Monday, May 31, 2010

Jane Austen, Enya and June

Wow, I actually made it through the first month. Sadly, I didn't think I honestly would. At the very least I thought I would have missed a day. Isn't it an awesome feeling when you outdo your own expectations? I quite like it.

Well school is out for me and, although I'm feeling pressure to find a summer job and get ready to transfer far far away in the fall, I am loving my extra free time. It's given me time for a lot of pastimes which have recently been neglected: my stories, books, music and general laziness are all near the top of the list, but probably the most relevant hobby which recently received extra time is this blog. I've been think a lot about fun things to do. I would still like to do a competition day (if anyone has ANY interest at all - let me know!), but I've had several other ideas as well. Mostly I think that I will have themes for prompts during some months. The ones I've come up with so far are:

- Poetry Month
- Month of Nostalgia (in which every prompt involves something you've written previously)
- Muse Month (in which every prompt involves someone else's work: music, art, film, literature etc)and
- Music Month

I've also been thinking about having a few special weeks where prompts are actually a chain and by the end the writer will have constructed an entire story, however, nothing is certain yet. I do plan, though, to change the format in November for National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo) as it will be my first year participating. I think, instead of having a prompt each day, I will be posting whatever work I have done on my NaNoWriMo project.

Anyway, I'm bathing in Enya and reading Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen's characters are hilarious) and picking out prompts for June today. I'm pretty durn excited. Happy Memorial Day, everyone, see you next month.

The Singer

Prompt: Write a story about a beggar who loves to hear himself sing.


Response: I sat down in the street, leaning against the wall of an adjacent building. It was cold out, but it had been dry enough for several days that I was sitting in neither water nor ice. I stretched my legs out in front of me. My muscles were stiff from the chilly weather and my skin felt dry and eerily smooth.

I leaned my head against the wall and waited. I was tired and dirty. My feet ached inside my worn leather boots. I wasn't used to wandering the streets - wasn't used to walking so much. I wasn't used to walking - not out of desire, but out of necessity.

My head was so heavy, my eyelids so heavy, that I almost fell asleep while I was waiting. I thought when I first heard the singing that it must have been a trapped bird in a window, but when I realized that the voice was human I sat up straighter, drawing my legs up to my chest.

I didn't know the tune and apparently he didn't either - as he hummed several lines between words - but the sound was melodious and strong. I turned my face toward the voice, hoping he wasn't coming my way so he wouldn't notice me listening.

The beggar's tin rattled slightly with the distinct sound of jangling coins and his cane tapped at the ground. And above them his voice rose - rough and worn, but powerful and moving.

I closed my eyes as I listened and I could remember the first time I had heard his voice. It was a lifetime ago - before I was living on the streets. It was back when I had a warm winter coat to stave away the wet and the chill. It was back when I had a whole closet full of shoes - all more sturdy than the ones I had on. I passed him on my way to a restaurant suggested by a friend. His lonely, compelling voice had stopped me from a few blocks away.

He had been singing a haunting gosepel song I thought I had heard somewhere before.

The words had struck me hard enough to bring tears to my eyes. Hallelujah, the great storm is over. Lift up your wings and fly.

Huddled against the wall I listened intently to him sing. It carried me to a room with a roaring fire and a piano in the corner with the smell of apples and cinnamon wafting through the air - a place I had once known.

Though I didn't know the words he sang, I felt his voice rush through me like a gust of wind, break over me like the crest of a wave, and I no longer felt quite so cold.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


Prompt: Complete the statement "I'd walk a mile for a ________" and continue writing on it.


Response: "I'd walk a mile for a piece of chocolate." The young noble threw out his chest proudly for, though he was begging for sweeties, he was proclaiming himself both fit and responsible enough not to be dependent on others for them.

"Really?" His governess smiled, not entirely certain her young charge had any grasp on how long a mile was though whether its actual length was longer or shorter than his estimate she could not tell. "For a single piece?"

"I would, on my honor."

"And what would you do for a whole bar?"

The child's eyes widened as though he had caught a glimpse of what lay beyond heaven's gates. "How big is an entire bar?" His voice was breathless, thick with the instinctual salivation of a child contemplating a treat beyond imagination.

The governess smiled deviously and held her hands shoulder-width apart. "This big."

The little boy's gaze went from one of her hands to the other before he looked up into her eyes. "I would walk the width of my father's kingdom."

"You know," she responded, leaning companionably close. "I believe that I would too."

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sans Sand

Prompt: Make a pattern of repetitions.


Response: Sans Sand

shapeless sands sift and shift

while the wind whines and winds -

sent to saints of scented sands

where wind's woes wave worriedly

like lolling lilies and lilacs

on green grasses going grainy

in lavender lakes - live and lie -

grand gained games.

the witch watches woefully

soft sands sifting, shifting,

in ways worn wandering

like sun shined sharpening

lady lone - lady lost

going in gratuitous gains.

lovely long lone lanes lack

gentle glazed grazing.

shapeless sand's shifting.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Questioning

Prompt: Address the poem to the reader.


Response: The Questioning

If you were to read like a blind hand

fingers tracing the shape and form

the contour of my language - the figure of my words

could I help the meaning pass to you - into you - like

vision to one who has always been blind?

If you were to read like a child

sounding out syllables to create the song

the simple story of my writing - the truth hidden in my nonsense

could I help the shaping of your life - your story - like

the profound poets of old?

