Weekly Writing Prompt #47

As everyone is starting to head back to work and school, I find myself dreaming about a longer vacation. Unfortunately, the disconnect between our dream lives and reality is extremely common. Equally as common is the habit of brainstorming escape routes in order to find a place in life where we don’t have to sit in an office all day, wishing we were out on the beach. There is another, less common, yet more favorable way to deal with this though. It’s the knowledge that no matter where you are, you you can make it the happy place you are dream about.

It’s all about changing the way you think and letting go of ‘stuff’. For example, if you wake up every morning and say, ‘What a great place I have to live in today. I don’t know about tomorrow, but today is going to be great!’ you have a better experience and and can enjoy what you have without worrying about what you don’t have.

Even if you’re back at work, you still have choices. You can choose to be miserable, or you can choose to feel like you’re still on vacation and focus on the things around you that are beautiful. So much of our lives are dictated by chasing a huge paycheck or achieving a higher level of success. But at the end of the day, what does that really matter? When did work become the only thing that matters? If we can adopt the mentality that work is a means to live the rest of our lives, and that’s it, we can be a lot happier. You only get one life to live. It may be basic, but we could all use a reminder of it every now and then.

So this week’s prompt is to get you thinking about the feeling of a vacation, even if you’re not on one. Enjoy!

Toa Heftiba

Weekly Writing Post #46

Happy New Year! What a year 2018 was. I grew my business, I turned 40, I travelled and I reached my reading goal of 25 books! Did you reach your goals, even small ones like reading or writing more? Reaching these relatively small milestones should be seen as big achievements and celebrated just as much as bigger and more challenging ones.

My goals for 2019 include using my time in a more productive manner. Less procrastination, more time for life and less time for stress. Oh and upping my reading goal to 30 books!

Have you made any resolutions or set any goals for this year? Feel free to share them in the comments below.

This week’s writing prompt will hopefully spur you to begin any goal you want to achieve this year. So, just begin!

Gaelle Marcel

Weekly Writing Post #45

Theodor Geisel published over 60 books during his lifetime, 44 as Dr Seuss. He remains one of the most beloved children's authors in the world. In 1957, he wrote How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, which ten years later, on this day, was first aired as an animated television special. It has since gone on to become a perennial holiday tradition in some form or another (Ron Howard directed a full length feature of the story in 2000, starring Jim Carey as the Grinch).

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is about how, even when all of their material gifts end up in the Grinch's bag, the people of Whoville still celebrated Christmas because really, you can’t actually steal Christmas. Christmas is a good feeling and sense of community that lives inside all the Whos, gifts or no gifts. Which is why the Grinch's plan fails (spoilers! ;)).

So in the spirit of Dr Seuss and his Grinch, this week’s prompt is a reminder that the whole ‘buying’ and ‘receiving’ thing isn't the point. In fact, it's entirely beside the point. However you celebrate this season, be too busy celebrating to worry about the things a lot of people think this time of year is about, like expensive (or cheap) gifts. Enjoy time with your loved ones and be like the Whos, who came together despite their differences in age or opinion and have a wonderful Christmas, St. Lucia Day, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Omisoka and Yule.

Roberto Nickson

Weekly Writing Prompt #44

Some of you already know my penchant for 50s crooners, especially ‘old blue eyes’ Frank Sinatra. Francis Albert Sinatra was born on this day in 1915, so of course, today’s soundtrack is heavy on the Sinatra croon. Though he wasn’t always the most stand up guy (four marriages, links to the Mafia etc.) you can’t deny his talent. So this week’s prompt is to celebrate Old Blue Eyes.

Maria Fernanda Gonzalez

Don’t forget the Sinatra Christmas tunes this time of year!

Weekly Writing Prompt #43

It’s the first week of summer! I know that this isn’t the case everywhere in the world, but I just love celebrating this time of year. The days are longer and more and more people are getting outside and celebrating the warmer weather and the end of the year. It’s this time of year I look forward to long lunches in the sunshine and even longer dinners outside with lots of great food and cold wine. And don’t forget sitting in the sunshine and reading a good book! What do you look forward to this time of the year?

This week’s quote invokes the feeling of summer for me in very few words and comes from Bruno Schulz’s, The Street of Crocodiles.

Mat Reding

Weekly Writing Prompt #42

This past weekend, my American family celebrated Thanksgiving. I know we don’t really celebrate it here in Australia, it’s not our holiday, but I do like to use it as a reminder to think about what I’m thankful for. This year I am thankful for my friends and family and all the support I have been given in starting my new business.

This week’s prompt will hopefully also ‘prompt’ you to think of what are you thankful for.

