Writing prompt – what is this man’s story?

Old blacksmith in the village of Sefrou, Morocco

One of the benefits of travelling is meeting interesting people. This is true wherever you go, but I have found it especially so when travelling to exotic and beguiling places like Morocco. On our visit to the village of Sefrou near Fes we met this 85 year old blacksmith, still happily working away at repairing farmers’ tools. He was very happy with his life’s work and, despite his age, intended to continue with his important trade.

Writing prompt:

Write a fictional story about this man and the life he may have lived. Imagine the changes he may have seen in his lifetime, and what has remained the same. Perhaps include some heartaches, disappointments and also the joys of his life. Your main character doesn’t have to be a blacksmith, nor does he have to live in Morocco. Over to you.

Good writing.

Moroccan blacksmith

If the stones could talk

Roman ruins at Volubilis in Morocco

If only the stones could talk.

I was totally fascinated by the ancient Roman ruins of Volubilis in Morocco when we visited during our tour of that country. It was certainly a highlight of the tour – a holiday with many highlights. These ruins are now a declared UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Volubilis was settled in the third century BC but only reached its zenith as a commercial, cultural and administrative centre under Roman rule in the first century AD. It was occupied for at least another 700 years, so it has a long and rich history.

Many of the ruins were destroyed during an earthquake in the 18th century, and it is only in the last 20 years that excavations have revealed some of its former glory.

While wandering around the site,  the writer in me couldn’t help speculate about the myriads of stories these ancient ruins could tell. At one stage over 20,000 people lived here. Each had a story to tell.

  • What did they dream of?
  • What struggles did they have?
  •  How many tragedies could be related?
  • Who were the heroes – and the villains – who called this home?

Writing prompt:

  • Think of some historic place you know well – or even revisit it.
  • It can be a building, a monument or even a natural feature steeped in history.
  • It could even be a photo of a place you have never visited – like those above and below.
  • Let your mind imagine the people of the past who may have worked there, lived there or had lives changed by being there.
  • Drawing on your imagination, write about those people, telling their story.

Good writing.

Roman ruins at Volubilis in Morocco

Writing prompt: the secluded garden

Secluded garden in the Kasbah des Oudaias, Rabat, Morocco

While on a tour of the Kasbah des Oudaias, Rabat, Morocco we went through this delightful secluded garden, walled in on all sides by the walls of an ancient fortress.

Imagine being there two, four or even six hundred years ago.

Writing prompt: transport your mind back a few centuries or so. Imagine what life was like in a different era, a different culture and in an exotic location like Morocco. Give your  imagination full rein to think of exciting scenarios in this exotic location. Imagine colourful characters living in this era, and the possibility of marauding hordes trying to take over the city, only to be thwarted by the strong walls of defence.

Or perhaps a romantic and secret assignation between lovers in this garden in the light of the moon.

Good writing.

Flower in a secluded garden in the Kasbah des Oudaias, Rabat, Morocco

Writing prompt: what happened?

Cafe in Rabat, Morocco

While wandering through the streets of Rabat in Morocco we happened upon this lovely looking cafe.

Not a single customer despite the establishment being open at the time, and with a wonderful view over the river estuary and the Atlantic Ocean.

I wonder what happened?

Writing prompt: let your imagination run wild with the possibilities. What happened to all of the customers? Is there any significance in all of the furniture being painted blue?

Good writing.

Writing prompt – what’s behind the window?

Windows in the Kasbah des Oudaias, Rabat, Morocco

On our visit to the Rabat, the capital of Morocco, my attention was grabbed by this intriguing, yet, beautiful, set of windows in the Kasbah des Oudaias.

The writer in me started wondering: what’s behind the windows?

Who lives here? What are the stories of the people living here?

If the windows could tell, what stories would they weave.

This quaint, simple scene is evocative of the mysterious, magical Morocco we experienced throughout our tour.

Could this be the setting for a poem?

A short story?

A murder mystery – or a tearful romance?

Good writing.