Writing Prompts

Word Prompt: Gentle | Story Prompt: from the book “Everything I Never Told You” by Celeste Ng

‘”How did you get blue eyes?” he said at last. “When you’re Chinese and all?”

Lydia blinked. “My mom’s American.”

“I thought brown eyes won out.” Jack propped his hand against her headrest and leaned in to study her carefully, like a jeweller with a gemstone. Under this appraisal, the back of Lydia’s neck tingled, and she turned away and ashed her cigarette into the tray.

“Not always, I guess.”

“I’ve never seen a Chinese person with blue eyes.”

Up close, she could see a constellation of freckles on Jack’s cheek, faded now, but still there. As her brother had long ago, Lydia counted them: nine.

“You know you’re the only girl in school who’s not white?”

“Yeah? I didn’t realize.” This was a lie. Even with blue eyes, she could not pretend she blended in.

“You and Nath, you’re probably the only Chinese people in the whole of Middlewood, I bet.”


Jack settled back into his seat and rubbed at a small dent in the plastic of the steering wheel. Then, after a moment, he said, “What’s that like?”’


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