Writing prompt, prompted by my neighbors in room 315

The plan was to be asleep by 9 and be up at 5am to write.

I hadn’t figured on the people who like to roam hotel corridors at all hours and talk about boring things RATHER LOUDLY. Oh, and SLAM DOORS. They woke me up so many times I lost count. (But thanks to several trusty alarms, I got up on time and jumped right back into the pages.)

They weren’t the only busy creatures last night. There is a baby in the room next to me. The kind of baby who is feeling a little stressed by the hotel and the LOUD PEOPLE and the price of gas and lack of affordable health care and itch of a damp diaper. The baby cried a lot. And some loving person talked to her and held her and played the flute to calm her down. So it was an interesting night’s sleep. And it gave me this writing prompt.

Imagine you are in a hotel room, alone. You can’t sleep because of the snatches of conversation and activity you hear in the hall and in the rooms next to yours, above you and below you. You find yourself looking out the peep hole, and pressing your ears to the walls for more details. (Don’t press your ears to the floor. The carpet looks a little skeevey.) Write down what you hear, and what you imagine is going on. Bonus points: turn your raw material into a poem or a short story.

69 Replies to “Writing prompt, prompted by my neighbors in room 315”

  1. Hotel

    Echoes of sadness
    appear like raindrops galore
    distant cries bring pain
    understanding the emptiness
    only to listen more

    trains rumble and speed past
    like time going too fast
    not sure about tomorrow
    still hear cries and sorrow
    wishing for the morn

  2. Hotel

    Echoes of sadness
    appear like raindrops galore
    distant cries bring pain
    understanding the emptiness
    only to listen more

    trains rumble and speed past
    like time going too fast
    not sure about tomorrow
    still hear cries and sorrow
    wishing for the morn

  3. Hotel

    Echoes of sadness
    appear like raindrops galore
    distant cries bring pain
    understanding the emptiness
    only to listen more

    trains rumble and speed past
    like time going too fast
    not sure about tomorrow
    still hear cries and sorrow
    wishing for the morn

  4. I’ve been lurking…

    but now i feel “prompted” to comment–pardon my cheesey puns…it’s what i do when i feel the need to be clever.

    Anyways, I was wondering if I could steal this prompt for the classes I teach (Freshman Comp at FSU). It would make a really great journal assignment for them–or perhaps an in-class free write.

  5. I’ve been lurking…

    but now i feel “prompted” to comment–pardon my cheesey puns…it’s what i do when i feel the need to be clever.

    Anyways, I was wondering if I could steal this prompt for the classes I teach (Freshman Comp at FSU). It would make a really great journal assignment for them–or perhaps an in-class free write.

  6. I’ve been lurking…

    but now i feel “prompted” to comment–pardon my cheesey puns…it’s what i do when i feel the need to be clever.

    Anyways, I was wondering if I could steal this prompt for the classes I teach (Freshman Comp at FSU). It would make a really great journal assignment for them–or perhaps an in-class free write.

  7. Poem

    He didn’t show up again.
    She inhales smoke,
    looks at her watch,
    listens to the walls around her.

    Must be prom night,
    loud music echoing
    and drunk adolescents
    shouting down the hall.

    A toilet flushes
    in the room next door.
    The sound is faint,
    but she hears water running.

    Alone, she cringes,
    as someone stops outside her door.
    Giggles.
    Love.

    She stubs out her cigarette,
    pickes up her purse
    and leaves.

    Heather Truett
    http://www.madamerubies.com

  8. Poem

    He didn’t show up again.
    She inhales smoke,
    looks at her watch,
    listens to the walls around her.

    Must be prom night,
    loud music echoing
    and drunk adolescents
    shouting down the hall.

    A toilet flushes
    in the room next door.
    The sound is faint,
    but she hears water running.

    Alone, she cringes,
    as someone stops outside her door.
    Giggles.
    Love.

    She stubs out her cigarette,
    pickes up her purse
    and leaves.

    Heather Truett
    http://www.madamerubies.com

  9. Poem

    He didn’t show up again.
    She inhales smoke,
    looks at her watch,
    listens to the walls around her.

    Must be prom night,
    loud music echoing
    and drunk adolescents
    shouting down the hall.

