Hello, Gaias and Liliths!
Oh, are you lost my dear? What? You can’t find your mommy? Don’t worry, I can be your new mommy! Because…
This week’s Writing Group prompt is:
Myths and Mommies
RULES AND GUIDELINES BELOW!
Make sure you scroll down and read them if you haven’t! You may not be eligible if you don’t!
This prompt is quite a unique one. It was initially taken from a kind of joking play on “myths and monsters.” It’s a curious blending of the ordinary and the extraordinary that can be taken many ways.
You could write about a mother telling a myth to their child. The sinister lullaby she sings over her child, or the prophecy that…surely couldn’t refer to them. You could write about an adult reminiscing on a myth their mother told them. Maybe as they walk through the dark forest, they remember the story their mother told of the monsters that lurk there. Sometimes myths are just bedtime stories, or old wives’ tales, but often, especially in realms of fantasy, they are laced with truth. Perhaps a myth is the last thing a child remembers their dead mother telling them, their last connection to hold tight to. Maybe a child’s mother disappears, leaving a myth as a clue to find her.
You could write about a mother who is herself a myth, like Hera, or Freya, or Echidna. You could write about Mother Earth/Nature. There are lots of benevolent mythological mothers, but there are also vindictive mothers of myth to explore as well. Or perhaps you could write about the mother of a myth. We’ve heard stories about Heracles, Kintaro, and Cù Chulainn and their heroic deeds. But we never really think about the women that birthed and/or raised them. It’s time for Alcmene, Yama-Uba, and Scathach to have their day.
You could write a story about a world where there is no such thing as mothers—be it because a tragedy happened to wipe out the women, because your characters are a part of a race that doesn’t need mothers to procreate, or because it’s some futuristic world in which babies can be grown in a lab, or else built and brought to life, like Pinocchio.
There are many more realistic takes you could use for this prompt too. For someone who grew up without a mother, a mother is something of a myth. The child in the orphanage, dreaming of a loving home, the teen who doesn’t get along with their single father, wondering why their mother left, could work for this prompt. Or perhaps, on an even sadder note, someone who had a mother…but not a loving mother, finds the concept, the stories their classmates tell, more myth than reality. Another realistic direction you could take is to write about a woman who wants to have a child, but for whatever reason is unable to, or had her child taken away—being a mother has become a myth to her.
I actually have two potential challenges for you this week (thanks to Pearce and Paul)!
My first is rather similar to last week’s. I challenge you to use this prompt to write about your own mom. What sort of myths can you create about her, or associate with her? You could create a myth of her defeating a dreaded screaming monster…when really it’s about unclogging your vacuum. You could write about her traversing a vast jungle to retrieve a rare flower to heal her child’s illness…when really it was that time you got sick and she had to run to the store to get you medicine. Let’s show appreciation for our moms this week!
Or, for an alternative challenge: write a myth that is ABOUT a mother. Whilst mothers may star in many myths, there are not that many where an older woman goes on a quest or adventure, chasing down a goal. Maybe it’s a mother putting herself in a narrative to lull her children to sleep, or a sneaky retelling of how she saved them from a monster long ago.
What? You want to go home to your real mom? Nonsense. I am your real mom. Just sew these buttons onto your eyes. Then we can stay together, and be happy, forever.
—Kaylie, Pearce, & Paul
Remember, this is part of our weekly Writing Group stream! Submit a little piece following the rules and guidelines below, and there’s a chance your entry will be read live on stream! In addition, we’ll discuss it for a minute and give you some feedback.
The whole purpose of this is to show off the creativity of the community, while also helping each other to become better writers. Lean into that spirit! Get ready not just to share what you’ve got, but to give back to the other writers here as well.
Rules and Guidelines
We read at least five stories during each stream, two of which come from the public post, and three of which come from the much smaller private post. Submissions are randomly selected by a bot, but likes on your post will improve your chances of selection, so be sure to share your submission on social media!
Text and Formatting
- English only.
- Prose only, no poetry or lyrics.
- Use proper spelling, grammar, and syntax.
- Your piece must be between 250-350 words (you can use this website to see your wordcount).
- Use two paragraph breaks between each paragraph so that they have a proper space between them (press “enter” or “return” twice).
- Include a submission title and an author name (doesn’t have to be your real name). Do not include any additional symbols or flourishes in this part of your submission. Format them exactly as you see in this example, or your submission may not be eligible: Example Submission.
- No additional text styling (such as italics or bold text). Do not use asterisks, hyphens, or any other symbol to indicate whether text should be bold, italic, or styled in any other way. CAPS are okay, though.
What to Submit
- Keep submissions “safe-for-work”; be sparing with sexuality, violence, and profanity.
- Try to focus on making your submission a single meaningful moment rather than an entire story.
- Write something brand new; no re-submitting past entries or pieces written for other purposes
- No fan fiction whatsoever. Take inspiration from whatever you’d like, but be transformative and creative with it. By submitting, you also agree that your piece does not infringe on any existing copyrights or trademarks, and you have full license to use it.
- Submissions must be self-contained (everything essential to understanding the piece is contained within the context of the piece itself—no mandatory reading outside the piece required. e.g., if you want to write two different pieces in the same setting or larger narrative, you cannot rely on information from one piece to fill in for the other—they must both give that context independently).
- One submission per participant.
- Submit your entry in a comment on this post.
- Submissions close at 12:00pm CST each Friday.
- You must like and leave a review on two other submissions to be eligible. Your reviews must be at least 50 words long, and must be left directly on the submission you are reviewing, not on another comment. If you’re submitting to the private post, feel free to leave these reviews on either the private or the public post. The two submissions you like need not be the same as the submissions you review.
- Be constructive and uplifting. These submissions are not for a professional market, and shouldn’t be treated as such. We do this, first and foremost, for the joy of the craft. Help other writers to feel like their work is valuable, and be considerate and gentle with critique when you offer it. Authors who leave particularly abrasive or disheartening remarks on this post will be disqualified from selection for readings.
- Use the same e-mail for your posts, reviews, and likes, or you may be rendered ineligible (you may change your username or author name between posts without problem, however).
- You may submit to either or both the public/private groups if you have access, but if you decide to submit to both, only the private group submission will be eligible.
- Understand that by submitting here, you are giving us permission to read your submission aloud live on stream and upload public, archived recordings of said stream to our social media platforms. You will always be credited, but only by the author name you supply as per these rules. No other links or attributions are guaranteed.
Comments on this post that aren’t submissions will be deleted, except for replies/reviews left on existing submissions.