Elizabeth: Story Nugget – “A Recipe for Disaster”

A couple of weeks ago I posted the beginnings of a short story about Daffodil and her brother Mortimer, who were in the midst of week two of quarantine.  Kay added a bit more to the story in the comments and then I added a bit more last week.

I’ve grown rather fond of Daffodil and Mortimer, so when I took a look at Friday’s story prompt and random words, I thought I’d continue their story a little more.  You can read (or re-read) the beginning of the story, What Could Possibly Go Wrongin this post and part two, A Stranger Comes to Town in this post.

Anyway, without further ado, here is another bit of story featuring bread making and including (most of) the words pretend, monochrome, glow, copper, uprising, chemical, blood, victory, scheme, headstrong, fatality, hollow, debris, vision, burning, and pragmatic

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A Recipe for a Disaster

Daffodil Masters McWhorter blew an errant curl of auburn hair out of her eyes for the millionth time and eyed the charred lump on the countertop that was supposed to be olive walnut bread.

Frankly, it looked more like an over-sized hockey puck, and the debris-filled kitchen looked more like the scene of a recent disaster.

Which, of course, it was. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Story Nugget – “A Stranger Comes to Town”

A couple of weeks ago I posted the beginnings of a short story about Daffodil and her brother Mortimer, who were in the midst of week two of quarantine.  Kay added a bit more to the story in the comments, sending a very bored Daffodil up to the attics of the house for a little exploring, where she encountered what might have been a genie from a lamp.  When I took a look at Friday’s story prompt and random words, they seemed just right to use for continuation of that story.

If you want to read (or re-read) the beginning of the story, What Could Possibly Go Wrong, check out the Short Story Play Along post.

Anyway, without further ado, here is another bit of story featuring a stranger and including the words captured, wisdom, sparkle, sleep, home, barricade, glossy, ivy, headache, preserve, mistaken, ginger, blowgun, visitor, blubber, and raspberry.

A Stranger Comes to Town

Daffodil covered her mouth and nose to block out the worst of the smoke and blinked rapidly to clear her vision.

What the hell was that? Continue reading

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: Story Nugget – “The Pampered Playboy”

Although Friday was several days ago, our recent random words and story prompt were still on my mind today, so I decided to give them another try.  Kay turned them into a story featuring two great PR ladies on Friday and Jeanne followed up with a happy-ending story featuring Hermione the bulldog yesterday, so the bar was set quite high.  

Hopefully I’ve been able to do the prompt and words justice today.

So, without further ado, here is my short story based on the prompts from Friday writing sprints, in which the main character has to deal with a difficult client, including the words: moonbeam, undersea, bulldog, entertain , lonesome, miserable, facade, ambush, bluntness, cynical, wealthy, detox, grill , chain, audience, injury

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The Pampered Playboy

A lone moonbeam traced a path across the surface of the infinity pool while the glowing undersea grotto in the corner added eerie splashes of color.

Melodie “Bulldog” Henderson surveyed the area with an eagle eye as if she was searching for enemy combatants, then made a few notes on the clipboard she held in one hand before issuing a series of low-voiced orders into the cell phone in her other.

Despite her playboy client’s conflicting orders and continually changing plans, security for tonight’s entertainment would go off without a hitch under Melodie’s management.  

Or else. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Short Story – The Unexpected

The MacHugh saga continues.

It all started a few weeks ago when Jilly wrote a short story about Jordy MacHugh, a Canadian music teacher who inherits a derelict estate in the Scottish Highlands and decides to build an outdoor opera house by the sea.

I continued the story in Finding Home a few days later and raised the stakes by introducing Jenny, a tourist from Kansas, who discovers twin babies in a basket, courtesy of the mysterious MacHugh Blessing Stone.  Maeve, the local seer, pronounces Jordy, Jenny and the twins a family, but as Jenny observes (via Kay in her Friday writing sprint offering And Now, Twins), the whole setup screams Trouble with a capital T.

Jilly picked up the story again on Sunday and added some much-needed conflict in Challenge Accepted, As I re-read the entire saga, I decided I wasn’t quite ready to leave Jordy and Jenny to their own devices, though they may not appreciate the direction of today’s installment.

Without further ado, read on to find out what happens next. Using the prompts from Friday’s writing sprint – character(s) face a challenge – and including (most of) the random words: equipment, belly, aimless, baffling, noise, bloke, fuzzy, clever, beekeeper, footwork, glass, dream, corduroy, setup, lump and artist. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Short Story – Finding Home

Okay, technically these cliffs are in Ireland, not Scotland. Just pretend for now.
©Eldridge Photography

I loved Jilly’s short story The Laird’s Legacy using last week’s Writing Sprint prompt words.

