How often do we think about the things that we love? Those things should be showing up repeatedly in our pieces of writing, so some exploration of what those things are is essential to writing more specifically. Take a few moments and create your own list. Add to it as time goes by. Post it someplace visible in the area in which you prefer to write. We'll be coming back to this list and using some things in later prompts.
Prompt: "...Write a list of a few of your favorite things. If possible, don't stop at a few. Write a list of a lot of your favorite things -- foods, activities, possessions, seasons, settings, whatever comes to mind...Pick an item from your list and explore it, giving your reasons for liking the item or developing a history, perhaps, of how long you've liked it, what associations it hold for you, particular memories of enjoying the item" (The Writer's Idea Book, p. 53).
My response: Gardenias, cats, Puerto Rican pasteles, the color purple, Preston & Child novels, exploring the internet, singing, hot showers, lying in the sun, books by Sarah Dessen, coloring, throwing dinner parties, bed sheets with patterns in vivid colors, air conditioning, the sound of the waves crashing onto the beach, the sound of the wind clacking the palm fronds, a baby's attempts at speaking, libraries, bookstores, second-hand stores, Gran-Becky's diamond wedding ring, stucco houses -- inside and out, tropical gardens, taking photographs, winter in Florida, snow skiing, museums, the tangy salt smell of the ocean, smiling, giving and getting hugs, kissing, jazz, vegetable biryani, mangoes, my grown-up daughter, Chaleur d'animale perfume, massages, scrabble, steampunk novels, Apple computers, seeing God all around me, ice cold stone crab claws with mustard sauce, purple sunsets, Midnight Oil coffee, pirates, history, Native American Indian culture.
Salt water runs through my veins. I'm not sure when or how my fascination with the ocean began. Perhaps it exists because I am a water sign -- Cancer, the crab. Maybe its roots go even deeper. I have been told I am related to the pirate Jean Lafitte, but even if I am not, all things seaworthy hold a fascination for me. Some of my fondest memories are anchored in the salt, like being awoken at 3 a.m. to be stowed like cargo in the backseat while my dad steered the family to Key Largo, where he would submit our 19-footer to the temporarily placid Atlantic. I can clearly recall the sound of the car's tires racing over the road and the rhythmic, hypnotizing thump-thump as we passed over the highway's expansion joints. Once the boat was launched, my place was perched on the prow, legs crossed Indian-style, clutching the anchor's rope. My spirit was free as we soared over the water, spray and wind bathing me in a salty perfume. I didn't care whether or not I caught any fish, though I was a decent fisherwoman and usually hooked my share of the day's haul. For me, the snare was my developing love with the sea.