Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – Is it hot in here?

BeachSummer has finally arrived; that means blue skies, vacations, and if you live some place like Arizona, temperatures like the inside of a volcano.  Regardless of the forecast where you are, it’s always good weather for some Friday Writing Sprints.

Am I right?

Whether you wrote a lot, a little, or nothing at all this week, a few minutes of Random Word Improv are a great way to have a little fun and get some words on the page.   So get yourself a frosty beverage, kick off your shoes, and let’s get ready to write.  I’m going to try to incorporate a character action suggestion from Michille’s post yesterday, possibly “bathing a cat.”

Today’s random words are summer themed, but don’t let that constrain you.  Bonus points area always given for “out of the box” stories.


For any of you new to Random Word Improv, here’s how we 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.

Here’s today’s list of random words from our randomly selected random word generator:

                sun                         sand                      wave                     frolic

                heat                       melt                      ice cream            frisbee

                bodies                  bottle                   carnival               freckled

                slippery               sticky                    magic                    blaze

Okay.  Are you ready?  Go!

*whistling aimlessly while you are off being creative*

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

Happy writing to all.

4 thoughts on “Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – Is it hot in here?

  1. Busy Friday, but I wanted to give this a try, because “bathing the cat” has not left my imagination since Michille mentioned it! Originally, the cat had gotten into some motor oil, but I think this is much more summery and nice. (Not going for a full word use today; “Penric and the Shaman” came out overnight, and I have it ready and waiting on my computer!!!!)

    Sally didn’t know how it came about, but the cat had somehow managed to open the freezer, drag out the carton of caramel butterstick ice cream, and now the kitchen floor was slippery with melted dairy. A trail of sticky footprints led Sally to the living room window, where Sheba was absolutely covered in mess. “You silly cat,” Sally said as she gathered the feline into her arms. She gave Sheba a kiss, and sputtered at the black catfur that was now stuck around her mouth with Ben and Cherry’s. Hands full of cat, she couldn’t do anything about it; she was mentally planning her strategy to get the cat bathed without having to fit an emergency room visit into the evening.

    Of course, the doorbell rang.

    Sally stomped over in exasperation. Probably Girl Scouts. She’d somehow get some cookies to reward herself later (one could trust a Girl Scout to fish the change out of one’s purse, couldn’t one? God, she needed a Thin Mint. She certainly hoped the world was still a place where you could trust a Girl Scout). She undid the lock with her bare toes, and shouted, “Come in!”

    Of course, it wasn’t a Girl Scout. It was Jeremy Frisbee, the most frustrating art director she’d ever had the misfortune to work with. He was rumpled, as always, with adorable curls that went this way and that, belying the most nitpicky, rigid brain underneath. He was carrying the Franzen Frozen Cakes poster mock-up, and muttering under his breath.

    “I mean, look at this, Sally! This is just unacceptable.” He seemed to be carrying on a conversation he’d been having with some imaginary Sally. “The theme is ‘cake on the beach’ but that sand is the wrong color, someone obviously mirror-reversed the waves and it looks like the dessert is drowning, and the sun and the heat has melted the product. We’re going to have to reshoot this, and you are just going to have to chisel the money out of Fred’s tight pockets somehow.” He paused mid-rant and finally looked at Sally. His jaw dropped. “Oh. Hello, Sally. What have you done to that cat?”

    Sally blew her bangs up in frustration. “The cat has done it to herself. And Jeremy, what did I tell you about leaving the office at the office this summer?”

    “Yes, but this,” and Jeremy shook the poster in disgust, “is just wrong.” Jeremy then looked at Sally, and his expression didn’t change. “I can’t talk to you with all that cat fur over your mouth. You look ridiculous.”

    “Then good-bye, Jeremy, and I’ll see you in the office on Monday.” Sally tried to shut the door with her bare toe, but Jeremy was too fast. He pushed in, put his messenger bag down on her hall bench with the poster, and rolled up his sleeves.

    “All right, where’s the bathroom? Let’s get that cat bathed.” He looked her up and down critically. God, it made her furious and somehow tingly at the same time. “You’ll need to be hosed down, too.”

    “Get out, Jeremy.”

    “No, bathing cats is a serious business. Now, let me see. If I remember right, your bathroom is down that way.”

