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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Writing Prompt-and-Share #5

Today's writing prompt was inspired by +Ayoub Khote 's "getting to know you" post. So today's prompt is going to be personal, I mean REALLY personal. We are going to get to know you a little (or a lot) by this one, and I have a feeling only the brave and courageous will join in (that wasn't me calling you chicken to make you do it)
Prompt and Share: In 300 words or less, write a letter to your 10 year old self.
For tips and tricks and rules on the Prompt-and-Share, visit http://bit.ly/rcsGtF

Dear Little Nina

There’s so much coming your way. First, give your dad a big hug, he will be gone before you know it. You’ll think you will know how to handle his death but trust me, you have no idea. Don’t start smoking, you won’t stop. Don’t go out with that Darren guy from English class, he’s not your friend and the night turns out very badly. Read a lot. Start writing journals today, trust me on this. Pay attention in English class.

Exercise your legs, get the muscles nice and strong so you don’t fall down and wind up in a wheelchair for 2 years. Love your sisters, one of them is going to leave you in a most horrendous way. Be extra kind to your nephew, it might make a difference, it might not, but it’s worth a try. Your mom is still the most amazing and strongest woman you’ll ever have the pleasure of knowing. You’ll meet a girl named Sibyl in grade 9 – make sure to keep her as a friend, she’s a good one and will stand by you through everything.

Actually Nina, ignore everything I told you not to do. Your life doesn’t turn out as you expect it would. You are not rich or famous, you aren’t super happy. Your soul hurts and your heart aches, but for good reasons. By the time you’re 34, you will have experienced more horror than any human should ever suffer, yet through your sorrow, you still find joy in the smallest things. You’ll need those experiences to make you who you are today. There’s a lot to be said for your character and the woman you’ve become. All in all, I’d say you turn out okay, and the ride is not over yet.

I wanted to add a little more, like telling my parents to invest in google and microsoft, but I already had to trim things up to stay within the word count.


  1. Wow Nina - thank you for sharing this. It's extremely brave to open oneself up like that. Glad you've come through everything - battered, bruised, but alive, and still able to care.


    I'll give it a try.


    Hey buddy,

    Ok, don't worry, I won't take long, you've got no attention span as it is.

    So, what can I tell you that will make life easier for you in the next twenty-six years? Not much, I'm afraid. You're going to have a lot of fun, but there will be some lonely times too. Quit looking out the window. I'm over here.

    Alright- bullet points then:

    - Don't be afraid to be smart. If you keep acting dumb just to fit in, dumb will rub off on you.

    - That thing you do with your friends? It's called "self depricating" Dep-ri-cat-ing. It will make you funny, but it will also make you sad. Stop it. You are hurting yourself.

    - Criticism doesn't mean the person hates you. (Sometimes it does, but not usually.)

    - You can't fix everything that's broken. That includes people. And it's not your fault that they are that way, either.

    - You've got stories to tell, little me. Write them down as often as you can.

    Oh, and one last thing: Red wine and Nacho Cheese Doritos don't mix. They just don't.

    Did you get any of that? Yeah, I know it's confusing. Tell you what - remember the wine and Doritos thing. Everything else works out pretty much ok.


    Older You.

    P.S. Do your Mom a favour and me? Take a business course in High School. One.

  2. Chris, this is brilliant. I love the way you remember how hard it is to keep a 10 year old's attention.

    Chris can I get your permission to use your submission pretty please? (see above post)

  3. Thanks for the prompts. I had started this one out intending to keep it totally light, but some serious found its way in there!

    Nina - you are welcome to use this letter in the collection.

    Keep me posted!

  4. Thanks Chris! I'll assume you don't have google+ so I'll put you on the spreadsheet myself and definitely will keep everyone posted on the project. It should be a blast!

  5. you've survived so much. mine is lame. boring. and short. thats why i write fiction, i guess. you can have it and schmoogle it =)

    Dear Little Tara,
    Stop worrying about your “development!” Boobs are overrated. I mean it!
    And now that I have your attention, I have a few things to tell you.
    First, try to be nicer to your sister. You don’t know it, but she looks up to you and you are so self-absorbed and mean to her. You should play with her more often and you will see that she is smart and fun.
    Which leads me to the second thing. You are about to move across the country. It won’t bother you very much, but your sister will need you more that ever.
    And finally, make good choices about boys. Love makes people stupid. Even you, smartypants. Less emotion and more thinking. Don’t call them, let them call you. Don't be a tease either. Dating is complicated, try to focus on what's important. And sarcasm is not attractive all the time.
    That’s about all. You’re a good kid. Just try not to be so lazy. Go out and get some exercise! You’ll thank me later.
    Love, Old Tara

  6. Tara, it's impossible for you to be lame or boring. Thanks for sharing this, it's great advice for any girl about to reach her teens. I'll add your info to the google spreadsheet for you (your blog instead of your google profile, like I did for Chris) and keep you posted on the e-book.
    HUGS and SNUGS for your sharing and honesty!

  7. Don't know any of you. This was suggested to me by my friend John Schneider. He knows how much I love to write and I even torture him with poetry sometimes. This prompt is so special I had to participate. Hope you don't mind.

    Hi Kimberly,

    It’s funny to write to you like this. Your ten year old daughter is in the next room. She is so much like you that some of this letter could be written to her.

    She looks like you, sings, dances and writes, just like you. She loves to act and make things like jewelry, art, food and clothes.

    She is not concerned with what others think of her, like you are. Look to yourself for your confidence. Other people’s opinions are just that, opinions. You have the choice to disagree. Believe in yourself. I believe in you.

    The move to Colorado was both exciting and hard. You left friends behind, but have made more. There are always more friends to be made wherever you go.

    Mom’s illness is also scary for you. Mom and Dad are scared too and are trying to do all the right things. Don’t be afraid to spend time comforting Mom and get to know her. She loves you in her own way.

    Keep writing and show Dad your stories and poems. You would be surprised at how much he will appreciate them.

    Spend time with your brother and sister doing things you all like and ask them to teach you things. They love you, and sometimes try to protect you too much.

    When things get tough and your dreams don’t come true. Use the disappointments to make you stronger and smarter. You have a lot of love to give and many gifts to share.

    Take your time, chose carefully how to use your gifts and with whom to share your love. Not every opportunity is the right one. People who really care for you will wait for you to share yourself in your own time. You are so special. I am so glad you’re you.

    Your adult self

  8. Kimberly, it's a pleasure to meet you! This is so beautiful and I'm really looking forward to it being part of the project. Thank you for signing up and sharing this with us. It takes guts, and you did it beauty and grace.