2020 Writing Exercise Series #14: Ekphrastic Mountain Road 2

The Notebooking Daily 2020 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 Mountain Road 2

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 this gif of a motorbike riding along the Manali-Leh Highway in the Himalayas.

If nothing right off strikes you try the following exercises along with the image.
  1. Write a vignette in which you're following your friend on the motorbike intending to drive quite a bit farther then camp, but one of the vehicles (the bike or whatever you're in) breaks down and you end up camping right along the road with this view.
  2. You'll be writing a fantasy story where there is magic and everyone rides motorcycles everywhere. You're on a very important mission which involves getting to the top of one of those mountains. How do you do it? Why? What's intentionally standing in your way, and what gets in your way inadvertently, spoiling at least one of your plans? Is magic a learned thing or in your bloodline, or what's the system? Now that you've figured that out (don't overthink it! Just get something that makes sense and run with it) write your story.
  3. You make your living here salvaging from vehicles that tumble over the cliffs of this road and farming your small garden for your meals. Write either A) a poem in which you are seeking a new wreck you heard of, passing by two others you'd scavenged previously and describing them briefly. Or B) A story in which you're scavenging a week-old wreck when a car tumbles over the edge right in front of you. Do you spring into action to help the people, steal what you can before it burns, hide and investigate carefully etc?

If you'd like background writing music try Bach's Concertos for Oboe.