Category Archives: Free Prompts


The hula hoop of my childhood is all growed up. I thought I was hot stuff with my yellow hoop that made a swooshing sound as it circled my skinny ten-year-old body. Today, hooping, as it’s now called, is quite the fad. There’s even a World Hoop Day celebrated all over the world.

I read where the oldest known hoop, made from grape vines, showed up in Egypt about 1000 BC, and hooping as a pastime took Great Britain by storm in the fourteenth century, resulting in a dramatic increase in dislocated backs and heart attacks. Today, just keeping the hoop from falling to the ground is no longer an accomplishment. Hooping has been elevated to an art form accompanied by dance, tricks, fire, and LED lights.

But let’s go back to our young days of simple plastic hoops. Did you have a hula hoop? If not, did you ever play with someone else’s hoop? Could you keep the hoop going? Did you do any hula hoop tricks? Did the circular motion required hurt your side like it did mine? Maybe you used a hoop for other purposes, to roll along the ground with sticks, for instance.

Today, write about your childhood version of hooping, or maybe you’re an adult hooper. Then tell us about that. If you want to see someone who knows what she’s doing with a hoop, check out this episode of Ellen as a student at Virginia Western shows her style.

Happy writing,


Graduation Day!

In May and June of every year, students cross stages, receive diplomas, swing tassels across those strange, square hats, and become graduates. Small, wonder-filled children graduate from preschool. High school students graduate and begin their new life chapters as adults. Passionate university students of all ages graduate and head off to begin careers.

This week, I want you to write about a memorable moment when you, or someone you know, graduated. Maybe you hated how scratchy and hot your purple polyester gown felt on graduation day. Perhaps you had a memorable commencement speaker at your high school graduation or you were honored to be the valedictorian of your class in college.

Like many others, you may not have been able to graduate and always wished you had. Maybe you weren’t able to graduate from college, but felt deep honor and pride watching your child graduate. Maybe graduating from an extracurricular activity – from junior varsity to varsity sports or from one color belt in karate to the next – was a particular honor for you.

Graduation really is a life transition, the end of one thing and the beginning of another. Feel free to reflect on a time in your life that felt like a graduation for you or discuss how your perspective as a post-graduate differed from those idealistic student years. As Carol Burnett once said, “We don’t stop going to school when we graduate.”

photo credit: schwglr via photopin cc


I have goats on my mind this week. It’s a long story; don’t ask. But it seems as though everyone I’ve talked to recently has a goat story of some kind or another. Petting zoos in my childhood always housed a multitude of goats, looking for handouts. As an adult, I remember going to a children’s area at a zoo where a goat pulled a map out of my friend’s back pocket and ate it.

So for this week, write about a goat encounter. What experience do you have with goats? Do you have a strong feeling about them one way or another? Do you have any funny stories that involve goats? Scary stories? Set the timer for ten minutes and give us your take on goats. Go.


Best Friends

Before we had BFFs, best buds, besties, and home boys, we called them best friends. Who was your best friend when you were young?  Let us see this person. What was he/she like?  What did you like about that person?  What did the two of you do together on an ordinary day?  Do you remember a special day or time you shared with this person? Tell us about that moment. Set the timer for ten minutes and write about your best friend, the one who was by your side in triumph and trouble.


Lost in the Fifties

Most of us have some connection to the 1950s. Either we experienced that amazing decade first hand, or our parents lived it, or we embraced the music and the look of those days long after they were gone. Take a trip back to the 1950s in this video. Relive the news, the products, the people, the entertainment, the issues, and more of what went into a decade unlike any other. Once you’ve watched the video, write about any memories associated with one or more of the film’s many images. Tell us what you selected and then write all about it.