Creative Prompt: When shall we three meet again?

When I saw these three chairs sitting outside a house in the area where I live, they made me think of the line from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, “when shall we three meet again?” Three witches appear in the first act to deliver a prophesy to Macbeth, telling him that he will be the King of Scotland. This event is crucial in sending him off on his tragic way (for a full summary of the plot this website does a good job).

Mother, Maiden, Crone

The archetype of three women, often witches, with supernatural abilities (sometimes referred to as the Triple Goddess) has appeared in mythology throughout history, and across many different cultures. While they may mean slightly different things in different cultures, it is thought that these figures were meant to symbolically represent three different phases of life for women:

  • Youth and innocence in the Maiden
  • Fertility and care in the Mother
  • Wisdom and experience in the Crone

Often the appearance of the women in mythology was linked to aspects of nature such as the turning of the seasons or the phases of the moon(for more information on this wikipedia has a longer and more detailed entry here).

I’ve personally been a fan of books in which the figures of three witches take a more central role than they did in Macbeth, like the subversion of those stereotypes in Terry Pratchett’s Wyrd Sisters (this is an affiliate link – if you buy this book using this link I’ll be sent a few pence as a referral fee), or the warmth of Mark Stay’s Witches of Woodville Series (full disclosure, I know Mark a little bit, but I think I would have found these books warm and lovely if I didn’t, also an affiliate link).

Back to my three chairs on the street

I actually walked past the chairs a couple of times before I had a quiet moment in which to take a photograph, and was lucky that they remained in place for so long. Perhaps they were waiting for me as two of them disappeared the next day. There is a sense of mystery around the arrangment of the chairs, as if only moments ago three people sat to discuss an urgent matter, before leaving to follow different paths.

What do you think they may have been discussing?

Where did those paths lead them?

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 so please do link to blog posts or comment below.

If you like the photos featured in these creative prompt posts you may be interested in my latest collection of prints and other things on Redbubble which feature a small selection of my best shots.

Thank you for reading. I also write, make art and films. You can read my short fantasy stories here on Simily. 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.

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Creative Prompt: OK Computer!

I’m always intrigued when I see pieces of electronic devices laying around in places that you wouldn’t necessarily expect them. I saw this thing that I’m assuming is a computer chip of somekind (I’m probably wrong here) in a playground when I was out with my son. There were lots of kids running around and using the swings and slides and it seemed out of place, laying there in the dirt.

I’m quite attracted to the green colour and the pattern of lines on the front of the chip. It makes me think that it could encode something interesting, and provokes story ideas for me about a computer savvy child finding a computer chip and getting herself into a strange situation through her own curiosity.

What kind of information could be on this chip?

Where could it lead?

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 so please do link to blog posts or comment below.

If you like the photos featured in these creative prompt posts you may be interested in my latest collection of prints and other things on Redbubble which feature a small selection of my best shots.

Thank you for reading. I also write, make art and films. You can read my short fantasy stories here on Simily. 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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Creative Prompt: Here comes the Sun

I saw this little guy in the road a few weeks ago. The sun was shining for what felt like the first time this year and it felt nice to be out and about. I chose this photo in particular because it represents a dichotomy for me, and also speaks to how creativity acts through our own biases and experiences.

I really like the cheerful face on the air freshner, but in general I avoid all air freshners (and most commersial perfumes) as they contain some kind of chemical that makes me feel really sick.

Some of the best stories I’ve read and films or TV shows I’ve seen have been about situations that appear to be calm and picturesque, while just below surface there are hints that all is not as it should be.

What situations or people can you think of that may appear to be one thing, while actually being another?

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 so please do link to blog posts or comment below.

If you like the photos featured in these creative prompt posts you may be interested in my latest collection of prints and other things on Redbubble which feature a small selection of my best shots.

Thank you for reading. I also write, make art and films. You can read my short fantasy stories here on Simily. 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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Creative Prompt: A Fridge on the Street

I saw this fridge the other morning on a street near where I live. It was pretty gloomy when I took the photograph and I didn’t think that the light was that great so it was a bit of a hurried snap. We get a lot of fridges and things like that dumped in our area by fly tippers, and I don’t normally both to take photos because a big white box isn’t normally that interesting to me. This one was a bit different, because of the magnetic jigsaw puzzel that is still attached to the front door. The fridge was a new arrival that morning – it hadn’t been there the evening before.

The way that one of the puzzels looks almost complete, while the second one is a fractured smattering of pieces spread across the surface makes it looks as if up until very recently, this fridge was being used by a family. There is something about the dumping of this fridge that speaks to me of dislocation, or of a rapid change in circumstances.

What happened to result in someone needing to get rid of it in the middle of the night?

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 so please do link to blog posts or comment below.

If you like the photos featured in these creative prompt posts you may be interested in my latest collection of prints and other things on Redbubble which feature a small selection of my best shots.

