Writing prompt – fable

Ugly Duck cr Judy DarleyHere’s a challenge. The Ugly Duckling is a story we’ve been told all our lives. It seems that magazines, movies and all the other elements of popular culture agree that the ending’s only happy if the ducking emerges as a radiant swan.

I suspect this genre of fairytale is part of the reason why our society puts such value on our outward appearance.

So how do you take such a well-known tale of redemption through beauty and give it a fresh, more positive, less shallow twist?

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

Writing prompt – tenant

Reggie cr Judy DarleyOur new home came with an unexpected lodger, who seemed rather surprised to discover us peering into his pond after months, or even years, alone.

Imagine a couple moving into a house only to discover someone or something is already resident. What could ensue?

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

Writing prompt – brink

Stepping stones cr Judy DarleyThis image captures a moment of carefree fun, just before one small child (not pictured) fell in with a squawk and a splash, and another (also not pictured), lost his rag and threw his welly into the mire.

I love the concentration on the kids’ faces as they traverse this perilous series of stepping stones. Could the older boy in the background actually walking on water? So many fantastic story possibilities!

Um, and yes, that is the bobble of a bobble hat in the foreground, but make of it what you will 🙂

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

Writing prompt – seahorse

Seahorse by Judy DarleyI met this otherworldly creature at my local aquarium. Clinging to his net for support, he looks rather as though he’s a felon behind bars, which made me smile until I considered the controversy currently surrounding Sea World.

These ambiguities offer a rich mine of story possibilities. Is he enjoying a moment’s serene contemplation or is he a frustrated captive?

Aquariums and zoos can be centres of conservation, preserving wildlife and providing education. Equally, they can jails where animals suffer for our entertainment. Write something that explores these dualities, or choose which side of the fence you’re sitting behind and show us something that will make us think about these issues in a fresh way.

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

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Writing prompt – home

Moon and roofs by Judy Darley

Moon and roofs by Judy Darley

My man and I moved home last weekend, which has meant constant upheaval for several weeks. I took this photo in our former street on the night of a supermoon and can’t help thinking how the stillness of the houses and the apparent agitation of the moon makes it resemble the start of an encounter of the third kind.

On the other hand, these are all utterly familiar things, each of which speaks of home.

What means home to you? How would you feel if that was removed? Can you channel that emotion into a tale or poem that says something about what it is to be human bereft of and seeking a home?

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

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Writing prompt – dream

Cat dreaming cr Judy DarleySomething about this sleeping cat reminds me of the Salvador Dali painting snappily titled Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening

What sounds might be contributing to this cat’s dreams? How surreal might those dreams be? And what if those dreams somehow influenced the world we live in?

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

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Writing prompt – snow day

Snow Day by Judy DarleyIt’s hard to believe that this happened less than a week ago. I love all the activity happening in this image, all the different interactions, collisions and connections – not least  between the two dogs on the lower lefthand side.

Let this vibrant scene prompt a story. Whose tale do you want to tell? Or which tail do you want to wag?

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

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Writing prompt – strange fruit

Shoes in tree cr Judy DarleyMy nephew spotted this tree full of shoes and asked why people choose to do this with their footwear. I’ve heard a number of theories over the years, but love the fact no one quite seems to know a definitive answer.

Why not make up your own scenario that could explain this phenomena? What message might the shoe casters be trying to spread?

And how might the trees respond?

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

Writing prompt – skies

Totterdown sunset Judy DarleyI’m often stopped in my tracks by the beauty of the sky above me. Riddled with light, colour and sculptural cloud formations, they have the power to set us adrift from the mundane, if only for a moment.

Pause at some point today, and look up. Is there a cloud, plane trail or simply an intensity to the grey that moves something creative within you?

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

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Writing prompt – first love

Bunny Valentine by Judy DarleyToday, to the satisfaction of card sellers and florists everywhere, is Valentine’s Day. This is the card I made for my husband of ten years (and friend for countless more).

Today, I invite you to write a love-letter not to the person you first loved, not to a parent, sibling, or even pet, but the object you first felt true, undying passion for, whether that’s a toy, book, or random item, such as, say, a particular sock. A friend of mine once harboured an unwavering loyalty towards her pyjama case. I myself was partial to a train set that thrilled me with its swooping hills that its interlocking parts allowed me to construct myself.

What first filled you with such delight?

Turn that devotion into a poem, letter or story that reflects the depths of your feelings, but hold one detail back – the word that explains exactly what the item you so adored was or is.

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