2021 Writing Exercise Series #203: Ekphrastic Fantastic 17

The 2021 Writing Series is a series of daily writing exercises for both prose writers and poets to keep their 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.

This is not a standard writing session. This is pure production—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 it, you will be able to complete all of the exercises in under 30 minutes.

Ekphrastic Fantastic 17

For today, we're pairing images for you to respond to. The two images will be contrasting and it will be up to you how they can interact, how your writing can make the two pieces of art meet. Or, just pick one of the images and run with it if you'd rather. I'm not here to tell you exactly what to do, just to help you get the ball rolling. But if it was me, I would look for commonalities or how one image could be an imagination or memory or media within the other image, or if they exist in the same 'world', how you can get from one point in space and time to the other. But you do you boo-boo.

Image 1: This 1835 Color woodblock print titled The Seaweed-gathering Ritual in Nagato Province (Nagato mekari no shinji), from the series “Famous Places in the Provinces (Shokoku meisho)” by the Japanese artist  Totoya Hokkei.

Image 2:  This 1903 'Pen and brown ink and colored crayons on tan wove paper' piece titled "Beggar with a Crutch" by Pablo Picasso

How do these two images play off of each other in your mind? Are you going from one to the other or do they intermingle in your piece? Is the man with the crutch someone who used to harvest the seaweed? Is he watching it? Is it just something he knows about? Does he have a tale of woe and someone confronts him with the seaweed gathering dangers? Something totally different? How might they be connected? Are they completely unrelated? You decide. Don't overthink it, take a couple minutes perhaps, but dive in and make this happen!

You got this!

If you'd like background writing music, try this lofi mix "Heavy Rain".