I’ve decided to do a 30-day writing challenge, so brace yourselves. I saw a list of writing prompts the other day, and as I read through them (some interesting, some boring as hell), I realized that the only way to get better with your words is to practice. Plus, I’m always up for a challenge.
I’ve had a love of words for as long as I can remember. My mother, a librarian, read to me every single day when I was little. I can still vividly remember being carried away through the wardrobe to Narnia and meeting Mr. Tumnus and Aslan. I couldn’t have been more than four-years-old when she read me those books, and those afternoons snuggled up with her instilled in me a love of stories that has stuck.
I was always a reader and found comfort in the escape that books brought. Beverly Cleary and Judy Bloom were a staple of my childhood. In middle school, I remember being scandalized by V.C. Andrews’ Flowers in the Attic series. And as an adult on my summer breaks from teaching, I would work my way through stacks of books while listening to thunderstorms pass outside my window. Sheer bliss.
Once my kids were born, I filled their shelves with books, and we’ve had a lot of fun reading together over the years. They both loved Junie B. Jones and The Magic Treehouse. One of the best times I’ve had with my daughter was when we read Anne of Green Gables aloud. We laughed and laughed at Anne and her escapades. My son is a prolific generator of pages and pages of words, phrases, and sentences that he pens in his unique, tidy handwriting. The Verbal Gene is strong in my children.
We all have stories to tell, and we all can benefit from the stories of others. Mainly because most good stories remind us that we’re more alike than we are different, and right now especially, I think we can use all the reminders of that we can get.
So over the next month, I’m going to take some of those writing prompts I’ve collected and use them. Some of them are questions; some of them are only words. I’ll post the prompt as my blog title and go from there. I’m interested to see where this exercise takes me – because with words and the stories you create with them, you can go anywhere.