Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

The end of another week already?  This one has sped by without my completing nearly as many tasks from my ToDo list as I was hoping.  On the plus side, I didn’t wind up adding too many new tasks to the list, so that’s a win . . . of sorts.

The focus this week has been on taxes (why yes, I did put them off for quite a while).  While the taxes themselves were fairly straightforward, the process of making sure I hadn’t overlooked anything meant I spent a fair amount of time sorting through all the papers on my desk and getting my files organized.  Sadly, it seems the last time I engaged in that particular exercise was just about a year ago.    Ah well, better late than never.

With the paperwork and taxes taken care of I can enjoy my day off work with a clear conscience.  Judging by the height of the lawn in the backyard, my day better include a little lawn-mowing.  After that, I’m planning on some dedicated writing time, starting out with either a run at the 200-word writing contest Kay mentioned yesterday, or an attempt at the random words below.  Whichever I choose, words on the page is my end goal.

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Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

A week ago, the sun was shining, spring had sprung, and I was getting my sprinkler system ready to go back into action.  Today, however, it looks like winter is not completely done with us just yet.  It’s been intermittently overcast and rainy most of the day and I’ve been quite glad I didn’t pack away the cozy blankets just yet.  Even the cat hasn’t wanted to go outside and has instead been curled up asleep on the couch for much of the day.

Since it looks like I won’t be working out in the yard on my day off tomorrow, I guess I better find something to do inside instead.  Fortunately I’ve got three stories just waiting for me to buckle down and get some words on the page, not to mention a set of random words to play with.  Writing will definitely be on my Friday agenda.

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Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

It’s another Friday and the end of another business trip.  Ah, I remember the good old days when traveling was only something I did for fun.  Now my schedule seems to be jam packed with conferences, working sessions, and (shudder) speaking engagements.  Obviously my cloak of invisibility has malfunctioned big time.  On the plus side, I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback, so there’s that.

This week’s trip wrapped up a bit early, which is a good thing since I forgot this Sunday is Easter.  I better add a trip to the grocery store to the schedule or we’ll wind up celebrating with left-over pizza and Kit-Kat candy bars.  Not that that’s bad, but I was kind of hoping for something a little more traditional.

Once I get back from the store I should have plenty of time to do some writing and get a good number of words on the page.

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Jilly: Sunday Short Story–Dr. Livingstone’s Redemption

Spring is here, at last! The snow has gone (sorry if, like 8Lady Michille, you’re still knee deep in the cold, white stuff), and every day gets a little brighter, a little longer. This is usually my most productive time of year, so I have high hopes that my right brain will emerge from hibernation some time soon.

To help things along, here’s a short story using Elizabeth’s most recent Friday writing cues. This week, she gave us the theme stuck in an airport, and these prompt words:

loudspeaker                seat                                smile                            chemical

contagious                   apparatus                     skyline                         robotic

pest                               cage                               memory                       limousine

cellular                          homicide                      plague                          fashionable

 

Dr. Livingstone’s Redemption

Dr. Jean-Xavier Livingstone, erstwhile homicide detective and current jack-of-all-trades, powered down his scanning apparatus. In the time it would once have taken him to wait for the elevator, he exchanged his lightweight suit for a pair of denim cutoffs, secured the old sugar mill that served as the terminal building, and headed for his boat.

There were worse places to be than stuck in an airport, if it happened to be on a private island owned by a reclusive photographer.

Minor downsides: the robotic announcements that issued from the single loudspeaker when a flight was expected; a faint chemical tang, courtesy of the recent pest control visit.

Minor upside: the fashionable women that emerged from the private jets, all designer-casual with their long legs, long hair and dark glasses as they undulated from ergonomically designed seat to dark-windowed limousine. Many of them offered him a smile as they passed, and their good humor was somehow contagious.

Better still: no cellular coverage, moody skies over mirror-smooth water that stretched unbroken to the skyline, and an old wooden cottage over the far side of the mountain, right on the shore. A shelf of books, half a bottle of old Clynelish, and some of the best fishing he’d ever enjoyed.

No rulebook to cage him.

No memory of past failures to plague him.

Best of all: nobody had died yet. And this time, he’d make sure nobody did.

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

By the time you read this I’ll have successfully (hopefully) made it through a business trip that included my having to speak in front of a roomful of business professionals.  I’m all about data, analytics, and storytelling.  People . . . not so much.

On the plus side, I’ll have spent the week at a hotel that claims to have a state-of-the-art fitness center, as well as a pool and spa, so my fitness routine won’t have suffered and I’ll have had a chance to do some relaxing after the torment presentation.

Now that I’m back, it’s time to unpack the suitcase, toss in a load of laundry, fill up my coffee mug and get some words on the page.

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Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

The clock may have sprung-forward this past Sunday, but the weather has definitely been wintery this week.  Luckily I took advantage of a break in the rain Sunday to get some much-needed yard work done.  Now I’m back to cuddling up in a cozy blanket and trying to make a dent in my TBR pile.

Yesterday I finished Death at Wentwater Court, a Daisy Dalrymple Mystery by Carola Dunn.  The story is set in 1923 England and is a fun, entertaining period-piece.  It was just the antidote I needed after exposure to too much current political news.  I liked the story so much that I went online and ordered the next in the series as soon as I finished reading reach “The End.”

While I’m waiting for my next Daisy Dalrymple fix I think I’ll take the opportunity to do a little writing of my own.  I have a scene in my Regency story that has been giving me fits, so I’m planning to do a little brainstorming and/or free-writing with today’s story prompt to get my creativity engaged.

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Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

Thursday was International Women’s Day, a day that commemorates the movement for women’s rights and celebrates the political, cultural, social, and economic achievements of women.  In case you are curious, it was also National Proofreading Day, World Kidney Day, and of course, Popcorn Lovers Day.

More importantly, at least for me, it was the end of a busy work week full of strategy, goal setting, and the annual performance review process.  Things went well on all counts.  In fact, I’m still reeling from hearing things like “dream employee” and “decisive leader.”  I’m thinking of having buttons made. 🙂

Now that Friday is here, it’s time to put away the work clothes, pull out my favorite writing shirt, and focus on getting some words on the page.  I have two characters stuck in a holding pattern while I’ve been trying to figure out how to escalate (and then resolve) their conflict.  I need to get that taken care of before they give up and wander off.

I’ll be kicking off my writing in the afternoon, after lunch and a little creative inspiration via a showing of Black Panther.

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), 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, maybe our weekly writing prompt will catch your creative fancy.   This week we’ve got a theme and some random words to work with.

Ready?

Here is today’s writing prompt:

Write a story that includes:  a time-traveler

And includes any (or all) of the following random words:

impulsive            minute                 crackpot               getaway

flag                        murky                   year                       distortion

gunk                      night                     locust                    battle

zebra                     time                      control                 buzz

Whether you’re sharing a bit of your current work or writing something fresh based on the writing prompt, we hope you’ll join us for today’s Story Time.

Happy writing to all!