Prompt, Please!

My partner has recently got a new teaching job which required our moving across the country to a more rural location. I am retired and spend much of my time during the day trying to be creative in my writing, but I always need the impetus of a theme or idea to get my brain cells working. A blank page will leave my mind just as blank. Any writing competitions which have an ‘open’ theme are wasted on me, since I know it will take me an age to come up with an idea, if at all.

In the depths of the countryside I am even more bereft of ideas, so my partner and I came up with the idea, when she leaves for work, for her to give me three random words which I am challenged to incorporate into a story, poem or any other form of writing, and I must say that I am really enjoying the challenge. It is also providing the spur to get on with other aspects of my writing.  If you get stuck for ideas, give it a try.

For example, yesterday I was given Blank, Shoal and Fool to tackle. I decided to try and write in an Elizabethan/Shakesperian style and came up with the following ‘speech’ from a fictitious play.


This night the company of all that dwells within this woody realm

I would’st sooner face than be a common liar to my love.

And yet I must allow that slavish, vain and callous sin,

deep sunk within the heart of every man, let slip slander

from these lips.

                                 Blank parchments carry more sincerity

than I, whose weasel words would mouth a thousand coward lies

and bemoan the blame that I deny. These stars bear witness

to my calumny: a myriad of specks of light, though none

to prick this conscience. All God’s creatures bear a truth in life,

save Man, who saves himself by foulest disposition.

Even in the turbulence of oceans, shoals of fish

direct their destiny as one.  I, a hapless halfwit, have no such sense;

no sense of self, and so become the fool to court a blunt untruth.


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