If you were to read like a gentle breeze

listlessly lifting the cadence of the rhythm

the music of composing - the depth of lyric lines

could I help the sharpness of your mind - your imagination - like

the wind whispers to the tree boughs?

And if I

If I could write like a prayer

words building in strength and meaning

the praise to deity - the elation of worship

could you see like blind, lift like child, touch like wind, my words - my lines - like

the absolution of a heavenly being?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Box

Prompt: Raspberry stained.

Source: None

Response: Elle retrieved the box from the closet's top shelf. It was dusty and crumbling - the residual brown tape that had once kept it closed was curled up at the edges like a fallen leaf.

Elle bit her lip as she perched it on the edge of the bed. It did not look so intimidating sitting on the floral comforter as it had seemed while it lurked on the closet's shelf. It looked somehow deflated.

She found her hands shaking as she brushed a finger's width line of dust from its top. The cardboard was so old that the edges of the flaps no longer felt crisp or sharp, but had taken on a soft texture. Elle opened it slowly, though she knew that it would probably be better just to get it over with.

As the flaps unfolded they revealed a frothy mound of white fabric. Elle sighed.

She remembered folding the dress before putting it into the box - it had such a full skirt that folding it had been difficult and she had been so angry that impatience had gotten the better of her. The light fabric had stuck to the sweat on her arms, making it even harder to fold. It was so different. The air was so stale in the house - close to cold - that the fabric just slithered out of the box, unfolding so gently.

The pleat running down the back of the sun dress was crinkled to the side, making the hem run in an uneven line. It brushed Elle's knees, making her shiver, as she turned it around to the raspberry stained front.

Like a cheesy movie, Elle saw a younger, more carefree version of herself in the white dress. The perfect white dress that she had been so excited to slip into. The perfect white dress that had made her feel so childishly princess-like. The perfect white dress that Aaron had complimented so profusely - making her blush like a school girl.

She remembered the summer raspberries and how it had been so hot, so humid, that you could taste them on the warm breezes that drifted like lazy streamers marking the house of a child having a birthday. She remembered picking them until her fingers were sore and sticky. Elle remembered eating more of them than ending up in the basket. She remembered Aaron bringing particularly ripe berries to her lips until they were as sticky as her hands.

Elle remembered laughing.

She put the dress on her lap, finally noticing a tear sliding down her cheek.

Elle remembered going home to put the raspberries away and Aaron smiling so sweetly as he leaned in to press a kiss to her cheek. He was still smiling when he fell toward her, knocking her over. Elle remembered trying to catch him and falling with him. She remembered crying so hard that even if she had cared about the raspberry staining on the front of her perfect white dress she would not have cared.

And after Aaron was gone, she remembered folding the dress (or at least trying to) and stuffing it into the box on top of his pictures. She had not eaten a raspberry since that day - or worn white.

And now she was moving away. Elle refolded the dress - more carefully than she had the last time. She put it back into the box, trying her hardest not look at the pictures underneath it.

Her sister had told her she should be happy that the last expression on Aaron's face was a smile - that the last thing he did was a kiss, but Elle remembered more than that. She remembered the long minutes of EMTs trying to restart Aaron's heart - the tubes and wires and the horrible bloodlessness of his face.

Elle closed her eyes. She pictured Aaron's gently open lips as he offered her a raspberry and the sunlight shining off of his hair. She pictured his sweet grin as he swung their clasped hands. And for the first time since she put the box onto the closet's shelf, Elle heard Aaron laughing.

Elle closed the box and took it off her bed.

Regarding May 26th (Includes: One Belated Prompt, an Apology and an Excuse)

Hello World.

If you are reading (or will be reading some time months from now) I should warn you that I should have known that this would happen at least once eventually, but I didn't and so I am somewhat unprepared.

I write most of my prompt responses on the companion project and copy+paste to the blog (for the simple reason that there are more format options on the project as it is a part of a literary website). However, yesterday (being the air head that I am)I totally spaced the copy+paste part. So, I still haven't missed a day (which is very exciting for me personally), but it will look like I have because I'll be posting two today. Live and learn, I guess. My most profound apologies to my good intentions - I know I hurt you deeply.

Anyway here is yesterday's prompt and prompt response:

Prompt: Lemon chiffon.

Source: None

Response: The gown was such a lovely, happy color - a wonderful lemon chiffon. Lalith fingered the fabric, letting herself linger over the symbol of a rose embroidered onto the chiffon skirt. It was undeniably beautiful. The tiny stitches created a smooth unbroken, swirling pattern.

Lalith closed her eyes and imagined a star in its place. The image was comforting, but all too fleeting.

A door slammed behind her and Lalith jumped. She knew what the voice would sound like before he spoke. She braced herself against the deep, disconcerting tone.

"Just put it on," The voice still made her jump, despite her preparations.

Lalith knew what he would look like before she saw him and she shuddered as he brushed a hair to the side of her neck. He circled her, taking a seat on the floor before her. His amber eyes beneath his navy mask grabbed her attention instantly, as they always did. "Put it on."

Lalith's colorless lips trembled as she spoke. "The sign isn't right."

His jaw clenched and his nostrils flared in anger. "Put. It. On. Now."

