Weekly writing challenge: collecting detail

The Daily Post: “The writer’s brain constantly collects fodder, the tiny details that enliven your writing, that help you create vivid imagery, scenes, stories, novels, and poems.
{ … }
Once you’ve collected your [three] details, your “glimmers of a beginning,” write at least one paragraph containing your original details.”


  • I stood looking around me at a very small local fair. The pretty little booths were manned by a variety of types, but one stood out because of she was becoming both loud and rude to a potential customer. I wondered what could possibly be causing her to slash her own wrists in this fashion …
  • The other evening I looked up from my knitting (television the usual run of boring repeats) and cocked an ear: what was that faint noise …? Oh, of course! – raindrops pattering on my windows, unseen behind the closed blinds. I went back to knitting with a layer of quiet pleasure added to my very ordinary existence.
  • As I had almost reached my local supermarket, I saw signs of a very recent disaster: lots and lots of tape was plastered across one of the IGA’s glass panels, and the normally highly efficient respond-to-movement doors fixed open. A van, entering this little street to deliver instead of the correct one a block behind, had tried to do a 3-point turn and come to grief.


What a difference the rain makes …

One of my neighbours, descending with me in the lift, said there was a fair in Union Square, and that they were selling various things to eat. Had she said the goods were fashion, or art (as is the norm), or beauty products, or in fact anything else, I would have smiled, nodded and continued on into town. But food? – I went the other way and found myself in Union Square, alright. A mystery, that.

It was not a good day for a fair, small or otherwise: light rain was falling and, a man I knew told me, had been doing so all morning. (I, living in a small flat, am nearly always totally unaware of the weather until I venture out.) The stallholders were doing their best, but not enjoying themselves; and one of the little stalls had been moved alongside the freestanding glass designer ‘wall’ outside the Bendigo Bank in a not very successful effort to keep their cakes as dry as possible.

One woman appeared to have been stressed beyond endurance by a customer, and began positively shouting at her. In turn, the customer shouted back, and gestured angrily with her umbrella; and what happened next was like one of those domino falls … The umbrella hit the wavy flap on the canvas roof on the stall; the roof immediately disgorged its load of water; the small tsunami fell joyfully upon those beneath; they flew into a panic and rushed in all directions; one blindly barrelled straight into the next-door cake stall which, in turn, collapsed onto the would-be protective glass wall on one side of it and cakes flew in all directions. Slowly, slowly, the glass wall leaned, and leaned, and then came free of the single metal holder down one side of it and – voilà! … TOTAL CHAOS!

It was wonderful, truly! No-one was hurt; the rained-out fair had perforce (and to the stallholders’ joy) to be closed, and the aggro woman was seen totally drenched, her back hair all fallen down her neck and her very bad manners brought to a stop. There was a short silence, and then – those few of us standing around burst into spontaneous applause!

7 thoughts on “Weekly writing challenge: collecting detail

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