Writing Tip and Prompt – 11/9/2012

On Fridays we like to share writing tips and tricks with our readers. We hope this section will encourage and inspire you to continually improve as a writer.

Tip – Using the Semicolon

Don’t be afraid to utilize the dreaded semicolon in your writing. Sometimes, you’ll need to link complex sentences together, perhaps with an “however” or maybe without the use of a traditional conjunction such as “and,” “but” or “yet”; however, you shouldn’t be afraid of the semicolon and its many dynamic uses. Fear spells defeat.

 Prompt – Using Past Relationships

Somebody from your past calls you or sends you an e-mail and then reveals a secret crush they had on you years ago. Think about your history with this person and how you would respond. Then, write a story or poem that captures your emotions and your reaction to this overdue confession.


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  1. One day, from the other side of the counter where you would often wait, you asked me to guess how old you were. I’m thinking you probably wanted to know how old I was, but we’ll talk about that later. Still, I couldn’t even imagine how old you were. The thought had never crossed my mind, but with apprehension I guessed, 45. You looked like I had just kicked you, so I tried another number. It was January 1997 and you finally told me how old you were, showing me your drivers license to prove it. I was four years older than you and we’ll just leave it at that.

    I loved having you there with me everyday. To know that you were just at the edge of the counter waiting to talk to me, waiting to answer any question I might have and waiting to let me inside your existence. And then there were the times when I would catch you staring at me in silence. In silence. Didn’t you know what we were facing? Couldn’t you feel it in the air? Couldn’t you taste it? We’d been talking for months, and then one day you came in and bashfully admitted, “I can’t even talk to you anymore!”

    I couldn’t help but laugh. I knew exactly what you were saying. I could feel your presence everyday, the way your heart would follow me, and the way you would dwell on me long into the night. And I could see the way you would look at me with those Crystal blue eyes.

    For weeks my own heart had begun to laugh and smile more often than it had anything to say. Giddy, would be the word I’m looking for. And then there you were, facing me with the same sort of disease. We were both falling over the edge of a certain reality, and it was funny.

    And so it began. It wasn’t long until I completely forgot about the rest of my life. It seemed that where the two of us met, everything else failed to exist. It was amazing. I can still see the room where we would meet everyday. I can still see the light from the window, and facing you from where we stood, and I can still see you standing quietly beside the counter watching me, staring at me in silence. How could anyone forget?

    For awhile you would come in and I would say something like, “And…,” as if we were having this long conversation. I guess it was evident that I hadn’t stopped thinking about you since I saw you last. You were like a spell, weaving in and out of my soul, breathing against my heart and taking up space between every reflection and every smile in my heart. At any point, you could have touched my hand and in that moment there would have been no resistance. A Poem: In Silence

    It surrounds me
    And knows my name;
    It’s running at my feet and I can’t sleep,
    I can’t sleep.

    Those eyes, that voice,
    That extraordinary smile;
    The way you look at me
    …in silence.

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