Sunday, June 27, 2010

July 1, 2010 - Lex Luthor

Prompt: Write a paragraph from the perspective of someone else's character (from a book, movie, TV show, whatever).

Source: None. Smallville.

Response: They all turned to stare as I pulled up in front of the Talon. I wish I could say that I hardly noticed, but even after all this time I was sensitive to what others thought of me. I knew that I was not "that bald kid" to any of the people who were presently staring at me, but I could not help but set my mouth in a hard line - defensive - as I walked inside. I knew that some of the things that they were thinking were far worse than anything my grade school rivals had called me.

Notes: I believe I have mentioned before that I am a major nerd . . . I guess I just proved that beyond any doubt. I love Smallville, though, and Lex Luthor is absolutely my favorite character (I'm only on the second season so I still have myself convinced that he's just "misunderstood").

June 30, 2010 - The Hunt

Prompt: In 250 words, write from the point of view of a ball of yarn being chased by a cat.


Response: The Hunt

The sun streaked through the window in lovely long beams. I thought I might doze off - the steady clicking of Leah's knitting needles above me providing a lullaby.

Leah's voice broke the silence as I felt a tug. "Oops."

I plummeted to the ground, instantly awake. I hit the threadbare carpet with a jarring jolt of pain. I frantically surveyed the room. I had landed in the puddle of shadow cast by Leah, but as I felt another tug unravel my body I rolled into the sun, into the open.

Then I felt it - the thudding of paws that meant Emmett was on the prowl. I stayed stock-still. I prayed he would not notice me laying there. And then Leah gave another tug.

The evil, inquisitive eyes leered into me and I quailed. Emmett cocked his head and I hoped against hope that Leah had enough yarn.

As I rolled again Emmett's face took on a feral quality. He pounced.

If I had had a mouth with which to scream, I would have. His claws delved deep and I felt I would break open, spilling onto the floor in a vicious unraveling.

Another tug sent me careening across the old carpet and Emmett followed, his teeth and claws never letting me get too far away.

I heard Leah hiss at the cat and try to pull me away, but he was enthralled in the hunt. To me, Leah spoke only one phrase - one discomforting mantra. "Emmett," she scolded stiffly. "Don't play with your food."

June 29, 2010 - Into the Ocean

Prompt: Listen to the radio (or put a music player on shuffle) and write down a few of the lyrics from the first song that you hear. Use these lyrics to jump start ideas for a poem or story.

Source: Into the Ocean by Blue October.

Response: Into the Ocean

I want to dive into the waves

under the rushing current

between the frequencies of whale sounds

and float there - between pain

and dreaming

I want to feel the detritus surround me

and hear the sirens song inside me

beneath the waves' crashing

and swim away - away from my nightmares

my empty contentment

I want to see the rain brush the water's surface

and watch sharks watch seals' silhouettes from below

where the sunlight refracts into nothing.

I want to go into the ocean

deep into the ocean.

Unfortunately for my half-formed escape,

I'm nowhere near the beach.

Notes: I cheated a little - I skipped two songs until I found one I could work with. Feel free to do the same.

June 28, 2010 - Dialogue

Prompt: Practice your dialogue. Write a short story between two characters entirely in dialogue. Make it a bit unusual. (100-110 words)



"I'm stuck."

"Really? And here I thought you were sitting there because you happen to like small spaces between bed frames and walls."

"Ha. Ha. You're so funny. Help me out."

"Okay . . ."

"Ow, watch it! Come on, help!"

"You really are stuck. I'll be right back."

"No, wait, no! Don't leave me here! NO NO NO NO! HELP!"

Notes: Hee hee hee. Apparently I was so enthralled with the week of the Short and Sweet that when I picked the prompts for this month, I left on an extra one.

Short and Sweet Week: Mr. Adamson

Prompt: Time yourself - you get 60 seconds to write about the word below. Don't think, just write.


Source:June 27th's prompt.

Response: She watched him from her window - the peculiar little form of Mr. Adamson. He walked, stoop-backed, but proud as a male peacock attempting to impress females. She knew if she could have seen his face, she would observe a tired, grizzled visage.

