Sandbox Challenge #9: Mix Up Your Prompts

For this challenge, I’ve combined two common writing exercises—to use an image or a random line from a book as a prompt:

Open any book and let your finger fall on a sentence. Then open a magazine and note the first picture you see. Combine the two and write a scene, a character description, some dialogue, a poem, a freewrite, a memory or whatever else arises.

If you like, post your creations in the Go Wild! section of the Readers’ Sandbox. (I love it when people share!)

Here’s mine (from a sentence in The Lovely Bones and a photo in National Geographic):

Ruth would get an image and it would burn into her memory. She didn’t forget things like Jasper, who struggled to recall anything beyond the basic facts of his life 30 years ago. If he sat quietly for a while, he could conjure up vague reminiscences. But almost as soon as they arrived, the impressions floated slowly away from his mind, like glaciers drifting off the edge of a faraway alien country.

Copyright @ Sandy Ackers, Strangling My Muse: Struggling to Live a Creative Life in a Stressful World, http://www.stranglingmymuse.com

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9 Responses to “Sandbox Challenge #9: Mix Up Your Prompts”


  1. 1 Bryan Session December 30, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    Good Exercise!

    And I love the photo!

  2. 3 K a b l o o e y December 31, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    That photo is amazing. Just wanted to say Happy New Year and thanks for all the inspiration you provided. Having a rough December, creativity-wise, but will rally in the new year. Promise. (famous last words)

    • 4 stranglingmymuse December 31, 2009 at 5:47 pm

      I was so happy to find that photo — of course I couldn’t post the National Geographic picture of a glacier that partially inspired my bit of writing here (copyright issues), but then I found this public domain photo that fits perfectly with my piece. (Love it when that happens.)

      It can be awfully hard to keep up with creativity during the double-busy lead-up to the holidays, but I’m sure you WILL rally in the new year!

      Happy New Year to you and thanks for all your wonderful contributions here, as well as your always hilarious posts on your blog.

      –Sandy


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Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach and Writer.

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