Monday, April 12, 2010

Writing Prompt: Where Others Aren’t (Here)

When I teach Travel Writing, I encourage my students to write about where they are. That place, so familiar to you, is a foreign, unknown place and experience to many people. You don't need a lot of travel money to write about place.

It doesn’t matter where you are: at your desk, at a major museum, in your local bakery, etc. Wherever you are can be described in an interesting fashion to someone who hasn’t been there, or even to someone who has been there.

For today’s writing prompt, sit quietly and notice the details around you. You might decide to do this at your desk or take your notebook outside (gas station, cafeteria, café, deli, classroom, doctor’s office, etc.) Anywhere will work.

Start with a description of the location and then add in your experience of it.

Will you share what you wrote?


Paradelle said...

Here's my take on this prompt.


Sipping green tea
eating rice from a green bowl,
here in the gallery
between stautues of two bodhisattva -
enlightened ones
who postponed Buddhahood
to help others find the way.

Wen Shu, Tang dynasty, 618-960
bodhisattva of wisdom
guardian of Buddha doctrine
holding a book and sword
I whisper his mantra
om a ra pa ca na dhih
to help me write these lines

Guanyin, Jin dynasty, 1115-1234
bodhisattva of compassion
Here, a robed woman,
holding a water jar containing pure water,
in the other hand a willow branch.
Protector of women and children.
I lift my rice bowl to you.
Here, where others are not,
I too am observing the cries of the world.

Ken Ronkowitz

Chloe Yelena Miller said...

What a beautiful poem! Thank you, Ken!