Writing prompt – quarantine

Treehouse cr Judy DarleyMy husband has tested positive for COVID-19, which means we’re currently under house arrest. Happily his symptoms are mild, and we’re hoping they stay that way,

Imagine a character who isn’t allowed to leave their home for some reason, but happens to live somewhere unconventional. Make their location key to the story’s mood – perhaps they live in a treehouse, boat or lighthouse.

How secure do they feel? How might their emotional state be influenced by their surroundings? How could this impact on the people they’re trapped with?

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 may publish it on SkyLightRain.com.

Writing prompt – sneakers

Sneakers by Judy DarleyI don’t know if this happens in your area, but where I live it’s common for people to leave objects they no longer want on their front wall. It’s a tendency that’s proliferated throughout lockdown while charity shops have been closed.

It drives me a bit bonkers. While it’s good to find ways to prevent objects going to landfill, the items often remain outside for days and weeks, being destroyed by rain and sun. Why not hang onto them a little bit longer then pass them on to charities who can sell them for crucial funds?

Why not turn this into a psychological creep-fest? Dig into the twisted corners of your imagination and devise a dark motive for someone to leave items outside. What trap might the person who takes them home fall into?

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 may publish it on SkyLightRain.com.

Pandemic prompt – Sky Orchestra

Hot air balloons over Bristol by Judy DarleyA magical event will soon resonate through Bristol’s skies, as hot air balloons will debut an especially commissioned musical composition.

The Sky Orchestra experimental artwork from artist Luke Jerram (who previously brought us boats in woodlands, a waterslide on Park Street, as well as the moon and the sun), and BAFTA-winning composer Dan Jones is due to take place on an unnamed day, partly due to unpredictable weather conditions and partly to embrace the joy of surprise.

Imagine waking to an extraordinary unexpected air-borne art form. What impact could it have? Or, more darkly, what might it distract us from?

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 may publish it on SkyLightRain.com.

Pandemic prompt – rooftops

Rooftops by Judy DarleyLockdown has meant that the city-dwellers amongst us have had more than our share of rooftop views lately. Restrictions have eased considerably in England, but can’t take away from the minutiae of everyday weirdnesses we’ve already observed in these times.

Imagine a neighbour whose natural nosiness has become heightened by these circumstances. What oddity might they glimpse?

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 may publish it on SkyLightRain.com.

Pandemic prompt – dinner party

Bee, beetle, poppy by Judy DarleyI paused to admire the glimmer of a rose chafer beetle inside a poppy when a bumblebee flew in to join the party.

These unlikely dinner companions could prompt a tale of an unexpected bubble pairing or even a satire exploring race relations. Where will it take 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 may publish it on SkyLightRain.com.

 

Pandemic prompt – stilettos

Stilettos by Judy DarleyDuring the depths of lockdown, these stilettos appeared balanced on a bin in our local park. It felt like a clue in a pandemic crime. Who had been out partying when the rest of us were mostly confined to our homes? What ball did they skitter home from barefoot?

Or were the shoes an offering to the Covid-19 gods, in a bid to save us all?

Write a modern myth or fairytale with these abandoned stilettos at its heart.

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 may publish it on SkyLightRain.com.

Pandemic prompt – mask

Mask by Judy Darley
I photographed a discarded face-mask in early April, just one week after the UK went into lockdown. At the time I was disturbed that someone had dropped it so carelessly – like a perilous form of litter! I’ve since heard that millions of face-masks and other items of PPE  are being thrown away every day.

Considering that 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in our oceans everyday, it’s no wonder that scientists are warning that that will soon be more masks than jellyfish in our seas.

Can you turn this into a warning fable? More challengingly, can you find a way to give it a hopeful or positive 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 may publish it on SkyLightRain.com.

Pandemic prompt – bug

Greenfly by Judy Darley
In these times when the global pandemic has shrunk our world right down, it seems natural that we’re paying more attention to the wildlife in our own locale. For me, this has included goldfinches, gulls, rose chafer beetles, and ladybird larvae.

When trying to photograph the latter, I ended up admiring the translucent jade beauty of their greenfly prey. Can you turn a person’s growing fascination with insects into a story, or would you prefer to play with ideas of scale?

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 may publish it on SkyLightRain.com.

p.s. Sorry if this prompt made you feel itchy…

Pandemic prompt – siblings

Chalk sisters by Judy DarleyStrolling through a local park, I saw three siblings playing on their scooters – two teenage girls and their smaller brother.

One positive thing to have come out of lockdown and social distancing requirements has may be reinforced family connections. Many of us with older siblings will remember how we went from being a handy, on-site playmate to an irritation as alternative options arrived in the form of school friends etc.

What happens when siblings have no one to play with but each other? What tensions arise? What unbreakable bonds are forged?

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 may publish it on SkyLightRain.com.

Pandemic prompt – distance

Tesco line-up_by Judy Darley

Remember when we used the word ‘social’ without following it with ‘distance’? Those two words once added up to an oxymoron, but it’s become normal with a speed that daunts me.

Can you write a timely story in which two strangers make a connection in a supermarket queue, despite, or because, of social distancing rules?

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 may publish it on SkyLightRain.com.