Creative Prompts for August

Feel you want to write or draw something, but just not sure what to tackle, today?  Or want fresh warmup challenges?  Sketchbook Skool have given a challenge a day for August!

What do you mean – it’s a little bit late telling us this, August has started already?!  Do I hear dissension?  Verily, I raise a quizzical eyebrow.

But wait – let’s find the positive – you can start today and choose either the prompt for the 1st, 2nd or 3rd of August.  Oh look – the challenge against today’s date is “First” – so that takes you to the first anyway!!

Right: pencils sharpened, favourite writing pen aloft, knitting needles at stun-ningly gorgeous, or whatever creative tools you wish…… and GO!


The absurdity of writing/not writing poems

If writing a poem seems absurd – still, why not?  Perhaps it’s equally strange not to write? Our encouragement to write, today, is from Nobel poet, Wislawa Szymborska of Poland

I prefer to leave early.
I prefer talking to doctors about something else.
I prefer the old fine-lined illustrations.
I prefer the absurdity of writing poems
to the absurdity of not writing poems.
I prefer, where love’s concerned, nonspecific anniversaries
that can be celebrated every day.

These few lines are taken from her poem, “Opportunities” – and a lovely example of her (more…)

Humour me

I was thinking today about a very good friend who is simply in a difficult set of circumstances.  She is immensely capable, resourceful, witty, hardworking and completely unself-pitying.  But is in a long-running set of adverse circumstances which would put the frighteners on any optimist.  In all this greyness, where is the colour?  And a phrase came to me:

“Follow the thread of laughter”

IMG_5251.JPGLike the legend of Theseus finding his way out of the maze after fighting the monster – by following a ball of thread given to him by Ariadne, who loved him – I think that genuine humour, in the greyness of difficulty, stress and bone-weariness is a relief of light.

To be able to laugh, even briefly, is such a gift.  In the middle of a sad story or pressured time, to find the wry comment, the one-liner, the ruefully hilarious simile, the self-deprecating remark – brings a genuine laugh, a release of tension.

This is something I can do for my friend.  Send a card that appeals to a shared sense of humour, tweet a comment, write a letter, fire off a facetious text.  Throw out the ball of thread that promises lightness at the end of the tunnel, another emergence into the light.   And to help ourselves, sometimes seek out a humorous book or TV series.  For myself, when social media becomes saccharine, sentimental and unbearably “cute” I treat myself to a slightly astringent dose of humour such as an episode of TV humour: “Black Books” or “Blackadder”.  Or when recovering from flu, in that one day of blahness, when the body and mind feel like porridge, a good dose of radio comedy or smart witty panel games just brings back that zzhuzh and sparkle of life.  The promising sound of laughter.

Created to create (5 mins)

That’s how this guy, Dave Herrity, describes us in this brief advert for his book, as he shows us a creative exercise from his writing:


“Making Manifest: On Faith, Creativity, and the Kingdom at Hand” is a book of devotional meditations and exercises designed for personal spiritual growth and innovative community building. Through 28-days of poetry, prayer, writing practice, contemplation, and personal reflection.