Currently viewing the tag: "secrets"

I made soup tonight
and all my ancestors danced
in the pot, with the barley
the beans, the knuckle and neck bones,
enriching this brew;
Here women joined
love and ancient wisdom, the knowledge
salt and pepper bring; Secrets
that are ritual and legacy.

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story that involves food and magic.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about cooking? 

Art Prompt: Cooking magic

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the magic of cooking your own food.

Photo Credit: wuchale59 on Flickr

tues secret

All secrets are deep. All secrets become dark. That’s in the nature of secrets. –Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town by Cory Doctorow

Fiction Writing Prompt: Add to your character sketch. What is your protagonist’s dark secret? How does it drive his/her actions? How does it color how he/she sees the world?

Journaling Prompt: Write about a secret you haven’t told anyone. What do you believe would happen if someone else knew?

Art Prompt: Dark Secret

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the power of secrets to stunt your life and give them tips for letting go of them.

Photo Credit: Araí Moleri Riva-Zucchelli on Flickr


Project MKUltra—sometimes referred to as the CIA’s mind control program—was the code name given to an illegal program of experiments on human subjects, designed and undertaken by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Experiments on humans were intended to identify and develop drugs and procedures to be used in interrogations and torture, in order to weaken the individual to force confessions through mind control. Organized through the Scientific Intelligence Division of the CIA, the project coordinated with the Special Operations Division of the U.S. Army’s Chemical Corps. The program began in the early 1950s, was officially sanctioned in 1953, was reduced in scope in 1964, further curtailed in 1967 and officially halted in 1973. The program engaged in many illegal activities, including the use of unwitting U.S. and Canadian citizens as its test subjects, which led to controversy regarding its legitimacy. MKUltra used numerous methodologies to manipulate people’s mental states and alter brain functions, including the surreptitious administration of drugs (especially LSD) and other chemicals, hypnosis, sensory deprivation, isolation, verbal and sexual abuse, as well as various forms of torture. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about a conspiracy theory that is actually true.

Journaling Prompt: How feasible do you think mind control is? Are you able to control your own mind?

Art Prompt: Mind control

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about Project MKUltra and what you believe it teaches us about abuse of secrecy.

Photo Credit: Mkultra-lsd-doc.jpg on Wikimedia


The Code Of Boys was a code of silence. Boys would do terrible things to each other, but you didn’t want to be a snitch, so you didn’t go to adults about it.

In the sixties and early seventies there was a pretty extreme laissez-faire style of parenting, at least in Southern California. Kids were left to take care of themselves without hovering parents. I was hitchhiking everywhere by the time I was 14, traveling the coast looking for waves.

I think of it as an old fashioned American boyhood from Tom Sawyer onward, but it reached a kind of extreme when I was an adolescent. There was a lot of ambient violence. I liked to box. I’d invite boys home from school, put on the gloves, and we’d just beat each other senseless right in front of our house. Nobody thought anything of it. That’s what boys do: they box. –Bill Finnegan

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story involving the Code of Boys. 

Journaling Prompt: What secrets did you keep from your parents when you were a teen?

Art Prompt: The Code of Boys

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a story with a moral about something you kept secret from your parents as a teen.

Photo Credit: Eugene H. White on Flickr

Top Secret

The team [at Carnegie Mellon] recruited 62 adults who admitted they were keeping a life-altering secret and were willing to, as before, share a year’s worth of emails, including some from before they acquired their dirty laundry. More than half of the adults said the secret was of a romantic or sexual nature, with other major categories being “family,” “mental health,” “job” and “legal.” As in the depression study, overall these people wrote more, longer emails after they acquired their secret than before. When writing to people relevant to their secret, however, these individuals used more deceptive language, more negative emotion words and fewer words such as “I” and “me.” –Sanda Upson

Fiction Writing Prompt: Add to your character sketch. What is your protagonist lying about and why? What will happen if the truth comes to light?

Journaling Prompt: Write about a secret that you are keeping. How does it affect your communication with people whose respect you want?

Art Prompt: Lying

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write about how keeping secrets affects clear communication and give some strategies for becoming more transparent.

Photo Credit: Malakhi Helel on Flickr

Just before the United States dropped the atomic bomb on Japan, a report went out to people at the highest levels of power. It predicted an arms race, a policy of mutually assured destruction, and it recommended that we keep the bomb secret. What if we had? –Esther Inglis-Arkell

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write about a world where we kept the bomb secret.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about war – is it necessary?

Art Prompt: The world without the Bomb

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Read the entire article and craft an article / speech about the decision to drop the bomb.

Photo Credit: Erik Charlton on Flickr

peeking peeking

He debated whether to tell the others, but decided to let them find it on their own, if they did. If he was right, this changed everything. -David Baldacci, Split Second

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about a discovery that changes everything, but it’s kept secret.

Journaling Prompt: When do you keep secrets? When are you likely to reveal them?

Art Prompt: Keeping Secrets

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write a humorous speech about a time you kept a secret and it backfired.

Photo Credit: adamsmithjr on Flickr


“I’ve heard it said girls can’t keep secrets.” -Juliet Marillier, Wildwood Dancing

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story, scene or poem inspired by the first line of the week.

Journaling Prompt: How good are you at keeping secrets?

Art Prompt: It’s a Secret

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write about keeping secrets – when is it healthy and when should secrets be exposed?

Photo Credit: zoetnet on Flickr

Ocean Waves

People are like oceans, the powerful stuff moves deep down and you almost never see it. -David Tallerman, Jenny’s Sick (free to read at Lightspeed Magazine online)

Writing Prompt: Create a story or poem using the line above as a starter or for inspriration.

Journaling Prompt: What powerful secrets and emotions are beneath your surface?

Art Prompt: Still Waters

Nonfiction / Speech Writing Prompt: Write the story of someone who exemplifies this quote.

Photo Credit: Lel4nd on Flickr

study of the arcane

arcane adj. understood by few; mysterious or secret: arcane procedures for electing people. arcanely adv. mid 16th century: from Latin arcanus, from arcere ‘to shut up’, from arca ‘chest’.

Writing Prompt: Write a scene using the word or concept “arcane”

Journaling Prompt: What kind of arcane knowledge would you like to have?

Art Prompt: Arcane

Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Use the word ARCANE in whatever you write today.

Photo Credit: John William Waterhouse-Circe The Sorceress shared by FrauBucher on Flickr