Think back about …

Disasters

Some are natural, like hurricanes, volcanoes, floods, earthquakes, or wildfires. Some are human, like illness, divorce, accidents, bankruptcy, or 9/11. Others might just seem like disasters, like a breakup or a bad haircut. On this anniversary of Hurricane Harvey, think back ... to a disaster that shaped your life. How did it change you? Did it have a silver lining? Share your disaster stories forward.

Stories on This Week's Writing Prompt

Featured Story

There Was a Fire Here
Excerpted from my memoir, There Was a Fire Here. October 20, 1991. Oakland, California — There was a fire here. It started [...]

Readers’ Choice

The End of the Innocence
by
It was November of my eighth grade year. For our last period of the day, the girls had home economics and the boys had a free [...]
My First Experience with a Computer was a Disaster
Disaster struck. My thesis had vanished. The computer had eaten it and refused to spit it out. 
Cakequake
"[D]isasters" are inherently subjective; they are in the eye of the beholder.  As Mel Brooks noted, "Tragedy is when I cut [...]
Lucky’s Afghans: a 20th-century disaster
How do you reconcile heartbreak and fear, sadness and jeopardy, and the sense that everything is ending? You don’t.
Not a Dream #1
“There would have been no rescue here!” The fire marshal held my arm as fiercely as my gaze, neither of us paying attention [...]
How many disasters can you fit on the head of a pin?
by
When my first husband and I separated, I took my nine month old daughter and moved back to Houston.  At the time I still [...]
Disaster: An Actor Who Can’t B Natural
It is 1986, and they are casting the original Broadway company of "Les Miserables." I want to play Jean Valjean.
Flood
The call came very early that August morning in 2007. We were both still in bed on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. I [...]
Do You See The Darkness Or The Light
Personally I feel what most people consider a disaster in reality is quite the contraire. Not at all unlike the way most [...]
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Stories from the Previous Prompt

The Garden

In Vino Communitas
How can I convey the childish joy of wading around the tubs as the grapes squished and squirted between our toes?
Checkbook Gardener
I have a notorious black thumb. I killed a philodendron in my college dorm room and those things are indestructible. I killed [...]

Other Recent Stories

Black Magic
Each time I respond to a post, Facebook uses it to categorize and phenotype me, to slice and dice my likes and comments and [...]
Prompted By The Social Network
Information Pollution
I recently heard Nicco Mele, head of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard, speak. He [...]
Prompted By The Social Network

Think back about …

Disasters

Some are natural, like hurricanes, volcanoes, floods, earthquakes, or wildfires. Some are human, like illness, divorce, accidents, bankruptcy, or 9/11. Others might just seem like disasters, like a breakup or a bad haircut. On this anniversary of Hurricane Harvey, think back ... to a disaster that shaped your life. How did it change you? Did it have a silver lining? Share your disaster stories forward.

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