writing prompts

Writing Prompts: Skylark Challenge & August Scrawls

I struggled with yesterday’s August scrawls word. So, I decided to try my hand at this week’s Skylark Challenge. That wasn’t any easier. Please, be gentle in your critiques.

“Get OFF of me!” Harlow angrily shook off the hands of her captors. “I’m coming, I’m coming.” With her hands cuffed behind her back, the officer firmly placed his hand on the crown of her head, in order to protect her from hitting her head as she was being placed in the car. The car pulled away from the curb on its way back to The East Portland Precinct.

Detective Ameen walked up, rummaging through Harlow’s knapsack. He pulled out a small, labelless jar, containing a deep purple fluid. Unscrewing the lid, he sniffed. The color drained from his face, leaving it pale from the acrid scent, wafting from the jar.

“This smells like poison! What is it?” He demande in a strained voice, still reacting to the sharp, pungent smell of the liquid, as he forcefully placed it on the table, just out of her reach.

“Be CAREFUL with that!” she commanded. “I don’t want the jar shattered. It’s Gouache paint and expensive to replace.”

“You’re in no position to tell me what to do,” Detective Ameen reminded. “Now, what else do we have here?” He wondered aloud as he continued to rifle through her bag. He pulled out a heavy paper notebook with sketches and paintings. There were also some posters with a Guy Fawkes silhouette, the emblem of Anonymous.

“So, we have an antisocial anarchist on our hands here,” Ameen erroneously concluded.

With an angrily defensive tone in her voice, Harlow replied, “I’m not antisocial. I’m not mentally ill! I am anti-government. It’s all corrupt. That’s just my opinion. I haven’t actually broken the law. Those posters were commissioned…anonymously.”

“Haven’t broken the law? Are you serious? You were picked up because you matched the description we received about someone who vandalized a new construction site with graffiti,” Ameen contemptuously explained. “Then, lo and behold, here you come with tagging supplies in your backpack.”

“Are you KIDDING me!?!? You’re kidding me, right?” NONE of the ART supplies in my bag are used for street art. Your forensics people should be able to tell you that, just by looking. Besides, do you see any spray cans or evidence of spray paint?” She paused for a breath and was confronted with his silence. “I didn’t think so. Now, let me go or charge me. If you charge me, let me make my phone call and get me my juvie public defender, because, I’m not saying another word.”

Quietly, Ameen turned and left the room, bag in hand. Calling over the officer who had brought her in, he handed the bag over, with instructions to log the bag and all its contents into evidence.

He entered the room behind the one way glass, with a grin.

“What are you grinning about?” his partner inquired.

“I’m grinning because this is a colossal waste of time…and we all know it, even her. I’m grinning because she’s smart, spunky, AND very talented. I’m grinning because I’m going to make sure she chooses the right path.”

At that moment, an Attorney from the the Youth, Rights, & Justice office arrived. “Hello. I’m Genice Abrams. I’m here on behalf of Harlow Belgarde. May I please see her?”

“Wait. How did you know she was here?” Ameen incredulously asked.

“My office got a call from the group home she resides at. Apparently, she had been waiting outside the store for her cohort. The store has a policy against bags and backpacks being brought in. Her friend saw her being put in a squad car and rushed to the home and tell the house mother.”

“I see. So, her friend can vouch for her and verify her location just before she was picked up?”

“Absolutely! He’s out there, giving his statement, now.”

“Ok. This way.” Ameen escorted Genice to the interrogation room, trying not to notice how attractive she was. Opening the door, he allowed Genice to enter the room first.

“Who are you?” Harlow inquired, suspicion evident in her voice.

“Hello, Harlow. I’m Genice Abrams from the Youth Rights & Justice Attorneys office. We’re going to get you out of here and on your way, in no time.”

“Huh,” Harlow huffed with skepticism, “I’ll believe that when I see it. Hey! I also want my bag and art supplies back.”

“All in good time. I promise.” Genice turned, looking expectantly at Detective Ameen. Caught staring, his face flushed a little darkly. “Ahem. Right this way.”

