Every article relating to:

Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt LogoPost #239 – Women’s Memoirs, Writing Prompt – Matilda Butler

Memoir writing inspired by natureWhen I started going to Hawaii more than 40 years ago, I became fascinated with the variety of pods hanging from trees everywhere I went. Over the intervening years, I’ve collected these pods and used them in many ways. My grandchildren even like to tease that I’m the Pod Person.

Memoir writing and the Clusia treeAlthough each is unique and fascinating in its own way, my longtime favorite is the pod from the Clusia tree, also known as the “Autograph tree” and the “Scotch attorney tree.” But I like to call it the “Story tree” and the “Clue tree”. You’ll see why below.

The stages of the Clusia tree and pods can represent our life stories. Our stories change as we mature and as we are influenced by life experiences.

Memoir writing prompts and ClusiaWhy do I call this the Story tree? Look at the photo of a Clusia bud on the left. See how it is small, barely open to the world. The outer surface protects the fragile interior. Perhaps the bud reminds you of stories from your childhood.











Clusia-BlossomEventually the closed bud opens into this delicate blossom. As we move out into the world, we open ourselves to new experiences. But we’re still fragile. Does this give you clues about your coming of age stories?







memoir writing prompt and clusiaAlthough it is hard to believe, the delicate blossoms turn into these sturdy green pods. Similarly, we can look at our lives and recollect stories of our own sturdiness, our strength, our toughness in the face of difficult situations.






Memoir writing prompts and ClusiaGive the pod enough time, it opens and drops from the tree where it dries to a gorgeous rust-brown.

Those are the pods that I pick up and cherish. Some have opened in seven places as you can see in the photo. Others open in eight, some in nine. I’ve counted as many as 11 separate splits. It is the uniqueness of these pods that again reminds me of our life stories–many similarities and yet differences that make us who we are.

Reflect on the stages of your life in your own stories while thinking about the Clusia tree and its marvelous pods.

Memoir Writing Prompt Inspired by the Clusia

1. Choose one of the stages of the Clusia pod…bud, blossom, closed pod, open pod, mature pod no longer on the tree. Look again at the photos above as you choose.

2. Determine a specific life story that you can associate with the phase of the pod that you choose.

3. Write for 15 minutes sharing how the story relates to earlier and later stages in your life.

One More Thing

Memoir Writing and ClusiaOh. One more thing…I mentioned that the Clusia tree is also called an “Autograph tree” or a “Scotch lawyer tree.” From the photo on the left, you can see what I mean. The leaves are thick and can be written on. Usually just names, but it’s fun to see where the name “Scotch lawyer” came from. This would be a cheap way to write a contract and then sign it.

{ 0 comments }

Memoir Writing Prompts: The Controversy Continues

by Matilda ButlerMarch 27, 2018
Memoir Writing Prompts: The Controversy Continues

Memoir writing prompts. Yes? No? Join the conversation about memoir writing prompts and consider this perspective.

Read the full article →

Memoir Writing Tiny Tip #17: Writing and Your Emotions

by Matilda ButlerFebruary 27, 2018
Memoir Writing Tiny Tip #17: Writing and Your Emotions

Matilda Butler returns with a new Tiny Tip that focuses on examining emotions in memoir writing.

Read the full article →

It’s Valentine’s Day: A Memoir Writing Prompt

by Matilda ButlerFebruary 14, 2018
It’s Valentine’s Day: A Memoir Writing Prompt

Matilda Butler provides memoir writers with a fun Valentine’s Day writing prompt. It’s fast. It’s easy. Get started right now.

Read the full article →

Memoir Writing Prompt: Inspiration on the Lanai

by Matilda ButlerJanuary 23, 2018
Memoir Writing Prompt: Inspiration on the Lanai

Matilda Butler shares her most recent memoir writing prompt. Where did she get her inspiration? On a lanai in Hawaii, of course.

Read the full article →

Memoir Writing: Making the Most of What You Have

by Matilda ButlerJanuary 9, 2018
Memoir Writing: Making the Most of What You Have

Matilda Butler asks you to take a new look at recycling and your memoir writing.

Read the full article →

Memoir Writing Prompt: Pretend You’re a Box (Really)

by Matilda ButlerDecember 5, 2017
Memoir Writing Prompt: Pretend You’re a Box (Really)

Matilda Butler shares a new memoir writing prompt based on messages on a box. Read what she has to say and give it a try.

Read the full article →
Interviews Category Interviews Category Interviews Category Interviews Category Interviews Category Interviews Category Writing Prompts Category Writing Prompts Category Writing Prompts Category Writing Prompts Category Writing Prompts Category Writing Prompts Category StoryMap Category StoryMap Category StoryMap Category Writing and Healing Category Writing and Healing Category Writing and Healing Category Scrapmoir Category Scrapmoir Category Scrapmoir Category Book Business Category Book Business Category Book Business Category Memoir Journal Writing Category Memoir Journal Writing Category Memoir Journal Writing Category News Category News Category News Category