A WRITING PROMPT FROM JULIE MARIE WADE, AUTHOR OF SMALL FIRES

Each Friday we post one new writing prompt created by a Sarabande author. Prompts like this one are included in our online Reader's Guides along with discussion questions and suggested reading to accompany each title. So if you can't wait a week for the next prompt, visit our Reader's Guide page to find them all in one place!

Today's writing prompt comes from Julie Marie Wade, author of Small Fireswinner of the 2009 Linda Bruckheimer Prize in Kentucky Literature. 

Submissions to the Bruckheimer Prize are open now until July 31st (with no submission fee!). Visit our Submissions page to read our guidelines and learn how to send in your manuscript. 

CHOSEN FAMILIES

In a book called The Soul’s Code: In Search of Character and Calling, James Hillman writes: “Our lives may be determined less by our childhoods than by the way we have learned to imagine our childhoods.” Hillman goes on to recount Plato’s Myth of Er and proposes that “we elected the body, the parents, the place, and the circumstances that suited the soul and that, as the myth says, belong to its necessity.”

Free-write about why you chose your parents—Why did you require your particular body, family, place, and life-circumstances in order to become who you are? Then, from what is generated in the free-write, write about family less as “victims” and more as empowered co-writers of your histories.