the last minute

If you’re ready and willing to write, give this third warm-up writing exercise from the RE«MIND workshop a try.

The Why

Why am I sharing this writing prompt at this moment?

Because a family friend died over the weekend, and while we weren’t close, we knew each other for 25+ years, and I once helped her translate the terms of a too-good-to-be-true bank loan — which turned out to be both good and true — and then design the house she built with that funding.

So, Geri and I weren’t close, but the part of me that participated in her dream-building experience was tied to her forever, and I feel cheated on her behalf. She worked long and hard for that Caribbean home, and she’d enjoyed just a few years of full-time living there when cancer came out of nowhere and killed her within a month.

To add insult to injury, Geri was careful about what she ate, exercised regularly, did all her wellness checks, and her annual bloodwork results were perfect just 6 months before. It feels like her conscientiousness was worthless and wasted, but who can say? It might be why she lived as long as she did.

I’d write more about that, but 1) I need to save that juice for the workshop’s next writing prompt, which I get to conjure up today, and 2) I already wrote a letter about it for my patrons, and there’s not much more to say.

That letter writing relieved the paired pressures of grief and disappointment. I’m still deeply saddened and totally, totally pissed, and that’s valid and okay. The writing, the pressure, the pissedity — they’re all part of making my peace with it.

And as often happens, grieving the end of someone’s life got me thinking on the end of mine and, after a moment, yours.

The Writing Prompt

That brings me to the memoir workshop’s writing warm-up #3, which prods you to uncover what matters most and shape it into fewer than 400 words.

If you could use some focus or need to reset your priorities, this might help…

RE«MIND Warm-up #3:

When I heard this, I immediately thought of you—

“You’ve got a minute to live, fill it with words.”
~Tony Stark, Iron Man 3

In the movie, that line was delivered with great urgency, and the fellow on the receiving end was facing a loaded weapon.

Fortunately, we’re not that pressed, and the stakes nowhere near that high. We have some time to work and, compared to the Play With Your Food warm-up exercise, a heckuvalot more space!

Your eat tweet had room for just 15 or 20 words, but this time you can write up to 400 words, and I’ll explain why in just a bit. For now, here’s your exercise—

Your life will end in 60 seconds.
In the minute you have left to live, what would you tell us?

Say what needs saying in 120-160 words
or 200-250 words or around 400 words.

Download This Writing Prompt (Free!)

sample pages with click here to download button

Click here to download the PDF of the writing prompt package, no sign-up required. It includes—

  • The writing prompt
  • Some guidance on collecting secret messages
  • A second approach to the prompt, and
  • A level-up to the writing exercise

Write on 💙


By Crys Wood

Writer, wordworker, and podcast producer. Enjoys baking, knitting, her new cat, and her old man. Lives quietly on the plains of central Montana, "where all the knives are sharp and all the guns are loaded." 😊 Here's more »