orange juice). Many other states (Wisconsin, New York, Vermont, and Oregon among them) selected milk. Write a manifesto under the premise of petitioning for your own beverage of choice. Support your argument with personal memories, anecdotes, and research.