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Each week, I share one of the writing prompts used the previous Friday in my weekly workshop, along with an example of what was written in response. Today’s prompt (allow about 10/15 mins in total) is…Start with the senses.

You need three things to give you a frame; a time of day, a time of year, a place (generic). We were three, so we each had a piece of paper and wrote one thing, passed it on, added another, passed it on, added the last and then passed it back to the originator. I got:

5.30 am, autumn, a harbour

You can now write anything, using those three things as to guide to inspire, frame what you write. The only rule…you must refer to all five senses; sight, smell, hearing, taste, touch. This is what I wrote:


image credit: http://www.explorecrete.com/crete-west/Loutro.html

The air is crisp but not uncomfortably cold. It’s sill very much dawn, and the palette of the sky is changing by the second; grays, blues, purples and the remains of silver from a moon whose work is almost done.

There’s a silence, or rather a hush over everything that’s magical, secretive, like I shouldn’t really be here yet. I’m a special guest who’s arrived early, while the rest of the world sleeps on, dreams on.

I close my eyes to savour the smells; salt, fish, gasoline and I hear the sea, lapping at the quayside while the lazy chains of the anchored boats knock knock against the wooden hulls. I sit and dangle my feet in the water, watching in the gradually lifting darkness – is that – no! A boat coming in? And I thought I was early! But then again…wow, already 7 o’clock. The first ferry of the day, and the magic is lifting, disappearing, running scared from a day whose busy-ness is about to arrive and chase it away.

I shiver a little. The sun still hasn’t reached this spot, and my feet in the water have cooled my whole body. I stand and walk back towards the apartment, slowly, lingering, and as people crowd around the ferry to unload the deliveries I can almost taste the fresh bread and the sweet oranges being wheelbarrowed bumpily away over the pebbled beach to the hotels and tavernas, to be turned into breakfast.

I carry my sandals still, feeling my feet mould to the stones beneath them with each careful step. I look out towards the horizon where the sun is no longer hiding any of itself, a bright full circle though still low, and wonder what this day will bring.

Yes, I know I pushed the ‘autumn’ part a bit, but really, September/October in Crete is gorgeous!


And, as I didn’t offer a ‘writers’ well’ post last week, here’s a second prompt! Firstly, complete this phrase with you own ideas, at least 5 times;

A good friend is…

And now this one, also at least five times…

Community is…

Using the creative emotional juices now flowing from making those lists, write a poem entitled An Antidote to Loneliness. Here’s my version:

Antidote to loneliness


A friend is after all

Only a stranger

You haven’t met yet

Community begins after all

With the man next door

Who’s just finished mowing

his front lawn

And stands by the pavement

To catch your eye

As you pass by

Wanting to chat

For he doesn’t know

You have somewhere to be

But take each opportunity

To build from the material

Surrounding you

Though they may yet disguise

What they can become

Should you dare

To get your hands dirty

And bring them together

Heart thirsty

But it takes more

To meet that need

That turning on a tap

So put on your hat

Coat too if it’s cold

And be bold

There’s a whole workd

Beyond those four walls

That will share songs

If you’ll open your ears

To listen

And food

If you’ll bring what you can

To the table

To share

And dance

If you’ll offer your hands

And let the circle hold

You move you

Growth doesn’t happen

Inside the packet

Dreaming of becoming

The beautiful picture

With the fancy name

so open the door

the whole world is your home

and you don’t need keys

to be let in

but you might want to check you have

your house keys on your way out

in case you want

to get in again.


If you enjoyed these prompts, then you can find more here:


and here: