Posts Tagged ‘Daily Prompt’


August 31, 2013 14 comments

Daily Prompt: A Little Sneaky – Are writing prompts a useful exercise, or do you find them to be too limiting and/or hokey?

Okay, it’s a terrible title for a post. It’s not even a word. However, fully 10 minutes of Private Practice Season 6 Episode 8 have been and gone and I can’t think of anything else.

I love prompts! Here’s some history.

This blog was always supposed to be “my life musings”. Things that happened to me, “bloggable incidents” if you will. Things that occurred to me. However, it didn’t take long to discover the flaw in my plan.

Nothing ever happens to me. Nothing ever occurs to me.

It didn’t take long to run out of ideas. I limped along for 18 months like this. I posted maybe three or four times a month. I had a couple of followers (you’re still with me, you know who you are and thank you!), a few likes and maybe a comment or two.

Although I’m not writing this blog for comment-fuelled validation, everybody likes comments and “likes”, right? It shows us that people are reading our posts and are moved to say something”.

I’d seen the Daily Post but didn’t know much about it. I didn’t know if I wanted to get involved in writing posts to prompts, but in January of this year I gave it a go and did my first Daily Prompt. I really enjoyed it, and better, not only did a bunch of new people stop by to say hello, I discovered loads of great new blogs to follow!

I don’t find prompts limiting. I do the ones I want to do, I feel no obligation to do them all. They give me ideas and sometimes I can expand on them, or maybe find a different angle. I can see other peoples’ takes on the same starting point and discover great new writers to follow. And the more we write, the better we get (theoretically).

It gave my seriously flagging blog a new lease of life. It now contains musings, poems, flash fiction, doodles and cartoons. Armed with my little fifty quid point and click camera I’ve even participated in a couple of weekly photo prompts!

I know people say that a “focussed” blog is the way to gather thousands of followers, but I’m not interested in that. I hope that my blog contains something for everyone lots of people. Ignore the fiction and enjoy the cartoons. Read the fiction but ignore the dodgy poetry.

I’ve participated in Rarasaur/Queen Creative‘s Prompts for the Promptless. I (very) recently started writing to the Friday Fictioneers photo writing prompts, and I’m really enjoying that (I’ve done two so far) – I hadn’t written any fiction for years and I’m rediscovering my love for it and it’s amazing to read all the other great entries.

So in conclusion, it’s a big thumbs up to prompts from draliman!

Thumbs Up

We Don’t Need No Education

August 22, 2013 20 comments

Daily Prompt: Fifteen Credits – Another school semester will soon begin. If you’re in school, are you looking forward to starting classes? If you’re out of school, what do you miss about it — or are you glad those days are over?

I would like to start by making it clear that I don’t agree with Pink Floyd’s cleverly ironic assertion “We don’t need no education” – I just thought it was a cool title.

However, that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t complain if I had to go back and do it all over again. I’ve often heard it quoted that “school days are the best day of your life.”

Excuse me? I don’t often use swear words on this blog, but I’m afraid that this quote earns a bit fat “bollocks”. For anyone who has heard this quote and is still at school, please don’t panic – it’s not true!

Don't Panic

Kids go back to school in around 3 weeks or so and I am so glad I’m not one of them.

Just to clear up any misunderstandings here between various countries, here are the UK definitions:

School” – ages 5-16 (compulsory age range), occasionally also 16-18 if the school has a “Sixth Form”
College” – ages 16-18, also adult education (“Further Education”)
University” – ages 18 up (“Higher Education”)

I believe that some countries use the word “school” for more than just your compulsory education – this post is about the standard 5-16 year old education. I wanted to make this clear because university was awesome (I never went to college so I can’t speak for that).

My very first day at school, they rang the bell after playtime and I went to the wrong class. When I got to mine, I couldn’t open the heavy sliding door so I stood outside looking in until someone noticed me. Obviously this wasn’t the best of omens for the next 11 years of my life.

At senior school (age 12-16) I was fat, in all the top classes and wore big thick government-issue glasses. I was also the spitting image of a loser in a very popular kids’ TV programme. I’m not posting the photo again, it’s too embarrassing. You can find it here.

This combination does not bode well. I was bullied a bit, but not in the way that “bullying” seems to be these days. Nobody stole my lunch money and I was only ever punched once (right in front of a teacher, ha ha), and I must admit I was passive-aggressively winding the guy up all through the lesson. So possibly I was “asking for it”.

