Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – Fairy Tale Style

Princess_and_the_GoblinHave you ever read The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald?  I hadn’t heard of it until recently, but just finished it and found it to be a a delightful break from our current world-gone crazy.  I love this quote from MacDonald:  “I write, not for children, but for the child-like, whether they be of five, or fifty, or seventy-five.”

I think my reading is about to enter a Fairy Tale phase.  But first, it’s time for some Random Word Improv.

Care to join me?

Whether you met your writing goals this week, spent your time immersed in imaginary lands, or just took some time to relax and recharge, a few minutes of improv are a great way to have a little fun and get some words on the page.  I’ll be giving it a shot in a suitably atmospheric shady overgrown spot by the river at the bottom of the garden path.  Feel free to search out your own inspirational location and put your imagination to work.


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 might have guessed from the title of this post, we have a theme today, inspired by my recent reading, though you are free to ignore it.  Here are our specially selected random words.  Can’t wait to see what you do with them.

                Fairy                      escape                  disbelief              green

                Spell                      goblin                   enchant               happily

                Magic                    wander                 forest                    butterfly

                Path                       staff                       stream                  cavern

Okay.  Are you ready?  Go!

*whistling aimlessly while you are off being creative*

Back already?  Can’t wait to read what you’ve come up with.

Happy writing to all.

5 thoughts on “Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – Fairy Tale Style

  1. “What idiot would schedule a major upgrade for the first day of the school holidays?”
    Forget-Me-Not the Fairy Fun Facilitator fumed in disbelief. “I’ve got a hundred and fifty over-excited kids waiting to wander the Haunted Forest, and you’re telling me the magic stream is down?”

    No wonder staff turnover was at an all-time high. Sadly the place was family-owned, so she couldn’t even join the exodus to the Enchanted Kingdom, where the infrastructure was frighteningly robust. As the saying went, goblin geeks guaranteed no gremlins.

    She tapped a newly manicured fingernail against the nearest toadstool, more in hope than expectation. It glowed briefly, emitting a cluster of iridescent green sparks that coalesced into a shimmering message: invalid path. Hit escape to clear.

    Tried that already. Turned it off and on again. It needed rebooting all right, preferably after she’d changed back into her Doc Martens.

    A quarter turn of her wrist and her grandmother’s wand slid down her gossamer sleeve into her palm. A simple incantation, a flick of the wrist, and the temperature dropped fifteen degrees. The kids squealed happily as the sun disappeared behind a roiling swirl of indigo clouds and the butterfly-covered lilac bushes morphed into a bat-infested cavern.

    Technically it was against the rules, but she’d deal with that later. After all, they’d asked her to come and help out for a spell.

  2. Okay, better late than never. Here’s this week’s offering.

    – – – – –

    Penelope surreptitiously stretched her neck and rolled her tight, aching shoulders, trying not to dislodge her sparkling butterfly wings or rouse the mercurial anger of Monsieur Villette. What she really wanted to do was grab the staff lying nearby and smack him with it.

    She’d reacted with flattered disbelief when the famous artist had selected her as his new model for a series of fairy-tale themed paintings a few days earlier.

    “Those green eyes of yours are enchanting,” he’d said in his delightfully thick accent, clutching his hands to his heart as if in prayer. “I must capture their magic.”

    The money he’d offered her was quite generous and she’d happily accepted it, turning in her waitress uniform without a second thought.

    That was her first mistake.

    In hindsight, asking what happened to his previous model would have been the smart thing to do.

    Had she known an explosive, volatile, goblin lay behind the painter’s delightful famous public persona, she might not have been so hasty in accepting his offer. She certainly would have asked for more money if she’d known he expected her to model in an actual stream near the mouth of a cavern in the middle of a stretch of forest at the edge of town. In the winter.

    Seriously, was he trying to kill her?

    The water was icy cold, the modelling sessions were long, and calling the costume skimpy would be far too generous. Monsieur Villette’s constant bellows to “cease moving”, “hold that post”, and “for God’s sake, stop shivering” are what caused her to begin fantasizing about escape, along with a little bodily harm.

    When she’d sneezed in the middle of yesterday’s session, Monsieur had flung his brushes to the ground, thrown his hands in the air, and stormed off saying she’d, “destroyed the spell,” and that everything was, “ruined, all ruined.”

    She began to worry that he was more than a little unbalanced.

    Today the water seemed colder than usual and the session interminable. All she wanted to do was to dry off, go home, and snuggle under a pile of blankets. When she could no longer feel her icy limbs in the water, she began to fantasize about hot chocolate and fireplaces and anything that promised warmth.

    Her first inkling that something was wrong was when Monsieur yelled, “Why are your cheeks so flushed? They are ruining my scene.” The second was when the flowers that were carefully strewn on the path in front of her started singing and dancing.

    “Now I know why he was looking for a new model,” she thought as she slowly slipped below the surface of the water.

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