Currently viewing the tag: "memories"

Some people forget, he thought. A bad thing happens to them and their mind sweeps in and buries the bad thing deep, and all that’s left is a stretch of white in their heads, like fresh snow. Looking at it—at them—you wouldn’t even know anything was trapped beneath.
Some people forget, but David remembered everything. –Warm Up by V.E. Schwab

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about someone who can’t forget anything.

Journaling Prompt: Write about something you wish you could forget.

Art Prompt: Try to Forget

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about how they can cope with painful memories.

Photo Credit: Bart on Flickr

They say cancer runs in the family. In our family, it doesn’t run so much as chase. It caught my mom the year I turned thirty. I feel like I became her as I watched summer sweat drip from my own nose, her turn to shiver beneath a blanket, crooked ruts in the sand stretching behind us toward the boardwalk. –Hugh Howey, The Shell Collector

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story involving beach memories.

Journaling Prompt: What do you think about when you picture a beach?

Art Prompt: Beach

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about how places become associated with pivotal times in our lives.

Photo Credit: Michael L. on Flickr


In 2015, Penn Ph.D. candidate Robert Hegwood, a scholar of Japanese/American cultural relations in the mid-20th century, purchased a rather innocuous looking “Scrap Book” at a used book store during a stay in Tokyo. Inside this commercially-produced scrapbook is a collection of postcards, welcome booklets, travel ephemera, and training documents collected by an unidentified Japanese sailor of the Renshu Kantai 練習艦隊, the Japanese Imperial Navy’s Training Fleet, during a 1936 voyage to the United States. From 1903 to 1940, the Renshu Kantai took such training deployment cruises almost every year, with graduates of the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy, the Naval Engineering Academy, and the Naval Paymasters Academy spending several months traveling around the Pacific Ocean, occasionally venturing as far as the Mediterranean Sea or the East Coast of the United States. The 1936 cruise (lasting from June 9 to November 3) saw Vice-Admiral Zengo Yoshida commanding the ships Yakumo and Iwate as they sailed across the Pacific Ocean from Yokosuka to Seattle, down along the West Coast and up through the Panama Canal as far as New York City. –Japanese Naval Cruise Books and the Renshu Kantai by Michael P. Williams

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about a character that finds a vintage scrapbook that uncovers a mystery.

Journaling Prompt: How do you save things that you want to remember?

Art Prompt: Vintage Scrapbook
Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the value of keeping memorabilia and how they can easily and inexpensively get started.

Photo Credit: Charlton Clemens on Flickr

thurs street singer

One of us sings in the street, and we listen to him;
The words ring over us like vague bells of sorrow.
He sings of a house he lived in long ago.
It is strange; this house of dust was the house I lived in;
The house you lived in, the house that all of us know.
The House of Dust by Conrad Aiken

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a scene about a street singer and his audience.

Journaling Prompt: When you see a street singer, do you stop to listen? What do you hear?

Art Prompt: Street singer

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Introduce your audience to a song whose lyrics remind you of home. 

Photo Credit: Syuqor Aizzat on Flickr

tuesday grill

…smells have the power to evoke the past, bringing back sounds and even other smells that have no match in the present. Tita liked to take a deep breath and let the characteristic smoke and smell transport her through the recesses of her memory. –Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist’s memories are triggered by a smell.

Journaling Prompt: What smell brings back good memories for you.

Art Prompt: Your favorite smell

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a story that appeals to their sense of smell.

Photo Credit: Gino on Flickr

painful memory

Memory was a terrible and intensely physical thing. Unlike guilt, it lost none of its power over time. –A Darker Place by Laurie R. King

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the internal monologue of your protagonist as he/she struggles with a painful memory.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a painful memory and how you deal with it.

Art Prompt: Painful Memory

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience how to deal with painful memories.

Photo Credit: JustCallMe_Bethy_ on Flickr


I’m not going decry people’s nostalgia for anything, because I love a bit of it myself. It’s something that binds us, a sort of shared memories of moments and images from pop culture past that we can link to certain times of our lives. Nostalgia is a sort of emotional time travel we all bask in every once in a while. If anything, it’s part of what makes Pop culture, well, Pop culture. Pop culture is essentially all about tapping into our memories of media gone by and capitalising the shit out of it. It’s about taking that nostalgia and essentially making it timeless. –James Whitbrook

Fiction Writing Prompt: Add to your protagonist’s character sketch. What is he or she nostalgic about?

Journaling Prompt: What are  you nostalgic for?

Art Prompt: Nostalgia and pop culture

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience an endearing story that reveals your nostalgia for something from your past.

Photo Credit: Olga Perdiguero García on Flickr

Look at my phone // Paradigm Festival 2014

Most of the solid memories that we carry into the rest of our lives are formed during what’s called ‘the reminiscence bump’, from ages 15 to 30, when we invest a lot of energy in examining everything to try to figure out who we are. The events, culture and people of that time remain with us and can even overshadow the features of our ageing present, according to Bauer. The movies were the best back then, and so was the music, and the fashion, and the political leaders, and the friendships, and the romances. And so on. –Kristin Ohlson

Fiction Writing Prompt: Add to your protagonist’s character sketch. What memories are most precious to him or her? How do these memories affect what he or she is doing in your story?

Journaling Prompt: Write about your favorite memory.

Art Prompt: Reminiscence bump

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a story about something that happened during your reminiscence bump.

Photo Credit: Merlijn Hoek on Flickr
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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

Music for Memories

The best songs cannot be forgotten. –Andre Norton and A. C. Crispin, Songsmith

Fiction Writing Prompt: Add to your character sketch. What is your protagonist’s favorite song? What memories does it evoke? What feelings does it create?

Journaling Prompt: Write about your favorite songs through your life. How do each of them reflect what was going on in your life at the time? How do you feel when you hear them today?

Art Prompt: Unforgettable Songs 

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Take your audience on a nostalgic trip into your favorite music from the past.

Photo Credit: epiclectic on Flickr