Story Starter: Windfall Apples

Autumn apples and Easter hot cross buns. How odd!

Here’s a quirky photograph. And it’s genuine, exactly the way I came upon it when I was out for one of my lunchtime walks. I didn’t set it up and I haven’t retouched it in any way. I took it last autumn, as the apples ripened on the trees.

But I’m not sure about the bread rolls – which, now I look more closely, I can see are actually hot cross buns. Now, that’s even more curious for an autumn picture! Do you think someone threw them at the apples to knock them off the tree? Or threw them out for the birds? Any poor bird fancying taking one of these back to its nest would need strong neck muscles, wouldn’t it? But how come now, when hot cross buns are more of an Easter treat?

Anyway, it’s over to you to be creative. The photograph might prompt a story about odd things, seasons, contradictions, assumptions. Maybe baking or photography, or art class still life. I really have no idea and can’t wait to see. By the way, I’m seeing a lot of 2000-word stories come in, which is good, because we use loads of them, but not many 3000-worders, which we also use loads of.

You’ll have noticed I didn’t post a photograph of either of the recent workshops. Simple reason: I forgot to take any. Which is annoying, because I like to show you everyone hard at work. And I think it can be reassuring for anyone thinking about coming, to see that they’re attended by folks just like you.

But it’s also annoying because when I receive a story from someone who says they were at a workshop, I like to put a face to the name, and I’ve already had two from Southampton and couldn’t do that.


Shirley Blair

Fiction Ed Shirley’s been with the “Friend” since 2007 and calls it her dream job because she gets to read fiction all day every day. Hobbies? Well, that would be reading! She also enjoys writing fiction when she has time, long walks, travel, and watching Scandi thrillers on TV.