I have The People's Friend themselves to thank for the inspiration for my latest story When In Rome in the June 4th edition. I'm still going to claim the payment though. After all, I did all the hard work.
I attended their workshop in York last October and one of the exercises involved the use of story cubes. For those of you who don't know what these are – they consist of a set of dice which have symbols on each face. The images include a magnet, a keyhole, a bee, a set of scales etc and, with 9 dice, have a total of 54 little pictures. I threw one die and it came up with a depiction of a water fountain. I scribbled down a few ideas and came up with a scenario that I worked on back home. The final story takes place in Rome and features a famous fountain which was also the backdrop for a 1960s film.
I've had a set of these cubes for a while so I was familiar with the concept. You can throw just one or a number of them and then try to fashion a story from the images that finish face up. They can also be used to amuse children either at home or while travelling. You can get them from Amazon and they only cost a few pounds.
I also have a story coming up in the June 18th edition and there are about another ten in the pipeline so it's all going pretty well so far.