Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – Brand New Year!

stopwatch graphicHappy New Year!

Hope you are enjoying the first day of your brand-new year.

Thanks to all who participated in last week’s Short Story Writing Challenge. Everyone did a great job incorporating the random words in really fun stories. If you missed them, check out: Bunny Blavatsky Arrives in New York, The Libertine’s Legacy, Lost Hearts in Copenhagen, The Trip, A New Year of Possibilities, and The Wizard and the New Year.

After reading those I bet you wish you could try your hand at your own story. Well, lucky for you, it’s time for some Random Word Improv to make sure our creativity stays in top form for a new year of writing.

Plus, it’s fun, and who doesn’t want that?

In honor of the New Year Continue reading

Elizabeth: A New Year of Possibilities – A Short Story

© Eldridge PhotographyHappy holidays! Here is my contribution to the Eight Ladies  2015 Short Story Challenge.  I hope you enjoy meeting Maggie and George as much as I did.

* * *

Maggie knew her time dating Antonio, aka the Manhattan Casanova, was limited, she just hadn’t realized their relationship was over until New York fashion week rolled around.

Gabriella had big dark eyes, legs that went on forever, and a long, thin neck. It was no mystery why she was nicknamed The Giraffe, especially in the leopard print gown she was currently modelling.

Rumor had it Continue reading

Justine: Short Story — The Trip

Happy holidays, everyone! This is my contribution to the Eight Ladies 2015 Christmas short story challenge featuring words from Elizabeth’s writing sprints holiday edition. I find it interesting that all of our stories, while using the same words, go in such different directions! As this is my first foray into short storytelling, I’m a bit anxious, but I hope you enjoy it!

giraffeFaith lay sprawled on her back across her bed, staring up at the enormous stuffed giraffe that had been parked in the corner of her matchbox-sized room since she was five. Probably time to trash it. But it was the only thing she still had from her daddy. Momma had tossed everything else he’d ever given to her when she found him in bed with that skanky waitress. Faith had begged and pleaded with Momma to let her keep the giraffe. Momma agreed, but she didn’t like it. Mamaw and Pappy were never so glad as when daddy left. Pappy even fired off his shotgun several times in celebration.

But his leaving had broken Faith’s heart. And Continue reading

Nancy: Lost Hearts in Copenhagen – A Christmas Vignette

Danish Christmas Hearts

Danish Christmas Hearts

Happy holidays, all! This is my contribution to the Eight Ladies 2015 Christmas canon featuring words from Elizabeth’s writing sprints holiday edition. I’m picking up Nicky O’s story, the day after his arrest in Copenhagen Blues, which you can read here. It just so happens that this day is Christmas Eve, the main day of celebration in Denmark, and things are looking up for Nick. Or are they? (And sorry about the dead body, Elizabeth.)

The sun was setting over a misty Copenhagen on Christmas Eve. Smoldering streetlamps and twinkling Christmas lights cast equally eerie glows over the deserted streets on this high holy day of family celebrations. The rhythmic rocking of the nearly-empty mass transit bus made Nick Olesen’s eyes drift shut.

He’d spent a long, sleepless night in a police station cell and had only been released two hours earlier, after the seemingly airtight case against him for murder had fallen apart. The lead detective, who also happened to be Nick’s married lover, had whispered to him on the way out the door that she’d explain it all later. He hated himself for hanging not on her promise to explain how he’d just beaten a murder rap, but on her word that she’d sneak away from her husband to meet with him sometime over the holiday. Continue reading

Jilly: The Libertine’s Legacy – A Christmas Short Story

Girl in a Red DressFive minutes to midnight. Soon the church bells would ring out across Soho to herald the arrival of Christmas Day, but for now the heart of the city lay silent. Everyone else was long gone, which was exactly the way Faith wanted it. The door was locked and the phone disconnected. This was a private celebration.

She’d set the table for one. Silver cutlery gleamed on freshly laundered damask. Caviar glistened in its crystal bowl and angels on horseback sat perfectly aligned on a porcelain plate under a shining silver dome. On the carved sideboard a two-tiered antique china cake stand held bite-sized slivers of New York cheesecake and miniature caramel-glazed eclairs.

Three minutes. Faith lifted the bottle of Dom Perignon out of the silver ice bucket Continue reading

Michaeline: Bunny Blavatsky Arrives in New York

So, here’s my rough draft for a little story of how Bunny got to New York City on Christmas Eve, brought to you through the magic of Elizabeth’s random word generator!

1898 train advertisement with a young mother, her husband, children and a family come to meet them in a horse-drawn sleigh. Christmas Greetings is the banner.

