Category Archives: Prompts

Prompts: “Covering Gustav, The Storm Of The Century”

Me photographing a sheriff's deputy fixing a roof leak during the height of Hurricane Gustav.

Me photographing a sheriff’s deputy fixing a roof leak during the height of Hurricane Gustav.

Prompts is a joint creative exercise between my friend Matt W. and I. We will choose a different subject at the beginning of each week and post no more than 500 words on said topic on Fridays. This week’s topic: Describe a time you overcame fear.

We slithered south toward the Gulf of Mexico on a deserted two-lane highway – the sheriff’s spokesman, the Washington Post reporter, and I in the spokesman’s cruiser – dodging fallen tree branches crisscrossing the road. Power lines sagged into ditches. Water rested atop yards like sheets of paper. Darkness choked the land. Our headlights might as well have been the last lights in the world. In the backseat the reporter from our nation’s capital peppered the spokesman with questions about our area as he drove. I already knew most of the answers before the spokesman supplied responses, at turns playful and dismissive. We were deep in the heart of bayou country, among the first to lay eyes on the aftermath of the so-called “storm of the century.”

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Prompts: Searching For New York City’s Best Pizza Slice

Koronet, one of the biggest, if not best, slices in NYC.

Koronet, one of the biggest, if not best, slices in NYC.

Prompts is a joint creative exercise between my friend Matt W. and I. We will choose a different subject at the beginning of each week and post no more than 500 words on said topic on Fridays (whoops, today is not Friday). Today I am writing about a project I will embark on for the next three months.

A few weeks ago I re-watched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II for the first time in at least 15 years. Doing so reminded me how fortunate I am that the rats congregating in my building’s garbage cans cannot talk or perform karate moves, reintroduced me to Vanilla Ice’s high water mark, and made me ask the question, Why no Rocksteady and Bebop. The movie also proved an outstanding vehicle for the wonders of New York City pizza, as consistently excellent and cost-effective a food item as one could hope to find in this overpriced metropolis.

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Prompts: “You Will Go Far, Restless Ginger”

Prompts is a joint creative exercise between my friend Matt W. and I. We will choose a different subject at the beginning of each week and post no more than 500 words on said topic on Fridays. This week’s prompt: write a letter to yourself from five years ago.

Ray From What Seems Like Forever Ago aka T-Ray Bay Bay,
One day you will escape Retirement City with its glut of pink slime-slinging fast food chains, shit-stained bayou and mutation-causing tap water, fort-like civic center that looks like the architect thought attack was imminent, and downtown intersection of “Altercation and Confrontation” which guarantees free entertainment and greasy pizza. You will work up the nerve to quit your job – a development many say will never happen – and pick a spot on the map far from your ancestral home of swamps and bayous and just go. You will dip your toes in the two oceans (brrrr!), make wonderful new friends, and revel in experiences that leave your head spinning a la David Byrne in the Talking Heads classic “Once In a Lifetime”. The restlessness you wrestle – that feeling your life is evaporating quicker than the wetlands with nothing to show for your troubles – might seem like a curse most days, hanging like an albatross around your neck, but it is your fuel, your ticket out.

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Prompts: Ode To My Garage Sale-Loving Mom

Prompts is a joint creative exercise between my friend Matt W. and I. We will choose a different subject at the beginning of each week and post no more than 500 words on said topic on Fridays (or Wednesdays … wink, wink). Here’s a prompt detailing something my parents were right about that I didn’t realize until later.

Me, in more delusional times.

Me, in more delusional times.

One of my enduring childhood memories revolves around my mom hopping in her Ford Escort on Saturday mornings to go garage sale’n. She would highlight the upcoming sales in the local newspaper the night before then drive up and down the bayou eyeing discarded treasures for quarters on the dollar. I did not value her hobby then. I barely tolerated it. I called her prized takeaways “junk” on more than one occasion. I equated frugality and thriftiness as poor people’s concerns, distant from my fantasy world of Saturday morning cartoons. My mom laughed at my immaturity and continued her Saturday morning routine.

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Prompts: “Learning To Cope With My Sports Addiction”

Prompts is a joint creative exercise between my friend Matt W. and I. We will choose a different subject at the beginning of each week and post no more than 500 words on said topic on Fridays (or Sundays … wink, wink). Matt wrote about why he was a sports fan. I am writing about something slightly different – learning to cope with my sports addiction.

LeBron & Co. celebrate a two-peat I tried to ignore.

LeBron & Co. celebrate a two-peat I tried to ignore.

“If I cared this much about other things in my life I’d be a fully functioning adult.” ~ a text I sent to Matt on June 20, 2013.

At the moment I tapped out this text I stood inside Bowery Ballroom. Neo-hippie rocker Mikal Cronin’s fuzzed-out melancholia filled the room, yet failed to hold my attention. My focus centered on NBA Finals Game 7 between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs. I refreshed my Scorecenter app on my iPhone every two minutes. I considered skipping Cronin’s concert, despite purchasing tickets a month in advance, to watch the game but figured I would be bummed if the Heat won … and I missed the concert. The Heat won that night, leaving me feeling furious despite the fact I consider their opponent, the Spurs, the human embodiment of a shoulder shrug. Cronin, poor guy, might as well have been elevator music.

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Prompts: “The City I Most Want To Visit In 2014″

Prompts is a joint creative exercise between my friend Matt W. and I. We will choose a different subject at the beginning of each week and post no more than 500 words on said topic on Fridays.

Montreal's Biosphere is among the Quebec city's Epcot Center-themed attractions.

Montreal’s Biosphere is among the Quebec city’s Epcot Center-themed attractions.

The City I Most Want To Visit In 2014 – Montreal

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Prompts: “My Favorite Job”

Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb.

Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb.

Prompts is a joint creative exercise between my friend Matt W. and I. We will choose a different subject at the beginning of each week and post no more than 500 words on said topic on Fridays. Per the usual, I’m a few days late or a few days early with this one, depending on how you look at it. Choosing my favorite job was difficult, very difficult. It’s kind of like my favorite song; it alternates on a frequent basis.

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Prompts: “My Biggest Obstacle in 2014″

Prompts is a joint creative exercise between my friend Matt W. and I. We will choose a different subject at the beginning of each week and post no more than 500 words on said topic on Fridays. I’m a few days late or a few days early, depending on how you look at it.

No one ever failed playing beer league softball. I am bottom right, celebrating Roadside Attraction's Chumpionship.

No one ever failed playing beer league softball. I am bottom right, celebrating Roadside Attraction’s Chumpionship.

My Biggest Obstacle In 2014: Fear of Failure

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Prompts: “Why The Saints Will Beat The Seahawks”

Prompts is a joint creative exercise between my friend Matt W. and I. We will choose a different subject at the beginning of each week and post no more than 500 words (or in this case 800) on said topic on Fridays. Matt is a Washington native and thus a Seahawks fan. I am a south Louisiana native and thus a Saints fan.

This image needs to happen for the Saints to win Saturday night.

This image needs to happen for the Saints to win Saturday night.

Prompts: Why The Saints Will Beat The Seahawks

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Prompts: “The Biggest Lesson I Learned In 2013″

Parking a trailer is still not my speciality.

Parking a trailer is still not my speciality.

Prompts is a joint creative exercise between my friend Matt W. and I. We will choose a different subject at the beginning of each week and post no more than 500 words on said topic on Fridays. This post is a holdover from two weeks ago. Matt and I took inspiration from Esquire’s “What I’ve Learned” series.

The Biggest Lesson I Learned In 2013: You Can Handle It

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