Posts Tagged ‘writing prompts’

Improv Storytelling & Creative Writing Workshop in Santa Fe

Friday, February 21st, 2014
My Saturday Improv Storytelling & Creative Writing Workshop in Santa Fe has filled up!
 
Now we are adding a Sunday workshop 3/16/2014- who is game? Contact me at b mayfield media at gmail dot com and I will send you the PDF with all details. Space is limited. Hope to see you in Santa Fe soon for this epic adventure.
 
And Peggy Pfeiffer of BadDog Design has 3 excellent social media workshops coming up. I’ve taken them. They are great.
Here is the link:
http://e2.ma/webview/qy7xh/95de554579c92f665f71f8de9183b629
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The Dwelling Prompt

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Hi Gang,

We just finished up Writers Group and today was my turn to bring the Prompt. So we Skyped me in and here it is:

Location and dwellings can be important characters in a story.

Before looking at the list, choose a number from 1 to 10. Then look at your number and let that dwelling style inspire a new story or a new bit for the book you are working on. This prompt yielded fantastic writings today. Deb says she will post her piece very soon.

Ok, below this photo is the list. GO!

Casita by the River, mixed media dwelling painting by Barbara Mayfield. 2013

Casita by the River, mixed media dwelling painting by Barbara Mayfield. 2013

 

  1. cave
  2. teepee
  3. airstream mobile home
  4. treehouse
  5. gazebo
  6. yurt
  7. seashore bungalow
  8. condo
  9. palace
  10. apartment in Paris

Write a story we won’t forget.

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Two thousand miles east

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013
Giganto yard sale was just part of the dismantling.

Giganto yard sale was just part of the dismantling.

This essay was written in response to Nadine’s most recent prompt: Treasures We Cannot Let Go:

Recently, I moved. Packed up and drove across Interstate 40, two thousand miles to the east.

I dismantled twenty years and twenty-two hundred square feet of house and belongings. Hint: I love my stuff. I do not have any Zen bones in my body. But for this move, I had to seriously let go of a lot of goods.

I sold two refrigerators, two wood stoves, an oven, a front-loading Sears washing machine that they don’t make anymore. Beds, cupboards and bookshelves, a vintage yellow kitchen table given to me by an old friend who had taste. Many rustic outdoor items – a Mexican table, an antique food warmer contraption, a heavy blue bench that has been in my studio since 1981. Four solid oak schoolroom chairs – antiques! -given to me by an old boyfriend in 1985.

I sold half-full gallon cans of my favorite colors of house paint – the colors in my adobe house in the Ponderosa woods, perched on the upward slope of the second largest mesa on earth.

I trimmed my holiday decorations from ten large boxes to six, and let go of my extra Christmas tree stand. Someday, I know I will need it because I have been wanting to have two trees for years. I sorted through my collection of rubberstamps and out of five thousand of them, I found twenty-five I didn’t need or want anymore.

I sold a blender and a juicer, and all my old sets of dishes and two tea kettles, and my five teapots.

I sold my 16’ ladder, my orange wheelbarrow, all my hoes and rakes – even the ones I’d painted in stripes and colors….and five boxes of tiles for mosaic-making. AAARRRGGHHH.

I sold off all my artist stretcher bars! My easel made in Italy that I bought in 1983 when I graduated from the Academy. I gave away and sold off oil paintings I’d done early in my career, that showed my first apartments and gardens, and paintings that featured my first tableware as a married woman. I have a thing for beautiful tableware.

I had a professional closet-raider come in. I traded her a vintage fiesta skirt that never fit me but was given to me by my dearest friend, who lives far away now. Ms. Closet-Raider insisted I consign and give away easily one-third to one-half of my clothing and about a dozen pairs of shoes I wish I’d kept to make shrines out of. And the hats! So many hats – feathers, straw, velvet  – from so many places I’ve been, and I look great in hats, and I looked really good in all of them.

The professional made me go through my cedar chest with the lifetime memory clothes in it, and this is where I drew the line in my own sandy mind. I pretended to agree with her advice and made piles to give away or sell. The satin maternity top my mother made me using a fabric printed with images of Chinese courtesans. All my cowgirl dresses –  small, flowery prints, long to the ankle –  that I bought when I first arrived in Santa Fe from the East. They haven’t fit me since 1997, so, of course, it would be best to let them go – what’s the point? My senior prom dress! White organza, made for me with hand-stitched pearls on the hem and the empire waistline, by a high school mentor (long story). My pink velvet junior prom dress! What’s the point of holding on to these things? They are not even costumes. They don’t fit now and they won’t ever fit me again!! She was so right.

Then we came to The Dress. The most important dress in the world, my world. The dress that is the color of the sea in Bora Bora. The dress I spent the most money on that I had spent on a garment, ever. The dress I bought in Italy, in Venice.

I would not even lie to the professional closet person about it. This dress stays with me. It fit me once; does not fit now; not likely that it will fit me ever again…I do not care!!

