Archive for July, 2012

Writing prompt: Donkeys and other animals

Donkeys in the streets of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

When one travels to other countries, your eyes instantly pick up interesting contrasts to what you experience in your home town. I don’t ever see too many donkeys roaming the streets of my home town, Murray Bridge here in South Australia. Sure, the odd kangaroo ventures down the road past our home but this is quite rare. The occasional fox, hare or rabbit will make an appearance quite often, as well as the usual snakes and lizards. Even a sheep or two and horses pass by – I’ve even seen a riderless horse gallop by.

But never donkeys. Though there is one living in someone’s paddock about a kilometre away from our home; we sometimes hear him braying.

So when we went to visit Ethiopia and Morocco last year we were interested to see so many donkeys in the streets, on country roads and in farm yards. They are a very common beast of burden in those countries and are frequently seen in the streets of the large cities. Drivers have to be particularly careful to avoid colliding with them.

Writing Prompt: write about the animals you have as pets, or animals you see in your region. If you are writing a short story, incorporate one or more of these animals in your story to enhance the setting. If what you write is only a few hundred words, you could even post it in the comments section for other readers to comment.

Good writing.

Writing prompt: responding to bad news

I had some unwelcome news from my doctor yesterday. I’d been in for a routine check-up a few weeks ago and he ordered some extra tests. Yesterday I received the bad news that one condition I have has deteriorated markedly in recent months. I’ve had this condition for some 15 years and it has always been under control and quite manageable. It didn’t really impact my life at all, except for the requirement for daily medication.

It’s not really life threatening at this stage, provided I do all the right things and start seriously looking after myself. I thought that I was doing that, but it seems not. So how have I responded to this setback? I felt a little down at first, but, like all setbacks in life, one adapts, you think through what you can do to help the situation improve and then get on with living life. Take each day as it comes and live it to the full, acknowledging that you’ve been blessed with another day. Putting it in its right perspective also helps, because millions of others are far, far worse off.

One action that I know helps me to cope with setbacks like this is to write about it. So here I am doing just that. Usually I only write about private things like this in my journal, but I am sure many of my readers will identify with the therapeutic qualities of writing through a troubled time, serious situation or crisis that life throws in our faces from time to time.

I might also write a few poems or even a short story in response to this news, working out my emotions through the writing. One thing I won’t let it do is to freeze me into not writing at all. So I guess that there really is a silver lining after all.

Good writing – despite whatever life hurls at you.