Friday, December 21, 2012


Faithful Readers!

I hope you have enjoyed the writing prompts and have felt somewhat inspired to continue to write/begin to write/. I am headed off into the woods of blog sabbatical for a week or so to prepare for the New Year. I look forward to inspiring you more! See you on the other side of 2012,

In Gratitude,

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Write. Right? Write! 12/19/12

Word of the DayPrecipitation

Color of the Day: Carnal Orange

Writing Prompt

* Find a room/place you enjoy sitting in. Write down your observations with new eyes as if you've never seen it before. Pay close attention to how you FEEL when you are writing down what you see. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Write. Right? Write! 12/18/12

Word of the Day: Alive

Color of the Day: New Chapter Crimson

Writing Prompt

* Write a Haibun based on any experience you've had that impacted you greatly or changed your life.  Shoot for no longer than half a page.

Monday, December 17, 2012


Write. Right? Write! 12/17/12

Word of the Day: Lucid

Color of the Day: Fire Alarm Green

Writing Prompt

* Little Red Riding Hood meets her long lost twin sister. What is the story behind this twin sister? Are they anything alike? Where do they meet? Set this writing prompt up in one of three time periods:

1. Fairy tale time period :)
2. 50's
3. 70's 


Write. Right? Write! 12/16/12

Word of the Day: Yawd

Color of the Day: Linear Peach

Writing Prompt

* Write the opening scene of a novel. 1-2 pages. The opening scene must include:

1. The quote: " Do you really have to say it that way?"
2. One time reference
3. A short dialog
4. A sentence or two of back-story.


Write. Right? Write! 12/15/12

Word of the Day:Motion

Color of the Day: Hopeful Black

Writing Prompt

* You've just designed a time machine. Where will you travel? What will you do there? Who will you bring back/forward?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Write. Right? Write! 12/14/12

Word of the Day:Mourn 

Color of the Day

Writing Prompt

* Write a letter to your heart. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Write. Right? Write! 12/12-12/13

Word of the Day: Anticipation

Color of the Day: Egg Plant Purple

Writing Prompt

* Create Your Perfect World!

What does it look like, taste like, smell like, feel like, politic like...? Is there a governmental institution? What kind of foods exist there? Spare no details. Include a day to day schedule for those who inhabit your perfect world. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Write. Right? Write! 12/11

Word of the Day: Liberty

Color of the Day: Hostage Beige

Writing Prompt

*Write a 16 lined poem in the following format:

__________________________________________ color
__________________________________________time reference



scientific name_______________________________

_____________________________________item of clothing
Write. Right? Write! 12/10

Word of the Day: Argopelter  

Color of the Day: Sunrise Teal

Writing Prompt

Create the perfect internal atmosphere. Use as many details as possible. 500 word max.

Write. Right? Write! 12/9

Word of the Day: Microorganism 

Color of the Day: Gingerbread Brown

Writing Prompt

You win the lottery in the amount of one million dollars. The government states you must keep half and use the other half to support any writing project of your own. What will your project entail? Details. Details. Details.
Write. Right? Write! 12/8

Word of the Day: Licorice 

Color of the Day: Egg Shell White

Writing Prompt 

Make a list of all things Blue/all things that resonate the "feeling" of blue to you.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Write. Right? Write! 12/7

Word of the Day: Immaculate

Color of the Day: Conservative Orange

Writing Prompt (Chose one)

*Write a lengthy recipe for heartbreak. Use measurements. 
*Write a lengthy recipe for joy. Use measurements.

Write. Right? Write! 12/6

Word of the Day: Laundry

Color of the Day: Clean Green

Writing Prompt

*Create a card line. Give it a name. Decide who your audience is. Describe the visual aspects of the card. 

*Write the text for two cards using the situations below:

1. Your best friend left her clothes at the laundromat by accident and her entire wardrobe including underwear, tights and socks was stolen.

2. Your niece got her first period.

Write. Right? Write! 12/5

Word of the Day: Grumble

Color of the Day: Exhale Pink

Writing Prompt

*You receive a package in the mail addressed to you. The sender has listed an address in Ireland. You are unfamiliar with the senders name.

1. List what's in the package. 
2. Be as vivid as possible.
3. After you've inspected the package, explain why you think it may have been delivered to you. 

Write. Right? Write! 12/4

Word of the Day: Mutable

Color of the Day: Taxonomy Yellow

Writing Prompt

*Write a letter from your 7 year old self to your NOW self. Be sure to incorporate questions. I encourage you to write it instead of typing it...but either one means you are writing! :) Right? Write.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Two for one Monday

Write. Right? Write! 12/3

Word of the Day: Mercurial

Color of the Day: Hopscotch White

Writing Prompt

*Make a list of 10 words that impact you emotionally (good or bad) when you hear them/read them or think them. Pay close attention to which words you are hesitant to write. 

*Write a free write in response to this statement:
"In my past life I must have been a church window pane."

