Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – Now With Board Games!

stopwatch graphicWelcome to another installment of Random Word Improv, or as I like to think of it as, an excellent reason to play with words.

Whether you wrote a lot, a little, or none at all this week, a few minutes of Improv is a great way to have a little fun and get some words on the page. As a plus, you get to read some great entries from our commenters.

All right, let’s get started.  Not sure what the theme is for today’s words – a number of them come directly from a speech from a big day-job meeting I was in today – I’ll leave you decide which words those might be.

Today’s bonus word is:                  verisimilitude

Today’s bonus item is:                   a Ouija board

Here are the rest of today’s randomly selected random words:

reflection           family                   footprint              inspire

vision                   journey                chilly                     embrace

parade                  ambitious           octopus               clown

For any of you new to Random Word Improv, here’s how to play:

  1. Pick as many words from the list as you want
  2. Write the first line(s) of a story incorporating your words
  3. Post your results in the comments section.

Okay. Are you ready? Go tell us a story!

*whistling aimlessly while you are off being creative*

You’re back. Kind of fun, right? Can’t wait to see what you have come up with.

As I mentioned my Wednesday Writer Reboot post, I’m making sure to add a little fun to my own writing schedule. This week, my fun involved diving head-first into the internet and searching out book/writing blogs. The newest addition to my list is Read It Forward, a site from Random House about books and reading, with interesting reviews, podcasts, and some giveaways. I’m looking forward to finding some new books to add to my TBR list from here.

For now it’s time to go play with today’s random words. See you in the comments.

10 thoughts on “Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – Now With Board Games!

  1. In haste today, much to do and MIL coming to visit for the weekend, so this is very sprint-y. No time to try to think beyond the obvious, but I had fun and I think I got ’em all:

    “These things don’t really work, do they, Joe?”

    The antique Ouija board looked harmless, sitting in the middle of the table, but something about it gave Sammy the creeps. The pitted bronze mirror with a giant octopus holding the glass in its tentacles was freaking him out, and he’d had a scary dream about the life-sized picture of a semi-translucent clown with tears streaking its white-painted face. No wonder the whole lot had been on offer at the estate sale for one silver dollar.

    “Course not.” Joey paused in his strategic arrangement of pillar candles and bolt after bolt of fine white chiffon. “Verisimilitude is what we’re after, Sam. A ghostly footprint here, a spectral vision there, a chilly breeze down the back of the neck. Trapppings to inspire a gullible family to embrace their journey beyond.” He waved the fabric, wailing “whooooo” and “hellooooo” in sepulchral fashion.

    “What was that?” Sammy turned a full circle, sure he’d heard the echo of a reply. Trance-like, he reached for the planchette. “Is there anybody there?”

    The voice whispered again.


    Sammy watched, petrified, as metallic tentacles flexed, reached out, and dragged his crooked, ambitious cousin into the mirror. Joey’s reflection clawed desperately at the surface of the glass, but it was too late. Behind him, a ghostly parade of Joe’s past victims stretched back to infinity.

  2. Mrs. Veris Imiltude’s parlor was chilly and dark; apparently, Bunny did not rate high enough in the guest echelon to warrant another piece of coal on the fire. The room was beautifully appointed, though, and as Bunny waited for Mrs. Imiltude to make her appearance, she admired the books, the cabinet of curiosities, and a very elegant new Ouija board. The planchette was carved with a clown prince and his pretty little Columbine. Bunny rested her fingers on it for a moment, and was surprised to find it suddenly moving.

    “G-E-T-Y-O-U-R-C-A-M-E-R-A-O-U-T” The planchette sped from letter to letter like a mad thing, then jerked from “O” to “YES” to “O” to “YES.” Bunny jerked her hand away as if she’d been burned, and was surprised to see the planchette come to an immediate stop. Bunny looked at her portrait camera in the corner – she’d been hoping to convince Mrs. Imiltude to set a date for a family portrait today. Should she listen to an inanimate piece of wood? She had a bad feeling about the whole thing, but when nothing happened, she decided to try to set her camera out in the hallway.

    Her camera didn’t like it. The lens cap popped off before she’d taken three steps, and when she picked it up, the tripod fell off and the focusing cloth drifted in a spooky parade across the floor. Her camera had been cantankerous before, but she’d never seen it fall to pieces like this ever. Embracing the camera, she chased the cloth, and stuffed it into her equipment bag. Then she heard the eerie swish of the planchette beginning to move – this time of its own volition.

