Sunday, May 19, 2013

What keeps the Imagination Fit

When it comes to the imagination, I believe it needs continuous feeding…to keep it fit and free from lack of use.  There are many ways to keep the imagination fit:  reading, writing, puzzles, drawing, painting…take your pick from these or the many other ways you can choose to use your imagination.
While there are many ways I keep my imagination fit, one of the ways I feed my imagination is with writing prompts.  As I began to add to my collection of writing books, I found a book titled “A Writer’s Book of Days” by Judy Reeves.  It has become one of my favorite books when it comes to a mix of sound advice, useful information, great quotes, quirky tidbits about the writing life of authors, as well as writing prompts for every day of the year.

The writing prompts are an odd mix.  As you can imagine, 365 ideas to write about might be a very long list to come up with.  But they are an odd enough mix so as to make your imagination work hard at coming up with ideas when each one is so different from the other.
To give you an idea, here is one example:

Prompt:  “A summer garden”
I came up with: 

A summer garden with dew lightly covering petals and leaves.  Bees, dragonflies and butterflies touch, taste and linger.  The sun rises and tantalizes all it touches with soft warm rays of light.  As the sun rises to its peak, the sunflowers cheerfully follow from their place in the summer garden.  A kitten stretches out on a garden bench, enjoying the warmth of the afternoon sun.  As the day passes slowly and the light begins to fade away, the ground cools, the garden sleeps and soon the summer garden is ready for a brand new day.
Here’s another…

Prompt:  “Nearing midnight”
The moon might be a sliver of light, offering very little comfort on a dark and foggy night.  Or the moon may be full, the evening free from shadows except those cast by the moonlight.  It is a time of quiet as we settle in for the night; it is a time of discovery for the critters who feel safer in the dark.  Nearing midnight we look forward to a brand new day.  Maybe better, maybe brighter, but a new start nonetheless.  As midnight draws near, we may look back at the results of the day behind us and hope to have few, if any, regrets.  Nearing midnight we say goodbye to one day and hello to the next, as to witness the beginning of another new day we can only feel blessed.

What do you think?  Don’t you agree how writing prompts about various subjects can only do good things when it comes to keeping your imagination fit?  Try it yourself…choose a random topic, write freely and see what you come up with.  Here are a few off the top of my head:
What if we had a memory like an elephant?

What is the most vivid dream you can remember?
If you had to trade places with any animal…which would you choose?

What if an alien landed in your back yard and asked you to take him on a road trip?
Hmm, all of those prompts have me thinking…now I have something to feed my imagination as I think of my own answers while I take care of routine chores for the evening.  While I fold laundry this evening, I will especially enjoy coming up with ideas on what kind of road trip I might actually take an alien on.

Think hard, play hard and enjoy your week!

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