Currently viewing the tag: "surprise"

The concierge emerged from the revolving door and gave me a once-over. “Excuse me, Miss,” he said. “Are you lost? I’m most certain you don’t belong here.” –Beautiful Garbage by Jill Di Donato

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of someone who is discovered somewhere he/she doesn’t belong.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time you got caught someplace you weren’t supposed to be.

Art Prompt: The Doorman

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell a humorous story about being sneaky.

Photo Credit: Angelo Juan Ramos on Flickr

When Shuos Jedao walked into his temporary quarters on Station Muru 5 and spotted the box, he assumed someone was attempting to assassinate him. It had happened before. –Extracurricular Activities by Yoon Ha Lee

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 surprise delivery you received.

Art Prompt: Surprise!

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a story about a surprise package you recieved.

Photo Credit: Rob Beschizza on Flickr


Angela Reese opened the door to find two men wearing dark suits and brimmed hats on her front porch. Both men briefly held up badges, but whisked them back into their pockets before Mrs. Reese could read them. –LEELAND AND DUNCE, ON THE CASE BY AMY SISSON

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: How do you feel when you hear an unexpected knock or doorbell.

Art Prompt: Who’s at the Door?

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a dramatic story about an unexpected encounter.

Photo Credit: ptxdview on Flickr


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


The garrison of the Vellore Fort in July 1806 comprised four companies of British infantry from H.M. 69th (South Lincolnshire) Regiment of Foot and three battalions of Madras infantry: the 1st/1st Madras Native Infantry, the 2nd/1st MNI and the 2nd/23rd MNI.

Two hours after midnight on 10 July, the sepoys in the fort shot down the European sentries and killed fourteen of their own officers and 115 men of the 69th Regiment, most of the latter as they slept in their barracks. Among those killed was Colonel St. John Fancourt, the commander of the fort. The rebels seized control by dawn, and raised the flag of the Mysore Sultanate over the fort. Tipu’s second son Fateh Hyder was declared king.

However, a British officer escaped and alerted the garrison in Arcot. Nine hours after the outbreak of the mutiny, a relief force comprising the British 19th Light Dragoons, galloper guns and a squadron of Madras cavalry, rode from Arcot to Vellore, covering sixteen miles in about two hours. It was led by Sir Rollo Gillespie – one of the most capable and energetic officers in India at that time – who reportedly left Arcot within a quarter of an hour of the alarm being raised. Gillespie dashed ahead of the main force with a single troop of about twenty men.

Arriving at Vellore, Gillespie found the surviving Europeans, about sixty men of the 69th, commanded by NCOs and two assistant surgeons, still holding part of the ramparts but out of ammunition. Unable to gain entry through the defended gate, Gillespie climbed the wall with the aid of a rope and a sergeant’s sash which was lowered to him; and, to gain time, led the 69th in a bayonet-charge along the ramparts. When the rest of the 19th arrived, Gillespie had them blow open the gates with their galloper guns, and made a second charge with the 69th to clear a space inside the entrance to permit the cavalry to deploy. The 19th and the Madras Cavalry then charged and sabred any sepoy who stood in their way. About 100 sepoys who had sought refuge inside the palace were brought out, and by Gillespie’s order, placed against a wall and shot dead. John Blakiston, the engineer who had blown in the gates, recalled: “Even this appalling sight I could look upon, I may almost say, with composure. It was an act of summary justice, and in every respect a most proper one; yet, at this distance of time, I find it a difficult matter to approve the deed, or to account for the feeling under which I then viewed it.”.

The harsh retribution meted out to the sepoys snuffed out the unrest at a stroke and provided the history of the British in India with one of its true epics; for, as Gillespie admitted, with a delay of even five minutes, all would have been lost for the British. In all, nearly 350 of the rebels were killed, and another 350 wounded before the fighting had finished. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story where servants rebel.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about the “justice” meted out in this incident? Would you have done anything differently?

Art Prompt: Mutiny

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about Vellore Fort mutiny and the lessons it can teach us today.

Photo Credit: Vellore Fort moat, Tamil Nadu on Wikimedia

tuesday purple monster

As I was finishing, I heard a crashing noise. A horned and tusked purple thing went racing along the ridge to my right pursued by a hairless orange-skinned creature with long claws and a forked tail. Both were wailing in different keys.

I nodded. It was just one damned thing after another. –Roger Zelazney, Trumps of Doom

Fiction Writing Prompt: Use wordplay in whatever  you write today.

Journaling Prompt: How do you deal with “monsters” who seem to all pile on at the same time.

Art Prompt: Monster

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience how to deal with life when it seems like everything is going wrong.

Photo Credit: steve loya on Flickr

Yellowstone Geyser

In 1806, John Colter, a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, left to join a group of fur trappers. After splitting up with the other trappers in 1807, Colter passed through a portion of what later became the park, during the winter of 1807–1808. He observed at least one geothermal area in the northeastern section of the park, near Tower Fall. After surviving wounds he suffered in a battle with members of the Crow and Blackfoot tribes in 1809, Colter described a place of “fire and brimstone” that most people dismissed as delirium; the supposedly imaginary place was nicknamed “Colter’s Hell”. Over the next 40 years, numerous reports from mountain men and trappers told of boiling mud, steaming rivers, and petrified trees, yet most of these reports were believed at the time to be myth. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story involving discovery of an alien landscape and the person who discovers it.

Journaling Prompt: Write about your favorite national park.

Art Prompt: Yellowstone National Park

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience the history of Yellowstone National Park.

Photo Credit: Craig Bennett on Flickr

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, you find out you haven’t. –The Devil’s Garden by Brady Christianson

Fiction Writing Prompt: What would surprise your protagonist? Write a scene where he or she encounters it.

Journaling Prompt: Write about the most incredible thing you’ve seen this week.

Art Prompt: The most incredible thing I’ve seen

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell a tall tale about something shocking.

Photo Credit: Jon Bunting on Flickr


He’d have done it faster if all the other things in his life hadn’t gotten in the way. Oh well, that was life everywhere. Always getting in the way of the important stuff. –P.S. Power, The Builder

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a scene where an unexpected life event throws your character off course.

Journaling Prompt: How have unexpected occurrences changed the course of your life? Do you use them as excuses or springboards?

Art Prompt: Life gets in the way

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell a story about how something happened to you that changed the course of your life.

Photo Credit: gfpeck on Flickr

Stamp Frenzy

“The security personnel of EL AL Airlines descended upon me like a flock of vultures.” -Emily Raboteau, Searching for Zion

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 in terrible trouble.

Art Prompt: Big Trouble

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write a humorous speech about getting into trouble.

Photo Credit: Jonas Witt on Flickr