December 2006
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. There’s more than one flower under the sun.
  2. Little tears of hot wax dripped from the tilted candelabra.
  3. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: created, together, dropping, room, there.
    2. Write about a misidentification.
    3. Use the phrase “Now what?”
  4. He was programmed for affability.
  5. The blushing memory of first love.
  6. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  7. Her eyes shone like spots of phosphorous in the gloom.
  8. He threw stones at giants.
  9. Your favorite toy when you were eight.
  10. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: usual, empty, opposite, love, eight
    2. Write about being late.
    3. Use the phrase, “that’s not a good sign.”
  11. Bathers standing in the surf, contemplating immersion.
  12. She had an allergy to things unpleasant.
  13. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  14. He’s so kind for such a powerful man.
  15. A pet you no longer have.
  16. The Pakistani girl in a purple sari.
  17. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: things, truth, tack, mirror, answer.
    2. Write about something that happened in another lifetime.
    3. Write about doing something over and over.
  18. The first movie you saw in a theater.
  19. All the interesting things you can do with rodents.
  20. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  21. She opposed government meddling in all matters of choice.
  22. The most boring, brain-numbing job on the planet.
  23. On the night of her senior prom.
  24. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: build, beach, feet, work, blinding
    2. Use the phrase “tie together.”
    3. Write about ignoring something, or being ignored.
  25. The moment was infinitely soothing and redemptive.
  26. Boredom afflicted him like a wasting disease.
  27. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  28. Light spilled into the cloudless sky.
  29. She was his future; his freedom.
  30. He was a harbor of balance and tranquility.
  31. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: dancing, shadows, floorboards, glory, alone
    2. Write about crossing a threshold.
    3. Use the sentence, “It’s hard to predict when things will happen”

November 2006
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  2. That was tradition.
  3. It was a soft autumn evening.
  4. He was proud of his simplicity and honesty.
  5. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: followed, wherever, exposed, clench, retreat.
    2. Write about facing something you’re not (or a character is not) prepared for.
    3. Write about using an assumed name.
  6. There are only three things that matter in life.
  7. Why does your vote matter?
  8. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  9. The night, lit by lightning and ripped by thunder …
  10. The hush of the valley calmed me.
  11. She showed her scar like a badge.
  12. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: plain, volume, until, nervous, wanting.
    2. Write about being annoyed with something stupid.
    3. Write about falling short of a goal.
  13. He seemed organized.
  14. I remember our first night together.
  15. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  16. Soon, something will happen here.
  17. No one can replace me.
  18. I’ll never trust a ceiling fan again.
  19. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: comfortable, looking, contours, thinks, wife.
    2. Use the phrase “Who’s there?”
    3. Write about regret or remorse.
  20. Passion ran white hot.
  21. I prefer English muffins.
  22. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  23. The rain battered the leaves.
  24. I was always lucky, in my bad luck.
  25. There I was, on the threshold of another adventure.
  26. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: something, glittering, wound, glances, stop.
    2. Write about a collaboration or cooperative project.
    3. Use the phrase, “when in doubt.”
  27. That was the first time the unbelievable came true.
  28. It is safer to be on the good side of dangerous people.
  29. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  30. A glittering array of china and crystal.

October 2006
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: worried, normally, charging, right, better.
    2. Fill in the blanks: “… used to be ______, but now _____”.
    3. Repeat the same sentence verbatim at least three times.
  2. A fat cat walked beneath a crepe myrtle tree.
  3. Poverty is worldwide.
  4. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  5. A man in black was playing a piano beneath a tree.
  6. What is an idea?
  7. He was a man who loved the world.
  8. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: suggestion, middle, little, there, staring.
    2. List at least three things one of your characters doesn’t want.
    3. Write about something (or someone) that is “the best.”
  9. The sun was out in full violence.
  10. It was her birth of understanding.
  11. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  12. A young man was doing T’ai Chi beside the fountain.
  13. Pain coming and going like waves on the sea.
  14. The cat climbed up on a counter and sat beside a plate of fruit.
  15. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: routines, doesn’t, understand, floor, somebody.
    2. Mention by name at least two kinds of animals.
    3. Write on the theme of “everything comes to an end” (using the phrase is allowed, but not necessary).
  16. The woes of many people haunted him.
  17. The host was a narcissist.
  18. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  19. His steely anger was evident.
  20. They need to wash the windows here.
  21. I’ll do anything for excitement.
  22. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: invested, menial, responsible, jittery, probably.
    2. Write about something done in secret.
    3. Write about unfulfilled desire.
  23. Converation buzzed around her in a pleasant fog.
  24. Two half eaten crackers among the cluttered end table.
  25. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  26. A broken bone.
  27. The lone set of swerving wheel ruts pressed into the snow.
  28. A pearl colored cowboy hat with a blue feather in the band.
  29. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: place, bleeding, around, lying, stayed.
    2. Write about a moment of silence.
    3. Write about needing something.
  30. She’d once been pretty.
  31. She smelled the frosty wet in the looming clouds.

