Week 7 of Odd Prompts: 2023 Edition

Technology is moving fast these days – and while there’s lots of fear about the unknown and justifiable concern over ethical use, it can also be a handy tool to enhance our work. For instance, as a prompt generator…

Normally on odd prompts, we have everyone send in ideas to oddprompts@gmail.com for a trade with another person. This week, we added writing prompts generated by a tool called Chat GPT in place of spare prompts that anyone can snag. For simplicity’s sake, we’ll just call Chat GPT artificial intelligence.

Bring it on, Skynet.

If you sent in a prompt as usual, it’s below (if you sent in a spare, you’ll see it next week). Pick one, pick both, roll one over – you do you, there are no rules here.

AC YoungThere were mountains all around, but the clouds were so low none of the peaks could be seen.Leigh Kimmel
Becky JonesNo, no, no. You have to go *backwards*!nother Mike
David Wyman“Act now ! Get your very own pocket human for four easy payments of 144367 quentals!”Padre
Padre“I didn’t think the information was that obscure!”AC Young
Leigh KimmelAll night the wind howled, and then there was a bang and the stars went out.David Wyman
nother MikeWhen the skeleton smiles, everyone dances!Becky Jones

Chat GPT Prompts:

  • My first sentence is “Hi.”
  • “How the weather is in Tehran?”
  • I need an interesting story on stamina.
  • I’m sure I put the bowl on the table because that’s where I always put it. Indeed, when I placed the bowl on the table, you saw that I placed the bowl on the table. But I can’t seem to find it.
  • You are a football commentator. Don’t worry, the math is simple.
  • Create lyrics to a blue poem.
  • Provide only factual interpretations based on the information given. My first fantasy was about being chased by a giant winged horse.
  • The story must be about a romantic science fiction adventure. It must have a plot and philosophy.
  • I need help designing an intuitive navigation system for cats.
  • Something light yet fulfilling.
  • Describe courage in the face of adversity.
  • After waking up from a coma, a person discovers that they can see and hear ghosts. But when one particular ghost starts following them everywhere, they realize there may be more to their new ability than they thought.

Don’t forget to post your creations in the comments – and your feedback. Was AI fun? Do it again? Other ideas to keep it interesting? Let us know!

Header image by Fiona Grey



    • Mmm-hmm. 😀 I set these up for the year with a template and some seasonably-appropriate photos, usually in December, then fill in the blanks with words. So the photo isn’t *intentionally* appropriate, but also when I checked the preview, it was irresistible.


  1. This week Padre prompted me with: “I didn’t think the information was that obscure!”

    Hmmm. Perhaps a really difficult research task?

    The students on the Masters in Advanced Spaceship Design were all in the library. Every single one of them was reading a research paper. Every few minutes one of them would say “It’s not in here,” or some variant on the above. That student would then close down the paper they’d finished, cross it off on the communal list, and then open the next one.

    They had been at it all afternoon. The lecturer had asked the class to write a short paper on the power implications for a warship’s shields, should it be retrofitted by replacing the six existing engines with six more powerful engines that were a hundred metres longer, and with a maximum diameter twenty metres wider.

    That the changes would require the shield generator to be more powerful in order to generate a shield of the same capability was obvious. But the lecturer didn’t just want the students to say that the generator needed to be more powerful. He wanted them to explain how the shield shape needed to be altered, specifying any required adjustment of the generator location, and then attempt to quantify the proportional increase in the required power levels given the changes the students were proposing.

    The adjustments to the shield shape weren’t too difficult. All of the students had come up with their own ideas as to the best way to adjust it.

    Some had adopted the simple solution of keeping the raw shape the same, but increasing the volume so as to enclose everything. That option wasn’t too difficult to calculate the relative power requirements for, but it left gaps between the shield and most of the warship’s hull. That was a potential weakness in combat, especially if the enemy had single-seater fighters, and so would not get the students high marks.

    Consequently most of the students had gone down the route of adjusting the shape of the shield to better fit the new engines. Many of them had moved the generator five metres towards the stern to make the new design as efficient as possible.

