Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – with Best Friends

We are definitely in strange times these days.  Point in case – when I arrived at work today, I told my boss “sorry I’m a little late, I was watching television” and my comment was not met with a frown.  Instead she said, “me too,” and we launched into a spirited discussion.  If you’d have told me a year ago that I would spend the morning watching congressional hearings on CNN, I’d have said you were crazy.  Obviously, the times have changed.

As I writer, I can’t help but think current events have far surpassed the limits of my own imagination.  I’ve also been interested by how often I’ve heard comments like “framing the narrative” and “piecing together the story” in political coverage.  I guess storytelling really is everywhere.

Since I’ve had enough politics for the day, it’s time to focus on something else.  Fortunately, my news feed tells me that it’s “Best Friends Day.”  That sounds like something good to celebrate, since where would be without best friends.  It also sounds like the perfect topic for a little Random Word Improv, since almost everyone is likely to have a best friend story or two in their history.

Care to join me?

Whether you’re waiting to see election results, heading to a concert, enjoying a good book, or just looking for a little distraction, a few minutes of improv are a great way to have a little fun and get some words on the page.  As a plus, you might just come up a great idea for your next WIP.  Worth a shot, right?

All right, let’s get started with today’s Friend inspired random words.

laugh                     cry                  whisper                 share

dream                   play                support                 tease

childhood           school            love                         boyfriend

cherish                 argue             sleepover             commiserate

For any of you new to Random Word Improv, here’s how to 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.  Are you ready?  Go tell us a story!

*whistling aimlessly while you are off being creative*

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

7 thoughts on “Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – with Best Friends

  1. Another attack on my WIP. This one worked a little better than confronting Daddy Issues in the lake.

    Nixie’s hearing was not the sharpest – 2000 years of swimmer’s ear could do that to a girl, but she could hear the shared whispers and giggles coming from inside the boathouse. She put the shade on the lantern – so old-fashioned, but useful for arson in a way those modern Taschenlampen weren’t – sneaked into the boathouse, and then let forth her light to shine on the guilty teenagers who were curled up in the boat, their forearms warding off the brightness of discovery.

    “Mellie, you can come with me.” Nixie squinted at the boy . . . it was that Sunclocke boy, the camp Casanova. “You, Jeremy, can return to your cabin. If I catch you . . .” drat, what was the English word? One floated to the surface, and she caught hold of it: “. . . canoodling with my niece again, I shall post this all over your social media.” She showed him a picture of him being flattened by Mrs. Wandbranche during that unfortunate incident in woodcraft. The boy gulped, but didn’t run squealing back to his cabin as she expected. Tch. Did young men have no shame these days?

    “I’m sticking by Mellie,” he said defiantly. “If she’s in trouble, I guess I should be in as much trouble, too.”

    How inconvenient! Mellie’s little boyfriend’s show of support was nothing more than puppy love, but even puppy love had a certain power to it. This was family business, though, and blood was thicker than water and stronger than puppy drool. “I am not going to argue with you, young man. We are here on River business, and you have no place in our scheme. Go away.”

    “Aunt Nixie, it’s not fair!” Ah, the dreaded “not-fair”. Mellie’s battlecry of “not-fair” almost always was followed up by some sort of outlandish proposal based on her own agenda, not that of the family. Ah, to be 200 years old again, and unable to conceive of the vast burden of family duty. “Jeremy’s really good at (something – Locating?). He could help us get the gold back.”

    Nixie felt her life slip all the way down to her navy stilettos, and pool around her ankles. “You told him about the gold?”

    Jeremy’s eyebrows rose about a centimeter. “Gold? What gold?”

    Nixie had to lean on the workbench next to the boat. “Well, now you know. You will have to prove useful, child, or I will have to kill you.”

    “Oh, stop being so melodramatic,” Mellie interjected. “Mr. O’Malley’s got a couple of gold coins that belong to my grandfather,” she told her little friend. “Apparently, he had some sleepover with my aunt that went terribly wrong, and absconded with the goods. We need to get them back.”

    Jeremy looked thoughtful. “Our family has had some problems with that squirt, O’Malley, too.”

