Just recently I took a trip in the clouds to visit my blogger friend Susan at Sneakers in the Dryer. In a recent post Susan sent out a challenge for other bloggers to give her a writing prompt. I sent Susan a prompt and she challenged me to join her. I accepted. My prompt to Susan was “writing from prompts”. The only real stipulation Susan gave was that it is fictional and between 200 and 300 words. This is quite a challenge for me as I’m more of a journal writer. I guess you could argue that this is not entirely fictional but hey, I’m having a go.
I’m stuck in this place, darkness surrounds me. I’ve fallen into a deep hole and cannot climb out. Shivering, I sit, I listen, “is anybody there?” Silence. I look around and notice a faint hint of light in the distance. I crawl towards it, slowly feeling my way over the smooth, damp cave floor.
Autumn in the Blue Mountains is a golden time of year. My muse has left me. Silence. What better distraction than a walk in the crisp fresh mountain air. I’m meant to be writing from prompts.
An unfamiliar track caught my attention. A waterfall cascaded through the canopy, the ground blanketed with leaves of gold, yellow, and red. Mesmerised, I stumbled and here I am in this strange dark place.
Mounds of course grit like waste appear under my hands. Animal bones and shells from freshwater mussels make up several middens left by the long since gone indigenous inhabitants. There has to be a way out. I keep inching my way towards the light. There are bright red Aboriginal hand stencils of all shapes and sizes reaching out from the cave walls. Hundreds of them; waving, calling, prompting. Strangely, I feel safe in this cave. A sacred place.
The voice whispers ‘Keep moving towards the light.” Stillness, silence and yet I hear him. My muse. Hands, many hands, silence. Light.
All too often we are offered challenges and writing prompts. A great exercise but what about some real feedback. A bit like a writing group in the clouds. Can we achieve this or is it unrealistic? Will our egos get in the way? I enjoyed feedback at my creative writing classes before Christmas. Constructive feedback. Feedback that helps you see writing from the perspective of others, in a different light.