Currently viewing the tag: "culture"
Kitsune is the Japanese word for fox. Foxes are a common subject of Japanese folklore; in English, kitsune refers to them in this context. Stories depict them as intelligent beings and as possessing magical abilities that increase with their age and wisdom. According to Yokai folklore, all foxes have the ability to shape shift into human form. While some folktales speak of kitsune employing this ability to trick others—as foxes in folklore often do—other stories portray them as faithful guardians, friends, lovers, and wives.
Foxes and human beings lived close together in ancient Japan; this companionship gave rise to legends about the creatures. Kitsune have become closely associated with Inari, a Shinto kami or spirit, and serve as its messengers. This role has reinforced the fox’s supernatural significance. The more tails a kitsune has—they may have as many as nine—the older, wiser, and more powerful it is. Because of their potential power and influence, some people make offerings to them as to a deity.
Conversely foxes were often seen as “witch animals”, especially during the superstitious Edo period (1603–1867), and were goblins who could not be trusted (similar to some badgers and cats). –Wikipedia
Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story involving a trickster or kitsune.
Journaling Prompt: What animal do you associate with trickery? Why?
Art Prompt: Kitsune
Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the tradition of the kitsune in Japan.
Photo Credit: Christopher Lance on Flickr
Now the chi-lin, the Chinese unicorn, is not only an altogether different species from the white European variety or the menacing Persian karkadann; it is also a different matter in its essence from either one. Apart from its singular physical appearance—indeed, there are scholars who claim that the chi-lin is no unicorn at all, but some sort of mystical dragon-horse, given its multicolored coat and the curious configuration of its head and body—this marvelous being is considered one of the Four Superior Animals of Good Omen, the others being the phoenix, the turtle, and the dragon itself. –The Story of Kao Yu by Peter S. Beagle
Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about a mythical creature, like the chi-lin, that wanders into modern society.
Journaling Prompt: Would you like to meet a chi-lin, which is a creature that punishes falsehood? Why or why not?
Art Prompt: Chi-lin
Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about a mythical creature that they may not have heard from and what we learn from it about the society that imagined it.
Photo Credit: Noel 2005 Pékin tombeaux Ming voie des âmes 17 on Wikimedia
There are those who suggests that a child is a tabula rasa when born, a blank page, which remains to be filled out by life experience. That is not true. Children are born with encoded nature of their genetic being, and they are born with a history of their culture and their family infused into their very conception, and as the context into which they are received. This becomes what is innate and in each of us yearns to be heard and recognized, to be named and known in relationship to others-to exist. –In the Moment: Celebrating the Everyday by Harvey L Rich, M.D.
Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the background of your protagonist, considering genetics, culture, and family history.
Journaling Prompt: What part of your personality do you believe you were born with and what came through life experiences?
Art Prompt: My personality
Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the interplay between innate personality and life experiences in shaping a personality.
Photo Credit: Jlhopgood on Flickr
On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks refused to obey bus driver James F. Blake’s order to give up her seat in the colored section to a white passenger, after the white section was filled. Parks was not the first person to resist bus segregation. Others had taken similar steps, including Bayard Rustin in 1942, Irene Morgan in 1946, Lillie Mae Bradford in 1951, Sarah Louise Keys in 1952, and the members of the ultimately successful Browder v. Gayle 1956 lawsuit (Claudette Colvin, Aurelia Browder, Susie McDonald, and Mary Louise Smith) who were arrested in Montgomery for not giving up their bus seats months before Parks. NAACP organizers believed that Parks was the best candidate for seeing through a court challenge after her arrest for civil disobedience in violating Alabama segregation laws, although eventually her case became bogged down in the state courts while the Browder v. Gayle case succeeded.
Parks’ act of defiance and the Montgomery bus boycott became important symbols of the modern Civil Rights Movement. She became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation. She organized and collaborated with civil rights leaders, including Edgar Nixon, president of the local chapter of the NAACP; and Martin Luther King, Jr., a new minister in town who gained national prominence in the civil rights movement. –Wikipedia
Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story or scene about someone who becomes a symbol for a movement.
Journaling Prompt: Who is your hero for instigating societal change?
Art Prompt: Civil Disobedience
Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about Rosa Parks or another hero of the civil rights movement.
Photo Credit: Richard on Flickr
The king died a little before nine o’clock on Thursday evening. His death was made a secret; but in the same hour a courier was galloping through the twilight to Hunsdon to bid Mary mount and fly. Her plans had been for some days prepared. She had been directed to remain quiet, but to hold herself ready to be up and away at a moment’s warning. –James Anthony Froude, The Reign of Mary Tudor
Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a king or queen who is waiting for the current ruler to die.
Journaling Prompt: What are you waiting anxiously for and prepared for?
Art Prompt: Waiting
Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience the story of Mary Tudor’s rise to the throne of England.
Photo Credit: Maria Tudor on Wikimedia
The consultation of the ancestors is more usually called necromancy, a vigorous tradition which is discernible from Aeneas to Hamlet. The major reasons for consulting the ancestors usually fall into the following categories, in order to:
1. Divine or gain a prophetic insight about the future.
2. Regain lost knowledge.
3. Access ancestral wisdom by oracular means.
4. Discover ancestral precedents for legal validation.
5. Reconnect one spiritual tradition with another.
6. Gain healing or revelation by proximity to an ancestral tomb.
Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story or scene that involves communication with the dead.
Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about seances, Ouija boards, mediums, etc? Do you believe we can talk to the dead?
Art Prompt: Talking to the dead
Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the history of necromancy.
Photo Credit: The astrologer of the nineteenth century (1825) on Wikimedia
In the Middle Ages, knighthood was often conferred with elaborate ceremonies. These usually involved the knight-to-be taking a bath (possibly symbolic of spiritual purification) during which he was instructed in the duties of knighthood by more senior knights. He was then put to bed to dry. Clothed in a special robe, he was led with music to the chapel where he spent the night in a vigil. At dawn he made confession and attended Mass, then retired to his bed to sleep until it was fully daylight. He was then brought before the King, who after instructing two senior knights to buckle the spurs to the knight-elect’s heels, fastened a belt around his waist, then struck him on the neck (with either a hand or a sword), thus making him a knight. It was this accolade which was the essential act in creating a knight, and a simpler ceremony developed, conferring knighthood merely by striking or touching the knight-to-be on the shoulder with a sword, or “dubbing” him, as is still done today. In the early medieval period the difference seems to have been that the full ceremonies were used for men from more prominent families. –Order of the Bath
Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story in which knighthood (or another special status) is conferred upon your protagonist.
Journaling Prompt: Write about your favorite story about the era of knights.
Art Prompt: Knight
Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about rituals from the Middle Ages, such as the the ritual of knighthood.
Photo Credit: Accolade by Edmund Blair Leighton on Wikimedia
Civilization existed before money, but probably wouldn’t have gotten very far without it. Ancient humans’ invention of money was a revolutionary milestone. It helped to drive the development of civilization, by making it easier not just to buy and sell goods, but to pay workers in an increasing number of specialized trades—craftsmen, artists, merchants, and soldiers, to name a few. It also helped connect the world, by enabling traders to roam across continents and oceans to buy and sell goods, and investors to amass wealth…
In the centuries that followed, trade routes forged more cultural connections between nations and regions. Besides exchanging money and goods, traders also spread religious beliefs, knowledge and new inventions, creating cross-pollination among far-flung cultures. –The Journey of Humankind: How Money Made Us Modern By Patrick J. Kiger
Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story that shows how money spreads between cultures.
Journaling Prompt: How does money exchange feel to you?
Art Prompt: Spread of civilization
Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a story of how trade and money created today’s world.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Chard on Flickr
On the 20th of March in 2019, Life Pharmaceuticals finally received Food and Drug Administration approval to market their new product LifereNew. This revolutionary product used micro-machines called nanites to repair cells. The nanites were so small, they could actually repair DNA, reverse the aging process, repair body damage and maintain the body. The promise was that after taking the product, you would lead a long life in a fit, young body. Most of humanity had dreamed of such a product. Needless to say, when LifereNew was approved, there was a rush on the market. People lined up to pay the $1,500,000 for the treatment, which potentially would extend their life hundreds and maybe thousands of years, while looking and feeling young and fit. New ReLife loans were set up so anyone could afford treatment, even though some folks would be paying back the loans for decades to come. Within six months, more than four million Americans experienced this life-changing procedure, the majority of those being rich retirees desperate to fend off death and start life anew. Not having to wait for a loan, they were the first to receive treatment. They became known as the New Lifers. –ZomoSapienS by David Moon
Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story set in a society where some people can afford to live as a young person forever but most people can’t.
Journaling Prompt: If you could afford this kind of treatment, would you have it? Why or why not?
Art Prompt: Fountain of Youth
Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the current research in nanotechnology.
Photo Credit: Aida diLeto Lundquist on Flickr
The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in that future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present — they are real. –Shards of Honor by Louise MacMaster Bujold
Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a calm man in a green room who suddenly realizes the consequences of his decisions.
Journaling Prompt: If you were in a position of power, what is the first thing you would change?
Art Prompt: The Green Room
Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience your opinion of a current event and how it was handled by the authorities.
Photo Credit: White House Green Room on Wikimedia
Welcome to the Writing ReaderI believe that the most important thing about writing is to HAVE FUN! You can worry about things like commas, point of view, tenses, etc., later. Right now, just start writing!
The Writing Reader Facebook Group
The Writing Reader on Pinterest
Search the Writing Reader
Support the Writing Reader
This is a labor of love, but hey, if you want to share some love go ahead and click to buy me a pen.
Link to the Writing Reader
Graphic courtesy of rodgerspix
- October 2017
- September 2017
- August 2017
- July 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- October 2016
- September 2016
- August 2016
- July 2016
- June 2016
- May 2016
- April 2016
- March 2016
- February 2016
- January 2016
- December 2015
- November 2015
- October 2015
- September 2015
- August 2015
- July 2015
- June 2015
- May 2015
- April 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- January 2015
- December 2014
- November 2014
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014
- December 2013
- November 2013
- October 2013
- September 2013
- August 2013
- July 2013
- June 2013
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
Tag Cloudanimals anxiety art prompt behavior belief brain character character sketch children communication complications conflict consequences control culture death decisions description dysfunction emotions fear feelings first line human nature internal monologue journaling prompt neurosis psychology quirks relationships religion risk ritual scene spam of the week speechwriting prompt superstition surprise survival visual prompt war water weather word of the day writing prompt