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Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

For some of us, blogging is personal. Others are trying to educate or entertain; many more are hybrids. Yet we’re…

  • Ready to write? We’ll give you a new challenge each Monday. Publish a new post on your blog that interprets the challenge. Include a pingback and we’ll list your post below. Learn More

For some of us, blogging is personal. Others are trying to educate or entertain; many more are hybrids. Yet we’re all storytellers. Creative Writing Challenges help you to push your writing boundaries, show off your blogging chops, and, hopefully, spark more post ideas.

To participate, tag your post with DPchallenge or leave a link to it in the comments. (It would also be great if you could link to this post to encourage people to take part – the more the merrier!)  Please be sure your post has been specifically written in response to this challenge. We’ll keep an eye on the tag and highlight some of our favorite posts on Freshly Pressed on Friday.

We love reading your responses to our “1,000 Words” challenges; the drama, intrigue, and surprise twists you pull out of seemingly straightforward photos never cease to amaze. This week, we’re challenging you to do something that may be even harder: telling the truth.

Since this is the first challenge in Phoneography Month you know it has to involve a photo, but no worries — it’s still an equal-opportunity challenge; no fancy phone required.

For this challenge, we want to see a photo of someone looking truly happy. Not “I’m-smiling-for-this-photo” happy, but really, deeply, twinkle-in-the-eyes happy. When we’re smiling a genuine smile, our whole faces get involved — our whole bodies, for that matter. There’s a light in our eyes. We look relaxed; there’s a forced tension in a fake smile.

Then we want to know why: what’s going on in the photo? What are you (or they) thinking about at the exact moment? (And if you really want to get into it: what happens next?)

smiling baby

You can’t fake this. (Photo by Sanctuary Photography)

Ideally, this is a photo of you or a loved one, but we’ll make an exception for the non-shutterbugs. For your photo, you can either:

  • Hunt through your old photos and find one that fits the bill. (Bonus points if you’re wearing an outfit and/or have a hair style that the current you finds horrifying.)
  • Use your cameraphone to capture an impromptu moment of joy. (Bonus points if you manage to get yourself in the shot.)
  • Search Creative Commons to find a photo of someone looking happy. (Bonus points if you find your doppelganger.)

Insert your photo into a post (remember to attribute it if it’s not your own), and get writing. We’re sure you could invent Hollywood mega-hit-worthy explanations for your subject’s happiness — Your twin sister just awoke from a decades-long coma! Your plot to foil the alien invasion was a success! — but this week, we’d rather know what’s real.

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78 Responses Ready to write? To participate, publish a post on your blog that responds to the prompt. Include a pingback and we’ll list your post below. Learn More