Writing prompts from the end of the world

Some awesome writers have been offering prompts for fellow quarantined writers in these unprecedented times. I found this one on Twitter today:Screen Shot 2020-03-17 at 5.48.41 PM

I didn’t end up following it exactly, but when I saw it, I figured I’d give it a shot. I mean, why not.

I haven’t been reading or writing for almost two MONTHS. For good reason though. (I was sick and couldn’t read.) And, now? Well, I’ve been having a bit of trouble concentrating. The Coronavirus pandemic has my attention, along with my financial situation and health and …. We’ll leave that alone.

Since this virus may last for months, we need time away from the chaos. Time to regenerate. To breathe. To create.

Writing prompts seem like a good idea.

Kathy Fish, who is probably one of the greatest flash fiction writers alive (and also the kindest) has been offering prompts. (Checkout her Twitter.) Aimee Bender started today, but I’m sure there are many many more. If you see some, let me know.

Stay safe, people. Good health to all.


My response, for kicks.

Surprisingly, the anxiety–the acute needless fear of the future, the brain looping, looping, looping, on, always on, that endless tract of worst-case scenarios, that jailer for your mind–is what saved her.

From walking outside into the bright blue. From meeting that woman with the shy smile. From touching that door handle with the smear of post-nasal drip.

No, she was too tired to leave her house that day, made half-crazed by the need for sleep.

She imagined vapors in the streets, particles, dirty, clinging to the skin. The fingernails. The shoes.

To shoes? She eyes them, quietly lying at the door like innocent pups. Eager for use. No worries about wear. No idea of the contagions underneath.

Is it on shoes? Is it in the air? Her neighbors, she has noticed, have gone dark. Blinds drawn. Did they take off for …

Where? The mountains. The Mexico borders. Dreamscapes. Cabins. Second homes. The rich, always the rich, causing the problem, then leaving it to others to fix. Servants to buy their food, their lives.

Shocking how little we have that matters. Medications to keep us moving. Medications to love and endure. But stop. No need. I will send love. To you. You that woman with the shy smile. To the old man breathing his last. The athlete on a ventilator. And to the woman at the bus stop who hugged herself because there was no one else.



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