Currently viewing the tag: "fear"

Spring-heeled Jack is an entity in English folklore of the Victorian era. The first claimed sighting of Spring-heeled Jack was in 1837. Later sightings were reported all over Great Britain and were especially prevalent in suburban London, the Midlands and Scotland.

There are many theories about the nature and identity of Spring-heeled Jack. This urban legend was very popular in its time, due to the tales of his bizarre appearance and ability to make extraordinary leaps, to the point that he became the topic of several works of fiction.

Spring-heeled Jack was described by people who claimed to have seen him as having a terrifying and frightful appearance, with diabolical physiognomy, clawed hands, and eyes that “resembled red balls of fire”. One report claimed that, beneath a black cloak, he wore a helmet and a tight-fitting white garment like an oilskin. Many stories also mention a “Devil-like” aspect. Others said he was tall and thin, with the appearance of a gentleman. Several reports mention that he could breathe out blue and white flames and that he wore sharp metallic claws at his fingertips. At least two people claimed that he was able to speak comprehensible English. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Create a character that terrorizes a whole city.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a character from a folk tale that scared you as a kid.

Art Prompt: Spring Heeled Jack

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience the legend of Spring Heeled Jack or another frightening character from a folk tale.

Stuttering, also known as stammering, is a speech disorder in which the flow of speech is disrupted by involuntary repetitions and prolongations of sounds, syllables, words or phrases as well as involuntary silent pauses or blocks in which the person who stutters is unable to produce sounds. The term stuttering is most commonly associated with involuntary sound repetition, but it also encompasses the abnormal hesitation or pausing before speech, referred to by people who stutter as blocks, and the prolongation of certain sounds, usually vowels or semivowels. According to Watkins et al., stuttering is a disorder of “selection, initiation, and execution of motor sequences necessary for fluent speech production.” For many people who stutter, repetition is the primary problem. The term “stuttering” covers a wide range of severity, encompassing barely perceptible impediments that are largely cosmetic to severe symptoms that effectively prevent oral communication. In the world, approximately four times as many men as women stutter, encompassing 70 million people worldwide, or about 1% of the world’s population.

The impact of stuttering on a person’s functioning and emotional state can be severe. This may include fears of having to enunciate specific vowels or consonants, fears of being caught stuttering in social situations, self-imposed isolation, anxiety, stress, shame, being a possible target of bullying (especially in children), having to use word substitution and rearrange words in a sentence to hide stuttering, or a feeling of “loss of control” during speech. Stuttering is sometimes popularly seen as a symptom of anxiety, but there is actually no direct correlation in that direction (though as mentioned the inverse can be true, as social anxiety may actually develop in individuals as a result of their stuttering) –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Give one of your characters a problem with speaking, even if it’s only temporary. Create conflict from this.

Journaling Prompt: Write about how you feel when you are trying to have a conversation with someone with a speech impediment. How do you handle it?

Art Prompt: Stutter

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the problems that someone who stutters face in work and relationships. Give tips for how to hold a conversation with someone who stutters.

Photo Credit: Evan on Flickr

vitriolic adj
  • (chemistry) Of or pertaining to vitriol; derived from or resembling vitriol; vitriolous.
  • (figuratively) Bitterly scathing, caustic.

Fiction Writing Prompt: Use the word of the week in whatever you write today.

Journaling Prompt: Write about someone who is vitriolic and how they make you feel

Art Prompt: Vitriolic

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt:Use the word of the week in your article or speech.

Photo Credit: Steve Rhodes on Flickr

“Don’t panic.”
“I’m not panicking, I’m watching you panic. It’s more entertaining.”

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a scene where two people are trying not to panic.

Journaling Prompt: Write about what makes you panic and what you do when you’re panicked.

Art Prompt: Don’t panic!

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a humorous story about a time that made you panic.

Photo Credit: Barry Mulling on Flickr

The ancient Egyptians called the place in which the Ka, the souls of the dead, awaited reincarnation “the beanfield.” In the sixth century BC, as we saw above, Pythagoras the originator among other things of the word philosophy who use various religious themes to illustrate his teachings, refused to escape his murders by crossing a beanfield. He was acting in conformity with a major taboo. To his disciples, as to those who adhered to Orphic believes, eating beans denoted devouring one’s own parents, and fast causing serious interruption in the cycle of reincarnation (where as in many primitive systems of thought the practice of cannibalism permitted assimilation and was a kind of reincarnation). –A History of Food by Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat

Fiction Writing Prompt: Create a superstition or religious belief for your protagonist involving a bean field.

Journaling Prompt: What do you believe about reincarnation?

Art Prompt: Bean field

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the symbolism of the bean field in ancient societies.

