Writing Prompt Story Starter: Blue Skies

A winter's day that looks like summer

Look at those clear blue skies. That green field. At first glance this looks like a perfect summer’s day.

But no. It was taken today, December 28, 2018. It’s only if you look closer you might notice that the bramble scrambling over the wall there is bare of leaves. Although the big fir trees are as rich dark green as ever, the deciduous trees in front of them aren’t the lush colours of summer.

So, I guess the themes that are starting to emerge are taking a second look. Looking more closely. Seeing beyond the first impression.

Perhaps there’s also something in there about expectations being confounded. Like when you press the button on the coffee machine without thinking. The times I’ve done that. I think I’ve chosen chocomilk. My brain expects chocomilk. My taste buds are primed for chocomilk. In my head I’ve already started savouring it. And then, when I take my first sip, it turns out I hit macchiato instead. So discombobulating.

Expectations being confounded. It’s certainly true of today. Winter. Late December. You’d expect it to be cold and crisp. Gloves and hat weather. But actually today, the day this was taken, it’s unseasonably warm. No extra woollies required. No red nose from the cold. [Well, apart from the viral variety that’s kept me at home today!] You could almost sit out on a garden bench….


For some reason that makes me wonder about how it must be for a family that changes one hemisphere for another at this time of year, so that their seasons are reversed… Or dealing with winter in June and July. That must mess with your head, especially if you’ve just come though winter at home as usual.

Anyway, it’s over to you to see what you make of this. Will my expectations be met with stories of brilliance? Of course! But I also hope my expectations will be confounded in the surprising twists and turn your stories take….

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.