I enjoy going to various websites that teach the art of writing. Today I went to the site DIY MFA, founded by Gabriela Pereira. This site provides tools that help writers better their craft. I have only begun to touch on all the articles and programs they offer. However, I have found one page that is especially helpful in getting creative juices flowing. It is a story prompt generator called Writer Igniter . Once on the page, you click to “shuffle” and receive the following prompts:
- Setting (This is a random photo that pops up)
Once you have your prompts, start writing whatever comes to mind. Today, I gave myself 15 minutes and wrote without stopping. I made plenty of mistakes but continued on knowing I could clean it up later. It was a lot of fun, and really helped get my thoughts flowing.
Here was today’s shuffle:
- Category: Surf Instructor
- Situation: Gets one wish
- Prop: Lucky Charm
- Setting: Picture of what I think is a four story walk-up apartment building
So here is my story and since I only had 15 minutes, it’s not finished. Maybe I will finish it someday. I want to find out what happens! Please excuse any grammar mistakes. This was a writing exercise after all.
Toby doesn’t understand how he could be relaxing at the beach after a difficult surf lesson one day and find himself flying across the country the next.
He thought he would never leave Los Angeles. The beach and surfing were his life… and livelihood. He has surfed since his dad gave him his first surfboard at the age of 5. The water and the sand were as much a part of him as were the hands attached to his arms.
At 31 though, he has been starting to feel restless lately. Teaching teenagers how to surf no longer holds as much appeal as it used to. Worse were the out of towners who “always wanted to learn to ride the waves”. Those people are especially tiresome. The first time they wipe out and swallow a mouthful of salt water, it suddenly loses it’s appeal.
Yesterday, after one particularly difficult client, Toby was wiping down the boards at his surf shop when he heard a loud noise outside the door. He leaned the board against wall and went outside to investigate. There on the steps along his shop was a bird. It looked a little shaken, but otherwise all right. It must have flown into the window, Toby thought. As he looked at the bird, searching for any damage, he noticed a tiny tube around the bird’s neck. When the bird didn’t seem to mind, Toby stepped closer, cautiously reaching out so as not to scare the bird away. He was able to unsnap the tube from the ribbon around its neck and as soon as Toby had the tube in his hands, the bird flew away.
Very strange, Toby thought. Glancing down at the tube, he noticed there was a piece of paper rolled up inside. Opening the tiny cap, he pulled the paper out and read it. There were two sentences.
Keep looking toward the east and you will find your destiny. Go now.
Toby was stunned. He wasn’t quite sure what to think about those words. What did they mean? Look to the east. East LA? Eastern Kentucky? East. East where?
New York. As soon as the thought crossed his mind, Toby felt warm. He felt a yearning he had never felt before. The urge to act on those words was so strong that before he knew it he closed up shop and went to his second floor apartment above. Without understanding why, and only going by instinct, he opened up his laptop to his Facebook account. Over on the right hand column where all of the ads pop up was an ad for a festival in New York’s Greenwich Village.
Toby clicked on the link and before realizing what he was doing, was making reservations to New York.