Roses for My Retirement
Take ten minutes and respond to a writing prompt. The emphasis should be on unfettered creation. Put the critic’s hat aside for the moment and simply observe the thoughts that flow out. Please feel free to share your responses. Just click on the comment bubble at the top of the page.
Writing Prompt # 4: Assuming the possibility of reincarnation, what would you like to be and do in your next life. Try for details.
Writing Prompt # 3: Imagine waking up in a completely strange room. Where are you and why are you there?
Writing Prompt # 2: Imagine a young girl hurrying stealthily through a suburban neighborhood and begin a short story with this figure as the protagonist.
Writing Prompt # 1: Why do we need summer? What experiences both inner and outer does summer supply in our lives?
Destruction: Interest in apocalyptic themes has surged over the past decade. From young adult novels like the Divergent or the Matching series to blockbuster movies like the recently released Armageddon, world disasters are fabricated in compelling detail. This theme has even shaped more serious literature like Cormac McCarthy’s wrenching novel The Road. Why this fascination with destruction?
Dark Fascination: Some people view this fascination with apocalyptical events in itself as something dark and disturbing. While a natural reaction when viewed in a world where earthquakes, tornadoes, and tsunamis commonly occur, I see the metaphorical catastrophes occurring in fiction and movies differently. The main fascination when we read of a world destroyed in some way either by nature or by humankind’s hubris is really with the aftermath, not the destruction.
Survival and Resilience: As readers or viewers, we like the reassurance of watching people survive against great odds and recover first a semblance of order and eventually a new order of recovery and renewal. It is the resilience of the human spirit that we are enthralled with, not just the simple, sometimes mindless destruction of the world and the initial breakdown of civilization.
Obstacles on the Path: Literature (and movies in parallel fashion) relies on conflict for progress within story, but that conflict must lead somewhere to be satisfying. As readers or viewers, we root for survival. The destruction, while tragic, is merely an obstacle in humanity’s pathway (although using the word merely may be questionable when speaking of tragedy). We read about or watch these events, and we see our own lives. We see the obstacles in our own paths, and we come to understand that obstacles can make us stronger. Striving to overcome, we are strong enough to travel further along the path. Finding our way around or through whatever has blocked our passage brings us new freedom.