Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

Welcome to the end of another work-at-home week.  The news has hardly been bursting with feel-good stories these days, but occasionally I’ll see a post or article that makes me smile.

One such post this week was NPR’s A Baaaad Crew Takes Over A Welsh Town: A Herd Of Goats article on Tuesday.  Apparently, the town of Llandudno in northern Wales–the streets stay-at-home empty of people–is now home to a herd of wild Kashmiri goats that have roamed down from the nearby coastal headland. The picture accompanying the article is sure to make you smile.

There have been other feel-good stories on the news, mixed in with the bad:  people providing food to the hungry, kids making masks to to donate, stores setting aside special hours for their more vulnerable shoppers.

These are interesting times.

I’m lucky enough to still be working–although from home instead of the office, and on emergent work instead of my usual projects–so things aren’t much different than they usually are.  Sure, grocery shopping is now almost a treat (I get to leave the house!), although there is that lottery-aspect (will there be any bread, meat, or [fingers crossed] paper goods?).  As a natural-born introvert, this should be right up my alley, and it is, except for that nagging worry about what’s coming next and how bad it will be.  Ironically, this is one time when I wish I didn’t really understand all those charts the health department is putting out.

For now, I’ll continue doing my part (stay home, wash hands, etc.), and take a break now and then to enjoy the fact that I can walk out on the back deck in the middle of the workday to enjoy the sunshine for a few minutes.  This evening, instead of watching the news, I think I’ll give today’s writing prompt and random words a try .

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Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

Just checking – everyone okay out there?

Things here at the Writing Castle are going well, except for the fact that I have been ingesting far more coffee than any one person should.  I might have to social isolate myself from the refrigerator or at least from the container of cold brewed coffee.

The (stale) fortune cookie I scavenged from the snack cupboard today said, “Now is a good time to explore.”  Obviously not a Covid-approved fortune, unless it is suggesting further exploration the snack cupboard for other forgotten treats.

For now, I’m alternating work (luckily I have a day-job I can do from anywhere), walking around the block (without coming in contact with anyone), and baking.  Right now there is a pan of sticky pecan rolls doing it’s thing in the oven.  Hardly health food, but definitely necessary for mental health.

Rather than continuing to refresh the Worldometers site for up-to-date virus statistics, I think I’ll take a break, enjoy a stick pecan roll (no coffee though), and give today’s writing prompt and random words a try after work.

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Elizabeth: Short Story Play Along

I didn’t get a chance to give Friday’s story prompt and random words a try until this afternoon, but I figured that it’s never too late.

My sprint-timer went off before I finished, so I’m hoping maybe someone else will feel inspired to add a little more to the story, like we did with the Scottish story a few months ago.

If not, I may have to see if this Friday’s words inspire some further action.

Anyway, without further ado, here is the start of the story of a character in week 2 of quarantine, including most of the words flavor, terror, meat, daffodil, deceit, doctor, captivity, playtime, crystal, graffiti, boredom, boast, hiss, casino, ammonia, and applause.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong

Daffodil Masters McWhorter blew an errant curl of auburn hair out of her eyes for the millionth time and dealt two more cards in her latest game of Casino.  It was week two of the nation-wide quarantine and she was miles beyond boredom.  No shopping.  No bars.  No friends.

Ugh! Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

Captain’s Starlog, Day 3 . . . wait, that’s not right.

Welcome to the end of a crazy week. It started slow and has ended up with the entire state of California in “time-out.”  I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard people reference the 1918 influenza pandemic (formerly known as the “Spanish Flu”).

Fans of numbers and charts are undoubtedly having a field day dealing with all of the data points floating around.  I must admit even I had a bit of fun (relative term) playing with one of the interactive “what if” scenario charts in one New York Times article.

When I haven’t been busy tracking the news, I’ve been busy trying to maintain a semblance of normal as my day job department has transitioned to “work at home.”  It’s not much of a change for me, since I periodically work at home, although there have been some drawbacks, like the fact that I looked up at 8:30 this evening and realized I should have stopped working hours ago.

Tomorrow I plan to do a better job of managing my work at home time.  If nothing else, I’d like to avoid another 8:35 dinner time.  Since it appears we’ll be trapped at home for the duration, I’m busy thinking about home improvement projects I can tackle.  If things go on long enough I’m pretty sure I’ll wind up painting the walls; that’s far better than climbing them.  I can’t help but think how ironic it is to be trapped at home during the one time when calling in all of the various repairmen I’ve been waiting to schedule is not an option.

For a treat, I think I’ll give today’s writing prompt and random words a try after work.

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Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

Well…this has certainly been a week, hasn’t it?

Folks with retirement in their sights could probably use a strong drink or two right about now, with the stock markets doing their best impressions of Olympic high-divers.

Travelers with plans for cruises or plane trips are probably busily reading the fine-print on their tickets and reeling from both a loss of cash and the loss of activities they may have been looking forward to and saving for.

Fans of baseball, hockey, basketball, and March Madness suddenly have a lot more free time but far fewer places to spend it, and I feel for all of the small business owners who make their living supporting the above sporting events.

St. Patrick’s Day parades, tech conferences, Broadway shows, museums–Disneyland for goodness sake–all have been either cancelled or closed for the foreseeable future in an attempt to damp down a virus that has the potential to continue to spread like an internet meme gone wild.

It’s hardly the stuff of a romance novel…or is it? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

Happy Friday and welcome to the end of another fun-filled week.  Well, perhaps fun-filled isn’t quite the word I was looking for.

It has certainly been a busy news week, what with the primary presidential elections here at home and and COVID-19 around the world.   It’s hard to tell at this point which one is having the bigger impact on the economy.

I can say that the virus is making itself felt at the day job – not because anyone is sick (knock on wood) but because we’ve all been “grounded” and several conferences have been cancelled.  I’m okay with the grounding, since it got me out of having to go to a big conference in Las Vegas, and hope my co-workers continue to remain healthy.

The stock market definitely seems to be upset about everything that is going on though, judging by the wild up-and-down swings of the past week or so.  Here’s hoping things settle down soon and we are all able to get back to our regularly scheduled lives.

While waiting for “normal”, I think I’ll take a break from following the news and give today’s writing prompt and random words a go.

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Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

Whew!  Remembered just in the nick of time that the end of the week was fast approaching.

In my defense, I’ve been off work for a couple of days and have completely lost track of what day it is.  The only thing I was absolutely certain of was that I had homework due by 11:50pm this evening (done!).

I had lots of plans for what I would do (or not do) in my time away from work.  Reading my ToDo list did not turn out to be one of those things – LOL!  Instead, I puttered around on a jigsaw puzzle; sat out in the backyard and enjoyed the beautiful weather; read a book; and took myself out to lunch.  Eventually, I did buckle down and do my homework, which I’m pretty sure means I deserve a treat.

I have one more day off left, although a small part of that will be eaten up by a webinar for work that I just couldn’t get away from.  After that, however, it’s nothing but good times.  I see pancakes, a good book, and plenty of  “doing nothing” in my future.

At some point, I also see a bit of writing mixed in there.  After all, uninterrupted writing time was one of the reasons I scheduled this time-off to begin with.  Should I manage to find both the time and the inclination, I’ll be giving today’s writing prompt and/or random words a try.

Care to join me? Continue reading