Notes: So ends Short and Sweet Week . . . Well, I am staying at my cousin's and they don't have wireless Internet so I am somewhat restricted in my writing time, but I will try not to miss. However, we will be at a family reunion FAR out of Internet range for the next four days, so those prompts will hopefully be up today . . .

Thursday, June 24, 2010

June 26, 2010 - Short and Sweet: The Boy

Prompt: Write a limerick. It's a humorous five line poem with the rhyme scheme of AA BB A. It often starts "There once was a..."


Response: The Boy

There once was dairy farm way out in the wild

and the dairy farm was home to an extraordinary child

He was a biter, that boy, he bit night and day

and when he found something he wanted to bite it could not get away

But when his parents offered a treat, the boy was instantly mild.

Notes: Yeah, so I'm not great at humorous . . . Or at rhyming . . . Oh well. At least it was funny in my head.

June 25, 2010 - Short and Sweet Week: That's What Happens

Prompt: Finish this sentence: "That's what happens when you follow your heart..."


Response: That's what happens when you follow your heart - you end up covered in sushi and sauerkraut, listening to Barry Manilow, laughing so hard you worry about wetting yourself, and trying not to cry while you watch his fingers trace circles on her hand.

Short and Sweet Week: Love From, Your Secret Admirer

Prompt: Write a diamante (a poem in the shape of a diamond. Line one: your topic, line two: two adjectives about your topic, line three: three -ing verbs about your topic, line four: four nouns or a short phrase linking your first and last lines, line five: three -ing verbs about your last line, line six: two adjectives about your last line, line seven: a synonym or antonym of your first line) about a criminal.

Source: None.

Response: Love From, Your Secret Admirer

Notes: In case you're wondering about the lovely blue line around my poem and where you might get one yourself - I had to put it in as a picture because Blogger doesn't do diamonds.

I will be driving all day tomorrow and most likely out of internet service the day after (I'm going to my cousin's wedding) so those prompts are coming up . . . right after this.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Short and Sweet Week: They Once Were Wild

Prompt: Use the following image and title for a piece of flash fiction: They Once Were Wild. (100-110 words)

Source: (for a little bit of the history of flash fiction and such see:

Response: They Once Were Wild

They grasped fingers loosely; plumes of sand faded behind them. They did not speak – a passerby would assume that they knew each other so well it was no longer necessary. They would have been mistaken.

Catherine glanced at Nathan. She wanted to talk, but a comment on the weather would have fallen flat.

They once were wild, she remembered. Like roses growing in beauty and thorns, twining and stabbing each other. Now they were machinery that touched by design.

They slept turned away. Before he woke, Catherine touched Nathan’s curls, remembering the wild rose feeling. Then Catherine left the house, leaving a single set of footprints in the cold sand.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Short and Sweet Week: Weaving

Prompt: Write a couplet about the an aspect of summer.

Source: None.

Response: Weaving

Fingers flitting away with bits of yarn,

multi-color bangles grow up each arm.

Notes: I have a tradition every summer of making a ridiculous amount of friendship bracelets which I don't take off until school starts again. I'm a little behind this year (I only have two so far, plus the wristband and bracelet from the pioneer trek reenactment I just went to), but it is one of my favorite summer things.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Short and Sweet Week: Slogan

Prompt: M&M Candies "Melt in your mouth, not in your hands." Miller Lite "Tastes great, less filling." Describe yourself (or your writing) in ten words or fewer.


Response: White, nerdy, and opinionated, but harmless.

Notes: I decided that this week needed its own theme. This week is Short and Sweet Week (all the prompts this week will require 110 words or less). This idea mostly came about because I will be particularly busy this week (and I will have to post at least one prompt in advance), but also because I think a lot of writing ends up being about making the word count and that's really not very fun. Sometimes it's more productive to keep it simple - short and sweet and to the point, so that's what this week is all about.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dangerous World

Prompt: "It's a dangerous world out there for a toy."

Source: Toy Story 2

Response: I've been hit every day - thrown up against walls, covered in hot soup and cold cereal. I've been nearly drowned and just about suffocated. And yesterday, I had had enough.

I got up early - everyone else was sleeping. The house was quiet, safe-feeling almost. I snuck down the hall. The boards creaked a little.

I went out the dog door, no use in making a racket with the big door.