    A toilet flushes
    in the room next door.
    The sound is faint,
    but she hears water running.

    Alone, she cringes,
    as someone stops outside her door.
    Giggles.
    Love.

    She stubs out her cigarette,
    pickes up her purse
    and leaves.

    Heather Truett
    http://www.madamerubies.com

  10. I like to look through the peep holes at hotels… its funny to see what people do when they’re alone in the hall. my brother and i knock on the wall when they pass or we put a penny or something on the hallway floor and see if they pick it up.

  11. I like to look through the peep holes at hotels… its funny to see what people do when they’re alone in the hall. my brother and i knock on the wall when they pass or we put a penny or something on the hallway floor and see if they pick it up.

  12. I like to look through the peep holes at hotels… its funny to see what people do when they’re alone in the hall. my brother and i knock on the wall when they pass or we put a penny or something on the hallway floor and see if they pick it up.

  13. hotels, motels and stupid people…

    Room 203- (Next to the kitchen)

    “Dis is zee only room left”
    says the man with salt and
    peppered hair.

    He hands me a key
    and for a moment my hand
    touches his-
    all shook up from palsy.

    I insert hard key, push
    open door, trip over brown carpet.

    In an instant, I am overwhelmed
    by a streaming stench of
    mothballs, ant
    poisining, windex.

    I lay on hard bed, pull up
    covers as soft as sandpaper.
    The clock by my bedside
    flashes twelve.

    My eyes are heavy and
    I am almost somewhere else
    when words recoil through wall and
    I am awoken by a long list

    of orders-
    two sunset ups for
    table four, red cherries, another gin.
    Someone jumps as a large
    tin tray of wine glasses is
    dropped

    the vibrations pulsing through thin walls
    and into my ears.

    poem by Joanna Quinn
    Age 16

  14. hotels, motels and stupid people…

    Room 203- (Next to the kitchen)

    “Dis is zee only room left”
    says the man with salt and
    peppered hair.

    He hands me a key
    and for a moment my hand
    touches his-
    all shook up from palsy.

    I insert hard key, push
    open door, trip over brown carpet.

    In an instant, I am overwhelmed
    by a streaming stench of
    mothballs, ant
    poisining, windex.

    I lay on hard bed, pull up
    covers as soft as sandpaper.
    The clock by my bedside
    flashes twelve.

    My eyes are heavy and
    I am almost somewhere else
    when words recoil through wall and
    I am awoken by a long list

    of orders-
    two sunset ups for
    table four, red cherries, another gin.
    Someone jumps as a large
    tin tray of wine glasses is
    dropped

    the vibrations pulsing through thin walls
    and into my ears.

    poem by Joanna Quinn
    Age 16

  15. hotels, motels and stupid people…

    Room 203- (Next to the kitchen)

    “Dis is zee only room left”
    says the man with salt and
    peppered hair.

    He hands me a key
    and for a moment my hand
    touches his-
    all shook up from palsy.

    I insert hard key, push
    open door, trip over brown carpet.

    In an instant, I am overwhelmed
    by a streaming stench of
    mothballs, ant
    poisining, windex.

    I lay on hard bed, pull up
    covers as soft as sandpaper.
    The clock by my bedside
    flashes twelve.

    My eyes are heavy and
    I am almost somewhere else
    when words recoil through wall and
    I am awoken by a long list

    of orders-
    two sunset ups for
    table four, red cherries, another gin.
    Someone jumps as a large
    tin tray of wine glasses is
    dropped

    the vibrations pulsing through thin walls
    and into my ears.

    poem by Joanna Quinn
    Age 16

  16. haiku madness

    (i dunno how good this is…but i think it sort of works. it’s a poem and it’s short. more points for me!! jkjk)

    Undercurrent noise.
    Symphony of the city
    Currents through bland walls.

    let me know if this is any good. at all.

    -Murphy

  17. haiku madness

    (i dunno how good this is…but i think it sort of works. it’s a poem and it’s short. more points for me!! jkjk)

    Undercurrent noise.
    Symphony of the city
    Currents through bland walls.

    let me know if this is any good. at all.

    -Murphy

  18. haiku madness

    (i dunno how good this is…but i think it sort of works. it’s a poem and it’s short. more points for me!! jkjk)

    Undercurrent noise.
    Symphony of the city
    Currents through bland walls.

    let me know if this is any good. at all.

