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prompt 158 Playing Sherlock

May 22, 2013

This week’s prompt is a day early. If you thought you have one more day to post your poem to the last prompt, well actually you do. Just post it. If you’re twiddling your fingers waiting for this week’s instalment, twiddle no more. If you’re writing a poem series, you are truly the creator of your protagonist. You need more time to cogitate. You need to *plot*. Well, read on.

We’re bombarded with messages. You’re in a train and you start reading slogans. Brands & slogans occupy mind space. Some slogans stick like crazy. Loreal’s “Because you’re worth it” for instance. Or it could be a made-up slogan. Because there’s this crazy notion that the universe sends out signs. So perhaps there’s an intersection between these man-made signs/messages and your protoganist’s path. Perhaps your protagonist has a dream and it erupted from the unconscious to the landscape he/she sees. Your protagonist begins to notice. Whatever it is, the protagonist is going to follow the clues. Clues to what? Well, get the narrative going. Connect the dots. Where are the clues? Then like Sherlock whose brain scans, processes and decodes details like a nifty computer, you assemble a poem with these telling ambient bits and bobs and arrive at…an epiphany. Now who’s playing Sherlock?

At this point, the story of your protagonist might be unravelling in a way that causes you to veer off prompt. Do try to make a tenuous link to the prompt while going with the flow. It’s part of the feeling that we’re on a writing journey together. We’re taking a leap of faith in being committed to writing a protagonist. The prompts are signposts. So be committed. We’re midway through. If you’re plotting, then bear in mind that from here on, you should have some inkling of how the story ends. A hunch. You don’t want to cast anything in stone or jump the gun because you need to trust in the next prompt instalment. Your protagonist still needs to undertake a journey.

So this is the fifth poem in the series. We’re working on ten prompts for the series. You may choose to write to this prompt as if it’s a stand alone prompt or you may choose to write a series of poems on the protagonist. The choice is yours. You are not compelled to write ten poems on the protagonist. Only if you want to.

Please link your poem to this post once it’s written. Once again, you have all week to write. Next Thursday, we’ll see you for a new prompt. Like we said, you are free to write a series or treat these prompts as separate jumping off points for a new poem. However, if you choose to write a series, then the idea is that the protagonist will somehow tie all your poems together so there’s a kind of storyline going on. It just takes one prompt at a time. It means you want to take one protagonist on a journey. You are the creator. Just do it.

  1. May 22, 2013 4:24 am

    Well, if you haven’t read my poem, it’s


  2. May 22, 2013 5:40 am

    Hi Irene, I am here with the continuation of Marlene, seems she has met up with a man named “Franz”. Looks like I am behind on reading others from prompt #157, hopefully today I can do so.


    • May 22, 2013 5:15 pm

      *spoiler alert* If you’re writing ahead Pamela, Marlene will have to take a journey to a strange place in the next prompt.

  3. May 22, 2013 9:09 am

    Ah, yes! Twiddling indeed. Olivia has been stirring and wondered where you were going to take her next…I’l be back to let you know! 😉

  4. May 22, 2013 5:32 pm

    Enjoying this prompt, Even added the ad, and other ‘sign’ refferences 🙂

    Hope to read more this week – I know I’m behind. I did create a ‘page’ so if someone wants to see the series in one place they can. I thought that would be better than adding all the links. Going back and forth trying to find others pieces without a clue that the piece belongs to the series makes it just a tad tricky. But I have tried. I know I’ve missed some folks…if you do visit, please leave a link in your comment, at least to your current piece. Makes revisits easier. Cheers.

    • May 22, 2013 6:27 pm

      How considerate to make a page on this series to solve the reader’s difficulty of finding what comes before. My blog is currently dedicated to the series so there isn’t this difficulty. I am reining myself in to see this series to an end…and then what? Who knows.

    • May 29, 2013 12:28 pm

      For some weird reason I can’t reply directly on your blog. Your poem is lyrical and gorgeous…there are so many good lines to choose from but my favorite is probably “an angel’s touch upon the world of dreams”.


  5. May 22, 2013 9:39 pm

    Absinthe has been on the look out for information on Sean since the breakup 😛 I am jumping all over the time line I realize but I am just letting the prompts inspire me and going wherever that takes me

    • May 23, 2013 5:49 pm

      Good tripping!

    • May 23, 2013 5:52 pm

      I confess. I find myself wanting to *break out* of this prompt curve. But I don’t. Still I feel chained.

      • May 23, 2013 9:46 pm

        I enjoy the prompts because I am one of those people too distracted to write a series or a story and also its just different to what I would come up alone so its a challenge but sometimes you read something and it totally inspires you but you get off on your own tangent haha

  6. May 23, 2013 3:16 am

    A sign of a different sort, possibly.

  7. May 23, 2013 11:08 am
    Another installment of Aunt Sister?

    • June 6, 2013 12:23 pm

      Since comments are close, I figured I’d reply here. I love Aunt Sister’s honesty in this piece. Sometimes, we don’t want – or need – to know the future. “Omens are hindsight wishing that it were driving.”. – I absolutely adore that line.


  8. May 24, 2013 1:02 pm

    “Words Sharper than Swords” another chapter in the on-going saga
    it is available at

  9. May 24, 2013 2:50 pm

    Here is my fifth installment of Marion and Murphy in which they visit Petco.

  10. May 25, 2013 9:02 am

    Oh, heck. Why not add an AuntAgonist?

    • May 25, 2013 7:38 pm

      Hmmm..a plot with historical data. Great stuff.

  11. May 29, 2013 7:17 am

    Whew! I finally made it! Helen reads The River Valley Book of the Dead.


    • May 29, 2013 5:50 pm

      You’re not late. We’re early. 🙂

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