Quote for the day

The value of life lies not in the length of days, but in the use we make of them; a man may live long yet live very little.

-Michel de Montaigne

Writing Prompt: A Day in the Life

Each day is different. There are so many variables that determine what the day has in store for each of us. The weather can influence what we wear, what we do, where we go and who we meet. A small, unexpected turn of events can change your day, your mood, the outcome of plan. Even people who have the same routine, however mundane, never live the same day twice and it is the little variations in each that makes a day special for better or for worse.

Try a little experiment. When you wake up in the morning, check the time and write it down. I know it’s a pain, but set an alarm for one hour later. When the buzzer/ring/tick goes, stop what you’re doing and take a note of it. Do this throughout the day, mapping out each hour until you have 10 to chose from. Pick an event/activity/moment out of the 10 you’ve gathered. Draft 500/1000 words about why you were doing what you were doing in detail. What were the reasons and steps that lead you to that moment. You might find that your mind wanders to reasons that go beyond the obvious.

The other day I found myself taking a mental snapshot of the moment I was living and I traced back the events that brought me there. It’s funny, so much can rest on a word or a thought or a gesture that at the time you think couldn’t possibly matter. I sat talking, quite simply and happily with someone and thought, how fortunate that I turned left instead of right…

Have fun, be specific, don’t edit.


Writing Prompt: A Day in the Life

Writing Prompt: Right before your eyes…

As I walked through the city of Edinburgh, I realised that I had not taken in the beauty of the city for some time. There were the gardens of Inverleith Park, complete with a little sundial garden, benches peppered around the place. From the top of the hill, you can see a small swan pond with the city opening out before your eyes, the castle, the grand centre-piece of the horizon.

In the old town, I poked my head around ancient buildings, cobbled streets and the nooks and crannies that give the city its wonderful atmosphere. 

Down by the Dynamic Earth and the Parliament buildings, I strolled and watched couples looking out at the crowds of the Fridge Festival. The heaving streets of the Cowgate and the Grassmarket, bursting with life and a hundred accents reminded me that although small is size, Edinburgh is enormous in stature.

Every city has its own magic, we just take the things we see every day for granted.

Look around your town, take in the views, appreciate the scenery and write what you see.

Writing Prompt: Right before your eyes…

Quote for the day

Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.

-E. L. Doctorow

Writing Prompt: The Wrong Door

Have you ever walked into the wrong room by mistake or got off on the wrong floor in a hotel or office building? Have you ever got on the wrong train?

A few years ago, I ran to catch a connecting flight from New York to San Francisco. I barely made it. As I settled into my seat on the nearly-empty flight, the air hostess came and handed me a little wet towel for my face and a drink.

I was relieved that for once, my flight would arrive on time and my family would not be kept waiting at SFO.

As we began to pull away from the terminal, the captain greeted us. “Good evening and welcome to this non-stop service to San Francisco”.

A man seated at the front of the plane leapt  from his seat and shouted, “San Francisco! I’m going to Chicago!”

Fortunately for him, they pulled back into the terminal and let him off, but unfortunately for me, I landed in SFO a bit late.

I was wondering, what would he have done if he had not notice on time? What could he have done if he went all the way to San Francisco? What was waiting for him in Chicago? What sort of adventure could he have had?

Try this: Write a short narrative about someone who ends up somewhere they didn’t expect. What happened? How did they get there and what is the impact?

Have fun – happy travelling.

Writing Prompt: The Wrong Door

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