Creative Prompt: An Empty Ring Box

I saw this ring box laying on the floor not far from one of the parks where I like to take my son so he can run around and say hello to the ducks. This little box evokes a sense of mystery for me, it could hold many different stories. The way the box gapes open on the grass, seemingly discarded, and is missing the little cushion that would usually contain the ring provokes a sense of loss or refusal.

Was the ring stolen, and the box discarded as a way of ridding the thief of the evidence?

When I first saw it, many possibilities came to mind:

Did someone buy a ring only to find their gift unwelcome?

Did someone discard the box and it’s contents after finding out that their love had not been true to them?

Was the ring stolen, and the box discarded as a way of ridding the thief of the evidence?

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: The New Broom

I saw this broom leaning against this tree the other morning and decided to take a photograph because i liked the design of the bristles. I tried a few different angles but couldn’t really get a great shot of them, although in this one you can see how they are bound together with different coloured threads of some kind. Close up the bristles were quite intricately arranged and this detail appealed to me.

I didn’t see anyone around, all the nearby shops were closed and I didn’t see any evidence of a huge mess that needed cleaning up. However the shops close by are all small independent shops, including a post office and a chicken take away, and I could imagine one of the shop keepers wearily resting the broom against the tree before they closed up for the night. It felt to me like quite a nice jumping off point for a character study, so I thought I would post it here.

Who do you think was sweeping up in the evening? What kind of mess did they need to clean up (ordinary, or emotional)?

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: When the Wheels Come Off

We’ve had a couple of days of sun and I’ve been trying to get out to some slightly further flung spots around the area that I live than usual when I walk. This is another picture from the edge of a railway line, where I saw this wheel poking out from under the fence.

I really liked the juxtaposition of the wheel, which may be from a pram or a trolly, and the empty whisky bottle. There is a story in the image, the wheels coming off a situation, and perhaps as a consequence some commiserations aided by hard liquor.

What do you think could have happened here? What was the consequence?

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 Telly in the Rain

It had been raining for several hours when I saw this telly on the pavement. I was particularly attracted to the cheerful pink casing and stopped in the rain to take the photo. It was a bit difficult at the time to see what I was taking on the small screen of my phone because I was trying to keep it out of the rain. At the time I didn’t realise that I had captured the reflection of the telly on the wet pavement, so that was a nice surprise when I looked back at the photo to include it here.

It got me thinking a bit about how we don’t always see everything that is there in front of us. If we think about applying this to a character or a physical location in a story this opens the door to great narrative potential.

A stranger is charming and beautiful, but what secrets do they try to hide?

The hotel is elegant. That staff are attentive and professional. There is an elaborate glass chandelier in the entrance hall and the food is excellent. But why is there a locked door on the second floor without a room number, and what is behind it?

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: Community Library

I saw these books lined up on the wall outside a house that I think is being cleared for rennovation. I was kind of in a rush and had to cross the road to get the photo but I’m glad I stopped for it. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the library that was built but never opened, that’s now been officially closed, and the murky buisness of the money behind it. This feels a bit like the opposite for me, someone has put all these books on a wall for anyone to take, no money involved.

When I walked past the next day, most of the books were gone. I like to think that they found new homes, and that even now someone may be finding inspiration in one of the stories contained in one of these books.

Sometimes an unexpected find or gift can inspire new thoughts, ideas or stories in us. If you saw a pile of books on a wall like this, would you take one? Where might that 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: The Doll

I frequently see ‘lost’ toys and children’s clothes or shoes when I am out and about. I’ve got quite a collection of photographs as there is often something a little forlorn about them, like they are waiting to be reunited with the small being they belong to. Some of those photos feel like they belong on the cover of a mystery novel. But I don’t frequently post them here as most of the time they provoke the same set of thoughts or feelings for me.

However, I took the photo of this particular little doll because it felt different to those other lost toys. The way it is dressed to resemble a someone ready for work or school caught my attention, like it could have been constructed to resemble a specific person. Last night as I was getting ready for bed I began thinking that it looked a little like the kind of artefact someone might produce in order to cast a spell. I’d like to think that the little smile on the face of this doll was placed there to convey a positive intention, perhapse it is a charm to bring luck or fortune in a new job or studies. Or perhapse not.

Who do you think the little doll was made to represent? What may fate or fortune bring 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 here.

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Creative Prompt: Incident at the Library

This is the front door to a new library in the London Borough of Croydon. The mirrored windows prevent a good view inside, which means that you can’t see that there aren’t any books. The company that built it, which appear to be a spin out of the council, now say that they do not have enough money to finish it, and the doors remain locked to the public. The library is part of a new, mixed development and there are several levels above this that contain flats which have proved difficult to sell.

Around the corner the existing library has been a victim of council cuts but currently remains open three days a week. None of these days are on a weekend, meaning that people or families that are in full time employment are unable to visist unless they take time off work.

I took this photo after there had been an incident (I do not know the details) infront of the library, which for many weeks was cordened off with this police tape. There have been recent alligations of fraud against the council on another building, and while these have yet to be investigated, I kind of liked the ‘scene of crime’ association that this police tape adds to the photo of the unfinished library door. In my view, depriving a community of it’s libraries is crime enough.

Maybe this particular prompt is more social commentary than anything else, or perhapse a prompt to budding investigative journalists. What is the real story is behind the unfinished library?

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 Prompts: A Mystery Box

I’ve been listening to The Science of Storytelling by Will Storr on Audible recently (affiliate links – if you use these links to make a purchase I’ll get a tiny commission). I’m not very far in and wouldn’t want to say at this point whether I reccomend it or not, but I’m finding it interesting. My attention was caught in particular by a section about curiosity and storytelling, and I am planning a longer post on that for later this month. Towards the end of this section he wrote about how the film maker JJ Abrams has described his “controling theory of storytelling’ as the opening a series of mystery boxes. This thought in particular was in my mind when I stumbled across this week’s creative prompt.

I saw this little package sitting on a wall in the sunlight a few mornings ago. Inside the bag you could see a collection of cans of Fosters Larger. I didn’t touch the bag, so I don’t know if they were full or empty, but the way the bag is tied neatly, with the ‘thank you’ massage emblazoned on the side gave me the impression that someone had left a thank you gift for someone else. The little package was left on a side street next to a play ground, not on someone’s doorstep or front fence, so it peaked my curiosity a little.

Who would leave such a thing? Who was it for?

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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