Saturday, October 4, 2014

Saturday Prompt #2: Starry Skies and Strange Faces

I'd love to credit the creator of this image, but I found it on a wallpaper app and was compelled to write with it.  

For this week, use the visual above as inspiration for a piece of writing/prose/fiction.

If you're stuck, here are a few things to help get you started:

-Think about what's going on in the picture...
-Who is that strange person?  Where did he/she come from?  Where is he/she going to?
-The piece of art is quite whimsical.  Look into the background, what do you see there?  Is it trees, cactus, stars, a fisherman's village?  And what is the significance?
-What type of story would this 'snapshot' tell, were it a real, live photo?

Use the prompt now and leave a link below, or save it for later.  Just be inspired, that is the purpose!

Here is my contribution that was inspired by the image:

"Stars and Strange Faces"

Nights were rather damp,
the windows of their upstairs apartment
Too wise and dingy to discern
The separate faces of strangers
From the busy inner-city below.
Her lover was a patient man,
His chin a collection of breakfast crumbs,
But she knew the heart beneath
His old plaid shirt was mechanical.
He worked for the postal service
To support them, a shadow-man
Dressed in proper blue,
Hands full of car keys and
The paper bag lunch she arranged
Like a boring habit each morning.
And when she was alone
She would strip herself
Before  the many-mirrored bathroom
Like a swaying shower curtain pushed apart.
She’d collect the anti-depressants secretly
In colorful bath-salt jars,
Those little beads of forgiveness
That would free her thoughts
When no one else could understand
That it wasn’t about love or loneliness,
But rather an itch no drug could scratch.
So she wrote letters to dead feminists,
Copied recipes for success
From the life of Dorothy Parker,
and cooked supper for her husband
Like a good wife should
While patiently knitting mittens
For children she’d never have.
Every few weeks she’d consign
A soft batch of her fingered creations
To the corner thrift shop
For a cheap five bucks per pair,
then stop at Greg's Diner for chamomile tea
A pretty girl nodding
At the smiles of strangers,
unspoken dreams rolling around
between her cranium like a marble.
She knew one day she’d have
Enough money to buy the stars,
To leave the city.

Anyway, enjoy the prompt.  And happy writing!!


  1. Oh, this is such strong writing. Like a kick in the gut, and a whimper. Your lines "She’d collect the anti-depressants secretly / In colorful bath-salt jars, / Those little beads of forgiveness / That would free her thoughts / When no one else could understand / That it wasn’t about love or loneliness, / But rather an itch no drug could scratch" - powerful, uncanny, magical, sad. These lines could be a poem, a short story, even a movie! Amazing work.

  2. Ah. What an image of lost opportunities.. It got me thinking of "ballad of Lucy Jordan ".. I just hope for change. The breadcrumbs and mechanical heart paint a dark image of love that's lost.

  3. You have painted this scene well, her unfulfilled longings are palpable..........hope she discovers there is so much more to life. Great write, Stacy!!!!

  4. i like this... and the story.. it's touching... enough money to buy the stars... that's lovely.

  5. You have really painted a vivid picture of her & I hope that her unspoken dreams will eventually come true.

  6. This is a very unusual tale. I enjoyed the portrait of the woman and her little idiosyncrasies. Hopefully her dreams will be fulfilled.

  7. Well I hope someday she finds her peace and leave the city if that is her decision ~ Good one ~

  8. Well written! Vivid descriptions & details and such longing. You've built a whole character in a few lines ~ it could be the beginning of a short story. :)

  9. How easy it was to picture the scene and her hopeless disappointment in life, partner and other holes in her life. However while she is still dreaming she has hope for adventure, the sea and mountains where she can be free again. I liked the analogy of her stripping in the bathroom to imagine starting afresh.

  10. oh heck... my heart bleeds for her... you really capture her well...the outside/inside contrast, the going on with life as expected but how she's searching for herself and her dreams in all this..

  11. In spite of all this she has faith in herself...hope her dream comes true...

  12. There is a lot here and an interesting read as you can feel her sadness..These two lines really stand out when I was reading.

    Those little beads of forgiveness
    That would free her thoughts

  13. Lush description of secret dreams, something we can all relate to.


  14. This is an amazing write many strong images in your words that capture regret at it's deepest point.

  15. Lovely, sad story Stacey. You capture the unexplainable feeling of depression that no pill can cure. Thank you so much for your generosity in sharing your inspiration. I'm going through a little poetic dought, so I just may use the painting to write something this week. If I do, I'll let you know.

  16. An interesting image and an even more interesting image in the prose....

  17. you capture the despair the and ennui of such lives with precise and vivid details

  18. Those last three lines... planning the escape. Very powerful on the heels of all that imagery.

  19. I love this atmosphere, this type of life. Very simple and very frugal, in my view. thanks for the glimpse into this type of life, marriage, etc.

  20. Such a sad, grey shaded life. You painted this well.

  21. A great image you've painted. I can see such a life.

  22. Really touching.
    Great poem for the prompt, Stacy :)


Thank you for taking the time to comment, it is so appreciated. Your thoughts and critiques are always welcome! I will be by to visit your blog soon!