Concentric

day one

10670248_10204978052071495_5239567979223634512_n

 

mural

circles 3

Because I recently facilitated the painting of a mural on the side of my garage, I have circles on my mind. For this mural, based on a Kandinsky painting, over 20 members of my cohousing community (plus a few neighbors) pitched in to paint a circle or two. Aged 3 to 60, the painters added their unique perspectives to the mural.

 

Today’s Prompt

Inspired by any of the circles depicted above, write about

  • Orbits. Real or symbolic.
  • Targets. Metaphorical and not metaphorical.
  • Things that Spin.
  • Enclosing and Being Enclosed.

Directions

  1. Write for 10 minutes without letting your pen off the paper. Write whatever comes to mind.
  2. When you finish, circle a favorite or a disturbing word or phrase and write it on the top of a new piece of paper.
  3. Write for 15 minutes more.

Stumped? Try including a conversation between two strangers, a man spinning on the ice, a woman spinning a top, or a child rolling down hill.

Advertisements

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

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

 

 

 

 

sur-real-ly

Monday, July 28, 2014  •  Prompt #85

DSCN5996_2

 

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.

 

Button Holed

Sunday, July 27, 2014  •  Prompt #84

black buttons

 

 

Today’s Prompt

Write about buttons.

 

 

 

 

Instructions

  1. Find two or three buttons.
  2. Hold them in your hand.
  3. Describe their weight, color, texture and material.
  4. What is your response seeing or touching these buttons?
  5. Write for 20 minutes.

Options and Springboards

  • Write about a button found on the sidewalk.
  • Write about an absent button, missing from a coat or sleeve.

Writing Group Options

  1. Each group member brings several buttons to writing group.
  2. Put them all in the middle of the table.
  3. Choose one to write about.
  4. Fashion a poem, story or creative non-fiction piece around it.

 

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?