Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – Sinners and Saints!

sinners-saints-st-johnsJudging by my morning commute this week, summer vacation season is in full swing.  What should I do with all the time I’m saving?   I could sleep in, get in an early work out, or enjoy a relaxing breakfast on the back deck.

Or, I could get the day started with some Friday Writing Sprints.

Sounds like a plan.  Care to join me?

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, even if your commute hasn’t been better than usual this week.  I may not be able to post until later in the day, but I’ll be sprinting first thing in the morning, maybe while enjoying that relaxing breakfast on the deck.


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.

All right, let’s get started. As you can see, we have a theme going on today plus a choice of two bonus phrases and a bonus word.   It just keeps getting better and better, right?

Bonus phrase(s):              “laugh with the sinners” or cry with the saints”

Bonus word:                      transgression

Here are the rest of today’s specially selected words.  Can’t wait to see what you do with them.

                greed                    gluttony               sinner                   chastity

                pride                     heavenly             lust                        envy

                generosity          angelic                 sloth                      halo

                patience              kindness              malicious            virtue

Okay.  Are you ready?  Go!

*whistling aimlessly while you are off being creative*

Happy writing to all.

6 thoughts on “Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – Sinners and Saints!

  1. It’s been so long since I could stop by to play on writing sprint day! I’ve written another scene/vignette from Nicky O’s story (the to-be-written-someday murder mystery set in Copenhagen). It’s a bit heavy on the sittin’ and thinkin’, but I used all the words and got bonus points! And weirdly, with this installment, I switched from deep 3rd POV to 1st…not sure which I’ll choose in the end.

    When I slid into the passenger’s seat of Pernilla’s car a little after nine that night, she didn’t spare me a glance or a word. Just floored the gas pedal and sent us zooming down the side streets of Vesterbro before I could even click my seatbelt into place. I took her dark mood to mean she’d neither forgiven nor forgotten the sins I’d committed against her over the past 72 hours.

    The driving beat of techno dance music pounded through the car speakers in time with my pulse hammering in my temples, a lingering remnant of this afternoon’s bender. Pernilla wordlessly changed the station, opting instead for an old Billy Joel tune, Only the Good Die Young. Well, hell, if that was true, I was probably damn near immortal. When Billy got to the line about “I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints”, she finally, casually, flicked her eyes in my direction, then focused again on the road.

    I didn’t completely disagree with her silent judgment. I was a full-blown asshole, or at least doing my best imitation of one. But a bona fide sinner? I’d failed Chastity 101, but really, who was she to judge? She, who woke up beside her husband every morning, including mornings after evening or late-night hookups that ended with me inside her.

    As we left the edges of Copenhagen behind us, I turned to stare back at the city, now lightly dusted with a snowfall that gave the city an ethereal, heavenly glow. As we climbed a hill, I kept my eye on that glowing city receding in the distance, at the way the nighttime lights created a halo around it. It looked like a harbor of angelic virtue. Not a place where a beautiful young woman could fall prey to a malicious killer. Not a place where that killer could frame an innocent American – actually, half-American, half-Dane, which the Danish press was suddenly so quick to forget as they reported my ever-growing list of transgressions.

    I closed my eyes and focused on my aching skull, willing the pain to abate even just a little bit.


    My body lurched sideways, only to be caught by my latched seatbelt. I opened my eyes to see Pernilla standing outside my car door, which she’d unceremoniously yanked open before bothering to wake me. She stomped away, clearly lacking the patience to wait another second for me.

    I struggled out of the seatbelt and practically rolled out of the car. I fell into step behind her as we trudged up a slush and mud-covered driveway toward a falling-down shack of a place. Hardly the ideal spot to have the knock-down, drag-out argument we needed to clear the air. Even less ideal for the inevitable make-up sex.

    “Listen,” I was out of breath from trying to keep up with her in my barely sober state, “I know you’re pissed at me, but please try to refrain from giving me a heart attack.”

    She stopped short and I slid to one knee to avoid slamming into her back. “Is that why you think we’re here? Because I’m pissed at you? Do you think we’re going to…?” She turned toward me as she laughed. There was no kindness in that laugh, no generosity in those fathomless dark blue eyes. “Pride, envy,” she looked me up and down, “lust. Have you ever met a deadly sin you didn’t like?”

    I shrugged one shoulder. “Greed, gluttony. Sloth…never been a big fan of sloth.”

    She turned on her heel and called over her shoulder. “We’re not here for a booty call.” The Americanism sounded strange but so erotic in her Danish accent.

    “This address was on a piece of paper found in the victim’s apartment.” Pernilla mounted the creaking steps leading to the dilapidated porch. “It was crumpled up and had fallen under the table.” She stopped and turned in my direction. “It wasn’t in her handwriting.”

    I was rooted to the ground at the base of the porch stairs. “The killer’s?”

    Now she shrugged one shoulder and flashed a more genuine grin. “That’s what we’re here to learn.”

    • Great job, Nancy. Definitely worth the wait . . . but what happens next? Inquiring minds want to know. Soon. 🙂

    • Nancy, I love the installment, and I love the fact that you had the time to write it! I hope this means more time for writing in general. We eagerly await more episodes of The Adventures of Pernilla and Nicholas!

    • Whoo! This is great!

      I love that you identified the quote with the saints and the sinners, and put it so effortlessly into this story. I didn’t know where the quote came from; however, I was just quoting Billy Joel at my daughter this morning . . . . So strange how the universe works sometimes.

      I’m a little bit fuzzy headed today; might try on Sunday, but might not. I caught a cold, and before that, I fasted for 17 hours for a health check. I’m ready to indulge in a little gluttony and sloth this evening. Love this list of words. Wish I were up to their punching weight today.

      • Sorry to hear you are under the weather Michaeline, but glad you like the word list. They are not going anywhere, so you can still play later when you are feeling more yourself.

  2. Pingback: Nancy: I Double Dog Dare You – Eight Ladies Writing

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