The street was almost as quiet as the house, but a dog barked as I went past. I jumped, startled.

I was shaky. Dogs scare me - all those big, slobbery teeth. Perfect for ripping, tearing, deconstructing. It also felt so open on the street. I was used to the house - confining walls, familiar scenes. The wind blew through the shrubbery and raised goosebumps on my arms.

A slamming sound made me jump - literally. I was confused, scared.

A car rushed by and I turned back, diving through the dog door.

I walked back up the hall and climbed back into my girl's bed, snuggling against her warm torso. The little fingers grabbed me reflexively - just a little too tight.

I laid there, enjoying the quiet of the house before the frenzy of the day and I wondered . . . How do her parents deal with her all day?

Notes: Anyone going to see Toy Story 3? I am! Not for a while, but I won't miss it for anything.

I am back, only slightly worse for wear physically, and lots better off spiritually. Gotta love church youth activities - especially ones where you get all dirty and companionable.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

June 19, 2010 - One of Those Mornings

Prompt: Write using the adage, "these things happen in threes."

Response: One of Those Mornings

When I woke up, I stubbed my toe on my bedside table while the Beatles played annoying loud in my alarm clock. It brought tears to my eyes.

I stumbled out of bed, slapping the alarm clock until it shut up. I yanked a shirt from my dresser drawer and started to pull it over my head - banging my elbow on the dresser in the process. It sent a pang up my arm that seemed to jolt my entire spine.

When I tripped down the stairs - getting a long, unattractive friction burn on my cheek - I found myself wishing that I had remembered that these things always happen in threes and stayed in bed.

Notes: I'm off to pack my period clothes into my homemade knapsack and push a handcart for a couple days on a pioneer trek reenactment . . . See you all on Sunday.

June 18, 2010 - Taffy

Prompt: Saltwater Taffy

Source: None.

Response: Keelia struggled with the broken lock - rattling it in frustration. The groceries in one of the rustling paper bags migrated upward with the movement, spilling over the porch.

Keelia swore violently, thumping the remaining groceries to the wooden floor. She kicked the door and the lock popped open. Keelia gathered the food haphazardly, lugging it inside.

After putting the cans and fruit and packages away, Keelia stretched her back. It was bothering her again - panging with sore and pinched muscles. She went into the living room and surveyed the mess that she had left when she went to do errands.

Keelia collapsed to the couch and reached into her pocket. The candy was soft from the heat, but as the taffy stuck to her teeth and filled her mouth with the peppermint flavor, she decided that even chocolate could not compare.

Notes: This is probably the most autobiographical thing I've written for this project - our door knob on the front door is messed up, it's hot, I'm stressed, everything that's my responsibility is a mess and taffy makes everything slightly better . . .

The Piano

Prompt: Write the last line to an unwritten novel that's so intriguing that others won't help but want to read the book.


Response: The Piano

I ran my hands over the chipped keys one last time before I turned my back on the old piano, consigning it to the harsh wiles of the desert.

Notes: This is a hard hard hard evil prompt . . .

I am going to be gone for the next two days, so those prompts will be posted later today.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Wonderful Lies You Told Me

Prompt: Bubbles.

Source: My little sister.

Response: The Wonderful Lies You Told Me

You once told me you loved me, but since you also once told me that soap bubbles carried wishes to God, I guess I should have known you were lying. Just as I was not truly naive enough to believe that bubbles could have a holy purpose, but I wanted to believe it because it was a pretty story - because I wanted to believe you would not lie - I do not think I really believed you.

Looking back, I do not think I really believed anything you told me. You told me stories about soap bubbles, about how candles could summon saints and demons alike, that if I stood too close to the carnies they would hide under my bed to haunt me. The first time you held my hand, standing so close that I could feel your breath and the warmth of your body in the October air, you told me that my mom wanted you to. And the first time you kissed me, you drew back and told me I was special and that you had wanted to do that since we were kids laying in the grass and making soap bubbles.

