Tag Archives: writing circles

100 Word Prompt – Room

Yes I am back! It’s slow at work today, and I saw a prompt in my email, one that inspired me within seconds. Thin Spiral Notebook’s challenge, a reminder of past challenges (Trifecta, Ketchup with us – ah the memories).

So here’s 100 words on…

ROOM.

We walked past cubicles, down the carpet, plush save for a slight indentation from the front desk to my office door. Many miles back and forth for me and the students.

I held my breath as we walked to my new space. This next step was what I had been waiting for. Several years of hitting my head on another university’s glass ceiling had been giving me headaches.

She unlocked the door. “You’re the most experienced new guy, so we gave you the big room.”

It was a big room, with a big glass window, the morning sun shining through.

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Ketchup With Us #18: Those Lazy Crazy Hazy Days

Ms Mel and ODNT want to know what’s on your summer reading list, so that everyone can see it and we can all read those books and start a reading circle, which is an awesome excuse to get together and uncork some wine (though I have had some good screwtops!). As though you need a reason… Ketchup With Us


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It’s May already?! (the 5th Month), start making plans for building Castles in beach dunes, playing games in the backyard,  BBQing, then watching stars at night – it’s almost magical. Know that many days remain before the autumn harvests and winter in the city.

And download/ pick up a copy of Carrie Rubin’s The Seneca Scourge.

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Filed under 50 Books in 2013, Ketchup With Us, Reading, Vacations, Writing, Writing Challenges

Scintilla Project: A Lesson Not Soon Forgotten

Yes I have signed up for Scintilla ’13! Three days in a row, officially a streak.

A: Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. Write about a time when you taught someone a lesson you didn’t want to teach.
B: Talk about a time when you were driving and you sang in the car, all alone. Why do you remember this song and that stretch of road?

I’ll take on prompt A.

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There are times, education degree or not, when you have to take someone aside for some schoolin’. You don’t get paid extra for it, but they will remember you like a favorite (or hated) teacher.

I got a call from the head of another department. Apparently he was upset that a condition was not being waived for him, and it was based on someone in my area’s decision.

“Well it’s his personal preference. No exceptions. My dept. head feels it is a reasonable one, and many others feel that way.”

“I’ve been here 25 years. He’s…what?” Ah yes, the ol’ seniority rule.

“Like I said, it’s  an individual decision; you have probably been in this situation as well.“

“Well then I am going speak with someone in the (even higher up office).“

And then the click. You know – *click*

That’s the sound of a phone hanging up on me.

Wait, what? Oh no he didn’t! Apparently, he did!

It comes out before I can stop it. I scramble at the buttons and put the phone on the cradle. (I think I was trying to reach through to the phone to strangle him) “You mofo (yes, yes, you know I said the whole thing)! Hanging up on me?!” I am enraged but also mad with glee at this point. I settled myself down for a moment, calmly told my assistant to leave the office, and picked up the phone.

Oh yes, my phone has caller ID on it, and a keyboard. Seeing as he proudly announced his name and department (and quarter century of schmuckery, it was no issue to call him back. “Hello?” He sounded a little wary, unsure as to who was calling. Obviously he’s not a detective.

“Hello this is Peter, we just spoke?! I don’t know how you speak with the people in your department, but where we are, we don’t tolerate hangups. It’s rude, it’s unprofessional and I do not tolerate it. And it’s not something we would expect it from someone who has been here 25 years.” Yes, in one uninterrupted breath.

I could tell his flustering and attempting to interrupt, but when you are dealing with an undiluted arrogance, it bounces back quickly. “Oh! Well I didn’t realize I hung up without saying goodbye.”

“Well that’s what you did.”

“Well, I’m sorry if you were offended by that.” Ah the official half-apology of The Asshole.

“Ok well I trust this will not happen again. If you have anything else to say on the situation, speak with my supervisor. Goodbye.”

I had my finger on the cradle for my own hang-up, we tied.

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Like Socrates said, “You can’t fix stupid.”

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Filed under Creative Writing, Day In the Life, Life, Scintilla Project, Working

Ketchup With Us #13: Sole Man

Ms Mel and ODNT want to know whose shoes would you like to walk in for a day? Ketchup With Us

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For one day each I would walk in:

-The worn out shoes of those less fortunate, so I can be humbled by need.

-The high end shoes of the fortuned, to realize what money can and cannot buy.

