august writing prompt words

Inspired by greatness

According to T. S. Eliot “Good writers borrow; great writers steal.” so this month we’re on a journey to borrow and perhaps steal from the greats who have gone before us as we are inspired by their greatness.

This month’s word is a set of words related to some of the classic writers whether for children, screen or adult. As with all word squares, the aim is to choose one word from each column and weave them into a story, a piece of flash fiction, a poem or even a first paragraph that sets the scene for the reader.

My effort is below.

My attempts to be the next Enid Blyton were failing miserably. The words, so clear in my head just an hour before had disappeared like a flock of birds into a darkening sky. I’d been behind the keyboard since five am, after waking early with the fragments of a dream I just had to get down on paper. I looked out at the sea below my window, it was so close I could hear the waves playing with the pebbles, pawing them into the surf and then pushing them back again. Frustrated, I got up and called Beeble, a walk would clear my head and perhaps help reassemble the jigsaw pieces of my story.

Now it’s your turn. Why not use the comment area below to share your ideas?

You never know it may turn into the inspiration for an entry to the Hysteria Writing Competition.

August word square



  1. Here you go…I think I’ve worked them all in (my personal challenge), but to be fair it only works because of the typo in the square – I’m assuming “Austin” was intended to be “Austen” as in “Jane” – but I’ll take my gifts where I find them… Here’s my little fantasy….

    ~ ~ ~

    The sea had felt like liquid mercury, iridescent on my skin, but I’m a realist and knew that as soon as I stepped out of the water my Ursula Andress fantasy would morph back into the aging hippy with too much around the hips. I dripped salt water and kicked off seaweed as I stumbled up the shingle.

    He was waiting for me on the step beneath the beach hut. I didn’t know that right off, because I wasn’t looking at the old man, I was looking at the car: the Austin Healey. Mineral blue metal, tanned hide, open top and begging for adventure.

    I was drooling. I was thinking: whoever you are, let me have your children, I was forgetting that such a thing was now a biological impossibility.

    “I’d offer you a towel,” he said, “but your door is locked.”

    So suddenly I’m back in the real world, old and fat and dripping on an English promenade. I fiddle with the combination lock, open up the hut, find a towel and shiver with the memory of a long-ago lake, the camp fires, and pretending we were the Five, the glory days, before the war, before the Enid Blyton stories did their own morphing into horror, where the tar and feathers weren’t so funny anymore.

    And I am broken and stronger in those places, because Hemingway was right the world really does break everyone and because someone came along and did a decent Kintsugi job on me. The scars don’t show, they shine.

    He was still sitting, patient like birds on a wire, nowhere else to be. Watching me.

    He smiled with his eyes. The beard did a good enough camouflage job on the lips, but he could never hide his eyes. He hadn’t changed. The way he looked at me, it was that old challenge to marriage or murder or whatever life brings our way. He raised an questioning brow.

    “Mansfield, or Manhattan?” he asked.

    “Give me time to dress,” I dipped behind the hut door.

    He quoted some old Welles line about my being “very very beautiful. Yes you are.” And we laughed, because this time we both knew I didn’t believe him.

    I got in the car anyway.

    ~ ~ ~

    1. I love it, perhaps that’s a great way to use the word square, to use every single word and you did it beautifully Lesley. And you’re right it was a spelling mistake – oops, but it did you a great service so perhaps there was some higher power behind it :-)

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