I always wanted to believe you, but somehow the tiniest doubt wormed its way into my mind. I sent up a thousand soap bubbles when my dad was sick, when he was dying. Each one, a prayer for his recovery, though I was fairly sure it would not do anything. I lit a candle once, late at night, after my father died and called his name hoping that he had become a saint even though I did not believe that they existed. Later, when I became angry over the injustice of his death, I tried to summon demons in the same way. I was so furious, I almost expected it to work. After you told me to beware of carnies, I did not sleep for a week because I could not convince myself that you would lie to me. When we held hands "because my mom wanted us to" I grasped your fingers tightly, afraid my mom would see us and be angry, though I wanted to never let go. And the first time I kissed you, I told the voices that said you could not care about me and that reminded me of the times you had left worms where I was sure to find them just to scare me to shut up.

They were such beautiful stories, even the scary ones. You crafted them so skillfully - your eyes gleaming with the excitement of a child confessing a secret. And I ate them up, lapped them from your hands like sweet ambrosia. And I could not believe you would ever betray me by lying to me so I hid my doubts under mountains of devotion to you, buried them in caverns of worship. I even blew soap bubbles and wished with all my might that I did not doubt you.

The night we got lost when I was eleven and it was getting dark, your stories of sacred fires that lit in the night to protect children kept me warm until they found us. Your voice encircled me and I never wanted to leave your arms, no matter the bite of the harsh winter wind.

I think I really did believe you when you said you loved me, though. It was stupid of me, but I had fooled myself into following your lead since we were very little and I guess I wanted to trust you so much that I was willing to trust blindly.

When I saw the things in you I had ignored for so long - the angry perfectionist, the possessive control freak - the wonderful, magical, fragile little world that you had built around me, piece by piece, crashed to the ground in a circle all around me. I looked at all the little broken bits and remembered carnies and holding hands and soap bubbles and realised that I really should have known that you were lying.

I walked out of the circle of broken things, crushing the debris beneath my feet as if I could erase you and what you have always meant to me, but it made me cry. Because as stupid as it was to believe you could love me, I can never be as happy again as I was when candles could summon and fires could save. I cried desperately, though not for you. Rather, for the intricate, mystical, terrible, lies you fed me, covered me with, constructed for me. And, though I have never been lonely enough to miss you, I ache everyday for the wonderful lies you told me.

Notes: The title and first line of this piece are from a Paula's Writer's Block (a WEbook challenge project) prompt. Mine was the winning sentence and I became attached enough to it, that I was actively trying to find a place to use it. This prompt seemed perfect.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Mirrored Room

Prompt: Write about someone who discovers a key.


Response: The Mirrored Room

"Do you think me insane?" I muttered, not truly directing the words to any of my surroundings.

The wide-striped floors seemed to leer and the cross-ways furnishings tittered giddily. "Doth it matter what we think or say?" They laughed at me. "The story is told by the characters, not the furniture."

I shooed them with my hands, telling them to be quiet. The mirrored room reflected my madness in angular patterns and rotational symmetry like an over sized Gerber Daisy. Cubically I could see myself - the line of the part in my hair, blazing white with scalp; the shape of my stomach, a soft crescent moon; the soles of my feet, torn and pale, the mark of my journey around the mirrored room.

"Do you think me insane?" I bit my lip, recalling Einstein. "'Tis madness to preform the act identical and expect something to change."

I laughed aloud. "I am indeed insane!"

Clattering their drawers, the bureaus agreed. The paintings' subjects looked down on me and then looked away.

I arrange my lorgnette to look in the mirrors and the colors explode like kaleidescope rainbows. I am all white - I am all pale and faint. But the wide-striped floors are teal and amber and the chest of drawers reflects in shades of lavender. The pictures dance in mirages of color wheel hues and their subjects look upon their multifaceted worlds in superiority.

But beneath the colors - the shades of umber and carmine - I see the lines, the blueprints. Like hand-drawn spider cracks in the idol of an ancient deity beneath the watercolor splashed all over. I see the bones of the mirrored room and a little black speck in the great engineering plan. A tiny ebony key - all dark like I am white, all black like I am pale.

Reaching out like a blind man in the dark, I grope for the key - reaching through the splashed oil paint to the little key. The little, old-fashioned deliverer hidden in the fabric of this place.

But somehow I cannot touch it. It skitters away from my fingertips, bounding with the motion of a startled rabbit. It ran from me - fled from me and I felt tears well up. I didn't know why, but I wanted it. I needed the key.

