Free writing: some new prompts for the long weekend

St Paul’s, the evening before Easter Sunday, 2020

Hello,

Easter Sunday drawing closer so I thought I’d start this with some thanks.

First, of course, thanks to the NHS for its unimaginable, constant effort, and to those in public office who are trying to steer us through to the other side. Thank you!

Next, and I know this short list will miss off thousands, I’d like to go more personal and to thank all those who’ve helped us keep our lives together here in London.

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Free writing: Good Friday in London and some writing by others

Good Friday in London

Hello,

Hope all is well where you are. Thank you for taking the time to give this a look – the idea is that it should be a little distraction from the stresses beyond us.

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Free writing: here’s what I wrote

Spring in London – 6 April 2020

Hello from London where the streets are quiet – no sirens, no laughter, just lonely telephone calls taking their exercise in the sunshine. No shortage of sunshine either, soft and fresh, with a moon that gets bigger each night.

We’re all still indoors, households everywhere living separate ways of life, but hearing each other more loudly. It’s disconcerting – we’re together but apart, each of us caught up in new ways and in not knowing what’s next, while every day the media is full of trauma and courage.

Routine, they say – that’s what we need – so I do still try to get to my desk, to remind myself about the book I’m trying to write. The biggest help is the free writing sessions we do each week.

Last week we had a few more creative prompts from Saraswathi Sukumar. These ones really got me thinking. They weren’t the easiest to write but that can be helpful, and my responses, exactly as they were written, are below. Hope they’ll entertain, and may even inspire you to have a go.

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Free writing: some new prompts

Shadow – London, in lockdown – late March 2020

Good morning, on a sunny Saturday in London.

Here are some more free writing prompts as optional mind distraction. Nothing needs to be perfect or polished – it’s about letting the mind flow without constant stopping to tidy things up.

This week’s suggestions, which again come courtesy of the generous Saraswathi Sukumar, should take your mind along brand new paths. I hope they might inspire you to have a go.

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Free writing: the words we doodled (1)

Blossom – London 2020 (photograph by Sonia Jallane)

Hello from me in London, where the pavements are almost empty, and birds chorus from every tree they can find. It’s bizarre.

I hope that wherever you are there are snatches of peace in the midst of this new reality. Perhaps these pieces will help – a poem, and some more free writing responses to last week’s word doodle suggestion. Huge thanks to the authors (all copyright on these pieces is theirs).

First up is a poem set in London.

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Free writing: the words we doodled

In memory of a great friend and in honour of Shadow – even though not the Shadow.

Hello wherever you are,

Not so warm in London today. There are patches of sun, then northerly winds full of rain gust in. It’s cold, ruffly weather. Earlier I saw two police horses clip clopping slowly down the street … not bothered by the wind, but I’m sure they must love the lack of traffic.

Anyway … to the free writing, and a guest appearance on The Phraser – a piece that gives my writing soul great pleasure.

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Lockdown in London … and an idea for some word doodles

Blackbird – calm as could be – central London

Hello out there,

My best wishes to everyone around the world in various stages of lockdown. Thinking of you, and of those trying to get us through this time.

Life has changed so suddenly and so fast, that it’s hard to figure out exactly what is going on. Rather than pin all my hours on trying to understand, I thought I’d put up another blog or two in case anyone is in need of distraction.

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