Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – I Can Explain Everything

dscn0342-the-vaultI got to work a little later than expected this morning.  Not because of traffic or over sleeping; it was the jam in my hair that slowed me down.

I would love to say there was a wacky, entertaining reason for the jam (I thought up several explanations on the way to work), but the reality was quite mundane.  I was eating breakfast while getting ready this morning and some jam from my bagel dripped onto my hairbrush.  Thank goodness I noticed before I left the house, although jam does seem to have much better holding power than my gel or hairspray.

Anyway, now that this morning’s annoyance is nothing but a sticky memory, it’s time to put all that creative explanation energy to good use in a little Random Word Improv.

Who’s with me?

Whether you’re counting down to the weekend, working hard on your manuscript, or trying to figure out what mystery substance is stuck in your hair, a few minutes of improv are a great way to have a little fun and get some words on the page.  I’ll be saving my snacking until after my writing is done, but feel free to indulge in your favorite writing food or beverage while you 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. Today’s words may be random, but I’m sure you can find a story hiding somewhere amongst them.

For Bonus Improv points:             include an explanation of why there is jam in an unusual place.

glass                      plant                     shirt                       soap

tile                         counter               friend                   lazy

throb                     catatonic             laundry               tangled

phone                   reality                   escape                  trust

 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.

If you’re in the mood for more writing fun after today’s improv, make sure to check out Kay’s Writing Prompt Scavenger Hunt post from yesterday.  The possibilities are just endless and you may win some rubber gloves.

7 thoughts on “Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – I Can Explain Everything

  1. Here’s my early attempt to get things started.


    The sun was well on its way across the sky when Maggie wandered out of the bedroom in search of sustenance. Barefoot and dressed in a man’s faded blue dress shirt worn soft from years of washing, she grabbed a mug from the kitchen cupboard and filled it with coffee, grateful for the high-tech steel monstrosity that made sure there was always a fresh brew waiting, even when she was otherwise engaged.

    As the caffeine made its way through her bloodstream, she cast a lazy glance around the apartment. The living room bore the signs of a very . . . active night, there were clothes scattered on the floor and cushions askew.

    The jam on the ceiling fan caused a moment’s confusion before she saw the sparkle of broken glass in the plant by the window and remembered.

    Right. That was when Jake had backed her up against the cool tile countertop and proceeded to do things with his mouth and hands that were probably illegal in most states. Somewhere in all the excitement, she’d flung out an arm and sent the open jar of jam on the counter flying.

    The loss of the jam and the eventual cleanup were a small price to pay. She’d been looking for a little escape from reality and she’d succeeded beyond her wildest dreams. One minute Jake was just a friend and then he said, “Trust me,” and everything changed.

    Naked, sweaty, satisfaction followed soon thereafter. Several of Maggie’s body parts throbbed in remembrance of just how much satisfaction.

    Her phone beeped repeatedly from somewhere in her briefcase, but she ignored it. Probably the office calling, but they could wait until Monday. Today she had plans that had nothing to do with work and everything to do with the warm naked body she’d left tangled in her sheets.

    Re-entering the bedroom she nudged Jake awake. “I’m going to take a shower,” she said, handing over the remainder of her coffee and starting toward the bathroom.

    “Good idea.” Jake put the coffee mug on the nightstand threw back the covers as she slipped off the shirt. “I’ll help you with those hard to reach places.”

    Maggie turned back. “Or we could just say in bed and . . .

    “Later,” Jake said he nudged her toward the bathroom. “I have fantasies about you and that shower. Besides, I think you have jam in your hair.”

    • LOL, jam, jam everywhere, and nary a drop to eat. I like the friends-to-lovers thing! Glad she could trust him.

      Also: very much onboard with the appreciation for our mechanical servants. I don’t know what I’d do without Betsy the washing machine, Ron the rice-cooker and Helen Hotpot. I suppose I’d survive, but I’d have little time for anything else!