    Sally blushed. She remembered her New Year’s party, when she’d been helplessly crushing on Jeremy, drank too much, and wound up on the bathroom floor at 2 a.m., with Jeremy ever so kindly rubbing her back. She’d made every hostess mistake in the book that party, and she and Jeremy had never spoken of the evening again.

    Reverie cost her. Jeremy was already running warm water in the bath, and by the time she’d caught up, he’d found her stash of ratty towels in the linen closet. He loosened his carnival tie, and started unbuttoning his shirt, and she caught her breath. Gorgeous bare chest, with just enough muscle to make one feel secure and happy. He put his shirt and tie on the toilet tank, and draped a ratty old white towel around his waist, protecting his work trousers and giving him an almost primitive, chieftain look. She was paralyzed as he took another towel and wrapped the cat up.

    “Come on, Sheba, baby, we’re going to take a little soak now,” he said. Sally was amazed he remembered the cat’s name. He was so sweet and gentle. Then he spoiled it by shooting a look at her. “Wash up a little and change into something you can bathe a cat in,” he said, a little harshly she thought. But he was right. She looked in the mirror, and yes, she looked like a bearded lady with all that ice cream and cat fur on her. She rinsed it off, and went into the bedroom to quickly change into an old sweatshirt. She could hear Sheba yowling and Jeremy’s gentle murmurs to the cat, and hurried back in.

    “Thanks, Jeremy, I can handle it from here,” Sally said.

    “We’re almost done. Do you have any cat shampoo?” Sally grabbed a bottle from the closet, and kneeled next to him. “I’ll hold the cat,” he said. Sally gently lathered Sheba, who had given up the struggle. Jeremy manipulated the towel, exposing fur but keeping Sheba feeling safe and swaddled, and her claws from making contact with human flesh.

    “You’re really quite good at this,” Sally said, intensely aware of the way she brushed against his bare arms and chest as she tried to get the ice cream stick out of the kitty fur.

    She was surprised to see him turn red. “I was a pet trimmer during college. Nothing, really.”

    He adjusted his knees; the tile floor must be killing him, she thought. Not the most comfortable floor in the world to be on. She flashed back to when she’d been kneeling on the tile in front of the toilet, him gently rubbing her back, and murmuring soothing things to her, much like he was doing for Sheba right now. God, he was the hottest man she’d ever met. Why did she have to work with him? Why did he have to be such a . . . dictator in the office? She finished rinsing the last of the suds out of Sheba’s coat.

    “Do you have a dry towel?”

    Reluctantly, she left his side and got a towel. They’d go back to the living room, argue about work for two hours, then he’d leave and she wouldn’t see him until Monday. She kneeled again next to him, tantalizingly small space between him and her, as he gently rolled Sheba into the clean towel. Sally held Sheba tightly, patting her dry, letting her bangs hide her eyes, which were drifting down Jeremy’s chest to a surprisingly adorable bellybutton, to . . . .

    He turned to put on his shirt, and take off that ridiculous towel. Sheba yowled piteously, so Sally put her down on the floor. Sheba stalked to the door, and signed in Universal Cat to be let out. “Not yet, Sheba,” Sally said.

    Jeremy turned back, glorious chest hidden by a rumpled work shirt again, and Sally couldn’t stand it. She grabbed him by the tie, and kissed him. He drew back. “Sally!” Oh, god, what a mistake, Sally thought. I’ve really blown everything now. He stared at her for an intense second that felt like an eternity, then leaned in and kissed her. And everything was all right.

  2. Whoo! I love this, Micki. Just as well I didn’t play – I couldn’t see beyond Brexit yesterday so who knows what you’d have got???

    I’m going to take a Writing Sprint holiday for the next few weeks – so much to do before heading off to RWA. Look forward to reading what you all come up with and joining in again when I get back from San Diego.

    • I hope writing is a useful pressure valve for you in the coming days ahead. Brexit was shocking; the Japanese economic markets (like the markets everywhere) are in a tizzy, and all that uncertainty and worry in the financial sector just seeps out and makes us all nervous.

      We need to pay a lot of attention. Not just because it’s our world that we’re talking about, but because all of this uncertainty is going to bring out the best and the worst of people. It’s going to give us a lot of story.

      And, especially in our genre, people are going to want to turn to escapist fantasy, where things are certain, where things come right, where the happy ending is guaranteed.

      Safe travels, and I hope things settle down to a more certain future with the whole EU and the rest of Europe, soon.

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