Write about your relationship to the dark: Do you like it or fear it? Where did this attitude come from? Write about your earliest memory of darkness, and then write about a more recent one. How do these two memories compare?
One year, when I was heading from the east coast to Southern California during the winter, I decided to try a self-tanner I’d discovered in my bathroom cupboard. Instead of giving me a healthy, sun-kissed glow, it turned my entire body the bright orange of a clementine.
Write about a time you used a product that achieved quite the opposite effect you were hoping for.
With a new year around the corner, write about what you’ve learned over the past year. What do you know today that you didn’t know a year ago — about yourself, about someone in your family, about an issue in the world? Next, write about something you hope to learn more about in the year ahead.
Write about your first set of wheels. This could be the first car you ever bought, your tricycle, roller skates, or a skateboard. Write a scene about a particularly memorable occasion when you used your first set of wheels. Describe everything, from setting to others in the scene to the weather.
Write about shopping. Is shopping for yourself fun, or a chore? What about shopping for your family, or for holiday gifts? Think of your first memory of shopping, and how this relates to your current views on this activity.
It wasn’t until I moved to Oregon and saw mistletoe growing in the wild that I realized that mistletoe, that most romantic of plants, is actually a parasite. It grows in clumps on tree branches, drawing nutrients from the host plant, and it can actually cause damage. Who knew?
Write about mistletoe. From your earliest experience of it to what you know and feel about it now, include as much detail as you can.
Write a story about a red cat.
(I know it’s random. Just go for it.)
With all the focus on food and holiday shopping, we often forget that Thanksgiving is the season of gratitude. Each day this week, write down three things you’re grateful for, whatever these may be.
Next, write a scene about a Thanksgiving meal. This could be a scene starring the character in your novel, a poem about the Thanksgiving you spent in a train station in Guangzhou, or an essay about a childhood Thanksgiving that was particularly memorable.
Write about the last day you spent in nature, whether hiking or swimming in a lake or the ocean. Remember and record all the sights, sounds, smells, and textures you experienced. Next, write about how this day differs from a day spent in a city or suburb.
With winter on its way (perhaps already here, depending on where you live), we enter another season. Write about winter … what does this season mean to you, and why? Write about all your memories, and how these affect your current attitudes about winter.
When my husband warned me to avoid stepping on snails after a recent rain, I suggested the snail is probably his spirit animal (he loves them). The notion of a spirit animal its origins in traditions both specific and otherwise, but it generally refers to an affinity we have for a particular animal as well as facets of our personalities. Write about your own spirit animal — any animal that may fit your own version of what a spirit animal might be.
I was delighted to chat about Everyday Book Marketing with Adventures by the Book — and am especially looking forward to talking with authors on Thursday, November 6, at the AuthorPreneurs monthly Dinner Series. (Click here for more info and to register — $25 includes dinner and a free copy of Everyday Book Marketing!)
Also coming up next week is a chat with Sheila Bender on KPTZ’s In Conversation … the show will air on Tuesday, November 4, at 12:05 p.m. and on Thursday, November 6, at 5:35 p.m. Join us for a conversation about writing, environmental fiction, and small presses.
Write about your favorite cool-weather beverage. Include a recent or past memory about this drink.
Write about losing — a game, a bet, at item you loved. Then, write about something unexpectedly won or found.
Write about a song that brings back a certain memory or memories.