Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

I can’t believe I forgot it was Friday!

In my defense, I have the day off work today, so all I was thinking about was the various projects I would have time to work on (theoretically) and that I could sleep in instead of joining the commuter rush this morning. Sadly, “post” and “write” didn’t make it to the initial list.

Now that I’ve come to my senses – thanks to a jolt of caffeine – I’m rethinking my erring ways and making sure there’s a spot for writing on the list, right there between a trip to the hardware store and baking oatmeal pecan cookies. To get things started, I plan to warm up my creativity with today’s story prompt.

Care to join me?

For those of you working away on a story (whether a first draft or a polished version on its way to publication), we’d love to hear a bit – whether it’s a scene, a paragraph, or even a phrase that you are especially pleased with and would like to share.

If you don’t have a story in progress, or just want to work on something new, maybe today’s writing prompt will catch your creative fancy. Thanks to all who have been playing along these past few weeks – I’m always amazed with the stories that come out of a set of random words.

Ready?

Here we go:

This week we’re revisiting the story prompts from past weeks for those who didn’t get a chance to play along or had additional ideas to try. Here are our potential story starters:

 “After receiving a life-changing prophecy, a temperamental sculptor must decide between love and money.”

“After being left at the altar, a reformed hit man makes a deal with the devil.”

“When restoring an old house, a mystery writer finds a hidden passageway ”

“A scandalous family secret is uncovered during the reading of a will.”

Feel free to include any (or all) of the following random words:

innocent          corpse           vulture        haywire
poet                   estate            emerald     cheating
ballroom          serum            logical         blame
ornamental    hatchet         dove             warning

Whether you’re sharing a bit of your current work or writing something fresh based on the writing prompt, we hope you’ll join us for today’s Story Time.

Happy writing to all!

4 thoughts on “Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

  1. I think the only one I didn’t write a sprint for was this one, “A scandalous family secret is uncovered during the reading of a will,” so I went for that one. But I couldn’t fit in “ballroom” or “dove.” I challenge our readers (looking at you, Mickaeline!) to find a place in this story to stick those two words. Okay, here we go.

    The Unwanted Legacy
    The lawyer’s office was just as it should be: heavy and stern, dripping in dark woodwork and deep bookshelves, the ceiling and other visible plaster a dull emerald green. Aurora recrossed her legs, shifting on the ornamental and uncomfortable chair. The hatchet-faced Hon. Jones Meriweather Peabody III was poised over the folder resting on his mile-wide desk like a vulture hunched over a dead rabbit. Aurora assumed the folder contained not a dead rabbit, despite the appearances of the lawyer, but the last will and testament of Cousin Roderick, dispersing his estate to his long-lost and unloved relations. But she couldn’t be certain.

    The hatchet-faced Hon. Jones Meriweather Peabody III cleared his throat, obviously a warning.

    “The provisions made by Roderick McBean Batly will not seem logical to most of you,” he said in a tenor voice rich with vibrato. “I blame the psychotropics he ingested in his youth, which caused his neuroreceptors to—as we would say in the vernacular—go haywire. It’s either that or possibly the bee pollen/rattlesnake serum.”

    “I can’t rue it, ’cause I didn’t do it!” squeaked Fowler the Poet, also known as Dr. Pill. “I’m innocent!”

    Guilty, Fowler may not be, Aurora thought, but innocent he certainly is not. However, she didn’t want to get into splitting hairs over the morality of stealing bee pollen from creatures who did more for poetry than Fowler ever had, so she said nothing.

    “However these pernicious substances entered Roderick Batly’s system, and however they may or may not have done their evil work, resulting in the document I have before me, that is neither here nor there,” said the Hon. Jones Meriweather Peabody III. “I assure you, the will is perfectly legal.”

    Aurora glanced at her watch. She was pretty sure the lawyer was getting paid by the hour. So far, he was the only one making out on this will reading.

    “To begin,” intoned the Hon. Jones Meriweather Peabody III. “To my cheating ex-wife Claribel, I leave the still, cold corpse of my long-dead affection.”

    Oh, boy, Aurora thought.

    The lawyer droned on, and Aurora ignored him, thinking instead about what she could have for dinner that would be a suitable reward for this grim but pointless exercise, until she heard her own name pop up.

    “And to that blameless twit Aurora—”

    Caught between the pleasures of pork hocks with sauerkraut and beer or fettucine al fredo with a soft Beaujolais, Aurora jerked herself into attention.

    “—I leave my last and final abode, the Batly Home for the Insane, Deranged, or At Least Slightly Peculiar, with the proviso that before she puts it up for sale, she discovers the scandalous family secret that attaches to it.”

    “No!” Aurora said, interrupting the Hon. Jones Meriweather Peabody III. “I don’t want it!”

    “Too bad,” Claribel said. “I got stuck with that cold, dead corpse of affection, and let me tell you, sweetie, that ain’t no Spam in a can. Count your blessings!”

    “Here, try a yellow one, they’re always fun,” said Fowler “Dr. Pill” the Poet, solicitously holding out a tiny, compartmentalized box. “You’ll feel better, like a go-getter. I promise.”

    • Ha! Love everything about this, Kay. Very fun.

      If you were willing to use a shoehorn, you could substitute ‘dove’ for ‘rabbit’. Would a vulture hunch over a dead dove? If it found one, I’m sure it would. And in searching for scandal, Aurora could always start in the old ballroom…

      I started the will-reading challenge last weekend, with last week’s prompt words, before Life Intervened rather drastically. I’m currently finishing up my effort and will post it tomorrow.

      • Yes, those would be excellent substitutions! If I ever release the anthology of Friday writing sprints, I’ll make those changes.

        I’m worried about the drastic thing. Drastic things seem to be going around now. Buckle up and wear your helmet and kneepads, that’s my advice. Also, tea.

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