The Prompter Room

For Friday, January 4, 2019:


Books aren’t just commodities; the profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable — but then, so did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art. Very often in our art, the art of words.

I’ve had a long career as a writer, and a good one, in good company. Here at the end of it, I don’t want to watch American literature get sold down the river. We who live by writing and publishing want and should demand our fair share of the proceeds; but the name of our beautiful reward isn’t profit. Its name is freedom.

Ursula K. Le Guin, Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books, 2000–2016, with a Journal of a Writers Week


The Prompter Room

For Saturday, February 3, 2018 (with apologies, again, for being a day late):


The creative self [asks] the surrender of ordinary conceptions of identity and will for a broader kind of intimacy and allegiance. Ultimately, though, the threshold consciousness is not about ideas, whatever they may be. It is, like writing itself, about stepping past what we already think we know and into an entirely new relationship with the many possibilities of being, with the ultimately singular and limitless mystery of being. Above all, it is about freedom, and the affection for all existence that only genuine freedom brings.

Jane Hirshfield, ‘Writing and the Threshold Life,’ NINE GATES: ENTERING THE MIND OF POETRY

The Prompter Room

For Tuesday, November 21, 2017:



The gears of poverty, ignorance, hopelessness, and low self-esteem mesh to create a kind of perpetual failure machine that grinds down dreams from generation to generation. We all bear the cost of keeping it running. Illiteracy is its linchpin…. Frederick Douglass taught that literacy is the path from slavery to freedom. There are many kinds of slavery and many kinds of freedom. But reading is still the path.

Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan, ‘The Path to Freedom’ in THE DEMON-HAUNTED WORLD: SCIENCE AS A CANDLE IN THE DARK

The Prompter Room

For Friday, October 20, 2017:


The pause is especially important for the freedom of being, what I have called essential freedom.  For it is in the pause that we experience the context out of which freedom comes.  In the pause we wonder, reflect, sense awe, and conceive of eternity.  The pause is when we open ourselves for the moment to the concepts of both freedom and destiny.


The Prompter Room

For Tuesday, April 5, 2016:


“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.”

Claude Debussy

” … The rules on what is possible and impossible in the arts were made by people who had not tested the bounds of the possible by going beyond them … If you don’t know it’s impossible, it’s easier to do …”


We writers, artists, and poets live and work in a good time nowadays.  Compared to the rules and traditional ways of doing things with which I grew up, almost anything goes today.  With the electronic resources we have at our disposal, we are able to share our work with a worldwide audience that artists couldn’t begin to imagine 20-30 years ago.

No longer do we face the same ‘industry’ constraints many of us expected and followed when we started out.  Thanks to this medium in which I write this moment and you’re reading, I believe blogs were the advent of this new freedom.  Because it was then harder to decide what was considered published work – were ezines ‘real’ magazines, for instance, were poems in a blog a collection equivalent to a chapbook? – it’s become gradually more acceptable to self-publish.

It’s not a taboo subject anymore.  We don’t have to whisper the possibility.  Rather than vanity publishing, the general feeling now is that print-on-demand is not only better for the environment, POD publishing allows us to share with an audience that was denied most of us coming up, and – this is important – it gives the artist much more creative control of the finished product.

We still have to do the work, of course, and I believe we owe it to our audiences to ensure it’s the best work of which we’re capable.  At the same time, our new freedom allows us to push on those old boundaries, to expand them to become more and more welcoming.

Even Emily Dickinson could see it.  Back in the mid-1800s, she wrote ‘The Possible’s slow fuse is lit by the Imagination.’  Nowadays there’s no telling where our collective imagination will take us and the possibilities that await us.

The Prompter Room

For Tuesday, March 8, 2016:


“A writer is a person who cares what words mean, what they say, how they say it.  Writers know words are their way towards truth and freedom, and so they use them with care, with thought, with fear, with delight.”

Ursula K. LeGuin

It’s hard for me to believe, but I started this site ten months ago, and this daily feature of a writing prompt five or six months ago.  My purpose in both is summed up in Ms. LeGuin’s statement above.  I wanted then, and I want now, to serve as a writing companion for other writers, some of whom may be starting out, some of whom may be struggling, some  who may just want company in this sometimes-solitary work we do and who might keep me company.

When I started this venture, my hope was that, via the blogging universe, I could reach others who care about words and writing and creativity as much as I do, or more.  I hoped I could help one or two sister or brother writers move closer to fulfilling their dreams.  If I could do that on occasion, then I could count this adventure a success.

Well, apparently I have managed to do that, at least once in a while.  Others’ feedback and responses have all been generous and positive – sometimes glowing, if I may say so – and I appreciate that more than I can say.  It keeps me going.  Thank you!

Thank you, too, to the two bloggers who recently nominated my blog for two separate awards!   I’m still new enough to this form of community that I need to figure out how to accept these accolades, but when I do, there should be some ‘bling’ here on the site somewhere.  I’m looking forward to that – I may be old, but I still enjoy some fun once in a while!

Thank you to everyone who’s been along on this journey, and I hope you will continue.  It delights me no end that all of us care enough about words – our own and others’ – that we come together through our blogs to help each other and keep each other company.

Bless you all!

~~ Genie


The Prompter Room

For Friday, December 4, 2015:


Today’s another day of travel out of state for medical reasons and there’s no time for a thoughtful post, so I’ll leave this here for your consideration and, I hope, inspiration:


“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it!  Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”

Jon Minnis

“Freedom lies in being bold.”

Robert Frost

Be bold today, then, my friends!