Who Are You Protecting When You Don’t Write?

“The page is no place, today, for what is pulling at my heart. Notebooks get misplaced; they lie around; they flip open in the wind. Who might see these pages, read them?  My heart is a secret place, especially now. The wide open plain of a page is a place with no boundaries, no etiquette, no conventions. How would I begin to lay the fervid, lumpy core of myself out there in the open where I myself could no longer shield my eyes from it? What might happen? It could bleed through, soak all the pages in the book, slop onto the floor, stain the carpet. It could make a mess so bad that no one could clean it up. I might still be there, scrubbing at the pentimento of its spillage, decades from now.” --End Brock, in response to the prompt, “What’s pulling on your heart ... [Continue Reading]

Using Photos as Writing Prompts

“I find one image of Mom particularly arresting. She’s dressed almost entirely in white—white shorts that show off her long and graceful legs, a sleeveless white sweater pulled over a dark short-sleeved jersey that highlights the darker color of her long, wavy hair, which is pulled behind her so that what you see, at first glance, is the whiteness of her teeth and the radiance of her smile. She’s standing on a beach chair, her right leg ramrod straight to stay balanced., her left leg slightly bent, her white outfit even whiter than the foam of the waves gently splashing against the shoreline behind her. She is slim, even elegant, and looks exactly her age—twenty-six years old, youthful but not young, a woman who seems to know herself and her place in the world. “I cannot see ... [Continue Reading]