by Melissa Stoller
November in New York brings Thanksgiving – a holiday of gratitude. Here are some prompts to bring an intentional mindset of thankfulness into your writing life:
1) Think about a time when you experienced gratitude . . . note specific details about that situation. How did you feel? Were any of your five senses involved? For example, maybe you tasted a delicious pumpkin pie, watched a sunset, heard a concert, touched a feather, or smelled garlic roasting. Try to insert those emotions or senses into a current work in progress.
2) Do you recall any memories from celebrating Thanksgiving as a child? Perhaps the memories are joyful or maybe they are not. Do you remember specific food, decorations, rituals like an after dinner stroll or football game, or family members celebrating with you? Try to incorporate some of those memories into a story idea.
3) Go through photos and remember any situations where you felt grateful for a person or an occasion. Perhaps the photos will be from your childhood or maybe they relate to a more recent moment. Do any pictures spark a story idea? Maybe a photo of a family pet will inspire a first line or story arc, or photos with friends will jumpstart a new manuscript draft.
4) Try keeping a gratitude journal. Start small by jotting down one thing you are grateful for each day relating to your life in general and your writing world specifically. Perhaps inspiration will strike as your review your notes over time and add to your list.
I hope these prompts help bring gratitude into your writing practice and perhaps into a new story idea or plot point. Let me know in the comments! And Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate.
Melissa Stoller is the author of the chapter book series The Enchanted Snow Globe Collection - Return to Coney Island, and the picture books Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush; Ready, Set, GOrilla!; and Sadie’s Shabbat Stories. Planting Friendship: Peace, Salaam, Shalom (co-written with Callie Metler and Shirin Rahman, illustrated by Kate Talbot), released from Clear Fork Publishing on October 19, 2021. Melissa is a Blogger and Course Assistant for the Children’s Book Academy, a Regional Ambassador for The Chapter Book Challenge, a volunteer with SCBWI/MetroNY, and a founding member of The Book Meshuggenahs resource group. In other chapters of her life, Melissa has worked as a lawyer, legal writing instructor, freelance writer and editor, and early childhood educator. She lives in New York City with her family, and enjoys theatre, museums, and long beach walks.
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We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome new bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with editor/art director, & CBA Director Mira Reisberg PhD who is handing her Mondays over to awesome former now tradtionally pubbed students to widen their audience.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer, man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
4th Mondays feature funny Aussie author Sharon Giltrow sharing awesome Aussie books.
And 5th Mondays will feature Libyan American author Koloud Tarapolsi sharing wonderful diverse books.