    -Murphy

  19. “That was wonderful.”
    “Yeah, it was. I loved every moment of it.”
    “Me too. Be right back.”
    “K. Hurry back.”
    “…What are you doing with that?! Please! No…”
    You hear a gunshot.
    Then a scream.
    Then another shot.
    You’ve just checked into the Asylum Motel.

  20. “That was wonderful.”
    “Yeah, it was. I loved every moment of it.”
    “Me too. Be right back.”
    “K. Hurry back.”
    “…What are you doing with that?! Please! No…”
    You hear a gunshot.
    Then a scream.
    Then another shot.
    You’ve just checked into the Asylum Motel.

    1. You hear the police sirens near.
      Then some obscenities from the other room.
      A door slams.
      You then hear loud thuds coming from your door.
      You get out of the stain ridden bed and back up.
      The door opens, and you see the man, shirt with blood, and a gun in his hand.
      He slams the door.

      “Don’t move!”
      The gun is pointed towards your head.
      “Please, man! What do you want from me?!”, you yell hysterically.
      “Where are your car keys?” he asks.
      I take them out, and lift them up. He has an evil smirk.
      “Good. We’re going for a little joyride.”

      He proceeds to shove you into the passenger seat, and starts the car.
      He manages to escape with his newly-found bounty — you.

  21. “That was wonderful.”
    “Yeah, it was. I loved every moment of it.”
    “Me too. Be right back.”
    “K. Hurry back.”
    “…What are you doing with that?! Please! No…”
    You hear a gunshot.
    Then a scream.
    Then another shot.
    You’ve just checked into the Asylum Motel.

  22. Free write

    She is alone. The carpet is mocking her, the bedsprings are squeaking a smug chuckle at her expense. She is alone with four dollars and fifty-three cents and a tampon.

    Her neighbors are not alone, because they are with each other. But they are alone together, sitting cattycorner bedpost apart with the occasional accusative syllable widening the distance. She is alone, imagining his hair like grass in late October, thin and brown and dying. She is alone, imagining her creamsicle lipstick and regret that she left her children with a teenager just to see this man again. Their inner magnets now repulse, pushing one to the window and the other to the minibar.

    She is alone. The room still smells as though an over-eager prom date chose to bathe in cologne rather than water. The water in her glass is lukewarm. She has a crappy romance novel. There are worse things.

    She could, for example, be the mother of the squall of diapers next door, unable to sleep for more than two hours before a primal hunger squeals and ruches for her attention. That mother is doing it alone, that mother is growing to dislike her baby. Her naive heart really can’t take much more before it morphs into a crow-foot hard-heart oversized-sweater-and-leggings kind of heart that belongs to a mother who forgets to stub out her Merit before walking into her child’s school.

    There are worse things than being alone. The carpet is still mocking her–it is easy to be a cynic in a cheap motel. It is easy to be superior on forty-three dollars a night.

  23. Free write

    She is alone. The carpet is mocking her, the bedsprings are squeaking a smug chuckle at her expense. She is alone with four dollars and fifty-three cents and a tampon.

    Her neighbors are not alone, because they are with each other. But they are alone together, sitting cattycorner bedpost apart with the occasional accusative syllable widening the distance. She is alone, imagining his hair like grass in late October, thin and brown and dying. She is alone, imagining her creamsicle lipstick and regret that she left her children with a teenager just to see this man again. Their inner magnets now repulse, pushing one to the window and the other to the minibar.

    She is alone. The room still smells as though an over-eager prom date chose to bathe in cologne rather than water. The water in her glass is lukewarm. She has a crappy romance novel. There are worse things.

    She could, for example, be the mother of the squall of diapers next door, unable to sleep for more than two hours before a primal hunger squeals and ruches for her attention. That mother is doing it alone, that mother is growing to dislike her baby. Her naive heart really can’t take much more before it morphs into a crow-foot hard-heart oversized-sweater-and-leggings kind of heart that belongs to a mother who forgets to stub out her Merit before walking into her child’s school.

    There are worse things than being alone. The carpet is still mocking her–it is easy to be a cynic in a cheap motel. It is easy to be superior on forty-three dollars a night.

  24. Free write

    She is alone. The carpet is mocking her, the bedsprings are squeaking a smug chuckle at her expense. She is alone with four dollars and fifty-three cents and a tampon.

    Her neighbors are not alone, because they are with each other. But they are alone together, sitting cattycorner bedpost apart with the occasional accusative syllable widening the distance. She is alone, imagining his hair like grass in late October, thin and brown and dying. She is alone, imagining her creamsicle lipstick and regret that she left her children with a teenager just to see this man again. Their inner magnets now repulse, pushing one to the window and the other to the minibar.

    She is alone. The room still smells as though an over-eager prom date chose to bathe in cologne rather than water. The water in her glass is lukewarm. She has a crappy romance novel. There are worse things.

    She could, for example, be the mother of the squall of diapers next door, unable to sleep for more than two hours before a primal hunger squeals and ruches for her attention. That mother is doing it alone, that mother is growing to dislike her baby. Her naive heart really can’t take much more before it morphs into a crow-foot hard-heart oversized-sweater-and-leggings kind of heart that belongs to a mother who forgets to stub out her Merit before walking into her child’s school.

    There are worse things than being alone. The carpet is still mocking her–it is easy to be a cynic in a cheap motel. It is easy to be superior on forty-three dollars a night.

  25. I just wanted to say…

    Laurie you are one of my FAVORITE authors. i adore your books and your look at the world. The book SPEAK really touched me. i felt like i had a friend who shared the same pain as i did. The story SPEAK acually tells my story also. It was very comforting that someone understood what it felt like. I was raped when i was 10, and i have never seen him again (thank god because i would kill his ass). It no longer bothers me that i was, because im over it back on my feet. I started cutting when i was twelve and drinking very much also because of his act. Your book shocked me, because of its reality. Right now im reading your book {catalyst, and loveing every page. You truley have a way with words, poeple say i do also. i write poems about certian emotions to get them out. I have a shirt that stats, “this pencil is my thoughts, this paper is my mouth” i am writing a novel right now also. I know it will never get puplished because …wellll…i just dont see that happening. I was going to share one of my poems, but i felt like that was alil pushy. So, i just wanted to say i love your writing so much it has brought me to tears. If you ever have a chance to talk to me, i know ur busy but, here is my email adress- BlackTears429@yahoo.com

    loving reader,
    Moriah

  26. I just wanted to say…

    Laurie you are one of my FAVORITE authors. i adore your books and your look at the world. The book SPEAK really touched me. i felt like i had a friend who shared the same pain as i did. The story SPEAK acually tells my story also. It was very comforting that someone understood what it felt like. I was raped when i was 10, and i have never seen him again (thank god because i would kill his ass). It no longer bothers me that i was, because im over it back on my feet. I started cutting when i was twelve and drinking very much also because of his act. Your book shocked me, because of its reality. Right now im reading your book {catalyst, and loveing every page. You truley have a way with words, poeple say i do also. i write poems about certian emotions to get them out. I have a shirt that stats, “this pencil is my thoughts, this paper is my mouth” i am writing a novel right now also. I know it will never get puplished because …wellll…i just dont see that happening. I was going to share one of my poems, but i felt like that was alil pushy. So, i just wanted to say i love your writing so much it has brought me to tears. If you ever have a chance to talk to me, i know ur busy but, here is my email adress- BlackTears429@yahoo.com

    loving reader,
    Moriah

  27. I just wanted to say…

    Laurie you are one of my FAVORITE authors. i adore your books and your look at the world. The book SPEAK really touched me. i felt like i had a friend who shared the same pain as i did. The story SPEAK acually tells my story also. It was very comforting that someone understood what it felt like. I was raped when i was 10, and i have never seen him again (thank god because i would kill his ass). It no longer bothers me that i was, because im over it back on my feet. I started cutting when i was twelve and drinking very much also because of his act. Your book shocked me, because of its reality. Right now im reading your book {catalyst, and loveing every page. You truley have a way with words, poeple say i do also. i write poems about certian emotions to get them out. I have a shirt that stats, “this pencil is my thoughts, this paper is my mouth” i am writing a novel right now also. I know it will never get puplished because …wellll…i just dont see that happening. I was going to share one of my poems, but i felt like that was alil pushy. So, i just wanted to say i love your writing so much it has brought me to tears. If you ever have a chance to talk to me, i know ur busy but, here is my email adress- BlackTears429@yahoo.com

    loving reader,
    Moriah

  28. Hotels

    I have good reasons I will not sleep in hotels. One, I don’t know what has happened in that bed before I got there. And second, I don’t want to wake up hearing other people. I Camp! I love camp more than anything else. Sweating or freezing. I’ll take a tent. Front Welcome page looks really cool. Later.

