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.

Writing prompt – derelict

Ruin, Villahormes cr Judy DarleyI have a quiet abiding love of abandoned hollows, where you can feel a sense of the people who once lived there, and of the wildlife and plants reclaiming the space now.

As you walk past an empty building, imagine the characters who filled it with light and cheer. Then add in a weary travelling pausing for a night’s rest. What might they encounter?

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 – alone

Old man and pigeons by Judy DarleyWhile looking after my nephew recently, we visited a local park. An old man was minding his own business feeding pigeons and squirrels from a carrier bag of monkey nuts.

My nephew wanted to make friends with him and help feed the wildlife, but it was clear the gentleman wanted only to be left alone. I got the impression this is something he does every Saturday, or perhaps every day, and that it is a source of rare pleasure to him.

I also had the sense he prefers animals to humans and has perhaps learnt to be wary of people. It made me wonder what his story is, whether he lives alone, or may even be homeless. How did he come to be like this? What might happen if a child insisted on befriending him?

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 – curious

Child holds beetle cr Judy DarleySpend time with any young child and you’ll soon realise they’re overflowing with curiosity. Why is the sky blue? How does the moon stay up? Where do beetles fly away to? How does electricity work?

Instead of throwing your hands in the air with exhaustion (now, there’s a funny mental image), use one of these questions as the start of a story, trying to answer it in as elegant, funny or enchanting way as you can.

Why not?

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 – glimmer

Easter egg cr Judy DarleyA few weeks ago I was leaving my house, when I spotted a small foil-wrapped egg on the footpath. Intrigued, I picked it up, then put it in the bin. Days later, a glimmer of gold caught my eye and I found an identical egg nestled in the leaves of a dandelion like a small precious meteor.

#Writingprompt Where could these eggs have been coming from, and why? And more curiously, if they’re intended as Easter offerings, why were they appearing so early?

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 – promises

Museum of the Moon by Luke Jerram photo1 by Judy DarleyHave you ever been made a completely implausible promise? Did you end up disappointed or resigned when it failed to come to fruition, or did you have a moment of wonder when your promiser delivered?

Artist Luke Jerram is currently touring his Museum of the Moon, offering us the chance to promise to take someone to the moon, and actually mean it. Imagine if that really was the moon, however. What havoc could it cause the seas and oceans, our gravitational pull and the night sky?

Write a tale based on an unfeasible promise, and the chaos it causes when it actually comes true.

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 – rural

Golden Teasels by Jane Betteridge

This painting, Golden Teasels by Jane Betteridge, seems loaded with potential to me. I have the sense of someone wandering along deep in their thoughts, then unexpectedly witnessing something private and possibly awful unfurl.

Or perhaps this is a scene of bucolic beauty and innocence.

What does it bring to mind for you?

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 – grave companion

Grave companion cr Judy DarleyMy local Victorian cemetery where I like to run is littered with tombs topped by curious effigies. When I spied the small horse above, my only thought was, “Funny, I never noticed that one before.”

I actually ran past, then trotted back for a closer look, and realised that what I’d taken for carved stone was in fact sodden fur, moss-stained and sullied by spending who knows how long in a graveyard?

Grave companion by Judy Darley

Who could have lost this precious companion? What lonely soul might have claimed it as their own?

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 – change

Deceased March wasp photo by Judy DarleyApologies, I realise this post should have come with a warning for those entomophobes among us.

I stepped over this deceased wasp on a sunny day last week and was struck by how wrong it is to see a wasp, alive or dead, at this time of year. To my knowledge, they’re best known for spoiling late summer picnics, so what was this one doing out and about so early, and what caused its demise?

To me this insect corpse is a potent symbol of climate change – a seemingly minor anomaly, but heralding potential catastrophe – the equivalent of a butterfly effect with a sting in its tail. It seems ripe with metaphor and satire for cli-fi (yes, that is a genre) writers.

Curiously enough, when I googled the definition of wasp, as well as getting lots of info about White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (go figure), I was informed that a wasp is A) a social social winged insect which has a narrow waist, and B) a solitary winged insect which has a narrow waist.

So there you go, plenty of tangents to fly with.

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.