Midweek writing prompt – dogs and fleas

You may have heard the proverb, he who lies down with dogs, gets up with fleas. It’s one that makes me smile, but says so much more. How often do you judge a person by who their friends are?

Robert Louis Stevenson by John Singer Sargent, 1887 Courtesy of the Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati, Ohio

Robert Louis Stevenson by John Singer Sargent, courtesy of the Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati, Ohio

The National Portrait Gallery in London are currently showcasing an exhibition of works by John Singer Sargent, revealing his portraits of intimate friends, including Robert Louis Stevenson (shown looking very relaxed and informal in 1887 here), Claude Monet and Auguste Rodin. I love how alive Robert’s expression is, as though he’s about to laugh or speak, or maybe complain about how long Sargent’s had him sitting still for.

It got me thinking about this week’s writing prompt. This time I challenge you to create a character we can only discover through their friends – through what is seen of or said about them by the people they’re closest too, perhaps in the aftermath of a horrendous or wonderful event.

If you write something prompted by this, please let me know by sending an email to Judy(at)socket creative.com. With your permission, I’d love to share it on SkyLightRain.com.

Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends will be at The National Portrait Gallery until 25 May 2015.