Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – Spring has Sprung!

IMG_0707Now that winter has had its last hurrah (ignore those reports of snow on the Weather Channel), it’s time to turn our thoughts to Spring.  What better way than with a Spring-themed installment of Random Word Improv?

Whether you wrote a lot, a little, or none at all this week, a few minutes of Improv are a great way to have a little fun and get some words on the page.

All right, let’s get started.  Here are this week’s “random” words.  Do with them what you will.

Today’s bonus word is:                  plenteous

Today’s bonus phrase is:              “when it rains, it pours”

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

sunshine            flowers                blossom               puddle                

birds                      bees                      rainbow               butterfly                             

sandal                   sneeze                 shower                 barefoot

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.

23 thoughts on “Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – Spring has Sprung!

  1. The doctor made a note in the chart. Outside, the summer sky had darkened, obliterating the sunshine and promising a shower. He sneezed from a blast of chilly air and closed the window. Only one more patient, thank god. Old Mrs. Kugle.

    The nurse opened the door and ushered her in. Her plenteous hair, thick and white, waved softly back from her face, and her skin, usually so radiant, looked pale. She walked with more difficulty than the last time he’d seen her, or was that his imagination? Only one outcome was possible here, and they both knew it.

    “Mrs. Kugle, how are you today?” he asked, helping her to a chair. “How can I help you?”

    She eased into it carefully. “I’m well,” she said. “Feeling my age a bit. And my condition, I suppose. I came in to ask you—but then on the bus, it was such a beautiful day. The flowers were in blossom, and the birds were so cheeky. I saw a butterfly as I came in your front door. Such a treat.”

    “Yes, it was a nice day,” he said, curbing his impatience. “I’m sorry I had to miss most of it. Although now it looks like rain.”

    “So sad that a person barely notices at the time, the things you miss, because of obligations you have to fulfill,” Mrs. Kugle said. “It reminds me of Mr. Kugle, God rest his soul.”

    The doctor knew that Mr. Kugle had been a miner and died decades before of black lung.

    “He liked nothing better when he got home than to walk barefoot through the grass,” she said. “He got stung by bees once, hurt his feet so bad he couldn’t work for a few days. After that, I told him to wear sandals. But he didn’t always listen.”

    Outside the dark sky had opened up, and rain came down in copious sheets.

    “When it rains, it pours,” she said, and he knew that she wasn’t talking about just the storm. Mrs. Kugle had had a tough time of it after her husband died. He glanced out the window.

    “Puddles are forming,” he said. “Maybe I should call you a cab.”

    “You’re a kind man, but that won’t be necessary.” Mrs. Kugle stood up. “Where there are puddles, there are also rainbows.”

  2. Plenteous McTavish missed the sunshine. She even missed proper rain.

    In the tropics, when it rains, it pours. Then it stops. The greedy ground drinks the water so fast there’s not so much as a puddle left, just the arc of a rainbow and a dazzling array of butterfly-covered flowers that bloom briefly and fade just as fast.

    This grey, windswept island was one long shower, with occasional interludes for fog and drizzle. The persistent damp made her shiver and sneeze. Her toes felt cramped in thick socks and boots. She’d almost forgotten how it felt to wear a sandal, let alone run around barefoot.

    She ran a hand over her expanding middle, where new life had begun to blossom.

    This wasn’t what she’d expected when Angus McTavish offered to teach her about the birds and the bees.

    • Love the Scottish feel today, Jilly. I bow down to your skill at incorporating so many random words in such a condensed format. I’m feeling downright wordy by comparison.

      • I know! Everything is so strange, and the hormones are really playing havoc. But Angus is a good guy and if I had a novella’s worth of space you’d see how she gradually comes to love her new home, and they all live very happily ever after 🙂 .

