What's it about?

This blog has a very specific purpose: it's a place to post prompts for creative writing during the time of the lockdown. Initially it was for the use of my writing group, as we cannot for the time being meet in person - but I want to open it up to anyone who'd like to have a go at creative writing. I very strongly believe that writing is good for you: while you're writing, you're off somewhere else - you've escaped! And that can only be a good thing during lockdown.

Do sign up to be notified by email when a new prompt is posted - usually on Thursdays - and I would love to hear how you're getting on in the comments. Have fun!

Thursday, 4 June 2020

Into the rose-garden...

Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind...
                                  Other echoes
Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?

(From Four Quartets, by T S Eliot)


It's been a glorious spring, and for obvious reasons we've been confined to home for most of it; so those of us who are fortunate enough to have gardens have probably enjoyed them and observed them more closely than ever before.

Because of that, and because I'm happy to avail myself of any opportunity to quote the above lines (Eliot was write, his words do ech in the mind), I thought this week's task could centre around gardens.

First, read the lines through several times. Read them aloud. You may notice that intially, the poem is about choosing not to go into the garden, but don't let that distract you! For some reason, that choice was significant - what did it lead to? What did it avoid? And now, we are told, there are 'other echoes' - what might they be?

I'd like you to write something inspired, however loosely, by these lines.


  • It can be a poem, a story, a memoir, or a piece of non-fiction writing. It could even be a letter, or a diary entry.
  • It could be about your own garden or one you visited, or one that meant a great deal to you.
  • It could be an imaginary garden.
  • It certainly doesn't have to be a rose-garden!


Gather your ideas first in a mind-map or spider diagram - jot thoughts down, anywhere on a page, and then start to make connections and link relevant ones together. Gradually, an idea will emerge.

The rose garden at Villandry, in France.

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