Shaking slightly, Lalith did as she was told. The chiffon felt like sand blowing against her skin - rough and wrong - but the feeling of his eyes on her back raised goose bumps over her entire body.

Notes: This piece is from my project The Plague Master (

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

You Would Think

Prompt: Write about a thief.

Source: None

Response: You would think that I of all people would know a thief when I saw one. You would think that I would have been able to spot him a mile away - that I would be able to see straight through his charm and disgustingly attractive facial features. After all that's what I was trained to do - what I was trained for my entire life. And I was good - I was the best. Or, at least, I thought I was the best.

You would think that because he found me and my little band in the underbelly of the city that I would have checked him out more thoroughly. I checked out everyone, but Rikkit was so disarming. All right, he probably wasn't disarming as a quality, but that was the affect he had on me. I think he practiced voodoo or something. How else can you explain a perfect stranger taking me off guard? You can't.

You would think that I had my suspicions about him from the beginning, but in reality I took him under my wing. I let him run most of my operation. I trusted him and I wanted to be close to him - for him to trust me.

You would think that I would have had misgivings about showing him my secret stash of gold currency, but really I was excited to share it with him.

And you would think that I would be angrier that yesterday I woke up to find Rikkit and the coins missing, but I'm not. I'm just furious that he didn't take me with him.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Prompt: Take someone's final words (be sure to say who) and use them as the first sentence of a 100 word paragraph.

Source: None. "Last Words", Janos Arany, Wikipedia.

Response: What is the time? Never mind, it's not important. Perhaps it never was. But somehow I find myself curious, yet unwilling to know the time. It's not important. Really. It's not. In reality does it matter if the sun just came up or if the sun is setting? Not really. It's not important. It won't matter if I walked the dog at precisely 9:15 or if I waited until 10:30. Certainly, it won’t matter to anyone else. The only way it has the chance to gain any purpose is if I care and I’m just not sure I do anymore.

Notes: She pens as she checks the clock to be certain she isn't late for Physics class . . .

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Prompt: Write a scene containing a protagonist who is a demon hunter who wants nothing more than to get out alive and fate as an antagonist.


Response: I could hear my own breathing like the sound of a train derailing - a screeching, discordant melody of terror - and though I had been in tens of thousands of similar situations, I felt a fear unlike any I had known. I was accustomed to simple experiences that elicited no special emotion or reaction and I was ill-prepared to deal with the terror that had overtaken me. I found myself clutching my gun rather than wielding it - cowering behind an over-turned table instead of lying in wait - struggling to control myself rather than gauging the situation. I felt out of my element - a feeling that was nauseously nostalgic, neurotically repugnant. It was the feeling of a child facing a nightmare, not a feeling that should be felt by a battle-worn Hunter.

But then again, I was facing no ordinary foe. Seeing him had pushed the air from my lungs like a kick to my stomach - the dark, somehow familar, figure sent a flurry of emotions I could not even relate to coursing through my veins. Every Hunter knew of him - even normal humans knew of him - how could they not? Is there anyone who hasn't been screwed over by Fate or at the very least wondered what the heck he was doing to their lives?

I peeked around the edge of the table and my heart almost stopped. Fate was crouched down, his hand on the edge of the table to steady himself. His face was inches from mine - his eerily, unnaturally bright eyes inches from mine. He smiled and those disturbingly bright eyes turned up at the edges.

I couldn't move. Fate reached out a hand and brushed his fingers over my cheekbone. His voice was like the wind blowing against a thin window - chilling. Bone chilling. "I knew your dad."

I knew then that I was dead and all I wanted was the slightest chance I could get away. And I knew there was no chance of that.

Notes: This is an alternate part of my Guardians project ( which is an angels/demons/demon hunters/thingy.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Eegan's Grin

Prompt: Use the word tenebrous (adj: dark, gloomy) in a sentence. (Up to five sentences)


Response: The atmosphere hung heavy, tenebrous - suffocating and dense. But the whirring in my veins was electrifying. My skin prickled in the darkness - practically buzzing with excitement and caffeine. Unconsciously, my eyes followed every tiny movement in the solemn night. I couldn't keep a grin off my mouth - a scary, crazy, leering grin.

Notes: This is written from the perspective of my lovely Eegan Becker (the main character in my The Skin You're In project - It's a sneak peek for the upcoming chapter ("Human Hunting") which should be up soon. Eegan is one of my favorite characters ever. Period.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Garden

Prompt: Floral pattern.

Source: None

Response: The Garden

I find myself fascinated by the intertwined roses, the gently curled leaves, weaving in an illusion of a cookie-cutter garden. The garden grows over everything, spreading over furniture and walls in a seamless tide. It creeps onto my skin, duplicating the pattern again and again across my body. The intertwined roses, the gently curled leaves crawl onto me, over me, consuming me. I blend with the rest of the room - a unidentifiable part of the eternal garden.

Notes: Lazy today . . . oh well.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Prompt: Write about a place where two rivers meet.


Response: Keenan lived in a little house near the river. He had been born there and knew no other home. Though it was rumored that the river had claimed both his mother and sister and left him alone, Keenan loved the gentle flow of the wide water.

He was seen as strange by those who lived in the village - those who whispered like lofty tree branches and told the stories that made children afraid of the river. Though he had attended school in the village when he was very young, Keenan stayed away from the village as much as possible. He preferred the company of the river.

