Writing prompt: close encounters

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Lane Cove National Park

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Lane Cove National Park

Earlier this week my wife and I had a few hours free from grand-children caring duties. We drove the short distance from our son’s home where we are staying. About 15 minutes later we were in the Lane Cove National Park, just a short distance north of the CBD of Sydney.

In the national park there are numerous delightful picnic areas next to the Lane Cove River. We choose one of them to have our lunch   (see photo below).

Our picnic area in the Lane Cove National Park

Our picnic area in the Lane Cove National Park

As my wife starting eating her lunch she had a close encounter with a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (see photo below). I didn’t manage a close-up photo because I was about 50 metres away taking photos of other birds. The cockatoo decided that my wife’s lunch was worthy of investigating, and landed on the table next to her. My wife quickly covered up her sandwiches!

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo on our picnic table

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo on our picnic table

Later I was able to catch up with the cockatoo and another one as they were also having lunch on some nearby flowers (see photo at the top of this post).

Writing prompts: close encounters with birds:

  • Write about a close encounter you had with a bird.
  • Describe a time a bird snatched food from your picnic table.
  • Write a poem about the pet bird or wild birds in your life.
  • Do some research about the birds in your local area. Write an article about your discoveries and observations and submit it to a local newspaper.
  • Take some photos of birds in your garden and write a caption for each.
  • If you write a blog, write about your close encounters and include photos of the birds seen.
  • Write about time you had a sudden, unexpected or frightening experience of a close encounter with a bird.
  • Have you ever found an injured or dead bird? Write about your feelings. Tell how you helped the injured bird. What happened to the dead bird?

Good writing.

Writing prompt: To sleep, to sleep, perchance to dream

Koala asleep in the Australian Reptile Park

Koala asleep in the Australian Reptile Park

As the years encroach I find that more and more frequently I am in need of sleep. I can be reading a book and I slip off into noddy land; it doesn’t matter how interesting the book is either.

Or I can be working at my computer hammering out my latest best-seller, er… make that my first best-seller as I haven’t had one yet, and I will nod off into slumberland.

Trying to watch the news of some other interesting show on television is often fatal too, because sleep often creeps in and I don’t see the end of the show.

It can be quite frustrating. In all seriousness, my wife tells me that I frequently have a sleep apnoea problem. On advice from my doctor I have an appointment at a sleep clinic in a few weeks’ time and I hope that will indicate what needs to be done to solve this problem.

But I digress.

The koala in the picture above shows a koala enjoying a nap. Koalas often sleep for 18 to 20 hours a day. Bliss. I think I’ll become a koala, but the downside is that I would get very little writing and reading done. Perhaps I would finish off a few writing projects if I reversed the koala’s sleep regime: sleep for 4 – 6 hours and write for 18 – 20 hours a day.

Writing prompts:

  • Write a story about a koala’s dreams.
  • Write a story based on one of your dreams.
  • Write a story about a dream you would like to have.
  • Write a poem in praise of sleep.
  • Research the sleep patterns of your favourite animals or birds and write an article based on your research.
  • Write a story in which animals feature in your dreams.
  • Write a limerick about someone who can’t sleep.
  • Write a story in which you cannot sleep for months on end. What do you do to fill in the time?
  • Write a story about two fictitious characters who only meet in your dreams. You can be a part of the dream too.
  • Describe the places you find it easy to fall asleep.
  • Describe the routines you include in your day to help get a good night’s sleep.

Good writing, good sleeping and goodnight.

Photo credit: Taken during a family visit to the Australian Reptile Park near Gosford north of Sydney. © Trevor Hampel

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.