Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

Welcome to the end of a week that feels like it has lasted for an eternity.  I haven’t watched the news or even turned on the television set since the election started here in US.  The brief results I heard from friends or via Facebook posts I didn’t scroll past fast enough left me feeling heartsick about my country.

The ongoing pandemic, which is surging ever onward and upward, isn’t our only sickness.  Racism.  Hatred.  Greed.  Ignorance.  Gaslighting.  A me-first attitude (and screw everyone else).  The country has those diseases too, and there isn’t a vaccine, let alone a cure, on the horizon.  I knew those things all existed, but I thought they were in ever shrinking pockets of people, and on the way to extinction, rather than flourishing and growing.  The tunnel vision of privilege combined with wishful thinking.

I spend the time in my day job working on issues of equity, diversity, sustainability, and inclusion.  Looking at the way my fellow citizens have voted on the issues and people put in front of them during this election, I feel like I’ve been working on a completely different planet.  Thus, I’ve skipped watching the news and tried to remind myself that the arc of the universe does tend toward justice; that there are good people out there doing good things; and that life is a marathon, not a sprint.

NaNo started on Sunday, but I just haven’t been able to face putting words on the page.  Instead, I’ve read my way through Golden Age mysteries like they were going out of style, watched amusing animal videos, and crocheted one blanket and started on another. 

My 30-days-of-NaNo will start on the 10th.  In the meantime, I’m going to do my best to focus for just a little bit and give give today’s writing prompt and random words a try.

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 running away from something?

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

adventure      volcano           mouth            bigwig

canvas             martini           favor              couple

cable                clinic                wasp              riddle

sugar               careless           recluse          diva

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!

5 thoughts on “Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

  1. OMG, Elizabeth! My character IS running away from something! I’m writing short stories for NaNo; usually, my stories can be written in a day (several hours) or two, but with all the stress and doomscrolling, it took me three days to finish the first one (approx. 2000 words). This second one is going well enough, but I just can’t put all the words in; still averaging 750 words a day . . . which is better than nothing!

    Surprisingly, the NaNo stats tell me that at this rate, I’ll finish in early January (like the 2nd, I think!). It’s given me a completely different perspective on time and storytelling. Kay has said at least a couple of times that writing 500 words a day will get you where you are going eventually, and intellectually, I understood that. But seeing the finish date was amazing. The old lightbulb went on in my head.

    I better get some words in today, LOL. I’ll see if this list of triggers help move the story along, since I’m already writing to the theme!

    (For the curious: Tabby Kate, a lounge singer from Space Station Nine in the Orion system. Her boss has a new girlfriend, and wants to kill Tabby Kate and “tidy her up,” but Kate hitches a ride on Captain Greebo’s space freighter and . . . . We’ll see what happens!)

  2. My character is running in two directions – towards her chance to show how good she is at her job, and away from a man who could prove a major distraction.

    This is a bit of the first chapter, set five years before the main story:

    “Hey – looking for me?” said a husky voice by his ear and he almost jumped. Magda was standing behind him, leaning on a chair back. The neck of her gown, which looked demure enough when she was standing upright, gaped slightly, and he could see the swell of her breasts. He breathed in deeply.
    “How are you?” he said formally and stood up. Anything to avoid looking down her dress.
    “I’m just fine and dandy,” she beamed, as if she’d read his thoughts. “But why are you over here, all alone? Come and dance!”
    She was definitely … what was the English word? Ah yes, she was definitely tipsy. He shook his head and lied through his teeth.
    “I don’t dance.”
    She looked genuinely shocked.
    “You don’t dance? But that’s ridiculous!”
    He shrugged, and breathing in, caught the faint scent of her perfume and his body was suddenly on high alert. To dance with her would be out of the question, but here she was, grabbing his hands and pulling him to his feet.

    I’m doing NaNoWriMo lite, given my workload at the moment, with a friend, where we nag one another at the end of each day about our word count. I’m not writing thousands of words, but I am writing some – which at my current level of knackered-ness and all the noise from both US and the UK, seems an achievement.

    • Thanks for stopping by and posting today, Sara, and for the phrase “current level of knackeredness”. I will definitely need to fit that into a conversation today.

      Glad to hear you are able to get some words on the page, even if it’s not the amount you wanted. That is definitely an achievement.

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