Late Night Parking

For Monday, August 4, 2014

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Write an overheard conversation that takes place in this parking lot.

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Tracks

Sunday August 3

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You are on a train. This is what you see when you look out the window.

Write in response for 15 minutes.

Suggestions:

Imagine this is where you (or your character) lived 10, 20, or 30 years ago. You haven’t been back since. Write what goes through your mind.

This is your next stop. Write about what happens when you disembark from the train.

This is where you last saw your brother. Write about that. (Variations: This is where you last saw your father. Your best friend. Your army buddy. Your youngest child.)

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.

 

 

 

Tick Tock

Wednesday, July 28, 2014  •  Prompt #87

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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.

 

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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

 

 

 

 

sur-real-ly

Monday, July 28, 2014  •  Prompt #85

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Today’s Prompt

Write a poem or short fiction piece in a surreal or magic realism style. This genre introduces supernatural or unbelievable events or abilities into in an otherwise everyday realistic environment. (However you define that!)

Option #1: Write a new piece.

Option #2: Take an existing piece and add a supernatural element to it.

 

Need more inspiration?  Try one of these options.

  1. A child comes home from school to discover his twin brother in his bedroom. When he left for school that day, he didn’t have a twin brother.
  2. An urban community garden produces vegetables no one planted and no one recognizes. What happens when an 80-year-old woman takes some home and makes vegetable soup?
  3. A janitor spills a new cleaning solution on her hands and discovers she can read people’s thoughts. Or heal people’s illnesses. Or …?
  4. A character wakes up to find he’s turned into a cockroach. (Oh wait, that’s been done.)

Looking for surreal realism inspiration?  Read work by these two authors: Aimee Bender and Frankie Elizabeth Rollins.