Photo Credit: Michael Nukular on Flickr

The girl screamed once, only the once. –Knots and Crosses: An Inspector Rebus Novel by Ian Rankin

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story starting with the line above.

Journaling Prompt: Write about the last time you screamed.
Art Prompt: Scream!

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a dramatic story about the last time you screamed.

Photo Credit: Gustav Astorga on Flickr

henry_triggs_coffin

Trigg was a prosperous grocer with a twin-gabled shop in Middle Row, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, as well as a number of other properties. He was a church warden, an overseer of the parish, and an important man locally. It is said that one night, he and two friends witnessed grave robbers at a local graveyard, and they vowed to make sure that this would not happen to them. Trigg stated in his will that his body should be committed for a minimum of 30 years to “the West end of my Hovel to be decently laid there upon a floor erected by my Executor, upon the purlin for the same purpose, nothing doubting but that at the general Resurrection, I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God.” According to Gentleman’s Magazine of 5 Feb 1751, Trigg’s will stated that he supposed that he would return to life after 30 years and then his estate would revert to him, and that he ordered that the barn be locked with the key inside his coffin so that he could let himself out. Shortly before he died, Trigg had negotiated with the parish authorities to rent his barn as the town’s workhouse…

Trigg died in Letchworth, Hertfordshire on 6 October 1724 before renovations could be carried out on his barn… Therefore, his remains were placed in a lead-lined coffin of oak and pine and hoisted into the rafters of the barn behind the shop, about 10 feet (3.0 m) above the ground.
Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of an unusual will provision.

Journaling Prompt: What do you want done with your body after you die?

Art Prompt: Grave robbers

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience the strange story of Henry Trigg’s coffin.

Photo Credit: Henry Trigg’s coffin on Wikimedia

censorship

The truth is being suppressed across the world using a variety of methods, according to a special report in the 250th issue of Index on Censorship magazine.

Physical violence is not the only method being used to stop news being published, says editor Rachael Jolley in the Danger in Truth: Truth in Danger report. As well as kidnapping and murders, financial pressure and defamation legislation is being used, the report reveals.

“In many countries around the world, journalists have lost their status as observers and now come under direct attack.”

There’s an increasing trend to label journalists as “extremists” or “terrorists” so governments can crackdown on reporting they don’t like. According to Index’s Mapping Media Freedom project, which tracks attacks on journalists in more than 40 countries, 35 incidents were reported where journalists were being linked to “extremism” to restrict reporting, 11 in Russia and others in Belgium, Hungary, France and Spain. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story set in a society oppressed by censorship.

Journaling Prompt: What kind of news do you feel is being suppressed where you live? Why do you feel this?

Art Prompt: Censorship

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the current state of censorship.

Photo Credit: Tim Watson on Flickr

an_artificially_manufactured_version_of_a_goa_stone_wellcome_l0036244

Poisoning used to be a much more effective method of doing away with your enemies, thanks largely in part to the ineffectiveness of historical antidotes and medicine. One fabled poison cure was the bezoar, a hardened spherical deposit of indigestible material that forms in the gastrointestinal tract of hoofed animals.

For hundreds of years, bezoars were believed to be able to render any and all poison inert. And when you couldn’t get your hands on a naturally occurring bezoar, you could, for the right price, opt for an artificially created bezoar known as a Goa Stone.

Bezoars, which appear as stone-like lumps, can form from hair, seeds, fruit pits, rocks, calcium, or pretty much anything that has trouble passing naturally through an organic system. They are most often formed in the bodies of hoofed animals like goats or deer, although bezoars taken from Asian porcupines were also popular…

Possibly the most famous use of a bezoar was in an experiment by the 16th-century French surgeon Ambroise Paré, who set out to prove that they were not actually the cure to all poison. A cook sentenced to be hanged agreed to be poisoned instead, just so long as he could be administered a bezoar immediately after, to be set free if he lived. The cook died just hours later, and Paré’s experiment had proved that the power of the bezoar was not quite what it seemed. –Atlas Obscura

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story with a protagonist who is constantly afraid of being poisoned.

Journaling Prompt: What lengths do you go to for self-protection?

Art Prompt: Poison

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about strange remedies from history, including bezoars.

girlinbath

Jean McConville had just taken a bath when the intruders knocked on the door. –Where the Bodies are Buried by Patrick Radden Keefe

Fiction Writing Prompt: Use the first line of the week as the starting point or inspiration for a scene, story, poem, or haiku.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you were interrupted in the middle of doing something personal.

Art Prompt: Taking a bath

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a dramatic story involving intruders.

Photo Credit: martinak15 on Flickr