The House with Porthole Window

DSCN0375 Today’s Prompt

Write a poem, flash fiction piece or the beginning of a story inspired by this photo.

Incorporate at least four of these words: rough  pie  slant  oboe smooth dirt bolt  round   home   worn   road  deserted  once must  broom

Write for 15 minutes.

 

 

 

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Tick Tock

Wednesday, July 28, 2014  •  Prompt #87

photo

 

 

The element of time often adds suspense and welcome tension to writing. For this prompt, write about two people who agree to meet under this clock at 3 p.m.

 

 

 

Suggestions and Considerations

  • Describe the day’s weather. How does that influence the story?
  • Do the two people already know each other?
  • Is one person new to the City? Is one a long-time resident?
  • Why have they chosen the clock as a meeting place?
  • Write for 15 minutes.

More Writing Options

  • Write a piece where one person is wealthy and one is broke.
  • Write about an illegal or illicit transaction.
  • Write a piece in which the second person never arrives.
  • Write a piece in which the second person brings a third person.
  • Write a piece in which the first person is holding a box.

 

 

Animal Tendencies

Tuesday, July 27, 2014  •  Prompt #86

tapir

 

Write a poem or flash fiction piece inspired by a vintage illustration of an animal. Click here for illustrations or look for prints at a used book shop or library.

 

 

Suggestions

  • Use specific, concrete details.
  • Capture a moment in time.
  • As (almost) always, use sensory details.

More Writing Options

  • Try shifting perspective once or twice within the work.
  • Write the piece as a traditional ode.
  • Write as if you are someone who has never seen this animal before.

 

bear2

Here’s a piece I wrote influenced by both a bear safety pamphlet and this bear illustration.

 

Ursus

Honey,
bears eat
twigs bugs fruit insects fish carrion.
Small mammals.

Stay close.

Look for these signs:
turned stones
disruption
of decayed logs stumps and berry patches.
Tooth and claw high on trees.

She is not far off.

Honey,
bears do not go
into true hibernation.
Sleep is not deep
body
temperature only
a few degrees
below

Torpor
in caves, crevices,
fallen trees.

Den with me.

 

© Ellen Orleans 2012

 

 

 

 

Roadside Attraction

Saturday, July 26, 2014  •  Prompt #83

DSCN0779

 

 

Today’s Prompt: 

  1. Write about a visit to a roadside attraction.
  2. If you’ve never visited one, write fiction.
  3. Write for 20 minutes.

 

Option and Springboards

  • Describe the land that surrounded you.
  • With whom were you traveling?
  • How old were you?
  • How were you traveling?
  • What did you see?
  • What were your expectations going in?
  • Were you confused, wowed, disappointed, delighted?

 

East 70th Avenue

for Wednesday, July 23, 2014  •  Prompt #70

photo

 

 

 

Today’s  Prompt: 

  1. Someone  just walked out of this door.
  2. Write about it.

 

 

 

Options:

  • Describe the person.
  • How are they dressed?
  • Are they rushing out, strolling, running, moving briskly in a wheelchair?
  • What are they thinking?
  • Do they live in this building?
  • Where are they going? Will they be coming back?

Additional Writing

  • Write about two people walking out together or one shortly after the other.
  • Write about someone walking in.

Writing Group Variations

  1. As a group, sit near a busy building. Create a background and story for someone walking in or out. (Don’t be stalker-ish. If people seem uncomfortable, move elsewhere.)
  2. Later, develop your observations and turn it into a piece of flash fiction (under 300 words.)

Summer Band

for Tuesday, July 22, 2014  •  Prompt #79

On Monday, I listened to the Boulder Concert Band play in our local Foothills Park.  My favorite moment was lying back on my blanket and looking up at the clouds as the band played Amazing Grace. It was a divine moment.

Today’s Prompt:

  1. Write about a time when you were able to put aside the horrors of the world and life’s daily problems and immerse yourself in a moment of bliss, contentment or joy.
  2. Use specific description and include sensory details.
  3. Write for 15 minutes.

Additional Writing

  • Write about attending an outdoor musical event when something — benign, odd, or slightly menancing — disrupts the concert.
  • Write about a piece of music that affects you strongly.

Writing Group Variations

  1. Together, attend a musical event, preferable something low-key and informal. Perhaps a street performer, middle-school concert, or free event in a local part.
  2. Take notes.
  3. Listen with your eyes closed for a few minutes.
  4. Later, write your observations.
  5. Did anything surprise you? Do you connect more (or differently) to music as compared to visual arts?