Creative prompt: Broken strings.

I walked past this broken tennis racket a number of times, and each time I thought ‘that’s not what I’m looking for’. But I began to feel more and more intrigued as I noticed the racket had moved each time I saw it. The first time I saw it, it was in a dark corner under an overhanging building where I would not have been able to get a good shot. But slowly it seemed it inch more and more out onto the pavement, as if creeping into the light, maybe wanting to be seen.

When I finally decided to stop and take a photo, it had manged to move several hundred meters down the street, and was almost in the middle of the pavement, right in my path. I felt as is it was asking me to take the photo, so I did stop and get out my phone.

The way the strings curve and wind against each other, and the way the frame, although broken, still sits in almost it’s original form is both beautiful and sad to me, as if the shape of it tries to suggest better days that are now past.

Once I had taken my photo, I did not see the racket again, as if satisfied, it melted away. Of course it is just a broken old object laying on the pavement, and someone has probably thrown it in the bin. But there was something about this episode that spoke to me, as if the racket wanted to be seen, and to be documented, to say ‘I existed’. I think there is something in this sentiment that we as humans can relate 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.

Creative prompt: the Journey

When we moved into our house a couple of years ago the previous owners had left a lot of things behind. Most of these things were kind of annoying – huge wardrobes that have been difficult to get rid of or broken ornaments in the garden. However, they also left this little guy in a large flower pot in the garden, and I really like him.

He’s made of some kind of ceramic, and seen from the right angle, looks like he is about to journey into the wilderness. Many good stories begin with the start of a journey, and in my own books (all works in progress unfortunately) there are several. Here on the blog I like to share photos of things that give me ideas, as sometimes I think they may give other people ideas too.

What does this picture make you think of? What kind of tales does this picture inspire? Ideas or flash fiction welcome in the comments below, or turn it into a post on your own blog and let me know

Thank you for reading. I also write, make art and films. If you want 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.

My toddler is a scientist: experimentation and the creative process.

A few weeks ago my son learned to walk. Like every other skill he has picked up, the process involved a lot of trail, and a lot of error. There were plenty of missteps and a few little falls here and there, but it didn’t take him long to get the hang of it. Now he likes to spend his days charging around, while we spend our trying to keep up with him.

Over the last year it has been his gift to us to hang out with him while he learns to do new things. I am sure all parents think their children are clever, and I am no exception to this rule, but it has been one of the most delightful surprises of parenthood to be able to see this unfold. He is the epitome of a little scientist. Touching. Tasting. Moving things about. Trying one thing, seeing it fail, trying it again with adaptations, before moving on to the next option.

The other morning we were eating breakfast together and it occurred to me that this process is also the process that underpins good art. Trying one thing, adapting it, trying the next. I am one of those odd people who trained in the sciences, but is drawn instinctively to the arts. In my mind there has never been a huge distance between the core process involved in doing science, and the one that underpins the making of art. Watching my child develop has reinforced this for me in the most profound way.

Now he has walking mostly under control, we’ve moved on to putting blocks together in new and interesting patterns. For him, inspiration appears everywhere. We aren’t quite up to building yet, but that too will happen in time. I can’t wait to see what he will experiment with next.

Thank you for reading. I also write, make art and films. If you want 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.

Creative prompt: fox came a calling

We have a fox that pops in and out of our garden on a regular basis, and this photo was taken earlier this year when we had a rare few days of snow. I had thought that I had missed the boat with this prompt but then we had an odd morning of April snow last week so here it is. In the novel I am currently working on, Feeding Jasmine Valentine, foxes play an important role in the narrative, so it was a bit magical to see these foot prints in the snow.

I have the kind of romantic relationship with snow that you can only have when you don’t really have to deal with the practical consequences of it. When I was a child I was enthralled by the tale of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, (affiliate link) in which a group of children climb through the back of a wardrobe and find themselves in a snow covered landscape. I could help but feel a bit disappointed when that snow began to melt.

I like to share photos of things that give me ideas, as sometimes I think they may give other people ideas too. What does this picture make you think of? What kind of tales does this picture inspire? Ideas or flash fiction welcome in the comments below, or turn it into a post on your own blog and let me know

Thank you for reading. I also write, make art and films. If you want 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.

Sunday Funday: Creative Prompt

I’ve been very much enjoying the kind of atmospheric weather that autumn and winter bring to the UK. On a recent walk I saw a number of these spider webs bejewelled with dew and I thought them wonderful. I find this time of year to be very inspiring from a creative point of view, and enjoy sharing the odd little things I see when I am out and about.

What does this picture make you think of? What kind of tales does this picture inspire? Ideas or flash fiction welcome in the comments below, or turn it into a post on your own blog and let me know.

Thank you for reading. I also make art and films. 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.

Sunday Funday: Creative Prompt

Not far from where I live there is a park with a small fishing lake. I like to take Baby Magpie there to walk him around it, and have often noticed this tree. I feel like there is a story here, somehow.

What do you think it could be? What kind of tales does this picture inspire? Ideas or flash fiction welcome in the comments below, or turn it into a post on your own blog and let me know.

Thank you for reading. I also make art and films. 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.

Sunday Funday: Creative Prompt

I was recently doing edits to some bits of my novel, when I realised that a lot of my scenes are set at dawn or at dusk. I seem to be drawn to those times of day when the light changes and things may seem unreal. With that thought in mind I was very attracted to this view of a telecommunications tower in the mist recently. It’s a mysterious vision, which could inspire the beginning of all sorts of stories.

What do you think could happen here? What kind of tales does this picture inspire? Ideas or flash fiction welcome in the comments below, or turn it into a post on your own blog and let me know.

Thank you for reading. I also make art and films. 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.

Sunday Funday: Creative Prompt

I was out walking with Baby Magpie a few weeks ago and I saw these two photo’s pinned to this tree. I’m not sure if this is a lost object that someone has pinned to the tree, hoping to reunite it with it’s owner, or a subtle piece of public art.

It’s one of those things that I come across on a fairly regular basis and think ‘Ohh, that’s interesting.’ I rarely get much further than thinking about how interesting the thing is, and how there is probably a story to tell about it. I thought that someone else may see this and get an idea that sends them off onto an interesting creative tangent.

If you are a writer, artist, doodler or storyteller, you may have your own ideas about this image. Post your ideas in the comments below, or turn it into a post on your own blog and let me know.

Thank you for reading. I also make art and films. 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.

Sunday Funday: Writing Prompt

In my novel, Feeding Jasmine Valentine, a number of the scenes take place in this graveyard, which is no longer in use and has, to a large extent, been taken back by nature.

So, just for fun, what do you think could happen here? What kind of tales does this picture inspire? Ideas or flash fiction welcome in the comments below, or turn it into a post on your own blog and let me know.

Thank you for reading. I also make art and films. 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.

Sunday Funday: Creative Prompt

It’s Sunday, time to have some creative fun. For this week’s creative prompt I’ve chosen this photo of a path leading into the woods.

Writers, artists, doodlers and storytellers, have some fun with this image. Post your ideas in the comments below, or turn it into a post on your own blog and let me know.

Thank you for reading. I also make art and films. 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.