Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

Happy “NaNo-is-just-about-over” Day.  I don’t know about you, but it is often the day that I do a search-and-replace in my manuscript to spell out all of the contractions I’ve used, just for those few extra words needed to put me over the finish line.

Just me?

Ah well, it’s all a process.  If you’ve been NaNo-ing, congratulations; whatever your final word count is and how ever you got there.  As long as there was writing involved, I’m pretty sure that counts as a win.

In between working, writing, reading, and – to be honest – a fair amount of staring off into space, I’ve been cooking and baking and slowly putting out the holiday decorations.  It feels a little early, but I know the time will rush by when I’m not looking, so I figure early is better than late.  No Christmas tree yet though.  Not only is it still a bit early for that, but all of the neighborhood tree lots seem to have disappeared – victims of building that’s going on in the area.  I’ll have to do some searching this weekend, otherwise all those strings of lights and boxes of ornaments are going to look pretty strange just piled up on the table.

But that’s a problem for another day.  Today’s goal is to get some words on the page (and not just blog post words).  We’ve been having rainy weather that’s perfect for curling up on the couch and being creative.  Before I tackle my WIP though, I think I’ll give today’s story prompt a try.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Story Time and Sprints – Recipie Edition

Happy Thanksgiving, or for those of you not located in the US or not celebrating, Happy Thursday.  Hope you have had a good week as we start that accelerated slide towards the end of the year.

I have been off work for the entire week – yay! – which should mean I’ve done lots and lots of writing.  Sadly, that appears not to be the case.  On the plus side, I did get the outdoor holiday lights put up (before the rains started up), the kitchen cleaned, and an excessive number of books read, so I’m considering the time to have been well spent.

I do feel compelled to attempt to put at least some words on the page before I have to head back to the office though, so I’m going to give today’s writing prompt the old college try.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

Happy (almost) Friday.  For those of you NaNo-ing this month, we’re more than halfway through which, if all is progressing as it should, means a word count of over 25,000.  Quite an achievement.  Some of us (*cough, cough*) may not have been quite that successful thus far, but sometimes it’s about the journey, not the destination.

Speaking of destinations, if California is in your travel plans, you may want to reconsider.  The state is still on fire and the air smokey, even outside my office window,  although the closest fire is over a hundred miles away.  If you know any good rain-dances, maybe now would be the time to give one a try.

I have one more day of work to finish up before kicking off a full week off.  Yay!  Not only will there be Thanksgiving turkey somewhere along the way (and maybe pecan pie if I’m really lucky), but I’m expecting to get a lot of writing done, since I’ll be staying indoors where the air is a little clearer.  Always a bright side.

Before I dive into my current manuscript, I think I’ll start things out by giving today’s story prompt a try.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

Do you hear that?

It’s the sound of the phone not ringing and no one trying to tell me who or what to vote for; one of the many great things about our current election cycle finally being over.  Well, technically, it’s not completely over, there are still a few races that are too-close-to-call and lots of other drama still going on, but at least the ballot-casting part of the process is done.

The races are all decided here in my area of the country, which is good since the state seems to be on fire again (still?), so people have more immediate things to focus on.   I’m thinking a mass rain-dance might be helpful, or maybe we could tip the country just a bit so the rains from the east coast could drain over here.

The fires are nowhere near me, but the air is very smoky here.   It probably didn’t help that there was a car on fire on the side of the road when I was driving home this evening.  It definitely seems like a good time to stay inside and curl up on the couch with the cat, a cozy blanket, and some coffee and do a little writing.  Since I seem to have written myself into a corner in my current manuscript, I think I’ll try to shake some creativity loose by giving today’s story prompt a try.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

Happy Friday and, if you’re participating, happy NaNoWriMo Day 2. How’s that word count going?  I’ll be NaNo-ing this month, as I have for the last several years, but I won’t be starting until the weekend, once my work-day brain has had a chance to recover from a long, crazy week.

