Typewriter - Once upon a timeIf you want to jump start your writing or give your creativity a little cross training, you might want to check out Morgen Bailey’s Online Novel Writing Group website. Every weekday, she posts four writing prompts. Sometimes it’s a group of words to be used in one piece of writing. Or sentence openers, concepts to explore, or maybe even a picture. Set your timers for fifteen minutes and try one of them. You don’t even have to be a novelist. Use them as a warm-up exercise for other writing, or to shake the cobwebs out of your brain if you have a problem you can’t solve.

Here’s one that I tried, leaping off from the opener, “Sorry about falling…” [original link to post]

Sorry about falling. But the cake was too beautiful, all shivery with fresh coconut shavings. The aroma took me back to my youth, of strolling along Miami Beach with my grandfather, accompanied by the cries of seagulls. I snuck peeks at the lithe, oiled bodies of the women in bikinis, my face growing hot with shame as my grandfather scolded me for looking too long. But those ladies were so perfect, like the cake—three tiers of heaven made to look like a fairytale castle with green gumdrops surrounding the top for parapets and glossy slabs of chocolate for windows. And then I noticed it: one of those chocolate squares was a half a bubble off plumb. I could not stand for it, no, as an architect I could not. I did not put down several important projects and travel eight hundred miles to see anything go wrong with my niece’s wedding, especially something related to construction. And nobody was in the room, well, except for the musician tuning his violin, grimacing at the shriek of his strings, so I did not think anyone would notice if I leaned over a bit to fix it…why the cake was put behind a railing I’ll never know; did someone think it might escape? Or that someone might try to steal it? I tried to be ever so careful, even rolling up the sleeve of my best suit jacket to keep it from brushing even a sliver of that luscious coconut. Maybe my wife was right and it could be time to see a doctor about that balance problem. It had never been a big deal before. But as I leaned, my fingers millimeters from getting the proper, delicate grip on that chocolate window to adjust it, I felt my foot give way and…well, you know the rest. Let me assure you, if anyone has any doubts about hiring that baker again, it was the lightest, most delicious confection I have ever experienced. If I close my eyes I can still smell the coconut and remember the petite brunette in the pink bikini who gave me a wink as we passed by.

So choose the prompt that calls to you and have fun with it. Writers, have you used any  prompts that you’d like to share?