    Such disrespect from the youngsters. Thomas may be a leprechaun, but he was powerful and skilled in more ways than one. And sleepover? Did that mean what she thought it meant? They’d only kissed once . . . a kiss worth remembering for 50 years, but such a chaste little thing when compared to her long history of love affairs. Still, a cherished memory, not to be sniggered at by brats. Still, if Jeremy could (something) with any degree of skill, they could get the gold back, and she’d finally be free of her father. She could commiserate with Thomas about the goldlust. Even from the boathouse, she could Hear the gold singing to her blood, wanting to return home. Maybe with Jeremy’s help, she could find it. She didn’t know whether to laugh from relief, or cry from frustration. She’d have to put up with the children.

    “Well, then. We’ll see if Jeremy can prove to be useful.” She’d have a long talk later about the duties of marrying into the River business and scare him off after they’d found the gold. A faint memory flitted through her head of her childhood crush on Alberich, which had gone horribly, horribly wrong after the teasing of her sisters. Ah well, teenage dreams were so narrow and constrained once one grew up and had some experience of the real world. You had to crush some grapes to make the wine.

    • Nice job, Michaeline. I love the contrast between canoodling and the social media threat.

      As to the “2000 year’s of swimmer’s ear – I definitely want to know more about what is going on,”

      Geocaching is the only thing I can come up with for Jeremy’s skill, but that’s probably not what you’re looking for.

      • (-: Thanks for the encouragement! I spent a happy quarter hour looking up the newest about Geocaching, which sounds like a ton of fun. Yes, something like that, but with a more magical-sounding name. Geomancing? I think that’s something else. Must look it up.

        Would a slight amount of pressure asking to see your writing sprint be helpful or not helpful? I know that was on your list of goals, to do these more often. I’d like to see what comes up in your imagination!

  2. Okay, here’s my attempt at this week’s words. I kind of lost steam at the end, but at least it’s a start.


    “I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry,” Daphne said around a mouthful of Hagen Das Dulce de Leche.

    “I’m sorry.” Angela shook her head. “I can’t believe I set you up with such a loser.”

    “It’s not your fault. You had no way to know he was going to go all Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde on me.” Daphne set her unfinished ice cream aside and leaned back on the couch. “He seemed so normal for the first few dates – funny, smart – and then he turned into one of those creepy controlling types.”

    “Definitely not boyfriend material. Did you at least get a good dinner out of it?

    “Yes. Luckily, he didn’t start critiquing my wardrobe until we’d finished eating. I thought he was just teasing at first when he made the comment about my not needing dessert, but then when he started talking about his company banquet that we were supposed to attend on Thursday he said that I should wear a longer skirt because my knees are ‘not something anyone wants to have to see’ and my arms ‘jiggle far too much to be exposed in public’.”

    “Oh, for the love of god; I’d have stabbed him with my fork for that,” Angela said, outraged on her behalf. “And what is there to jiggle anyway? You’re like a size 2 and all muscle.”

    Daphne flashed her first real smile of the evening. She and Angela had been best friends since pre-school and had spent their childhood commiserating over teachers, homework, and parents, and later dreaming about boys during countless sleepovers. They could always rely on each other for support, whatever the situation. Angela would have absolutely stabbed her date with a fork for that kind of comment; probably added a knee to the crotch along with it. She always did have the best ideas.

    “It wouldn’t have been so bad if he’d kept his voice to a whisper instead of making his comments loudly enough for everyone else to hear,” Daphne said, reaching for her ice cream again. “It was so embarrassing.”

    “What an idiot.” Angela looked over at Daphne’s dress. “So . . . what exactly are those stains on your dress?”

    Daphne looked down at her previously pristine white sundress which was now sporting random splotches of red. “He criticized my shoes.” She extended a stiletto-clad foot. “He said the executives at his company were very conservative and he didn’t want them to think he’d brought a hooker to the banquet.”

    “So that’s blood, not spaghetti sauce?”

    Daphne laughed. “No. I dumped the remains of someone’s bowl of pasta over his head. I grabbed it from the busboy who was clearing off the nearby table.” Daphne smiled at the memory. “The entire restaurant applauded. The look on his face was priceless. It was almost worth missing out on dessert.”

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