We’ve reached the final short week of February, and the prompt is similarly final and short. Thank you to everyone who participated, and I hope you will consider contributing to the zine to come out of this workshop. You’ll get an email in the coming weeks with more information.
Prompt: Set an intention for your mind, body, and heart, your memory, your thought, and your imagination for the full and magnificent year to come.
Life is a difficult assignment. We are fragile creatures, expected to function at high rates of speed, and asked to accomplish great and small things each day. These daily activities take enormous amounts of energy. Most things are out of our control. We are surrounded by danger, frustration, grief, and insanity as well as love, hope, ecstasy, and wonder. Being fully human is an exercise in humility, suffering, grace, and great humor. Things and people all around us die, get broken, or are lost. There is no safety or guarantees.
The way to accomplish the assignment of truly living is to engage fully, richly, and deeply in the living of your dreams. We are made to dream and to live those dreams.”
Week Three Prompt
This week’s prompt takes some time as we reach the middle of this month to celebrate Black History Month with two poem by Lucille Clifton, quotations from influential black artists and thinkers, and prompts to reflect and write on.
“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear.”
“Whatever we believe about ourselves and our ability comes true for us.”
-Susan L. Taylor
“Just don’t give up what you’re trying to do. Where there is Love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.”
“When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
telling our stories
the fox came every evening to my door
asking for nothing. my fear
trapped me inside, hoping to dismiss her
but she sat till morning, waiting.
at dawn we would, each of us,
rise from our haunches, look through the glass
then walk away.
did she gather her village around her
and sing of the hairless moon face,
the trembling snout, the ignorant eyes?
child, i tell you now it was not
the animal blood i was hiding from,
it was the poet in her, the poet and
the terrible stories she could tell.
Won’t you celebrate with me
won’t you celebrate with me
what i have shaped into
a kind of life? i had no model.
born in babylon
both nonwhite and woman
what did i see to be except myself?
i made it up
here on this bridge between
starshine and clay,
my one hand holding tight
my one hand; come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.
What are your strengths, what are their sources?
What are your weaknesses?
Where do you find power?
Where do you encounter fear? What holds you powerless or helps you overcome?
I don’t know…
I can’t explain…
Week Two Prompt
This week’s prompts are meant to encourage folks to write for additions to the Healing Recipes Project. Share any recipes you have and use to keep your body, mind, and soul nourished and resplendent.
Share any recipes you have and use to keep your body, mind, and soul nourished and resplendent.
What do you do in your life just for yourself, to heal, to grow, to learn? What do you do for your family and community? What do you create, manifest, or imagine? What recipes do you use in all aspects of your life? What mixtures of friends, brews of ideas, and practices combine to create your life?
“By healing, you resist oppression.”
“I learned to combat the rancor in my heart by embracing my losses, accepting the tragedies of my life – my lost homeland, my dead friends and relatives, my traumatized family, my broken heart – as a kind of inheritance. Over time, I learned to give it aesthetic expression, and this gives me solace, a center, and ultimately a sense of direction.”
- Andrew Lam
“I have been in Sorrow’s kitchen and licked out all the pots. Then I have stood on the peaky mountain wrapped in rainbows, with a harp and a sword in my hands.”
- Zora Neale Hurston
“The day comes when remaining the same becomes more painful than the risk to grow. And when that happens there are many goodbyes. We leave old patterns, old friends and lovers, old ideas, and some cherished beliefs. Loss and growth are so often one and the same.”
- Phoebe Eng
Week One Prompt
“Until I am free to write bilingually and to switch codes without having always to translate, while I still have to speak English or Spanish when I would rather speak Spanglish, and as long as I have to accommodate the English speakers rather than having them accommodate me, my tongue will be illegitimate. I will no longer be made to feel ashamed of existing. I will have my voice: Indian, Spanish, white. I will have my serpent’s tongue – my woman’s voice, my sexual voice, my poet’s voice. I will overcome the tradition of silence.”
― Gloria E. Anzaldúa
What is your voice? What are your voices? Where do you hear your voice? When do you raise your voice? What are its frequencies, its resonance? How do you find your voice?
What narratives do you draw on from your history, your culture, your life, to tell your stories? What codes do you speak in and around?
What silences do you observe, which do you break? How do you overcome silence?
If you want anything changed in your name/link, or to get added, leave a comment below. It’s never too late to participate and write!
Welcome! The February Writers’ Workshop is meant to create space for us to write every day for a month. What we do with that space is up to each writer. Post weekly, post daily, or post somewhere in between. You could write as little or as much as you want in any format – poetry, journal entry, short story, article. We also have weekly prompts available to get you started, but responding to them is not required. Writing in this workshop is an act of community- we encourage you to join us in visiting your fellow writers’ blogs, commenting, supporting, and nurturing our collective creativity. So if you want to get back into your writing groove and join up with a community of bad ass writers from across the globe, it’s simple!
- If you don’t have a blog, you can start one at wordpress.com.
- Post a link to your blog in the comments and we’ll be sure to keep you in the loop.
- Come back here for weekly prompts starting February 1st, and write away!
We also love art postings of any medium from painting to video. This work can be uploaded into your posts.