Writing prompts from Writer’s Digest

This one deals with a dead relative meeting you and giving you an old document with shocking information in it.

I don’t see myself posting my results unless they turn out to be great: this is more a writing exercise than something to submit for publication. A professional actor, Adam Vernier, once told me that he practices acting every day, whether filming or not, to stay in practice. The same rings true for writing.

The first attempt at the prompt was about a man angry at being passed over for a job for a Jewish co-worker who’d been there less time. His anger evolves into a minor anti-Semitic rant. The man then encounters his great-great-grandfather and learns the family name Conway had been changed from Cohen around 1880 when his German-Jewish great-great-grandfather moved to America to escape anti-Semitism.

That hasn’t been done before, eh? A man who dislikes Jews finds out he has Jewish ancestry. If you think that’s a new idea, check out the Russian film Luna Park (relax, it has subtitles). I didn’t finish this, because it started to seem a little trite in the story line and I found myself wanting to explore elsewhere.

I did end up with another story, this one more autobigraphical and revolving around an older sister of mine, Kim, who died in infancy in 1965. I wasn’t born until 1973, so obviously I never met her. Perhaps I’ll publish it sometime as a tribute to her.

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