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Write. Right? Write! 12/2

Word of the Day: Sandalwood

Color of the Day: Peppermint Red

Writing Prompt

* Nina Simone invites you to dinner. Where will you go? What do you chat about? What does she wear? What do you wear? Does anyone else come along? What is her biggest fear? What do you confess?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Today is the Day


Welcome to the first installment of writing prompts and exercises leading up to the New Year!

Write. Right? Write! 12/1

Word of the Day: Privation

Color of the Day: Brokenhearted Purple

Writing Prompt
* Imagine you are a supershero/hero. Your assignment is to stop a    stanza from committing suicide.What will you say? How will you say it? Why does the stanza want to end it's life?


Sunday, November 4, 2012

An Open Letter to my Son on his 18th Birthday

Dearest Brandin M. O. Tolbert,

I believe turning 18 is another RITE OF PASSAGE.

Your father and I spent countless hours daydreaming about what kind of person you would be. We knew right away you would handle life on your own terms based on my pregnancy. During the time I carried you I was sent to the hospital with so many bouts of early labor and in the end you decided to come late—when you felt like it. 
Happy Birthday just doesn't seem to capture the amount of love inside my heart for you. It doesn't seem to explain how both odd and amazing it is to see my heart walking around on its own, voting, on the way to college and with a mustache. You have morphed into your own person. You are no longer a small version of your father and I. You are a young man. 

You have been blessed with the gift of a nurturing family that loves and supports you and a host of family-friends who love you. You are fortunate to have a younger brother who has always loved you “big” and been your biggest cheerleader. It is in these words and in this space in your life that I want you to stop and give thanks. Give thanks for all your blessings. Give thanks for all the ways you've arrived at this point in your journey. I wish with all my might that you could embrace your new chapter with a manual or life map…but learn early none of us has one of those and to be quite honest if we did, we would still go the wrong way or have to take detours.

This past year has been the most emotionally challenging year you have ever had to endure and none of it is your fault. Through it all you have continued to strive to be your very best self. You have maintained your integrity, internal confidence and you haven’t succumb to the pressures of numbing yourself for the sake of “hard times” or taken a moral time out to be mired in anger or frustration. You are not perfect by any means but I've watched your imperfections morph into learned life lessons. Quite honestly, I am amazed at your resilience and it is one of the qualities I deeply admire and appreciate about you. 

Often when I look into your eyes I see the two year old who wanted to touch, taste, and smell everything. The five year old who questioned everything and the nine year old who wasn't afraid to state his opinion no matter whom he was stating it to. Your father and I knew you possessed the qualities of a leader and I am sure when you were growing up you remember that being one of the staple phrases of our household…”Brandin be a leader and not a follower.” We don’t question whether or not you heard us or not. 

During dinner I asked you what have been your biggest life lessons at 18. Your wisdom blows me away. I am listing them here for public record to share with others some of the wise things you've said and also as a reminder to YOU when you find yourself stressed or making small detours. :)

Brandin’s Wisdom at 18

Be true to yourself

Follow your gut

Don’t compromise who you are for anyone

Don’t dwell on drama

Don’t take adolescence too serious…you’ll have to grow up one day

People change whether you want them to stay the same or not. It hurts but it is a fact and you can’t change that they are changing

Don’t try to impress anyone

Take care of yourself before you take care of others

Value and keep the core of you. Other things might change about you but keep the core of who you are intact

High School social life is not as important as it seems sometimes. Education and true friends are

Learn to say “NO!” even if it may hurt others


You can’t keep everyone you want and it hurts you but it is a fact

Have as much fun as possible 

Family is super important

Family-Friends are super important

Meditate or do something spiritual

Thank you Brandin for all the ways you have blessed your father and I. Happy 18th Birthday!!
We love you more than words can express.


Anastacia Tolbert’s work is a trellis of twilight, ultramarine ache and lowercase loam.
writer • performance artist • workshop facilitator

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Round Trip:

Seattle to Japan
Grocery                Store                     of            Life 
Japan   to Seattle