  29. Hotels

    I have good reasons I will not sleep in hotels. One, I don’t know what has happened in that bed before I got there. And second, I don’t want to wake up hearing other people. I Camp! I love camp more than anything else. Sweating or freezing. I’ll take a tent. Front Welcome page looks really cool. Later.

  30. Hotels

    I have good reasons I will not sleep in hotels. One, I don’t know what has happened in that bed before I got there. And second, I don’t want to wake up hearing other people. I Camp! I love camp more than anything else. Sweating or freezing. I’ll take a tent. Front Welcome page looks really cool. Later.

  31. You hear the police sirens near.
    Then some obscenities from the other room.
    A door slams.
    You then hear loud thuds coming from your door.
    You get out of the stain ridden bed and back up.
    The door opens, and you see the man, shirt with blood, and a gun in his hand.
    He slams the door.

    “Don’t move!”
    The gun is pointed towards your head.
    “Please, man! What do you want from me?!”, you yell hysterically.
    “Where are your car keys?” he asks.
    I take them out, and lift them up. He has an evil smirk.
    “Good. We’re going for a little joyride.”

    He proceeds to shove you into the passenger seat, and starts the car.
    He manages to escape with his newly-found bounty — you.

  32. You hear the police sirens near.
    Then some obscenities from the other room.
    A door slams.
    You then hear loud thuds coming from your door.
    You get out of the stain ridden bed and back up.
    The door opens, and you see the man, shirt with blood, and a gun in his hand.
    He slams the door.

    “Don’t move!”
    The gun is pointed towards your head.
    “Please, man! What do you want from me?!”, you yell hysterically.
    “Where are your car keys?” he asks.
    I take them out, and lift them up. He has an evil smirk.
    “Good. We’re going for a little joyride.”

    He proceeds to shove you into the passenger seat, and starts the car.
    He manages to escape with his newly-found bounty — you.

  33. His breath lingers
    like he never left
    His smell saturates my clothes
    I still taste his kiss
    the last sweet touch we shared
    before he walked out of room 132
    the last meeting place we’ll ever have

    I sit still on the stail bed
    waiting for a sign to get up and leave
    this hotel of long lost memories
    but can’t pull myself to walk out
    on true love’s beconing call

    I lay down, curl into a ball
    and listen to the kids
    running through the halls
    with not a care in the world

    I envision switching places
    with anyone for a few minutes,
    but realize that I could
    wait in this room a thousand days
    for just one more kiss

    Billie Hoskins
    Class of 06′

  34. His breath lingers
    like he never left
    His smell saturates my clothes
    I still taste his kiss
    the last sweet touch we shared
    before he walked out of room 132
    the last meeting place we’ll ever have

    I sit still on the stail bed
    waiting for a sign to get up and leave
    this hotel of long lost memories
    but can’t pull myself to walk out
    on true love’s beconing call

    I lay down, curl into a ball
    and listen to the kids
    running through the halls
    with not a care in the world

    I envision switching places
    with anyone for a few minutes,
    but realize that I could
    wait in this room a thousand days
    for just one more kiss

    Billie Hoskins
    Class of 06′

  35. His breath lingers
    like he never left
    His smell saturates my clothes
    I still taste his kiss
    the last sweet touch we shared
    before he walked out of room 132
    the last meeting place we’ll ever have

    I sit still on the stail bed
    waiting for a sign to get up and leave
    this hotel of long lost memories
    but can’t pull myself to walk out
    on true love’s beconing call

    I lay down, curl into a ball
    and listen to the kids
    running through the halls
    with not a care in the world

    I envision switching places
    with anyone for a few minutes,
    but realize that I could
    wait in this room a thousand days
    for just one more kiss

    Billie Hoskins
    Class of 06′

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