Prompted to Tell
Dorah Blume is an author of historical fiction novels. Her latest, Botticelli's Muse, is a provocative story about Italian Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli, the conflicts of Medici Florence, and the woman at the heart of his paintings.
Dorah Blume, Deborah Bluestein, Botticelli's Muse, Sandro Botticelli, italian renaissance, italian artists, medici florence, historical fiction novel
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Prompted to Tell

Parental Influence

Prompt was made up of objects at the workshop and random words plucked out of our “Word Bank.”
Objects: Bell bike helmet/motorcycle helmet
Words chosen at random from the word bank: pearl-eyed, benevolent, habitual, carving knife, wound
Author: Dorah Blume
Timed writing: 20 minutes

Approximate date: 6/2013
Location: Juiceboxartists workshop/Boylston St.

“You might as well take a carving knife to your body and start hacking,” Louise said. Her heavy arms wriggled with those appendages overweight women who wear floral frocks tend to display. Her son Billy snapped on his Shogun helmet just the same. He gave his mother a benevolent smile and let the back screen door slam behind him.

She would hold her Saint Christopher medal up to her lips. Pearly-eyed now with tears dropping into the sink, she would look at him through the kitchen window. Ever since he first rode his green tricycle down Jackson Street into oncoming traffic—she had caught him just in time—she was always afraid that he would wound himself terribly.



Prompted to Tell: Scarlett O’Hara at the Pensione Seguso

This piece is by Amy Pechukas, a student at Juiceboxartists writing workshops.
The prompt was to write a piece about something you memorized in your youth.

The armchairs at the Pensione Seguso ooze dust and mold when you sit on them.  Sometimes they squish slightly.  They are made of old, brown leather and they smell like the canals that rise and fall outside the iron-grated windows of the sitting room.  Every winter the bottom floor of this hotel floods and the armchairs never seem to lose some of that water.  Even in the summer, the bottom floor of the Pensione Seguso feels and smells dank and dark like the bottom of a canal.  In the tiny wooden desk in one corner of the room, there is a guest book that goes back many years, back to the first time we came here when I was four years old.  Two of my mother’s students, Sam and Gibbs, artists, cartoonists and practical jokers, have a two-page entry from 1984 full of illustrations, one of a woman trying to eat Venetian bread and losing teeth and others that I don’t remember.  I don’t remember Sam and Gibbs exactly, but I remember the feeling of them. READ MORE


Prompted to Tell: Every Angel is Terrible


The writing prompt was a list of phrases.  Pick one and go with it.
Here are the phrases:

  1. I am still a long way from home…
  2. I’ve always hated hospitals, dentist offices, and jails.
  3. If I had not known you, I would not have found you.
  4. Every angel is terrible.
  5. Your death is a hole in the universe
  6. You were the gentle one
    I chose #4

Every angel is terrible at understanding how we earthlings worry. And we each have an angel in our bedroom closet waiting and wondering when we’ll open the door and let her out. When we’ll put her on a leash to walk through the garden of earthly delight.READ MORE

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