2019 Day 23 – A Picture

How did you get on yesterday? Did you write a story?

Remember, set your own rules, and stick to them. If you miss a day, don’t try to catch up. Just keep moving forward!

The Prompt

Write A Story Inspired by This Painting

Richard Norris Brooke (American, 1847 – 1920), A Pastoral Visit, 1881, oil on canvas, Corcoran Collection (Museum Purchase, Gallery Fund) 2014.136.119

Unless you’re an expert in the time period, don’t try to write the historically-accurate story of this picture.

Instead, look at the details, the people, the expressions and see what it suggests for you.

Write about a family of laborers terraforming the first, off-planet colony, and entertaining a local dignitary for dinner

Write the story of a woman (any woman) whose husband brings home his boss when she’s had a full day at work and has just changed into her sweatpants and pulled her hair back into a messy bun, and she was in the middle of yelling at the kids for dragging in a stray kitten from goodness-knows-where and she’s just called out for pizza…

Tell the story of the bowl on the table. Where did it come from? Where will it end up, three generations from this moment.

The wonderful thing about using paintings as a prompt is that they represent one moment in time…just like short stories!

Our lives and our personalities are shaped by an accumulation of tiny moments. Never think that an idea or a moment is too small to be the spark for a worthy story.

Start practicing that belief with today’s story!


Check back every day for more prompts, and don’t forget to come back and leave a comment to celebrate your writing successes, every day!

12 thoughts on “2019 Day 23 – A Picture”

  1. Just finished the 23rd chapter of my second draft of my murder mystery for this month’s challenge. Only another few days to go. Thanks Julie for making this all happen. I’m enjoying having fun with the writing again, just moving forward every day while I keep the editor/inner critique locked away for a month. Invigorating. Cheers and well done everyone!

    1. Gerry! Great to hear from you and congrats on that novel! Love hearing how you’re challenging yourself.

  2. I’ve written every day but one. So I’m behind. But when I get a chance I’m going to write a story for this picture.

  3. This was another fun one Julie – thanks! I used this as a springboard to an annual picnic hosted by some of the more established families in the area. Had fun learning more about some of the folks in the surrounding area……

  4. What a lovely prompt!
    I chose to write about the banjo. In my story the picture records the moment an executor of a Will presents the young man with a banjo he has inherited. Since then the banjo and the painting have been passed down the generations to a musical member of the family . Each owner has a story to tell.
    1800 words

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