Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – Going to the Dogs

dog_with_leash_istock_000020590750_largeAs blog commenter Scott pointed out in Wednesday’s post, there’s nothing like a dog for a shot of joy, not to mention a good reason to get out in the fresh air.

Meanwhile, the Twelfth Night celebrations are over, the house put back to order (kind of), and the calendar is starting to fill up at the day job.  I’m still in a holiday frame of mind, but I’m hoping a round of Random Word Improv will get me back into the swing of things.

Care to join me?

Whether you’re making great progress on your New Year’s resolutions, dreading the return of work-week traffic, or just taking each day as it comes, a few minutes of Random Word Improv are a great way to have a little fun and get some words on the page.  If you’re hard at work on your current manuscript, it can even be a good way to spark some fresh ideas.  I’m running a little behind schedule, so I’ll be giving today’s words a try later on once I get last week’s improv finished and posted.  Feel free to get started 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. Here are today’s randomly selected words – can’t wait to see what stories you find hidden in the list.

leash               bottle             wreckage            raccoon

doormat         lottery           poetry                  dismember

flammable     twisted          apology                innocent

casserole       blouse            hallucination     marshmallow

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 – Going to the Dogs

  1. As promised here’s my entry (better late than never) for last week’s words. It’s a continuation of my Christmas short story Mistletoe Reboot, which you can read here if you missed it.

    Maddie shivered from her position on the couch, in front of the fire that was little more than a pile of glowing ash. “It’s freezing in here.”

    Dan stood up and reached for her hand. “I know a great way to warm us both up.”

    Maddie recognized the look on his face, though it had been a long time since she’d seen it. It was the same look that had them naked in his room just hours after they’d first said hello; a look that promised all manner of delight. Back then he’d claimed he was studying for his degree in horizontal amusement and needed her help with his homework. She’d fallen madly in love, or at least madly in lust almost immediately.

    Tonight the therapist part of her brain understood that his suggestion was probably just a reaction to their recent brush with death, but the rest of her didn’t care. They made it upstairs in record time, shedding clothing along the way. They came together in a fast almost frantic rush that left them sweaty and winded. And warm. Definitely warm.

    They fell asleep in a tangle of arms and legs beneath the fluffy down comforter. When they came together again in the middle of the night it was slower and more deliberate, as if they were trying to memorize every inch of each other. It felt a lot like hello, but that might be wishful t thinking. It could just as easily be goodbye. Maddie did her best to silence her mind and just appreciate the moment.

    She knew it didn’t mean anything had changed between them or that their problems had suddenly ceased to exist, but for right now, it didn’t matter.

    Long after Dan fell asleep, his arm over her shoulder holding her close, she remained awake, looking out the window at the stars twinkling in the night sky. She was tempted to make a wish, like she used to when she was a girl, but she knew it was going to take more than wishing to fix what was broken between them.

    When the first sign of dawn lit the sky, she slipped out of bed, got dressed and headed downstairs. She had a craving for waffles, so she got a fire burning in the fireplace and then headed to the kitchen to get cooking.

    Dan came downstairs a little later, drawn by the smell of coffee and frying bacon, just as Maddie was coming in the front door from the truck with a stack of boxes.

    “I see the weatherman is just as accurate as always,” he commented as she set down the boxes and stopped to knock two inches of ‘clear and dry’ off her boots.

    Maddie laughed. “He predicts clear weather for the holidays every year and he’s wrong every time.”

    “Except that year Frank and Maude came all the way from Arizona to experience a traditional white Christmas.”

    Maddie nodded. “Who could forget? We spent Christmas afternoon playing flag football in shirt sleeves in the front yard.”

    The conversation lagged and then turned awkward. Maddie hung up her coat and picked up the stack of boxes.

    Dan followed her into the kitchen, which already sported a number of full boxes labelled ‘trash,’ ‘donate,’ and ‘fragile.’ “You’ve certainly been busy this morning.”

    “I was just really just looking for a waffle iron, but I couldn’t find it amidst all this stuff left over from my grandparent’s day.” She reached into an open cupboard and pulled out a brightly colored pitcher. “What do you think, a valuable antique or a cheap knock-off?”

    Dan leaned against the refrigerator, hands in his pockets. “I know I’ve been absent and maddening at times, but it wasn’t all bad, was it?”

    Maddie put down the pitcher and looked at him in confusion. “What?”

    “The two of us. Things are difficult now, but we had it right to begin with, didn’t we?”

    “Yes, we had it right,” she answered, unsure that he was getting at.

    “So how do we get back to that?” He asked. “What advice would you us if we were clients?”

    Maddie thought for a minute. “Well, first I’d ask them if they still loved each other. If they said yes, then I’d recommend they begin by spending time together; getting to really know each other again.”

    Dan looked her in the eye. “Do you. Still love me, that is.”

    “Yes, of course,” she answered without hesitation. “Do you.”


    She couldn’t help but smile at that. Nothing like a definitive answer to perk a girl right up.

    “Okay, so how about we start with dinner every night. No cell phones; no stuck late at the office.”

    “That sounds like a good first step.”

    “It’s a deal then” Dan said, reaching for her hand. “Let’s shake on it.”

    Maddie pulled a sprig of mistletoe out of her jeans pocket and held it over his head. “I have a better idea.”

    • Aw! I remember reading an interview where the journalist asked a famous star what he and his wife did when the fire went out of a romance. And he said something like, “I find that mouth-to-mouth resuscitation generally does the trick.” (-: Glib answer, but I do think there’s a bit of truth to it.

  2. This is just off the top of my head. I’m trying my hand at a different genre, Science Fiction.

    Anyhoo. Comments welcome, but really this is just for fun.

    Fessy watched as the Caldsian Shepherd, Max chased the raccoon. The silly dog had escaped his leash while on a walk through Hallow Halls. Though the coon was just a hallucination, Caldsian’s weren’t known for their sense of reality. Max was just an innocent pawn in the twisted mind of Sludge. The dismembered warrior had won Max in a lottery and Fessy’s job as keeper for all things of Sludge made Max her problem. The main problem was to keep Max away from the flammable marshmallow-like substance, Rotter, that was kept in Sludge’s treasure chest, which though locked Fessy knew Max’s keen ability as puzzle master would make it child’s play to open. The bottle the Rotter was housed in was even more priceless. A Poetry Bottle, which the ancients said was a creation of the great goddess, Camina, was said to make anyone your greatest friend.

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