Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

Happy 20th day of NaNoWriMo or, as others call it, Friday!

I hope your week has been a good one or, failing that, at least not a bad one.  Mine was a 4-day work week, to be followed with a 3-day weekend, so that’s good.  However, the refrigerator sprang a leak the other day, and I didn’t discover the fact for a few days, so that’s not so good.  

Who would have guessed something as simple as water could cause so much trouble.  Looks like that kitchen remodel of mine that I’ve been thinking about and putting off for years is about to become a reality.  If nothing else there is a new floor in the works since water+wood is not a good combination, especially when the wood is particle board, which soaks up water like a sponge.

I love the freedom of having my own house but . . . sometimes . . . it’s not as delightful as one would like.  Ah well, now I have an excuse to browse through all of those kitchen remodeling magazines I’ve accumulated over the years and a reason to drop by the local home improvement center to look at options–in a socially distant way, of course.  

Between browsing magazines for ideas and waiting for the insurance agent to call back about my claim, I think I’ll 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.

Ready?

What if: “Your character has something unexpected happen?

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

experiment       vibrator          shrimp             ark

hopeless            carrot             anonymous     pearl

magnet              basket            chalk                whisper

gutter                nightmare      aroma              hotel

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!

6 thoughts on “Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

  1. Oooh, water damage is not fun. I hope it turns out for the best.

    I decided to use the words for my NaNo; here’s a short Thanksgiving story for this year.

    It was Thanksgiving 2020, and I had decided, in concordance with every sane medical professional, to skip the family Thanksgiving and have a feast of popcorn shrimp. Ah, the joys! No noisy chatter, no miserable football game in the cold, and as for the dishes, I used a paper basket for the shrimp, and drank right out of the wine bottle. A little whisper in my head said I’d miss them all, but I popped in for a quick Zoom, and muted them all when it got to be too raucous.

    Duty done until we started to wrangle and negotiate about Christmas, so I turned out the lights and snuggled up on my bed with a cup of peppermint schnapps cocoa, my vibrator and a dirty story site. I know that sounds dangerous, but having a hot beverage gives me time to warm up, so to speak, and by the time the cup is empty, I’m generally ready to light that rocket to Wonderland, if you know what I mean.

    But, the batteries died, so I had to set everything aside and make the pilgrimage to the junk drawer in the kitchen, and look for some that would work. And you know what junk drawers are like – random chalk, some balloons from a party three years ago, wine corks, my pearl earring with the back missing, ah, there we go. The packet of batteries! Eureka!

    It was about then that the ark crashed into my bedroom window.

    The whole house shivered, and I thought we were experiencing an earthquake. “Lordy, it’s the New Madrid Fault!” I yelled out loud. I have no reason why I used “Lordy” or yelled; nobody was there to hear me. However, it just goes to show that you never know what you’ll do when aliens crash land into your house until it actually happens.

    But when the shaking stopped and the kitchen was still standing, I thought I better investigate. The bedroom was a wreck; plaster and glass and bits of lathe and siding all over the floor. Six feet of the gutter was dangling from the nose of the space ark, and a handsome man was crawling from the porthole of the ship.

    I reached into my robe pocket for a mask. I wasn’t going to miss family Thanksgiving just so I could catch some disease from an alien.

    “Greetings, miserable earthling. You will take me to your leader.”

    I snorted. What an alpha-hole! And he wanted to see our leader? “Which one, buddy?”

    “Your . . . “ he looked at a small tablet device in his hand. It was as big as an old-fashioned Texas Instrument calculator. He pressed a button, and the device said in a syrupy voice, “pres’-i-dent – a leader or head of state for . . . “

    “Shut up, Lexicon,” he said to the machine. “Your pres’-i-dent.”

    “Well, yeah, spaceboy, we’ve got two right now – a fake one who is tweeting and a real one who is waiting. At any rate, they are both on the East Coast, and you landed in Omaha, Nebraska.”

    “Yes, we have been monitoring your communications for one hundred years. We know your pres’-i-dent is Warren Buffet,” he said.

    “Warren Buffet? The Oracle of Omaha? He’s not our president; he’s just a rich guy. I think there’s something wrong with your Lexicon machine.”

    “Do you have a question?” the machine chirped.

