Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – The Random Word Edition

The end of another week has arrived, as has the end of another month.  What better way to close things out than with a little creative writing.  Conveniently, I have the whole day off work to do just that (well, that and to take care of the taxes).

I was watching the news before drafting this post and frankly our current reality, with its Russian intrigue, conspiracies, political wrangling, and controversies is so mind-boggling that mere fiction would be hard-pressed to even come close.

Nevertheless, I think I’ll give it a try, starting with a little Random Word Improv.

Care to join me?

Whether you’re fascinated by your own reality, figuring out just what happens next in your story, or taking a well-deserved break to relax and recharge, a few minutes of Random Word Improv are a great way to have a little fun and get some words on the page.  I have “sleep in” at the top of my agenda for the day, but writing is #2 on the list . . . .well, maybe #3, right after “procure caffeinated beverage.”  Your list may vary.

Ready to write?

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.

Okay, here is today’s list of randomly selected theme-less random words:

ugly               glimmer         intrigue          aquarium

door               banana           tie                    pistol

lock                piano              wept                dream

fried               fiasco             secret              frog

Are you ready?  Go!

*whistling aimlessly while you are off being creative*

Ah, you’re back.  Kind of fun, right?  Can’t wait to see what you have come up with.

5 thoughts on “Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – The Random Word Edition

  1. The April Caper

    It all started out as a giant joke. Harvey Glimmer saran-wrapped the piano in a double layer, and managed to inject pure spring water and seven goldfish under the lid. The grand piano looked like a goddamn aquarium. The Steinway was supposed to show up at June’s fashion show, and was supposed to be a harmless and amusing prank. Instead, Carnegie called for an emergency replacement, Janey sent the piano to Herr Schumacher’s first concert of his North American Friendship Tour, and now we were facing a total fiasco – Herr Schumacher not only had a very underdeveloped sense of humor, but he had a debilitating fear of fish. As he wept under the piano, he promised to tell everything and confessed to wiretapping the President’s portrait during a courtesy call to the White House. The German Embassy had lodged a formal complaint, and the President was tweeting furiously about pianos, godless fish, and the European conspiracy to overthrow the US government.

    And Glimmer Pianos was no longer the premier piano purveyor in the greatest city in the world. It was a damn good thing that I don’t believe in guns, because if I had a pistol, I’d be hard pressed to choose who to shoot: Harvey, Janey or myself. I poured myself another shot of tequila. If I couldn’t shoot anyone, at least I could punish myself with the grandest hangover in the five-boroughs region. Tomorrow I’d think of a plan to get us out of this mess. Tonight was all about obliterating the memory.

    There was a knock on the door, and in walked 180 cm. of trouble in the shape of a blonde bombshell. “Good evening, Mr. Glimmer. I’m Marlene Schumacher, Carl’s sister.”

    Damn. It was too late to lock the door and pretend I wasn’t in. The Schumacher twins were well known as enfants terribles on the European classical circuit. I was going to croak like a frog, right here in my office.

    “Tch, tch, Mr. Glimmer. It was such an ugly episode you put my brother through. Your reputation is no longer worth a plate of fried bananas,” she said in an impossibly sexy German accent. At least, that’s what I think she said. The tequila was ringing in my ears at this point. “But I think I have a way that you can make it up to us. As a piano tuner, you have access to the President’s New York home.” She placed a very ugly tie covered in giraffes next to my fourth shot of tequila. “If you can place this in his tie drawer, we will forget all of poor Carl’s hardships and go home.”

    I slammed the shot. “And if I don’t take part in your little intrigue? I don’t particularly care for being waterboarded as a traitor and a spy.”

    “Now, now, Mr. Glimmer. No one will know. Your president will never take a second look at this terrible tie – it’ll blend right into his collection, yet we know even he would find it too ugly to wear. He’ll never find the bug.” She sat on my desk, and stroked my own tie. “But if you don’t think you can help us, we will ruin your company completely.” She loosened my tie a little and grabbed the end. “We will make sure your pianos are completely unrentable.” She jerked the tie a little higher. “We will rig bombs in every piano your people tune.” She jerked again. “We will find a way to break every finger you and your brother and sister have, one at a time, and quite painfully, with no way to trace the crime back. It will be a series of most unfortunate and unavoidable accidents.” Now she jerked the tie to the back of my neck, and I hanged by a silk noose, feeling my Adam’s apple constricted ever so slightly. I knew she could do it. The Germans were merciless after the events of 2018. I had no choice. I nodded my assent.

    Marlene smiled and poured more tequila into my glass. “This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” she said. “Good health to you, Mr. Glimmer.” And she knocked back a shot.

    To hell with it, I thought. I’ll figure out how to fix this tomorrow.

    • Fantastic, Michaeline. That was definitely worth waiting for. I loved the “in walked 180 cm. of trouble in the shape of a blonde bombshell” line.

      • I didn’t agonize very long over any of this (yay! writing sprints are so great! No agonizing!), but that line did make me stop. I think the Glimmers are vaguely European or British, so might think in those terms. (-: I kind of wish the US would take up metric by 2020, but it’s not going to happen.

        (-: I love the noir feel I got from these words. I have a feeling “noir” is going to be a definite trend in fiction over the next few years. How can we make it new? (Maybe not by sticking metric in it, but oh well.)

    • Such a fun, quirky romance! (Once I stopped shaking from the thought of turning a Steinway into an aquarium – yikes!) I hope someday you’ll put together a collection of your short fiction. I really think you’ve got a good start with what you’ve posted on the blog alone!

      • (-: Thanks. I meant to wrap my passenger seat in saran-wrap when I went to pick up my daughter on April 1, but I was running late and completely forgot about it until she opened the door. (-: I think it would make a great joke to temporarily turn the Steinway into an aquarium, but I do agree that it’s a tragedy waiting to happen! One little leak, and . . . too terrible to contemplate!

        I’d like to do a collection one day. This is one story that could be expanded upon a little bit. Maybe every time I get outraged by what is happening in the world, I could write a little more. I saw on Twitter a hypothetical poll about the Anglo-Spanish War of 2018 (just after I wrote this), so I guess I’m not the only one thinking that the EU/English-speaking world (?) may have sour relations in the near future. Zeitgeist. Gotta grab it now. It’ll either go away soon, or turn into a much more terrible situation that we can’t write about.

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