-The shoes of a random annoying jackoff, so I’ll know what it feels like to jump off a cliff.
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Filed under Creative Writing, Ketchup With Us, Life, Writing, Writing Challenges

Ketchup With Us #5 – Lingering Spirits

Tell us a ghost story, real or fiction, in 57 words or less. Ketchup With Us

The holiday is over, sure, but you still have plenty of Halloween candy left. If you dig to the bottom of the loot bag/bucket, you might still find a spooky story to share with us. It’s either that or the peanut butter cups.Ms Mel and ODNT want to know it! Possibly to re-enact with stuffed animals. Possibly to draw . Possibly to tell their kids.

Here’s my story. Is it real, or fiction?

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I tossed and turned as the thunderstorm passed with a last rumble in its wake. Opening my eyes, I sensed the ghost above me taking those dreams, shifting in the breeze as it dissipated through the ceiling. Just part of the dream, I thought, suddenly noticing my cat staring unflinchingly into the spot where the spirit escaped.

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Well Met, But Not Well Done

Ok, well this week’s prompt was to write about something that we feared as a child (or maybe even now) and how we deal with it (unless you haven’t, and it is a veritable time capsule under your bed because no way, no how, are you sticking your head, hand under there to look for something!). I tried, but was inspired by another idea, one terrifyingly true to life, and so while I did use the word (sinister) I will not be ‘entering’. If you click the tricycle though, it will take you to it, so’s you can comment and lavish warm commenty goodness on them. (After reading my story first, of course!)

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I watched the old building, knowing the location was correct- but were my instincts? Months of endless reading, sending transmissions, infiltrating a hidden circle. The message I discovered was no accident, did the radar blip and find me? Fear instincts threatened to creep in like the October breeze. Was it bait? I would know soon enough.

My shadow stretched to the door before I did, the sun giving its last light for the day. I pulled at the worn metal handle, the correct choice reassuring me, as the door creaked open.

It was darker inside than the twilight I had left. Trying to adjust my vision, I swear I could see shapes. Were there people milling about, or their souls, still not finding the solace they once sought within these walls ? It was hard to tell, the worn leather and wood chairs groaning, the large metal oven still ticking, waiting for a spark.  There was life here, and if it was a sinister presence, I was dead meat.

Various altars of heavy wood were scattered about. Symbols were carved upon all of them; the rough edges of blades  scratching and puncturing from determined hands; others drawn and painted on. Messages, testimonies, memorials?

What did I know about the Divers anyway? They were loyal, single minded – sworn against the systematic Shackers, forcing their own to wait, single file, in any weather, to feast.

“You’ve arrived.”

I jumped, turning to find several figures standing in a half-circle behind me.

“Huh? I was, just… you were expecting me?”

“In a way. You obviously decoded the subtle message I posted, meant to summon Divers, but sometimes new acolytes find us.”

“But let’s not grill you further.” He put his cloak aside, and waved his hand towards the oven. There was a louder click and it ignited, burning bright, warm, hungrily. Another member handed me a glass filled with a thick, dark brew.

The group gathered at a large altar and looked towards me expectantly.

“Medium well ok?”

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Lady or Not wants YOU to link your spooky stories!

So as it turned out, the wait for a table was not hellish, the Guinness WAS dark,
and the Bistro Burgers were sin…fully delicious.

Love & Lunchmeat, El Guapo, and I.

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

Trifextra 38: Careful What You Wish

On to the weekend challenge. The Monkey’s Paw, a short story by W.W. Jacobs, is about the strings that come with granted wishes. We are asking you to write 33 words exactly about three wishes that come at a high price to the wisher.

First off, who thought of the Monkey Paw skit from “The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror II?”

Anyway, here are 3 wishes that kind of backfire.

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Rocket ship filled with celebrities shot into sun – it goes supernova.

Prize winning ‘package’ – no blood flow to brain, you pass out!

Acting/ musical/ reality show fame – suddenly awaken…on a rocket ship?!

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Trifecta 45 / Zombie Bunnies: No Love Lost

This week’s word is: UNEASY
1: causing physical or mental discomfort
2: not easy : difficult
3: marked by lack of ease : awkward, embarrassed <gave an uneasy laugh>

There is little ease in the Zombunny world right now. Some of you were wondering what led up to the latest parts of the story, which we saw from both Allen and Carly’s POV. Let’s go back about 5 minutes and answer that…in 333 words or less.

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Allen strode into the bedroom of his apartment, where Carly was carefully arranging her pelted headpiece for the evening rituals.

