Strange & Lovely Words
5-Minute Writing Prompts
Do you wish you could write? Or you'd like to get back into writing? You've landed in the right place! I'm Kim Duke, your writing coach based in Canada. I help women start writing for the sheer joy of it!
Look at these chickens! This lovely 1916 Gustav Klimt painting, Garden Path with Chickens, always makes me smile. Klimt is famous for many works, including The Kiss, which I had in my living room in my late twenties. Klimt obviously loved women due to how generously and soulfully he painted them. However, I think he also was a lover of nature and gardens. The colors. The light. The warmth. When your long-dead artist fantasy boyfriend from another century makes you want to write about a garden you love? Well, I could just kiss him for that.
Confession. I’m an odd gardener.
I’m one of those strange people who doesn’t relish every part of the gardening process. The greenhouse madness of buying plants, seeds and seedlings in the spring? Not for me. Did I just hear you gasp? And planting them still feels like a chore. But then? I am the lover of it all. Hooray for weeding and watering! I love nurturing the plants with fertilizer and watching them grow. I like planting something new and experimenting with various areas of my garden. There’s a little bit of Laura Ingalls Wilder in me when I harvest and cook the fresh produce it provides. I even like putting the garden to bed before winter.
This year I have a small potato patch that makes me happy whenever I look at it. The leaves are a deep green and I like to think about the gems growing deep in the earth. I can’t wait to dig softly in the soil with my fingers and gently steal a few baby potatoes like eggs from a hen’s nest. (I am famous for my baby potato salad. I kid you not.)
Most of the visitors to my garden aren’t human. Dragonflies, butterflies, robins, sparrows, moths, spiders, magpies, field mice, many kinds of beetles, bumble bees and honey bees take time to drop by for a snack and water. I don’t begrudge them. I want my garden and yard to attract and feed the small ones. I don’t use poison or spray. Ever. You will definitely find a few dandelions (which I’ll probably use in a salad later) and the Canada Thistle is determined to take over the potato patch. I also leave a patch of tall grass that my werewolf dog likes to nibble on. He’s a garden lover too.
Unlike my friend Klimt, I don’t have chickens. I wish I could! But I have allergies and my husband and I travel. So I get my chicken fix through Klimt. Lean in and look at his painting a little closer. Do you see the towering hollyhocks? The petunias, daisies and vines? Look at the subtle colors glowing on the hens’ feathers. Magical.
I like to visualize myself walking down the path, the crunch of pea gravel under my feet. A chicken clucks slowly as I approach with a small treat for her and her friend. I’m headed to the little wooden table and chairs at the end of the garden path. I swing a picnic basket filled with a fresh baguette, a small round of brie, some gorgeous British Columbia cherries, and of course, a little bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne and a crystal glass. I’ve also tucked in my writing pad and pen and my childhood copy of The Secret Garden. (I’m nostalgic like that.)
Is there a garden in your life that you either love to work in or, love to visit? Perhaps there’s a garden in your past that you remember fondly. Or maybe you’ve always wanted a garden and you dream of one day having the space for rows of tomatoes, and corn stalks taller than you.
Write about a garden you love. Go deep on the details, too. You don’t need to worry about being judged. Be like one of Gustav Klimt’s chickens and be willing to do a little chicken scratch to find the good stuff.
As for me? Well, I’m headed outside to pick some dill, chives, lettuce, young beet leaves, and basil for a salad. Small pleasures provided by nature. Now, that’s something to write about!
*Did you love this? Then check out Scribbly – my quirky and gentle writing program that we snail-mail right to your house. We’re nice like that.
10 sneaky words & phrases To CHop from your writing.
Chop 10 Sneaky Words & phrases from your writing
Follow along for more writing inspiration, quirky writing prompts and ideas to get your writing-butt-in-gear