Friday, October 12, 2012

Poetry Writing Prompt for OctPoWriMo Day 13: Laughter, Laughter and More Laughter

It has been an interesting writing and living day here in Bakersfield.

How has it been in the place you call your home, even if you are traveling and this is just “home for a day?”

I did some writing that turned into quite a huge barrel of a-ha flakes poured over my head.

Naturally I think I did some tune-up by writing my pantoum the day before so images from my early childhood were ripe for the plucking, but a high school football game memory is the one that reached out and grabbed my heart in the most soulful way possible.

Here is what I wrote:

“In Fall 1979 I was a senior at Dana Hills High School in Dana Point, California. I have no idea who we were playing because I didn’t care about our lousy football team which rarely won a game. I went to the games to socialize. On this night, I was flirting with a boy with curly blonde hair. I think he was a friend of a friend. I was due to graduate early, I was working at a job I loved, I was finally feeling comfortable in my skin.

For some reason the blonde haired boy whose name is lost in memory found something ridiculously funny and we sat on the bleachers and laughed and laughed and laughed and it was, all of a sudden, like we were in an invisible bubble and no one else was there.

You might think this moment would end with the cliché high school kiss or something, but it didn’t.
Instead it just ended with laughter and the bubble going away but me, feeling almost overwhelmingly content in that moment. There were no expectations, no explanations, no possible heartbreak, no reason to be afraid, no awareness of what was to become of my life. I was no one’s sister, no one’s mother, no one’s best friend, no one’s babysitter, no one’s student… for that bubble moment I was just me and that blonde boy laughing.

When I came back to the world that joy of nothingness and everythingness continued. Last night, it showed itself to me again. Even now I am smiling about it.”

I call the “I remember” prompt the Grandmama of all prompts. 

We are going to dig into memory right now, especially seeking out the positive memories.
Until today, I didn’t realize that memory moment with that blonde mystery boy was so rich. It stuck in my mind for a reason, though – to remind me I did know soulfulness when I was young. It was always there, waiting for me to tune in, even when that tuning in simply meant laughing at who knows what.

Why don’t we try that, together.

Prompt: Let’s start with a brainstormed list of 5 to 10 times you remember laughing. It could be from last week or two years ago or, like mine, more than thirty years ago.

Take your time with the brainstorming, by the way. It will help if you put your hand on your heart, close your eyes and think or say aloud, “Laughing… I remember….” And allow your brain to sift through itself to bring up moments of laughter. 

After you have at least five (you may go longer if you want to!) pluck one from the list and write…

Word Prompt: Laughter…..

Sentence Starter Prompt: I remember laughing……(or) Laughter… I remember….keep repeating the I remember as you write and then go back and mold the freewriting into a new poem. 

Photo Prompt: Look above at the laughter photos…..(and think I remember laughing….)

Video Prompt: Watch the Video Prompt below.... 

It is the weekend at OctPoWriMo and as usual, my weekend is scheduled chock full o’activities. Even as I write I am on a break from driving Emma’s choir friends to a gig and home from a gig. I love it. Where else can you find a group of teens who sing-along with “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” and even know the harmonies?

(Does that image bring anything up for you?)

Have a delightfully creative weekend. If your word flow slows, remember it is always right there, waiting for you to reach in with your pencil, pen or fingers to the keyboard.




  1. I read this...and not five minutes later, was belly-laughing with Annalise. I don't want to give away the why, because it's likely to be in the poem, but it was FUNNY!!!!

  2. What a great story! Laughter is infectious!!

  3. Love this prompt, and as I couldn't preschedule todays post, and have two minutes to write something, I'll do this one. Loved those pics Julie. x

  4. Love to laugh and hear others do the same. Thanks for the visuals, WB, as well as the audio and written elements of this post. Hope today brings many reasons to laugh.