Whenever Keenan felt alone, he walked down to the river. As he came close, the ground became soft. The mud reached out to him, spoke to him in gentle voices. As the mud became thick enough to entrap a person, a dock had been built out of weathered wood. Keenan had often thought of what it would be like to stay down in the mud, to lay in it, to sink into its arms and let it encircle him.

The reeds near the river were so tall, so sweeping, that Keenan could almost believe they created a barrier between the river and the world - that as he walked among the reeds he was entering another place, another destination. He would slip into his tiny boat and push away from the reeded bank. He would become a piece of the river - a speck of detritus in the mighty current.

The sun would shine of the water like birdsong and the reeds would rustle like breathing. Keenan would flow in his banks, on his charted course, between two shades of blue. And the river would chant its ancient mantras - its ancient lullabies.

And when the rivers met, Keenan felt a surge of exhilaration - a rushing of heart and blood through his entire being. Keenan would raise his arms to sky and the breeze would lift him into the azure ether and, for a moment, he would be gone.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Prompt: Write a story about a hot air balloon ride.

Source: Write On Prompt Generator

Response: The balloons rose like so many multi-colored candy drops into the pale blue sky. How many were there? she wondered. Six? Twenty six? Six hundred and twenty six? The brightly-colored balloons drifted all about her as far as she could see - an unfolding of a hidden color-by-number pattern large enough to coat the sky.

The wind whipped her blond curls across her face. Her fingers gripped the side of the basket with an intensity only brought on when exaltation is paired with terror. The balloons rose to sweeping, impossible heights - leaving the leathery surface of the earth far beneath.

Up and up and up they sailed, above the clouds. Beyond the arctic wastelands and Palestinian wonders. High above the rumbling ocean breakers and towering mountain peaks. Over scorching deserts they floated, and bustling cities.

And upward still they traveled. Past the moon's cratered face they drifted and through mazes of glittering stars the entourage of wonderful balloons went.

To the very edge of the horizon - to the green light at dusk - to the cusp of imagination the balloons carried her.

And if she closed her eyes they went higher still - to the pearly gates of heaven, to the wondrous banks of billowing sky giants, to the homes of angels. With her eyes closed and her hair drifting around her face in a cloud, she could imagine that the balloons would never land - that the candy drops would travel onward, upward, farther and farther until they had surpassed the reach of time itself; that the ride would never end.

But when she opened her eyes, the balloons were nearing the ground. The concourse set down in a field and she wished with all her might that she could be going upward still.

Notes: Feeling better today? Oh yes, just enough to make this more or less than melancholy. I liked this prompt so much I had to post a picture (found through Google search).

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Top 15 Ways I'd Rather Not Die

Prompt: Death. Write about it.

Source: None

Response: Top 15 Ways I'd Rather Not Die

15. Dropped in a vat of taffy.

14. Buried alive.

13. Stabbed and left to bleed to death.

12. Radiation poisoning (particularly close to a nuclear explosion).

11. Electric shock.

10. Being stoned (either having stones chucked at you or having them put on top of you).

9. Being drawn and quartered.

8. Locked in Syndrome + Being an organ and tissue donor.

7. Botched amateur lobotomy.

6. Crucifixion.

5. Eaten by pigs (or rats).

4. Drowning (especially in the ocean).

3. Burned to death at the stake.

2. Blasted apart by shrapnel.

1. Skinned to death with a cheese grater.

Notes: I'd like to thank AnnPoole for being the first person to post a response to one of my prompts. I was going to dedicate this post to her, but somehow that felt inappropriate so I'll just say, "Thanks, Ann!"

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Sea of Stars



Response: Thompson thought about her often. He had resolved not to, but sometimes he could not help himself. Sometimes she just burst into his mind's eye, into his memory, like the traceable movement of a morning glory.

He could see her sometimes - almost like she was real, almost like she had never gone. Sometimes Thompson saw her dancing on a cobblestone drive, in short polished heels. Sometimes he saw her threading daisies together into a chain. But most often he saw her floating. Floating in a sea of stars.

He had seen it the day of her funeral as he approached the coffin. He had looked down at her - at the bouquet of white flowers in her tiny hands, at the light blue of her eyelids - and suddenly he had seen her floating in an ocean of constellations. And every time he closed his eyes, he saw her there in the indigo sky.

Thompson did not know why, but sometimes he preferred to see her that way, though she had never liked the dark. He wondered sometimes if there was any way for her to be happy there - in the never ending dark ocean - but at least she had the stars there. And that was more than he could say.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Checkerboard Feeling

Prompt: Checkerboard

Source: None

Response: The Checkerboard Feeling

the black and white

the white and black






the red and black

the black and red

the thistle and the rose

the louse and the house cat

the lemon and the jaguar

the small and great

the sane and infirm

up and down

the mountains and stars above the puny mortals

checkerboard emotions

child and cockatrice



the gray and blue

the blue and gray



the red and yellow and purple and orange

turned black and white and backward





- - - - - - - - -

king to rook

pawn to queen

knight to H3

bishop to pawn

queen of hearts over F1 F2 F3

pawn to pawn

queen to knight - knock him dead, lazy brute -



rook to bishop

soldiers to me

pawn to C4

rook to raven

mate to check

rabbit in a hat - saw it in half -

the black and white

the white and black

. . . Why don't you flippin'

King Me?

