Writing Prompt: The morning after…

All sorts of things happen to people when they’ve had a few too many drinks. Lord knows I’ve had my fair share of memory hiccups. I’ve lost my favourite scarf twice, woken up with a cigarette burn on my wrist (on the inside where it really hurts), found a blue woolen glove in my handbag, a newspaper clipping about Celtic football club and a cut that needed stitches.

Try writing about a character that wakes up to find some strange items in their pockets. Have them retrace the night’s events. What happened and how did these items find their way into your character’s possession?

Locker key

Digital Camera

Match book

A chocolate egg

A cat’s flea collar and I.D. tag

Have fun.

Writing Prompt: The Morning After

Writing Prompt: Isolation

Lord of the Rings is on the TV. Titch is on her favourite cushion on the sofa. I’ve spent the last hour and a half on the stepper. The laundry in the house is done, every stitch. My feet are sore, but I feel like popping The Two Towers in when this DVD is over and going back to the stepper for a while longer. My piano sits neglected upstairs, the books on my shelf collect dust. I missed my last German lesson and Monday I’ll be far behind if I don’t study tomorrow.

I know that I’m not capable of being completely alone for very long. After a time, I miss people and the buzz of conversation. I fear missing something, so I force myself to mix with the crowd, either at work of with friends, even when I’m tired. Sometimes, despite this, I want to be alone for a while. I daydream of disappearing for a few months with nothing but my books, toys and television. It’s as though all of my ambitions want some time to be aired out and replenished.

Today is one of those days. I look around me at the stack of books that wait for “tomorrow”. They wait for a time when I’ll be calm and energetic enough to do them justice. When I’m tired and fear the days ahead, full of worry and tasks, of stress and responsibility, I fear that day will never come. I remind myself that it is life. It is human nature to despair at the lack of time before us, to feel the years shrink before your eyes as if crushed by a vice whose handle turns and crushes opportunity one year at a time.

As Great Garbo once said, “I want to be alone.” Today, I want a month of isolation. Knowing me, tomorrow I’ll want a party.

Hello again

I’ve been a disaster at writing lately. Between traveling, work, and life and general, inspiration has been evasive. To be honest, I feel like I’ve been having some sort of a life overload, like my brain is having a meltdown and needs to re-boot.

The one constant in my life has been Titch’s devotion. Every minute of every hour that I’m home, there she is, sitting on the back of the sofa by my head, asleep at my side when I go to bed at night, wrapped around my feet when I come through the door.

Some people go to the gym, read a book, soak in the bath or surf the web to relax. I hug my cat.

I’m heading off to bed soon, I have every faith that Titch will trot up the stairs behind me.

Tomorrow, I have an appointment with the quack to get a medical certificate which I need before I can run the marathon in Paris next week. I’m nervous, but last night I ran 20km and could have kept going.  I’m not as afraid of it as I was a week ago. I’m a bit sore today, but I think I know what I can do now.  I know to go slow. I know to listen to my limbs. I know that “Mass Destruction” by Faithless at 9km per hours = .50km. Same goes for “I predict a riot” by Kaiser Chiefs. So, 1 Faithless + 1 Kaiser Chiefs = 1km In other words, bring the 1-pod and get the play list right.

I’m going to breathe, have a glass of wine and say goodnight. I promise, I won’t go quiet for so long again.


Writing Prompt: Sunlight

Sun on snow creates an interesting effect. Through the fluffy powder on the surface, you catch glimpses of bright blue ice, a thing to admire when you’re looking at it, something to avoid when you’re in skis.


As the sun hits the snow and the wind picks up, you can see a thin layer of snowflakes dancing in the breeze and you can almost imagine you’re in some remote place. Maybe you’re Shakleton, dragging a lifeboat across the Antarctic, or a zoologist watching polar bears in the Arctic.

When I woke up this morning, the sun was coming in through the blinds and it was nice to see the mountains lit up by the sun. After a long, long, cold winter in Scotland, it’s comforting to fire up the stove for pancakes and coffee in the morning sun.

Over the years, I’ve begun to appreciate just how much the sun (or lack of it) affects me. I feel calmer, a little happier, there’s a spring in my step. I love toasting myself on the beach and sitting on the rooftop of with my laptop, writing and watching the world go by.

How does the sun affect you?

Writing Prompt: Sunlight

Quote for the day

Self pity is easily the most destructive of the non pharmaceutical narcotics; it is addictive, gives momentary pleasure and separates the victim from reality.

– John William Gardner

Writing Prompt: Burn After Writing

I always advocate writing from the heart and not self-editing. Sometimes it’s hard to say what one really feels, even if you’re sure that no one is going to read it. Imagine the kind of freedom that could come from being absolutely certain that your thoughts and feelings will be safe from peering eyes.

Try this: Spill your guts on the page and promise yourself that you’ll burn it as soon as you’re done writing. You can say absolutely ANYTHING. Sometimes all we need is to write things down to give ourselves a bit of clarity. Have a go, bring a match, don’t burn the house down…

Writing Prompt: Burn After Writing

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