Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

Well, another week is just about in the books and we’re getting ready here for a long-weekend and Labor Day.  Technically the holiday is a time to honor and recognize the American labor movement and the works and contributions of laborers to the development and achievements of the United States, but many view it instead as a celebration marking the end of summer.

Frankly, I’m just hoping it won’t be some kind of pandemic super-spreader event.

Fingers crossed on that.

I still haven’t managed to take my planned drive to the beach, what with the unhealthy smokey air still prevailing.  Perhaps in another week or two it will be okay plan an excursion.  I’ve still been going on my nightly walks, despite the less than optimal air quality, though working in the garden has been quite curtailed.  I did manage to clear a small patch of weeds the other day and plant a small flowering plant that had been living in my kitchen sink for a week or two.  I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to clear another patch of weeds and plant the companion flowering plant this weekend.  It will be nice to have use of my kitchen sink again.

Hardly an exciting holiday plan, but at least it will keep me out of trouble and make the backyard a little prettier in the process.  After that, I’ve nothing else definite on the agenda other than giving today’s writing prompt and random words at shot.

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 either today’s random words or writing prompt will catch your creative fancy.


What if: “Your character is considering pandemic dating?

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

fight                  poetry            carriage       bluntness

cricket               smooth          natural         hands

messenger        scenic             plant            aftermath

dilemma           charming        wife             serenity

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!

14 thoughts on “Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

  1. LOL, I just read a VERY racy Slate article about a certain sexual practice that is coming back — involving a wall with a hole. Apparently, the NYC’s department of health coyly suggested getting a little kinky with barriers, such as walls.

    A different Australian article quotes the NYC guidelines.

    “But the pièce de résistance of this post COVID-19 sex advisory is this horny little tidbit: ‘Be creative with sexual positions and physical barriers, like walls, that allow sexual contact while preventing close face to face contact.'” https://goat.com.au/relationships/sounds-like-post-covid-19-sex-is-going-to-involve-lots-of-glory-holes-and-masks/

    So, this little writing sprint might need extra imagination and some research, but our stories could be VERY much a Public Service Announcement.

    (And dating doesn’t have to involve sex, but that’s where my gutter-mind went first, LOL.)

    Hope your air clears up; maybe a nice gentle rain or two.

    • Oh, yikes. I was just sitting down to write the sprint, and now I feel a DOUBLE challenge. Well, I’m not writing sex through walls. My imagination is not fertile enough for that. In fact, maybe I won’t go for a dating scenario at all…

      • Oh, gosh, Kay! Sorry!

        That’s precisely why I try not to read the comments before I am ready to post my sprint. )-: So I wind up missing the fun many weeks because of my procrastinating nature and my good intentions to finish that bit and post it.

        Now I’m going to HAVE to write something so I can read your story and other comments!! (TBF, it probably won’t have sex through walls in it, either. I’ll save that for my Very Special Freebies section, LOL.)

        Now that I say that, all I can think of is ghosts having sex through walls. Blerg! Hoisted by my own petard!

  2. It’s going to be hot this weekend, Elizabeth! Don’t work too hard in the garden. 🙂

    Got the sprint done. There is no sex between walls. If I may say so, eew.

    The Music Room
    “You can’t put it there. Or anywhere.” Mario, my contractor, spoke with his usual bluntness. He could be so damn irritating at times. “Everything that makes that garden charming—that little scenic bridge, the plant life around the natural waterfall—it’ll all have to go if you want to put an auditorium in there.” He waved his hands around to illustrate his point. They were poetry in motion, even if they were destroying my serenity.

    “That’s a dilemma, then. I promised Dad and his new wife I’d fix up the carriage house for them. And put in the auditorium. Music room. Whatever. For musical evenings. By the time they come back from their honeymoon.”

    “Don’t blame me. I’m just the messenger.”

    I felt the fight leach out of me. This argument was one of many I’d had with other contractors, the aftermath of a landscaping job run amok by the previous owners.

    “You got any of that beer left?” Mario asked. “Let’s sit down and think about this.”

    Mario’s proactive energy was one of the reasons I liked him. I got the beer and we sat on the deck overlooking the garden as the sun went down and the crickets came out.

    “How about this,” Mario said a few minutes into a silent musing. “See that spot over there next to the rock garden? We level that out, nice and smooth. Maybe make a bowl, a terraced bowl. We put chairs out on the terraces. We won’t need a big crew for that. Everybody can hear.”

    I smiled into the darkness. “Mario, you’re the man of my dreams.”

  3. (I think I managed to NOT put a single word beside “wife” in the story . . . . Oh well.)

    “Frantiska. Tishie, sweetie, are you there?” Joe leaned against the wall, scrabbling at it softly with his roughened fingers. He didn’t want to pound, because They didn’t like it when he made loud noises. They had knocked him out with smoke, and who knew what They had done to Tish. At least They hadn’t been able to kick him and Tish out of their own home. They were still home.

    Tish moaned loudly on the other side of the wall.

    “Sky, did you hear that?” It was Her voice.

    “Oh, Taylor, baby, it’s just the wind. We smoked them out last night. Don’t worry.” That was Him.

    “Jesus, Mary and Josesph.” Joe groaned. “Tish, shhh. They can hear us. They’re in my room.”

    “Joe, honey, did you put something in those drinks last night?” Tish whispered. “My head aches something awful.”

    “No, sweetie. Remember? I’m the guy who was drinking with you.” Joe remembered. It was his wife Agnes who’d put a little something in both of their drinks, and that’s what landed them here.

    “Oh, yeah. Holy Saint Agnes. That hypocrite. She could have tried for an annulment.”

    They’d had this discussion too many times to count. Agnes’s baby would have come before the annulment went through. She’d had to marry dumb Frank soon, and her priest was too much of a “till death do they part” guy. Agnes took it seriously. Joe couldn’t help himself — he moaned.

    “Schuyler, I swear to god, if it’s not ghosts, then there are vermin in that closet. Maybe we need an exterminator.”

    “Babe, I’m on a video chat with Chicago. Just hold on a minute. Sorry, Van, I had to mute you. Go on.”

    “Oh, thank god. She’s leaving the room. Finally. Maybe She’s going out,” Joe said.

    Tish sniffed. “They haven’t left in weeks. Months, maybe. My sense of time has gone wack-a-doo in here, Joe. It feels like an eternity since we’ve had the place to ourselves.”

    “Can, can you come into the closet, Tishie?” The closet was the only place they could share, and even at that, it was a thin slice of closet, enough room for hands to touch hands, or for lips to kiss, but not much more. He hadn’t had his arms around her since Agnes had . . . he had to stop thinking like this. He’d moan, and They would do something. The problem was that She fancied herself a witch, but She didn’t really know what She was doing. But She was out of the room. And He was entranced with that little box he always had. Maybe He wouldn’t hear. Joe heard the front door shut. Maybe She was going out for groceries.

    “She’s gone!” Tish said. “Is it safe?”

    “He’s got those earmuffs on. I think so.”

    Through the wall came her hands, her face, her beautiful face. He did moan this time. Agnes had tried to destroy Joe and Tish, but it turned out, she gave them an eternity together. He kissed Tish gently. At least they were still together. Joe and Tish would get through this somehow. They always did.

  4. Pingback: Michaeline: Ghosts on the Brain – Eight Ladies Writing

    • I am going to have to (re?) read that one! I’ve missed a lot of Shakespeare because I tried it when I was too young. I think there’ve been some nice screen adaptions; I should check to see if I bought any during my last Shakespeare kick. I know I have at least two versions of Richard III that I haven’t watched.

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