Taking the Writing Challenge

Last night, I posted a Facebook status asking people to give me a topic, and then I will write a poem or short story based on it.  I threw this idea out there, hoping at least one person would offer a suggestion, so that I could practice some spontaneous writing that had nothing to do with my compulsion to only write things that I want to seriously approach for future publication.

I figured this would be a fun challenge that would keep me busy until I fell asleep.

My niece was the first to suggest “Family.”

I immediately decided on a poem, since a few rhymes instantly came to mind.  It took longer than I thought to eek it out, but it got done (despite having had several drinks in me) and I posted it as a comment to my original Facebook posting.  By that point, several other suggestions started rolling in.  Due to the potential length of the writings, I decided that my blog would be the best place to start compiling them.  As of right now, I am not sure how to make it easier to jump to the topic that you suggested for me, so perhaps this list below will help, as you scan through the writings to look for your headline.

I hope yall have fun reading what I came up with and thanks for the topic suggestions!

  1. Family
  2. Compassion
  3. Souls
  4. Laundromat
  5. Power
  6. Merkins
  7. Alcohol (So much to work with here. This is gonna take a while to decide on which to use!)
  8. Bubble guts

Family (suggested by my niece, Tabby)

The dark clouds roll in, as I wonder again,
who…and will there ever be a next of kin?

To wander is lovely, to settle is bleak,
but where is the pillow, where I will find sleep?

I ponder and ponder, as day turns to night,
wondering if I will live to see a bond made so tight-
that I can rest my weary head, and know that things will be ok…
because someone else has my back all along the way.

I guess it’s been here, but it wasn’t so clear,
as life took the turns that it did.
Finding ya’ll was the best gift of all,
and I do not take it lightly. I can only be in one place at one time,
so until otherwise, I will give thanks for you nightly. Continue reading

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How we rationalize the privacies we invade

A brazen revelation for those who have a lot of obstacles in the way of writing out your story. May this help you with a few worries like it did for me. #memoir #family #healing

Vanessa Martir's Blog

I’ve been thinking a lot about privacy. Privacy from the perspective of a memoir and personal essay writer who is revealing family secrets, breaking silences that were intended to protect (or at least that’s what I’ve chosen to believe) but have done more damage than good.

I’m thinking about my aunt, my Titi who is very much a surrogate mom to me. When I told her I was writing a memoir, she said, “Be careful what you write.”

“I’m not being careful.”

“I know.” She looked at me with those loving eyes of hers, no judgment, but no understanding either. Then she walked out of her kitchen, a plate of food in her hand. The heaping plate she’d just served me sat on the table, heat rising off the rice in smoky tendrils.

Two years ago, I showed her the picture I found in Meryl Meisler’s exhibit, “Bushwick in the…

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