Elizabeth: Wednesday Story Short

Hi there.  Welcome to Wednesday and another story short.

This week we’re continuing the story that started last week.  Detective Cassie is undercover at Barnacle Bob’s Bordello and Steakhouse trying to find out who is stirring up trouble in town. Just as she was about to get some information from Nicolai Papadopoulos, this happened:

Nicolai fell forward, crashing into her. She smacked her head into something as she landed on the ground, his dead-weight on top of her. Her last thought, as the darkness closed in was that this wasn’t quite the scenario she had in mind when she fantasized about getting closer to Nicolai.

And now for our next installment, which used the prompts from a Friday Writing Sprint that included the words from the following list:  harpoon, confetti,, bubblegum, dalliance, anvil, witness, contradiction, ticking, riddle, incinerate, decode, and bluff.

I hope you enjoy it.

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The Saga Continues

“Get off me you big lug.” Cassie pushed at the beguiling testosterone based life-form currently pinning her to the ground. After a few tries she managed to shift him just enough to squirm free.

Once upright she tore off her dolphin mask, quickly regretting the sudden movement. Apparently Satan’s own blacksmith had been using her head for an anvil. “Ouch.” She gingerly felt her scalp. There was a sizable lump but, fortunately, no blood. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Wednesday Story Short

Hi there.  Welcome to Wednesday and another story short.

Today’s offering, which eventually evolved into a book, all started with a Friday Writing Sprint.  I’m now attempting to revise that book into some sort of reasonable shape, but it’s a challenge since the mystery can’t decide if it’s tongue-in-cheek or serious.  As you will see from the snippet below, there was nothing serious about how it all started.

So, without further ado, here is how Cassie and Nicoli first met at Barnacle Bob’s, based on the prompts from a Friday Writing Sprint, which included the words from the following list: salubrious, mythical, high-class, antique, glow, cosmic, costume, wholesome, photograph, barnacle, delightful, legendary, dolphin.

I hope you enjoy it.

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Barnacle Bob’s Bordello and Steakhouse

Cassie dug through the pile of shoes on the floor, searching for the just the right pair for tonight’s undercover assignment as the Dolphin Lady at Barnacle Bob’s Bordello and Steakhouse.

“Perfect,” she said, fishing a pair of green and blue sequined stilettos out from beneath a flip-flop and her old hiking boots. The shoes were just what she needed to complete her costume. She had fond memories of the last time she wore them, though her informer Snake would probably disagree since, in a pinch, the stilettos were detachable and lethal.

Though hardly a wholesome enterprise, Barnacle Bob’s was far from the least salubrious case Cassie had been on recently. She hadn’t exactly volunteered for tonight’s assignment. The costume fit, so the job was hers, simple as that. Better than being back at the precinct dealing with paperwork. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Wednesday Story Short

If this is Wednesday, then it must be time to share another story short.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m reading my way through a folder full of story shorts, written during the Friday Writing sprints–looking for laughs and also possible ideas for new projects.  Some of the sprint results were definite misses, but a few still manage to make me chuckle.

Today’s offering features an enterprising nanny and some troublesome employers.

So, without further ado, here is my short story based on the prompts from a Friday Writing Sprint, which included the prompt “Having poisoned the soup, a disgruntled nanny thwarts an assassination attempt“, and words from the following list:  corruption, severe, healer, aftermath, subsonic, photograph, memory, chamber, brainwash, furious, festival, autopsy, innocent, battle, zebra, panic.

I hope you enjoy it.

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The Perfect Nanny Handbook

Rule #14: Always leave a room in better condition than you found it. A messy room is the sign incompetence.

Frances tossed the handbook down on the table, successfully battling the urge to send it flying out the window, or better yet, directly into the shredder.

Obviously, the handbook author had never met the Smith Family, if that was in fact their real name. In the two months Frances had been acting as the combination housekeeper, cook, nanny, and Jane-of-all-trades, she had far bigger concerns than tidiness. Continue reading

Michaeline: Brainstorm Saturday

Imagination magazine cover, March 1955. A full robot with antennae and flashing lights helps a stylish young housewife in a red jumpsuit with her groceries, but manages to bash the eggs all over her floating maroon trunk (of her car). Lots of "Oh, no! Oh, no, no, no!"
Story seeds! Use your imagination, and pass on the ideas that are right, but not right for you. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

I’ve got a really cool video that just provokes all sorts of ideas in my head for stories. So, if you need a little bit of inspiration, grab a pencil and some paper, and try this:

  • Remember the rule is no self-editing. Jot down quick notes about what comes to you – edit your list later.
  • You don’t HAVE to like robots in order to get ideas from the video. You can pretend they are real people, and see what comes to you. (But don’t deny the weirdo SFF ideas, either – they may spark new ideas in your later.
  • Watch this video (“Do You Love Me?” Boston Dynamics, 2:54), and take notes:
4.
  • Aw, go on, watch it one more time and see what comes up.
  • Any ideas that seem kind of cool, but you have no interest in exploring? Share them in the comments below so someone else can run with them! Kind of like the Poughkeepsie Idea Service!

So, I’m going to share some of the ideas that came to me during this video. It really was inspirational. (And if you want to run with them, go ahead! What you do with these seeds is going to be completely different from anything I do with these seeds.)

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

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

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

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

I have lots of books to be read, stories to be written, and tasks to complete from my ever-expanding ToDo list.  Naturally, I decided to stop by the local craft store the other day, just to look around.  I didn’t need anything, of course, but they had yarn on sale and I found some that was pretty and super-soft (and did I mention on sale!), so naturally I had to get it.

That is why instead of reading or writing or doing, I’ve spent the last few evenings after work turning six skeins of pretty, super-soft yarn into a pretty, super-soft blanket, courtesy of my trusty “J” crochet hook.  Can a person really have too many blankets?  I’m hoping the answer is no, otherwise I might have to go into the blanket-fort-building business, just to justify their existence.

Anyway, the weather has taken a turn toward the chilly in recent days – perfect time to curl up on the couch with a my new fluffy blanket, a pot of tea, and get some words on the page.  I have a number of stories in progress, not to mention several shiny new ideas floating around, but I think I’ll start out giving today’s random words and writing prompt a try.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

There are currently six raccoons on my front porch – it looks like a mom and her kids – so fluffy!  That explains all of the thumping I heard in the backyard a few minutes ago.  I’m afraid they are destined to be disappointed, however, if they are looking for something to eat.  I’m pretty sure the skunk and the opossums cleared everything out when they stopped by a while ago. Meanwhile, my cat is sitting here on the other side of the screen door looking baffled.

Once the “Wild Animal Kingdom” portion of my day comes to a close, I’ll be curling up with a book and relaxing for a bit.  After that, it’s on to the enjoyment of a four-day weekend.   I’ll be kicking it off by sleeping in and enjoying a leisurely breakfast.  Once I’ve gotten that taken care of, I’ll be flexing my creativity-muscles by playing with today’s writing prompt and random words.

Care to join me? Continue reading