Last New Year's on a writing retreat, we wrote from prompts at some of the afternoon circle gatherings. I write one from the prompt Broken Promise. It was a really intriguing story start and I filed it away in my mind as a potential for a longer start or even a novel. Both of the novels I've written so far came from prompts that became short stories that became novels.
For the last week I've been looking for that prompt. I'm ready to start considering the characters and topics for my next novel (novel #2 has been through several drafts and is now with early readers). Long ago I stopped having separate journals for each of my various activities and I keep two journals now. One is my daily journal, where I do my Morning Pages, and the other is my creative/spiritual/idea journal. They travel with me wherever I go and I always do circle work in the creative journal. But reading it cover to cover did not find me that prompt. I've emailed other participants on the retreat to see if anybody remembers the prompt but no one so far has.
I've been tempted to think that I dreamed it, but I remember the characters too vividly, I remember the setting, but there was something about the tone, the voice that I fell into in writing the prompt, that I can't retrieve in my memory. It's been six months, I never reread it, I didn't internalize it, it was just an inspired piece. And haunting enough to be still alive as a possibility. And I don't know how to get it back.
I don't remember having other notebooks with me but I must have done. I'm going to keep searching.