New Year, New Feature: a Speculative Fiction Writing Prompt

I wish you all a wonderfully creative, happy, healthy, and safe new year, full of laughter and love.

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After 5+ years of blogging, I thought I’d try something new… finally. How about a Monthly Speculative Fiction Writing Prompt? Sue Vincent was the inspiration for this idea since I’ve loved participating in her weekly prompts (check out her extremely popular feature here.)

If you’re interested, here’s how it will work:

On the first of every month, I’ll post a speculative fiction prompt from Pixabay. These images are attribution free so you can use them on your blog without worrying about copyright restrictions.

Throughout the month, I’ll reblog your prompt-inspired stories, poems, reflections, writing. And on the last day of each month, I’ll share a complete round-up of all contributions with links to the original posts. Visiting the blogs of participants is a great way to meet other speculative fiction writers.

Below is January’s prompt. Post your response on your own blog and link back to this post with a pingback, so I can reblog your post as well as include you in the month-end round-up. There are no word limits or style restrictions, but please keep it somewhat family friendly.

If you’re unsure of how to create a pingback, Hugh has an excellent tutorial here. If you prefer, you can copy and paste your link into the comments of this post.

Above all, have fun.

January’s #WritingPrompt

by Stefan Keller

The Stairway

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I couldn’t resist Sue Vincent’s beautiful prompt. It was right up my alley … or down my stairway, so to speak. Stop it, Sue. I’m supposed to be working on my WIP! Check out Sue’s blog Daily Echo for some beautiful writing from a fascinating woman. Here’s my take on the prompt:

The Stairway

I lingered at the top of the stairway, teetering over the ice-laden steps, my head reeling. Before me arched a gateway of ancient stone and lofty evergreen, overhead boughs bent with old snow. Why hadn’t I noticed the stairs before; I’d walked this path many mornings over the years though never as lonesome as now.

The crisp sun glinted on the ice, dusted the air with a haze of enchantment. An illusion, surely, a trick of the light. Yet, a small wisp of me believed in magic. I trusted in dreams come true and happy endings. I didn’t live them, but I believed them. The gateway beckoned like a lover, teased, promised. I took a tentative step toward my altered future.

My foot slipped on the gleaming ice and shot forward. I yelped as my hip hit the top step and I bumped down, sleeves filling with snow splinters, my coat riding up, elbows whack, whack, whacking on each step. My bottom took the stairs like a toboggan, my mouth spilling squeaky oaths and ouches the entire ride. The magic portal disgorged me onto the crusty snow like a bad meal, and my feelings hurt as much as my bones. So much for magic.

“Are you all right?” A man’s voice, trying to sound concerned despite the muffled laughter. “Can I help?”

I looked up at his offered hand, the mirth in his eyes, his charming smile. I gave him my scratched hand and my aching heart… all those magical mornings ago.