Writing Prompt

I have been attempting to take part in Madison Woods organized Friday Fictioneers which has been very enjoyable and a fantastic exercise – particularly to see the many figments of minds operating on a singular prompt – how various persons / how various world!  I came across this sentence standing on its own in the midst of a story by Lynne Tillman recently and it just will not leave my head.  I thought “a picture is worth a thousand words!?” – how about “these words are worth a billion pictures!?”  I’m sharing them here hoping they might also inspire in many of you reams of stories…And I’d love to receive links to the works that you create with/in/from them – any length, any time.  Here’s the sentence:

“In an embrace, something may be confirmed, avoided, or resolved.”

-Lynne Tillman from her story “Phantoms” in This is Not It

Writing: the Characters

Writing: the Characters (1)


Not beginning from anywhere but here.

Here being where I am looking for a character, a someone, and specific, with a mind, a body, and particular knowledge and actions, whom I might observe and record.  On whom I might test out my language.  Whom I create.

Exercise in perception, then.  To see what I could see, perhaps, if I looked a certain way, at or into a certain person.  What I might hear, and how to say it.  What would be felt and its work of translation.  The smells and the tastes and the histories, for both of us.  Or perhaps even all.  No, that’s too far.

Right here, though, investigating perception, that preform vehicle, formed by our surroundings – imagination – the multiplex of learning structures allowing me to sense, to perceive.  That also, is here.

Imagination and perception – their invention we call world, and a character, a subject/object like my hand I might observe, hold aside of me while attached by nerves and cells, tissues and blood, by life, its embodiment.

Non-abstract abstracted – that conundrum – here.  The truthfulness of experiencing becoming honest lies.  The words, the print of hand, what tells (or who), and how.

Perhaps another thinks this way?  Well, not exactly, but shares concerns with idiomatic nuances?  Perhaps his education (or hers) was difficult, or pleasurably a breeze, they mastered information like a large and thirsty sponge?  Absorbed and were absorbed in such interstitial structures.  Or not.  Not at all.

An uneducated person with adaptive gifts for resonance.  A mimicking trickster riddling what is heard into naïve and complex wisdoms?  That would be fun.

Perhaps another world – country, continent, planet?  Someone observed for years suddenly inserted in a strange context, situation.  How do they behave, react, manage and survive?  I could use myself in a planet of clouds, or the tunnels of worms, what would characterize me?  How would I change?  What might I effect?  If I were made of clay or had a thousand lovers in a desert?

The only edge to possibility is what experience brings.


But pretending to begin right now, I see him clear.  There is a woman he is watching he finds beautiful.  When she works he sees the curve of her small breast which he desires.  He is ruddy yet refined, of middling age.  He’d like to court her but fears all pain that can’t be bandaged.  He’s afraid of words and their millions of ropes and anchors.  Reality feels like conflict, for him, a continual coming-against, and adjustment.  Adaptation he experiences as loss.  Of unrealized ideals.  And so he walks, spinning narratives in his head.


Here, that possible visitor handmade.  But who?  And how would I know him?  And where was he from?  How was he formed?  Who does he belive?  And so forth…

One way to be here.

One way to press your hand against the wall.