        • Jilly – glad to hear it all ends happily in the end. I’d be happy to hear more about Angus and Plenteous. Perhaps future Random Fridays? Hint, hint. 🙂

    • So condensed! And so succinct. I like that. Also, sort of sad. I wondered when I wrote my own little bit why all those bright and cheery words came out in a sort of sad story. And now, yours, too.

  3. Time for another installment of Cassie and Nicolai. Today we see what happens on Nicolai’s “date” with Penelope.

    * * *

    I took my time securing the wireless recorder/transmitter to Nicolai’s chest in preparation for his upcoming date with Penelope.

    His naked chest.

    Sure he could have done it himself, but I like to be helpful. I’m nice that way. Besides, only a fool would pass up a chance to get up close and personal with a shirtless Nicolai.

    The heat of his skin was sending my hormones in to overdrive as I secured the last piece of tape. The thought of an icy cold shower was the only thing that kept me from dissolving into a puddle of lust right there on the floor.

    “Are you sure I can’t just talk to Demitri for a minute? “ Nicolai asked as he pulled on his shirt. “I’d rather not go into this date with Penelope blind.”

    I leaned back against the desk. “Not afraid of the doctor, are you Sunshine?”

    He scowled at me and I laughed.

    “You heard what the captain said, no contact, it could compromise the case.” What I didn’t say was that the real reason he couldn’t talk to Demitri was because his brother was in lockdown at the local mental facility, going through some kind of drug withdrawal or mental breakdown. The last report said that he had finally stopped raving about being attacked by giant bees and had now moved on to talking butterflies and dancing birds. An improvement but he was still in no condition for rational discussion. Nicolai did not need to know that.

    “Fine.” He picked up his jacket and started for the door. “Let’s just get this over with so you can prove Demitri’s not involved in this mess and we can get back to searching for the real killer.”

    “Make sure to turn your mic on before you meet up with Penelope,” I called after his retreating back.

    He just waved my comment away and continued on.

    I picked up my Bluetooth earpiece and the wireless receiver so I could keep tabs on Nicolai and Penelope’s conversation. Hopefully I’ll learn something to break this case. Those soft white beaches of Fiji are still calling my name and barefoot walks in the sand sound a lot better than eavesdropping on someone else’s date.

    I arrived at the meeting site and found a spot that gave me a good view of the arrivals, yet kept me mostly out of sight. It wasn’t long before Nicolai and Penelope arrived and settled into seats near the open sliding doors.

    The room filled up rapidly. Who knew a lecture on free-will would be such a draw. Of course that could have had more to do with the free-appetizers, which were both plenteous and delicious, than the actual lecture.

    I snagged a shrimp canapé from a circling waiter while I listened to Nicolai and Penelope chat. So far their conversation was about as interesting as watching paint dry.

    Just when I thought I couldn’t last much longer, the room filled with the sound of Rush’s Freewill as the speaker, a shaggy haired young man in a rainbow t-shirt and sandals, took the stage.

    I seriously wished I could exercise my own free-will and go somewhere else. Anywhere really. Turned out I was about to get a little more excitement than I bargained for.

    Rainbow guy had just started to talk when a fit of sneezing erupted from the side of the room. All eyes turned toward the open sliding doors, where Penelope was waving her arms like a deranged windmill.

    “Get it off, get it off.”

    Apparently a bee from the lush flower garden outside the doors had joined the crowd, drawn by the cherry blossoms on Penelope’s blouse.

    Helpful bystanders attempted to shoo the insect away while Penelope shrieked that she was horribly allergic and dug through her purse for her EpiPen. The bee, along with a few others drawn by the excitement, went after Penelope with a vengeance.

    Gasping for breath, she hit the floor, her purse spilling everywhere, as I called for an ambulance.

    Nicolai grabbed the EpiPen from the floor and jabbed her in the thigh while I kept the well-meaning onlookers away.

    The ambulance arrived almost immediately – they were only two blocks away after all – and whisked Penelope off to the hospital.

