Write a Poem about a tomato.

AnnMarie Grohs - Instructor & Owner

Whoa. With prompts such as, “Write a poem about a tomato,” the book, 642 Things to Write About, makes you dream, curate your most meaningful memories, and nurture the crazy creative inside you.

I bought this book hoping it would help me practice my writing. I am a terrible writer. Terrible. I’m also bad at texting, social media posts, post-it notes, and grocery lists—all the things that involve writing or typing words, sentence fragments and—most particularly—full sentences. As Kelli Carpenter can attest, I didn’t pay any attention in eighth grade English class. I mean does anyone really care what the predicate nominative is?  (The person who edited this post does.) 

I was expecting this book to make me practice my writing, and it did. But I didn’t expect the topics to be so entertaining or thought provoking. I didn’t expect it to help me practice my thinking.

“Your worst experience in gym class.” 


OK. True story: in eleventh grade, I got hit in the face during dodge ball. The ball knocked my glasses off my face and my heavily applied lipstick left a kiss mark on the ball. 

“You are a pirate. Describe your perfect day.”

“Each member of the San Francisco Giants can request the song that will be playing when he goes up to bat. Write the lyrics to the song that would be playing when you are up to bat.” 

“You know the person with whom you’re talking is lying. Do you confront him or let him continue?” 


I found the shorter questions easier to answer. That’s probably because I like to get things done and out of the way. The writing prompts that required longer answers were harder for me. 

“Write ten sayings for fortune cookies.”

“The next sound you hear and what caused it."


The takeaway: this book made me pause and think in a way that is challenging—and a bit uncomfortable—for me. I let the world around me continue doing its thing, but I stopped and focused. I let my mind wander to the weird side at times. I let it go way back and dig out memories I hadn’t thought about in a long time. I even let it fast-forward to a future of, “what ifs,” an exercise I rarely take part in. All that mental exercise and I’ve only completed 30 of the 642 things. It’s going to be an eye-opening summer.