Happy 1st Friday in April. Are you as shocked as I am that we’ve already made it though a quarter of the year?
Seriously, has someone been playing with the calendar? The weather outside says it is clearly early January.
Anyway . . . .
There is an interesting article online at the Guardian today – Fifty Shades of White: the long fight against racism in romance novels. It’s long (as the title suggests), but if you’ve got some time, you might consider giving it a read. There’s even a quote in there from Pamela Regis from our McDaniel program.
One of my favorite lines from the article:
“You can relate to shapeshifters, you can relate to vampires, you can relate to werewolves, but you can’t relate to a story written by and about black Americans?” ~ Beverly Jenkins
While you’re reading, I’ll be going through my “saved links” on Facebook. Judging by what I’ve saved – pictures of chocolate bunnies, french onion grilled cheese recipe, Irish cream pound cake – I must always be hungry when I’m logged in there.
Once I’m done procrastinating It will be time to focus on getting some words on the page. I think I’ll start things off with today’s writing 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), if you’re not feeling random, 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, I hope today’s story prompt and/or random words will catch your creative fancy.
What if: “Your character got on the wrong train?”
Feel free to include any (or all) of the following random words:
honeymoon different smile rival
aftermath numskull bachelor statuesque
ankle headache bliss homicide
serpent moan acrobat impulsive
I look forward to seeing your stories in the comments. If you’re not feeling in the writing mood today, or don’t have time, feel free to post suggestions you might have for future “what-if” prompts. Ideas are always welcome.
Happy writing to all!
If a person married John Mergenthaler Hartshorn, one’s life would be filled with travel adventures!
“Honey, hurry!” Apolline Biggerstaff called as she struggled down the train platform with her suitcase. She was anxious to start her honeymoon with her husband of three hours, Bradley C. Shellaberger. She and Bradley C. had been dating for 22 years—Brad being reluctant to give up his bachelor status—but in an impulsive move, and in the aftermath of a twenty-five- year collegiate reunion that had resulted in a massive headache, he’d agreed to the marriage. It was either marry her or kill her, he’d said, not entirely joking. Apolline did not appreciate humor that involved homicide, but the offer otherwise appeared sincere, and so she accepted it.
Bradley C. was lagging behind—which Apolline hoped was not an indicator of their future wedded bliss—and the train was about to depart. She shoved her suitcase up into the carriage and put her foot on the bottom step. The gap was awfully big.
“Hustle it, sister!” a portly man, certainly not a gentleman, shoved her aside and leaped into the train car with a move that an acrobat would have envied. Apolline, propelled sideways, lost her balance and fell to the platform, twisting her ankle.
“Miss!” called the conductor, rushing up. “Are you hurt?”
“My ankle,” Apolline moaned.
“I saw what that man did,” the conductor said. “That behavior is lower than a serpent. Here, give me your arm. Easy does it.”
Apolline admired the conductor’s statuesque physique and strong arm as he gently lifted her from the platform. His face wasn’t bad, either—strong chin, kindly eyes, tousled hair.
“Thank you,” she said, testing her foot. “My—”
“Think nothing of it,” the conductor said with a smile. “Is this your train? Let me help you board.”
“Yes,” Apolline said, “but my husband—” and how strange did it feel to call Bradley C. her husband?
“Yes?” the conductor said. “Your husband? Is he on the train? Should I get him?”
Apolline looked down the platform. Bradley C. was nowhere to be seen. What on earth could have happened to him?
“I don’t see him,” she said. “We’re supposed to be on our honeymoon.”
“He probably boarded further down,” the conductor said.
“I bet he got on the wrong train,” Apolline said forlornly, realizing after 22 years, the truth for what it was. “He’s a numbskull.”
“He certainly is,” the conductor said.
Apolline blinked. It was different, in her world, for a stranger to agree with her in such strong terms.
“Let’s get you on board,” the conductor said, taking her hand. “My name is John Mergenthaler Hartshorn. At your service.”
Apolline’s heart melted. If Bradley C. ever did show up, he’d have a rival.
Those names are wonderful, Kay. One does have to wonder what happened to Bradley C., however.
(-: Most marriages preserve their fantasies at least for a few days into the honeymoon period. What a great short! She can probably get Bradley C. annulled.
P.S. That was a great article in The Guardian, Elizabeth! Thanks for posting the link.
Trains! I’ve got to slog through the internet for a couple more sites, but I love this prompt. (I love all of them, but I’ve been on trains lately, and they have not been the romance vehicles I’d dreamed of in childhood. I think I could take a fictional bite out of a train.)