Thursday Writing Prompt #156


Part of my art supply haul.


Today’s Thursday Writing Prompt is “never enough art supplies.” I recently went to a rubber stamp show and sale, where I stocked up on art supplies went on a spending spree. Is there any other kind?

This time I was smart about it: I took a list of the spray paints, stamp pads, and other things I already own so that I wouldn’t buy the same colors over and over. Actually, that’s not too bad of a thing to happen with consumables, because as long as I use them they won’t go to waste, but I have purchased the same rubber stamp at least once and that’s kind of sad.

In honor of art (and writing is an art), this week’s writing prompt gives you five virtual art tools to play with. Use these to create an imaginary collage, and then describe that image in a short paragraph of maybe two or three sentences. Then, use that description to write an atmospheric scene for a possible setting for a short story.

If you have a stash of real art supplies on hand (or if you desire a shopping spree of your own), create a quick image or collage using at least four types of art tools, plus your paper or canvas. These can be very simple, such as pencil, pen, marker, and ruler, or you can go full-blast and use stencils, paints, spray paints, die cut shapes, stickers, and more. Think of the art part as cross training for your writer’s brain. Don’t try to come up with a masterpiece because this is more about the process than the end result. It will be interesting to see if your art experiment gives you ideas for settings or themes. Have fun!

Thursday Writing Prompt No. 155

It’s time for another Thursday Writing Prompt. For this prompt, you will visit a public arboretum that specializes in desert plants. The arboretum covers almost 100 acres and has walkways surrounding the perimeter of the garden. Benches line the walkway, tucked into recesses and shaded with pergolas to keep visitors comfortable.

You and a friend decided to walk the entire perimeter. You head out with bottles of water and plenty of time, not worrying about how fast you go or what time it is. The arboretum is mostly deserted, with only a few small groups of visitors spread throughout its acres of plantings.

As you reach the far end of the walk, opposite the arboretum entrance and gift shop, you decide to rest on one of the shaded benches. After sitting for a couple of minutes, you notice a nasty smell and begin looking for its source. And then you spot a pair of shoes. Only they aren’t empty. They’re still on the person who’s wearing them, only the shoe’s owner is quite dead.

And now, it’s your turn. Write the discovery scene and decide what to do next. While the obvious solution would be a quick run to the office to report the discovery to the police, maybe you decide to play detective. So, what do you do?

The Never-ending Story, Software Style

The last half year or so has just been so busy for me that I haven’t had time to do any writing. Work seems to ramp up exponentially, but it’s not the amount of work that is wearing me down, it’s the constant notifications and feeds and whatnot that just won’t give me quiet time so I can get anything done.

I keep eyeing that blue Ethernet cord, but I know the computer would just switch over to WiFi and keep on running …. albeit more slowly.

Teams wants to ping me all day, even letting me know that I just made a post. Why, thanks, Microsoft, I forgot that I did that a whole three seconds ago. I guess I forgot. Let me go back and look at it again. Then Microsoft insists on sending me updates to let me know that I have 95% of my available work time for focus. Really? Because it seems like I spend 80% of my workday re-reading Teams posts (half of which are my own).

Today I updated two laptops and cleared some junk off my desktop computer. I’ve spent half of that time just turning off bloatware from Microsoft.

You know the kind — the news feed that they insist on jamming down your throat when the last thing you want to do on planet Earth is read news. But wait! It’s not just the news on the system tray! No, the search box also has started feeding me items du jour that it thinks I should be interested in. So, I had to spend time figuring out how to disable that annoyance, too.

Sigh. Software should not be such a pain in the neck.

Thursday Writing Prompt #154

Happy Thursday! It’s time for another writing prompt. This one includes five things you might see while driving down the road. Sometimes those items can be found in the most unpredictable places! Take the five items and write a paragraph or two for a setting for a short story (or novel, if you’re so inclined).

Here are the five things:

hub caps
guard rail
sign or poster

Hitchhikers aren’t so common anymore, at least not where I live, but adding one to this list should give you something to work with that can help build background. Good luck!