Sometimes you get in your car and you drive because you have plans to go to the grocery store and come back to your new home. You have put this intention out into the world. You say: World, I am going to purchase milk, bread, eggs and butter.  Sometimes you drive farther than you need to because there is a particular grocery store or busy market you desperately want to go to. You see yourself getting there. You see yourself picking up the groceries and returning to your new home. You may even visualize yourself making a cake with these ingredients or a rich French something or rather.
This is exactly what my trip to Japan was to be about. I traveled far. I visualized that I would be a member of the Japan citizens club for three years. I visualized all the things I would see, do and feel. I embraced my Capricorn side and even made a list of all things Japan.
Here’s the thing: I made it to the store and didn’t buy eggs, milk, bread or butter at all. In fact, I picked up a different list of things and after arriving I decided my grocery store trip was over and that I wouldn't come back to my new home. 
I finally understand the life lesson wise and beautiful people talk about when they stare at you super seriously and slowly say, “You know…it isn't about the destination it’s about the journey.”
If ever I was beginning that new chapter in my life I always talk about beginning but sort of get cold feet... it’s now. If ever a time to make new lists it’s now. If ever a time to sacredly dispose of old list it’s now. If ever a time to poet, plot, purge, Pablo Neruda, and plan—it’s now.
Dearest Japan,
Thank you for your people. Thank you for their resilience. Thank you for Japanese children sneak-smiling at me. Thank you vendors and Ramen Shop owners for allowing me to be a feisty, American Woman of Color half-ass-ing her Japanese language skills to communicate "eat" and "pee" "onegaishimasu!"
Thank you for your temples and all the spiritual ways you worship. Thank you for allowing me to grieve my losses in public and only staring at me briefly--mouths closed. Thank for understanding I show my toes in the summertime, I am not Yakuza AND I  have tattoos PLUS I still say bless you even when there are no demons to cast out.
Thank you for your vivid colors and endless vegetables. Thank you for your subway manners and for giving me the green light to slurp my soup like a two year old if I want to and I always wanted to. Thank you Japanese mothers for pretending not to notice I have an affinity for baby feet and baby cheeks. Thank you Japan for giving me two options to pee, one in the ground and one labeled “Western Style,” with sounds and lovely buttons to push. 
Thank you new friends for understanding I am slow to warm. Thank you brilliant Japan for the perfect way you weave simplicity and complexity in the form of so many things. Thank you for your technology allowing me to stay connected to my family and friends in the United States from the future. Thank you for your fashion and passion for shoes and all things accessories. Thank you for the way you operate on American pop culture and create new pop species.  
Thank you Japan for the generous living quarters you have given my family and I—despite the unpleasant history/herstory of them.
Thank you Japan for your holidays and secret streets. Thank you for your massively historical and branchy tree’s never hugging me but always letting me hug them. Thank you for your unexpected and expected beauty which sometimes doubles as grace. Thank you Japan for your life lessons, some of which I knew but didn't want to know, some of which I had no clue about until I reached your soil.

Domo Arigato Gozaimasu
With all my heart

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Dear Cancer,

Murderer. Kiss my ass. I hate you. You are selfish and greedy and sneaky.

An odd way to begin a blog I realize, but this is where I am. And that is the best place to be so that I can clearly see where I am going.

In the last three months or so my family and other people close to me have been dealing with Cancer and other life suffocations. Over the weekend I was taped to the bed with a migraine. I find that when I am post-migraine and in yay I am a human again rest mode—I usually take a listen a bit more closely at what the universe wants me to hear. I heard the word release and I was like, “Get outa here universe!” But I get it. So I’ve begun a series of letters. Writing to objects, feelings, people, diseases etc. Of course these are not letters that can be mailed—and I can’t just walk over to Cancers house and deliver it
but it feels emotionally beneficial to get the words and feelings out in the open and on the page.

Dear Hair,

I really love you no matter what you look like, but today, I desperately want to shave you off and sweep up the all the tiny pieces in a neat pile.

I found that while I’ve been writing these miniscule and novel length letters—I’m breathing more deeply. As much as I deem myself as a no nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is/was/will/be/ kind of woman, honestly I still hold a lot in. And the “in” it goes probably isn’t healthy. Maybe you are so far evolved that you’ve been using this technique all along. Kudos and why didn’t you tell me? Or maybe…you might try it this week. 

Dear George Zimmerman,


…you get the point. Thinking of you from across the seas and from the future,

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Please Don't Wait!!

And so it begins this New Year like a new tune I haven’t heard before. Like a book whose pages outnumber my minds capacity, whose pages make me want to skip ahead and see what’s next. (Perhaps a chapter about coming back to the states for the summer??)

Be mindful. This is what I keep telling myself. Mindful of what I am thinking. Mindful of what I am doing. For instance: I am trying to focus on the fact that I am typing this blog, not what’s for dinner, not who has what extracurricular activities this afternoon and what says is going on in the world—and entertainment section. Be mindful that I am typing my heart out to whoever will read it. Be mindful. And I am…my mind is full of countless thoughts. Focus. I tell myself to focus on the purpose of this month’s blog. Pre-funeral expressions of love.

In light of all the recent celebrity deaths I want to remind/reiterate the idea of loving on folks WHILE THEY ARE LIVING. Eulogies are lovely life dedications. Everyone gets to express their sincerest emotions about a person they liked/loved who has transitioned. I think to myself, what would the world be like if humans did this whole eulogizing/outpouring of expression while we were alive. Simple things. Nothing extravagant. Just a second or two to express gratitude to the people in your life that mean the most to you. And isn’t it better to reach out to your ____________________ or _____________________while he/she is still very alive and tell her/him at least two things you love about them?

I want to dispel the “he/she already knows how I feel about them” myth right now. Perhaps she does. Perhaps he doesn’t. A re-run of love is a thousand times better than emotions never aired. Do it. Be mindful of your heart. I double-dog dare you.