Friday Story Prompt: Cuba

I have a pseudo-bucket list. This list is simply a wish list that I add to whenever I see something that I want to do. I don’t have a list on paper, only in my head. One day, perhaps, I should write these ideas down so I know what to work for.

On my to-do list are things such as visit all seven continents (I’ve visited three with a fourth in the planning stages), hike the Grand Canyon, and see the Pacific Ocean.

I also have a list of things I won’t ever do, such as skydiving, climbing Mt. Everest, and bungee jumping. Apparently I have a thing about heights.

I’ve also discovered there are websites that allow you to create and organize these lists. Bucketlist is one such site. You can create your list and mark when you’ve accomplished another one. Creating a bucket list is an interesting way create an interesting life.

A recent addition to my list is Cuba.

Cuba isn’t yet a vacation destination, however, the country can be visited under specific circumstances. For the most part, education and relief people are those who are able to enter the country. I hope that when I am ready, it will be open for tourists, or I may have to find another way.

This week’s story photo prompt is one of the street life in Cuba. The picture is beautiful but probably doesn’t do justice to the real thing.

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For the prompt, write your own pseudo-bucket list, or even an actual bucket list. Writing lists is one way to expand creativity. Perhaps a story will come out of your musings.

Life is Better in Bare Feet

2014-09-19 00.36.21Life certainly has its ups and downs. Lately, it seems, things have been more down than up.

Some things are good, like the fact that spring seems to have arrived. Even in Northern Michigan, things are growing, and the sun is shining.

Other things are not; like the amount of stress I’ve been feeling lately.

As I’ve been following Gabriela and her DIY MFA, one of the things that she has talked about is Honoring My Reality. This statement in her manifesto, which can be read here.

Through the ups and downs, I’ve tried to understand and implement this in my life.

I’ve tried to honor my reality by saying no when things got a little overwhelming. As difficult as it is to say no, I think it is more difficult to say no to things that are high on the priority list.

unnamedI’ve had to say no to regular blog posts. Not blogging means that life has gotten too difficult, and changes need to be made.

I’ve had to say no to my normal daily writing. I’ve discovered that honoring my reality means that on those days when I can’t do just one more thing, it is okay not to sit down and pound out 500 words. I try hard on those days not to beat myself up.

I’ve learned that failure is an option and that failure isn’t always a bad thing. I truly believe that something good can come out of something bad. It often takes some time to see what that something good is but is there if you look for it.

I’ve learned that not finishing a challenge is okay, especially if in honoring my reality, it is best for me.

I’ve had to redefine failure in my life. I’ve often read that the real failure is giving up, and since I haven’t done that, I haven’t failed.

I’ve also learned that I prefer to live barefoot.  Does anyone else feel this way?

Since it is spring and shoes are optional, I’ve taken advantage and kept the tootsies uncovered.feet-657207_1280

I feel more grounded with the earth beneath my feet. More real.

I’ve decided that to Honor my Reality, acknowledging that simple moments in bare feet are the best.

Prairie House Story Prompt

“Write a short story every week. It is not possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row.” Ray Bradbury

Is Ray Bradbury right? I have to believe he is or at least he is on the right track. Writing exercises are good ways to build up your body of work.

If you were to follow this advice, you will have 52 short stories that you didn’t have the previous year.

For much of my life, I have been fascinated by abandoned and derelict houses and buildings. Once one of these buildings catches my eye, the questions begin rolling through my brain. Sometimes the story simply comes.

Here is a photo that caught my eye:

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If you choose, use this photograph to write a short story and think about the following questions:

Who lived here?

How did they live?

What made them leave?

What thoughts do you have about this photo and how can you use them in a story?

If you aren’t a writer, would you want to visit this area?

Please feel free to share your thoughts or ideas. We’ll see if Ray Bradbury was right.