Writing prompt – invasion

Llansteffan barrel jellyfish by Judy DarleyWhen visiting south Wales recently, my mum and I went for a stroll on a beautiful beach where the tide was far, far out. After ambling about for a time, we suddenly spotted a jellied mound in a shallow pool – a gigantic dead barrel jellyfish. Then we saw one on the sand, and another. They were all over the shore, stranded and alien.

Here’s another with Mum’s foot beside it for scale.

Llansteffan barrel jellyfish, Mum's foot by Judy Darley

Imagine encountering an invasion like this. What could have caused it? What might be coming next?

If you write or create something prompted by this, please send an email to Judy(at)socket creative.com to let me know. With your permission, I might publish it on SkyLightRain.com.

Writing prompt – trickery

Colby Walled Garden gazebo ceiling by Judy DarleyI visited Colby Woodland Garden in south west Wales. It features a gorgeous walled garden complete with a trio of slug-eating ducks and a summerhouse decked out in Trompe l’oeil paintings by American artist Lincoln Taber.

Colby Walled Garden key by Judy DarleyPut simply, Trompe l’oeil, or ‘trick of the eye, is the art of illusion – a fake key hung on a real wall above painted shelves and below painted windows that let in portions of painted sky.

A confusion of real and illusory flowers bloom almost side by side, while real statues shelter false glasses of wine.

Imagine a Trompe l’ceil  summerhouse where no one knows what’s real and what’s not. How could this environment alter a person’s understanding of the world? How might a person living in a place where more is an illusion than real respond to the world beyond the garden’s walls?

If you write or create something prompted by this, please send an email to Judy(at)socket creative.com to let me know.

With your permission, I’ll publish it on SkyLightRain.com.

Colby Walled Garden gazebo by Judy Darley

 

Writing prompt – glass heart

Glass heart by Peach Perfect

The most beautiful gift just arrived in the post from Kate at Peach Perfect. A handblown glass heart in a mass of jewel colours, it reminds me of being a small child coveting pirate’s treasure chests.

Imagine finding something like this washed up on a beach. From where could it have swept in? How could you keep it safe?

If you write or create something prompted by this, please send an email to Judy(at)socket creative.com to let me know. With your permission, I’ll publish it on SkyLightRain.com.

Writing prompt – abandoned

Abandoned piano cr Judy DarleyI found this unloved piano in the garden of the care home where my dad is now confined, and couldn’t get over the poignancy.

Looked out for unwanted items left out for the council, or fly-tipped. An old fish tank beside a skip, a rusting bicycle in a river, a computer keyboard at the side of a road…

Who might it once have belonged to? Who might find the item and transform it into something beautiful?

If you write or create something prompted by this, please send an email to Judy(at)socket creative.com to let me know. With your permission, I’ll publish it on SkyLightRain.com.

Writing prompt – viewpoint

Abandoned hotel1 cr James HainsworthThis abandoned hotel overlooks the Twin Lakes, one of the most famous viewpoints on Azorean island of Sao Miguel. Stripped of all its glitz and promise, the building echoes with the laments of regretful ghosts.

Abandoned hotel by James Hainsworth

Why not use it as the setting for an unsettling story?

If you write or create something prompted by this, please send an email to Judy(at)socket creative.com to let me know. With your permission, I’ll publish it on SkyLightRain.com.

Writing prompt – roots

Ficus Macrophyla Australia cr Judy DarleyI met this Australian Banyan tree at the Jardim José do Canto botanical gardens on Sao Miguel, the Azores. Planted on the island in 1845, this particular Ficus Macrophyla Australia is the kind of tree that might well serve as a fairytale citadel. The root system and half-hollow trunk feel ripe with metaphor and possibilities.

Use it as the starting point of a fantastical tale.

If you write or create something prompted by this, please send an email to Judy(at)socket creative.com to let me know. With your permission, I’ll publish it on SkyLightRain.com.

Writing prompt – restless

Terra Nostra tree by Judy DarleyI just got back from visiting São Miguel island, part of the Azores archipelago. The volcanic landscape there is like the Jurassic Park movies crossed with Labyrinth, with touches apparently dreamt up by Terry Pratchett.

So when we saw this tree at the Terra Nostra botanical gardens, we were almost certain it was just taking a rest before setting off to get on with its day. Any moment now, we thought, it will give itself a small shake and poddle away.

I particularly like the fact it’s crossed a few toes contemplatively.

What do you think? Turn it into a story.

If you write or create something prompted by this, please send an email to Judy(at)socket creative.com to let me know. With your permission, I’ll publish it on SkyLightRain.com.

Writing prompt – dystopia

View from church tower by Judy DarleyLooked at from above, much of England resembles a jigsaw puzzle, from neat fields and allotments to orderly lines of picnic benches.

Use this scene as the starting point of a dystopian tale. What rumblings of dissent could be heard just below the surface, if you listen hard?

If you write or create something prompted by this, please send an email to Judy(at)socket creative.com to let me know. With your permission, I’ll publish it on SkyLightRain.com.

Writing prompt – refuge

Home by Judy DarleyI picked up a leaflet recently about Refugee Week at b-side. It asked: “If you could never return home, what would you do and where would you go if you were granted just one minute to be there?”

What a question. Use this as the starting point of a tale on displacement, family or whatever else strikes you as you consider that possibility. Put yourself in the shoes of someone far from home, and imagine the refuge they might crave.

If you write or create something prompted by this, please send an email to Judy(at)socket creative.com to let me know. With your permission, I’ll publish it on SkyLightRain.com.

Writing prompt – science

Krakow Botanical gardens palm house cr Judy DarleyI’ve been immersed in Tania Hershman’s beautiful collection Some Of Us Glow More Than Others, and was struck with how elegant, creative and fantastical the stories seeded in science can be.

I took this photo in the palm house of Krakow Botanical Gardens, Poland. What concoctions could be brewing here? What investigations might be underway, and with what aim? How could you use that as the root of a tale?

If you write or create something prompted by this, please send an email to Judy(at)socket creative.com to let me know. With your permission, I’ll publish it on SkyLightRain.com.