Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprint

Happy “Swallows Return to San Juan Capistrano Day” (if you’re reading this on the 19th). 

“The miracle of the “Swallows” of Capistrano takes place each year at Mission San Juan Capistrano, on March 19th, St. Joseph’s Day. Swallows migrate 6,000 miles from Goya, Argentina to San Juan Capistrano in large groups.  The town of San Juan Capistrano welcomes visitors from all parts of the world to witness the return of the swallows, a tradition that has been celebrated since the early 1930s.”

This holiday has always tickled me.  I picture the swallows with little calendars, checking off the days until it’s time to leave Argentina and fly north.   There may not be crowds celebrating this year’s arrival in San Juan Capistrano, but I hope the swallows arrive nonetheless.

Closer to home, I had plans to celebrate “National Relaxing with a Book Day,” since I have the day off work.  Instead, I’ll be taking the car into the shop for “Check Engine Light Day.”  Apparently the car isn’t happy that it has spent so much time just sitting in the driveway during the past 369 days of pandemic-stay-at-home.  On the bright side, the light came on when I was just taking a short trip to the grocery store and have a day off to deal with it, rather than when I was on the highway.  Still, not what I was planning to do.

Here’s hoping the problem is quickly resolved and I am able to follow through with the rest of my weekend plans.  After all, I have a pile of unread books awaiting my attention.

While I’m waiting for the car to be repaired I think I’ll grab my favorite notebook 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:   A Change of Plans

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

bewitching        loyal             hover           platonic

harbor               skyline         destroy        passenger

formula             aroma          ballet           acoustic

diamond            excuse          grin             festival

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 writing prompts.  Ideas are always welcome.

Happy writing to all!

One thought on “Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprint

  1. I hope you don’t mind me posting this. It’s not a writing sprint, but it does sort of link to a change of plan. It’s the final scene in Chapter 1 of the third book of the English Garden Romance series which i hope to release in a couple of months.
    Magda is Jonas’ daughter and she’s at his wedding to Sam Winterson. She’s thrilled they’re together but suddenly rather unsure at her place in the family. After waving off the happy couple, she’s hiding her insecurities by getting a little tipsy. Vincenzo is an unusually formal, rather cool Italian guest. It’s first draft, so forgive typos and spelling errors!

    Vincenzo took another sip of his drink and looked around the great hall at the guests, most of them dancing to an excellent band. His eyes focused on a chestnut-haired young girl in the centre of a crowd of people, one of whom was Connor McPherson. McPherson grinned at the girl, but wagged his finger, and she laughed, batting it away. McPherson shook his head and moved off the dance floor.
    Magda Keane was drunk.
    He considered his glass. Drunk was perhaps too strong a phrase. Certainly, she was happy. At least that was better than the tears he’d seen earlier. He’d known instinctively why she was upset – her father had just left with his new bride, and Magda had been afraid of being left out, forgotten.
    But although he hadn’t known Sam Winterson long, Vincenzo knew her well enough to realise that she had married Jonas Keane and his wilful, beautiful daughter as an inseparable package.
    His lips tightened. Magda was lucky. Not all second marriages made room for the children. He rolled his shoulders to release the sudden tension. Dio, he was looking forward to getting out of this suit and back to his tee-shirts and jeans.
    He looked back to the dance floor. Magda Keane had gone. His skin tingled at the memory of her, warm and soft against his body as he held her as she cried. He’d been startled at the tug of attraction he’d felt – he normally kept his emotions well under control. He searched the room again for the slender, vivacious girl.
    “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, already on high alert, was suddenly in the red zone and sounding the alarm. To dance with her would be out of the question, but here she was, grabbing his hands and pulling him to his feet.
    “Come on! You can’t come to a wedding and not dance! I’ll show you…” she turned so quickly she almost stumbled and his hands reached automatically to steady her, gripping her waist.
    “Oops!” she said with a giggle and turned to look into his face. There was a moment of complete stillness between them, and Vincenzo could hear the blood thumping in his ears. Without taking her gaze from his face, her lips parted and she raised her arms slowly around his neck; he felt her nails scraping the short hair at his nape, and she pulled him gently towards her. Her eyelids fluttered down over her extraordinary green eyes as her lips brushed his, light as thistledown. He thought he heard her moan, and a shiver of anticipation ran through him at the sound.
    He resisted for a second, but the memory of that soft moan seared on his brain in a loop, and he crushed her to him, fitting her slender softness against his hardening body. Her mouth opened beneath his kiss, and his senses roared as feeling swamped him. He couldn’t control his hands. They roamed up and down her back, fisted in her hair, cupped her face, and finally they rested on her hips to pull her even closer. She broke the kiss and sighed, her head falling back as if she was offering her throat for him to nuzzle, and abruptly, Vincenzo emerged from his fog of passion.
    With an iron grip, he put her away from him, breathing hard. Magda looked dazed.
    “Wha—?” She croaked, looking at Vincenzo with swollen lips. He could hear someone calling.
    “Magda! Are you coming? The bus is here!” Lisbeth said, oblivious of the previous two minutes. “Mags? Are you OK?” she added, looking curiously at the pair of them as she walked over with Magda’s wrap.
    “You should go,” Vincenzo said gruffly to Magda from a dry throat. He twisted his lips into a smile at Lisbeth, who frowned, then he turned on his heel and walked blindly away.

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