Picture Prompt

Ah Ha! Another picture prompt for you. Now, what do you make of this one? Is he a robot seeking knowledge…? Well, that was my first thought, but then.. perhaps he’s a toy lost in a library; perhaps we all feel like robots sometimes and he’s a reflection of a current mood; perhaps your batteries are running low, particularly at this time of turmoil; maybe the book is relevant… is it your favourite book (why do you love this book?); a gardening book; a book about learning to fly; a cookery book; an encyclopedia? Why is it so dark? What happens next? Deadly serious or rib-ticklingly funny?

One of the first things I learnt when trying out picture prompts is to look for the five ‘W’s:

Who – Who is the picture about?
What – What happened?
Where – Where did the event occur?
When – When did the event occur?
Why – Why did it happen?
(some also add an ‘H’ – How did it happen?)

It’s a useful place to start whether you are writing prose or poetry, fiction or non-fiction. Remember, this is just a prompt… the picture doesn’t have to feature at all, it’s just to get you on the runway.

Go on…let go of the strings of your imagination and let your pen (or keyboard!) fly!

Eight by Pete Brammer

A canoe paddled by natives headed through mangroves and giant water lilies, towards the village of Puntagalula deep in the Amazon jungle. Here, Father Percy Whitaker would be taking up his ministerial work with the missionaries and two nuns. He had left his parish over a week ago. A parish in Devon that he simply adored. But God had called him, and Gods will must be done. He was twenty four, single and devoted to his calling, so it wasn’t too difficult to leave behind, all the friends he had made.

Housekeeper, Mrs Blades cried as she had handed him a leather shopping bag. Here Father, I have packed you some treats for your journey. I know you are bound to get peckish and love my baking and homemade lemonade. The bag may also come in handy for picking bananas or maybe coconuts and things that grow there. Even though there are no shops where you are going you could need a bag”. She wiped away a tear with the bottom of her apron. “I wish you didn’t have to leave us. You will take care, won’t you?”

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Prompt of the Week

Oh I do like a good old clear out now and again. Uncovering treasures that have been in the back of cupboards, or boxed up in the loft, can bring back all sorts of precious memories. But there is always something lurking there that makes you wonder what prompted you to keep it in the first place.

‘Chuck that, it’s just junk’

But it must’ve had it’s moment in my life somewhere along the line. I guess all junk has its own history. After all, as the saying goes, ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!’ So have a go at this week’s prompt:

Junk

Any old style or format: poem; short story; extract; creative non-fiction or even some flash fiction. Go on give it a go. Find some junk and give it a backstory!

The Ballad of MacMurdo McFee by Barrie Purnell

If ever a man was the pride of his clan,
A man who stood out from the crowd,
A man who did his best when put to the test
Who with showmanship was over endowed,
Who’d perform for a fee with some sharp repartee,
It was that Scottish magician Macmurdo Mcfee.

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A Very Special Houseplant – By Andrew Bell

Some months ago, I took over the care of an anthurium or flamingo flower, an exotic house plant which is a native of the tropical climates of South America. It came as a gift to my wife, but very soon, I took a liking to it.
I love its generous display of shiny, waxlike pointy leaves and the flowers, which consist of beautiful salmon pink bracts or blooms; and, sitting on top, a vertical spike of tiny flowers that begin with a whitish colour, but then slowly change to a pleasing limey green.

I also keep a small family of spider plants that all came from the very first plant we had which, for many years, held pride of place on a small table in the hall, by the front door. Spider plants are much less needy but, with just a little TLC are just as pleasing to the eye as the more exotic plants.

Right now, this flamingo flower has no companions. Trying to discover how to give it the care it needs: maintaining the right balance of warmth, moisture, feed and light is still a bit of a challenge, but I know from experience with the spider plants, that, in time, this knowledge will arise by simply taking a few moments to give the plant my undivided attention.

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