    As I was retrieving her purse and its spilled contents from the floor, I noticed a bottle of pills and was surprised to see Demitri’s name on it. Odd. I slipped it into an evidence bag for the police lab.

    “This date turned out to be a lot better than I’d expected,” Nicolai said as we headed to the hospital to check on Penelope.

    “Certainly the most exciting date I’ve been on in a while,” I agreed.

    Nicolai flashed me one of his mind-melting smiles. “If it’s exciting you want, my evening is suddenly free.”

    Good god! The temperature in the room rose a good ten degrees. It was going to take a lot more than a cold shower to cool me off.

    • (-: Oooh! The plot heats up!

      I have a question for you: are you planning to write in Nicolai’s POV? I have to write from Jack’s, and I’m nervous about it. Trying to ease in slowly (see below). I’ve never written anything where I’ve had to change POVs — I always stick to one throughout. Which is fine if it works, but I think it’s time to stretch myself a little bit.

      • No Michaeline, this story is going to be from Cassie’s POV only. It does make it challenging to make the story feel balanced though. Nicolai has to show what he is feeling and his actions need to take the place of the view inside his head. It has been a fun little experiment as I have never written in 1st person before.

      • Thanks Kay (and Jilly). I’m thinking of this as a novella. Theoretically as a kick off for a series of “Cassie McColl Mysteries” (for my copious spare time, ha!). I’ve done some revisions to the past scenes to make it sound like it all belongs together. I’ll be looking for beta readers at some point – as soon as I figure out how it all ends.

  4. Jack hated the spring weather. As a frost god, it just wasn’t his scene. Sunshine and flowers made him sneeze, and the “birds and the bees” were much better practiced in a dark bedroom rather than on a soggy blanket underneath the cherry blossoms. But, the days were warm and the nights were young, and the rainbow butterfly he had fluttering under his kisses was just too delectable. May was worth every bug bite on his lily-white ass. Still, he was happy that the old adage, “When it rains, it pours”, came true, and he could hustle his darling girl into a nice warm apartment. He slipped the sandal off her bare foot and tickled her arch gently. She squealed delightfully.

    “Oh, Jack,” she sighed as she spread the blanket on the floor in front of the radiator. “I demand a rematch. Now, where were we? Thirty-love?”

    Jack kissed her shoulder. “Reset the board. Love-love, darling!” And April showers brought May flowers.

    (Oh, that was goofy. I think I got most of the words, though.)

    • Aaah. That was lovely. And as a trial run for Jack’s POV it worked beautifully.

      And re. POVs, I’m having the opposite problem – I’ve always written two, and I’m stretching myself by just writing one. I’m finding it really challenging and I’m not at all sure I’m getting it right, but I’m powering on because I think it’s right for the story. Good luck with Jack!

      • I always liked 1st person POV throughout (as a writer) because I assumed it was easier. (-: Your experience tells me it’s just different. I can see how one POV can be constraining because you can’t show the experience — you can only show what one person sees, feels and experiences. I mean, I can see it, but I don’t really feel it when I’m writing it.

        OTOH, switching characters mid-story feels like a huge costume change for me. You handle two POVs beautifully, though.

        Jack was quite the old-fashioned gentleman rake before he fell for his One True Love. Maybe I should do a whole mini-series of seductions and short-lived flings for fun and practice (-:.

        • Ooh, yes please! A mini-series of seductions and short-lived flings would be great fun.

          I’m trying to think of it as the narrator/POV character telling the story to someone close to her, maybe around the fire on a winter’s night. She needs to tell the listener what happened and make it interesting and exciting for them, so it can’t be all me, me, me, I, I, I. It will be the truth as she sees it, but of course it will be colored with her interpretation and I’m hoping that and the action will be how most of her character becomes clear, rather than endless self-analysis. I probably have too much introspection right now, but my plan is to get rid of most of it in the edits.

  5. Pingback: Elizabeth: What I Learned About Writing from Random Word Improv – Eight Ladies Writing

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