Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – I’ve Got a Secret


Halloween costumes are in the stores, the Hallmark Channel is promoting their “Countdown to Christmas,” and outside we’ve been having our traditional end-of-summer heat wave.  It never fails, just about the time I start moving the sweaters and long-sleeved tops to the front of the closet, the temperatures spike and I’m scrambling to find my tank-tops and flip-flops.

Along with the last-hurrah of summer, sunset has been coming earlier and earlier, which means no more working in the yard after work.  On the bright side, the landscaping loss is a writing gain.  What better time to engage in some Random Word Improv than in the evening after dark?

Care to join me?

Whether you’re in the midst of a heat wave, finishing your Christmas shopping (gosh, I hope not), or hard at work in the office, a few minutes of Random Word Improv are a great way to have a little fun and get some words on the page.  I’ll be doing my writing once the last of this week’s day-long business meetings is over.  Feel free to start on today’s words without me.


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 (or a whole mini-story) incorporating your words
  3. Post your results in the comments section.

All right, let’s get started. Today’s words were triggered by Michaeline’s recent post on secrets.  I’m sure you can find a story hiding somewhere amongst them.

honest                          belong            hint                    confidence

misunderstand         share               web                    power

fester                            decoy              pretend             confess

hide                               accuse            weakness          tempted

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.

7 thoughts on “Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – I’ve Got a Secret

  1. LOL– if the challenge is to write a tight opening line, then I fail. But if the challenge is just to incorporate ALL of the words into a very long sentence . . . VOILA:
    ” ‘Let’s be honest– and I say this in complete confidence– we all have a weakness, a festering need to belong that we hide, believing that if we share, if we confess, our utter loneliness, even hint at it, then we rob ourselves of any power we might possess in society,’ said Laura, who was tempted to accuse Jacob of his betrayal, right here in the middle of the memorial service, but thought it better, for the time being, to pretend her ire to be a more general malaise toward life, lest the crowd of friends misunderstand and turn on her . . .although she was stung by the irony that her own call to honesty was spun, by her own hands, into a tangled web, a wooden decoy that masked its own truth.”

    • That’s fantastic. I’m awed by the length and flow of that sentence and glad you’ve stopped by the blog to participate today. Hope to hear from you again.

  2. (well, didn’t solve anything in my WIP, but it was fun and dark.)

    Gregory had the smile of a confidence man, and if Suzi was honest with herself, it contained that hint of power that tempted her to confess all her inner needs and desires. But she knew all too well what that sort of man would do with the information. She’d have to hide her weaknesses and pretend to misunderstand his request.

    “I can’t stay tonight. But maybe you could ask Joanne. She needs the extra hours,” Suzi said. Joanne did need the extra hours; she had two small kids at home.

    Gregory recognized the decoy, and his smile widened. He had the aura of a cat that has spotted a mouse in what he thought was an empty corner. “I don’t want you to work, my dear.” He cut through all the pretense, and the honesty made her own disingenuousness feel crooked. She felt ashamed and nervous.

    The double-edged sword of honesty was heavy, and she wasn’t sure if she could wield it; but Gregory left her no choice. She pushed her glasses up. “I don’t trust you, Mr. Smith. You’ve got a bottom-line mentality that doesn’t look beyond the quarter.”

    Gregory straightened. “Miss Reynolds, are you going to accuse me of business mismanagement? I was talking about our mutual attraction.”

    “So was I, Mr. Smith. I think you are the best thing that happened to Reynolds and Sons for a very long time, business-wise, but I can’t help but feel you’ll save us, scrape off the cream and move on to the next opportunity, leaving us to sink or swim on our own again. For whatever reasons, you want a date with me tonight. And then we’ll sleep together,” she said, and that certainly caught his attention, “and then you’ll leave me for whatever ‘mutual attraction’ who comes next. I don’t enter personal relationships lightly, Mr. Smith. No matter how I try to keep things light and fun, my partners and I seem to drop into a deep pit of festering resentment and jealousy.” A brief memory of her last fight with Jeremy Webb flashed through her brain. No, she was not doing that again.

    “Well, if you are the jealous-type, then thanks for warning me. We’ll keep things on a business standing then.”

    “Good.” Suzi fixed her hardest, meanest glare on him. “Because I don’t like to share. And you can remember that if you try to cozy up to my sister and get her to woo me into selling out the optics department. That department belongs to me, and I won’t betray them for you or anyone.”

    “I’ll remember that,” Gregory said, and came in close to chuck her under the chin, affectionately, she supposed. Kicking him in the shin was a knee-jerk reaction. He cursed and hopped around the room, clutching his leg. She had to keep him out of the optics department. If he discovered what they were working on, he’d surely bring more than sexual wiles to the table. She’d have to be very, very careful around Mr. Gregory Smith.

  3. Okay, late to the party, but here goes:

    Jack exhaled a perfect ring of smoke and watched as it dissipated in the warm summer air. He wasn’t much of a smoker, hated the things actually, but they were a necessary part of his current undercover persona.

    In his line of work, pretending to belong and hiding in plain sight were basic survival skills, right up there with fluency in multiple languages, advanced weapons skills, and the patience of Job.

    Patience was something he was currently running dangerously low on. It had taken him weeks to gain the confidence of the gang that was trading in secrets in the back room The Hangout on Route 6, and even longer to sniff out the first hint of the weakness he was confident would soon take them down.

    He’d carefully planted a few random seeds of discontent among the members days earlier, then drew back and watched them fester. The main players in the gang were the Henderson boys– not an honest bone between the four of them – and it just took a few well placed words to trigger an accusation laden power struggle that made Cain and Able look like well-adjusted siblings.

    Jack was tempted to just let them fight it out, but his job was to get an air-tight confession that would hold up in court, along with the names of the buyers, not hang around and watch a bunch of low-level criminals self-destruct, tempting as that might be.

    The mayor, who was up for re-election, was looking for a big result, and Jack had no misunderstanding about the role he was expected to play.

    Adding Gloria to the mix as a decoy was just the ticket to make sure everything went according to plan. At six plus feet of pure muscle along with a face that could launch a thousand ships, Gloria was a force to be reckoned with. There wasn’t a man alive that could hold on to a secret around Gloria.

    Jack should know. He’d shared more than a few, despite his best intentions. Gloria, however, managed to keep her own secrets well hidden in a web of misdirection.

    But not for long.

    Tonight, after the Henderson boys were taken care of, Jack had plans for Gloria that involved uncovering more than just a few secrets.

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