Currently viewing the tag: "consequences"

A man can go along obeying all the rules and then it don’t matter a damn anymore. –What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver

Fiction Writing Prompt: Put your protagonist into a situation where the rules don’t apply anymore.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel when the rules are suddenly changed?

Art Prompt: The rules

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a humorous story about a time that you broke a rule.

Photo Credit: Dr. Zhivago on Flickr

The basic principle behind asset forfeiture is appealing. It enables authorities to confiscate cash or property obtained through illicit means, and, in many states, funnel the proceeds directly into the fight against crime. In Tulsa, Oklahoma, cops drive a Cadillac Escalade stencilled with the words “this used to be a drug dealer’s car, now it’s ours!” In Monroe, North Carolina, police recently proposed using forty-four thousand dollars in confiscated drug money to buy a surveillance drone, which might be deployed to catch fleeing suspects, conduct rescue missions, and, perhaps, seize more drug money. Hundreds of state and federal laws authorize forfeiture for cockfighting, drag racing, basement gambling, endangered-fish poaching, securities fraud, and countless other misdeeds.
In general, you needn’t be found guilty to have your assets claimed by law enforcement; in some states, suspicion on a par with “probable cause” is sufficient. Nor must you be charged with a crime, or even be accused of one. Unlike criminal forfeiture, which requires that a person be convicted of an offense before his or her property is confiscated, civil forfeiture amounts to a lawsuit filed directly against a possession, regardless of its owner’s guilt or innocence. –TAKEN by Sarah Stillman

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about someone whose assets are forfeited.

Journaling Prompt: What would be the hardest thing for you to forfeit?

Art Prompt: Asset Forfeiture

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about  what happens during an asset forfeiture.

Photo Credit: xxx on Flickr


Irish people had been settling in Australia unintentionally for decades before large-scale emigration began—Australia was Great Britain’s biggest prison, and many Irish were sentenced to life there. Their crimes often seem paltry compared to such a major punishment. For the offense of stealing clothes or threatening a landlord, an individual could be sentenced to exile on the other side of the Earth for the rest of his or her life—a sentence known as “transportation.” –Ryan Hackney and Amy Hackney Blackwell, 101 Things You Didn’t Know about Irish History: The People, Places, Culture, and Tradition of the Emerald Isle

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of someone who is exiled.

Journaling Prompt: Write about the worst punishment you’ve ever suffered.

Art Prompt: Exile

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about Australia’s history as a penal colony.

Photo Credit: First Fleet 1788 (Botany Bay) on Wikimedia

Numbers of under-18s in custody per 100,000

…kids who go into juvenile detention are much less likely to graduate from high school and much more likely to end up in prison as adults,” says Joseph Doyle, an economist at the MIT Sloan School of Management and co-author of a new paper detailing the results of the study.

Indeed, the research project, which studied the long-term outcomes of tens of thousands of teenagers in Illinois, shows that, other things being equal, juvenile incarceration lowers high-school graduation rates by 13 percentage points and increases adult incarceration by 23 percentage points…

“The kids who go to juvenile detention are very unlikely to go back to school at all,” Doyle explains. He adds that the later problems people have may also stem from the time spent incarcerated: “Getting to know other kids in trouble may create social networks that might not be desirable. There could be a stigma attached to it, maybe you think you’re particularly problematic, so that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.” –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a high school drop out with a history of being detained as a juvenile.

Journaling Prompt: What part of your high school experience is most important to you now?

Art Prompt: Juvenile detention

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the problems that juveniles who have been detained face in their lives. Suggest solutions to these problems.

Photo Credit: John S. Quarterman on Flickr

Give Me Weed

Studies show about 10 percent of people who use marijuana become addicted, although the rate may be higher for those who start using the drug before the age of 18. The average pot addiction lasts six years.
In her story, Szalavitz wrote beautifully about the consequences:
The negative consequences associated with marijuana addiction tend to be subtler: lost promotions, for example, rather than lost jobs; worse relationships, not no relationships. And of course, no risk of overdose death.
But this is also what can make it insidious. Marijuana addiction may quietly make your life worse without ever getting bad enough to seem worth addressing; it may not destroy your life but it may make you miss opportunities. –Francie Diep

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about someone who is succumbing to marijuana addiction.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about legalizing pot? 