Notes: Yes, I'm still stressed - hence the extraordinarily early update. I have committed to work on one thing and one thing only the whole rest of today. And I know this poem makes absolutely no sense unless you live in my brain (which, fortunately for you, you don't) and even then it makes little sense, but I kind of like it - it suits my unidentifiable mood . . . and inability to win at chess (and curiosity as to why chess is played on a checkerboard . . . well, a checked board).

No margin problems with this one. And my most profound apologies for the recent plethora of poetry (my poems are somewhat of an acquired taste), but poetry has been the medium most suited to me recently . . . I have no excuse whatsoever for that.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Freaking Thing

Prompt: Why did you do it?

Source: Imagination Prompt Generator

Response: The Freaking Thing

I admit it - I did it -

I put it off until the last day and now

I'm stuck writing this paper

tonight . . . hopefully . . . maybe.

But you see

the dishes weren't done

and the clothes weren't washed.

Posters had to be made

and other homework had to be done.

My prompt response wasn't written and

I had to make a birthday cake.

The house was disgusting and my grandparents were coming

and I had to write a Sunday school lesson.

So I loaded the dishwasher and folded the clothes.

I hand-drew big posters until my back ached and

my other homework (kinda) got worked on.

I'm working on my prompt obligation and the birthday cake volcano was a

smash hit. The house is clean

and the grandparents are here and I'm prepared to teach.

Now I'm gonna stay up until 4 AM

and write this freaking thing.

Notes: I'm very overwhelmed, yes I am. I didn't actually do any laundry today and my mom actually made the birthday cake (call it literary licence), but yeah, I'm overwhelmed.

This poem has uneven margins (and therefore looks way cooler) in the project. Just FYI.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Top 10 Reasons Not to Bathe for a Week

Prompt: Come up with 10 reasons why you should skip bathing for a week.


Response: Top 10 Reasons Not to Bathe for a Week

10. It would be a story to tell my grandkids.

9. It would be much easier to clean the bathtub and/or shower during that week.

8. Think of what I could do with my hair with all that natural oil . . . I probably could put giant spikes all over my whole head.

7. It would be a once in a lifetime experience (it would only happen once, trust me).

6. It could be worse - people used to go for years without bathing.

5. It would save money on my water bill (and in this economy, who couldn't use a little extra cash?)

4. I would appreciate bathing more by the end of the week.

3. It's green . . . by the end of the week I might even be green.

2. It would save time. I take 30-40 minute showers. Think of what I could do with 245 extra minutes in my week!

1. I could use the experience to help me write a character - a grimy, stinky character that rarely bathes.

Disclaimer: I have absolutely no intention of using any of these excuses to avoid bathing for any amount of time nor do I encourage or condone the use of any of these excuses for anyone else who desires to stop bathing for a week.

Notes: Now I'm off to shower . . .

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Rhyming Poetry

Prompt: Write a 20-line rhyming poem about something that really annoys you.

Response: Rhyming Poetry

I despise rhyming poetry

everything from couplet to soliloquy.

It's pretentious and overdone

to pretend 'sun' hasn't already been rhymed to 'won'.

It gives a false sense of security

to those who can't quite write free verse poetry -

It pulls the wool over the writer's eyes

and persuades them to recycle English teachers' lies.

As if no one has rhymed 'hearts' or 'crime'

with cliched statements about 'starts' and 'time' -

As if rhyme has any place outside the realm of a kids' book

that's read to them and then tucked away without another look.

What happens to the elasticity of the English word -

the lovely cascading cacophonous noise created to be heard -

when the same two sounds are stuck like glue

or like gum to the bottom of a passerby's shoe?

What happens to the meaning of a poem's song

when requirements for rhyme make it far too long?

Yes, I despise rhyming poetry - caboodle and kit . . .

plus (If you must know) . . . I'm terrible at it.

Notes: This poem was also originally written with straight margins so there's no reason to view the project with this one.

This is probably my favorite prompt so far. And rhyming poetry really does grate on my nerves, but I'm not dissing on any poet brave and organized enough to use it. Poetry is all about putting words into a verbal display of a specific piece of the writer and if you can use rhymes to do that - go you.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Just For Good Measure

Prompt: You wake up one day with an unusual super power that seems pretty worthless—until you are caught in a situation that requires that specific "talent."


Response: Jamie had always had a ragged, beastly mop of hair. It was an un-nameable shade of blond-ish reddish brown. It tangled around things, almost as though attempting to suck the objects into a black hole of its own making. When the wind blew it reached out like Medusa's serpents. And when it was humid, the beast sprang into curls as thick as dreads. But it was not until the morning of her twenty-first birthday that Jamie's hair gained a mind of its own.

She might not have even noticed it her day had not begun with a dream. Jamie dreamed that she was out berry picking with Sean - dressed all in swirling yellow. She dreamed laying in a wide green field and letting Sean feed her berries. She dreamed that he touched her cheek ever-so-gently.

When she woke to find an animate lock of her own hair caressing her cheek, Jamie let out a shriek similar to that of an ancient woman who walks into a room to discover her toy poodle in the act of marking its territory all over her living room carpet. Wide-eyed Jamie watched the prehensile tangle wave at her reflection in th mirrored closet doors across from her bed.

