Ten Writing Prompts Inspired by the Sundance Holiday Catalog ~ writing inspiration by Ashley Memory

Write a short scene in which a character based on the female model wearing the “Olivia Velvet Dress” in Crimson falls for the male model in the “Play It Again Henley” in Smoke.

Write the same scene from the omniscient limited point of view of the male model who must tell your character that she is transitioning into a female and can she borrow her “Olivia Velvet Dress” but in Tobacco?

A common folk etymology is that the name “Sundance” is derived from the name of the now extinct Sun-Daniki tribe, supposedly meaning “constipated people of the mountains.” This is, in fact, false. Write your own false etymology for the word “turd.”

Compose a tweet from the trio of Holiday Shimmer Trees on page 11. Make sure it’s lightweight and slightly distressed.

Ponder what it’s like to wear the “Artistic Soul Thermal” and write a poem suitable for a performance event at the assisted living facility where your Nana lives. Bear in mind that at the last function the seniors watched the movie Deliverance.

Appaloosa horses appear friendly and whimsical when in reality they are narcissistic sadists who enjoy biting people when the catalog photo shoot is over. Write a flash fiction from the point of view of the photographer who feels guilty because his work, although award-winning, perpetuates a dangerous myth.

Write a play based on a dystopic society where catalog subheads such as “Presentation is Everything” and “Serene Beauty Abounds” are actually true.

Meditate on the bewildered expression of the wide-eyed blonde model in the “Natasha Top” and “Oil-Rubbed Boots” in Bronze. Either the eggnog in the “Starlight Flute” she just consumed was followed by an aftertaste of diesel or she just got her first period. Write what happens next.

Imagine someone stole your “Canyon Legends Pouch,” but returns it anonymously. Your money is gone, but your “Angel of Protection” bracelet with the kyanite and opal nuggets is still inside. In second person, write about how it feels to know that a thief would rather have $5.23 than a $78 billfold and a bracelet you paid $795 for.

Every Sundance catalog includes a glib and subversive message from Robert Redford with phrases such as “Live an Inspired Life.” Write one yourself but have it come from a dead Paul Newman. Bonus: use the words “jelly doughnut” and “obfuscate.”

Ashley Memory lives in rural Randolph County, N.C., and when she’s not leafing through holiday catalogs and wondering why she gets them, she’s moving earth with the skid-steer loader she’s trying to learn to operate. Her work has recently appeared in Solstice Literary Magazine, The Sun, The Rumpus, and is forthcoming in Permafrost. Twitter: @memoryashley. Follow her on ashley-memory.com.

Show Ashley some love via PayPal at memory.ashley(at)gmail(dot)com.