Then I came across the picture to the left in an old post in my Facebook feed and I got the germ of an idea for a short story of my own.  As always, it took a slightly different turn than I had expected when I started out, but still I’m pretty happy with it.

Apologies to Jilly for summarily commandeering her characters and setting for my story – it just sort of happened.  🙂

Anyway, without further ado, here is a Jilly-inspired short story using this Friday’s prompts: a character who found something unexpected, incorporating the words basket, symbol, siren, bottle, freewill, baby, future, confusion, absurdly, little, grabbing, aroma, banana, vision, identical and robbery.

I hope you enjoy it. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Short Story – Hands Off!

Jilly has started a trend with her posts based on our Friday writing sprints.  I took her posting this past Sunday as a challenge to keep up with my own sprinting.  So here, without further ado, is a short story (that didn’t quite go the way I expected it to) about a character who was featured in a newspaper, using the prompt words bikini, flirtation, blowtorch, confidential, parcel, baptism, excuse, dishonest, lump, warning, needle, heavenly, twisted, mindless, fake and sky.

Hands Off!

Bleary-eyed and barely awake, Carolyn scanned the morning edition of the Capitol Gazette while waiting for the toaster and coffee-maker to finish their respective tasks. The heavenly scent of warm crusty bread battled with dark rich espresso and some other faint smell that didn’t bear investigating too closely.

The only investigation she was interested in at the moment involved General Blunderbuss and his wandering hands.

Capitol City’s latest entrant in the #MeToo Hall of Shame.

Years ago, back when she was just an entry-level law clerk, Carolyn had a number of run-ins with the General, who was one of her boss’ major clients. The General, who had only a passing acquaintance with morals and ethics, had an unfortunate tendency to confuse friendliness with flirtation.

Over and over and over again. Continue reading

Michaeline: A Love Story for Valentine Week

A stylish Japanese modern girl with a black bob, beautiful eyes and lips, and a stylish sheath dress. The art is titled "Tipsy".

Anna Kitt, on working holiday in New York City. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

Every love story has its conflict, and weak lovers can see it. Their love is paralyzed, and eventually stillborn as they realize just how impossible it is to love this person at this time in this place. But true lovers don’t see the conflict. Love is blind, you see. The lovers are like two cats in a bag, struggling against this unsee-able confinement, but together for as long as it takes to make peace with the bag or get out. That’s why when I saw Anna for the first time, I fell in love instead of running away.

I walked into that bakery in Korea-town, looking for a little something sweet on a cold February day, and I saw her by the pain au chocolat. Black bob, perfect cat-eye liner capturing dark brown eyes, and she was elegant in something black and floofy around the hips with a red fur stole over her shoulders. I reached around to take the last piece of ganache cream cake, when she grabbed my wrist.

“I don’t think you want that, mister,” she said. “It’s mine.”

My first instinct was to back up, stuttering something like, “Of course, madam” and scurrying away but then she gave me the side-eye, and then I saw those red lips, and something funny happened in my chest, and I said, “Why don’t we share it?”

She smiled, and that funny thing in my chest turned into a raging, roaring fire. “My name is Anna,” she said.

“Ray Perez,” I said, and almost kissed her hand before remembering what century I was in.

So, that’s how we wound up sharing a little rectangle of chocolate cake while Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

After Kay’s fun book cover post yesterday I spent more time than I’m willing to admit searching the internet for images for my own potential covers this afternoon.  Finding just the right image that will act as the perfect “invitation” for readers to pick up a book is even more challenging than I expected.

I’m feeling very creatively challenged right now.

Adding extra complexity to the process is figuring out a consistent style / theme to use for a multi-book series.   It’s almost enough to make me glad I don’t have a bunch of completed books ready and waiting for their covers.

Oh who am I kidding?  That sounds like a great position to be in.

Since that’s definitely not the case, and since I’ve finished the last of the ARCs pending in my reading queue, it seems like a good time to step away from the internet and get to work.  Before I go back to throwing obstacles in the way of Cassie & Nicolai’s happily-ever-after I think I’ll warm up my creativity with today’s story prompt.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

Friday already?  How did that happen?  I seem to have lost a few days somewhere along the line; I could have sworn today was only Thursday.  I blame it on the warmer weather and all of the turmoil in the news recently.

I’m afraid I’ve wound up spending more time watching and talking about the news recently than working on my writing.  Fortunately, we’ve got a holiday coming up in the middle of next week, which means a few extra days off work and at home, which should be the perfect opportunity to get some words on the page.

I think I’ll get things started right now by giving today’s writing prompt the old college try.

Care to join me? Continue reading