Art Prompt: Marijuana addiction

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience your opinion about legalizing marijuana.

Photo Credit: Ian Sane on Flickr

scales of justice

…the need to strike back is essential to the archetype of justice as we honor it. That archetype represents an inherent need in us for fairness, a sense of “an eye for an eye,” which also includes a feeling that we must give fairly to those who give to us. Justice is not only about retribution. This deeply rooted sense is also about fair play. The need for justice and retribution underlies the American legal system, and this subtle thought-form is active within our psyche. The introduction of forgiveness is shattering to the entire archetype of justice as we know it, especially if we are accustomed to see ourselves as innocent and humiliated. This is where pride can inject a most commanding-and unhealthy-presence. Pride mixed with the fury of humiliation can make us more unreasonable than we ever realized. –Defy Gravity: Healing Beyond the Bounds of Reason by Caroline Myss

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story where the archetype of justice is the source of the conflict.

Journaling Prompt: In what type of situations do you insist on justice? How does pride play a part?

Art Prompt: Justice

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the dangers of pride mixed with humiliation.

Photo Credit: Michael Coghlan on Flickr

No Way Out

“Incarceration affects also the well-being of the incarcerated’s family members,” Allen said. “This is especially true of children, whose health could be adversely affected by unhealthy stress-coping behaviors that the incarcerated persons’ partners often choose — smoking and drinking, for example.”
More than half of federal and state prisoners are parents of nearly 1.5 million minor children, and one-fifth of prisoners have children under the age of five. Children of incarcerated parents are more likely to have witnessed criminal activity and/or the arrest of the parent, both of which have been shown by researchers to have unique effects undermining children’s socio-emotional and behavioral adjustment.
“The long-term impact of parental incarceration has been best documented among boys,” said Tuppett Yates, an associate professor of psychology at UC Riverside. “Compared both to boys who had not experienced parental absence and to boys whose fathers were absent due to hospitalization, divorce, death, or other reasons, boys who experienced parental incarceration before age 10 reported more co-occurring internalizing and anti-social problems at ages 18, 32, and 48, more delinquent behavior at age 32, and were more likely to have been convicted of a crime by age 25. Likewise, among both boys and girls, parental incarceration has been associated with concurrent social and academic problems, and prospective substance abuse.” –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story told from the point of view of a child whose parent is incarcerated.

Journaling Prompt: Write about the importance of your parents in your life.

Art Prompt: Incarceration’s effect on the family

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about how incarceration affects society through the effects on the family.

Photo Credit: Michael Shane on Flickr

no joke

It was no joke. –Epigram by Matthew Harrison

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 something that was no joke in your life.

Art Prompt: No joke

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a humorous story about something that you initially thought was no joke. Then tell them how finding the humor in the painful helps in healing.

Photo Credit: Petras Gagilas on Flickr


In every waking moment, it is our next choice that makes us who we are. –Cephrael’s Hand: A Pattern of Shadow & Light Book One by Melissa McPhail

Fiction Writing Prompt: What choice will change your character’s life? Write the internal monologue that leads up to the decision.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a choice that you made that changed your life.

Art Prompt: Defining choice

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Use today’s quote as the inspiration for a speech or article.

Photo Credit: Lucias Clay on Flickr

self-applied blindfold

Denial is powerful. It can be a crucial coping tool when experiencing loss or trauma, but it also can unmoor you from reality. –Miles O’Brien

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 an experience you’ve had with denial.

Art Prompt: Denial

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the problem with denial and how it affects relationships / jobs / politics / the environment (you choose).

Photo Credit: allison on Flickr