The Prompter Room

For Tuesday, October 16, 2018:


A writer — and, I believe, generally all persons — must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.



The Prompter Room

For Friday, June 22, 2018:


… Literature is the house of nuance and contrariness against the voices of simplification. The job of the writer is to make it harder to believe the mental despoilers. The job of the writer is to make us see the world as it is, full of many different claims and parts and experiences.

It is the job of the writer to depict the realities: the foul realities, the realities of rapture. It is the essence of the wisdom furnished by literature (the plurality of literary achievement) to help us to understand that, whatever is happening, something else is always going on.

Susan Sontag – 2001 Jerusalem Prize acceptance speech, ‘The Conscience of Words,’ AT THE SAME TIME: ESSAYS AND SPEECHES

The Prompter Room

For Tuesday, November 1, 2016:


When you’re a writer, you’re never quite like other people – you’re doing a job that other people don’t know you’re doing and you can’t talk about it, really, and you’re just always finding your way in the secret world and then you’re doing something else in the ‘normal’ world.

Alice Munro

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 18, 2015:


“When writers die they become books, which is, after all, not too bad an incarnation.”

Jorge Luis Borges

There’s something about this idea that really appeals to me.  It makes me wonder which book I will become – one of mine or someone else’s? – and will I be with others in a library, and who will I be next to in the stacks?

Maybe I’ve intuited this all along and that’s why I love libraries and bookstores so much.  I will always remember the thrill of being in the presence of centuries of greatness when I had the opportunity to set foot in the library of Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.  When I found the section of and gazed upon the collection of scrolls and surely I could even smell the thoughts and questions, the poetry and plays that still lived in those earliest of books.  Talk about a little piece of heaven on earth!

Natalie Goldberg has said that “Writers live twice.”  That’s a pretty impressive legacy.

The Prompter Room

For Sunday, November 22, 2015:


“Writers aren’t exactly people.  They’re a whole lot of people trying to be one person.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald

If you are, or know anyone who is, a quilter or a fabric artist, you have or know about a stash of fabrics.  Like readers and writers in a bookstore, quilters find it almost impossible to leave a fabric store without at least one new piece of material.  It doesn’t matter how many unfinished projects are on the worktable, you still have to have that yardage or swatch or quarter.

I collect people the same way.  Not specific individuals, not even types of people, but bits and pieces of them as we go through our daily lives.  Every time I go out in public, I pay attention to and observe on some level everyone I pass or who passes me.  Like the quilter who looks for a piece of fabric with stars or glitter or a pattern of some sort ‘just in case,’ I listen for snippets of conversation, others’ facial expressions, posture, ways of walking, and add them to my ‘stash’ for later use when crafting characters and scenes.

I suspect most writers do this.  If there were a way to autopsy a writer’s brain to find all the people, real and unreal, who populate his or her thinking, I believe there would be a collection as full as a quilter’s fabric closet.  I know there would be myriad patterns-in-process in my brain, all waiting for that ‘just right’ sentence or metaphor, shrug, smile or tears, generated by a visit to the mall or Post Office or grocery store, to add needed perspective or finishing pieces.

I rather like the idea of being a collection of people!

The Prompter Room

For Thursday, October 8, 2015:

“Many people hear voices when no one is there.  Some of them are called ‘mad’ and are shut up in rooms where they stare at the walls all day.  Others are called ‘writers’ and they do pretty much the same thing.”

                                            — Ray Bradbury

I’m so thankful for a friend’s voice yesterday, which helped me get back to voices in my novel-in-progress that I’d inadvertently left behind!  Thank you, Chris!

Do you have people who support your voices, your own and your characters’?  If not, what will help you find that necessary support system?  How can I help?

The Prompter Room

The daily prompt:

“Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas a day.  The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them.  Most people don’t see any.”

— Orson Scott Card

Who is waiting for you to give them a voice?  Maybe it’s your own story, your own voice, maybe it’s someone else’s, but there are stories out there waiting for you to find them.

Poll: Decisions, decisions

Please help me make up my mind!

I’ve got several new plot ideas for this or a new novel, but I can’t decide where to put them.  Should they go into the current work-in-progress (which is almost done as it is now) or in the sequel?

As a writer, what do you suggest?  As a reader, which would you prefer?

Many thanks for your help — Feel free to add comments!