Writing on the beach

Everybody’s got summer reading lists. Here’s some ways to astonish and delight yourself with your writer’s wealth in just ten minutes. Yes folks, it’s easy! It’s guaranteed. All you need is a writing implement and paper (or digital equivalent). Don’t bother with fancy moleskin or tooled leather – your words will be wonderful enough. Here’s how:

Pick a topic from the list below. Start writing and don’t stop for 10 minutes. Repeat your last phrase if you go blank. Don’t edit, critique, second-guess or bother with spelling or grammar. You’re just generating material here. Go with it. When time’s up, read what you have. Be amazed. Repeat if you like, or take a nap. Use sun screen.

10-minute summer writing topics

1. A walled garden, a child cries within
2. Enter the darkness; it will be better for you than any light, and safer than any known way.
3. The road turns, a castle appears, there on the hill.
4. You are given a box you must not open.
5. Two sisters or two brothers, but only one treasure
6. The wise child, the foolish child
7. Do not be afraid, a wild animal will guide you
8. You have been given great powers, on one condition.
9. What is the ugliest beast you can imagine? Now you must love him.
10. Three little objects, completely common. You take them on your journey. They save you.
11 An old man (woman/child) appears and says, “Follow me if you are lost.”
12. A furious storm. Suddenly it clears and you see yourself in a strange land.
13. Enemies rise up all around you. You have only what is in your hand.
14. “Take these,” s/he says. “They are all I have to give you and yet . . .”
15. You have made a promise to a powerful figure. You thought the promise was forgotten. It is not.
16. S/he seemed so strong (or weak). Look at him/her now.
17. You have become an animal (or a bird, insect, reptile). To return you must . . .
18. The beach stretches empty before you. And then it is not empty.
19. I dreamed the snow was burning, /I dreamed the fire froze over/And dreaming impossible things/ I dreamed you were my lover. Chilean folk song
20. I have always known/ That at last I would/Take this road, but yesterday/ I did not know that it would be today. Narihira

Pamela Schoenewaldt, historical novels of immigration and the search for self in new worlds: WHEN WE WERE STRANGERS, SWIMMING IN THE MOON, and UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY (all HarperCollins).

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Sunday, May 6, 2pm reading from latest work at Hexagon Brewing Company, Knoxville, TN.

Thursday, May 10, 6-8 pm presentation on research on the historical novel, Blount County Library, Maryville, TN.

When We Were Strangers, Italian translation, to be presented in Pescasseroli, Italy, August 2018.

Recent Review
“Absorbing and layered with rich historical details, in Under the Same Blue Sky, Schoenewaldt weaves a tender and at times, heartbreaking story about German-Americans during World War I. With remarkable compassion, the author skillfully portrays conflicted loyalties, the search for belonging, the cruelty of war, and the resilience of the human spirit.”—Ann Weisgarber, author of The Promise and The Personal History of Rachel Dupree

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