September 2006
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Snow fell in small, harsh flakes.
  2. Her eyes lit with ancient dread.
  3. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: cheat, buttonhole, flame, volatile, comfort.
    2. Write about fear.
    3. Write about having too much of something.
  4. They gathered in shocked sympathy.
  5. The wind folding the grass in waves.
  6. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  7. Those things happen in the middle of the night.
  8. She twirled her pearl earring between thumb and finger.
  9. “Why the hell shouldn’t I run away with the circus?”
  10. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: novelty, aerie, across, vividness, era.
    2. Use the phrase, “that’s the way I like it.”
    3. Write about a ritual.
  11. She did not care for hats.
  12. Headlights speared into the gloom.
  13. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  14. Dazed and screaming in the bright morning sunlight.
  15. He walked with a sense of purpose.
  16. How could she hope?
  17. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: much, world, continued, would, trying.
    2. Use the phrase “I’ve become my mother”.
    3. Write about it being the season for something.
  18. Thick copper-colored hair waved across her shoulders.
  19. The darkness felt malignant.
  20. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  21. A half candle, melted onto a chipped saucer.
  22. Have fun, enter the Three Cheers and a Tiger Contest.
  23. Have faith, you can finish that short story in time!
  24. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: round, summers, little, impatiently, door.
    2. Write about getting from one place to another.
    3. Use the phrase “that was never intended” (or some variation thereof).
  25. The breeze rustled the sea oats on the dunes.
  26. She slid a red fingernail across the delicate white skin of her throat.
  27. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  28. Bags of trash piled like hedges along the curbs.
  29. “Marriage is impossible.”
  30. This is what I do when I see beauty.

August 2006
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. A parking lot spiked with weeds.
  2. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  3. A gust of wind tumbling a piece of newspaper.
  4. A man singing as he slams the door.
  5. The stuttering cough of an old car.
  6. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: methods, meeting, comes, father, humongous.
    2. Use the phrase, “What happened in February.”
    3. Use the phrase, “never in a million years …”
  7. The shared memory of a snowy afternoon.
  8. At first it was a matter of necessity.
  9. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  10. He needed three days.
  11. An old man and a child cane-fishing in the shade.
  12. A strand of black hair curled on her cheek.
  13. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: secret, nothing, power, think, force.
    2. Write about falling short of a goal.
    3. Use the phrase “slightly too late.”
  14. His biceps bulged against the fabric with the tautness of musk melons.
  15. The sun came through the window like a shaft of fire.
  16. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  17. The trees are quiet now.
  18. I had a dream last night.
  19. His faith abandoned him.
  20. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: something, pronounced, agency, product, little.
    2. Write about an awakening.
    3. Write about reaching a milestone.
  21. We chose to come.
  22. We did not speak the rest of the day.
  23. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  24. Have you seen my umbrella?
  25. Her swollen sense of self-regard and need.
  26. I skated all afternoon.
  27. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: pulled, worry, brain, realize, machine.
    2. Write about an unpleasant surprise.
    3. Write about something that’s squeaky.
  28. Ash drizzled to the ground.
  29. Their love became impossible.
  30. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  31. The sound of airplanes surprised her.