  2. The ringing phone brought me back to reality, as much as I’d tried to escape it the night before. I grabbed at the torture device and swept it off the tile counter—evidently I hadn’t made it out of the pantry the previous evening. The tangled cord of the landline refused to unwind, and I swept the phone, the soap, and a “happy retirement” geranium onto the floor. The geranium, an unusually large and robust speciman of plant life, brought along a jar of jam, which bounced into the litter box and stayed there. Fortunately, the glass didn’t break, although the jam spilled out. Maybe the cat liked—what kind of jam was it again? Fig butter. Right. Maybe the cat would like fig butter.


    Nigel, my best friend from work, was alarmingly cheerful.

    “Hopper, old trout,” he bellowed into my ear. “Put on a clean shirt and come on down to the torture chamber, what? We’ve had a spot of trouble with the hop-a-longs. We need you.”

    “Shirt,” I said. I felt catatonic from lack of sleep.

    “You know what a shirt is, don’t you, old bean? Thing you take to the laundry. You must have one lying about.”

    “Not sure about the shirts, but I’m lying about,” I said. “All very cozy. My head throbs.”

    “Since when have you given the naughty blighters permission to pound away in your skull? I say, you’ll come, won’t you? Your ilk never retires.”

    My ilk? Nigel seemed to have lost his diplomatic skills since yesterday. On the other hand, who would I trust more in a pinch? If Nigel said put on a clean shirt, I supposed I could get up off my hammered ass and do as I was told.

    “I’m coming,” I said. I rolled to my knees, on my way to finding my feet. I wondered where I’d find a clean shirt. The cat was already checking out the fig butter.

    After all, it wouldn’t kill me to get to the place I’d spent the last thirty-five years.

    It sure beat retirement.

  3. A little add-on to Thursday’s adventure:

    The third annual Havenport mini-jazz jam festival was being held on the red glass counter of Bubba’s Bar and Grilled. It was the only place in town left unbooked; anything slightly more likely as a stage had been commandeered by more organized bands. A nearly-catatonic bassist in a paisley shirt that hadn’t seen soap in a month managed to lay down a hypnotic line. Tina had maneuvered the rhythm guitarist (a would-be heartthrob) and Davy the drummer (a genuine sex god) between her and Stinky Pete, and crooned a sad lyric of love-gone-wrong while trying to keep an eye on the door. Her new friend, Philip, was supposed to escape a Centaurian performance art piece and meet her to get the horrible mess untangled.

    Stinky Pete was still phoning it in from some jazz dimension beyond belief; he was a conduit to pure rhythm, even as his lazy right hand barely moved across the strings of his bass. In the audience, Ralph the Fixer was nodding his head gently. Even his bodyguards, Vanella and Iggy Brass, were sprawling on their chairs. If only Philip were here. She could slip off the stage and get out before Ralph realized she was leaving with the diamonds. The bassline faded, but Davy and the jerk were carrying on, sending the Boss deeper into a sound sleep. Behind her, she felt hands at her waist, and Stinky Pete was lowering her down behind the bar.

    “Ew, Pete!” she whispered fiercely, then was silenced when he planted a big one right on her kisser. “My god, Philip! Where’s Pete?”

    “Outside with the rubies and the getaway car. I’ve got the sapphires. Shhh, I trust we can slither out through the kitchen before Ralph wakes up.”

    “Oh, you clever boy! Man of a thousand faces!” she said as she crawled behind him and under the swinging doors. He grabbed her hand, and they ran through the back door into the waiting bubble car. Now, they had the ransom for the Vogons, and perhaps gratitude would bring them all before the Fague officials and get the Vogons off the planet before midnight. Behind them, the music stopped.

    “Cheese it!” Davy yelled. “The Fixer’s awake!” And then there was the ominous blast of lasers. Tina hoped the boys would make it out okay. As Poetics of the Underground Rebellion, they had the skills and resources that sent them barreling out of the bar and into the bubble car split-seconds before Vanella and her laser cannon came bursting out the backdoor. Split-seconds were all they needed; they were half a kilometer away and out of range before the bodyguard could spit on the ground in disgust.

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