The three of them filed out of the room and went through the process of getting Harlow released and her possessions returned.

“Hey. Kid.” Ameen called Harlow over. “I want you to know I think you’re very talented. I have a friend in the art community, I want to introduce you to. Here’s my card. Call me tomorrow and we’ll set it up.”

He turned to Genice, “Please take my card, if you need to follow up or have any questions.”

“Oh. I will.”

She turned, placed her hand on Harlow’s shoulder and walked out.

Ameen wondered if he’d ever see either of them again.

Skylark Challenge 151: Poison, Scent, Fluid, Shattered, Pale
August Scrawls Day 8: antisocial


Writing Prompts to Prime the Pump

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted much of anything. Life and depression have shut down the part of my brain that has writing ideas and the will to write anyway.

I suspect, or believe, that the meds “stabilizing” the bipolar disorder have something to do with dampening the writing spark. The last time I did any “real” writing was when I was in a manic episode, back in March/April. I was in limerence and completely obsessed over an absolutely inappropriate guy…to be honest, he’s still in my brain, just nowhere near as much.

For those of you wondering, limerence looks an awful lot like a crush or infatuation and feels like the initial throes of excitement one feels when first falling in love. It isn’t either of those things. It’s obsession, pure and simple. It’s also not always about love and romance. Fortunately, I was able to recognize it and acknowledge it for what it was, even though I had little to no power to stop it. I even wrote the following:

This Isn’t Love
Longing for your glance, your touch.
I can’t stop thinking about you.
My mind is not my own
Excruciating anticipation.
Resistance is useless.
Excited and breathless
Can you feel it, too?
Eventually, this, too, shall pass.

1. the state of being infatuated or obsessed with another person, typically experienced involuntarily and characterized by a strong desire for reciprocation of one’s feelings but not primarily for a sexual relationship.

It didn’t end well.

My writing was prolific during those few weeks. Since then, the urge/desire/need to write has disappeared. For the most part.

Last month, I planned to get back to blogging. So, I signed up for The Ultimate Blog Challenge…then didn’t write a word for the blog. Actually, that’s not true. I started to write a post about ableism and the use of the word “crazy.” It’s in the Drafts folder.

Finally, on Sunday, I decided I needed to start small and use a social writing app, lettrs, and the prompts the admins and members offer, to get writing again. Here are the results of the past four days of prompts I’ve responded to:

Skylark Challenge 149:
Image + four words: pernicious, illuminating, children, malevolent.

The pernicious presence of the alien craft, illuminated the children, who stood frozen and fearful in the malevolent atmosphere.

Skylark Challenge 150:
Image + four words: flowing, timeless, fierce, enigma.

Writing Prompt: Thankful

To those who have supported me with love and kindness
How can only mere words express
Appreciation for your devotion and acceptance of my mess
Never treating me or my experiences as less
Knowing my heart and not judging what I confess
Friends and family do nothing but bless
Understanding my pressures and stress
Love deep and lasting given without duress

And finally, today’s prompt:

Photo Challenge
Nostalgia for What Never Was

Sitting beside you as you leaned next to me, we gazed over the bridge’s wall to watch the traffic flow below.

We searched for the odd or unusual: out of state license plates, bumper stickers, classic cars, variant paint jobs, and anything that made the vehicle unique.

You would ask me questions: Who is in this car or that one? Are they coming or going? Why are they driving from there to here or here to there? Who are the people inside? Families? Businessmen? Women on errands or on their way to work to support their families?

We would spin tales and weave stories with one another…each one more elaborate and descriptive than the last.

You midwifed my lifelong curiosity about the nature and character of my fellow humans. You taught me how to expand my imagination and to use even the most mundane of things as a source of inspiration. You instilled in me a profound love of words and language. You gave me the foundation for my writing today.

Thank you, daddy. Thank you for being you and helping me to be me.

The Lifelong Orphan

What helps you write when you’re experiencing writer’s block?