Elizabeth: Friday Year-End Writing Sprint

It’s New Years Eve as I write this, so I have a few more hours to post one last writing sprint for the year.  Thanks to all who participated in our recent annual Short Story Challenge and our Friday sprints throughout the year.  I’m always amazed at how we can all take the same words / prompt and come up with such completely different results.

I’m sipping champagne as I write this post–having my own personal New Years Eve celebration.  The neighbors are apparently trying to make things feel more festive by shooting off massive fireworks from their backyard.  I’m hoping the rain kicks in before they manage to light the hillside or themselves on fire.  Mother Nature is also adding her two cents, with a 3.6 earthquake just a few miles away.   This has been the longest year ever.

I’m going to need more champagne.

And maybe some noise canceling headphones.

My house is currently sporting several massive drying-fans, thanks to a minor kitchen flood a few weeks ago.  I feel like I’m living inside of a jet engine.  Chunks of my hardwood floors–that took me forever to install–have been mercilessly cut away to get to the wet and mold beneath.  Ugh.  On the plus side, the insurance company has hired professionals to do the restoration.  Also on the plus side, there is now no more reason for me to put off the kitchen remodel that I’d been thinking about for years.  Fingers crossed on that.

This week’s random words were culled from various internet lists of “most popular words of 2020” that I encountered while I was roaming around the internet recently.  It seemed a fitting way to wrap things up.  Once the clock ticks down on 2020 and it is officially 2021, I’m going to put down that champagne and 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.


Prompt:   It’s a Brand New Year

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

doomscrolling        bubble              zoom               Covidiot

Quarantini              malarkey          blursday         kraken

schadenfreude       lockdown         pod                   mask

unprecedented       wildfire            essential         virtual

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!

3 thoughts on “Elizabeth: Friday Year-End Writing Sprint

  1. Elizabeth, you have had a terrible year. But even though the kitchen nightmare is awful, you’ll be really happy with the remodel. When it’s over, that is. The champagne seems like a good idea. Keep up the good work! And, for my part, I got all the words in. 🙂

    The Plan
    “I’m taking Quarantini for a walk,” Flannery called out, although she knew it was pointless. Balthazar would be oblivious, doomscrolling on his new iPad or maybe complaining to his new Zoom buddies. Either way, it was Blursday during lockdown, and she was sick of it.

    She clipped the leash on Quarantini, her Christmas gift to herself, and lead the enthusiastic pooch out to the sidewalk. A vigorous afternoon walk, that’s what Balthazar needed, not a virtual experience enhanced—or otherwise—by Kraken and Coke.

    “That’s just malarkey,” she muttered, leading Quarantini briskly down the street.

    “Why the schadenfreude, neighbor?” Emrys Jenson looked up from his pruning, his mask slipping below his nose. Emrys lived in the comfortable belief that if he kept his shrubberies chopped down, the wildfires that ravaged their county with unprecedented ferocity essentially every year would pass him by. So far, the fires had spared them, but Flannery thought privately that this circumstance had nothing to do with Emrys’s shrubberies.

    But Emrys was a good friend and close neighbor, somebody she had admitted to her and Balthazar’s pod. Emrys’s wife, Cookie, however, was a Covidiot and banned even from their front patio.

    “It’s not exactly that,” Flannery said. “It’s just—”

    “Trouble in the bubble?” Emrys asked, pulling up his mask.

    “The worst,” Flannery said. “But I have a plan.”

    • I knew you could do it, Kay. Good job. I love the “trouble in the bubble” phrase. I’m definitely going to wok that into some future conversation.

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