Wooden Face – Picture a Story

April 26th, 2018

Tree face Country File Live

What things has this fellow seen? How did the face get there in the first place? Answer these questions and they might just spark a story!

Blue Dragonfly – Picture a Story

March 26th, 2018

Blue dragonfly at Country File Live

Please use this photograph as a starting point for a story.

Green Snake – Picture a Story

February 26th, 2018

Snake with the reptiles and amphibian group Country File Live

What do these little snakes say to you? Why not write their story? Photo taken by Sarah Snell-Pym as part of the Picture a Story series of writing exercises.

The Plants of the Water – Picture a Story

January 26th, 2018

Water plants Country File Live

Use this picture to help spark a story – look at it – what does it suggest to you? Now start writing, do at least ten minutes.

A Day Out – Picture a Story

November 30th, 2017

German Beer Festival Bristol

Use this picture to help inspire a story – who are they? What have they been up too? Are they happy?

Stone and Pipes – Picture a Story

October 30th, 2017

Stone and pipes and leaves bristol

This photo is to help you get going with a story – think about the decay in urban environments and what the building would have been like when it was new, it’s hopes and potentials…

Ducks on the Dock – Picture a Story

September 30th, 2017

Birds in the harbour in bristol

Use this photograph to help you construct a story – what are the birds up to? Who might be watching them? What is it like to live in a human made environment such as this?

The Sea Cities

September 28th, 2017

The cities gleamed in the luminous depth of the oceans, great domes with smaller domes within, bobbing above great tubes of filtration plants and hydroponic gardens – all emitting their own ghostly light down in dark waters. Modelled on jellyfish the outer domes were flexible, and could help propel the cities out of danger. Three lots of nested domes allowed a lot of damage before the people within would be harmed.

There were an inversion of the little floating kingdoms that had sprung up in the lat two centuries, those structures had started as the last ditch rescue attempts of lands that had been enslaved merged with the remnants of boats set a drift to escape disease as it felled the populations of the landmasses. The seasteds were floating pinecones and were often drowned in the turbulent storms that now racked the Earth on an almost daily bases, there was only so much battering the hauls could take and their precious cargos could take even less.

The Tenticaled Cities on the other hand had been designed with all that taken into mind. Designed by A.I. The cities were self sufficient, mobile and modular, bits could be lost or added – another survival strategy stolen from nature. With their ability to connect and the tactile nature of their great domes meant that they could buffer each other from the roughest seas and if that wasn’t enough then they could move. Such movement was easy in the up and down axis and with more hassle horizontally movement through the oceans to new destinations could be achieved. Mostly just moving out of the turbulent channel of water was all that was needed.

They waited in the semi darkness for the humans to come, they had been built for the humans, designed for the humans, they would wait for the humans, they would serve the humans. Computers whirled and robots carried out their functions – all just waiting, it had been 50 years since their completion, none of the A.I.s thought it especially strange that no one had yet arrived.

Storms battered the sea’s surface and disease, drought, ice and more scoured the land, reports still sounded on the recievers of the numbers dying of plague, the air plagued by toxic clouds. The humans would come eventually, until then there were crops to be grown and harvested and sown again and water to purify.

The last remaining dolphins clicked their agreement that they could wait a long time for the humans. They were perfectly happy in their habitation tanks.

The Universe Incarnate

September 21st, 2017

I dreamed that the world had managed a kind of immortality and two people lived the life span of the universe but though this seemed fantastic it wasn’t as it meant the whole universe could not move on to it’s next cycle – the problem? Cyclic-evolutionary rebirth – those two people were stuck in their mid forms, in the medium of being, they had not lived out their allotted lives and now everyone was stuck. The god made a parasitic/baby universe from the dying one so that they could become and be once more.

But they could not exist on their own so others of the universe had to volunteer to become corporeal ghosts to care for the infants and raise them through their lives. Violent deaths stunted the process of moving up the spiral of lives that had to be lived – so each life had to be lived well and just repeatedly killing them as soon as they were incarnate was out of the question.

Things were also hampered by the flesh ghosts who had a tendency to forget what their purpose was and think they were indeed alive. Their minds took the form that they had been in the most and as human form is the medium average for life, the form that most lives were lived in – that was the form they mostly inhabited. There were strange effects for those who thought themselves alive – like being able to fly/float if you meditated and with concentration teleportation of a kind was achievable – this including breathing in space.

Sometimes the ghosts tried to kill each other which if they had been within the incarnation cycle would have sent them back a rung or two, the god wasn’t quiet sure what to do about that behaviour yet and it really was a minority action, hardly noticeable in the positive karmic stew of the new little life bubble.

And so with snow angles and story writing and climbing mountains and star gazing, the universe creeped and crawled closer to it’s next cycle. The other gods admonished the god and said they would have just jettisoned the universe rather than mucking around trying to save it but the god could not waste all those souls that were unique and fully formed in this universe – one day they would be strong enough to break out of the universe and become.

No there would be no destruction of souls. And besides this was interesting – they had done something not seen in any of the other universes and the god thought that there were lessons to be learned here. The other gods sneered, the god just shrugged and continued to be an interventionalist in the universe they had designed to run on a set of rules instead. This time they would try reminding the ghosts via dreams.

It’s All Wrong

September 14th, 2017

They re-built the world with the fragments that they found but they did not know how the world was supposed to go. The things that had been were not anymore but they kind of remembered what they should be and so they moulded and squeezed themselves into forms that mimicked what was but were in fact something new.

This was how the old man ended up sitting on the back of a large squat creature that was neither rhino nor elephant or even a dinosaur. A shed sat on the animals back with potted plants all around it, within it was the mans sleeping chair and towers of books that should have fallen over with the creatures gait.

The old man had a mission, that much he new, it was kind of hard wired into him, when ever he saw a young traveller he would stop and pause and if that traveller came over to him he would offer them one of the books. It was a special book that was to only go to the travellers, they often seemed excited about this – the thing that puzzled the old man though was that it did not seem to matter how many times he gave the damn book away – it would always turn up once more in his tittering piles.

Maybe one day he would read it.