Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

This has been a short (thanks Labor Day) but tiring week.  It included, courtesy of Ye Olde Day Jobbe, a two day event at which I was a speaker.


I generally manage to remain behind the scenes, but being a subject-matter-expert, as well as having a manager who is convinced I need to “get out there more”, means I occasionally wind up standing in front of a microphone, staring out into a crowd, and desperately trying to remember what I was planning to say.  In a suit.

Fortunately, the talk went off without a hitch and I received enough positive feedback to convince me they weren’t just saying it to be nice.  I’d like to think this means I’ll be off the hook for a while, but I’m guessing that not how that works at all.

Ah well, at least it was a nice break from the typical day-to-day.

Anyway, now that the week is just about over (and because Jilly made a gentle suggestion in a recent post comment about my doing some writing), I think I’ll give today’s story prompt and random words a try and see where they lead.

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 had to unexpectedly give a speech?”

(Wonder where that idea came from?)

Feel free to interpret the “What if” any way you choose and include any (or all) of the following random words:

present          executioner       funeral         criminal 

downfall        costume             brave             fathead

moan              convulsion         blip                bright

charming      hurdle                getaway        cheerful

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!

7 thoughts on “Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

  1. Congratulations on getting through you talk with flying colors, Elizabeth!

    A Blip on the Horizon

    Sheila Blip checked out her costume, a bright and cheerful dirndl outfit of unknown provenance. She’d prefer to duck the whole presentation thing and make a fast getaway, but that fathead Major Oglesby would make a federal case of it if she did.

    “That outfit is criminal,” moaned her friend Donna. “You’re very brave to be associated with it.”

    “It’s about to send me into convulsions,” said Pips critically.

    “Don’t be ridiculous, girls,” said Sheila’s mother, Betty Blip. “It’s a charming costume, just the right note to persuade the wholesalers to buy more of our organic, long-aged, hand-cured, extra-extra-extra-sharp Cheddar.”

    “You want to go out there looking like that, it’s your funeral.” Donna, the eternal pessimist, now sounding like the executioner eager for Sheila’s downfall. “You’ll melt down in the heat, I bet you anything.”

    “I can do this,” Sheila said, smoothing her skirt and checking her hair and makeup one more time. “As Miss Cheesehead of 2019, it’s my responsibility to be cheesy wherever I go.” She picked up the microphone, ready to leap any hurdle a wholesaler might throw her way.

    She took a deep breath and parted the curtain. It was showtime.

  2. Blip. Blip. Blip.

    The election administrator tapped the microphone and cleared his throat. He had the tight-jawed expression of a man determined to see an unpleasant task through to its conclusion, like an executioner presiding over the final downfall of some hardened criminal.

    “Ladies and gentlemen, the votes of this constituency have now been counted and recorded.”

    The candidates stood on the stage in a kind of self-selected pecking order: mainstream candidates in their wedding-slash-funeral suits and party rosettes front and center, minority parties and protest candidates relegated to the wings.

    “Did you write a speech?” Tall Tim from the High & Mighty party asked out of the corner of his mouth.

    Bozo rolled his eyes. “Of course not.”

    “No time like the present.” Tim elbowed him in the ribs. “You’ll feel like a fathead if you have to wing it.”

    “You’re not going to win, Tim, and neither am I. I’ll probably lose my deposit. It was worth it to make my point.” Bozo indicated his costume. Stripy trousers. Oversized shoes. White-masked face and cheerful painted smile. Bright red nose and matching wig. “If we’re going to let a bunch of clowns run the country, we might as well do the job properly.”

    “Jones. Blue party. Six thousand, one hundred and ninety-six.”

    “Smith. Red party. Nine thousand, two hundred and three.”

    A horrified moan rose from the red section of the crowd as they realized their candidate had managed to fritter away one of the largest majorities in the history of politics. Smith pasted on a brave smile, but his Adam’s apple bobbed in an apoplectic convulsion.

    “Hughes. Yellow party. Twelve thousand, five hundred.”

    “One more hurdle to clear.” Tim ’s face split in an enormous grin. The man was charming, but at that moment, Bozo wished he had a custard pie to hand.

    “Tallman. High & Mighty party. Eighteen thousand, four hundred and sixty-two.”

    “Ha!” Tim had to shout as the crowd began to laugh, and then to cheer at the top of their lungs. “Where’s that getaway car when you need it?”

    “Mister Bozo. Political Circus party. Ninety-six thousand, eight hundred and—”

    The joke was on him.

    And he was going to have to make that speech after all.

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