I hated maths lessons. I couldn’t do maths then and I can’t do it now.

Quadratic Equations

Yoinks – what can this mean?

Don’t get me started on Latin. Wednesday afternoon – “Triple Latin”. Triple Latin? That’s illegal, surely.

Lorem Ipsum

Triple yoinks!

We were treated like kids because we were kids, but that didn’t make it any easier to take.

University, now that’s a different kettle of fish. The ideal middle ground between freedom and responsibility. Bills to pay, looking after yourself but with the freedom to live your own life all within the safe university environment, with plenty of people to help you out. A sort of training ground to life. I loved it!

I wouldn’t mind living my university days again, but school – never.

Fade Away

August 15, 2013 18 comments

Daily Prompt: Standout – When was the last time you really stood out in a crowd? Are you comfortable in that position, or do you wish you could fade into the woodwork?

I’ve had to struggle to remember the last time I stood out in any crowd. I think we’ll have to go back over ten years to “the dark drinking time”. Emboldened by Dutch Courage I was MC at a work pub quiz. I was the fill-in act – told jokes, gave away prizes, that sort of thing. Apparently I was quite good!

One year for a university Christmas party I wrote a song (a spoof on the university to the music of the Eagles “Hotel California”) and got together some backing singers and some amateur musicians (physicists are less boring then one might expect!).

Read more…

Dull and Boring

August 9, 2013 9 comments

Daily Prompt: ( YAWN ) – What bores you? Photographers, artists, poets: show us DULL.

OK, here you go. Dull it is.

Dull, in Perthshire Scotland, picture courtesy of BBC website

Dull, in Perthshire (Scotland), picture courtesy of BBC website

As you can see, they’ve shaken things up a bit by twinning with a town in the USA.

Boring, Oregon

Boring, Oregon (USA), picture courtesy of The Guardian website

If that’s not enough excitement for you, read more here:

Excitement hope for Boring, Oregon, and Dull, Perthshire (BBC News website)
Silly placenames: welcome to Dull, twinned with Boring (The Guardian online)

Categories: Daily Prompt Tags: , ,

Zoom Skid Crash Bang

July 28, 2013 19 comments

Daily Prompt: A to Z – Create a short story, piece of memoir, or epic poem that is 26 sentences long, in which the first sentence begins with “A” and each sentence thereafter begins with the next letter of the alphabet.

All I remembered from the accident was a screeching of tyres, a spinning sensation and a loud bang. Brakes were applied of course – but far too late.

Cars are my life. Driven recklessly they can obviously be dangerous, but I do that for a living. Expert on the track, I drive rally cars. Formula 1 it’s not, but it’s still a thrill, a real spectator sport and I’m good. Good enough to find myself on the podium more often than not.

Here’s the thing though. I’m not so good that I never make mistakes, and today’s mistake was a big one. Just because I’ve finally caught the race leader doesn’t mean I should try to overtake on a tight corner at such a reckless speed.

Knocking on Death’s door has always pretty much been my thing – I’m a danger junkie – but this was taking it way too far.

Living dangerously is one thing, living stupidly is quite another.

My driving skills are quite prodigious, but not enough to save me from an uncontrolled skid – that’s why they call it “uncontrolled”.

No way to stop – the car clipped the verge, glanced off a tree and flipped. Over and over it rolled, finally coming to rest on its roof, the front smashed inwards against my legs. Pain lanced through me – though I don’t remember much about the crash, I remember that much. Quiet fell then, the only sound a hissing as steam leaked from the cracked radiator. Random thoughts flitted through my pain-racked mind – my home, my childhood, my first love until finally, I blacked out.

Suddenly the world intruded and I found myself lying in a bed surrounded by beeping machines – a hospital bed, then. Try as I might I couldn’t move my legs, but they hurt like hell – that had to be a good sign, right?

Unbelievably I had suffered no permanent damage. Very lucky, they all said – it could have been so much worse. Way worse. X-rays were taken and confirmed the diagnosis. Yes, both my legs were broken, but they’d heal and no other damage to report – I’d be back on the race track next season.

Zoom, skid, crash, bang.

Nature, No Question

June 30, 2013 15 comments

Daily Prompt: The Natural World – Describe your first memorable experience exploring and spending time in nature. Were you in awe? Or were you not impressed? Would you rather spend time in the forest or the city?

