Prompt writing: Letters.

This spring, I took a writing class offered through Write Around Portland.  It was called “Prompt” because each week we would meet and write for a limited amount of time–usually somewhere between 2-8 minutes–to a number of different prompts.  As the school year grinds to a start and I have less time to write, I will be featuring excerpts from my writing class in lieu of the weekly essay. 

The prompt here was more complex and came near the end of the series.  Everyone thought of a number between 8 and 80 and then wrote it down.  Then we passed that number to the person on our right.  The number passed to me was 15.  Then, we had to write a letter to ourselves at that age.  After we were done with that prompt, our next prompt was to write back.  

Dear Patty,

In six years, you will shed that nickname, reverting to the three syllable name of your birth.  It will be a relief, the metamorphosis, but you will always love those who knew you when your name was two syllables.  Those boys?  All of them?  They are all consuming, I know.  And they will be for awhile and let’s face it, your teachers aren’t going to be fabulous the next few years. A few standouts, sure, but academically, you are going to be a bit bored.  So get some homework done somewhere, but there’s nothing you can do about the boys.

You are going to stop writing creatively.  Not because you aren’t good, but something will happen and it will go away. But keep writing in those journals.  The writing will come back eventually and the feeling will be tremendous.

You will have your heart broken and it won’t be easy, knowing what to do when you feel like that.  You will make a lot of wrong choices.  I wish I could say differently, but I can’t.  It sounds grim, no?  But you get out.  You leave the town, your friends and your family–everything–behind and it’s all you ever wanted it to be.

Your twenties will suck too, but in a different way. I don’t even want to go into that now, it’s too soon.  But you are fine.  You will muddle through and you will look back on this time with a crimp in your heart and you will laugh at your joys and sorrows.  And you will never want to be fifteen ever again.


Dear 38,

Wow.  Could you make it sound any worse?  I mean, Jesus Christ, according to you, school is going to suck, boys are going to suck, writing will suck and it will just keep on sucking for a long time. You’re really making me want to fucking age, chica.  But the getting out sounds good.  And I’ve grown to hate being called Patty.  It’s too much sorority tea party and not enough bad-assed rebel.

Am I really fine?  Will any of those boys every like me back?  I mean really, you skimped on some pretty important details.  What about Craig?  He seems promising.  Does anything happen with him?  Oh!  Or Shawn?  Maybe things move in a good direction there?  Come on, I need more details!  Just about the boys!


2 thoughts on “Prompt writing: Letters.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *