Currently viewing the tag: "father"

I brought my father’s picture with me so I’d recognize him. –AN OLD PHOTOGRAPH BY WAYNE SCHEER

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 a family member that you’ve never met, or never met as an adult.

Art Prompt: My father

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a story inspired by an old family picture.

Photo Credit: Ross on Flickr


Ulruk had never seen his father afraid. –Way of the Shaman: Touching the Mystery by Ken Altabef

Fiction Writing Prompt: Add to your character sketch: write about your character’s relationship with his/her father. How does this affect current behavior?

Journaling Prompt: Have you ever seen your father afraid? How did it make you feel?

Art Prompt: A Father’s Fear

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell a dramatic story about an incident that involved you and your father.

Photo Credit: Neil Moralee on Flickr

Argument Between a Little Man and a Big Man

…family estrangement can be one of the most painful and devastating events in one’s lifetime. Family estrangement is generally defined as a reaction to intense emotion or conflict resulting in the distancing or loss of affection between one or more members of a family, where at least one party is dissatisfied with the situation. When family members stop speaking and when they stop contact, this is termed physical estrangement. When family members have infrequent, perfunctory, and often uncomfortable contact, this is termed emotional estrangement. People who are emotionally estranged often compare family interactions to ‘walking on eggshells’. A person might actively pursue estrangement from family members or become estranged because of the decision and rejection of one or more members.
…one US study of adult-children found that 7% reported being detached from their mother and 27% detached from their father. Detached relationships were characterised by infrequent or no contact or support, feeling distant from the parent, having different values to the parent and rating family as a low priority.  –Dr. Kylie Agllias

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write about a character who is estranged from a parent in one of the ways described above.

Journaling Prompt: How has estrangement affected your family or someone you care about? 

Art Prompt: Family estrangement

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the problem of family estrangement and how it affects the extended family.

Photo Credit: MIT OpenCourseWare on Flickr

Father & Son (Phuket Version)

Daniel Blackland’s clearest memory of his father was from the day before his sixth birthday, when they walked hand in hand down Santa Monica Beach. –Greg van Eekhout, California Bone

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 your favorite memory of your father.

Art Prompt: Father and son at the beach

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a story about your father.

Photo Credit: Ahmed Rabea on Flickr

Dead Plant In My Living Room

“When my dad got Alzheimer’s all the plants died.” -Dorothea Lasky, Black Life

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story starting with this week’s first line of the week.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time in your life when you were so distracted that you neglected the routine things in your life.

Art Prompt: Dead Plants

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write about grief and it’s impact on your life.

Photo Credit: garryknight on Flickr


…that was the summer Pa decided I was old enough to jump from the tower next to the heart of the springs.

We had all laughed when Pa went up there, because we knew he was bothered by heights and it was funny to see him force himself to dive as though he did not care. But soon Little Bit and Digger began to jump off the tower when Pa dived. Since they were smaller, I had no choice.

When I hesitated, Pa always said he would count to three.

On “one,” I would stand with my toes over the rough-sawn edge of the boards, looking down at the clear water, ten or fifteen feet below, and think about belly flops and water up my nose and things that might grab me and keep me under. Then Pa would say “two.” “Three” meant a spanking, so I would leap before I heard it. I was not afraid of being underwater; I liked swimming underwater, with the strange mirror of the sky above me. I hated plunging toward the bottom, and I dreaded having my foot touch something unknown, something soft and oozy.

Divers had drowned down there. I could imagine skeletons in black wet suits and scuba gear, watching and smirking. When I surfaced, I always laughed, not because I had conquered my fears, but because I had survived them. –Dogland by Will Shetterly (free download)

Writing Prompt: What is your character afraid of? How does your character face his or her fears, or avoid them?

Journaling Prompt: What are you afraid of? How have you overcome fears in the past?

Art Prompt: Underwater

Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience how to overcome their fears

Photo Credit: NourishingCook on Flickr

Wind Beneath My Wing

Whenever Hwang goes to sleep, he jumps forward in time. This is a problem. This is not a problem that is going to solve itself. Sometimes Hwang wakes to find that he’s only jumped forward a few days. The most Hwang has ever jumped is one hundred seventy years. -Alice Sola Kim, Hwang’s Billion Brilliant Daughters (free to read at Lightspeed Magazine online)

Writing Prompt: Write a scene where one of your characters wakes up in the morning 100 years in the future.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you felt like everything you knew was suddenly changed. How did you deal with it?

Art Prompt: Time Travel

Photo Credit: lissalou66 on Flickr

Create whatever this visual prompt inspires in you!

kids playing volleyball on the beach

It gets ugly when a parent starts living through their kid. Here’s a scene from real life.

“Later, we sat in the sand as the other kids my age played a game of beach volleyball. My father must have seen an opening of some kind, because to my great embarrassment he stood up between matches and asked if I could join in. I tried to refuse, but there was no way to do so with­out seeming like even more of a loser. I was a decent athlete—I’d played lacrosse and hockey in Baltimore—but did not understand the most basic mechanics involved in keeping a ball up in the air with my forearms.

“While the other kids set and dug and belly flopped for shots, I stood in the corner of the court, praying that the ball would miraculously avoid my jurisdiction. Finally someone spiked the ball right at me, and I did something tragic. I caught it. I glanced at my father, still clutching the thing to my stomach. His eyes were squinched up, fixed somewhere near my feet, as if he couldn’t stand to look me in the face. It took me a second to realize he was staring at my legs.

“At the time, my father’s shame was overshadowed by the disgrace I felt in front of my teammates. Now, though, when I’m watering the plants or jogging around the reservoir near my house, I’ll think of my father’s face that day and feel the punch of that ball in my stomach. I’ll fantasize about all the things I might have done, like clock him in the teeth. Perhaps—at least I tell myself this, I insist on it, because the memory still hurts me deeply—he was really making the face at himself.” -Eric Puchner, Schemes of My Father

Writing Prompt: Write about a parent living vicariously through their child.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when your parent lived vicariously through you OR when you lived vicariously through your child OR when you observed a parent living vicariously through their child.

Art Prompt: Vicarious

Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell a touching story about living vicariously.

Photo Credit:  Guernsey Sports on Flickr


ghosts in the night

Do you believe in ghosts? Have you ever seen one?

In a girls’ boarding-school several years ago two of the boarders were sleeping in a large double-bedded room with two doors. About two o’clock in the morning the girls were awakened by the entrance of a tall figure in clerical attire, the face of which they did not see. They screamed in fright, but the figure moved in a slow and stately manner past their beds, and out the other door. It also appeared to one or two of the other boarders, and seemed to be looking for some one. At length it reached the bed of one who was evidently known to it. The girl woke up and recognised her father. He did not speak, but gazed for a few moments at his daughter, and then vanished. Next morning a telegram was handed to her which communicated the sad news that her father had died on the previous evening at the hour when he appeared to her. -St. John Drelincourt Seymour, True Irish Ghost Stories (free for your Kindle or Kindle software)

Writing Prompt: Write a scene where a ghost appears to one of your characters. What does the ghost reveal? How does the character react?

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you saw or thought you saw a ghost. If you’ve never seen one, write about someone whose ghost you would like to speak with.

Art Prompt: Apparition

Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a spooky story.

Photo Credit: theogeo on Flickr