Writing prompt – dusk

Dusk-winter-trees-cr-Judy-Darley

As the days shorten and nights lengthen, my mind turns to the winter solstice, and to the Solstice Shorts Festival 2017 due to be hosted by micro publisher Arachne Press.

Arachne Press proprietor and publisher Cherry Potts is seeking submissions of new and unpublished poetry and prose on the theme of Dusk. What does it bring to mind for you?

Cherry describes dusk as “the last ‘official’ segment, when the sun is down, but there’s still a lingering light in the sky, through to out and out night.”

The deadline for submissions is 5th November 2017.

Think about how you can turn that time when light and dark hover around each other into a story or poem. Find out how to submit your words at arachnepress.com

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. You can help make the Solstices Shorts a nationwide festival.

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Writing prompt – fog

Undiscovered Faroe Islands © Per Morten Abrahamsen

Undiscovered Faroe Islands © Per Morten Abrahamsen

Did you know that the people of the Faroe Islands have 37 words for fog?

It’s just the kind of detail that makes me want to reach for pen and paper and start scribbling down ideas for stories and poems.

The archipelago of 18 tiny islands is currently petitioning Google Translate to share their language. Located in the North Atlantic, between the Shetlands, Iceland and Norway, they have created their own Faroe Islands Translate in a bid to have their language taken on by Google. Less than 80,000 people speak Faroese worldwide.

Faroese fog © Kate Chapman

Faroese fog © Kate Chapman

The Faroese version of the online translation service employed the services of locals rangings from sheep farmers to school teachers, and chefs to social workers. “This initiative provides an opportunity to see the friendly Faroese before visiting, and to gain a window on to their magical world.”

To me that sounds like a fabulous feel-good film!

Lisa í Dali, a student at the University of the Faroe Islands, is one of the locals involved. Lisa’s favourite Faroese phrase is “um tær ikki dámar veðrið, bíða so bara í 5 minuttir” which means “if you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes.” Perfect!

Use this beautiful story to inspire a piece of writing, and celebrate the power of language.

To learn more about the Faroe Islands, visit www.visitfaroeislands.com/en. To fly to the Faroe Islands, visit www.atlantic.fo.

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 – voyage

Voyage by Judy DarleyIt’s always intriguing to see a boat out at sea. Where are they going and where have they been? Is this about pleasure, arduous work or desperation? Is this the end or just the beginning of their voyage? Weave a tale from this simple image.

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 – angles

London angles by Judy DarleyThe angle you take with a story is as important as the story itself, whether you’re writing fiction, non fiction, or something in between.

What you leave out, what you add in, how you emphasise the heart of the tale are all crucial to your end result.

To me this slide of London represents that perfectly, taking in past, present and possible futures.

What direction would you choose to take from here?

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 – miffed

Geese by Judy DarleyEver noticed how much we humans love to anthropomorphise? This seems particularly true of birds. If I see a group of pigeons, I might mention them gossiping, or if I see a pair of ducks in a hotel swimming pool, my immediate thought is that they’re on holiday.

How about these geese spied recently in Bristol and looking somewhat peeved as the rain churns up their holiday idyll? How might their conversation go?

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 – fairytale

Repunzel photo by Judy Darley

I spotted this torn and disfigured book cover on a shady cemetery path. It feels like an apt reminder of the darkness inherent in traditional fairytales.

As a child the retellings of myths gathered or made up by the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen frequently chilled me to my bones. Only in recent years have these twisted tales riddled through with warnings become saturated with the Happy Ever Afters we crave.

Write something skin-shiveringly unsettling inspired by this image.

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 – view

View by Judy DarleyIt may not seem like much, but this is the view I lost when some idiots decided to build a house a few feet from my backyard.

I’ve always relished having some space in front of me – a bit of distance on which to rest my eyes and some inspiring sky to help me come up with the next sentence or the perfect closing line.

What do you take for granted that you would miss if it was taken away?

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 – time slip

Port Meadows cr Judy DarleyVisiting Oxford recently for a friend’s significant birthday, we took a boat ride down the leisurely River Thames to where the waterway assumes the name of The Isis. Away from the hoards of punts and hapless tourists, we reached Port Meadows, where cows and wild horses meander the banks and wade in the shallow water.

It was remarkable to reach a space where nothing has changed for hundreds of years, In fact, its history stretches back to 2000BC. This is where Lewis Carroll rowed with Alice Liddell and told her stories of Alice in Wonderland, and where William Turner drank in the scenery while working on his early landscapes.

Imagine a boat ride that carries its voyagers through time to encounter the people who once walked alongside here, or paddled through its water. What might they learn about their own time?

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 – hardware

Clamp by Judy Darley

I love a random bit of hardware – the more industrial-looking the better. This one seems ripe for transformation into a clue, a character or a threat.

Imagine it scaled up to something far bigger, or re-envision it miniscule. Now build a story around that image.

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 – idyll

St James Park, London by Judy DarleyVisiting London recently on a fiercely hot summer’s day (remember summer? It lasted a few uncommonly good days!) the happiest i felt was when we stepped from the crush of streets into the leafiness of St James’ Park, where this photo was snapped. Yup, those are our shadows, right there.

Lakes, sunshine, waterfowl… What’s not to love?

And yet, even here, darkness waits to catch you out. As we admired ducks diving and swimming beneath the surface, an old man approached to tell me how he’d watched a seagull drowning ducklings, and a friend later told me the familiar story of one of the park’s resident pelicans swallowing a pigeon in front of his eyes. Gulp.

Could you twist this into a political satire or something more poetic? Think about the surface beauty of settings where threats lie in wait…

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.