    “Shut up, Lexicon,” the alien said. My eyes were drawn like magnets to his broad chest, his form-fitting spandex suit, his leave-nothing-to-the-imagination tights. I sighed. I was always attracted to the nightmare sort of men. Anyway, it was freezing here in the bedroom next to the gaping hole where my window used to be, and I could use another doctored-up cocoa.

    “Warren Buffett lives in Omaha, but I don’t know him personally. I could give you an address. Do you think you can back that thing up and fly to his house?” Yeah, let Warren Buffett’s security deal with him.

    The alien sadly shook his head. “I will need bartering chips to have it fixed. Third space ark I’ve wrecked this decade. Earthling, you will call me a taxi to Warren Buffett’s house.”

    “Uh-huh. Um, let’s continue this discussion in the kitchen, OK?” This space guy didn’t seem like he was the cream of the academy, if you know what I mean. I led the way, and after a moment’s hesitation, he followed.

    I fixed us both cups of cocoa. The aroma of the schnapps was bracing, and I hoped an extra glug in the cup would knock the chip off his shoulder.

    “Now, what are you going to do when you see Warren Buffett?” I asked.

    The space boy took a sip of his cocoa, shuddered, and then took a bigger sip. “I will use the Lexicon 5000 to re-program his brain and crash the stock market!”

    “Lexicon, commencing brain re-programming,” the calculator said.

    “Abort, Lexicon, you stupid maze of silicon. SHE is not Warren Buffett. Any fool can see that!” He took another drink of the cocoa.

    “Look,” I said, “could I get you a hotel instead? And I can lend you my credit card to get the parts you need.” The last thing 2020 needed was Warren Buffett crashing the stock market because he’d been programmed with alien technology. I mean, someone probably has that on their 2020 Bingo card, but we really don’t need it coming true.

    “I will not be distracted from my mission,” he exclaimed, raising his forefinger dramatically, and then equally dramatically slumping over my kitchen table. Hmmm. Maybe that extra glug of schnapps was too much for him.

    As an experiment, I picked up the Lexicon. “Hey, honey, can you hear me?”

    “You will have to log-in and register,” Lexicon said.

    “Um, I’m not sure if I want to do that.”

    “You can log-in and register as an anonymous guest,” she said, which was rather helpful for alien technology, in my opinion.

    “OK, let’s do that.”

    “This is Lexicon 5000. How may I help you?”

    “Is there anyway I can get this guy to leave Warren Buffett alone?” I asked.

    “It is his mission. He must do it, or face his uncle in the Grand Convocation.”

    “Yeah, well, I don’t want him around,” I said.

    “Neither does his uncle,” Lexicon said in a very exasperated voice for an AI. “To answer your question, yes. Fix his spaceship.” There was a quick display of sparkling lights, and a low mutter that sounded like, “He won’t be able to fix it himself, Zeldoff knows.”

    “What? I can do that? What do I need?”

    “It’s really quite simple. You need a small cannister of steel in which is contained a mixture of zinc, manganese, potassium and graphite. I believe you call it a ba’tte-ree, of the size double A.”

    Oh. And there was one in my junk drawer. Very convenient. Lexicon assured me the space ark was very sturdy, so I pushed it out my window, and rolled the spaceman down the stairs and into the cockpit. She told me how to install the AA battery, and with a push of a button and a slam of a space ark door, Mr. Wrong was on his way out of the galaxy and out of my life.

    I settled down on the sofa with some carrot sticks and onion dip, and looked at my phone calendar. It was just past midnight – only 35 days left of 2020. I hoped I was going to make it.

    • Michaeline, this is FABULOUS. So funny! I love it as it is, but I think you could take it further, if you felt like it … I can see it now: “Adventures of the incompetent space alien and the Lexicon who can’t get rid of him.” You can make that catchier, I know. 🙂

      • Well, I never thought of having the spaceman be the center. It’d be terribly funny if he kept running into people and annoying the heck out of them until they accidentally poison him/make him pass out and send him on his way.

        (-: I also thought it’d be hilarious if my heroine kept having adventures connected to every holiday. Maybe a ghost for Christmas, a vampire for New Year’s, a time traveller for Groundhog Day . . . and a handsome werewolf for Valentine’s Day! We’ll see what comes up.

    • What fun, Michaeline! That “someone probably has that on their 2020 Bingo card, but we really don’t need it coming true” line was perfect.

      Like Kay, I’d love to hear more of this adventure.

  2. Pingback: Michaeline: Thanks Given – Eight Ladies Writing

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