Jeremy Gallman

Weekly Writing Prompt #41

This week, one of my favourite books, Little Women, celebrated its 150th anniversary. Before Little Women, books for young people were mostly preachy tales in which the good and virtuous were rewarded and the wicked punished. Girls, in particular, were little more than dull collections of moral qualities.

Then came the four March sisters — trying to be good but forever getting into trouble provoked by their particular character flaws: Jo’s hotheadedness, Meg’s vanity and Amy’s shallowness. Beth, as the stock ‘angel’ character, appears to have no flaws except perhaps her selflessness, but we all know what happens to Beth..

The book, especially in its creation of Jo — an independent, unconventional, irreverent and impatient young woman, devoted to her writing and proud of her ability to earn money from it — has been an inspiration and a favourite of many since it was first published. Though often criticised for her selfishness, Jo has always appealed to tomboys, rebels and freethinkers, her passion for creativity providing aspiring writers with a glimpse of how to operate in the world.

This week’s prompt comes from Jo in the hope it inspires you to write as well.

Annie Spratt


Weekly Writing Prompt #40

This week, in 1960, bookstores across Britain were inundated when the controversial novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover went on sale for the first time. Penguin Books, had just emerged victorious from a sensational six-day trial where the company was accused of violating the Obscene Publications Act by publishing DH Lawrence’s story.

Britain was about to be overwhelmed by the ‘Swinging Sixties’ and this became one of the first signs of a new age of freedom and emancipation. The sexually explicit novel about an affair between an aristocrat’s wife and his gamekeeper was published in Italy in 1928 and in France the following year, but it had always been banned in the UK.

After the go-ahead from the court, Penguin couldn’t cope with demand and rationed its first 200,000 copies to booksellers across the country. All were sold on the first day. 300 copies sold from Foyles, the biggest bookshop in London, in the first 15 minutes and took orders for another 3,000. Within a year of the trial, Lady Chatterley’s Lover had sold two million copies.

In 1930, at the age of 44, Lawrence died of tuberculosis, defending his book to the last against those who accused him of pornography. He could hardly have imagined the sensation and vindication of the trial 30 years later. I wonder how he would feel about the books of today such as Fifty Shades of Grey.

This week’s prompt comes from the still controversial novel. Have you read it?

Brandi Redd

Weekly Writing Prompt #39

It’s Halloween! The season for little ghosts and goblins to take to the streets, asking for candy and scaring one another silly. Spooky stories are told around fires, scary movies appear in theatres and pumpkins are expertly (and not-so-expertly) carved into jack-o'-lanterns.

It all began as the festival of Samhain, which was part of the ancient Celtic religion in Britain and other parts of Europe. At the end of summer, the Celts thought the barrier between our world and the world of ghosts and spirits got really thin. This meant weird creatures with strange powers could wander about on Earth. In an attempt to counteract this, the Celts had a big party, all about scaring away the ghosts and spirits.

Through the ages, various supernatural entities — including fairies and witches — came to be associated with Halloween. Dressing up as ghosts or witches became fashionable, though as the holiday became more widespread and more commercialised (and with the arrival of mass-manufactured costumes), the selection of disguises for kids and adults greatly expanded beyond monsters to include everything from superheroes to princesses to politicians.

Halloween is always great inspiration for strange and scary stories, which is why this week’s prompt is all about this spooky celebration. Have fun!

Ehud Neuhaus

Weekly Writing Prompt #38

Happy Hump Day! Which reminds me of a book. Have you ever read Tracks, by Robyn Davidson? Before the hype of Cheryl Strayed’s Wild (which I also love), Australian Robyn Davidson, trekked the Outback from the Glen Helen Tourist Camp to Hamelin Pool, Western Australia, 2,700 kilometres, In 1977. She hiked through the hot sun with her four camels and her dog, Diggity, for nine months (after three years of preparation in Alice Springs). According to Davidson (reluctantly dubbed ‘The Camel Lady’), although the trip appeared to be a case of ‘inspired lunacy’, there was a method to her madness, as she sought to test and push herself to the limits of survival.

It became a seminal trek that would inspire other adventurers, spawn a movie adaptation and see her memoir never out of print.

The book is as much about Davidson’s pilgrimage as it is about the Australian landscape and I can’t recommend it enough. This week’s quote comes from the opening page.

Annie Spratt



Weekly Writing prompt #37

Today, would have been the birthday of playwright Arthur Miller. A major figure in the twentieth-century American theater, his most popular plays include All My Sons, Death of a Salesman, A View from the Bridge, and the first play I ever saw, The Crucible. The Crucible is a dramatised (and partially fictionalised) story of the Salem witch trials that took place in Massachusetts during 1692 and 1693. Miller also wrote the play as an allegory for McCarthyism, when the United States government persecuted people accused of being communists.

