The Return of Promptitude

Yes, I know its Sunday, and Promptitude usually runs on Saturday.  I actually wrote this post yesterday, but between free coaching sessions and a baby shower for my daughter, I never had time to put it up.  So here, you go, a day late, but just as relevant. Planet_earth_australia_264108_l

My son is now home, thank you God, but this past week was dominated by his incarceration stay at the hospital.  The hospital world is not a familiar one to me.  The only time I've been in the hospital was when my son was born and had a bad case of jaundice, and we both got checked into the hospital–him to be monitored, me to take care of him.  (I had both my children in out-of-hospital settings.)

Even though my grandfather was a doctor, nobody else in my family seemed to get the medical gene.  None of us have gravitated to medicine, and there's nary a doctor, nurse, or healer among the entire extended family network of aunts, uncles, and cousins.  So spending a lot of time at the hospital this week, I was immersed in a new and unfamiliar world.

And it strikes me that much of writing is about putting characters in a new world.  The Hero's Journey depends on it, for instance.  The new world is most often exterior, but it can be interior as well.  So today's prompts are all about hospitals and new worlds. And remember, you might be writing about something completely and totally different than hospitals, but sometimes writing to a prompt on an unrelated subject can do wonders for your creative juices.

Here you go:

She walked down the long hospital hallway.

"Time for your next dose," the nurse said.

At least there was a view.

The doctor had a terrible bedside manner.

Modern medicine is a miracle most of the time.

What a strange and different world.

Where am I now?

What happened?

How did I get here?

"Don't worry, it won't hurt at all."

Feel free to write responses in the comments.  When have you entered into a strange new world?  Did you end up writing about it?

Here are a few other Promptitude posts:

Promptitude: Summer Vacation

Promptitude: Super Moon Edition

Promptitude: Whiny Baby

Promptitude: Hair

Saturday Promptitude

Promptitude: Departing for Another World

Promptitude: What Makes a Good Prompt?


Photo by Monique72, from Everystockphoto.

Remembering, The Task of a Writer

At the hospital, time flows differently.

It moves slowly during long stretches of waiting for something to happen.  Then, all of a sudden, everything happens at once.  The nurse arrives for a blood pressure check, someone comes in to draw blood, a technician arrives to cart the patient off for a X-ray.

The patient is my 92-year-old mother, and this is our second foray to the ER in two days, for cellulitis, compounded by a fall which resulted in a hairline hip fracture.

The ER, the hospital, and the world of medicine is a foreign environment to me.  We are not a family of doctors or nurses.  For the most part, we tend to be wonderfully healthy.  So this is a new world for me, one I don't always understand.  I try to keep my eyes open and my attention focused so that I can remember.

Remember what the doctor says so that I can tell my family.

Remember the details of the experience in case I want to write them.

Remember because it seems important.  Through remembering, we exist. 

Remembering is the writer's way of staying present.  By noting the details, committing them to memory in my head or on the page, I'm here now.  I'm not worrying about calling a client or whether or not I'll be able to get to Nashville.

Remembering is one of the most important tasks of the writer. 

Remember, because to not remember dishonors our present.  Remember because others–like my mother–cannot.  Remember because it is important to bear witness.  And sometimes bearing witness is all we've got.

It is enough.  It is more than enough.

Update:  After hip surgery and several days in the hospital, we got my Mom into a nursing home this morning.  She'll be there doing short-term rehab for the next couple of weeks.  After that, its anybody's guess….but we're hoping to find her a nice adult foster care placement.