Photo Prompt Friday 8.16.19

So many ideas, so little time. Ever have one of those weeks? It’s been one here—-feeling pulled in about a thousand different directions between short story ideas, nonfiction book writing, trying to get things done for the Creatively Centered coaching business, and, somewhere in there, finding time to refill the creative well so I don’t crash and burn a little further down the road.

Maybe it’s all the rush of things this week, but this image hit me and then went in a hundred different story ideas. The immediate idea for me was spy story. Clearly, I watch too many movies and TV shows but the buildings and the street car and the cobblestone streets bring me to a high-stakes spy game. But, then, I could see a romance developing on one of those corners or a lover’s quarrel on the street car. Or it’s a midlife career woman who travels to Prague and comes to some life-altering decision about her life as she looks out of one of those windows.

So many stories, so little time.

Happy writing, and if you find a story out of one of the prompts here, be sure to let me know!

Photo Prompt Friday 8.2.19

Bridge with chain link on each side crosses a canyon to mountains in the distance.

Not gonna lie, this image makes me a little anxious. I may have a tiny fear of heights…or rather fear of falling from heights on things like rickety bridges over gaping holes in the earth. The scenery in the background with the mountains is pretty, but all I picture is a fight scene where someone crashes through the slatted bottom or gets pitched over that chain link railing. And even if you do make it across, what’s waiting on the other side? A desolate village? A quest through the mountains? So many possibilities.

What do you think happens here?

Photo Prompt Friday 7.26.19

Teal double door with gray stone blocks surrounding.

I’m not sure if I want to write about this door or if I just want this door. That color is amazing!

What’s lurking behind the door? I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking secret society — a really cool secret society because they picked that awesome color that I want to paint on all my doors now. Maybe it’s a magical school or better yet, the doors to a magical library…maybe a mermaid magical library. What’s behind the doors? Where is the door? Who is going in and out? So many questions!

Photo Prompt Friday 7.19.19

A hand with light colored polish lays in a bath of milky water.

I’m normally not a huge fan of people in my photo prompt images, but this one is a little creepy. And I like it! I suppose this person might be just relaxing in the tub, getting ready for a night on the town or winding down after a long week at work. It could be one of those options. There’s no blood….yet.

Clearly, my brain is already figuring out the murder plot with this image. Who is the victim? Why are they taking a bath? How were they murdered and why? Is their hand dangling in the water because they’ve just been strangled? Or is the killer waiting with a big, shiny knife right behind them, just waiting for them to shut their eyes? So many murderish options, so little time!

If you happen to use this prompt, let me know in the comments! I’d love to see what other minds come up with on this image. Happy Friday!

Photo Prompt Friday #1

I love how the right image can spark a whole set of questions that can eventually lead to a story. I tend to be pretty place/setting oriented in my writing (hello, Strengthfinders #1 Context) so sometimes having that visual in front of me as I brainstorm and write can make all the difference.

The challenge is finding that image. Since I write mysteries, sometimes with a little fantasy or horror thrown in, many of the visual writing prompts that I find just don’t quite cut it. Cutesy images don’t get me where I want to be most days. The image has to have just enough of something in it to spark the “what’s happening” without having too much in it that it stifles my own creative process.

So, once a week, I’m going to try posting a visual image that I’ve found or taken that prompts some story ideas for me. Maybe they’ll be helpful for you too. If so, be sure to leave a comment or link about your story!

Happy Writing!

Weathered red barn with weeds growing around it, in front of a line of trees in the distance.

On the surface, this image looks pleasant: sunny day, blue skies, lots of green growing. It’s a happy little barn, right? Or is it? (You know my first thought is having to walk through all those weeds were 3 million snakes are hiding, waiting to scare me.) What’s in that barn? What rusted out old tools are just waiting to become murder weapons? What bodies are hidden or not so hidden when the character walks through the front door? And those woods! What’s lurking back there? (Bigfoot, the answer is always bigfoot.)

Not gonna lie, barns fascinate me as a mystery writer. They are so incredibly murder-y. Or at the least the ones I spend time in are (sorry family members with barns). Hammers and pitchforks line the walls and wild, mean animals lie in wait. Barns and farms in general are places where accidents and blood and really disgusting things happen. The best ones are full of generations of stuff that someone needed once but has been left to collect dust and cobwebs, with the occasional secret item is tucked away. They are full of family drama and hardship and sometimes disappointed dreams. And they are always full of death….