Writing Prompt Story Starter: Telstar


Story Starter

Fiction Ed Shirley’s Writing Prompt Story Starter image prompts memories of the Sixties for her. What will it do for you?

This is the ceiling light from our holiday apartment in Crete. When I say “our”, don’t go getting the idea we own it. It’s just the one we stay in each year, owned by a lovely family who treat us like their own now.

It makes me think of planets and satellites.

It also reminds me that we recently watched a German documentary about Berlin in the 1960s. It was fascinating – and much of the cultural references were familiar since that’s when I grew up.

Amidst lots of musical and fashion notes, it also covered the launch of the first two Telstar satellites. Telstar 1 launched on July 10, 1962 and relayed the first television pictures, telephone calls, and telegraph images through space. It also provided the first live transatlantic television feed. Telstar 2 launched May 7, 1963.

Neither still functions today, and yet they’re both still up there, going round and round and round . . .

Another memory

The discussion about “Telstar” sparked another memory . . .

Like lots of youngsters, I used to go to the ice rink on a Saturday. I went with my big sister, a good skater. Sadly I was rubbish at it.

At one point there would be an announcement to clear the ice for the speed skaters. It was the cue for all the wussy stumblers like me to make way for all the young guys and girls who really could fly round the ice, swooping round the corners, doing zigzags – so impressive.

And the tune they did it all to was “Telstar”.

Remember that? An instrumental by The Tornados, it was no. 1 in 1962 – though I think this must have been a few years later.

Anyway, all of this flood of memories was prompted by a TV programme, and then compounded by a jazzy light fitting.

Does it prompt a Sixties story in you?

If you’re not having much luck with this, why not take a look at another Story Starter from Shirley’s collection here.

If you’re looking to sharpen up your writing, look no further than our Writing Tools section.

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.

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