Legend has it, that in the day of pulps, the golden age of magazine fiction, the days when you could smash up a story on your typewriter and slip it in an envelope and send it off… that you’d get paid for such endeavours. Some writers even made a living at it. What happened when you ran out of ideas, though? Well, the legend continues, you could send off an envelope inside an envelope, with your own address on it, and a stamp on both envelopes, and back again would come a list of ideas.
This is the internet age. I’m not sure the children would know what a self addressed stamped envelope referred to. A sentient envelope? Besides, who has time to check the mailbox for days, waiting on your ideas to show up. No, these are the days of instant gratification. If you are in search of ideas, look no further, my friend. We have your back.
|Cedar Sanderson||If life is circular, and you never quite get fast enough to see yourself going around that corner, what happens when….||nother Mike|
|AC Young||When the rulebook for the first ever Interplanetary Games was announced there was an outcry from the Martian and Lunar Colonies. All the competitions had to be held at Earth-standard gravity – in the eyes of non-Earth-based competitors this biased the Games in favour of the Earth-based countries.||Cedar Sanderson|
|nother Mike||When they opened the door of the refrigerator, a sword fell out.||Leigh Kimmel|
|Fiona Grey||“All the things I’ve done, Bugsy, and you know what they yell at me for? Pulling my hair back with a rubber band. I’m telling you, those dames have some whacked priorities.”||AC Young|
|Becky Jones||The turtles lined up on the log waiting for their turn at the high dive into the river.||Fiona Grey|
|Leigh Kimmel||The project seemed small and manageable. But the more you got done on it, the more you discovered you needed to do.||Becky Jones|
Want your very own prompt this next week? Send in an email. No stamping needed. Reply by return email in two shakes of a lamb’s tail. If you don’t want to commit to a prompt swap, make sure you put spare in the subject line. Then, on Wednesday, come back here and behold… spare ideas. Need more? We’ve got a year and a half of them. Feel free to browse.
|Spare||The singer sounded like he’d stepped on rusty nails and was gargling with pop rocks.|
|Spares||On the subway, a purse left on a seat is ringing. The cellphone inside beeps. Do you answer it?|
|Spares||At the airport, they announce that an alien pet has escaped from quarantine. Then a furry lump slips into your lap, blinks, and says, “Please, help me!”|
|Spares||The gnome popped out of the door in the tree as I was parking the car.|
Email your prompts, spare or otherwise, to email@example.com and if you write something in response to an idea you’ve found here, we’d love to see it. Feel free to drop a link, or even what you wrote, in comments. Plus, you get the fun of seeing what someone wrote in response to your prompt, if you joined the challenge. It’s a great little accountability vehicle. No, it doesn’t pay. The Golden Age has slipped into the shadows, along with SASE and magazines. That doesn’t mean you can’t whet your writing skills, and pick up some great ideas!