I was traveling alone in Europe and I had never travelled alone. I was there on the scholarship money I’d won upon graduation from the well-endowed Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. The only string on that prize was that I had to travel for ten weeks anywhere in the world I wanted to go. Everybody should be granted in this way, at least once in a lifetime.

At the time, I was the 31-year-old mother of two young sons. I dropped the boys off at their dad’s house on my way to the airport heading to Paris, first.

I was three weeks into my trip when I spotted the Aqua Dream in a tiny shop on Piazza San Marcos, Venezia, Italia. An angora knit, it fit me like a glove. Long sleeves, a double skirt just to the knees. So incredibly classy, sexy, Italian.

That I bought that dress – and I knew I would buy it the moment I saw it – so beautiful, so expensive, so sensuous – after years of shopping the racks at Goodwill Industries and “don’t be silly” and “where will you wear it” and “what do you need that for” and “later, later, maybe someday”…….. it was a turning point, a landmark.

I’ve worn it a few times. Mostly in the house alone. A few times with a lover. A few times out into the world when I felt very glad to be alive.  If I live long enough to get very frail and I die in one piece, perhaps I can be buried in it.

After the Closet Person left, I waited 3 days, then put all the other life memory clothes back into the cedar chest and the two strong mover guys easily carried it into the truck.

——end——-                                        Copyright 2012  Barbara Mayfield  All rights reserved.

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Letters Written, Not Sent

Friday, February 8th, 2013
Prudy about to smack Oscar

Prudy about to smack Oscar

Am Skyping into Writers Group right now, and secretly posting because I have finished writing my piece and am avoiding starting another one.

Hope has brought the Prompt and snacks today. Because of the Skype thing, I do not know what the snacks are, but here is the Prompt:

“Have your character write a letter (or email!!!) they would never send; or they write one not intending to send it, but it is sent. OR a letter that was intended to be sent, but was somehow waylaid and never received.”

Have we not all done that dangerous thing and vented into an email and somehow the send button is pushed??!!! Agony!!! And movies have been made about letters never received.

In my piece today, Prudy has written a letter she will not send to her dad, while sitting in the school cousleor’s office after she smacked Oscar in the head.

Ok. Write your letter now.

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“EVERYTHING IS COPY”

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Nora Ephron credited her mom for saying everything that happens to you or around you is writing fodder. This rhymes with ‘Write what you know’, one of fiction’s oldest adages, and one I used to think of in large terms, such as location. You write about the South, for example, only if you lived there or if you know it well.

The other day, I realized even the most mundane events can be copy. While juggling keys, purse and groceries, I stuck my hand into the flower container by the door to feel if it needed water. A wasp must have thought he’d never experienced anything so rude as this intrusive thumb poking at his back because he gave me what-for in the best way he knew how and then flew off, presumably in a huff.

Groceries, keys & purse dropped to the ground as I stared at the tiny, red zone of rebuke on my thumb, awed by how so much pain can spread so fast across the entire hand. And all the while thinking, ‘get to the hose, cool water should help, and isn’t soil supposed to soothe,’ one defiant thought à la Nora charged forward, ‘I’m going to use this!’

A few days later, while stumped trying to wrap up my latest picture book story: ‘Aunt Mordina Goes to the Beach’, I looked at my thumb and remembered. And now, not one, but two wasps are whizzing around that story book beach. Kinda makes the pain almost worth it.

Almost.

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First Video Writing Prompt

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Video Writing Prompt: “OK Go” Rube Goldberg Machine – Amazing

A FaceBook pal turned me on to the OK Go band videos, which seethe with creativity, whimsy and wisdom. Last Friday, we watched this video as our writing prompt.

I find Rube Goldberg machines, especially one as spectacular as this one, inspiring and enchanting. I asked our writing group to write a piece with these thoughts as a jumping off point:

1. Have a seemingly small, innocent action set off a string of oddball, wacky, outrageous results.

2. Whimsy

3. What materials would your character use to create a RG machine?

Happy Ash Wednesday from Barbara Mayfield

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Valentine’s Day

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is

limited. Imagination encircles the world.-Einstein

 

Perhaps we can encircle our writing today with the idea of love,

specifically, romance versus reality. A few quotes to

guide us:

I was nauseous and tingly all over. I was either in love or I 

had smallpox.-Woody Allen

Love is grand. Divorce is a hundred grand-Anonymous

The trouble with women is that they get all excited over 

nothing-and then marry him.-Cher

I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury.

-Groucho Marx.

 

To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But

then one suffers from not loving. Therefore to love is to suffer,

not to love is to suffer. To suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy then is to suffer. But suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be unhappy one must love,or love to suffer, or suffer from too much happiness. I hopeyou are getting this down.-Woody Allen

 

Prompt: Write a scene where your character explores romance v

romance vs reality. This can be love of a person, (romantic

or not) an idea, place, thing or situation. For example: we

may be so attached to what we think as love, we miss the

reality. Or vice-versa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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