Monthly Archives: June 2012

Choose the Adventure!

I have been thinking (yeah I know it just happens) – since all of these official and semi-official writing challenges (such as Lance‘s 100 word song; ideas can be inspired, like Ms. ODNT’s brilliant one, which I entered) around our mutual circles inspire us so much, I should think one up as well! That might be a challenge unto itself, since I would be giving orders instead of taking them. An idea came to me, and I would like to give it a try!

Here’s the deal. I am asking YOU to help build a story! For that I will need a some information, just a few words on each topic:

  1. A character, object or other noun
  2. Another character, object or noun
  3. A location (time or place or both)
  4. Conflict/plot line
  5. Genre (horror, comedy, mockumentary)
  6. Word limit (100-700 words – up to about 1 typed page)

Leave your ideas in the comments below.

Together, these can be the criteria for the story. It sounds easy enough, why not throw a twist in there?!

Sure thing! What I will do is, collect all of your suggestions, put them on slips of paper, and by topic, place them in a hat and draw one. That will ensure that the story could be incredibly random, and more fun! The more of you who suggest, the better! It will be like Build-a-Bear except no adorable hats (except the one I draw from). Or better yet, Frankenstory! Which also reminds me that this idea needs a formal name!

A few small rules; topics need to be semi-SFW. You can suggest up to two ideas for each topic. Picking an incredibly random numbers of words within the limits is fine.

Challenge begins…NOW! I’ll take topics until 8pm Sunday night (since is it not yet football season, and I stopped watching the Simpsons years ago). I will do the drawing and post what topics were chosen. I will then post the story by Tuesday morning. (I will set a more concrete time frame soon!)

Make sure to check back – because I’m throwing another in another twist!

This first run was to be an experiment, but I’m going to dive right in. You know what they say, if you dish it out, you better be able to take it. So I am going to pick a second set of topics, and assign it to one of YOU! Eventually, I might arrange it so that everyone who submits a set of topics will be given their own random idea set. The same rules will apply.

Thank you in advance for your participation!


Filed under Creative Writing, Writing, Writing Challenges

Trifecta #33_3/ Grieving

This Week’s Trifecta has three prompts/challenges. This is the third. I posted for the second, just click back one, and enjoy both! (Yes two posts in one day!)

Write a 33-333 word response to the song featured below. (The Smashing Pumpkins “Thirty-Three”.) There are no other requirements for this prompt. Just use the song to inspire a creative response.

The mid-late 1990’s saw the highs and lows of The Smashing Pumpkins. Their songs saw me through my own such times.


Six- thirty felt like midnight, the day already having been a slate shadow, muting even the home team’s crimson and white. Steve pulled the scarf tighter as he made his way through the throngs. Thick beards kept men warm, and doubled as disguises. Then again so did scarves; his subterfuge was complete.

Crossing the last street, he made it for one more trip, his duck / weave tactics still sharp. The Tankard still stood, not having been looted, defaced or the green and blue flag burned. It was the perfect place to not be found. He pulled open the heavy wooden door and stepped inside.

Warm air was the only greeting. Every eye watched the flat screen TV, set to the Archers- Crusaders game, now in the closing minutes. The Archers were not the home team here. Had they been, Steven would have been recognized faster, having graced local sports covers and young athletes’ hearts for a long time. Not anymore.

The bartender glanced his way and shook his head perceptibly. Steve sat down at the stool that had his ass imprinted in it. Without psychic powers, the man found and filled a familiar highball glass. He set it down before Steve.

“What’s new Greaves?” Charlie asked.

“This,” he answered, pulling several folded pages from an inner jacket pocket. “Article in the Sunday insert.”

Charlie kept his gaze on Steve. “Seen it already. The Top 10 Heros to Zeros. You’re #3.” Earlier, someone else had tacked the story up in the bathroom; he had torn it down.

“Yeah, too bad it wasn’t me who died, I coulda made the top spot.”

The patrons began counting down, “3…2…1…fuck yeah! Crusaders the fuck out!” Another heap of blame. Had the paper waited a day, they could have bumped him up.

“’Scuse me, Greaves.” Charlie walked to the crowd, pausing for a bottle and a line of shot glasses. “We did it, fellas!” He set up the drinks, saluds all around, while Steven drank alone.