Bunny was not quite so comfortable on the train. She could scarcely contain her excitement about moving to the big city. (I found this at The Old Design Shop. http://olddesignshop.com/2012/12/lake-shore-michigan-southern-railway-christmas-ad/)

I don’t recommend arriving in New York for the first time on Christmas Eve. The train is packed with holiday excursionists, the hansom cabs are taken, and there is no room in the inn, no matter how much money you have. And I didn’t have a lot.
And let’s not even talk about the ghosts. Ah, Christmas Eve, when the veil between the world of the living and the dead is very thin, and the holidays wears everyone’s tempers even thinner. All of the love, the heartbreak, the celebration and the sheer life of the living draws them nearer.
I found a warm drugstore, and was sitting at the counter, slowly drinking my cup of hot coffee, wondering how I was to find a place to stay on Christmas Day, when a drugstore-casanova came in. Oh, he was ready to help me find a place to stay! Such a masher. The ghosts of three poor girls clung to him. They looked like immigrant girls who had caught some sort of consumption. The poor dears were in love beyond the grave.
A rush of patrons flooded into the store, and a soprano voice from heaven commanded the masher to “Move on out, Dooley. You should be ashamed to break hearts tonight.”
She was a red-headed goddess, and I could see the traces of stage make-up around her eyes. She extended a hand. “Sarah Kelso. You look fresh off the boat!” Continue reading

Elizabeth: 2nd Annual Christmas Week Short Story Challenge

stopwatch graphicWelcome to another edition of Friday Writing Sprints here on the blog. It’s time to wrap up another week and, for those who are so inclined, enjoy another Christmas. Whatever you are doing today, I hope you are enjoying it.

Curling up under the blankets with a good book sounds like a nice way to spend part of the day, but before that, it’s time for some Random Word Improv to make sure our creativity stays in top form to be ready for any writing goals that might be planned for the upcoming New Year.

Plus, it’s fun, and who doesn’t want that?

Last year at this time Continue reading

Michaeline: How Bunny’s Camera Became Magical

She saw through the veil, until a curse ripped it away and showed her the terrifying realness of the world. (via Wikimedia Commons)

Miss Cook lived well into her 80s, never looking a day older than she did that Christmas Eve in 1898. (via Wikimedia Commons)

My dayjob has kept me busy all week long, so we are celebrating Christmas today at my house. Turkey dinner, buche de noel, and maybe we’ll even get around to the presents tonight. From my house to yours, most joyous holiday greetings! For you, here’s another installment in our Derbyshire Christmas Series.

The Return of Mr. Glossop

The music room was ready for the seance; the dearly departed Mr. Glossop’s prized rhinoceros head gazed phlegmatically over the scene below. Colonel Black firmly ignored the stuffed beast and gave his cameras a final check. With any luck, they would capture Mr. Glossop’s image, and the all-too-material Mrs. Glossop would fund his society for psychic research. The cameras were primed, and gelatin plates waited below for the cameras’ reloading. Black shivered. Snow was falling again.

Miss Cook drifted in, a cloud of white muslin shod in woolly slippers to ward off the drafts. “I see they have followed my directions perfectly.” She stepped lightly into the magic circle of thirteen chairs and wafted into the club chair at the head of the table.. Black saw her check the mechanism that would lift the table into the air. Continue reading

Kay: ‘Twas Daybreak on Christmas

Sleigh-Silhouette’Twas daybreak on Christmas, and all through the hall
All the servants were stirring, for tonight was the ball.
The Yule log was laid and the mistletoe hung,
In hopes that Sir Darcy’s fling would be flung.

Miss Lizzie still nestled all snug in her bed,
While nightmares of family danced in her head.
But Mary and Kitty, and Lydia, too,
Argued at breakfast about whom Darcy would woo.

Continue reading

Elizabeth: The Christmas Wager

db_Christmas_Traditions0056“Oh, Papa, what have you done now?” Charlotte asked her father as he sat at the table calmly eating his Christmas pudding.

He raised his head and peered at her over the top of his spectacles with a frown. “What have I done?”

Charlotte pointed to the man standing in the doorway. “Lord Bickershaw has your note of hand for this house. He claims he won it from you.”

“Oh. That.” Lord Atherton sighed. “Meant to tell you about that, my dear.   I was testing my new mathematical theory–“

“By gambling?” she interrupted.

He rubbed his forehead as if trying to erase a bad memory. “I don’t know where I went wrong. Things were going splendidly all evening, then all of the sudden they took turn for the worse.” Continue reading