Writing prompt – discards

Christmas tree binbags cr Judy DarleyAt this point in January each year a sorry sight appears as unwanted Christmas trees are hacked up and bagged or simply cast out, ready to be disposed of.

Write a story or poem inspired by the idea of a similar undignified turfing out of a guest previously welcomed in, honoured and celebrated.

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 – denial

Azores spirits1 by Judy DarleyI’m always intrigued by what people give up and take up in a bid to make themselves supposedly better people at the onset of a new year.

As a starting point for a new work of fiction, create a character with a passion for something unconventional, and then give them a really good reason to give up that indulgence, whatever it may be. What ensues?

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 – hut

Westcliff Lift, Bournemouth cr Judy DarleyI adore seaside locations out of season. This little hut is the entrance to a Westcliff Lift, which leads down to a Bournemouth beach, but only in summer. In winter, it’s locked up and abandoned. There’s even ivy growing through one window, reclaiming the space.

Imagine someone discovering this small building and taking shelter from the cold. Could this become their home, if only for a time? What might happen if someone notices their infringement? What will occur when summer returns?

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 – hiatus

Dylan walk estuary serenityThese days between Christmas and New Year often feel like a secret to be stepped into. Moments of quiet to be inhaled and exhaled, to be harnessed or released – sand through fingers, light over water…

We’re on the brink of an ending, and a fresh start, and for many of us this offers a wealth of possibilities.

What ideas does this time unfurl within you?

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

Writing prompt – greetings

Dylan walk post box by Judy DarleyOne of the loveliest things about this time of year is the excuse to reconnect with friends and family. Distant relatives suddenly bob to the surface of your mind with the help of a card or email, and some heartfelt Christmas greetings.

Imagine two people who haven’t been in touch for months or years, and the Christmas card that changes that.

Use this as the foundation of a story – who is the person sending the card? What has motivated them to reach out now? Who is the recipient? What has prevented them speaking for so long? Does the card have the desired result?

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 – hull

Azores Boat Underside cr Judy Darley

I’m always intrigued by the parts of things that we rarely see – the underside of bridges, backstage catacombs, caves…

The underside of boats are particularly beautiful when hoisted into the air for maintenance. Someone told me recently that this is a seven-yearly process, which is curiously poetic. Every seven years these hulls are hauled from water to be licked by breezes.

Azores Boat Underside Moon cr Judy Darley

It seems to me that they carry with them the memories of navigations, stars and moons. The barnacles, rust and mottled paint are riddled through with sea shanties and myths. Some parts seem less than vessels than curious whales and other marine creatures….

Azores Boat Underside Hole cr Judy Darley

What do they stir in 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 – Pareidolia

Sad Ghost Cereal cr Judy DarleyAccording to Kim Ann Zimmermann at Live Science, “Pareidolia is a type of apophenia, which is a more generalized term for seeing patterns in random data. Some common examples are seeing a likeness of Jesus in the clouds or an image of a man on the surface of the moon.“

It’s also the reason why a particular brand of breakfast food is known as ‘Sad Ghost Cereal’ in my household.

Imagine becoming convinced this was the truth – could you become haunted by your own snack? You can shift this phenomena to any household item. Just take a glance around and see what’s grinning or grimacing at you right now!

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 might publish it on SkyLightRain.com.

Writing prompt – piano

Blue piano cr Judy Darley

This is the second piano to make it onto my Writing Prompts column. What it is about their keys and chords that ripples so many stories into existence?

The last one was prompted by my dad. This one came about thanks to my mum. After an evening out she headed off to the bus station, then sent me a message to tell me the following:

“I missed the bus by 5 minutes! BUT it was O.K, waiting at the bus station as I had a free concert. One of the Bristol pianos was there and a couple of students turned up and began to play lovely music. The one who did the most playing was excellent, and didn’t seem able to tear himself away. I wondered if they were there all night!”
What a magical scene. A bus station almost empty but for a 70-something woman. The arrival of two students, the discovery of a piano, and music filtering through the air.
Use this image to dream up a tale. How might the listener and the pianist be altered by their 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 might publish it on SkyLightRain.com.

Writing prompt – lens

Flying in Laugharne by Judy DarleyI was looking at some photos I took in Laugharne this summer and almost deleted this one because of a strange mark I mistook for a smudge on the lens.

But then I zoomed in a little and discovered a slightly blurry image of a bird in flight, or perhaps a pterosaur.

Flying in Laugharne crop by Judy Darley

It made me consider how easily this could create a plot twist in a story, as your character notices something unexpected or revealing in a photo they thought they knew…

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 – positivity

#Happytoes

A couple of years a friend and I wrote up a mass of cheery statements and attached them to my nephew’s discarded baby socks, then scattered them through the neighbourhood. It became part of the Totterdown’s Front Room Arts Trail 2015.

Our only goal was to spread a few smiles.

Why not attempt something similar with your writing?  Word or poetry bomb a public place to make someone stop in their tracks and think for a moment.

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.