Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – What Unites Us

To counteract the negativity that seems to have become a permanent part of the daily news cycle, I’ve been reading journalist Dan Rather’s new book What Unites Us recently.  I’ve been enjoying both the emphasis on constructive patriotism, principles, and values as well as the idea that our nation has faced difficult times and risen to the occasion in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

I think the quote below from early in the book gives a good sense of the tone of the piece.   It feels quite hopeful, which is very appealing.

 “It is true that that news headlines often paint a dark and dispiriting picture.  But in every community, on every day, there are so many who choose to do the right thing.” ~ Dan Rather

Now that I’ve stepped away from the news and had my positive thinking adjustment, it’s time for me to do a little writing; preferably something light-hearted or maybe holiday themed.  Since I’m not exactly sure what I want to write at the moment I think a little Random Word Improv will be a good way generate some new ideas.

Care to join me?

Whether you’re knee-deep in holiday preparations, enjoying the first snow of the season, working away on your current manuscript, or just looking for a distraction, 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 doing my writing with the Christmas tree glowing nearby and a cozy blanket on my lap.  Settle into your own favorite writing spot and join me.


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 random words – can’t wait to see what stories you find hidden in the list.

guide            reflection         freedom             history

hope             pageant             cherish               winter

rattle            sleep                   amusing            celebrity

ankle            frog                     kingdom           eruption

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.

2 thoughts on “Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – What Unites Us

  1. You can call me Orf – my big sister couldn’t say my given name, and my parents, upon reflection, regretted saddling an American kid with such a moniker. I’ve always been Orf.

    And now, I’m sitting at a children’s Christmas pageant, waiting to see my first wife, the witch Rosamunde. Rosamunde had remarried an occult celebrity about 15 minutes after our divorce was final, and was now herding her adorable pair of twins through the dressing process. They were apparently winter fairies, and the whole thing involved costumes, tights and a lot of glitter. She was done, though, and came back to me, sparkling.

    “Well, you’ve really done it now, haven’t you?” Good old Rosamunde, never one to miss an opportunity to stab a guy in the heart. “Gone and fallen in love with the Plutocrat’s girl. Has the frog prince even gotten a kiss yet?”

    I blushed.

    “Oooh,” she said. “A kiss and about three sleepovers, I’d guess. Come on, Orfie, you always fall for what you think a girl is all about. Is it worth breaking into the Plutocrat’s penthouse to rescue her?”

    “I can’t write without her, and Dizzy’s got me under her thumb. If I don’t write an epic poem by New Year’s Day for Dizzy to present at the Gates, she’s going to squash me like a bug.” I didn’t want Rosamunde to know just how crazy I was about Yuri; Rosamunde was hard enough to bargain with when the stakes were low.

    Rosamunde laughed.

    “I’m glad you find it amusing. Look, if you can’t sell me 10 grams of belladonna, then okay. I’ve got other sources.”

    “Keep your voice down. There are kiddies around,” Rosamunde growled. She looked around the room, and seemed satisfied that no one was paying us any attention. She slipped a baggie out of her purse. “For old times’ sake, Orfie. And what’s next on your list?”

    “I have to go see a spirit guide about a rattle.”

    “There’s a shaman down on 42nd Street. You know the place?”

    “Yeah, I know it.”

    She brushed a little lint off of my collar, then looked deep into the onyx of my tie-tack. I recognized that unfocused gaze – she was seeing something in the darkness of the stone. “Orfie, it’s going to be a long trip. Ask the shaman about Tootsie Schumacher. Something about tap shoes. And when you get that Yuri out of the penthouse, you’d better cherish her for herself, not just for the words she inspires in you. She loves you.”

    Her eyes came back into focus. “Now, get out of here, you oaf. The show’s about to start, and they bar the doors during performances so the parents can’t escape.”

    I kissed her on the cheek. “Thanks, Rosie. I knew you’d come through.”

    “Make it out alive, Orf. The world needs more poets and lovers.”

    I nodded, and squeezed out of the hall just as the doors were closing. Next up, the shaman for the magic rattle that would put the Plutocrat’s three dogs to sleep.

  2. Pingback: Jilly: Till Death Do Us Part–A Winter Short Story – Eight Ladies Writing

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