I touched it gently as it backed itself against the wall. It burned my skin like dry ice and I let it go. It disappeared.

I let my lorgnette fall to the floor. The room tilted back to its muted mirrored-ness.

"Do you think me insane?" I asked again.

The room did not respond.

Monday, June 14, 2010

What Would You DoooOoo for a Klondike Bar?

Prompt: What did you do for that Klondike bar?

Source: My older younger brother.

Response: What do you mean? Which Klondike bar? Oh . . . This thing. Yeah . . . I, um . . . I found it. Where? Uh, in an abandoned ice cream truck in my backyard. Yeah, I know, how weird, right?

What did I do for it? I don't know what you mean - I just found it.

It is not impossible - It happens sometimes! What did you think they do with old ice cream trucks when they don't want to drive them around anymore? They totally dump them in people's backyards, full of ice cream.

Yeah-huh. Yeah-huh. Yeah-HUH.

No, no, no - don't hit me! Look what you did - it's melting all over my arm.

OK, OK, OK, fine . . . I, um, I ran down the street.

Yes. That's all - I just ran down the street. With . . . a can's worth of worms on my head.

Don't laugh! It was worth it. You just wish you had a Klondike bar.


Notes: I'm not sure exactly what came over me, but now I really want ice cream.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Prompt: Write a poem that describes a walk through a house from the perspective of a child.


Response: Safari

The edge of the rug curls up when I step on it

like a little snake is slithering under there.

The curtains twist in the breeze

like a Velociraptor is playing hide and seek.

The laundry lays in stacks all over

like native hunters lying in wait.

My mommy answers the phone "Hello?"

like a parrot answering back.

A fresh batch of cookies sits on the table

like baby monkeys sun bathing.

I snatch one like a hunting eagle

and steal a big bite before my mommy gets back.

Penance - Cardstock

Prompt: Write from the point of view of a stack of paper a few inches from the shredder.


Response: Cardstock

I settled slowly into place, feeling heavier than I ever had. They put me there in view of my fate - right in sight of my execution. I wanted to float away, but that's hard for a piece of cardstock.

If only I was tissue paper, brightly striped lime tissue paper. Light enough to be picked up by the slightest breath of air and carried away from the whirring of my death, the clatter of my destiny.

So I sat there, unavoidably heavy, anticipating the crunching, crumpling pain that would slowly consume me and turn me into little shreds of nothing as they fed the machine. I waited my turn, imagining what it would be like to simply fall off the table and drift away.

June 12, 2010 - Dark Blue

Prompt: Explain how your favorite color makes you feel. Use your five senses to compare your color to other things.


Response: Dark blue is shiny like balloon rubber reflecting. Dark blue is tangy like beach tart blueberry pie filling. Dark blue is quietly piercing like the call of a bird in the night. Dark blue is mellow like ocean spray scent on a cloudy evening. Dark blue is soft and velvet, heavy like the enfolding shadow of night.

Notes: This prompt was suggested for grades K-2, but I thought it sounded like fun . . . guess that says a lot about my maturity . . . Black is actually my favorite color, but I've been having an intense love affair with dark blue for quite some time. I'm not sure why I didn't put this in Color Week, but . . . here it is.

Well . . . I missed a day. I've decided to change my policy in that circumstance - instead of doing just the two prompts of the current day and the day I missed, I will also do a penance prompt (coming up next).

Friday, June 11, 2010

Don't Say Yes

Prompt: The love of your life is getting married to someone else. In a last-ditch attempt to win the love of your life back, you bust into the wedding and profess your love mid-ceremony. Start your story with the line, "Don't say yes!"


Response: "Don't say yes!" I knew I was a mess - sleepless, restless eyes and unwashed clothes. I knew it so well that I didn't bother to look at the other people in the building - just at him.

He looked stunned. I wasn't sure why, after all, I had told him that I would do everything to stop him.

The little blond Cruella Devil next to him just looked furious.

"Please, don't say yes- I'm begging you." I stumbled to the front of the church, toward him, toward my love . . . My love. "We can make it work. I'll give it all up - the late nights - animorphic characters. I'll even give up writing altogether, just don't marry her. Please,"

His best man - a guy I didn't recognize - stepped in front of him, almost like he was trying to protect him. Protect him from what? I wondered. Certainly not from me.

