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reticent

  • Inclined to keep silent; reserved; uncommunicative.
  • Restrained or reserved in style.
  • Reluctant; unwilling.

Fiction Writing Prompt: Use the word of the week in whatever you write today.

Journaling Prompt: What are you reticent about?

Art Prompt: Reticent

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt:Use the word of the week in your article or speech.

Photo Credit: Fouquier ॐ on Flickr

The 1918 flu pandemic (January 1918 – December 1920) was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic, the first of the two pandemics involving H1N1 influenza virus. It infected 500 million people across the world, including remote Pacific islands and the Arctic, and resulted in the deaths of 50 to 100 million (three to five percent of the world’s population), making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in human history.Disease had already greatly limited life expectancy in the early 20th century. A considerable spike occurred at the time of the pandemic, specifically the year 1918. Life expectancy dropped by about 12 years.

Most influenza outbreaks disproportionately kill juvenile, elderly, or already weakened patients; in contrast, the 1918 pandemic predominantly killed previously healthy young adults.

There are several possible explanations for the high mortality of the 1918 influenza pandemic. Some research suggests that the specific variant of the virus had an unusual aggressive nature. One group of researchers recovered the original virus from the bodies of frozen victims, and found that transfection in animals caused a rapid progressive respiratory failure and death through a cytokine storm (overreaction of the body’s immune system). It was then postulated that the strong immune reactions of young adults ravaged the body, whereas the weaker immune systems of children and middle-aged adults resulted in fewer deaths among those groups.

More recent investigations, mainly based on original medical reports from the period of the pandemic, found that the viral infections itself was not more aggressive than any previous influenza, but that the special circumstances (malnourishment, overcrowded medical camps and hospitals, poor hygiene) promoted bacterial superinfection that killed most of the victims typically after a somewhat prolonged death bed. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story set in the time of a world-wide pandemic.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you were the most sick you’ve ever been.

Art Prompt: Pandemic

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the 1918 pandemic and give them tips for staying healthy during an outbreak at work or home.

Nearly swamping a French trawler, the White Star Lines flagship RMS Titanic pulled away from its last ever contact with land at Queenstown in Ireland on the afternoon of April 11, 1912. –Caldwell Andrew, Their Last Suppers: Legends of History and Their Final Meals

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story set on a doomed ship.

Journaling Prompt: Write about someone you lost to a tragic accident.

Art Prompt: Titanic

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a true story set on the Titanic.

Photo Credit: Chris Gafford on Flickr

On March 3, 1993, Saint Joseph Academy high school senior Joey Fischer was shot dead outside his home in Rancho Viejo, an upscale community north of Brownsville, Texas. Dora Cisneros, the mother of his ex-girlfriend, was convicted of orchestrating Fischer’s murder after he broke up with her daughter Cristina. Fischer and Cristina had broken up the previous summer, but Cisneros became obsessed with their relationship and insisted Fischer return to her. After Fischer refused a US$500 offer from Cisneros, she consulted María Mercedes Martínez, a fortuneteller, to cast a spell on him.

The fortuneteller said she was not able to do that, but Cisneros insisted that she would pay to have someone beat him up. Cisneros later decided to have Fischer murdered instead and told Martínez she was willing to pay US$3,000 to anyone who would kill him. Martínez offered to help and Cisneros gave her the money and a photograph of Fischer, who passed it on to one of Martínez’s clients, Daniel Orlando Garza. He then contacted two Mexican hitmen from Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Israel Olivarez Cepeda and Heriberto Puentes Pizaña, who shot Fischer and then escaped to Mexico. The killing drew national attention because of the unusual circumstances of the crime.

Garza, troubled by what he had done, confessed to the police that he had acted as a middleman in Fischer’s murder. He cooperated with the police to incriminate Martínez, who then aided in Cisneros’ arrest. Cisneros and Garza were eventually sentenced to life in prison by a state court in 1994, but Cisneros’ sentence was overturned due to a legal technicality. She was convicted again in 1998 by a federal court and sentenced to life in prison. Martínez was given a 20-year sentence after pleading guilty and testifying against the two in court. Though U.S. officials tried to have the two assassins extradited, the hitmen never faced trial in Texas. They were prosecuted in Mexico and handed a 15-year sentence. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story from the POV of a middleman in a murder plot

Journaling Prompt: If you could kill someone and get away with it, would you? 

Art Prompt: Murder!

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience the story of a murder in your town.

Photo Credit: Henry Marion on Flickr

TODAY WAS A day like any other day for a spy skulking behind enemy lines. Shai hid in a tangle of evergreen hedge as soldiers marched down a path skirting fields. A village lay in the distance, but not a thread of smoke or a single barking dog or laughing child gave evidence that someone might be living there. –Kate Elliott, Traitors’ Gate

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a day in the life of a spy behind enemy lines.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel when you aren’t being completely honest about who you are?

Art Prompt: Behind enemy lines

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience the story of a famous spy.

Photo Credit: Wendell on Flickr

Create whatever this visual prompt inspires in you!

Photo Credit: oh yea on Big Happy Fun House

I didn’t want this day to begin. –All Russians Love Birch Trees by Olga Grjasnowa

Fiction Writing Prompt: Use the first line of the week as the starting point or inspiration for a scene, story, poem, or haiku.

Journaling Prompt: Write about how you feel when your alarm goes off in the morning.

Art Prompt: First thing in the morning

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about your morning routine and how it supports or hinders you.

Photo Credit: Ludosphère on Flickr

dissident adj
  • In a manner that disagrees; dissenting; discordant; different.

Fiction Writing Prompt: Use the word of the week in whatever you write today.

Journaling Prompt: What would you protest today?

Art Prompt: Dissident

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt:Use the word of the week in your article or speech.

Photo Credit: xx on Flickr

Mrs. M would never forget that day. She was walking along a busy road next to the vegetable market when two goons zipped past on a bike. One man’s hand shot out and grabbed the chain around her neck. The next instant, she had stumbled to her knees, and was dragged along in the wake of the bike. Thankfully, the chain snapped, and she got away with a mildly bruised neck. Though dazed by the incident, Mrs. M was fine until a week after the incident.

Then, the nightmares began.

She would struggle and yell and fight in her sleep every night with phantom chain snatchers. Every bout left her charged with anger and often left her depressed. The episodes continued for several months until they finally stopped. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of someone struggling with the aftermath of trauma.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you were frightened and how you felt afterwards.

Art Prompt: Trauma

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the after effects of trauma.

Photo Credit: Andis on Flickr

Deirdre sucked in her breath. Her memory must have developed fault lines. –CRAFT DAY BY BRENDA ANDERSON

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story that involves fractured memories.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you don’t remember things happening the way everyone else says it did.

Art Prompt: Faulty memories

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell a humorous story involving a memory lapse.

Photo Credit: Neil Moralee on Flickr