I ordered a few things from Amazon (trying out that new Prime account) and they arrived today. I haven’t ordered anything online in a long time and I had forgotten how much I enjoy having things magically appear at my door. It would be nicer if I didn’t have to pay for them, but it is a very pleasant experience none-the-less.

I ordered a purple cover for my Kindle, and a new water bottle, and an actual book.

The  book is called 642 Things To Write About. It’s written by a collective  called The San Francisco Writer’s Grotto.  The introduction to the book is by Po Bronson, and he says that the book was written in one day. The 35 writer’s in the collective were challenged to come up with exactly 642 prompts. Why not 447 or 831, I have no idea.  They ran with the idea and 24 hours later they had the prompts and a book. I liked the concept and I love the name of the collective, particularly the word “Grotto”. What comes to mind  is a safe area, calm seas, miracles.  Like if I could write using prompts it would be a miracle, very Lourdes-ish. There are some great prompts  such as (randomly opening book…): Where would you be now if you had married your first love? Write a list of things to do before you die. If your brother knew you’d said that about him he’d flay you alive…what did you say? Your dog’s last dream. Study a stranger and go home and write a tragedy about his or her mother.  Write about what you’ll be worrying about 5 years from now – ten years from now- thirty years from now (god, I will only be worried if I am ALIVE 30 years from now!)

And 636 more.

I’m going to attempt some of these. I have no idea if I can even write like this, so it will be an adventure. I have decided I like adventures again, even small ones like this.  I am so used to my “if I feel it it will come” writing style I wonder if I can write using random prompts that a bunch of writer’s in a grotto came up with? Or, if I do manage to write some, will they come out in a familiar style of writing. It’s a mystery, what will happen. Just like everything else, right? Might as well give it a shot.

Meanwhile, I have this cool book of prompts and if anyone would like a random one sent to you, just ask. I promise to just open the book and see where I land and send it off. Then you can do with it as you will. If you hate it  I’ll send another. Or if I post one and you like it, go for it.

I do NOT promise to do this for myself. I am going to attempt to write whatever random prompt I get, but  there are 642 and I am sure there are stinkers in there that I won’t want to write. My book, my rules. I’ll post them if I like them


Here’s number one  ( honestly chosen completely at random):  “Your favorite quote”

“First the gesture, then the grace”

I read this on a blog in very early sobriety. I was struggling with the whole Higher Power concept (not that I still don’t, but less so now) and I came across this blog written by an atheist yoga teacher. She was working through the steps online and what she had to say about the “god”  steps really resonated for me.

This quote is very like the biblical “Faith without works is dead”, I see that. But this spoke to me in a more poetic way, one of the first real poetic things I read in regards to the steps of AA and how they apply. I held onto this quote for, well, I still do, it’s my favorite. If I get another tattoo, this is what it is going to say. It speaks to me so clearly about my responsibility in my sobriety, how I have to take action, and when I do the universe is then able to conspire with me to give me grace.

The gesture is not drinking, and the grace is staying undrunk, among a host of other, wonderful perks to this sobriety thing.

By the way, the blog is still up, although she doesn’t blog there any longer. She is immersed in yoga and has a lovely blog about that. Her name is Karin L. Burke, and the blog site is Whiskey and Porn For Everyone (with a title like that you gotta love it, or at least I did a few months sober!) There is good stuff archived there.

The gesture, taken  first, can be small. the grace that comes can be immeasurable .



Add yours →

  1. Ooh, ooh, may I have a prompt?

    • Yeay!!
      yes…ok, seriously opening book randomly and picking first one…ready?

      ” The last time you changed your mind about something important”

      If you write it and like it, please link to me, I’d love to read it!

  2. Loved this! You wrote to your first prompt perfectly. I’m terrible at prompt writing, so I’ll live vicariously through you. I’m eager to read the next prompt you publish…what a fun adventure!

  3. Hooray for prompted creativity!
    Looking forward to what you come up with.

  4. Love both of your latest posts! Ciao, Nora

    • whinelessinwashington April 30, 2014 — 12:19 am

      I would love a prompt, please! I love it!

      • OK!

        picking randomly…..

        “Write wedding vows. The bride is thirty five years old; it’s her first marriage. The groom is forty eight and it’s his third go-round at the alter”.

        That sounds like fu….hope it is!

  5. I got that 642 things to write about book for Christmas. Also 642 things to draw. I cracked the writing one the first week, only I followed it in order and tried to write about being an astronaut and fizzled and put it away and haven’t pulled it out since. I don’t want to write about being an astronaut, but I liked the sound of the prompts you listed. I LOVE the sound of opening at random and choosing that way. Why didn’t I think of that? Oh, and love amazon prime. The rate went up a lot since where they’d been for a long time, but still worth it. Check out their free streaming choices if you haven’t already.

    • I actually got it for the free streaming, altho I am disappointed because I have Apple TV and it does;t work with that. I can watch on my laptop but it’s kind of a pain….I wanted to try Justified!
      meanwhile, I ordered some stuff that came fast and with no shipping and I will get to use their kind lending library, which sounds good too, so it seem worth the $99 a year.

      There are a lot of prompts where i go..what? I just know I can’t write them, at least well…..but it’s fun to try. I’m working on one right now that I am having a really hard time writing but I can “see” so clearly in my head, even have a video picked out for it…we’ll see if i ever get it.

      The drawing one would kill me tho NO ONE ever wants to be my partner in pictionary!!

  6. runningonsober May 2, 2014 — 3:58 pm

    May I have #506 please? 🙂

    • hahhaa….
      considering they are not numbered in the book I had to count backwards to figure out number 506 (Don’ anyone else get any ideas….!!)

      and the winner is “Write a bucket list for your favorite superhero”

      Have fun!

  7. Love prompt ideas! I have this little cube of a book of prompts, but always love more! If you wouldn’t mind, I’d love one for after my song challenge 🙂

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