Tag Archives: writing prompts

Plum Point’s Pull the Trigger: Saddling Up Again

This week’s Plum Point  “Saddling Up Again” describes my response to a writing prompt posted on Plum Point‘s page Pull the Trigger. As many writers will attest to, writing prompts are a good way to break through writer’s block, and get into the habit of writing, and awaken the muse. A good prompt can reveal obsessions and trigger subjects.

Writing Prompt #1

Pull the Trigger: Take a walk through your town, carry a camera, and take pictures of objects, buildings, people, animals and other subjects which attracts your attention. A week later, look over the photos you shot, choose one photo, and start writing. Do not censor yourself.  Set a timer for ten minutes and write without stopping.  Look back over your writing. What obsessions have your discovered? What subject is triggered?  Choose a form – poem, story, or essay and write for another ten minutes, but this time focus in on the obsession or triggering subject.

My Response

I knew exactly the place I wanted to walk and take pictures, and that was at the new Ford’s Well Recreation Center on

Entry to Wranger Camp

the south side of Enid Lake to hike part of the fifteen mile multipurpose Spyglass Hill Trail. The trail is for both hikers and horse back riders. The Ford’s Well area includes a wrangler campground where trail riders can actually camp with their horses. I had never visited a wrangler campground, so it definitely got my attention, and I took out my camera.  At every Ford’s Well campsite, there are hitching rails for the horses.  For trail riders visiting for the day, there is also an ample parking area for trucks with horsing trailers. Horses were everywhere, and I was definitely not going to pass up the opportunity, so before venturing off on the Spyglass Hill Trail, I took several photos.

The Selected Photo

Horses at Wash Station at Ford's Well

Out of the many shots I captured that day at the wrangler camp and on the hike along Spyglass Hill Trail, this picture stood out because the horses reminded me of two horses, Trigger and Black Diamond,  from my childhood.  The first timed writing explored my memory of those two horses and  how my fear of riding horses today originated from my experience with them.  I chose the essay form. The second focused timed writing took me back forty years ago to the age of eight to to the specific details about those experiences with Trigger and Black Diamond, and then a return to the present to the discovery of a simultaneous fear of horses and a desire to get back in the saddle again.

The draft of this essay is written but it is incomplete. I have to get back in the saddle again in order to finish it. I want to connect my past experiences with horse more concretely to my present experiences with horses to finish the ending of the essay.   I have always wanted to ride a horse on the beach at sunset but earlier experiences with Trigger and Black Diamond have made me hesitant to get back in the saddle. Okay, let’s be honest — fearful and trembling in my cowboy boots. So, a few weeks ago, I asked my neighbor and friend, Fred, a horse owner and experienced rider,  if she would take me riding on our beach here at Enid Lake, and she said yes. As a matter of fact, she was downright insistent. So, now we just have to set a date.

Today, Fred and her daughter came trotting by on their horses past my place this morning, I was again reminded that I still needed to coordinate the riding with Fred. Again, fear is leading to procrastination.

I will get back on the saddle again because the essay needs an ending, and facing my fears is the only to do it. It’s like writing. The only way through your fear is to write. The only way through my fear is to ride.


Updates to follow….Does she get back in the saddle again?


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Triggering Subjects: Pull the Trigger

inspiration_alan cleaver

photo by Alan Cleaver

We all have obsessions and discover them through our writing. We begin to note repeated subjects  in our writing which reveal these obsessions to us. What obsessions have your discovered? What are your triggering subjects that “ignite your need for words”?

“Our triggering subjects, like our words, come from obsessions we must submit to…Your triggering subjects are those that ignite your need for words.” Richard Hugo, The Triggering Town

Where do you find inspiration when you are faced with writer’s block? Do you go online and read magazines or newspapers, even the obituaries? Or, do you turn to your list of story concepts written in the back of your writing notebook or clippings in a manila folder stored a file cabinet in your office or saved on your computer?

Do you ever use writing prompts or make up your own to trigger subjects? If so, I invite you to share them to inspire other writers who need some inspiration to pull the trigger and get some writing done today.

Plum Point blog now has a page called Pull the Trigger to share your ideas to inspire other writers and  trigger words on the page. Just post a comment to the Pull the Trigger page . You do not have to share intimate details or reveal specifics about what you are working on right now. The idea is to share prompts which may inspire others to write today. The triggering subject may be a  phrase or a word, a sentence, a quotation, or a question.  I  will post the best of these prompts and update the Pull the Trigger page weekly.

A prompt could inspire a poem, a story, an essay, a play, a song, or a script. You just never know!  So, whenever you need a triggering subject, come back to the Pull the Trigger page, pull the trigger and write!

Write on!

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Filed under The Writing Habit, writing prompts