Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – Accentuate the Positive

accentuate_the_positiveI’ve got a box of old ’78 records in the garage that belonged to my mother years ago when she was accordion playing young mom.  As you might guess, there are a number of polka songs in the mix.  There were also a couple of the records that I used to play over and over when I was a kid.

One was Frank Sinatra singing Five Minutes More.

“Give me five minutes more,
only five minutes more
Let me stay, let me stay in your arms
Here am I, begging for
only five minutes more
Only five minutes more of your charms”

The other was Bing Crosby singing Accentuate the Positive.

“You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between”

I recently came across the box of records and wound up the old Victrola to give them a listen (yes, I really do still have one).  They were a little scratchier sounding than then used to be, but they were just as much fun as I remembered.  I thought Accentuate the Positive was especially fitting, given all that’s going on in the world these days.

My musical reminiscing has led to some creative writing reminiscing, causing me to dust off a few unfinished stories and look at polishing them up a bit.  Seems like just the thing to do tomorrow on my day off work.   I’m thinking a round of Random Word Improv would be a great way to kick off my writing day.

Care to join me?

Whether you’re slaving away on your manuscript, running errands, or dreaming about a fantasy vacation, a few minutes of Random Word Improv are a great way to have a little fun and get some words on the page.


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 “Accentuate the Positive” inspired words– can’t wait to see what stories you find hidden in the list.

Positive               happy                 joy                         gloom

Faith                    sunlight             dream                  glow

Fun                       cloud                  puppy                  smile

Hope                    cheer                  sing                      breeze

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 – Accentuate the Positive

  1. (-: Well, okay, off to a start at least! Here’s Monday’s reflections:

    My first thought is that there are few dramatic possibilities in writing about happiness and joy. The cheerful hopes of fictional characters, frolicking in a dream of glowing sunlight and puppy smiles simply accentuate the dark gloom of the storm clouds that is the reader’s real life. But then I think of Pratchett. Pratchett, who always takes time to sing a song about the hedgehog, the simple pleasures that overlay the shit and digestion of the mechanics of life. And Austen, who thought of fun as being able to make sport of one’s neighbors, and willing to be made sport of in turn. It gives me hope. The darker the gloom, the brighter the star that rises. Be the star, be the darkness, be that glow on the horizon in the middle.

    • I’m thinking that the contrast between the simple pleasures and the “darker gloom” provides some good story opportunities. That’s why, even in this ‘positive; list of words, I included a few darker words.

      Still playing with the word list. My first improv effort went off the rails somewhere along the line. Planning to give it another try after dinner this evening.

      • I’m stuck with my poor elephant and mouse story. I feel like I should finish it, but am at a loss as to how to finish it. Can’t even sit down and start writing to see where it goes.

        (-: Lord knows, it’s not really any more ridiculous than some of the headlines in Reuters these days. Just an old-fashioned love story where opposites attract.

        • Maybe your elephant and mouse just need a little alone time 🙂 Play with something new and then go back to them and see if any new ideas spark. If not, then maybe that story is finished with you. Just a thought.

  2. Okay, it took me a few tries, but here is my effort for this week’s words. Looking forward to seeing what other folks come up with.


    “Is that Aunt Esther, over there near the puppy leaning against the bench?” Faith pointed to the left.

    “It does kind of look like her, but the hair is too long.” Hope squinted in the bright sunlight. “That looks like Cousin Alice a little further back, by the cluster of trees though.”

    “Kind of, but you know how she hates nature.” Faith giggled. “You’d never find her that close to a tree.”

    Hope laughed in agreement. “That’s definitely gloomy old Principal Watkins from the grammar school,” she said, gesturing with her right hand. “Fortunately he’s facing the other way.”

    The sisters lay on their backs on the soft grass in the late summer sun and pointed out people they knew until a light breeze dispersed the clouds and ended their fun. Behind them the incline of the yard hid the house from view while in front of them sunlight reflected off the surface of the lake.

    “I’m so happy you’re home.” Faith leaned into Hope’s shoulder. “Tell me all about Paris. Was it wonderful?”

    “It was like a dream.” Hope smiled. “There was so much to see and do. The food. The art. The people. The choir singing at Notre Dame. I wanted to stay forever.”

    “That all sounds great,” Faith said as she sat up, “but what about the boys?”

    Hope blushed.

    “Come on,” Faith prodded, “I’ve been trapped here alone all summer, I need details.”

    Hope sat up on the blanket and reached for her water bottle. “Well, you have to promise not to tell Mom and Dad, but . . . there was this one boy . . .”

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