Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – The Scottish Chronicles

A Bagpiper stands at Coire nan Lochan. Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

A Bagpiper stands at Coire nan Lochan. Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

Thanks to the travel suggestions in the comments of Wednesday’s post, I’ve spent far more hours on the internet than I’d care to admit in recent days, looking at pictures of Scotland and daydreaming about possible travel itineraries.

With next year’s vacation plans well underway, it’s time to get back into a writing frame of mind.  First up, a little Random Word Improv.

Care to join me?

Whether you’re decompressing from a recent vacation, working away at the office, or daydreaming about future travels, a few minutes of improv are a great way to have a little fun and get some words on the page.  I’ll be playing along after work, once I do some brainstorming at the gym.  Feel free to indulge in your own favorite brainstorming activity and play along with today’s words.


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. Today’s words may have been inspired by Visit Scotland, but you are, as always, free to do with them what you will.

Whisky                 loch                       glen                       bagpipe

Castle                   golf                        highlands            green   

Monarch              rock                       fossil                     hare

Gaelic                   tartan                    clan                        forest

 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

10 thoughts on “Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – The Scottish Chronicles

  1. We’re still trying to plan our fall vacation to Denmark, which might be OBE (overcome by events) and pushed to the spring. It’s going to be a research trip for my future mystery series, so I’m very excited for the inspiration (and the pastry, which is pure heaven, and nothing like the American version of Danish pastry).

    Scotland is definitely on my must-see list, although I don’t have any story plans that fit it right now. But I’ll happily live vicariously through your and Jilly’s Scottish adventures!

  2. You should be ashamed for pulling me from my regularly scheduled writing. I am desperately trying to be prepared for my Margie Lawson immersion course in 3 weeks. I have been avoiding Friday sprints to sprint on my story… And you’ve had some great days. I couldn’t pass on Scottish day though – hope you’re very pleased with yourself!

    A Fine Summer Day

    I sat drinking me single malt whisky taking wee breaks to exercise me bagpipes whilst the rather short, pointy-eared lad played golf in the glorious, green glen.

    He was wee. And by wee, I mean tiny. Standing straight up, the wee lad came almost up to the base of the ears of hare, who also stood by to watch him play. The lad was trying to play a round of golf with a rock and a fossilized thistle. He claimed to be some sort of Highland monarch, but when he missed a shot and his wee rock landed with a mighty raucous splash in the loch, he let loose a string of Gaelic insults the likes of which caused the local forest to quake.

    I took another swig, contemplating on if he was one of the Sleagh Maith or their opposite. Upon experiencing his extensive range of perfectly ancient Gaelic invectives, I couldn’t exactly call him good.

    “And Monarchs have castles, clans, and properly displayed tartans Lad!”

    He stared at me long enough for me to register the sparkling mischief in his wee bonnie blue eyes, then he turned abruptly and lifted his wee kilt to the heavens. Which exposed me to his eye-stunning white buttocks, and his natural born club and balls.

    I slapped my knee and laughed until my sides were ready to split. He turned back to face me, laughing hisself into a tizzy as well and took a bow. Then looking quite serious, he said, “Play it again Dougal!”, and I put me drinking glass down, picked up me pipes, and started again.

    Truly a more magnificent summer day could not’ve happened by accident, alcohol, nor amiable gnome.

    • I’d apologize for taking you away from your regularly scheduled writing time Penny, but I’m afraid you catch the insincerity. Glad you stopped by today to share your A Fine Summer Day tale with us. Loved that the wee lad was playing using a fossilzed thistle.

    • LOL, Penny! What a rude, lewd bad boy! I hope he has a darling one to share his mischief with.

      Gosh, I miss sunshine. An afternoon in a sunny but cool and breezy clime with music sounds just perfect! We’ve had exactly one afternoon of sun since I got home, and there’s more typhoons on the way, it looks like.

      • I’d like an afternoon like that too. It’s been a hot month for us all 90-100 degrees and humidity that just won’t thin or quit. You can step out of the air conditioned house at 6 am and it’s never really cooled down, so you gasp and inhale enough water to think you might choke and drown. Fortunately the air is thick enough to hold you up until your spasms stop. Then the pups want a walk and you wonder why you ever bothered with the shower. For the last week, we’ve had some super drop-em-fast-and-heavy downpours, punctuated by thunder that has Miss Pepper scurrying to find the places farthest from it. Fall is always my favourite time, or as I call it – flannel season. 😀

        The little guy was super rude. He’d be a handful… Not sure what kind of a wee lass would take up the task.

  3. The Highlands Glenloch Whisky of Missouri box featured a bagpiper on what looked like a golf course in Kansas. And Sadie thought the saddest thing of all was how light the carton was; almost empty and she wasn’t nearly blotto enough to forget Chad Monarch, the stupid rockhound who stole her fossil, stole her heart, and then dumped her as soon as he got a new job as the Damien Castle Chair paleontologist at Yale. Fucking Yale. Could have been her job if she had claimed that Precambian echinoderm as her own.

    She stared at the illustration, and the image wavered from a single piper to double, and back to single again. She could have sworn she saw his tartan kilt wave in the breeze, and a little hare hop into the forest . . . wait a minute. There weren’t any trees on that whiskey box a minute ago. She looked away, and when she looked back, there was definitely a forest, and it was definitely encroaching. A strange sound began to overwhelm the whiskey buzz in her ears . . . something like Wu Tang Clan, if it had been squished by a cat and squeezed through rusty plumbing. The little Gaelic guy strode to the foreground, his face taking up half the box, and he seemed to hit a glass wall. He stopped piping, and pounded the invisible barrier between them. He was quite handsome. Red hair, white shirt, green sash, and that kind of arrogant befuddlement on his face that always made Sadie laugh. She didn’t consciously choose to tear the plastic wrap off the box; it seemed as if her hands moved of their own accord, and somehow, a Scotsman spilled out of the picture and into her lap, all six-foot something of muscle-y, musical manliness. The cat screeched and ran into the bedroom, peeking around the doorsill before deciding to rejoin his mistress.

    Her whiskey-soaked brain thought the whole situation was amusing, but some sober part of her soul was sending off annoying warning beeps. The Scotsman rolled off her lap and onto the floor with a squeal of bagpipes, bumping his head on the table, then swearing.

    “I beg your pardon, lass. Where is this . . . place?”

    Suddenly, it wasn’t so funny, and she felt the need to be sober, fast. Her stomach apparently agreed, and she rushed to the bathroom to try to purge this vision from her sight. First she lost her boyfriend, loser though he was, and now she was losing her mind. It was not shaping up to be a very good Saturday night.

      • (-: Yeah, it’s just a beginning, but I think I’ll let the readers finish it as they like. If I were finishing it, our Paper Boy would turn out to be a fine, upstanding guy, especially for someone who came off of a cardboard box. I see him as one of those confused alien types, who teaches the heroine how to look at things more objectively. Sadly, he probably biodegrades at the end, but she’s now ready to love, and love more wisely, for having known him.

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