During our tour of Morocco some years ago now we came across many beautiful buildings. Many of them have exquisite tiled floors, decorated walls and ceilings and were architecturally very interesting. As we travelled through the Berber regions in the southeast of the country, through the Atlas Mountains and the intervening valleys, we came across many abandoned kasbahs, similar to the building shown above. In fact, this photo was taken on the Road of a Thousand Kasbahs.
- The Road of a Thousand Kasbahs has an exotic and interesting ring to it. Write a story explaining how this road came to be so named.
- Ask yourself the question: ‘Who lived in this kasbah?” Write about their lives, their romances and perhaps why this was their chosen place to reside.
- Write about how this particular kasbah came to be deserted sometime in the distant past.
- Write a series of love poems about a person who had lived in this kasbah, and how their love had been thwarted by political or family events.
- Research the history of the Berber people or the kasbahs in this region. Incorporate some of your discoveries in a story of fiction, weaving real events into your fiction.
Conditions of use:
- Feel free to use any of the story starters listed above.
- Change anything to suit your needs.
- Give it your best shot.
- Edit your work carefully before sending it off to a publisher or posting it on your blog.
- Let me know in the comments section how it went.
- If you publish your story on your website or on your blog let me know so I can make a link to it for others to read.
- Now start writing.
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
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.
- 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.
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).
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!
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?
A few years ago my wife, daughter and I travelled through magical Morocco for two wonderful weeks. One of the places we visited was the village of Sefrou which is about 30km from the city of Fes. It was one highlight in 14 days filled with many highlights. You can read more about my journeys on another site I write for: Trevor’s Travels (click here).
On our visit to Sefrou we wandered through the local farmers’ markets, featured in today’s photo above. Farmers from the surrounding districts had brought in their produce for sale, set up on stalls in the streets, squares and lanes of the town. The locals crowded into the cramped spaces buying up delicious looking vegetables and fruits. We bought some yummy bananas and mandarins as a treat. Other fruits included oranges, apples, dates and many more. The vegetable range was even more diverse, with tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, silver beet, cauliflower, capsicum, beans, cucumber and much more.
The displays, like that shown in today’s photo above, were colourful and inviting.
Here are some ideas for writing. Use these prompts as an exercise in warming up your writing at the start of the day, or perhaps even as the start of a short story or poem.
- Describe the scene shown in the photo above.
- Imagine being one of the vendors shown in the photo. Describe what you are feeling.
- Write a short story from the point of view of a young child lost in the marketplace.
- Tell the story of the journey from the farm to the home of the buyer. Try it from the point of view of the farmer – or perhaps even a vegetable.
- Write a poem describing the sounds, colours and smells of the market.
- Write about how you would feel if you had no money and was starving and you saw the above scene.