Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

Happy Valentine’s Day or Galentine’s Day or Friday  or whatever your preference is.

I’m afraid the holiday has caught me a bit by surprise.  I usually like to do a little holiday-themed decorating, but this year the assortment of random sized and colored hearts never even made it out of the storage box in the garage.  To be completely honest, there are still a few random Xmas decorations up around the house.  Guess I’ll just go directly to Marci Gras or St. Patrick’s -whichever comes next.

Though I don’t have any Valentine’s decorations around the house, I do have my writing notebook and pen ready and waiting for me to put them to use.  I think I’ll start with today’s writing prompt and/or random words..

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Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

Happy Friday!

I don’t know how you spent your week, but I spent mine at an environmental conference in Arizona where it was surprisingly chilly.  My hotel room got down to 60 degrees before I finally found the heater control.  Thank goodness for fuzzy bathrobes and down comforters.

The conference itself was great, although like all environmental conferences I’ve been to, the tone did tend to fluctuate between “it’s too late, the world is ruined beyond repair” and “we can fix this!”.  Fortunately, there was excellent food to compensate for the emotional ups and downs and I had a great time using my fancy new work title. Really, it’s amazing how much enjoyment I get out of that.

Now that I’m home and unpacked, it’s time to get back to work.  I had a new story idea while waiting at the airport today, but before I dive into that, I think I’ll give today’s writing prompt and/or random words a try to warm up my creativity.

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Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

Welcome to another Friday.  Hope your week has been a good one or at least a trauma-free one.  Mine had a very busy start, but is having a relaxing end due to two days off from work.

Part of my “follow-through” goal this year includes following through on scheduling, and more importantly taking, days off work on a regular basis.  An unfortunate Catch-22 situation about having been at a company for a long time is that you tend to earn a lot of paid-time-off, but it can be very difficult to ever take any of it.

A recent New York Times article touted the benefits of time off (see quote below), so I’m doing my best to change my long-hour-working ways and start building time off into the schedule.  I’m feeling more creative already!

“[time off] literally makes us more creative, better at problem-solving, better at coming up with creative ideas.”

Now that I an well-rested with two fun-filled days of doing virtually nothing under my belt, I’m going to take advantage of my increased creativity and give today’s writing prompt and/or random words a try.

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Jilly: Sunday Short Story–Claws and Effect

It’s a treat to be back in discovery mode, trying to get to some traction on a new story. I’m not there yet, but I think I’m getting close.

In an attempt to maintain my creative momentum, here’s a short story based on the prompts from Elizabeth’s Friday writing sprints, in which the main character makes an unfortunate discovery, and including the words collar, gum, confidence, assassination, flawless, pill, cardio, dart, strange, tiny, balance, coat, hollow, bayonet, affair and guidebook.

Claws and Effect

Xavier the Chemist was free. None of us could believe it.

The Agency boys and girls had played strictly by the rules. Permissions, documentation, evidence, charges, their work had been flawless. They’d built a watertight case against Xavier with painstaking care and they didn’t even get their day in court. A sleazy lawyer, a crooked politician, a few million in used notes, and the entire team was suspended without pay pending an official investigation.

Xavier’s PR firm had a field day, deploying a lethal combination of money and influence in a supremely confident no-holds-barred attempt to bayonet the wounded. He owned the front pages, news websites and social media, demanding an apology and nation-bankrupting damages. Questions were asked in the House.

The bastard was untouchable now. And that meant more good people would die.

Like hell they would. If arrest and imprisonment couldn’t keep us safe, it would have to be assassination.

For the Agency, the law was a straitjacket. For us it was more of a guidebook.

Tomorrow Xavier would disappear beyond our reach, escorted on to his private plane or his armored superyacht. Tonight he was within our grasp, sleeping off his exertions after a torrid twenty-four hour affair with an oligarch’s spoiled daughter.

I opened the door of our nondescript trailer and watched Shadow dart outside. The tiny wildcat shifter was my preferred partner and for her this was personal. Some of Xavier’s deadliest concoctions targeted the shifter community.

I adjusted my headset and took my seat in front of the video screen. If we were lucky, my job would be to watch, listen and chew gum until my jaws ached. If not…

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Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

Welcome to Friday – also known as Day 3 of the prosecution in the president’s impeachment trial.

What fun!

If you had told me months ago that I’d be spending time glued to coverage of the trial in the Senate, I’d have called you crazy (and maybe suggested therapy).

And yet, here I am, spending far too much time with the dial tuned to the news.  I’m sure the Hallmark channel is devastated by my current lack of viewership.  Hopefully their WinterFest will survive without me.  The fate of democracy, however, isn’t quite so secure.

With the trial in recess for the night, it’s time for me to do some work on my To Do list.  First up is giving today’s writing prompt and/or random words a try.

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Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

Friday already?  How did that happen?

This week didn’t include much writing outside of the day job, but I did do a great job on my “get rid of one thing every day” goal.

At the end of last year Michille posted about the successful completion of her 2019 goal to basically “get rid of stuff.”  Inspired by her resulting empty drawers and clean mudroom, I decided to adopt the goal for 2020.  I don’t have a mudroom, but I’m visualizing a tidier garage and maybe some empty dresser drawers too.

It’s currently day 16 and I’ve already gotten rid of close to 100 items.  True, many of them were holiday decorations that hadn’t been out of their boxes for years, but I’m pretty sure they still count.  Next up is the household-goods cupboard in the garage.  Since I’m pretty sure I have pots and pans out there that came from my parents house, I’m sure to find plenty of things to part with.  I’m visualizing an empty shelf in my future.

Now that I have my tidiness goal well underway, it’s time to turn my sights on writing.  I think I’ll start things off by giving today’s writing prompt and/or random words a try.

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Jilly: Sunday Short Story–Early Resolution

It’s been an…interesting…start to 2020. I spent most of my time this week on a couple of real life challenges, with periodic breaks to catch up with RWA’s implosion. All of which left me feeling grumpy and sad, with zero new words on the page.

So in an attempt to cheer up my Girls and gain a bit of creative momentum, here’s a 500-word story inspired by Elizabeth’s Friday Writing Sprints, in which a character makes an unusual resolution, and featuring the prompt words courage, anchovies, beard, canvas, heaven, honest, hideaway, diva, guru, harlot, fool, garden, pearl, crimson, blossom and smile.

Here goes!

Early Resolution

It must have been the anchovies.

The last Katie could remember, she’d been in a blossom-festooned canvas marquee in a walled garden in a smart part of London. Crimson-robed staff had served exquisite bite-sized nibbles as the Guru spoke passionately of courage, and love, and the path to heaven.

She’d felt a little light-headed. One of the assistants had helped her outside into the fresh air. And now here she was in some mystery hideaway, sprawled on a gold upholstered sofa wearing nothing but a crimson thong and her faux pearl earrings.

At least now she knew what had happened to her sister. Lucy was a gullible idealist, but she was an honest fool, unlike these charlatans.

Were there hidden cameras in this place? Scanners? It seemed all too likely. Katie raked her hands through her hair and dragged them over her face, running her fingers carefully over her earrings. So far, so good.

Voices outside, low but getting louder. Male. At least two.

Decision time.

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