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JPC Allen Writes

Inspiration for Beginning Writers

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Monday Sparks

Monday Sparks — Writing Prompts: What’s the Mystery?

readingw-1803540_1920What’s the mystery about this quaint photo? The scene looks so peaceful. An elderly man reading a book on the porch of his small cabin. With a rifle across this knees. Things can’t be as peaceful as they seem. Here’s my opening. I’d love to hear yours.

I trudged up the dirt and spotted a man sitting on the front porch of his cabin, reading, a rifle balanced on his knees.

I stopped. Most people kept a cup of coffee or tea close by when they read. Not a gun.

The man looked up from his book, scanned me from head to toe, and then smiled. “Need help?”

“Yes. My car broke down, and I can’t get reception. Do you have a phone with a land line?”

“Only kind of phone that works around here. C’mon in.”

I thanked him and walked onto the porch.

As I pulled open the screen door, a large SUV ground up the road and parked in front the cabin.

The man set aside his book. Any trace of a smile gone, he swiveled the rifle toward the vehicle as a tall man slammed the driver’s door.

Monday Sparks — Writing Prompts: What’s the Mystery?

power-station-w4002026_1920What’s the mystery about this photo? Who’s is the dark figure in the foreground and what’s is his or her connection with the plant in the background? Here’s my version:

As an evening wind spun dry leaves over my tennis shoes, I leaned against my battered car and stared out over scrubby brush and empty fields.

The Ramson plant. It employed most of the people in the county. The Ramsons were the most powerful family in the area because they owned it. Local businesses depended on it. Local charities counted on contributions from the plant and the Ramsons. The citizens of Auger County couldn’t imagine life without the plant.

They’d better.

Monday Sparks — Writing Prompts: What’s the Mystery?

ruinw-540829_1920I’m starting my new theme a day early because I just can’t wait to dive into a month that features my favorite genre, mysteries.

Abandoned and forgotten places have always attracted me. An abandoned and burnt-out children’s home is a key setting in my YA Christmas mystery that releases TOMORROW! But more of that later.

What’s the mystery about this abandoned building? What was it used for? Was it a home, an inn, or what? Why was it left to rot?

The empty windows with their crumbling sills looked at me like battered eyes. As I walked on brittle grass, the weeds brushed and snagged my jeans. How long had it been since someone had entered the inn? It was supposed to be haunted. But if I was right, something a whole lot worse than ghosts was hidden between its walls.

Monday Sparks — Writing Prompts: What’s So Funny?

flowergirlsw-571072_1280This photo caught my attention because it reminded of the attitude my kids had when they had to attend the wedding of my husband’s cousin. They weren’t in the wedding party, which, I’m sure, would have made the experience much, much worse. Here’s my version of what’s so funny about this picture.

Little sister: Mom lied to us. She said being in a wedding would be fun.

Big sister: The wedding was fun. Mom just didn’t tell us the reception would be sooooo boring.

What do you think is so funny about this photo?

Monday Sparks — Writing Prompts: What’s So Funny?

snoww-1120551_1280What’s so funny about this photo? My sister should be inspired by this one. She’s very good at reading her dog’s mind and telling us how her beagle-mix perceives us humans and the world around her.

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