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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Creative Prompt: Wherever you lay your hat…

The property market in London is crazy, right?

I’d like to claim that I know what I’m looking for when it comes to street photography, but I don’t really. Sometimes just looking around as you walk about will gift you a funny photograph like this one. I took it the other morning while taking my son to nursery, and happened to stumble on this little ensamble, where someone had dumped a child’s toy house next a bin and a SOLD sign. When I walked back the other way the bin and the house had been moved and the joke was lost.

I really like this photo. For me it tells a saterical version of the London housing market story, where increasingly small patches of land are selling for increasingly large piles of cash. The streets around this spot are showing increasingly strong signs of gentrification, and there are a number of developers building small blocks of modern but characterless flats nearby.

What might the new neighbours will be like?

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 so please do link to blog posts or comment below.

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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Creative Prompt: Holding Court

I saw this chair sitting under a street light the other night while I was on my way home from a dinner out with Mr Magpie. There was something about the way it was placed that made me stop and take a photo while he marched off, oblivious that I had paused for a moment.

Sometimes I see things like this and get the eerie feeling that I have glimpsed something of an unseen world. There is the added mystery of things that happen after dark. Secret meetings in the soupy glow of a street lamp.

When I saw this I felt like perhaps minutes before, and unknown someone had been sitting, holding court with their unknown followers. Who do you think that little group were? What were they talking about?

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 so please do link to blog posts or comment below.

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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Creative Prompt (Lost Shoe Series #4): A little bit Cinderella

I saw this shoe some time ago now, tossed down amongst a collection of other shoes and rubbish. I think it had been flytipped, as many of the odd things I see around are. It was early morning on a relatively warm and sunny day, and the sparkle of the silver caught my attention.

The interesting thing for me was that at the time I could not see it’s partner. It’s quite a glamerous looking shoe, made for going to parties and balls. I got a sense that perhapse the shoes had been lost on the way home from such an event, and was waiting to be picked up and reunited with the foot that wore it.

I’ve drawn on the cinderella narrative before for one of these posts, but I think the story has space for multiple readings and interpretations. This shoe feels like a far more traditional fit – a glamerous party shoe left on the road by someone leaving a glamerous party in haste, before their carraige turns into a pumpkin. Now it waits to be found by a prince, who may happen to be working that day as a bin man.

I wonder who left it?

I wonder who picked it up in the end?

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 so please do link to blog posts or comment below.

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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Creative Prompt (Lost shoe series #3): A Tiny Rainbow

There is something equally charming and forlorn for me in seeing a lost child’s shoe. This one in particular caught my eye because of the little rainbow on the side of it. I took the photo in gloomy weather on a shabby part of a main road, and the little flash of colour caught my eye.

The shoe remained there for a few days after I took the photo, moving up and down the pavement a little bit, perhapse being moved to more prominent locations by a pair of helpful hands, before it eventually dissapeared. Perhaps it was finally reclaimed by it’s owner.

Like the other two prompts in this series (you can see them here and here), this photo makes me think of crime thrillers or police procedural TV shows. A child’s shoe on the pavement could be a good opening scene to a story in these genres.

How could it have got there? What could have happened?

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 so please do link to blog posts or comment below.

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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Creative Prompts (Lost shoe series #2): A Missing Step

For reasons that I don’t fully understand, I see a lot of lost or abandoned shoes about. So many that I only stop to take a photograph these days if there is something particularly odd or interesting about them or the way they are positioned.

When I spotted these shoes the other morning in the car park of a super market my first thought was ‘huh, that’s odd’. There is something about the way they are positioned which invokes movement of a person in my mind, or perhapse a journey. It’s a bit like someone, for an unknown reason, has kicked off their shoes as they were rushing away from something, or rushing towards somthing.

Why would somone discard their shoes like this? What do you think that thing was?

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 so please do link to blog posts or comment below.

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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Creative Prompt (Lost shoe series #1): ‘Was there a body nearby?’

It doesn’t happen to me very often, but now and again you see something and a blog post almost writes itself. That’s what happened with this creative prompt. I was out walking with my son on New Year’s Day, having taken him to the park to burn off some of that Christmas energy, and we were on our way home via the train station so that he could look at some trains.

Just outside our local station is a set of railings that fence off the embankment for the tracks leading inot the platforms. Over time the space between the slope of the embankment and the fencing has become full of stuff. Rubbish, brambles (both dead and alive), and odd bits of clothing. I saw this shoe poking out near the bottom of the rails and stopped to take a photo.

Later in the week I posted the photo on instagram (you can follow me here, should you want to) and someone made a comment along the lines of ‘was there a body nearby?’ which I found kind of funny. But it did get me thinking – given the build up of stuff behind those railings, who knows what is burried at the bottom of it? It feels like it could be the beginning of a good thriller or police procedural story for someone.

Who do you think the shoe could have belonged to? How do you think it got there?

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 so please do link to blog posts or comment below.

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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