Day 355 – The Family Recipe Book Prompt

My Grandma kept a recipe book which we didn’t find until she died. One of the recipes in it was for a fruit cake or pound cake, which was a pound of fruit and a pound of flour and so on. The fruit was seeped in 2 bottles of sherry. I think it must be intoxicating from a mile away.

Writing Tasks
Compile a family recipe book, pick a notebook you love and write down your first recipe. If you have a recipe book already skip this stage.(15-20 minutes).

Take a recipe and think about the time you have eaten it.(15-20 minutes).

Write some recipes from the future.(15-20 minutes).

Write a poem about a family recipe book.(15-20 minutes).

Happy Writing!

Day 354 – Mahjong Invented out of Boredom with a Spot of Divination Prompt

There is a discrepancy about when mahjong was first was played. This site is adamant that there is no evidence that mahjong existed until 1880, on the other hand there is a legend that Confucius helped to develop the game.

2000 years ago , according to the story in King of Wu court a beautiful girl was dying of boredom and started to carve tiles of bamboo and ivory, that were domino shape. She invited her maids to play the game. Later Confucius developed the rules of play.

Mahjong is deeply routed in China’s culture.
“In laid-back Chengdu it has been said that if you take a nap you are likely to be awoken by the crisp sound of shuffling mahjong tiles. In the city’s streets a common sight is four people playing the game at a small table, surrounded by an animated and vociferous crowd of onlookers.”

Mahjong can be used in divination:

Writing Tasks
Ask a question and draw a tile. Free write about your question.(15-20 minutes).

Write about where boredom has lead you. Free write.(15-20 minutes).

You are part of a mahjong or bridge club, one of the people you regularly play with doesn’t turn up for a meeting one day. Or brings some gossip to the meeting.(15-20 minutes).

Write a poem about playing a social game, or about a bored girl.(15-20 minutes).

Happy Writing!

Day 353 – Craigslist and Stranger Danger Prompt

Craigslist is a small ads website that began as an emailing list for friends in 1995.  In recent years it has  gained the reputation as a site with hidden dangers, where meetings can result in misadventure.

10 Of The Creepiest True Stories From Craigslist

We trust people we don’t know.’t-make-sense-to-do-so/

Increasing we are dating people we have never met.

Writing Tasks
Your character has a date or appointment found from Craigslist or another website. Free write.(15-20 minutes).

Write a poem about a time you have had an appointment and felt aprehensive,(15-20 minutes).

Happy Writing!

Day 352 – The Black-Eyed Children Prompt

Black-eyed children are an urban legend that seems to have started in the 90s. They are aged between 6-16, with white skin and deep hole like, black eyes.

One of the accounts of black-eyed children is in a wooded area I have featured before, Cannock Chase, where a werewolf has also been sighted.  A woman heard a scream of a child, in a densely wooded area of the woods, when she was with her daughter. She ran after the scream and found a small child with her hands over her eyes, like she was waiting for a surprise. The woman asked the child if she was OK and the girl removed her hands to reveal black eyes with no irises. She jumped and grabbed her daughter and the girl disappeared.

Often in reported cases of black-eyed children, they are after something. For instance: they may knock on your door and ask for a drink.

Writing Tasks
You have heard tales of black-eyes children in a town nearby, you go and investigate.(15-20 minutes).

Write a poem about an encounter with a scary child. What do they want?(15-20 minutes).

Happy Writing!

Day 351 -The Instant Self-Portrait Prompt

This prompt is inspired by comparing the selfie and the self-portrait. With cameras on our phones and webcam on our computers, we can take an instant picture of ourselves and have the tools to edit it straight away. We then may share it onto Facebook/Instagram, like a virtual gallery. Friends might play around with their image post onto Facebook, making it their profile picture and then we act as viewers and critique, usually in positive ways.

An oil painting might take weeks to build up the texture and layers, the painter has time to contemplate, their internal doubts and inner thoughts. The instant photo captures what is happening at that precise moment.

Writing Tasks
Over 5-10 days take a series of selfies, using your phone or this website. Spend time over them, try to think about what your day has been like. How do you feel? Get to a point where you like your photo or find it interesting and then take. Free write after every photo. Then again at the end of the project. (5-10 days).

Happy Writing!





Day 350 -I Wear Wellies -I Survived Being Struck by Lightning Prompt

My prompt today is inspired by my old neighbour called Alice, who used to live in the cottage my mum and dad had near Bourne, Lincs. She would call round expecting a cup of tea and shout through the letter box. “Is anybody at home?” If you tried hiding she would then shout again”I can see you”.

She had a beard and a woolly hat and always wore wellies. The reason for this was that, one day she was in church, helping out and she was struck by lightening. She survived because of her insulating footwear. From that day on she slept in them and had a bath in them, never was she seen without her Wellington boots.

Lightning is a sudden electrostatic discharge during an electrical storm between electrically charged regions of a cloud (called intra-cloud lightning or IC), between that cloud and another cloud (CC lightning), or between a cloud and the ground (CG lightning). The charged regions in the atmosphere temporarily equalize themselves through this discharge referred to as a strike if it hits an object on the ground, and a flash if it occurs within a cloud. Lightning causes light in the form of plasma, and sound in the form of thunder. Lightning may be seen and not heard when it occurs at a distance too great for the sound to carry as far as the light from the strike or flash

What can happen if you are struck by lightening:

Some very bizarre stories here :

Writing Tasks
You are walking along a path and the person in front of you is struck by lightning and disappears. Free write.(15-20 minutes).

You survive a lightning strike, after this your life changes forever. Free write.(15-20 minutes).

