Writing Prompt: Family Ties

Theresa Miller by Theresa Miller
As most people who were conscious during the 1980s know, Family Ties centered around two former hippies who’s progressive ideas clashed with their more conservative, materialistic children. Although I was too young to have grown up watching the show, I can completely relate to being very different from your parents, and making it work.
Speaking of Family Ties (because the writing prompt and our promotions are totally not tied together on purpose), Meredith Baxter, who played Elyse Keaton on Family Ties, will be a celebrity judge at our Story Lotto event! I know! Story Lotto is a crowd-sourcing event that is the Hunger Games of storytelling! At the event, ten aspiring writers will compete in front of celebrity judges to pay their rent with one story.
Our other judges are: Former Buffy The Vampire Slayer cast member and Science Fiction writer, Amber Benson, and Bob Carlson of KCRW’s UnFictional. Lauren Weedmen (HBO’s Looking) is the MC! Remember: The person who brings the most people to the event also will get a special prize (have your friends mention your name in their Brown Paper Tickets form). The event is Friday, May 2, 2014, so get your tickets fast!
Take a look at Writing Pad’s roster of classes below. They’re guaranteed to get your creative juices flowing, teach you invaluable techniques, and help you write an amazing story. We hope to see you at a class soon! And keep reading below the links for this week’s writing prompt.
2014 Classes
Journalism/Web Writing
From Blog Post To Book Deal: A Blog Writing Workshop
You In 1200 Words: Writing The Personal Essay
Personal Essay Clinic
You In 1200 Words: Writing and Publishing The Personal Essay (5 Wk)


A Novel Approach: Crafting The Page Turner (1 Day)
Writingpalooza Online

Short and Sweet: A Short Story Workshop

Writing Reboot: A Short Story Clinic

Short, Smart and Literary: Writing and Publishing The Modern Short Story (5 WK)

Zombies, Witches and Killer Robots: Science Fiction and Urban Fantasy Writing

A Novel Approach: Mastering The Long Format Writing Project (Online 7 Wk)

Memorable Memoir Bootcamp

A Novel Approach: Tackling The Long Format Writing Project (5 WK)

Writing Accessible Poems
Writing for Actors

Story Time: A Performed Essay Workshop (1 Day)

Story Time Plus: A Performed Essay Workshop (5 WK)

Grand Slam Story: A Storytelling Workshop (7 Wk Online)

From The Page To The Stage: A One-Person Show Workshop

It’s All About You: A One-Person Show Intensive
Screenwriting Classes
Million Dollar Script: A Movie Writing Intensive
From Mad Men to Game of Thrones: Writing the TV Drama (1 Day)

From Pitch To First Draft: Writing The Television Drama (7 WK)

From 10 Min. Play To Staff Writing Gig

From Slashers To Body Snatchers: Writing The Horror Screenplay

Politicos, Jailbirds And Werewolves: Writing The Cable Pilot

Precision Revision: A Comedy Revision Class

Coverage Madness: A Script Coverage Workshop
Publishing Classes
Publishpalooza: A Book Proposal Writing Workshop

Publishpalooza: A Book Proposal Writing Workshop (5 Wk)

How To Hook An Agent: Breaking Into YA

How does your family (dis)function? Are you all opposites? All the same? How does it work for you and how does it make things harder? What’s the thing that binds you all together? Write for 10 minutes and include all the sensory details.
My mother is one of those people who burns sage to “cleanse” a room; who calls to warn you not to make any hasty decisions because Mercury is in retrograde. She once got into a conversation with a Reiki healer while we were grocery shopping and ended up getting an “aura message” in the middle of the cereal isle. I was 12-years-old and still haven’t fully recovered. She’s a feeler, this one, and has made a living helping people.
I, on the other hand, can’t think of one good reason to give anyone the shirt off my back. It’s inconvenient, you see, and I’d be quite cold. Once when taking a psychological survey I asked my mother if she would describe me as “nice”. She thought for a second then said, “That’s definitely not the first characteristic I’d name. Or the second. Or the third. But you have so many other, more important qualities. Fairness, for instance!” Mean ol’ Judge Theresa Miller presiding. I’ll take that.
When I was about 5-years-old, I took a nasty spill over a red plastic chair in my room. Because children anthropomorphize everything, I remember feeling utterly betrayed by the chair. I’d had it for so long, sat in it so many times without a problem and now this? I wouldn’t stand for it. When my mother rushed in to comfort me, I demanded that she spank the chair. She quickly obliged. Very good acting, I must say. Years later when I asked her why she would bother doing something so silly for such a bratty little girl, she told me, “Honey, I would do the silliest, craziest things If I knew they would make you happy. It’s nuts, but there it is.” She’s the most loving enabler I’ve ever met, and I prevent her from housing all the homeless people she meets with my uninviting disposition. The perfect family. Sort of.
Post your story in the comment section and you could win a free class!

  1. Jessica Hughes
  2. Sean K.