Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

Happy Friday.  How was your week?

Mine was quite productive, despite losing a day and a half to a business trip.

Today was “Cleanup Day” at work – a day set aside for folks to get rid of unnecessary files – both of the paper and the electronic variety.

I don’t generally accumulate much at at work, but even I was able to reduce my paper files by half and to free up gigabytes worth of server space. My efforts were dwarfed, however, by those of some of my coworkers of the gold-medal level packrat variety.

No matter how much or how little cleanup was done, we were all rewarded with pizza for lunch.  Tomorrow people will be back to printing things out and filing them away, but for now we are all reasonably tidy and well-fed.

Now that the great cleanup is a thing of the past, it’s time for me to do some writing.  Since one of the things I unearthed during my cleaning efforts was an embarrassing abundance of blank notebooks, I’m thinking the least I can do is use one as I give today’s   story prompt and random words a try.

Care to join me?

For those of you working away on a story (whether a first draft or a polished version on its way to publication), if you’re not feeling random, we’d love to hear a bit – whether it’s a scene, a paragraph, or even a phrase that you are especially pleased with and would like to share.

If you don’t have a story in progress, or just want to work on something new, I hope today’s story prompt and/or random words will catch your creative fancy.


What if: “Your character lost something important?”

Feel free to interpret the “What if” any way you choose and include any (or all) of the following random words:

proud        plaid          thief        viper

whisper    drawer      crazy      disguised

deceit        fictional   ideal        sibling

insecure    nerve        garden   squirrel

I look forward to seeing your stories in the comments.  If you’re not feeling in the writing mood today, or don’t have time, feel free to post suggestions you might have for future “what-if” prompts.  Ideas are always welcome.

Happy writing to all!

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

Welcome to that transitional period between summer and fall where the stores are bringing out holiday merchandise while we’re all still in shorts and sandals.

It’s also that special time of year here in the Writing Castle when ants start coming out of the woodwork.


I don’t know if they’re thirsty or trying to get out of the heat, but they’ve pretty much laid claim to the kitchen for the last week or so.  I’m not a big fan of toxic chemicals – especially in the kitchen – so we’re pretty much at a stalemate.  I wash down the counters with soap and water every day and, as long as they don’t start expanding into other rooms, we’re okay.

If nothing else, having them around has ensured that I don’t leave any dirty dishes in the sink and that all the foodstuffs are sealed up and put away where they belong.  Maybe that is the purpose of the annual ant-swarm:  a cleanliness reminder.

Well, if that’s so, then consider me reminded.

I’m ending this week with a little rest and relaxation- a few days off from Ye Olde Day Jobe, where I have lots of “doing nothing” planned.  I checked email on my phone today about a dozen times so I still need a little help on that but I’m sure I’ll  I’ll do better tomorrow.

One thing I do have planned for my time off is a little writing, and I think I’ll kick things off by giving today’s story prompt and random words a try.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

This has been a short (thanks Labor Day) but tiring week.  It included, courtesy of Ye Olde Day Jobbe, a two day event at which I was a speaker.


I generally manage to remain behind the scenes, but being a subject-matter-expert, as well as having a manager who is convinced I need to “get out there more”, means I occasionally wind up standing in front of a microphone, staring out into a crowd, and desperately trying to remember what I was planning to say.  In a suit.

Fortunately, the talk went off without a hitch and I received enough positive feedback to convince me they weren’t just saying it to be nice.  I’d like to think this means I’ll be off the hook for a while, but I’m guessing that not how that works at all.

Ah well, at least it was a nice break from the typical day-to-day.

Anyway, now that the week is just about over (and because Jilly made a gentle suggestion in a recent post comment about my doing some writing), I think I’ll give today’s story prompt and random words a try and see where they lead.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

Welcome to the end of another work week.  Folks here are getting ready to celebrate the long three-day Labor Day weekend, which means the roadways will undoubtedly be packed during the Friday evening rush hour.

Sounds like an excellent reason to work from home.  Sadly, I have meetings in the office that require my physical presence.  Slipping out of the office early sounds good, but since traffic usually starts backing up around noon-time I’m thinking heading to the gym instead and then maybe to dinner in town sounds like a good alternative.

Fortunately, even if I wind up trapped in traffic I have the Hamilton soundtrack to keep me entertained.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to it since I bought it – only the first half though, since the second half is a tearjerker (at least for me).

Once I get home and kick off the weekend, I’ve got a whole lot of nothing planned to do.  Should I start to feel industrious, I have a giant TBR pile just waiting for me, as well as a new cookbook full of recopies that I’m eager to try.

I’m guessing I should at least make some attempt to be productive before I give in to my slothful nature.  Perhaps before I crack open the cookbook I’ll give today’s story prompt and random words a try and see where they lead.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

Another week has come to an end and I’ve spent the last couple of days covered in calamine lotion and surrounded by ice packs.

Apparently, when I was working out in the yard earlier in the week, every biting insect in the state confused me for an all-you-can-eat-buffet.   I am, of course, highly allergic to said biting bugs, so now I look like one of those warning posters from the dermatologists office.

I haven’t itched this much since my son passed along the chicken pox years ago.

Obviously it’s nature’s way of telling me I should hire a gardener.  Or maybe invest in some insect repellent.

Needless to say, I’ve been trying to distract myself.  I’ve listened to the first half of the Hamilton soundtrack half a dozen times (the second half makes me cry and I don’t need that); read two convoluted mystery stories, hoping that having to pay close attention would keep me suitably distracted (it did not); and taken numerous cold showers (brrrr!).

This too shall pass – right?

In the meantime maybe I’ll try distracting myself with some writing – perhaps a story where the insects of the world get what’s coming to them?  Or maybe I’ll just give today’s story prompt and random words a try and see where they lead me.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

I just saw a local weather map – apparently our country was replaced by a giant oven set on broil when we weren’t looking.

To make matters worse, my local Starbucks store was closed today for no apparent reason.

Definitely a sign of the impending apocalypse.

The poor cat keeps moving from surface to surface in the house, trying to find one that is cool.  The dog always choose to hang out in his wading pool on days like this, but somehow the cat isn’t interested in that option.  His loss.

Ah well, this too shall pass.

In the meantime, I think I’ll distract myself by doing some writing – perhaps  a story with an arctic setting?  I’ll give today’s story prompt and random words a try and see where they lead me.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

I can’t believe some kids have already started back to school this week.  Didn’t summer just start?

Next thing you know there will be winter clothes in the stores and holiday decorations on the shelves at Costco.

*checks ad for local store*

Oh . . . never mind.

Regardless of what season it may be, I’m sipping iced coffee and trying to decide which book will make it off the TBR pile and into the active-reading stage this weekend.

Sure there is yard-work to do, groceries to buy, and writing to do, but both the TBR pile and I could use a little slimming down.  For my part, I blame the donuts and root-beer float that were necessary to make it through this week at work.  The TRB pile, on the other hand, owes its growth to the recent RWA conference.

Before I get lost in a book (and forget about the yard-work and groceries), I’m going to make sure to get in some focused writing time.  I think I’ll start things off with today’s story prompt and random words.

Care to join me? Continue reading