Archive for the 'Writing prompts' Category

Writing prompt: How’s the serenity?

Laratinga wetlands, Mt Barker, South Australia

Laratinga wetlands, Mt Barker, South Australia

Earlier this week I visited the Laratinga Wetlands on the outskirts of Mt Barker in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia. These wetlands are frequently visited by birders like myself because the ponds often teem with birds. I write about my birding experiences and show photos of Australian birds on my site called Trevor’s Birding.

Many people visit the wetlands every day, including walkers, joggers, runners, cyclists and picnickers.

On this occasion it was early on a frosty morning and the water was still quite smooth. The photo above shows this well. This scene – or another similar which you have experienced – could well be an interesting prompt for your writing.

Here are some writing suggestions:

  • Describe the scene in the photo.
  • Imagine yourself in the scene shown in the photo. Why are you there?
  • Write a short story about a very serene place you have visited.
  • Write a poem inspired by the photo.
  • Imagine you are a bird – for example, a duck – living in the pond shown in the photo. Describe a day in your life

Good writing.

Trevor

 

Writing prompt: Storks on the roof

White Stork in Morocco

White Stork in Morocco

A few years ago my  wife, daughter and I travelled through magical Morocco. It was an amazing experience which assaulted the senses in every way. I still look back with amazement at my photos which beautifully encapsulate some of the sensory experiences of that trip.

I also took more than a passing interest in the wildlife, the birds in particular. I write about Australian birds here. In many places we saw plenty of White Storks, shown in the photos above and below. They are amazing birds, and their nests on chimney stacks and on roofs are enormous. They make quite a picture against the sky.

The photos I have included were taken in the village of Ifrane, one of Morocco’s main skiing resorts. That’s snow skiing, by the way. Not many people I know realise that Morocco has extensive snow fields in the Atlas Mountains. The village felt as though we had stepped right into the Swiss Alps, complete with ubiquitous chalets (see last photo).

Writing prompts:

  1. Write about skiing trips you have been on.
  2. Write about the most interesting birds you have ever seen.
  3. Imagine living in a house where a pair of storks have made a nest. Describe your reaction and how they impact your life.
  4. Describe a wild storm which destroys the storks’ nest on your roof. Imagine how you deal with the orphaned chicks. Turn your writing into a short story or a series of poems.
  5. Have you had birds nesting on or near your house such as a tree or bush in your garden? Describe your feelings and how the presence of the birds affected you.
  6. Research the mythology associated with storks and write an article or blog post about them.
  7. Explore the relationship between storks and humans in different cultures and write a short story featuring storks.
  8. Write a series of poems about storks and how they influence or interact with humans.

Good writing.

Trevor

White Storks on nests in Morocco

White Storks on nests in Morocco

Chalet in Ifrane, Morocco

Chalet in Ifrane, Morocco

My life is a work in progress

It has been a while since I last posted an article here.

Sorry if you have missed me.

Under construction:

I have just realised that my life is a work in progress. Well, to be truthful, I’ve probably known that for a long time, but I wasn’t really going to admit it. Not at my age anyway. It takes me back to the days in the 1980s when our church put on a production of “Kids Under Construction.” The whole premise of the story was that, no matter what age we were, God is not finished with us yet. We all have some constructing to undergo. None of can say with authority that we’ve arrived!

Hair? What hair?

In the play I took the role of a grandfather. My hair was more copious than today as was my luxuriant beard (which I don’t bother to grow these days). Both were sprayed grey – almost silver – and when I came on stage looking all of 40 years older than my real age, my poor wife nearly collapsed in shock! Now my hair – or what is left of it – is growing progressively greyer and thinner. (My 6yo grandson loves to call me “baldy”. Cheeky boy.)

Work in Progress

We could indeed say that our lives are a work in progress. Writers also talk about their current “work in progress” (WIP) when referring to their current writing project. I often have several projects on the go at once which causes a few problems. More than a few. I often jump from one to the other. When other responsibilities also jump into the ring, I find myself juggling many balls at once. In no time at all my life looks like a three-ring circus with multiple things happening all the same time.

Get the picture?

It’s not pretty. Send in the clowns. There have to be clowns.