“Allen… hi,” Carly greeted Allen with an uneasy smile as he walked to her for a kiss. She glanced over his shoulder to the camera, then to him. “Is everything ok?”

“No, nothing’s ok,” Allen confessed. “Instead of sticking with my sister like I should have, I got caught up in this stupid idea, hooking up with some freakish…” he checked himself when he saw Carly’s expression.

“Sorry sweetheart, it’s just, this is why I’m back. She’s in danger on that show. I gotta get her out. Before that though, I need to get you somewhere safe.”

“I am safe… here.” Her tone was hollow, unconvincing.

“No, you’re not, nobody is.” He began to pace. “There are hordes of bloodthirsty undead animals hopping around and society’s either about worshipping or killing them. Doesn’t something seem odd there?! I just want you and I… don’t shake your fucking head Carly!” he stopped and shouted at her.

Carly’s voice was a whisper. “I care for you, Allen, it was something that we knew would happen… he knew it would.”

Allen’s face flushed. “What the hell are you talking about?”

“That big man with the mohawk came by shortly after you had started this show. Connar wanted to help protect us, show the viewers how we are a peaceful sect, but we had to agree to some ideas first. They said you were attracted to me and he wanted us together as a side story, but I was betrothed to Barry. Then… his accident, and…” she broke down into sobs. “You weren’t supposed to know…”

The blood rushing in Allen’s head drowned out her words. Reaching behind to the shoulder camera, he ripped it off the backpack and threw it across the room. It struck the mesh lined window, shattering it. Carly yelped at the crash, as Allen stormed out of the room, not looking back.
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Filed under Creative Writing, Horror, The Zombie Bunnies, Trifecta Writing Challenge, Writing Challenges, Zombie Bunnies

Ketchup With Us #2 – I Think We’re Alonely in My Dreams

olddognewtits.comThe Dynamic Duo-esses, Ms Mel and ODNT, stoked off the success of their first prompt, bring us another inspiring question of thinkitudiousness:

‘KETCHUP WITH US’ – Prompt#2: Tell us in 57 words or less about your biggest celebrity crush from childhood. Or, you know, now. Either way.

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My two boyhood crushes were Tiffany and Debbie Gibson. Luckily my older sister bought their music, but I really just cared about the Tiger Beat covers they graced. During the 2000’s, they appeared in Playboy (IMO: Tiffany had the boobs, Deborah had the bod). In 2011, they completed my fantasy in MegaPython vs. Gatoroid with a catfight.

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What We Have Re-Sorted To Doing

Ok, the drawings have been done under the supervision of an independent auditor (actually just my 2 assistants who were probably wondering what I was doing snipping pieces of paper and tossing them into a Yankees hat, but who didn’t ask, because sometimes the answer makes less sense than wondering), and here are the results!

TGIM Sue/WubWoo, your Monday just got even awesomer!

A copy of The Stand
Dinosaur
Forest, year 2345
Characters (2 additional of your own choice) cuffed together, no phones (cuffs and communication units can be upgraded to your imagined future standards)
Chick Lit
638 words

***I am going to let you adjust yours a bit – if you wish, you can write this under this week’s Trifecta standards, since the word is DINOSAUR. Use the word according to their definition, and word count can be under theirs as well ;). Two birds one stone!

Umm, YOU, that is me, Mr. Tomahawk, your/my challenge is

Drabbit
Reporter
Tuesday morning in burbs (garbage pickup)
Drabbit tries to assimilate with other, established mythical population
Unauthorized bio
698 words

Ms. MelMag, these items request the pleasure of your writing:

Female High School Basketball Coach
Handprint
Medieval Times
A piece of junk is actually a forgotten part of history that could change everything
Comedic Thriller
661 Words

Lance, take a swing at this:

Male Exotic Dancer
Unicorn
Atlanta Hotel @ Sunrise
Humanity is wiped out, dinos (you can sub unicorns or fantasy creatures – hell use smart apes if you want!) are the prevailing population. 

Fantasy
555 words.

Deadlines are whenever you get it done. Let’s push for September 4th, since no one ever has anything planned for Labor Day, the last unofficial weekend of summer. Believe me, your brains will churn overtime on these! Just link back to this entry for reference.

Thanks for joining! To all non-participants, a warm round of applause and a link up to each of these brave folks who are doing this for YOU!

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Filed under Choose Your Adventure, Creative Writing, Horror, Humor, Writing, Writing Challenges