    Unfortunately none of the standard textbooks had any formulae for the relative power requirements of the shape changes that were required. The students had started going through the research papers, but hadn’t found anything.

    Now they were in the library, desperately trying to find something, anything, that would enable them to complete the paper. They had been going through all the research systematically all afternoon.

    The library was closing in an hour. Time was running out.

    Then: “This has something in it! I.X. Aston, ‘The Energy Importance of Nearly-Spherical Shields’, section 3.6.”

    Everyone quickly opened up the referenced paper and paged through to the quoted section. There was a period of silence as everyone worked their way through the equations in the paper, followed by a series of groans as first one student then another realised that Icarus Xerxes hadn’t given them one crucial factor for their calculations.

    The students went back to their co-operative paper hunt.

    With fifteen minutes to go: “I’ve got it! W.A. Bromwich, ‘Length and its Complications’, section 4.2.”

    Yes! That particular paper had the missing piece of everyone’s jigsaws. They all hurriedly finished their calculations, many only just finishing before the librarian on duty came round to hurry them out at closing time.

    The next day, when the time came to hand in their papers the students complained about how difficult it was to find the equations they needed.

    “I didn’t think the information was that obscure!” replied the lecturer.

    The students merely gritted their teeth and said little. It probably wasn’t that obscure for an expert in the field who had read every paper on the topic under the suns, and had their own lists of relevant equations – but students don’t generally fall into that category. It wasn’t worth saying anything – the lecturer had a reputation amongst the students for assuming that they were familiar with everything he was, and not learning that many of them weren’t as knowledgeable yet.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Becky Jones proposed…

    No, no, no. You have to go *backwards*!

    [let’s see…]

    The first Michael Jackson imitator started to strut his stuff. He had just started his moon walk when the dance coach threw up his hands and yelled, “No, no, no. You have to go *backwards*!” For some odd reason, this imitation simply walked forward, flat-footed, instead of the famous reversed walk.

    [well, that’s not very exciting…]

    Henri Chapeaux was the leading fashion designer this season, and he swore that his new dresses would make everyone sit up and take notice. However, he kept them secret until the very day of the showing. And at the dress rehearsal, just moments before the show, he was so angry when the models tried their best to walk onto the catwalk. They were lifting their legs and kicking the huge billows of cloth that his new dresses had in front. He pulled at his hair and screamed at them, “No, no, no. You have to go *backwards*!”

    He grabbed the leading model and turned her around. She gritted her jaw and tried walking backwards, her eyes on the runway edges to keep going straight. Sure enough, the odd billows of cloth straightened out into a train in front of her, as she walked backwards.

    Now Henri clapped.

    “You see, that does it beautifully! And do not fear, I will warn you when to turn before you fall off the runway! Now, all of you, let us walk bravely backwards into the future of fashion! You will all be in the magazines tomorrow!”

    And he laughed, and laughed, even as the models giggled and stepped backwards in their new dresses.

    [aha! Now, that’s cute! Henri and his dresses…]


  3. Leigh prompted: “All night the wind howled, and then there was a bang and the stars went out.”


    “Me-damnit! Not again!” he muttered as he got up to go check the fuse box.

    His favorite series – really, his only series – As The Worlds Turn was on and he hated it when it got interrupted. It was the 2023 episode and it was just getting good.

    Of course, the wind had picked up and there was another bang, knocking the power out again.

    He shook his head with self-realization – “No one to blame but myself. I knew I shouldn’t have plugged the stars into the same outlet. At least I get a new season out of every one of these Big Bangs.”

    Having flipped the fuse fully off and then fully back on, he returned to the recliner and restarted the episode, chuckling as the season title briefly displayed: “Human timeline, 2023”


    • Y’a know, if a customer ever had asked me to design such a thing, I probably would have asked for some examples of how the cats would use such a thing? Get the customer to provide some specs, cause I really don’t know what’s intuitive for a cat? Chasing little running things? What?

      Liked by 1 person

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