Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – Smile for the Camera

Recently I had cause to go through some boxes of family photos.  My brother is in the process of transferring old home movies and things onto DVDs and he came across some footage from a long ago Christmas that included, among other things, a box full of puppies.  For the life of us, neither of us remembers that box of puppies or has any idea where they came from.  I was hoping I might have some still photos of the holiday, but no such luck.  Rather, I found photos from what I think was that day, but there was nary a puppy in sight.

Along the way I got distracted by the photos themselves – specifically the hair and clothing styles, not to mention the furnishings and decorations.  I think I flipped through about thirty years’ worth of photos in about an hour.  Whether taken with an old Polaroid, a Kodak Instamatic, or modern digital camera, my family has a definite fondness for taking pictures of people taking pictures and we seem to be incapable of taking a group shot free of someone making a face or having their eyes shut.

Most of the photos I have reside in scrapbooks, but there are a few boxes left to deal with.   That, however, will have to wait for another day.  As I noted in this past Monday’s accountability post, I’ve done an excellent job reading recently, but not such a good job with writing.  I’ll be focusing on changing that this weekend.  To kick things off I think I’ll start with a little Random Word Improv.

Care to join me?

Regardless of whether you’re finishing up a manuscript, daydreaming about a new story, enjoying a bit of vacation, or just trying to make it to the end of another work-week, a few minutes of Random Word Improv are a great way to have a little fun and get some words on the page.  So pull up a chair, put on some mood music and let’s get writing.

Ready?

Today’s random words are photo-themed, but don’t let that constrain you.  In keeping with our recent trend, bonus points if you manage to include a box of puppies in your sprint:

smile                   photo                    family                   flash

stage                    suit                        ham                       patience

arrange              frame                    zoom                     filter

view                     negative              lens                       develop

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.  Are you ready?  Let’s sprint!

*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 – Smile for the Camera

  1. Lt. Lurua saluted snappily. “Captain, we have the results of the Schrodinger’s Puppies test.”

    “Very well, Lieutenant, don’t keep us in suspense.” Captain Vandro allowed his eyes to slip below Lurua’s alluring neckline for just a second before coming back to parade rest on her eyes. And what lovely eyes they were. *None of that illicit viewing, Vannie boy. No fraternization.*

    “As the good doctor said, we fed the puppies on a specialized diet of Venusian Space Ham, fortified with some hard-wired filter bones to keep their teeth and kidneys in shape. After three weeks of this regimen, the theoretical framework . . . .”

    “Lt. Lurua, I thought I said don’t keep us in suspense. What were the results, woman?”

    Lurua flashed a smile. “Patience, Captain. Just as the doctor predicted. The puppies went down both pants-legs of the spacetime continuum suit. They came out of the box as puppies and full-grown dogs. They look like 3D Picasso images. Here, the doctor arranged to have some photos for us.”

    They touched communicators, and Vandro pressed the button that allowed the Realitron to project a 3D image above his communicator. He zoomed into the various bits and pieces of the dogs – it was true. He couldn’t focus on one particular stage of development; as soon as he blinked his eyes, he was seeing puppy toes, dog toes and old, old dog nails. Really quite remarkable.

    “And the doctor thinks he can reverse the process? So that the animals can go back to being puppies when we reach our destination?”

    Lurua nodded.

    “If that’s so, we’ll be able to expand the puppy and kitty trade across the universe at an exponential rate! There are no negatives to this scheme, Lieutenant.”

    Through the lens of the Farvision 3000, Dr. Catticus nodded his feline head wisely and licked his whiskers in satisfaction. It was all going to plan. The Family Felinus was finally going to take their rightful place as the dominators of the universe – and those sloppy, floppy sapiens and their canine friends were going to help boost their Kitty Overlords into their rightful position. Fools. As long as they kept the catnip coming, there’d be no reason to eradicate their sorry species.

  2. Okay, a little late, but here is my effort with this week’s words. As you can probably tell, I’ve been reading a lot of mystery stories these days.

    * * * * *

    “Tell me he’s not dead,” commanded Charlotte Evelyn Headington, staring with dismay at her grandfather who appeared to be doing nothing more than enjoying an afternoon nap in his favourite chair.

    Her brother Arthur checked Grandpa’s pulse before obediently replying. “He’s not dead.”

    Charlotte looked at him with a hopeful gaze. “He isn’t?”

    “Of course he is, you idiot. Just look at him. He’s stiff as a board”

    She glared. “Then why did you say he wasn’t?”

    “You told me to tell you he wasn’t,” her brother said, flashing a weak smile. “You didn’t say anything about being honest.”

    Charlotte closed her eyes and counted to ten, then took a breath and arranged her features to project patience that she definitely wasn’t feeling. If truth be told, frustration was her primary feeling at the moment.

    Not that she didn’t love her grandfather and feel terrible for his being dead. After all, other her annoying younger brother, he was the only family she had left, ignoring those odious cousins out west who, in a properly ordered world, wouldn’t exist.

    But exist they did and, which meant that tomorrow, when Charlotte and her grandfather were supposed to be celebrating their birthdays (her 25th, his 85th), she wouldn’t be coming into her much anticipated inheritance. It would instead be heading off to those odious cousins.

    “Too bad we came early and found him today rather than tomorrow,” her brother mused aloud, echoing Charlotte’s own thoughts.

    She dropped into a nearby chair and let out a sigh. “Too late for that now.”

    “I don’t know. The daily maid only comes up from the village during the week and the housekeeper lives off in the little house at the edge of the property with her husband. She doesn’t come up this way on the weekends either, other than to drop off supper in the evening. No one has to know he’s dead until we tell them.”

    “I’m pretty sure the coroner can tell whether a person has been dead one day or two,” Charlotte countered.

    “Have you met the local coroner? He’s so drunk most of the time he just signs the death certificates without even bothering to look at the bodies.”

    “Oh, well, in that case, why don’t we just put a party hat on Grandpa and stage a few birthday photos so we can pretend he was alive and well all weekend,” Charlotte suggested, her irritation burning away the queasiness she felt being so close to a dead body.

    Arthur recoiled. “No need to bite my head off.”

    “Sorry. Sorry. I’m just upset. I . . . “

    The slamming of a door at the back of the house startled them both and cut off whatever Charlotte had been about to say.

    “Afternoon Mr. Headington, “the housekeeper called from the kitchen. “I’ve brought you a nice bit of ham and some potatoes with a fruit pudding for your supper. I’ll just leave it in the pantry for you.” Soon after, they heard the door slam again, followed by the sound of footsteps heading down the gravel pathway. Arthur walked to the window and watched until the housekeeper disappeared from view.

    Charlotte looked back at their grandfather. “He looks so peaceful. Do you think he had a heart attack or something?”

    As they both watched in horror, he slowly started tilting forward in the chair; ending up with his head resting near his knees, revealing a large bloodstain on the back of his suit jacket.

    Arthur was the first to regain his voice. “I’m guessing it had more to do with that knife sticking out of his lower back.”

    • Oh, what a surprise ending! Reminds me of the old Python line: “worst case of suicide I’d ever seen — 13 stabs in the back.” (Python? Someone.) I think your people can get away with it, if they choose to cover up the murder — at least, they can until some interfering busybody shows up (if you choose to have him/her/them show up). Great job, Elizabeth!

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