Jamie rubbed her eyes, pounded her temples, and then looked in the mirror again. The strand was laying against her shoulder, but when she let out a sigh of relief the whole mass lifted and undulated - emenating an aura of abatement. Still disbelievng, Jamie carried out several hours of experimentation before resigning herself to two contradicting revelations - that she was sane and that her hair also happened to grow, shrink, and move both on its own and at her command.

And for the most part, Jamie learned to live with it. Though there was the occasional oddity - such as a strand of hair blowing against the wind in what almost seemed to be a wave in her Christmas card picture - Jamie found prehensile hair much easier to deal with than she could have expected. It was relatively harmless and pointless, though it was nice to be able to reach things from the top pantry shelf without getting a chair.

Jamie began working in a florists. She loved the bright colors and - when no one else was in the shop - she would let her hair float around her in a cloud, adjusting the flowers. Things did not work out with Sean, but Jamie soon met someone she was certain was better.

Chase had come into the florists for Mothers' Day flowers and walked out with a date. Jamie was so twitterpatted that her hair was practically blushing. After a whirlwind courtship, Chase proposed and Jamie was ecstatic to wear his rock on her finger . . . until she found out Chase was already married.

Feigning ignorance and calm, Jamie invited her very-very-soon-to-be-ex-finance to the florists and lured him into the backroom. She slapped him, broke up with him and - on her way out - poked him in the eye with her hair . . . Just for good measure.

Notes: Sorry this isn't longer and more in-depth. I am having various and sundry difficulties with various and sundry things including my internet, but I hope you smiled despite its shallow and brief nature . . . I sure did :D

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I See Things

Prompt: In 200 words, describe a day in the life of a window washer.


Response: I see things. Things I'm not supposed to see. Things people try their best to keep hidden. I see these things every day as I scale the sides of office buildings - keeping it clear, keeping the windows spotless. I see soap opera politics and petty theft. I see people being fired and people being promoted. Today at nine thirty I saw a nervous intern spill coffee on her new boss and I almost fell down the side of the building, I was laughing so hard. I saw misfiled files and watched a romantic interlude in the mail room - all before lunchtime. Looking out over the city as I ate the sandwich my wife had packed for lunch I saw a four-car pile up on Main Street. I was too high up to see the people. It looked like an omniscient child was crashing cars – the faint noises sounded just like my son playing. “Crash! Bang! Pow!” At two o’clock a woman watched me as I washed – her gaze uncomfortably searching, her face so disillusioned. I saw deliveries made and interoffice memos exchanged. I saw groundhog cubicles filled with little people – people who might never go anywhere. I saw things.

Notes: It seems as though the last few days have been rather depressing and heavy so I made an attempt to be a little lighter today. I probably failed . . . but it's the thought, no?

Monday, May 10, 2010


Prompt: You wake up shackled to a chair and can't remember how you got there. Two voices are talking. You recognize one of them.


Response: The first thing I was aware of was the bitter, fermented taste on my tongue. It reminded me of blood and bananas. It was a warm, sickening flavor.

I gradually became aware of other things - a stiff, soreness in my back, a disturbing thickness in their air, a tingling in my limbs, a tight band around each of my wrists and the murmur of voices coming from people I could not see. I felt scared. Something felt dangerous. Something felt wrong.

I opened my eyes slowly. The room was dim and dusty - like a room in an abandoned house in an old movie. I was facing a corner with a water stain in the ceiling directly above it. I looked down at myself. I did not recognize the clothes I was wearing. My arms were strapped to the arms of the chair I was sitting in with leather bands with big, tarnished gold buckles.

I did not recognize anything I saw, but as I scanned the space - rolling my neck to try an alleviate a sudden strain in those muscles - I realized I recognized one of the voices that reverberated in the thick dust of the air.

"Christen?" The word came out as a whisper - a harsh gasp in the stillness.

I remembered Christen. He made me feel safe, made me feel needed. Just hearing his voice made me feel less scared.


The voices continued to murmur - only just loud enough to catch a few words, to recognize Christen's voice, but not loud enough for me to understand their conversation.

I pressed against the restraints. I could not remember how I got there. I did not remember the clothing I was wearing. I could not speak loud enough to get to Christen, just out of reach, just out of sight. I cleared my throat - I had to call out, I had to get out.

"Christen!" I could hardly hear myself, but I could not stop saying it. "Christen! Please, Christen . . . Christen. Christen!"

I fell slack into my restraints, sobbing, though I could not be certain why.

I watched the water stain on the ceiling until it began to writhe beneath my gaze. I listened to the voices - just out of hearing range - until they seemed to speak to me. I shifted in my shackles until the illusion of blood threaded down my skin.

I fell into a daze; a waking nightmare that crawled over my skin and seeped into my pores, filled my mouth and nose with syrupy bitterness. The water stain gushed down the corner of the room, moving toward me in a rhythmic, gelatinous glide; filling, consuming, rushing over me like a cold sweat. In the distance, beneath the crushing, rushing stain, I heard the voices stop speaking.

I thought I heard a music box - a plinking, forlorn tune. I thought I heard a piano - the notes cascading and colliding, descending and ascending like a flock of synchronous birds. I thought I heard singing - Christen's rich baritone. I thought I heard him speak to me.

I thought I felt the strain relinquish its grip on my wrists. I thought I felt fingers caress my cheek. I thought I felt myself being lifted, I felt myself rocked like the gentle wavering of a boat at sea.

