Happy St. Patrick’s Day. For today’s writing prompt, try writing about something festive. How about writing a story about five friends that get separated during a St. Patrick’s Day parade. What adventure does each of them have in trying to find each other?
When I was little, one of my favourite treats when going to an amusement park with my parent s was to get a balloon. It made it hard to go on rides and of course. Mom or Dad would have to mind it for me while I enjoyed the carousel. Once I got it home, having kept it low in the car to avoid obstructing Dad’s rear view, I tied it to the end of my bed so that I could watch it sway in the breeze at night. I always went for blue, not the pink or red you’d expect a girl to gravitate towards. It was always a bit sad when the helium eventually leaked out and the balloon lost its ability to float around my room. Sometimes my brother and I would go out into the garden and release our balloons before they could die that way.
Try writing a story about a balloon. Have fun.
For a short word, it brings out all sorts of images. A crash can be several things. A crash diet, extreme, fast, urgent, determined, sometime desperate. A alcohol, drug or sugar crash – to be high one minute and to reach the earth, violently with a thud. Destructive and often painful, whether it’s your mood or the sudden, evasive throbbing of the head. Car crash, train, mid-air, to crash and burn. I don’t think a pleasant connotation for crash exists. But, let’s try, shall we? Write a scene where two or more people crash, whether it’s shopping trollies at Tesco or a three way crash on the M25. Can something good come from something negative? That’s just a suggestion, but if you’d rather, simple try to write about the theme.
When I was young, at the age when every action and word of your peers has the weight and importance more damaging than the shifting of continents, I had a friend who passed me over. For the two years prior to my banishment, we had been inseparable. Although we were in different classes throughout the day, at lunch and after school, we found ways to be together, hanging out at the pizza parlour banned to students during the day, but inviting and welcoming with outstretched arms when the bell rang at three.
It was not a sudden disagreement. It was a slow and sinister turning of the back when one fine Spring day, a childhood friend that has moved away, returned to my friend’s life. So, rather than treat the return as a opporunity to become a happy trio, they chose to become a reunited duo and I , I became superfluous. It started with whispers and giggles behind my back, but close enough for me to see. Then, slowly, the signs that I was not wanted became less subtle. I remember the day when all became clear.
I wandered into the school parking lot, heading towards my friend’s car, when I saw the two girls get in and close the door. Panic would have set in when we met each other’s eyes and the cruel recognition of what was happening hit me like so much ice water. The hint of cruelty around the curve of her mouth was unmistakable. I was being dismissed and her eyes watch me with curious glee to see what I would do, as though I was a captured fly with a set of fingers caressing the wing it is about to pull. What would the response be?
Suddenly, a honking horn came to my rescue. A group of fellow classmates were heading out and someone shouted, “Eliza, are you coming with us?!” I turned on my heel and my defeat turned into a victory as I scrambled into the back of the yellow pickup truck with the others, a merry party destined for pizza. As I settled in, I looked toward the far end of the parking lot as the Datsun sped away and with it, my two-year friendship. We didn’t speak again for the next three years, but as much as I tried to grant forgiveness and managed to say, “It’s ok” when she asked me to all those years later, the memory of the behaviour is still with me. It reminds me never to exclude.
So, have you ever felt like you’ve been banished, from a friendship, a conversation, a room, a city, a social circle, job or anything?
Sometimes the best stories start with something simple. An observation of an ordinary thing, whether it is someone sitting on a park bench reading a book or a honey bee landing on a flower. Someone walks their dog by the water of Leith and out of nowhere, something extraordinary can happen. Maybe just for fun someone drops a rubber duck into the running stream to see where it will end up. Try writing a story that starts with something commonplace and turn the scene on its head by making something weird and wonderful happen. My cat is sleeping at my feet. I might write a story about what cats dream about. Her whiskers are twitching and she’s making little growling sounds, so I know there’s something going through her little head. Probably dreaming of chasing field mice in our garden or of a giant plate of tuna. Maybe she’s dreaming of her new boyfriend, the little black and white kitten across the street. He follows her via the cat door in the kitchen once in a while.
One of a writer’s fears is that there is no audience, that your words and efforts will never reach anyone. It does raise the question; are you writing for an audience or are you writing for yourself?
In the 600+ post I’ve left here, I’ve never asked for a comment, but I’m asking now. Why do you write?
Have you ever been stuck? Stuck in the mud, stuck in a lift, stuck on a decision, stuck in the middle, stuck on a train? I’ve had all of the above (currently on the last one). So, write a situation where one or more people are stuck somewhere. How does their situation come about and what are they forced to do/say to get out of it?
Good luck getting out…
Ok – rushed as hell today and have managed an egg McMuffin, an instant coffee and a chicken flavoured pot noodle today (Oreos for dessert). Feeling a little ill…
In my desk there lives a collection of soup sachets, instant drinks, pot noodles, tinned ravioli and peanut packets. That is my fall-back kit when I’m too busy to eat anything.
I love proper food, but now and again, I rely on junk to keep me going.
Write a short piece about someone trying to eat and having the chance, or getting interrupted. Try to make it funny.
Cheerio! (good for breakfast…)
I’ve been watching Sense and Sensibility this cozy Sunday afternoon. I love Jane Austen and all her works, but there is something about this book that I particularly love. Maybe because the heroines share my name. Try this, read a story by and author that shares your name, or pick a character in fiction that shares it and write a scene for them. So, if your surname is Wheeler, write a scene for a character in Revolutionary Road, if your name is Crane, try writing a new scene for Ichabod Crane from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, etc…