Write a poem about your relationship with lightening,(15-20 minutes).

Happy Writing!

Day 349 – Six Degrees of Fantasy Separation Prompt

Six degrees of Kevin Bacon, is a parlour game based on the idea of six degrees of separation. The idea is that  any two people have six degrees of separation between them. This variation is a Hollywood buff game, to try and link Kevin Bacon to another actor, through roles they have played in six stages.

In 194 Kevin Bacon claimed that he had worked with everyone in Hollywood, or at least someone who had worked with them. Which lead to the phrase  “Kevin Bacon is the Center of the Universe” Directly after this three Albright College students,   Craig Fass, Brian Turtle, and Mike Ginelli came up with the game after watching “Footloose” and “The air up there”. They tried to work out how many movies Bacon had actually been in and worked out the game from there.


The Bacon number of an actor or actress is the number of degrees of separation he or she has from Bacon, as defined by the game. This is an application of the Erdős number concept to the Hollywood movie industry. The higher the Bacon number, the farther away from Kevin Bacon the actor is.

The computation of a Bacon number for actor X is a “shortest path” algorithm, applied to the co-stardom network:

Kevin Bacon himself has a Bacon number of 0.
Those actors who have worked directly with Kevin Bacon have a Bacon number of 1.
If the lowest Bacon number of any actor with whom X has appeared in any movie is N, X’s Bacon number is N+1.
Here is an example, using Elvis Presley:

Elvis Presley was in Change of Habit (1969) with Edward Asner
Edward Asner was in JFK (1991) with Kevin Bacon
Therefore, Asner has a Bacon number of 1, and Presley (who never appeared in a film with Bacon) has a Bacon number of 2.

Six degrees of separation is based on the concept of a shrinking world and I must say sometimes when I find out my cousin is friends with someone I met at a Newcastle writing even I put on then, it does feel that way.

Writing Tasks
Try this online version of the game. free write.

Use to generate a character and then pick another one and try and wok out how they are connected through degrees of separation and how they  find that out.(15-20 minutes).

Write a poem about how you connect to someone where the connection surprises you, or on the rules of the Kevin Bacon game.(15-20 minutes). 

Happy Writing!

Day 348 – The Left Behind Notebook Prompt

“A writer’s notebook is a junkyard; a junkyard of the mind. In this repository of failed attempts, different inks speak of widely-spaced times and places, the diverse scrawls of varying levels of calligraphic awkwardness, lack of firm writing-surfaces, different modes of transportation.” These are the musings of Lawrence Norfolk, about the his notebook.

The choosing of a notebook is a personal affair. Something that becomes a part of the routine of writing, or something that might be a purchase on a whim, that inspires. Many writers use the company Moleskin, based on a legendary black rectangle book, with rounded edges, an elastic page holder and an internal pocket. The notebook was based on those used by incent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway and infamously Bruce Chatwin. Which he describes in his book “Songlines”

Do you mind if I use my notebook?” I asked
“Go ahead.”
I pulled from my pocket a black, oilcloth-covered notebook, its pages held in place with an elastic band.
“Nice notebook,” he said.
“I used to get them in Paris,” I said. “But now they don’t make them any more.”
“Paris?” he repeated, raising an eyebrow as if he’d never heard anything so pretentious.

A Japanese stationary offers a bespoke notebook service with a mind boggling choices of covers, colours and pages.

I like to go back to old books and go. “Now what on earth was I thinking that day?”

Writing Tasks
Have a look through this online catalogue of manuscripts and notebooks and free write.(15-20 minutes).

You find someone’s notebook on the train. Free write.(15-20 minutes).

Find one of your old notebooks, in particular find a note you don’t understand and free write.(15-20 minutes).

Write a poem about your relationship with your notebook.(15-20 minutes).

Happy Writing!

Day 347 – The Science Behind Mexican Waves Prompt

Mexican waves are an example of a metachronal rhythm, when a stadium audience spontaneously make a wave pattern that passes around the crowd. Individuals when they are  reached, stand up with their arms raised and then sit down again, passing this on to the next person. Imitating nature.

There is speculation to when the first Mexican wave occurred, it is estimated that is probably started in the late 70s or early 80s.  Krazy George Henderson, claims that he started the phenomenon in 1981, at a Major League Baseball game in Oakland, California. He uses the fact that it was televised to support his claim.

How many people does it start a Mexican wave? Apparently about 30. Scientists at Budapest, University have looked into the science behind the wave and found that with a critical mass and when the game is not at an exciting point, it is most likely to happen.

Writing Tasks
You are in the middle of a Mexican wave, you happened to be at a game on your own, having won your ticket. The people either side realise they know each other and start arguing. Free write.(15-20 minutes).

Write a poem about a  metachronal rhythm.(15-20 minutes).

Happy Writing!


Day 346 – The Eco-Ghost Towns Prompt

Masdar City is/was a planed eco city, located in the desert near Abu Dhabi. It’s plans were released in 2006, with a vision to be totally reliant on solar and wind resources and even to to have it’s own personal rapid transit system  have cars with zero emissions.  Sadly Masdar is joining a growing trend of green – ghost towns.

Last decade China hatched a plan to move city dwellers away from the pollution of over populated cities to the countryside. 100 million would live in eco cities. Like Masdar it has mostly been unsuccessful, except for Tianjin Eco-city. However even this has empty buildings and  and only a third of it’s energy is green.

Writing Tasks
You have moved into an eco-city, which is virtually empty. Nothing is as it seems. Free write.(15-20 minutes).

Write a poem about the concept of eco-cities.(15-20 minutes).

Happy Writing!