Then I blinked. The lighting in the room was different - brighter somehow. The shackles seemed tighter, the chair dug into my body. The air was thick and putrid. My mouth was dry and I tasted salt.

It was oppressively silent.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Prompt: The bottom of a frozen lake. White light glows through the sheet of ice above. Shadows of people crisscross over a small but expanding crack.

Source: 911 Writer's Block Tool

Response: Icing

Crackling, cracking,

the deafening sound of the defining shattering

high above in the pale white -

deep in sleep

deep in die

ice crackling, cracking,

under the pressured scampering of pressured feet.

Floating, flying,

the cold azure feeling of the surrounding collapsing

deep beneath the pale white -

deep in slept

deep in death

body sailing, sweeping,

beneath the sky fracturing of fractured skies.

Notes: Well, holidays and lack of views complicate this project, but at least I'm over the one-week hump. Happy Mothers' Day - tell your mother and grandmother(s) you love them. After all, without them you wouldn't exist - they did bring you into this world (and they haven't yet taken you out of it . . .).

Also, this poem actually does have straight margins so there is no need to check out the accompanying project entry for this one.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Night I Drowned

Prompt: "It was a dark and stormy night . . ."

Source: None

Response: It was a dark and stormy night when I drowned. I left Aaron's beach house while the moon was high over the crystalline waves, partially obscured by clouds. The sand looked navy blue - close to ebony - with tiny flecks of white reflecting stone shining in the lunar light.

I walked through the cold sand with my skin prickling around my bathing suit. I listened carefully to the ever so slight sound of stony sand crunching beneath my bare feet, to the distant roll of thunder beyond the moon and to the crashing of water against the shore. A light breeze made my hair brush against my neck, making my skin creep as though rain were already leaving tentative, tingling kisses on me.

I did not plan to drown, but I walked into the waves wondering on a semi-conscious level if I would ever come out. When it started to rain, the water was already to my waist, sending chills through me. I looked back to the house and that is when I felt something brush by me, pull me into deeper water.

It was a dark and stormy night when I drowned.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Guido's Pizzeria

Prompt: One week after attending the funeral of a close friend, you receive a postcard in the mail with the words, "I'm not dead. Meet me tonight at Guido's Pizzeria. Tell no one."


Response: The card was smaller than the average postcard - its edges crumpled and the reproduction painting of Venice so faded in spots that it was nonexistent. The lack of a stamp suggested it had been hand-delivered to my apartment. My throat felt dry - bone dry.

As if it was unrelated and disconnected from me, I saw my thumb running over the words - the dried ink. Over and over, wearing the paper down, trying to blot out the words that rang behind my eyes. I'm not dead.

I swallowed hard, closing my eyes, calling up the memories that had been my relief over the course of the last week. All the pretty people - so perfect in their misery - standing around in their neat black clothing. None of them looking at me. None of them wondering why Jared's best friend could not quite work up tears.

All the pretty pieces - the chemicals, the wires and timer, the gloves so perfect in their sinister qualities - sitting on my kitchen table in preparedness. Gleaming so seductively.

The golden flames rising from Jared's car and the rush of relief - the picture of relief. The bomb would never be traced to me. Jared would never tell anyone about me. No one would ever know. The relief covered the guilt - the despair - the empty space in my life where Jared went.

I opened my eyes. The words glared at me - snarled at me. I'm not dead. Meet me tonight at Guido's Pizzeria. Tell no one.

Guido's. Jared's place. My place - mine and Jared's. He was telling me it was him - the location confirmed it. He always teased me when we would meet at Guido's. He would tell me "Tell no one" like some spy in a hokey old movie.

I traced the words again - the condemning phrase. I'm not dead.

How had Jared survived? I wondered. The bomb had been perfectly, neatly placed - unavoidable in its destruction. I had watched him get in the car with a heart half heavy, half rejoicing. How had Jared survived?

I glanced at the kitchen clock. 8:30 PM. Jared and I always met at Guido's at 8:45.I wondered if I should go - if I could.

I looked at the words again - they cut my eyes, terrified me to my core. I'm not dead.

Without even knowing what I was doing really, I slipped on my coat and walked to Guido's. The lights were dim and I felt so cold inside. My ears were filled with cotton, my throat bone dry as I opened the door to Guido's.

The bell on the door ringing made me jump. As soon as I got in the door I knew something was wrong. The only lights on were in the kitchen. The Pizzeria was empty - spookily empty, entirely empty, frighteningly empty.

I'm not dead. I'm not dead. I'm not dead. I'm not dead. I'm not dead. Pounded in my ears.

The door swung shut behind me and the bell chimed again - almost echoing in the empty room.

I'm not dead.

"Is anyone here?"

I'm. Not. Dead.


I felt the cold metal against the base of my skull and I already knew I was dead before I heard Jared's voice. "Hello, Daemon. Miss me?"

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Stress Stinks

Prompt: Describe what you feel right now using your sense of smell. If you feel frustrated, write about what your frustration smells like. Use vivid words. Don't skimp on adjectives.


Response: The smooth earth-toned scent of graphite and eraser strings on inky pages. The rank tang of Ramen leftovers and the faint fizz of soda dregs' long lost carbonation hanging in the air. The invisible, almost imperceptible scent of human musk and missed sleep mixes with the growing odor of whizzing machinery within one computer keystroke - a hot plastic and metal smell.

