Posted in Mining for Lines Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt #4

“one pierced moment whiter than the rest”

ee cummings

Clearly, I am not the only one struck by this line – it shows up in quaotables all over the web!  From cummings’ poem It Is At Moments After I Have Dreamed, this line, like much of cummings, is piercing.

If it causes a writing moment for you, please share – I would love to read what you write!


Posted in Mining for Lines Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt #3

Mining for lines again!  Actually, it feels more like ‘fishing’ and I am the fish.  While my poet-husband reads aloud, lines are dropped with bait on them and lure me to bite.  (You caught me – I fished Lake Michigan for a number of years in my youth.)  Rudely interrupting his reading, I say , “Wait, wait, wait!  Go back – read that line again – the one that starts with…”    He is so patient to reread the line, even write it down for me.  (This is what happens when poet nerds marry!)  This line came from Uriel by Emerson and it screamed at me with possibility.  I’ve already written a poem, but it continues to dance around in my head, asking for a fictional counterpart.  Hmmm… waiting for it.

“A forgetting wind”

I challenge you to start with this line and see where it takes you.  If it ignites creativity, please share – I’d love to read what you write!

Cheers!  Jilly  🙂


Posted in Mining for Lines Writing Prompts, Photos, Poetry

A Forgetting Wind

A forgetting wind stretched
Out its futile
Tousled the trees
Lifted the soaring
Birds, rushing
The precociousness of clouds
That dared to splay
Children, dreaming
On the grass, but

It could not reach
Below the rooftops
The lampposts, it could
Not reach the memories
Nor drive out
The stagnant air of regret.

© Jilly’s 2016

‘A forgetting wind’ from Uriel by Emerson.
Mining for Lines Writing Prompt #3

Posted in Flash Fiction

Lila, Liquid Lila

I am a desert.

Lila, liquid Lila.  Everything is drawn to water; the long-horn cattle in the heat of the day wade in the shallows to cool and chase away the biting flies, the egret, blazingly white, sifting the grasses for oysters, backward-knee deep, the lightning of the vibrant storm.  Everything is attracted to water.

I am a desert. No waves, no wake. I am like a leprosy; something to be avoided.  Avert your eyes, which is easy to do, when Lila is in the room.

There is always the ‘pretty one’ in twins.  Lila.

She was stunned when I wanted to live on my own that 2nd year of college.  “You aren’t pledging?” Lila was born to be a sorority girl.  I was born to be a desert; dusty, leaden, prosaic.  And so I took that studio apartment south of campus and adopted a cat named Cloe who clawed my furniture into submission and peed in my dirty laundry. I tried to be more.  The smart girls in Women’s Studies casually discussed the benefits of sleeping nude.  It should be so easy when you live alone.  Slipping off my floor-length flower infused nightgown, I moved quickly from the light switch to the too-cold sheets.  Foreign and uncomfortable in my own skin, should only be this naked in the shower for 10 minutes each morning, pulling the covers under my chin, staring into the semi-darkness.  Bang! Bang! Bang! Someone pounding on my door!  Sprinting for my nightgown and robe, I closed my naked self in the darkness of my closet, crossing the doors closed, praying and promising God I would never do something so bad ever again.  Scrambling into clothes, I put on as many of them as I possibly could, while the pounding subsided.  Not my door. The door across the hall.  I slept in my jeans, socks, slippers, t-shirt and hoodie.  I am a desert.  I am a leprosy.

While I sit, wiping stupid tears on the cramped floor of the closet, I click on the light and slide out the 3-doll case with the iconic fashion form on the front.  Thumbing the clasp, opening like a favorite book, there we are; Lila on the right, me in the middle, Max on the left.  It’s so easy to have twin dolls, just buy two of them.  The Lila doll had been hers, abandoned, and relegated to a distant childhood by the woman she is becoming.  I brought Lila with me in my purse after Thanksgiving break, making sure that I stayed between her and Max in the case.  The problem is that she is just as beautiful and charming as ever.  The clothes are part of it.  I pull a tattered, brown sock from my cat-peed laundry basket.  Perfect sock, it has no mate, lost the other one, don’t know where.  Brown and sand horizontal stripes.  Lila never wears horizontal stripes, ‘makes you look fat;’ she always knows these fashion things. Using curved bladed scissors from my craft box, I cut arm holes and a neck opening in the sock; ugly dress for Lila.  Max does not blink, just gazes serenely in thought.  Sigh. Scissors again, her blonde hair tastelessly hacked, sticking out at odd angles. Ugly dress, ugly hair, Max shifts his eyes for just the slightest moment, a flash of derision blows across his face, a wisp of sand across the desert floor and gone. Ultra-fine point permanent markers supply dark circles under Lila’s eyes and wash out her lips.  ‘Look, Max, she is ugly, isn’t she?’ He nods agreement, a curl of the lip.  Still, I stay between them, just to protect him from her charismatic pull.  Max always was so weak.  I put the backless, high-fashion silver dress on the Me doll and turn Max’s head to face me before closing the case and slipping it behind my baby-pink dresser, hidden in my magic closet.

© Jilly’s 2016

Based on Writing Prompt #1  
 "I am like a leprosy." ~John Steinbeck from The Pearl


Posted in Mining for Lines Writing Prompts

Mining For Lines

In search of a muse, the lines of other writers often provide inspiration in the most remarkable ways!  When I read; whether a novel, poetry, drama, or non-fiction, I like to use an index card as my bookmark.  When memorable lines of inspiration show up they are written down.  (I also write down things I want to reference later, like new words or intriguing ideas.)  Other times, when I want to be writing but don’t find the inspiration, I pick up whatever is on the coffee-table, and there are stacks, and just leaf through.  I am looking for a turn of phrase or anything that jumps out with imagery.  These get jotted down in a notebook and become the jumping-off point for something new.  I highly recommend it!

This begins a new category on Jilly’s 2016; a place to put writing prompts and a clearing house for what I dig up in my mining expeditions. If you find some inspiration here, please let me know so that I can read your words and celebrate the visit of the muse with you!

28 Days of Unreason prompts, using selected lines from Jim Harrision’s Songs of Unreason, have been connected to this category.  Good stuff!

Cheers!  Jilly 🙂