Fall Writing Exercise Series #36: Ekphrastic Flower Shop

The Notebooking Daily Fall Writing Series is a daily writing exercises for both prose writers and poets to keep your creative mind stretched and ready to go—fresh for your other writing endeavors. The writing prompts take the impetus—that initial crystal of creation—out of your hands (for the most part) and changes your writing creation into creative problem solving. Instead of being preoccupied with the question "What do I write" you are instead pondering "How do I make this work?" And in the process you are producing new writing.

These exercises are not meant to be a standard writing session. They are meant to be productive and to keep your brain thinking about using language to solve simple or complex problems. The worst thing you can do is sit there inactive. It's like taking a 5 minute breather in the middle of a spin class—the point is to push, to produce something, however imperfect. If you don't overthink them, you will be able to complete all of the exercises in under 30 minutes.

Ekphrastic Flower Shop

For today, we're going to write a poem or prose piece inspired by another piece of art or an ekphrastic piece. The piece of art in question is the following image by digital artist Tamaki.

If nothing right off strikes you try the following exercises along with the image. The perspective of this painting is from quite low—who is looking up at this young lady in the rain? Is it a sunken shop or elevated sidewalk or is the person seeing this image on the floor for some reason? This will be the focus of our ekphrastic exercises if you don't have an idea immediately.
  1. Your narrator is the florist that has slipped and hit their head. The painting is a hallucination of someone from their past. Don't dwell on the fall or injury, in fact, try to avoid beginning with the fall, but don't make it a 'twist' unless you set it up properly.
  2. This flower shop is in an area with frequent flooding that has resulted in the raised walkway and a dip in business. Write a short piece that bemoans the loss of business while hoping this young woman enters your shop (speculating on why she would need flowers) and also meditating on one other thing in the mix of your choice.
  3. Describe the scene writing from a non-human perspective.
  4. The narrator is hiding in the closed flower shop hoping not to be seen, but why? You tell us!


If you'd like background writing music try this eponymous album by Brazillian musicians Paulinho Nogueira & Toquinho.