Idea - Competition Day

If I can get at least two people who are interested I really would like to have a competition prompt once a month. Anyone who wants to should still feel free to post a response to any prompt at any time and in whatever genre or length they would like, but I'd love to have one prompt every month that is a little more "required" (so-to-speak). So far I haven't had any responses (and it's only the sixth day so it's not surprising), but I would love to get some.

The competition prompts would require a little more effort than every day prompts. They would be judged on creativity - not writing skill - and the winners would get . . . something (a certificate good for a story, virtual cookies, something). I'm not even sure if anyone is reading, but if you are, what do you think? I want to shoot for the 13th of every month.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Human Remains

Prompt: Choose a poem that you like. Take the last line of the poem and use that as the first line of your own poem.

Source: "Annabel Lee" by Edgar Allen Poe.

Response: Human Remains

In her tomb by the sounding sea
the air glitters like
cold. Bitter black
fists clenched in dread of agony
and the sea sounds
the tomb entombed
and the sea sounds like
amber. Umber undulation
hands limp with accept of defeat
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

In his house by the weeping tree
the fire ripples like
heat. Sweet white
hands caress in symphony of aspiration
and the tree weeps
the house hollowed
and the tree weeps like
jade. Emerald emptying
fingers biting with embrace of unfeeling
In his house by the weeping tree.

In her rest by the churning deep
the silence beckons like
damaged. Stinging green
eyes closed in return of opalescence
and the deep churns
the rest arrested
and the deep churns like
ruby. Scarlet scintillation
brows knit with performance of retreat
In her rest by the churning deep.

In his wound by the aching hearth
the noise deafens like
whole. Mesmerizing gold
gaze glazed in propagation of grief
and the hearth aches
the wound unwound
and the hearth aches like
pearl. Ivory intuition
sight refracted in terror of delight
In his wound by the aching hearth.

Note: This poem was written with uneven margins, but apparently blogger doesn't do that . . . It looks a lot less cool like this :( but if you want to see the original composition visit the Cinco de Mayo post on the WEbook project.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Prompt:Choose a plant/flower. Write about the symbolism you see behind the plant . . . then find out the real symbolism and post that as well.

Source: None. "Thistle" on Wikipedia.

Response:To me the thistle is alone, solitary, untouchable yet unremarkable.

In Celtic heraldry the thistle stands for nobility of character and birth.

Note: I don't know why I chose this one . . . it's pretty boring, isn't it?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Wheat Grinder

Prompt: Describe a sound from your childhood. What was it? When did you hear it? What does it bring to mind?

Source: Imagination Prompt Generator (

Response: The high shrill of the small, flour dusty box filled the house. It drowned out every other noise as it consumed the crackling, popping wheat kernels. Like a higher-pitched vacuum cleaner perched on the white kitchen counter - it sent clouds of the smell of wheat through the room in swirling flecks of flour. The harsh, high sound meant mom was baking bread - soft as air with a chewy, flaky crust. Though the sound was to be despised, it could only mean one wonderful thing - mom was baking.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Silent Hallway

Prompt: "The hallway was silent . . ."


Response: The hallway was silent - as still as a disconcertingly glittered, snow-locked morning. All I could hear was my heartbeat in my ears and behind my eyes, but even that sounded distant. Skin crawling, I walked past the unlit doorways. I strained to hear footsteps, but there were no sounds aside from my racing heart. As I travelled the corridor, I felt the awful knowledge that I had missed my only shot to track down Israfiel sink into my bones. It made them ache.

Note: This is a variant piece of my current project Guardians ( - which incidentally also has an alternate ending entered in the A Good Ending webook challenge (

Also, I really need to not make posting prompts during the itty-bitty wee hours of the morning a habit of mine . . . Day two! Woo-hoo!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Anchors Away - Take Two

Well, I guess the best way to start a new endeavor is by learning something new. Did you know that if you save a blog post as a draft, it doesn't matter what day you actually publish the post on - the date will stay the same as the day you first created it? I sure didn't have even the vaguest inkling of that fact until a few minutes ago.

Hopefully the problem has been remedied and - as I swallow my trodden-upon ego - I can imagine that my face as I tried to figure out why my May 1st post was filed under April 6 was highly amusing.

Now that I have tackled that important life lesson, I think I'll try this one more time before heading off to bed: Happy May, everyone! And now that our anchor is no longer lodged in the silt, we may officially begin our voyage (cue champagne bottle smashing and cheering and band music and assorted other frivolity).

Folsom Prison Blues

Prompt: Write three sentences. First sentence is lyrics from a song.

Source: WEbook on Facebook. Lyrics from "Folsom Prison Blues" by Johnny Cash.

Response: I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die. I know it wasn't very nice of me, but, watching him die was . . . spiritual or something. It may be a sad commentary on my humanity, but I honestly don't think I'll ever see anything as spiritual as that again as long as I live.

Notes: It was so hard to chose which lyrics to use! Nothing I've been listening to recently really fit . . . I had to go on an intensive search. This being the first day and me being all excited I wanted to start this mission off with an uber gigantic bang. Unfortunately, neither my current schedule nor this prompt (which was pre-chosen) allowed much room for banging - gigantic or otherwise - in the writing department. However, I think I can say I started my day off with a small pow at the very least . . . Happy May 1st! Anchors away!