I have several day jobs, but the one that feeds most directly into my writing practice is my position at Literary Cleveland.
In February, the Lit held a week-long Flash Fiction Festival, and as programming associate, I got the honor of hosting a few of the Zoom sessions. It was a sweet hookup. I manned the chats and actually got paid to hear some awesome craft talks.
In one of the talks, I got introduced to a series of questions from The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers by Bhanu Kapil Rider. These are questions whose answers cannot help but inspire some really thoughtful writing. I haven’t used them in my own writing yet, but I thought I’d give someone else the opportunity and make them the Day Seven prompt for My NaPoWriMo.
Here they are…
(Count this haphazard footnote as credit given to the writer from which I borrowed them. Wonderful Wizard of Writing: Please charge the fact that I have forgotten exactly who you are to my heedless head and not my well-meaning heart.)
Who are you and whom do you love?
Where did you come from/how did you arrive?
How will you begin?
How will you live now?
What is the shape of your body?
Who is responsible for the suffering of your mother?
What do you remember about the earth?
What is the consequence of silence?
Tell me what you know about dismemberment.
Describe a morning you woke without fear.
How will you/how have you prepare(d) for your death?
And what would you say if you could?
Like I said, I can’t imagine the response to any of these questions/requests being anything but a poem.