Title: The Little Book of Writing Prompts
Authors: Frances Ainslie and Barbara Bloomfield
Publisher: Lapidus International (www.lapidus.co.uk)
Yes, it’s little at 26 pages, but in a good way: concise, colourful, varied and full of interest. First we’re prompted to practise automatic writing in a fast flow without letting the pen leave the page, and suddenly we’re off, in a series of brief exercises (Quickies, Colours, Ask the Universe… etc) offered through brief instructions and questions with an inspiring photo and ample room for our authentic responses. Naturally, there are no right answers.
The authors Frances Ainslie and Barbara Bloomfield are qualified, experienced and committed writers. Barbara, from a journalistic background, has worked overseas and written four previous books. Her stories have been played on the BBC. After training in counselling, she now teaches writing at Bath Spa University. She is also a director of Lapidus, the therapeutic writing organisation (publishers of this Little Book). Frances lives in rural Scotland and, after a thirty-year career in Global IT, dived headlong into a Masters in Creative Writing. She luxuriates in a world of nature and words. Her work (poetry, short fiction, memoir) is published in magazines and anthologies.
Aware, as they both are, of the power of writing, their book opens a door to our inner resources, giving a practical path to the magic we yearn to find when we are stumped or vexed and needing to unblock our flow. I tried out several of these writing prompts myself to describe sights, sounds, smells and speech and I began a hoard of interesting words I’ll use more often (effervescent, scurrilous, sardonic, clandestine…).
Daily life flings baffling mysteries in our path and I’ve long been convinced of the personal value of writing to gently explore these, but this series of exercises stretched and extended my capacity. Perhaps more surprisingly, as I completed these in a solitary fashion, I was bolstered with the sense that we’re not alone, we’re all somehow in this together.
What’s offered here is clearly of importance to a writer (and aren’t we all writers?), but the real gift is for everyone who wants to strengthen their connection to the vast universe of resources inside and surrounding them. Not only will this enhance our communication and capability, it brings us joy.
Bio: Tony Page’s latest book “Secret Box: Searching for Dad in a Century of Self” (Telling Stories Press, 2018) is available at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Secret-Box/dp/1999960718/