Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – Tell Me a Story

tell_me_a_story_istockFacts have come under attack recently, especially those “alternative” ones (pretty sure we used to call those lies).  In reality, people have been finding facts to back up whatever point they want to make while conveniently ignoring those that don’t for ages.

That’s why I was interested to come across an article at work about how storytelling, not facts, was a more effective way to provide information, get people to listen and change minds.   It makes sense.  Think about those commercials on late night television seeking donations for animals in shelters.  If someone tells you there are 100,000 dogs currently in shelters it’s not going to be as memorable (or impactful) as seeing a picture of a poor abandoned pup. Storytelling makes the difference.

The other tangentially related news story I saw was about the recent uptick in book sales, both electronic and physical, in the last few months.  While increased sales make sense during the holidays, the analysts suggested that the continued increase in January is directly related to fears and worries in daily life.  It’s storytelling to the rescue, this time as a means of escape and a way to recharge.

Sounds like time to get writing.  I think I’ll start with a round of Random Word Improv to wake up those Girls in the Basement.

Care to join me?

Whether you’re working away on your latest manuscript, flexing your political muscles, or escaping with a favorite story, 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 giving today’s words a try once I finish with last week’s words.  Go ahead and start without me; I’ll catch up.


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.

Dream              princess        puppy                mountain

Wave                forest              saucer                emerald

Shimmer         twilight          splash                forlorn

Whisper          journey          kangaroo          geranium

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.

3 thoughts on “Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – Tell Me a Story

  1. More Felicity and Jonathan. Not sure where things are going with this at all, but here it is:

    Jonathan was up to his ears in the accounts of the Starlight Circus books, and felt a little annoyed when he heard the little jingle of the bell at the door of his tent. That didn’t go away when he saw Felicity come in with a bottle of tequila. Felicity made him irritable. She was always nervous around him . . . well, it was society, wasn’t it? All those stories about elephants being afraid of mice? They were both were-creatures, not animals, and surely they could have a civil conversation without all the cultural baggage turning the niceties into long, awkward pauses. But oh, no, not Felicity. She was the star of the show and one of their most talented artists, and here she was, creeping into the tent as if he were the bogeyman, about to jump out at her and give her a heart attack.

    She didn’t act this way with Randy the Were-Lion who turned into a little puppy and rolled over to show her his belly when she batted those long lashes, or that posse of clowns who boozed it up after every show with her, trying to worm their way into her affections. With everyone else, she was an Amazonian princess, a mountain of a woman with a shimmering laugh, who walked the tightrope in the twilight like a goddess.

    Overly conscious of his actions, he turned on his chair slowly, and gave her a lazy wave. No sudden movements around our Miss Felicity. It wouldn’t do to be too mouselike in front of our Prima Donna. She was still in elephant-form from the show, her emerald tutu splashed with gold and shining in the naked electric light that swung over his desk. “What can I do for you tonight, Felicity?”

    She surprised him by marching right up to his desk, retrieving two shotglasses from her basket and filling them with tequila. She took one shot, then another, and waved her trunk at him, urging him to do the same. Now it was his turn to be nervous. It never boded well when meetings started with tequila shots. He could feel his ears itching to turn to mouse-form, but he tamped down the feeling. If he went full-mouse, she’d surely run away shrieking. He drank down the shot, though.

    Felicity took a deep breath. “You can’t let Pixie on my high wire. The way she bounces and jumps around without any regard for any other performer on the wire is just dangerous. One or the other of us is going to fall off. She should stick to her own act.”

    Oh. That. Jonathan folded his hands thoughtfully and very slowly. “Pixie needs to work with performers who will challenge her. She says she’s ready for the next level, and I thought you’d be just the generous sort of performer who would be able to help her out.”

    “She’s an absolute manic nutcase. It’s all very good for her – if she falls off the wire, she’s a flying squirrel. She’ll just drift down to the ground. Me? I’ll be a forlorn stain on your floor, swept away with the sawdust before the next show. Elephants are not notably aerodynamic, you know.”

    “Nonsense. Have you talked to her? She wants to work with you. I’m sure she’ll listen to what you have to say. Be her mentor.”

    “Hah. Of course you’d take her side of things. She’s sleeping with you.” Felicity poured them another round of shots, and slammed hers back with a grimace. “I could sleep with you, too, if it’d keep her in her own act.” She took another shot of tequila, and morphed into her human form – a gray woman with black ringlets running down to her hips – still in that emerald tutu, which now hugged her every curve, and boosted her bosom into the stratosphere. Jonathan gulped. In her elephant form, Felicity was one of his performers, and he was the boss. But when she switched over to human form, they were on stranger footing – their roles undefined, and he wasn’t sure how to handle this gorgeous, voluptuous drunk woman who had one plump knee on his desk, and looked like she was going to grab him and make him do her bidding.

    He couldn’t help himself. His mouse ears popped out, and with a squeal, Felicity was standing on his desk, trampling over the account books. Not the account books! He roared, ”Felicity, get down right now. You’re making a fool of yourself.”

    That stopped her. She got a calculating look in her eye, and slid into his lap, a hot bundle of spandex and fishnet. “Nobody makes a fool out of me.” She kissed him, and his brain seemed to melt and pool down someplace under her deliciously rounded rump. “Give me three evenings to make my case. You’ll see. Pixie deserves to be the star of her own act, not an accessory to mine.” She tentatively reached her hand out to his rounded ears, giving them a little fondle. “These aren’t really so scary, after all.”

    For some reason, he’d been just about to dump her off his lap, but when she touched his ears, all reason fled. Never in his wildest dreams had he imagined that she’d come to him, that she’d want him, that she’d seduce him . . . his eyes fell on the tequila bottle. It wasn’t real, of course. It was downright unnatural for her. It was four shots of alcohol and whatever crackpot notion of rivalry with Pixie that was making her act this way. When she came to him, he wanted it to be of her own longing. He stuffed his own lust down in some deep pocket of the ringmaster’s jacket, and kissed her soundly, almost punishing her for making him feel so wretched and useless. He gently stroked her thighs, and when he felt them begin to relax and part, he swiveled her hips around, and pushed her butt until she was standing on her own two feet.

    “Felicity, you want to talk business, we’ll talk business. In a business-like way, during business hours. But if you come in here again, drunk off your ass and waving your boobs in my face, the only thing I’ll feel I’ll owe you is a mutually satisfying good time.”

    She spun, graceful as the acrobat she was, and there was something in her eyes that he couldn’t name, but it tore at his heart. He felt as though he was supposed to catch her, and somehow had missed. He rose – maybe if he hugged her, she wouldn’t look so tragic. Or was she still playing him? He folded his arms over his chest, and tried to look firm. She fled the office, crying. Damn, he had missed something. “Wait, Felicity . . . .” And he ran out of the tent after her.

  2. So glad you continued on with this story Michaeline. This is great. Can’t wait to find out what will happen next. Will Jonathan figure out what he missed? Will Fekicity get what she wants? Inquiring minds want to know.

    • (-: I guess we’ll both find out with next Friday’s words! At this point, I don’t see how this can possibly come together and do anything, but who knows? I felt the same way after installment two of the Christmas story, and then something came to me in the middle of the week. There’s something to be said for slow-cooking a story!!

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