    Bunny looked up and saw a ghostly vision of an arm, reaching from the mirror, pushing the planchette to and fro. She wasn’t close enough to get the message, but the mirror told its own story. Instead of Bunny’s reflection, she saw a bloody and battered Mrs. Imiltude behind the glass, her mouth grimacing, fangs bared and her eyes quite insane.

    Perhaps today wasn’t the best day to get a portrait of Mrs. Imiltude. “Camera, let’s get out of here!” she whispered to her trusty companion, and the camera, sensing that this time Bunny wasn’t going to face the unknown alone, managed to keep it together as they ran out into the snowy streets of New York.

    Me: this was fun! What was the most interesting book you added to your TBR pile? I added a new Kindle book. It seems that romances with SF elements may be becoming a thing, and this blogpost by Sherwood Smith talks about some of what she calls more grown-up SF. http://bookviewcafe.com/blog/2016/02/13/my-genre-is-growing-up/ I got Desert Rains (by Jana S. Brown), which so far is a pretty fun romance/western/colonizing-a-new-planet story. What’s keeping our lovers apart? Well, so far, it’s power issues (she owns half the ranch; he’s an employee), maybe religion (he’s from a more “civilized” place with different ideas of women’s dress), and he’s got a girlfriend it looks like. Nobody wants to be falling in love here, no sirree. (-: But you know they’re going to. My treat for the weekend.

    • Michaeline – I love that piece. It’s great how we can all take the same basic elements and make such different stories. I can’t wait to hear more about Bunny and her camera.

      Hope you enjoy you treat (book) this weekend. I have home repair stuff to do this weekend before I can do any reading on this end. Good motivation to be quick about it.

  3. A little late to the party today, but here is my offering. I think I got almost all of the words in this continuation of the Cassie & Nicolai saga.

    Nicolai waited until the waitress had taken their dinner order and delivered their drinks before resuming the conversation. “So, who did you date next?”

    Cassie thought back for a moment. “That would be Gregg the groper. Dating him was like fending off an octopus.” She took a sip of her wine. “The next few guys could best be described as a parade of clowns. Hardly inspired me to keep trying.”

    Nicolai shook his head. “At least your grandmother didn’t set you up with someone she saw in a vision during a séance or spelled out by her matrimonial Ouija board.”

    Cassie couldn’t help but laugh. “True, though my mother did hire a professional matchmaker last year to find me a nice ambitious young man, once she realized I had given up on the whole business.”

    “Really? How did that work out?”

    “An utter disaster. Not a single match.” Cassie toyed with her fork. “Mother was so disappointed. Things have been quite chilly at the house ever since.”

    Nicolai frowned. “I find that hard to believe. Not a very good reflection on the matchmaker at all.”

    “Thanks.” Cassie blushed despite herself so she shifted the conversation back to Nicolai. “I can’t believe you needed help from your grandmother to find a date.”

    Nicolai waited for the server to clear away their plates before answering. “My job tends to make it hard to maintain any kind of lasting relationship, what with all the secrecy and moving around.”

    “I know what you mean.” Cassie opened up the dessert menu and scanned the offerings. “They really take their desserts seriously here.”

    “Gustav started his cooking journey as a pastry chef. He’s always said it’s the best part of any meal.”

    “He’s right about that. I just wish I’d saved more room.”

    “I’m happy to offer myself as an alternate dessert,” Nicolai said with a smile. “Just as delicious and no extra room required.”

    Cassie laughed. “Thanks for the offer Casanova, but I think I’ll go with the raspberry-filled chocolate decadence for now.”

    “That still leaves hope for later then.”

    Cassie couldn’t help but appreciate his optimism. And he was easy on the eyes too. He was beginning to be quite the temptation.

    It was late by the time they finally left the restaurant. Nicolai insisted on walking her home even though she insisted she was perfectly capable of taking care of herself. “Fine, then you can take care of me instead.”

    There was no arguing with that. It didn’t take them long to walk the six blocks to her apartment. Nicolai was close beside her as she reached into her purse for her keys at her door. A goodnight kiss started to seem like a good idea. Just as she was turning toward him both their pagers went off, breaking the mood.

    Sirens filled the air. Apparently the criminals had struck again. This time at The Sin Palace which, judging from the plume of smoke filling the night sky, was no longer in business.

    Before they headed off to scene, Cassie pulled him close and kissed him soundly.

    Nicola returned the kiss with considerable expertise. “Not that I’m complaining, but what was that for?” he asked when she finally broke the embrace.

    “Life is short and only a fool would pass up dessert.”

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