Marginalia: Journal Prompts (February)

So how did you get on with the January journal prompts? They were a sort of warmup, particularly for those who are not quite into journaling yet but want to find their way to a regular practice. I've written earlier about some of the reasons people like to maintain a journaling practice. I want to add two more specific reasons of my own. [. . .] Let's not do the obvious thing with making all the prompts related to romantic love this month. Instead, let's look at how we approach/manage relationships in general.


Marginalia: Journal Prompts (January)

I have written before about the old practice of journaling and why people (including myself) maintain them. I have also shared how journaling helps sustain both a reading habit and a writing habit. And I have described how the diaries/journals of writers can be like writing instruction manuals if read properly. [. . .] So here is a new monthly series on journal prompts for those who like or want to start this practice. Of course, it helps if you create your own but, sometimes, we all need that little nudge to think outside the box. If these do not appeal, there are plenty out there in google-land.

Writing Practices: On Writing Vignettes

The word "vignette" originates from the French "vigne," which means "little vine" and refers to the vine motifs used sometimes as decorative embellishments to a text. Put a pin in that phrase "decorative embellishments to a text" because we're going to come back to it. There is a fair bit of conflicting commentary regarding vignettes. Some people refer to short stories or flash fiction as vignettes. Often, a personal essay is described as a vignette. These are not entirely accurate. For me, short stories and flash fiction are about complete stories with the classic story elements of protagonist, antagonist, conflict, complications, resolution, and so on. A personal essay may or may not be a vignette. So let's explore this narrative form today and see how it is different from these various other forms of writing.