Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Tea and Truth: A Month of Writing Prompts (and Giveaway)


This new blog series is a promise I'm keeping to myself.  A gift from my China trip was the connection of disparate ideas into a unified vision, related to tea and writing.  It was an Ah-ha moment to say the least, a moment of epiphany to be more precise.  I realized that I could shape these two passions into a cohesive package, one of value to myself - and my hope is to others, as well.

And so, with this first step, I begin...

Please join me in Tea and TruthTM. This is your invitation to join me each Wednesday this month, to sip tea and write.  To reflect, review, rewrite, respond, rejoice and renew.  Each Wednesday I will post a new writing prompt.  I welcome your company in these journaling opportunities.  (Plus Giveaways, Giveaways!)  What you write can be for you only, or to share - it's up to you.  (Prizes, prizes!)  It can be a one-time quick writing session never to be returned to, a journal entry, a poem, a memory on paper, a letter, a piece you work on over time, a page or two, a paragraph, a sentence or a word.  Just write, and allow tea to be the nectar of your muse.

And there will be prizes in the form of giveaways!  I hope you play along!

Writing Theme for Week #1:  Tea for Two

I'm inspired this week by Day of the Dead remembrances.  I vividly recall, from my New Mexico days, the gifts and merriment in the graveyards.  Initially, this was a foreign idea to me but as I learned more, I began to see the joy and respect involved. 

Preparing:  Gather a pen and paper, or your computer.  Find yourself a comfortable place to write.  Once your implements are settled, make yourself a cup of good tea.  (Go out and buy some loose tea if you need to.)  Bring out your favorite pair of mugs or two cups and saucers, because you're going to have a guest today as you write.

Sipping:  Pour yourself a cup, and pour one for your guest.  Sip slowly and think about this:  Who has gone before me that I want to invite to tea today?  Hold this person in your mind as you begin to write.

Writing:  Let this be a free-form writing activity.  Don't stop to edit or review.  Just let the pen flow and turn off the critical voice.  This is about truth, and the best way to get there, in my opinion, is to get out of my own way.  The following thought starters may be useful for you to get the pen moving, but go with whatever works!  Stick with today's theme, or go off on your own. What matters is that you keep writing.  Try it for 5 minutes at least, 10 if you can!  Go...
  • Who have I invited to tea today?
  • Why did I choose this person?
  • Now go deeper - why else did I choose this person?
  • Have a conversation over tea...go ahead, respond for him or her.  It's OK, it's YOUR writing!  You are safe and in control.
  • Now the tea is growing cold (and you've finished yours)...how do you end this conversation in a way that leaves you feeling good?
Thank you. 

Prizes, prizes!  Leave a comment in this post, telling me what you like (or don't) about this writing prompt.  I'll pick a winner each week for a to-be-determined fabulous prize involving tea and writing.  If you mention this on Facebook or your blog, tell me about it in the comments, too, and you'll get a second entry.  (If it doesn't auto-link to a blog with contact info, be sure to leave me a way to reach you.)

Notes: 
  • These writing prompts are meant to be starting points for you to explore writing and tea.  They are by no means a method of therapy, tho we all know that good tea and writing can be therapeutic.
  • A shout-out to my writing friends at Women Writing for (a) Change, Bloomington.  I think of you regularly.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

This was a nice experience. I invited my Mother. She passed away 12 yrs. ago. It was good meeting! Thank you, Judy

Steph said...

Judy - I'm so delighted you gave this a try!

Teafan said...

Interesting theme, I look forward to more. What I like about this one is that you invite us to go a little deeper than the superficial first attempt.

Anonymous said...

I so admire your writing skills. I gave it a shot. Dee

Anonymous said...

I so admire your writing skills. I decided to give it a shot. Really enjoyed the outcome. Looking forward to next time.

Marlena said...

I asked my Grandmother, whom I have missed for so many years. She was a grand lady. I got to ask her a lot of things I never did before, about her life. it was good, but sad, as she really is gone.

Gwen said...

I love this idea!!! The prompt is great because it is just that - always helps to have a recommendation to get started. The person I invited to tea is my darling, Hal. We had a lot of tea together and I really miss those times.

UllaTea said...

What a neat idea! I invited my Oma! I felt her presence and love over a cup of tea! Thank you so much!

martha e said...

What a thoughtful gift to give to us, Stephanie. Thank you.
After much thought, I decided to invite my father. I have been reading letters he wrote to me many years ago and while reflecting on that today, realize how much more his words mean. It was wonderful to stop and thank him for so many things. And to ask about things I wish I had when I could have over a cup of tea.
martha

Steph said...

You're all inspiring me! I am doing this writing tonight, and I'm inviting my father.

amherstrose said...

Hi Steph,

How inspiring and generous of you to send out this invitation to participate in this exercise in thoughtfulness.

I have been thinking of my dear friend Gaye, who I spent many wonderful times with. Our birthdays were the same day and it was always fun to share the celebration with her, whether near or far. I called her my "Twisted Sister" as she was one of my "Family of Choice". I smiled as I remembered our crazy escapades and her generous friendship. Thank you for sending me down the road to visit this lovely memory as I sipped a cup of tea.

Mary Jane

Rosemary said...

Yesterday, when I first read about your writing prompts, I immediately thought of taking tea with my mother. It would be a beautiful tribute, a joy, and we would have a lot to share. Twelve years have passed. There would be so much to talk about. Today, thinking about this prompt, I've decided I would enjoy tea with my best friend. She passed away suddenly several years ago, too young to leave this earthly world, too quickly to say goodbye. There is a lot I would like to share with Cindy. Two cups of tea, and a beautiful conversation that could go on for hours. Thank you for encouraging me to sit down, to quietly reflect on our friendship, and to take the opportunity to thank her for the time we shared together as best friends in high school and the years that followed, and to allow myself a moment to say goodbye to a friend that left too soon.

Marilyn said...

Steph, This is such a fun assignment. I am slow to the table, but definitely will write before next Wednesday. I will be inviting my mom, who passed away in 2000. It seems more and more are celebrating the day of the dead. As I walked in my neighborhood today I came across two altars to those that have died.

parTea lady said...

Tea and Truth is a great idea. Your first "Tea for Two" writing prompt could led to many hours of writing and relection. Of course, the cup of good tea and quiet time is wonderful too.

Get Natured said...

Thank you for this writing idea! I invited my grandmother Marguerite. She passed away in 2006 at the age of 97. I miss her and there are so many questions that I would love to ask her.

David Galli said...

Hey Steph,

Thanks for telling me about (and for hosting!) this cool, collaborative project. I'm spreading the word!

Steph said...

You're all bringing me so much joy!

Marilyn said...

I will be having tea in the morning with my mom, who died in 2000.

Tea Doodle said...

Love "Tea and Truth". What a wonderful idea. I invited my grandmother, who always enjoyed joining me for tea, for my "Tea for Two." I'm looking forward to the next tea time.

Rosemary said...

Hi Steph~
Just wanted to let you know that the tea samples arrived safely in the mail the other day. I'm the the throws of a very busy holiday season... and want to sample them when I can actually sit down and truly enjoy the experience... which might be for another few weeks. Thank you so much for offering some of your very special tea! The fragrance in the mailing envelop is sublime! How fun that the Glenburn Estate is featured in Tea, A Magazine. I'll enjoy the tea and reread the article!