14 Jan 2011

Five minute Friday: Photo Prompt

So, here’s the skinny: I’ve been thinking about writing and how often our perfectionism gets in the way of our words. And I figured, why not take 5 minutes and see what comes out: not a perfect post, not a profound post, just five minutes of focused writing.

No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation. Just painting with words. Finger-painting even.

I took a first stab at it yesterday. And then I got curious. And invited you all to set timers and write me into your day in five minutes flat. The prompt was to pick a photo from your camera and then put it into words. That moment, that emotion, that experience.

In no more than 5 minutes.

I’m dying to see what you came up with! The linky follows my five minutes below:


It’s the same every night. As rife with ritual as any ceremony they may have grown up and into if their African roots were still planted in African soil. The ceremonial wrestling – boy cubs against the alpha male.

A chorus of grunting and groaning rises from the bedroom and it’s hard to distinguish who is victor and who left with an elbow to the groin. Often it’s only a matter of perspective, or seconds, before the roles are reversed and the wild wails wind back into joyful ululation.

These boy cubs – they love hard. And their love is often hard to take. Hard to contain. Harder still to return hug for life-threatening hug.

Pete’s return home each night is greeted with grateful relief by me – wrangler of man-children—and barely disguised trepidation by him. Because he knows that love will come at him hard and fast and without mercy.

As the ritual demands.


If you enjoyed this, come back next week. Let’s play it again.

Prompt for next Friday: People watching. Whether it’s at the grocery store, in the gas line, or at your kid’s school. Pick a person and them write them into living color for us all. In just five minutes.

OK, show us what you got:

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{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 1

    brother love and ritual. wonderful:)

    and i LOVE that finger painting shot!

  2. 2

    I did it! It’s highly unglorious, but just the fact that I posted something in less than 2,551 hours of writing/editing is notable. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • 3
      thegypsymama says:

      Yes, exactly! It’s the exercise that matters much more than what comes out of it! Yay YOU!

  3. 4

    Me too, Kat! Thanks for the great idea Lisa Jo! (and I’m only mildly horrified at how scary I found it to just. let. it. GO. hehe)

  4. 5

    Great idea. This seems to be all I have time for anyway! :-)

  5. 6

    Loved it! Thanks for the prompt! :)

  6. 7

    What you did in five minutes is rather impressive!

  7. 8

    I saw this on Twitter last night, but it was already past my bedtime… so glad I was able to do it this morning, and definitely looking forward to next week!!

    • 9
      thegypsymama says:

      I LOVE reading ’em – feels like I’m back in the college English tutoring days – brings back fond memories. Nothing as great as a bunch of writers hunched over words together :)

  8. 10

    Such a gorgeous description of boys! It’s the same in my house – the love, hard and fast. How you have to brace yourself against their hugs. Oh, it’s wonderful!

    Apparently I missed the whole “get your inspiration from a photo” part of this exercise. I just sat and wrote. Although I am rather proud of what I ended up with!

  9. 11

    I agree! You wrote a lot in 5 minutes! Full and descriptive and vibrant!! I want to read it to my husband later as this is definitely his reality when he comes home!

  10. 12
    Patricia/nyc says:

    This was so much fun! Great idea! (My blog is private, so I added you to my readers :)

  11. 13

    Wow, powerful writing in 5 minutes! Now I will have to go try this myself :) Thanks for the great idea!

    Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

  12. 14

    “…hard and fast, and without mercy…”

    i see that kind of love in our house with our littles and the alpha male.
    your words are spot on.

    and this? this 5 minutes of writing is just what i think i need.
    to just write, and not edit. and just put my thoughts out there.
    because my life isn’t edited. it’s so hard/annoying/neccessary to edit and proofread my writing.

  13. 15

    Lisa-jo, this was so much fun and hard to not go back and “fix” it, tweak my words, repair my grammar, and such. And your 5 minute writing was good! And your term: wrangler of man-children, how true and appropriate.

  14. 16

    Better late than never, right? I’m having so much fun reading these. :)

  15. 17

    I enjoyed your post about your boys and your husband returning home. As a stay-at-home mother, some days I clung to the thought of trading off when my husband came home. And at times, I’m sure he took a deep breath before he walked in.:)
    I came here from Linda’s blog and enjoyed your idea. It was fun participating. Good idea! Thanks for letting others join in.

    • 18
      thegypsymama says:

      Thanks for coming over to visit – feel free to put your feet up on the furniture and hang out a while! :)

  16. 19

    Lisa-Jo, what fun, what creativity! I love this idea…I want to come back next week to try it! Thanks for inspiring us to write out of the box.

  17. 21


    So I’ve followed your blog for sometime now and find myself blessed by your words everytime I open up your address. My favorite post is “How I learned not to be intimidated anymore.” Beautifully descriptive. I shared your 5 minute wrestling thoughts with my husband and we both laughed at the “barely disguised trepidation.” He can totally relate!!!

    I plan on participating in your 5 minute Fridays. I enjoy writing immensely and look forward to meeting this challenge.

    Thanks again for your obedience in sharing all that God has taught you and how you personally apply it to your day, to day life.


  18. 22

    This looks like so much fun! I want in next time.

  19. 23

    want to participate, but can’t find a way in. Is it Fridays only? : (

    Like this, but my computer is still processing the thumbnails, not sure if I can get to the like button yet.


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