Filed under Creative Writing, Trifecta Writing Challenge, Writing, Writing Challenges

Trifecta 33/ZB 14 – Rack ’em Up

This week; Trifecta has three challenges. This is the second.
Write a 33-333 word response using the third definition of the following word:

score (noun)
3 a : an account or reckoning originally kept by making marks on a tally
b : amount due : indebtedness

Please note that we need you to use the singular, noun form of the word. Also, the word score must appear in your response.

I am looking to get last minute on all three, hopefully I can. I will say that just this one will be ZB-related. Let’s see exactly what Allen had planned…


As the action unfolded on screens across the country, some viewers cursed disparaging advice from the isolating comfort of living rooms, others cheered him on in taverns, still others shook their heads as he ruined the betting lines. The one thing they shared was the obsession.

Allen had no idea of his ‘following’, and was only acutely aware of his mental abacus clicking away. Staying alive was slightly more important than the score. For now.

He trotted down the street, the barrel of his rifle trailing smoke, his right hand still tingling with the pulse firings. The GPS did its job perfectly; after a quick side trip to his truck, he looked down the street towards a familiar building. Pulling out a pocket mirror, he attempted to reflect the sunlight in its direction. After a moment, he received a similar reply; it didn’t need to be Morse code, and it gave better tidings than a bullet would have. The metal garage door opened slightly, enough to crawl under, and he sprinted directly to it, checking both ways for zombunnies (or traffic). His sense that something was following was confirmed as a bright purple egg bounced at his side and behind. Ignoring it, he skidded under the door and barely felt the explosive concussion as the corrugated metal slammed shut.

* * *

“So, a prodigal son returns,” Echo stated to Allen and the congregation. “We watched the footage of your daring escape earlier and more recent progress here. We’ve refused more recent visitors, but considering your help settling our differences with the Hare Band, you deserved a second chance.”

“I do appreciate it, and…”

“Is this new bravado based on your sister’s ordeal, or your own? It’s become confusing watching both.” Echo gestured to several televisions broadcasting different shows. Allen watched Emma busily working in a lab alongside others, a clock ticking down across the bottom of the screen. On the other screen, Allen watched himself, live, his kills updated in real- time.


Filed under Creative Writing, General Nerdliness, Horror, Humor, Sci-fi, Trifecta Writing Challenge, Writing, Writing Challenges, Zombie Bunnies

Trifextra Challenge 22 – Sunny Side Up

This week we’re revisiting an early Trifextra prompt: retelling. This time, we’re asking you to retell your favorite book. In 33 words. Nothing like a challenge. We are sure you’re up to it.

I picked my favorite childhood book (well one of many!).

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

I still have it, worn, yet full of memories.

In the land of Chewandswallow, citizens didn’t buy food. Weather determined their meals (organic?). All was well until overcooked broccoli and pea soup fog rolled in; then a pancake covered the school (lucky!).


Filed under Books, Creative Writing, Reviews, Trifextra Writing Challenge

ODNT’s Writing Challenge – Letter #11

Well the Writing Challenges continue! You never know where they will pop up.

Ms. ODNT is hosting a challenge as we speak! It’s part of the Check Your Email Dude series, which came to an end…or has it? It is up to US to collectively keep it going.

Well I read through the previous and they seem like enterprising fellows. All they need is a little inspiration…


Welp a lots been up since we last spoke. Mrs J. has been hauling me all up and down the countryside, wine country, she says. So we switched palms for bushes, but at least no cactuses around here. Booze is booze I know, and though you gotta stand acting like you ain’t there to get a buzz (no tv’s to watch the game), they got some good snacks sometimes, some cheeses are all smelly and one was made of mold someone said, but they got ham so I can make little sandwiches. So I’m standin around drinking down some of the red stuff and some of the white stuff, when some other guy tries to talk to me, asking about how I liked the body, and I realize he’s talking about the wine. How can water have a body, except maybe a body of water? So I ask him, you mean like an ocean or something, and he got all excited, went on about how the vineyard was right on the coast, and yes the ocean spray got all over it, so he was all impressed and offered me and the lady a tour of the cellar right then and there. Mrs. J was all up on the offer before I could call it off, so down I went (to the cellar). It was dim and dusty down there, and a lot of barrels. He was going on about different wines and kept on saying vintage a lot. Some of the bottles were real old, like 20, 30 years. I start thinking and I had a relevation.