Though widely considered only somewhat successful at the time of its release, today The Crucible is Miller's most frequently produced work throughout the world and the source of this week’s prompt.

David Fanuel

Weekly Writing Prompt #36

I don’t know if you noticed (maybe not because I know your busy), but I completely dropped the ball last week and missed posting a writing prompt. Being busy isn’t a great excuse, in fact, most of us make every attempt to express to others how busy we are everyday. What do you say to the friend you haven’t seen in awhile who asks what you’ve been up to? ‘Good. Same old, busy!’ As a society we've come to glorify busy. We've all been tricked into believing that if we are busy we are important. But that's untrue. We’re human beings, not human doings, yet we always seem to have to be doing something.

That’s not to say that there’s something wrong with being busy. We need to have goals and be working towards achieving them, and striving to create a beautiful life for ourselves and those we love. It gives us a sense of purpose and direction and helps us feel good. But let’s find a way to do all these things and still have time to do the things that bring us joy, like nothing. Do nothing on your own, do nothing with your significant other, do nothing with your friends and family. When was the last time you stopped to just be? Went for picnic or a long walk in nature? With no agenda other than to just appreciate the experience of being in that moment? We invest our precious time on things that we shouldn't and it leaves us less hours in the day to invest wisely, on things that do matter.

So, if you feel like you don’t have time to write this week, that’s ok, but ask yourself why. Make sure you invest your time wisely and make room for things that bring you joy.

Luke Ellis-Craven

Weekly Writing Prompt #35

It’s Banned Books Week! This is an annual celebration of the Freedom to Read. Founded in 1982, Banned Books Week raises awareness of the fact that people are still trying to ban books and highlights the value of free and open access to information. Libraries and others in the book community use the week to show support of the freedom to seek and express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

During most of the 20th century, Australia was one of the strictest censors in the western world. Most imported publications were closely inspected before being released, and Australia frequently banned what was considered suitable reading in other countries such as Europe and America.

The Commonwealth Customs Department, which had the authority to prohibit imports, kept a reference library of around 15,000 books, magazines and comics banned in Australia between the 1920s and the 1970s.

Some of my favourite books were once considered unsuitable including To Kill a Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Bridge to Terabithia, even the Harry Potter series.

This week’s prompt comes from one such banned book, The Grapes of Wrath.

Fredrick Kearney Jr

Weekly Writing Prompt #34

It’s Tolkien Week! The annual festival that honours the work of J.R.R. Tolkien and his son and editor, Christopher Tolkien. First celebrated in 1978 by the American Tolkien Society, Tolkien Week is the calendar week that contains September 22, Hobbit Day.

September 22nd is the Birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, two characters from Tolkien’s popular books, The Hobbit and Lord Of The Rings, in which Hobbits, typically between two and four feet tall and nothing like your usual hero, accomplish great feats and amazing acts of courage.

Fans celebrate with anything from going barefoot all day and having seven meals (yes please!), to literary discussions and readings, Lord Of The Rings movie marathons and throwing parties in honour of the ‘Long Awaited Party’ at the start of The Fellowship Of The Ring with merriment, feasts, games, costumes and fireworks.

So to celebrate the humble Hobbit (and one of my favourite stories), this week’s prompt is the first line from The Hobbit.

T L

Weekly Writing Prompt #33

Tomorrow is Roald Dahl Day! You may not be aware, but Roald Dahl was more than a fabulous story teller. He was also a spy, a fighter pilot, a chocolate historian and a medical inventor.

But it is his stories that he is best known for. In 1961, James and the Giant Peach was published followed by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Dahl even wrote screenplays for the James Bond movies and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. He has published many other classics, including Danny the Champion of the World, The Enormous Crocodile, Matilda and My Uncle Oswald.

Dahl was famous for his inventive, playful use of language, which was a key element to his writing. He would invent new words by scribbling them down before swapping letters around. He didn't always explain what his words meant, but he knew that children would work them out because they often sounded like a word they knew. For example, something lickswishy and delumptious is good to eat, whereas something uckyslush or rotsome is not definitely not! He also used sounds that children loved to say, like squishous and squizzle, or fizzlecrump and fizzwiggler.

Today, The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre continues his extraordinary mission, such as celebrating Roald Dahl Day, to amaze, thrill and inspire generations of children and their parents.

I hope this week’s prompt inspires you to create your own amazing story.

Johnny McClung