Creative prompt: Toaster on the street

I saw this toaster near my local train station. We live in an area that seems to be particularly attractive to fly tippers, and I often see electrical items dumped on the street. Fridges seem to be particularly popular, although by the time I often see them they have been covered with all sorts of other rubbish and are less attractive to me for a photo.

It was relatively early in the morning, and there was bright sunshine streaming over the top of the toaster when I took this, giving it the feel of a new thing, even though it clearly isn’t. I quite like this kind of scene for its idea generating potential. You have something domestic, that really belongs inside a kitchen, sitting on the pavement outside. It is often the juxtaposition of a familiar thing or situation, set against an environment that is mismatched that can lead to the association of two thoughts that may not have gone together before. This can be a fruitful way of generating new story concepts.

What happens in the brain is that two areas of cortex that were previously not really associated with each other, are bought together briefly, and in that moment a new association can form. New ideas may spring from there. I’ve written a bit more about this in the resource I put together for my newsletter subscribers (which you can join here, should you want to).

I’m not a huge fan of creative exercises, so it’s not my habit to tell people what to do with these prompts. There are lots of options – a scene, some flash fiction, a short story, an idea for a short film or a physical piece of art. If you do have a go with this one and would like to drop the result in the comments please do so. I would be very interested to see what people make of these.

Thank you for reading. I also write, make art and films. If you like these prompts and want to get a copy of a free short book of them I wrote, and to hear more about my writing projects please join my mailing list here. You can see my films at my YouTube channel here. You can see things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying. If buying art is not your thing, but you would like to support what you see I also have a Patreon Page here.

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