July 2006
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. An island vacation.
  2. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: wall, lovely, closer, still, shrink.
    2. Write about adapting to something new.
    3. Complete the phrase, “there’s something to be said for …”
  3. A bearded man carrying a blue umbrella.
  4. End with: His eyes…
  5. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  6. The key broke in the lock.
  7. A grasshopper.
  8. A family argument.
  9. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: family, confront, travel, wading, thirty.
    2. Write about a missing piece of information.
    3. Use the names of at least four colors.
  10. A movie theater.
  11. Include “You can’t be her” in your story.
  12. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  13. Climbing a tree.
  14. Happy Bastille Day. Write about revolution.
  15. Why do men wear ties and how do they choose them?
  16. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: someone, outcasts, since, links, plates.
    2. Use the phrase “I really must insist.”
    3. Fill in the blanks: “if _____ said _______, then ______”
  17. A windmill.
  18. Research and describe the oldest building in your town.
  19. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  20. An empty basketball court begins your story.
  21. Include “I never date anyone who wears blue jeans.”
  22. An argument in a parking lot.
  23. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: shine, believe, three, heart, laughing.
    2. Write about something with a lock.
    3. Write about being under time pressure.
  24. 1926.
  25. A Beauty Pageant.
  26. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  27. A spider web.
  28. Begin with: I blame myself.
  29. An abandoned house.
  30. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: suddenly, reasons, sending, properly, killing.
    2. Write about a lie or piece of deception.
    3. Use the phrase “I remember when we met.”
  31. A power point presentation.

June 2006
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. A lonely giraffe.
  2. Create a childhood memory of an adult comic strip character.
  3. “The clocked stopped at 11:40.”
  4. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: scorch, commiserate, people, address, thought.
    2. Write about an oddly named place. For example, we passed a road to “Salient Point” last week.
    3. Write about an unexpected problem.
  5. Include ‘she fell’ and three candles in your story.
  6. A discussion between three people waiting for a bus.
  7. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  8. Write a review of the last television show you watched.
  9. Create a character sketch of a model in a magazine ad.
  10. A secret phone call went to the wrong person.
  11. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: behind, tight, parts, enigmatic, tended.
    2. Write about a character who’s hazy on the details.
    3. Use the phrase “five minutes later”.
  12. A biting insect, benign or evil?
  13. Create a scene involving a militant vegetarian.
  14. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  15. Write about a birthday party.
  16. Describe a well used fly swatter.
  17. Write a detailed description of the perfect bathroom.
  18. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: desire, given, anyone, react, action.
    2. Use the phrase “it’s too hot to do that.”
    3. Write about finding something that you weren’t looking for.
  19. A thunderstorm.
  20. Your story begins with someone solving a crossword puzzle.
  21. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  22. A clay figurine with no facial features.
  23. Two sparrows fighting over a McDonald’s french fry.
  24. Play day! Draw your favorite character.
  25. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: every, first, floor, common, haircut.
    2. Write about something that’s only half done.
    3. Use the phrase, “It’s OK to be angry” (or a paraphrase).
  26. Write a letter to someone you miss.
  27. Are dentists necessary? Write a humorous essay.
  28. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  29. Include “why are my keys” in your story.
  30. A cemetery at 2:00 p.m.

May 2006
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Describe a dance.
  2. Use one of these pictures to spark a story or scene.
  3. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  4. Start a story with “The plastic fork snapped…”
  5. Use the words advocate, scurrilous, and macaroni in one scene.
  6. Write about a broken branch.
  7. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: around, ardent, clock, agents, short.
    2. Describe something (or someone) using four or more adjectives or phrases.
    3. Describe emotions showing on someone’s face.
  8. End a story with “He shoved his pillow in the trashcan.”
  9. Write about a songbird.
  10. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  11. Write about the first thing you see when you step outside.
  12. Start with a sentence that uses the words dog, purple, and thoughtful.
  13. Start with an engraving on a tombstone.
  14. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: record, searching, anything, process, direction.
    2. Write about cooking.
    3. Write about a bit too much togetherness.
  15. Take a bus or train ride. Invent a history for a fellow passenger.
  16. Write about a bicycle with a flat tire.
  17. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  18. Write about a hallucination.
  19. A deck of cards scatters in a gust of wind.
  20. Start with someone spilling a drink.
  21. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: toward, stiff, label, face, dusk.
    2. Write about something that happens at the wrong time.
    3. Write a passage that includes at least three words that rhyme (or mostly rhyme).
  22. Use the words giant, lost, and caviar in a scene.
  23. Look at some clouds. Write about a shape you see in them.
  24. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  25. Two best friends are playing a board game. One cheats.
  26. Start with “The coffee seemed very bitter today.”
  27. Describe a boy climbing a tree.
  28. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: failing, exist, finally, changed, mouth.
    2. Write about meeting or hearing from someone you (or a character) haven’t seen in a while.
    3. Write about the associations connected with a certain place.
  29. End with “It was raining, but he didn’t open his umbrella.”
  30. Write about a torn blanket.
  31. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.