Forget the beer, what about water? I had a whole pool fulla vintage water. Maybe it picked up some of that ocean spray, or maybe some chemicals have been added to everyone else’s water except mine. You know, like how the water is supposed to be better in New York, that’s why they got good bagels. I could put it in some bottles (I got a bin with empties innit, I could just peel off the labels and slap on my own kind). I’m a little mad though; I scraped this layer of gunk off the pool last month- it smelled a little like that cheese. I coulda had some of those people over to try a little water and use that stuff for a spread.

Tell me what you think, and let me know if you got any bottles before turning them in.



Filed under Creative Writing, General Nerdliness, Writing, Writing Challenges

ZB or not ZB?

That is the question.

I’ve been asked by many of you, including the folks at Trifecta, about what I plan to do with the Zombie Bunnies series, mainly, “Will this be a book?”

It’s a good question, one I have asked myself by the time part four came around. Obviously a book would be a great option/opportunity! The questions I ask myself about that possibility run the typical Who, What, Where, gambit…

The most important question would be, do I stop writing it HERE?!

The way I see it, I could a)finish up the story, b)  solve ONE of the major conflicts, then ‘complete’ it if I get a book deal, or c) a combination, by which I finish it here, but flesh it out to book length/form afterwards.

Considering the momentum I have gained here, would it be ‘fair’? After all, it is your collective enthusiasm, and great words prompts/challenges, and some plain ol’ inspiration/creativity that has brought about this following. I do not mind putting the time and efforts into writing this for you all to enjoy, that’s what blogging is all about.  If I even started pitching this to publishers, would I have to cease writing/giving it away, and at the same time try to prove by the traffic and interest in the story that it would be worth their while to make a deal? Would that be a paradox, or just a buzzkill?

Even just by skipping prompts and going about the next parts on my own steam (which I will do very soon), I would be writing more words and details (I admit, 333 word limits help keep me well-disciplined with ‘essential’ words), and could really get it going.

Or hey I could put up a Kickstarter fund, with the goal of enough $ to self-publish it; get a copy of the book, maybe autographed by me, 8×10 prints of Emma fighting zombunnies, or lunch with Richard Connar for the big donors! That would mean deadlines not just to finish it, but if I do fall short of the goal, the book would still have to be completed.

I could also make it part of my NaNoWriMo come November, and take it from there. This is one of the best ideas I have had for a while; I am sure I can complete it – though time constraints and Thanksgiving week almost always wipe out my chance to ‘win’ it.

To add to the variables, here is a writer who has posted pretty much everything he has written, including his series on…yep, zombies!

I should add that I did buy his ‘Monster’ series, they are really good, and have great theories on the zombies’ perspective.

Agh, too much to consider, but that is how my mind works. But what a dilemma to have, considering I had no idea that this idea would be so well supported. So yes, essentially  it’s all YOUR collective faults. Thanks!

Feel free to chime in with your ideas and opinions. I’ll be pondering, deciding, and most of all, writing. Again, thank you.


Filed under Creative Writing, Life, Reading, Trifecta Writing Challenge, Writing, Writing Challenges

Ode to Dad

Though this is not a Trifextra prompt, I am following the 33 word rule. More like my own idea, especially since I did one for mom (with record visits!), and therein promised my father a dose of my creativity.

You taught me many things:
The awesomeness of Star Wars,
betting exactas vs. favorites,
pointing out people that resemble celebrities,
and an egg in the lasagna mix;
to counter mom’s own culinary traditions.


Summer days (1990), Yankee Stadium
You, a Mets fan
Me, pinstriped from cap to socks
lugging a (Yankee) bag of snacks
Basement dwellers, barely better than the Red Sux;
You were the All-Star.

Yes, the egg debate is real.
During that time, my dad converted to the Yankee Way


Filed under Creative Writing, Life, Writing

Trifecta 31/ ZB 13 – In the Hunt

The woid of the week is….

ALLEY (noun)
3: a narrow street; especially: a thoroughfare through the middle of a block giving access to the rear of lots or buildings

The storyline has recently followed Emma (and yes we will return to her soon), but were you wondering what happened to Allen?
Oh, ummm, ok. Well, here it is anyway! The equally sly and saavy sibling has his own schemes….

