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