I use the tag ‘inspire’ when reading various blogs and producers of content to note intriguing content I find. I mark between three and five items every day that give me pause. While the tag isn’t exclusive to visual inspiration—at least it’s not supposed to be—I haven’t yet found enough inspiration from the written word to pin ‘inspire’ on any.
Recently I ran across two blogs listing prompts for writing. I jump when others recommend such tools hoping they will have found some widget or technique I haven’t. As I recall both these listed word based prompts. I checked them all out thinking something might tickle me. None did.
Part of me wants to find the irony. I write yet I cannot find inspiration in the words of others. My attention drops off of this conclusion like a cat skidding down the windshield of a parked car it’s not longer interested in perching on. So far I’ve found written prompts fall into two categories: questions or demands and poetical near gibberish phrases.
“Someone has replaced your regular coffee with Folger’s Crystals. How do you feel?” I feel like hitting the Next Prompt button.
“Describe a garage sale at a haunted house.” What for?
“thrice packed inside” Ummm…
So these turn out to be mechanical aids that don’t much aid as annoy. I end up distracted by the inanity asking myself what I’m supposed to get out of that effort. Maybe exposing my bitter feelings about coffee betrayal will help me cool down after being steamed? I just don’t understand where I’m meant to go. Maybe I’m not meant to derive any real use out of the effort. Maybe I’m just warming up my muscles, stretching out my fingers. I’m not much for throw away writing. At least not throw away writing prompted by external forces. I’m certain I can trash the crap my internal muse dishes out quite easily.
Anyhow, I like pictures. I can read a beginning in them I can’t discern in canned words.
Let’s see what muse-phlegm this thing coughs up tonight:
“What vehicle did you sit in? Write a story or memory that takes place at a drive-in movie theater.”
“Did you study? Write about a time when you were taking some type of test.”
“How long until it broke? Write about a toy you didn’t play with properly.”
“What would it be made out of? Write about a monument you wished you could build to honor someone you know or knew.”
“Why didn’t you want to believe them? Even if you don’t believe in fortune telling, write about a fictional (or true) experience where you visit someone who knows something about your future.”
Cripes. This one didn’t make me cringe too much.
Oh. And to finish up the last one for my friend Fred: blah blah blah. She got cold feet.
Sr. Antonio de Silva snugged the theodolite into it’s wooden case. Pocketed the key. And stood. The sudden movement dropped his blood pressure shivering him to an unsteady balance between consciousness and unconcious. The moment the blackness thinned and he could see the tripod, he snatched out an arm to steady himself.
The project plan neatly curled in a tube at his feet and his whole weak body told him he’d not live to see this monstrosity fly. His brain and his heart—not the organ in his chest—rebuked his frame with a question: who could take up the chore if he passed? De Silva went to sleep with this question and chewed on it over breakfast when he rose.
Before I write a third four line graph I’m gonna cut off here.
After abandonning four random prompts I’m going with this one:
“Where were your shoes? Write about an interesting time when you happened to be barefoot. Begin and end your writing with a description of your feet.”
Amy smiled at the shape of her feet. Singley or paired their profile presented an authentic feminine appearance: petite, but not too narrow; distinct toes that neither blended into a mob near the pinkie nor highlighted the one that went to town as an overbearing brute; neatly trimmed nails; and most importantly a slender approach through the ankle.
She’d have to kill herself if she had cankles. There were plenty of things Amy would have to kill herself over. Cankles would surely fall in the first ten if she bothered to list them out.
“Come on Amy Baimy!” Jack called to her. Amy’s thoughts swept back a two years or so when they first came to the beach together. He tied his tounge trying to say ‘Amy Baby’. Each time he tried and failed they laughed more until he gave up.
“Come on,” Jack pleaded from the waves. Amy stood and brushed the sand from her bottom and adjusted her hair better in her big floppy hat. She wished for her shorts so she could stomp in the water with Jack, but these white capris with their v-notched cuffs added a dynamic she couldn’t explain and she chose them instead. Today would be about romance, not splashing anyway.
I’m just going to end there.