“I just want my truck and gear. Plus, ok, the thrill of the hunt; I’ve been offing Zombunnies for a couple of days now, and I have safari experience.” It was mostly true, and Allen knew Richard wanted him out of the way, but not dead. For now.

“Fine,” Connar agreed after considering the ridiculous comparison, “back to Delta you go. But, you’re wearing a shoulder camera; I want footage, and hell, maybe we can build a following, make you a hero after all.” He motioned to McMuscles, who stepped out and promptly returned with a rifle and pack. “Though your personal items are likely gone, it wouldn’t do to drop you off empty- handed, while you go scavenging, hunting, or whatever you have planned.” Quickly they fitted his gear, complete with GPS and the promised surveillance.

Allen wasn’t going to be the one breaking the mutual suspicion, so he let the mercenary lead the way up the stairs to the helipad. He needn’t have bothered, as McMuscles warned, “Watch that last step,” and gave a personal ‘hello’ from the now familiar black boot. As it hit Allen square in the chest, he considered, between bumps down the steps, it was better than a walnut stock to the skull.

* * *

Allen awakened on his back, not in Connar’s office, but in the middle of a street. His sudden consciousness made it seem like he was teleported, but the helicopter hovering overhead reminded him that he had slept through the trip. The rotors whumping as the craft drifted higher and away were not as agonizing to hear as a cracked cranium would have exacerbated.

He sat up, his chest sore, and feeling exposed to wandering bunny hordes, regrouped in an alley between abandoned storefronts. He considering using the GPS, but first things first, reached for the camera to rip it off. Screw him.

“Believe me, you don’t want to do that,” his earbud transmitter announced. “Keep us live; you’ll stay that way too. Maybe.”


Filed under Creative Writing, Horror, Humor, Trifecta Writing Challenge, Writing, Writing Challenges

Trifextra XX – Phree Foning

And now on to the weekend challenge. This weekend what we are asking from you is a little bit different (again). Many of you regularly submit fictional responses to our prompts. This weekend we are asking for a bit of your memoirs. We want a real account of a period in your life that can be clearly identified by (wait for it) the number three. Maybe it’s the three decades you spent flipping burgers. Maybe it’s the three seconds you hesitated justifiably before saying “I do.” We’d like for your story to be true-ish, and we’d like for it to be an artistic creation, not just a play-by-play account. Think less “blog post” and more “creative writing.”

Welp, I was inspired by this ‘rule of 3’ buuut it was in the play-by-play account, so while I will link to them in gratitude fo rteh inspiration – I won’t submit my own in the contest. It’s mainly a way to get my (creative) writing back in stride from a well-rested and oh so deserved vacation.

So prepare to be ever so slightly entertained (in 333 words or less) by: My first three (free) cellphones!

I ‘purchased’ my first cell phone in October 2001. Though I had sworn to never own one, I figured after 9/11, I would need a way to contact/be contacted (though the WTC towers held a major cell reception antenna in the city).

So I got a phone, the one that comes free with the plan. I chose VoiceStream, because I had the hots for Jamie Lee Curtis. It quickly turned to T-Mobile and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Free upgrade?!

My phone was basic even for those days. It had the creamed spinach screen reminiscent of Game Boys, yet not as awesome, and I subscribed to text horoscopes. Some years later, I noticed a store selling novelty fridge magnet cell phones that beeped and booped which were my exact model, just gutted and made even cheesier. I had regional coverage, which was good for my lazy no-traveling ass.

So I got a new phone, half the size, color screen and a CAMERA! The pics were low res (disguised on a tiny screen) the buttons were too tiny for my king kong fingers, and stuck frequently. I lost that phone in a movie theater (The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly at an indie theater). No one returned it?!

The last free phone was a Razr knock off, which was popular only because people like me didn’t feel like buying the expensive and incredibly frail real one. It was a flip phone and its matte style made it incredibly slippery, prone to obey gravity’s cruel laws, but without breaking. The keys were close enough that dialing usually meant two numbers being mashed at the same time. It dropped calls like hot potatoes too. One day it slipped out of my hand and on to the floor, and was accidentally stepped on, and accidentally kicked into a volcano. Twice.

So now I have the iPhone 4. Useful apps (games), maps which help me get oriented, and about 1000 cat pictures. Yeah, I know… ONLY 1000?!


Filed under Creative Writing, General Nerdliness, Humor, Trifextra Writing Challenge, Writing, Writing Challenges