Besides being the start of NaNo, we’re also in the final days of the current election cycle, which means non-stop ads for and against the candidates and propositions. My mailbox has been filled for weeks with contradictory flyers telling me who and what to vote for.  Talk about creative writing.

I’ll certainly be glad to have that over and done with, though I’m both eager for and dreading the actual election. I’m hopeful about the results but, since the world seems to have taken a turn for the crazy in recent years, I worry my hope might be misplaced.

Fortunately, I’ll get an extra hour of sleep this weekend where I can dream about happy-ever-afters, thanks to the beginning (end?) of Daylight Savings time. (Coincidentally, that is one of the items on the ballot next week).

Before I take advantage of that extra hour for sleep, I need to get 1,667 words a day on the page. Before I do that, I think I’ll give this week’s story prompt a try as a little creative-writing-ice-breaker.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Jilly: Were There’s a Will–Sunday Short Story

Last weekend I was part-way through Elizabeth’s short story challenge when I was struck down by a surprise health problem. All’s well now, I’m glad to report, but after three days of blood tests is it any wonder my story brain turned to vampires and werewolves?

Better late than never. Here are the prompt words, and my attempt:

A scandalous family secret is uncovered during the reading of a will, using the words

Eternity                     Teeth                          Grasp                         Poison

Land                           Cocoon                      Blankly                      Haunt

Capture                      Booze                         Casket                        Faint

Bluster                      Shake                         Nerve                         Awful


Were There’s a Will

Annabel McCallan-Whyte stared blankly at her rapacious baby brother. She understood all the words he used, but for a moment or two there she’d failed to grasp his meaning. The sheer nerve of him made her shake with rage. Grandpa was barely in his casket, and Jonathan was already peddling his unique brand of poison.

“A private golf club? Conference facilities? A helipad? Luxury housing? It’s beyond awful. Grandpa would haunt you.”

Jonathan shrugged, but his eyes slid away from hers.

“Come on, sis,” he wheedled. “This place is huge. What else would you do with a hundred acres of prime development land?”

“Give it to the village,” she shot back. “That’s what Grandpa wanted. Use the house for a community center, like they’ve been doing for years.”

Jonathan shrugged again. “So buy or build them one from your half of what this place is worth.”

Luckily the door opened before she could brain him with a priceless Benvenuto Cellini candlestick. She knew old Mr. McLeish, who’d been Grandpa’s lawyer for as long as anyone could remember, but the curly-haired, smooth-faced young guy with him was a stranger. Probably born in the twenty-first century, or at least the very end of the twentieth.

The new kid wore a sweatshirt, a slouchy hat and a broad smile, none of which seemed remotely appropriate given the seriousness of the occasion. Mr. McLeish didn’t seem to mind, but she sent the young man a stern glare. He winked at her.

“Who’s that?” Jonathan glowered at the boy, his face dark with suspicion.

“All in good time, Mr. McCallan-Whyte.” The lawyer shuffled to his usual place at the end of the dining table and set a slim file on the polished walnut. The mystery kid helped him settle into his seat, and then parked himself in Grandpa’s carved chair at the head of the table, where he slouched, entirely at ease.

It was too much to bear. Annabel almost reached for the candlestick again, but something in the boy’s expression made her think better of it. She knew she’d never met him before, but there was something terribly familiar about the way his cheeks dimpled, as though he was enjoying a private joke at their expense.

Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

I can’t believe I forgot it was Friday!

In my defense, I have the day off work today, so all I was thinking about was the various projects I would have time to work on (theoretically) and that I could sleep in instead of joining the commuter rush this morning. Sadly, “post” and “write” didn’t make it to the initial list.

Now that I’ve come to my senses – thanks to a jolt of caffeine – I’m rethinking my erring ways and making sure there’s a spot for writing on the list, right there between a trip to the hardware store and baking oatmeal pecan cookies. To get things started, I plan to warm up my creativity with today’s story prompt.

Care to join me? Continue reading