April 2006
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Set a scene in a hospital.
  2. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: human, words, design, trailed, interrupted.
    2. Write about something hidden that’s revealed.
    3. Write about giving up on something because you are (or the character is) tired.
  3. “Isn’t anyone home?”
  4. Your character is committed.
  5. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  6. Winter seems like it will never end.
  7. Use “April” and “lazily.”
  8. Set the scene at a dance.
  9. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: night, foolish, anything, step, during.
    2. Use the phrase “I used to think I was…”
    3. Take a word from the last sentence you wrote (not including “a” or “the”) and begin the next sentence with it.
  10. “It’s no big deal.”
  11. Your character’s family employs a housekeeper or maid.
  12. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  13. The train leaves the station.
  14. Use “exhibit” and “thumb.”
  15. Set the scene at a family gathering.
  16. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: blue, ready, inside, house, worlds.
    2. Write about seeing something in a new light (literal or figurative).
    3. Write about the right person, in the right place, at the right time.
  17. “That’s not a very big place.”
  18. Your character drops a tray of hors d’oeuvres.
  19. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  20. Someone’s arm is in a cast.
  21. Use “hesitated” and “smell.”
  22. Set the scene in a junior high school classroom.
  23. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: trust, sincerity, water, night, station.
    2. Write about something that’s broken or breaking.
    3. Write about something that is always with you (or a character).
  24. “It’s really hot in here.”
  25. Your character gets a haircut.
  26. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  27. Wet paint figures prominently.
  28. Use “window” and “darling.”
  29. Set the scene in a luxury car.
  30. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: honey, boiling, perfection, willing, secret.
    2. Write about anticipation.
    3. Compare two things that seem almost completely unlike each other, or contrast two things that seem very similar.

March 2006
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  2. Write about strange weather.
  3. Describe a strawberry without using any color words.
  4. Write a scene in which a window breaks, from the point of view of the window.
  5. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: accounts, room, people, barely, their.
    2. Write about a (real or imagined) newspaper headline or excerpt from a news story.
    3. Use the phrase “that’s just not enough.”
  6. Write a diary entry for one of your characters.
  7. Two characters are having a serious conversation when one gets the hiccups.
  8. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  9. A character hears a wild animal outside his or her tent.
  10. Start with “The phone rang at the worst time…”
  11. End a scene with a character making a peanut butter sandwich.
  12. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: life, house, spinning, slowed, tower.
    2. Use the phrase “read the book and you’ll understand.”
    3. Use the phrase (or sentence), “I am.”
  13. Set a story on a cold, windy beach.
  14. Write about a character who is obsessed with a superstition.
  15. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  16. Open a dictionary and pick a word at random. Start your story with that word.
  17. Enter the Three Cheers Contest.
  18. Polish up your Three Cheers entry and submit it.
  19. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: beside, dead, secret, north, across.
    2. Write about nostalgia for something that’s not seen/done/made anymore.
    3. Quote something out of context.
  20. What happens on the spring equinox?
  21. Use the words carob, monkey, and butterknife in your story.
  22. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  23. Write about a first kiss.
  24. A cup of coffee falls to the floor.
  25. “I told her not to take the dog out…”
  26. Do the Sunday Brunch prompts and post your exercises.
    1. Use the following words: pillar, instable, next, degree, properly.
    2. Write about making do when there’s a shortage of something.
    3. Fill in the blanks: “You need a ___________ to get _________.”
  27. End a story with “The toast was burnt.”
  28. Describe a perfume without describing its smell.
  29. Use an archived AB article to improve existing work or to try something new.
  30. A balloon floats by.
  31. Set a story at the zoo.