Writer Wednesday: Poetry Prompt

The month of April is National Poetry Month, and today is the date of Shakespeare’s baptism. To celebrate the life of the famous bard, I wanted to share a prompt I came across during a writing event this past weekend.

Prompt: Write a magic spell

crystal ankh-RecovereThis was a prompt one of the facilitators gave to the workshop during the Loudoun County “Words Out West” festival this April.

As soon as the facilitator read the prompt, all eyes turned to me. “Val probably has several spells scrawled in her pocket,” they said. The room laughed. They were, of course, referring to one of my news released. The Man with the Crystal Ankh (kindle | paperback) features a student who enters trances while playing the violin. During these trances, she is contacted by a ghost in need of assistance. Throughout her investigation, she uncovers powerful Latin texts–spells, perhaps?–that a nefarious administrator at the school seems to have a hand in.

No wonder the room turned my way.

Here’s what I came up with. I was glancing out the window at a cobblestone path and thinking about challenges people face at work—a common reason in stories they might want to write a spell. And, of course, I thought about Macbeth (the witches, spells: a colleague had been playing the Shakespeare episode of Doctor Who for her students the day before) and their hand in raising discontent from Macbeth to his superior.

Cobblestone, all alone:

Circle thrice where sunlight shone—

Moonlight, now, the kiss of night,

Let parting clouds reveal her light.

Sprinkle on the stony path

A token of your worldly wrath—

A pen, perhaps, held by your boss

Or memo written that made you cross

Shredded now into paper shards.

Now firm your will and make it hard.

Then into the circle firmly spit

And say these words: “My boss, I quit!”

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