Sunday, June 1, 2014

Summer Daze: 10 Prompts For Creative/Journal Writing

We are nearing the end of May and Summer has arrived (at least here on the Eastern hemisphere!).

For many, summer is a special time.  A holiday of relaxation, extra time to spend with our families, and usually summer months mean a vacation awaits us somewhere along a sunny horizon.

So, this year, why not  commemorate summer and relive what it means to you with some reflective journal writing prompts?  As always, the following prompts are open-ended enough to use as inspiration for poetic or other creative works.  Why not just grab one and see where it takes you?

Prompt #1
Reflect on your favorite childhood summer memory?  What was it about? Who shared this memory with you?  What were you doing?  How was the weather?  Think really deeply about the imagery and surroundings...take yourself completely back into that memory with descriptions and words.

Prompt #2
Think about a summer-themed song.  Take a few of the lyrics and incorporate them into your own little summer themed song/poem/prose.

Prompt #3
Usually when you think of summer, you think of sunny skies, swimming pools, vacations, and great weather.  Think back on a time (or imagine, if need be) there was  a summer storm.  Did you get caught in one while swimming and make a mad dash for the deck in fear of the lightening?  Perhaps you were at the beach when the rain came.  If you have trouble recalling some bad summer weather, just write a detailed description of a summer storm...the rain collecting in the leaves of tress, dripping across the brim of your straw hat as you danced in puddles.  See, it's not so hard!

Prompt #4
Look at this picture above for a few minutes.  Imagine you're standing right there.  What do you see?  Describe the water..the do they feel as they flow across your feet?  Describe the sand beneath your footsteps, the heat of the sun against your skin.  Are there palm trees anywhere?  People swimming?  What's going on before and after this picture?  

Prompt #5
What is your idea summer get away?  If you could vacation anywhere, where would you go?  Take some time, do some internet research, perhaps even look at some photos, then plan your perfect vacation destination.  What restaurants will you eat at?  What sights will you see?  Who will you go with?  Will you drive or take a road trip?

Prompt #6
Imagine it's a late summer evening, the time of day you love best.  You're sitting on the back patio as the sun begins to set into the sky for the night.  The beginning wink of the moon appears, the crickets are chirping, lightening bugs have begun their nightly flight, the air holds a distinct summery chill that feels cool against your skin, you hear the distant hum of a jet crossing somewhere in the clouds.  Write about this setting.  Write in great detail with flowery descriptions.  Use such strong imagery that you pull yourself into the setting, almost feel it with your five senses.

Prompt #7
When I think about summer food, I usually think mainly about watermelons and lemonade, cookouts and grilled hotdogs.  Think about some your favorite summer foods.  Is there a traditional potato salad that your family has passed out from generation to generation?  What about that one summer you had your own lemonade stand?  What about a distant cookout/family gathering that stands out in your mind as a special memory.  Write about your memories of summer food/recipes/meals/gatherings.  Why are they your favorite?  What makes them distinct?

Prompt #8
One of my favorite summer holidays is the 4th of July.  Think back on all your celebrations of the 4th.  Write in great detail about your favorite 4th of July memory.  Who were you with?  What did you do?  Why is this memory special to you?  (If you live in a country where you don't celebrate the 4th of July, write about another favorite summer holiday).

Prompt #9
Look at the picture above for a few moments.  Take it all in...the girl holding the shoes, the waves coming in, the ships going by in the far distance, the sun beginning to set.  Who is the girl?  Where are the ships going, and are they carrying cargo, goods?  What is she looking at?  Is she on vacation, maybe her honeymoon?  Use your imagination, brainstorm, and write a flowery description of what's going on in great detail.

Prompt #10
Using the following list of words, write a poem, short story, flash fiction, or a reflective journal entry about summer:
-palm trees
-fire pit

And most of all, just have fun writing.  Here's to wishing you a happy beginning to another summer!