Winter Writing

Some of you might remember last December, when I did reverb10, a daily blogging challenge based on a series of writing prompts. I enjoyed the project and the motivation to write every day, even as I did not always enjoy the prompts. Too many of them were awfully self indulgent and of the “What makes you a unique and vibrant sparkly wonderpony?” variety. With that internal conflict, I was very much on the fence about participating in reverb11 this year and then found out a couple of days ago that it was not going to be happening. Then yesterday I got an e-mail from Becca, who introduced me to reverb10 in the first place. She’d gotten the e-mail too, felt much the same way and (along with her friend Val) thought that mayhaps we should throw together our own set of prompts – very loosey-goosey and informal and mostly just to help motivate each other to write every day. Or not. Whatever we feel like. A few e-mails back and forth today, a Google Doc put together by Becca later and we have ourselves a start. If you’re interested in participating, here are the prompts as they stand right now. If you’re interested in adding some of your own, let me know and I can send you the list. My own contributions so far are meager, but the month is young.

December 2011 Blogging Challenge!

Do them in any order or not at all. There will be no prizes, grades or detention given, just a blog flush with new content. Share it. Anyone should feel free to add a prompt.

October, talk getting nowhere
November… December… remember
We just start it again

(from the song “Please” by U2)

What’s your favorite building you’ve walked into this year?

Val gets totally excited to read her horoscope each month until she remembers they’re utter crap. What’s your view on horoscopes?

Val’s been thinking a lot about the idea of the End Zone. That getting married, having a kid, getting a job, etc. is a self-contained accomplishment (rather than a whole new set of challenges). And how our movies and pop culture feed into the idea of this moment of completion, of spiking the ball. The New Year’s Kiss that seals the future, for example. Like, why do I want to WATCH this?

Rebecca is reading George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda right now: “A human life, I think, should be well-rooted in some spot of native land, where it may get the love of tender kinship for the face of earth, for the labours men go forth to, for the sounds and accents that haunt it, for whatever will give that early home a familiar unmistakable difference amidst the future widening of knowledge: a spot where the definiteness of early memories may be inwrought with affection, and kindly acquaintance with all neighbors, even to the dogs and donkeys, may spread not by sentimental effort and reflection, but as a sure habit of the blood.”

Jenny would like to take a brief moment to revisit reverb10. The first prompt last year was, “One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?” If you responded to that prompt last year, does the word you chose for 2011 accurately capture this past year for you? If not, why not?



What is the best news you got this year? The worst?

Assuming the above is news of a personal nature, which local, national or international news stories riveted you the most this year? Is there a particular event or piece of journalism that moved you? In a year of revolution, populist movements, natural disasters and political foibles, what did you pay attention to the most?


Val has been thinking a lot about being alone vs. loneliness. Some things are simply more enjoyable done solo. What’s the thing or things that you prefer to do on your own? (example; mine’s probably gonna be eating tiny pickles straight out of the jar, leaving the fridge open.)


What music most inspired or affected you this year?


Possessions: What have you learned to live without this year? Have you acquired something(s) that has made your life better? Worse?



Rebecca’s family goes to a movie every year on Christmas Eve. What movies did you see in 2011 that have really stuck with you?

Are you cooking something special/delicious today? How do you feed yourself and those you love at this cold, dark time of year?


Do you believe in New Years’ resolutions? Have you actually followed through on any of them?


I will probably be a sometimes participant this year. Maybe all of them. Maybe not. I like a lot of what I see so far and am exponentially more excited about this than I was even earlier today. Mostly writing/creativity-wise (and only the tiniest bit life-wise) I’ve been feeling uninspired lately. Much like reverb did for me last year, I think that being a part of a little community like this – however small and brief it may be – can only lead to good things and good production, whatever it looks like. During this colder, darker time of year, maybe extending my reach to connect with people will be just the thing.

Speaking of connection, check out Becca’s first official post of the challenge. Selfishly, I’m happy we’re doing this again because it means I get to read something new from her every day. Her post today, despite some of the sad stuff it contained, made me happy. And hey, if it all just falls apart for me this month and I can’t manage to string some sentences together once in awhile, at least I know others will be providing me with great reading material.


6 thoughts on “Winter Writing

    • That one was written with you in mind. I remembered yours and the shiver of awesomeness it gave me (and countless others). Mine? Not so much. It was “driving.”

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