Writing Prompt: Dear Diary

I went up to my room and ran my hand along the bookcase. I admired the cracked backs of my books trying to recall when I read them all. Some stuck out as old favourites, greeting me eagerly as if to be asked to be read again. I pulled two out and thumbed through the pages and hugging them to my chest, promised myself to put them in my handbag before leaving. 

Before I turned to go, the spine of a thin book caught my attention. It was a journal, blank and neglected till now. The cover was designed by the same artist that had designed another diary I had written in before. It had been a gift, destroyed shortly after someone read it and I burned it in retaliation. Although I thought I was making a statement, the real punishment had been mine. Had I been indignant for the intrusion and unapologetic for what I had written, it would still be with me. Thoughts and memories and ideas, rightly or wrongly, would be mine to review and resurrect. Likewise, the apology would have been for the betrayal of my privacy and not for the perceived insult I had written within the book’s pages. A month after my gift had gone up in smoke, I had wandered into a bookstore and recognised the designer name on a blank book. I brought it home with me and there it sat until this evening. 

I regret destroying my diary and I’ve promised myself never to let anyone influence what I write or think or express in the privacy in my journals again. 

So, I’ve begun to write in my long forgotten book. For now, I challenge you, reader, to write everyday, uncensored. Be diligent. Pick up a notebook and pour out your heart and don’t be afraid of what others might find there. 

Be brave and write. 

Writing Prompt: Cooking Class

I looked in the fridge and found a load of random ingredients. A basket of tomatoes, an onion, some tomato puree, some prawns and a ciabatta loaf. On the window sill there was my basil plant, wilting a little due to lack of sun and water. I filled a wine glass that rested on the counter and poured it into the thirsty plant then plucked some leaves from it. I had an idea. 

A half hour later, I had a lovely plate full of bruschetta. 

Go to the kitchen, have a rummage and see what you can create. While you cook, think about the process. Write down not only what you’re doing, but go into detail. Describe the texture of food, the smell, colour, feeling. Describe the heat of the oven and the cold of the fridge. What random items are there to inspire you? Have fun, enjoy and relax. 

Bon appétit!



Writing Prompt: Redrum!

As a tribute to the new Hitchcock film and the fact that I’m currently watching “Vertigo” with two of my all-time favourite actors (Kim Novak and James Stewart), I’d like to challenge you to write a simple murder plot.  I’ll try to give you some tools to proceed…. have fun and be adventurous. 

Motives: revenge, money, jealousy, impulse

Weapons: necktie, nail file, poison, drowning (method rather than weapon)

Cover-up: burial, burning, acid


You can go off the reservation on this one, but be sure you used the three elements: motive, weapon and cover-up. 

Happy Hunting. 


PS. If you decide to write this, let me know. I don’t often ask, but I’d be interested in seeing what people come up with. 


Writing Prompt: Dinner for four

Over the dinner the other evening, my friends and I went around the table and answered the following question: “If you could invite anyone for dinner, alive or dead, which three people would you choose?”

The answers surprised me. Some were predictable enough, but some people made me raise an eyebrow. Suggested dinner guest ranged from Alan Hansen to Justin Bieber, from Mohammed Ali to Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln to Mark Twain. I suggested Gandhi, Saddam Hussein and Hitler. That might make interesting chat. 

Try this: Write a scene where you’ve invited three people (alive or dead) and write what happens at they come in, one at a time. What are you serving, bearing in mind who you’ve invited then start the conversation…what do you think everyone would say and how would they react to the other guests?

Have fun. Bon appetit!


Writing Prompt: Why I write

I have not written very much in the past few months. For the most part, I’ve either been away too much or too absorbed in my work to step back and write creatively. So, now that I have some time, here I am.

I’ve been reading a great deal, on trains, on the tube, before bedtime…it has made me think back to when I first started writing creatively when I was nine. I was always a great fan of story-telling. My mother read to me constantly and as I grew up I put my own stories down on paper and shared them with my friends and my older brother.

It occurs to me that this was my outlet. I had a vivid imagination and a combined diet of films, comics and borrowed teen-novels fed my desire to transport myself and others to lands were anything was possible.

I loved the idea that every scene, every character and every piece of dialogue was mine to command and I could change things in a quick, decisive way that people never can in real life.

I write for a great number of reasons. Apart from the opportunity to create new worlds and new adventures, it is also a way of recording memories. I write to make sense of my past and to understand the people I’ve met and have influenced me throughout my life.

Why do you write? How did you start and what do you get out of it? What would you do if you had a solid month without interruption to write anything you wanted?

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