But there is some good news – and the inevitable bad news.

Good news

I have been working on the following projects:

  • Posting more regularly¬† on my Trevor’s Birding site (click here). This site is all about one of my passions – observing and photographing Australian birds. It has become an obsessive hobby.
  • Posting more regularly on the Trevor’s Travels site (click here). This site is about another of my passions: travel. I write about and show photos of my travels here in Australia, as well as trips overseas to Thailand, Nepal, Morocco, Ethiopia and Spain. More are in the planning stages.
  • Posting more regularly here on this site, including more short stories, more poems, more articles about writing, more reviews of what I am reading, and more articles on a whole range of topics.
  • Publishing here on this site more writing prompts and short story starters.
  • Preparing stories and poems for submission to various journals, magazines and competitions.

Even better news

  • I am about to launch into eBooks, So many of the manuscripts resting peacefully in my computer memory will be getting a nasty shock. They will be sent out into the wild, wild world to fend for themselves under the glare of critical readers and lovely people everywhere.
  • Be kind to them. Love them – or hate them, they are coming. You have been warned.

Now the bad news

  • All of this will take time.
  • And effort.
  • You may need to be patient with me.
  • Some noise may escape from the construction site.
  • Sometime – I haven’t the faintest idea where I will find the time – I will begin work on several new major novels which have been simmering away on the back… no, that’s wrong. I haven’t even switched on the cooker yet. [Sigh]

Good writing.

Trevor

 

Writing prompt: a farmer’s old truck

Old farmer's truck, Taplan, South Australia

Old farmer’s truck, Taplan, South Australia

Many people have a fascination with old vehicles. Some even spend great amounts of money to buy old cars and motor bikes and then spent countless hours restoring them, polishing them and sometimes even driving them.

This vintage truck was a part of the Taplan Railway Centenary celebrations in October 2013. Taplan is the small Murray Mallee town south east of Loxton in South Australia where I grew up on a wheat and sheep farm. My nephew and his sons still run the farm my father started in the 1920s.

The truck in the photo is being driven by Lance Pech from the farm next door to where I grew up. Lance and I grew up together going to the small one-teacher school at Taplan. He ended up working the farm with his father for many years. He was also very active in bringing together many of the elements of the special celebrations on the day I took the photo.

Writing prompts:

  • Write a piece of fiction featuring this old farm truck as a central character.
  • Write an imaginary piece from the point of view of the truck.
  • Tell the life story of the truck, or its owners.
  • Research what life was like in rural Australia in the early years, say, the 1920s. Write an article about the good times and the bad times.
  • Write a story about the special events the truck has been a part of down through the decades.
  • Write about some important tasks the truck may have contributed to during its working life.
  • Write about a car enthusiast who found and restored this vehicle.

Good writing.

Writing prompt: Sydney Harbour

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is such an iconic structure it is instantly recognisable the world over. Whenever we visit our son and our grandchildren in Sydney we cross this wonderful bridge a number of times on every visit. They live several railway stations north of the bridge or about an hour’s walk from home.

We have driven over the bridge, gone over it numerous times on trains, walked across it and gone under it on ferries. The only thing I haven’t done is the Bridge Climb OVER it (see photo below). Getting a bit old and shaky in the knees for that. Should have done it for my 60th Birthday Bash as I had planned.

Writing prompts:

  • If you have been to Sydney write about your experiences.
  • If you have been on the Bridge Climb describe the sensation of being up so high.
  • If you have not been on the climb, imagine what it would be like, describing the experiences.
  • Notice the huge pylons on each side and at each end of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Imagine a murder takes place inside one of the towers. Write a short story about how this occurs, and the aftermath.
  • Write about the most unusual bridge you have ever seen.
  • Write about any rickety, unsafe or downright dangerous bridge you have crossed. (For me that would have to be the suspension bridges crossed while trekking in the Everest region of Nepal. DON”T look down!)
  • Write about a ferry ride on Sydney Harbour that turns very sour; someone is murdered or thrown overboard.
  • Write a poem about the beautiful harbour, the waves or the bridge itself.

Good writing.

 

People doing the "Bridge climb" in Sydney

People doing the “Bridge climb” in Sydney