Photographers, artists, and poets: show us NATURE.

I’m the  type of chap who prefers being at least reasonably close to nature. That’s fairly easy since I live in Cornwall, in the far South West of England.

Perranporth, Cornwall

Perranporth, Cornwall

I often visit Godrevy when I fancy a nice quiet walk – beaches, cliffs and moorland. It’s only a few miles from my house.

Godrevy, Cornwall

Godrevy, Cornwall

I spent many, many holidays in the North of Scotland.


Somewhere in the North of Scotland

I lived in Cork, Ireland for four years.


This little lake is either in County Cork or County Kerry – I was never sure where the border was

I’ve lived in Cork city, Guildford and Stuttgart – all cities, but I prefer nature, and it was never too far away!

I guess I’ve been pretty lucky.


Until the End of Time

June 30, 2013 29 comments

Daily Prompt: No Longer a Mere Mortal – You’ve imbibed a special potion that makes you immortal. Now that you’ve got forever, what changes will you make in your life? How will you live life differently, knowing you’ll always be around to be accountable for your actions?

June 2013
A potion of eternal youth! Can this be true? I drank it, but don’t feel any different. Time will tell.

February 2014
Slipped down the stairs today, felt my neck crack. My body went numb. Seconds later I felt a tingling – my neck has healed. The potion was real! I can’t die.

I can’t die!

I must make plans.

Read more…

Fool on a Bike

June 26, 2013 11 comments

Daily Prompt: Trains, Planes, and Automobiles – You’re going on a cross-country trip. Airplane, train, bus, or car? (Or something else entirely — bike? Hot air balloon?)

Chad was a dreamer. A dreamer and a fool. Everyone knew it. Chad knew everyone knew it. And he didn’t care.

He’d had ideas for this, ideas for that. He thought they’d make him famous. Some great invention, or a feat of daring. Nothing ever came of any of them. In fact, his biggest claim to fame was that he failed at absolutely everything. People often wondered how that could be – out of all of his thousands of hair-brained schemes, surely he would have accidentally succeeded at least once? Read more…

I Think Not

June 23, 2013 5 comments

Daily Prompt: No, Thank You – If you could permanently ban a word from general usage, which one would it be? Why?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us NO.

I’m going to do a picture for this prompt for a change! Here it is – it doesn’t exactly say “NO” but it looks like it would be a good idea not to proceed past this point.


Go no further!

Weirdly, this was on a way-marker post I saw during a forest walk in Coed y Brenin forest park during my recent holiday in Wales. It looked like just another trail and was marked as part of a mountain bike route.

Fortunately, the trail I was following went the other way, so I didn’t have to find out what this rather ominous sign referred to :-).

For the record, I wouldn’t ban any words from general usage. Words are just a way to express thoughts and ideas. Banning the word doesn’t ban the idea – a new word would quickly be invented to express it.

Message in a Bottle

May 30, 2013 14 comments

Daily Prompt: Weaving the Threads – Draft a post with three parts, each unrelated to the other, but create a common thread between them by including the same item — an object, a symbol, a place — in each part.


The little girl carefully folds the note, written in her own childish hand, and pushes it into the bottle, sealing it with a cork her mother gave her.

“Hi my name is Emily and I’m 6 and I live in America and I like horses and I want to be your friend.”

She walks down to the shore, picking her way over the sand until she reaches the water’s edge. She watches the surf breaking on the beach for a few minutes and then, giving the bottle one last look, throws it into the ocean. Although she can’t throw it very far, the current takes it and soon it is lost from view.


Picking through rock pools looking for crabs and other exciting things, a sudden flash of light catches the boy’s eye. On closer inspection he sees it is the sunlight glinting off a bottle, wedged between two rocks near the water line. He picks it up and sees a note inside. His eyes light up – this is the most exciting thing he has ever found! He works the cork out and reads the note. Who is Emily, from so far away! He replaces the note and the cork and shows his mother. She places the bottle on the windowsill, her son’s treasure.


The woman stumbles into the living room, terror etched on her face. The man, drunk, charges in after her, his hand raised. It’s not the first time. He pushes her against the wall. Throwing out her arms to catch herself, her fingers wrap around the bottle they’d bought in the local car boot sale in happier times. She spins and swings the bottle, catching him across the temple, smashing both bone and bottle. He grunts and falls. Blood trickles over the broken shards and stains the old, browning slip of paper, written with love and hope so long ago.