PROMPT: Time for a list: Things I Learned the Hard Way. Don’t plan. Don’t think. Just stay curious and keep your pen moving. Go for quantity, not quality. 6 minutes or more.

Peek into the hidden corners of your characters by having them do this prompt.

As always, you’re encouraged to post your unedited response(s) to the prompt in the comments section of this post. By doing so, you stand up for this important, but oft-neglected, wild and wooly part of the creative process.

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3 responses to “Talk

  1. Things I Learned The Hard Way

    1. How to count
    2. To tie my shoes
    3. How to lie. To myself, mostly.
    4. The value of water.
    5. What whales sound like.
    6. The sound of tennis.
    7. Shaving.
    8. Algorithms.
    9. Don’t touch your ass to an electric fence.
    10. Belts are for holding pants up, not for hitting children with.
    11. How to make oatmeal.
    12. Rat traps are scary, dangerous, and rarely catch rats.
    13. I hate dogs.
    14. I am not adept at dealing with more than one child at a time.
    15. I enjoy silence.
    16. I miss John Lennon. I never met him.
    17. How to secretly eat ice cream so that the contours of the top layer are perfectly replicated, just an inch or so lower.

  2. Everything. everything. every thing. Monica watched all of the time because she thought that everyone knew something she did not know. It was hard knowing who to be. The way to talk to the man in the candy store. The way to ask for another glass of water at the restaurant—long before “ice” or “no Ice” became an issue. How did some people just have a second nature about what was the “right way.” The year her grandmother died and she couldn’t afford to go to the funeral, she knew that she was getting something the hard way. When her husband cheated, and even lied when it took everything in her to force a confrontation, she got it the hard way. Nurture versus nature? Roe v. Wade? Education? The difference between the sexes? Field hockey? Baking, broiling? Cumberbunds and Cumberland? There and their? How many things in the world could be so confounding–and so hard? Sexual positions, toothpastes, pc or mac–ok, that one was easy, but Monica still found that most everything was learned the hard way, because if you were soft, you melted into the cracks, you might even evaporate.

  3. Darlene Patrick

    Other people’s opinions don’t count. unless of course, they are your boss, your lover, your friend your publisher, or anyone who you want/need to think highly of you. These people’s opinions count — A LOT. They count for everything you hold dear in life. It is those opinions that can make or break your happiness for the day/the week/the decade.
    Unfortunately they are the very people who you can not really change their “ill informed, or unjustified “opinions easily. So what to do?

    Talking, true understanding of what is going on for them is a start. BUT it will not produce guaranteed results. Sometimes their views are unchangeable. It sucks, pure and simple and you will have to pay the ultimate price because of their views. What to do?

    Humm… I suspect you must always be true to yourself, your values, and your “truth” and let go what ever the dispute was about and move on. There are no real winners in a knock down drag out fight. Lean from your “mistakes” and try not step in that cow-patty again. Value those you love, forgive them absolutely and unconditionally. You might as well, because then you can get on with your life with equanimity.

    The grumpy driver, store clerk, and random pedestrian gratuitous comments count for absolutely nothing. I love it when someone honks their horn because they think driving the posted speed limit is against the law. For them I have a special kind of joy, I feel happy while they are angry, sometimes for hours. A grumpy store clerk is always disarmed by a genuine smile, and wishing them (authentically) to have a good day.

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