I pushed the guy aside - he felt light, almost weightless. I shoved Bridezilla away. She tripped over her train and sprawled down the aisle.

"Don't say yes," I touched his shoulder, reached out to stroke his hair. He shied away from me. He looked almost scared. I grabbed his arm. "Don't say yes, please - I'll give it up, I will. Everything."

He stared at me. "Who are you?"

I frowned. I touched his cheek and he flinched. "Please, love, please,"

Someone grabbed my arm, pulled me away. They were talking to me - some screaming, some murmuring comfort - but I couldn't hear them. I screamed - my throat vibrating yaw.

He looked away from me and I couldn't help but scream. And they pulled me away - dragged me outside. I rubbed my palms on my hospital gown, my bare cut feet throbbed with my running, scrambling fervor.

Dr. Gillin stood with me, arms around me outside the church. "Honey, you didn't know him. Let's go back - let's go home, honey, it's all right."

Back in the hospital, inside my little white walls, and I screamed myself hoarse and deaf and I cried. I cried for my love and his new wife.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

No Longer Birdsong

Prompt: Write from the point of view of a birdcage whose occupant recently died.


Response: No Longer Birdsong

It is the silence

not the very exact missing

in the emptiness

no longer birdsong

no longer feathers and seed.

Now the bird is gone.

Notes: I tried for a double haiku, but yeah . . .

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Prompt: Use this mixed personification: sorrow croons as love begs.


Response: I touch his hair. It's still wet with pool chlorine, drying in funny little spikes all over his head. I touch his hair as Simon and Garfunkel plays in the background - still blaring loud over the backyard speaker in the glow of strung Christmas lights from months before, but from inside the house it sounds like ambiance.

His hair is just starting to grow out from the last time he cut it - the ends are tangled and the whole mess is blond from exposure to the intensity of summer sunbeams.

It is our last day. Our last day in the last summer of our shared lives. Tomorrow I will wash the chlorine out of my own hair - less blond than his, though more green - for the last time in his family's shower with the black and white tile like an old-time diner. Tomorrow I will load my stuff into a truck and drive away to another state, another school.

Tomorrow he will wake up - later than me, after I'm already gone. He probably won't bother to wash his hair because he swims so often. He'll wear casual clothes and lounge all day until his mom orders him to finish packing. At the end of tomorrow, he'll load up his car and drive across the state line to go to college. He might call me . . . Maybe. But I know that this is our last day - last night - last moment.

He will forget me - making friends and listening to his favorite oldies so loud it drives even them crazy. I know I won't forget him - as hard as I'll try - but I also know that I won't call him either.

I realise I'm stroking his tousled hair and stop, afraid that I will wake him up. His skin radiates heat from the light sunburn of the day.

I have known him since worms were the only subject either of us knew anything about. I have loved him since before I met him; I dreamt up a prince just like him - bold and gallant and funny, though the affection for music from another time and an infectious smile were unforeseen perks.

I touch his hair again, gently. My dejection sings deep in my chest - trying to lull me into self-pity and doubt. My affection pleads not to be separated from him. Sorrow croons as love begs and, as neither of them can do me any good, I tell them to shut up.

I leave the living room. He will sleep on the couch all night, but I always go to the spare bedroom after he is sleeping so that his mom never has to wonder what we've been up to.

In the spare room, I cry. My sunburned face feels like it's cracking under the strain of the salt and power struggle of keeping my tears quiet.

I wake up early and wash the chlorine from my hair. I touch a bathroom tile - a chipped little black one - almost tenderly.

I walk past the living room - to see him one last time - but he isn't there. Feeling worse, I make my way to the kitchen. I can hear that his mom is up, cooking, and she will be furious if I leave without eating.

I walk in and feel my abused cheeks lift in a grin I can't control. He turns toward me and indicates a plate of pancakes at the place next to him. "Though we ought to celebrate our last day."

I get syrup in my bangs and my sunburn starts to sting as his mom tries to embarrass us both with stories about worms, but we both just laugh and Peter, Paul and Mary play in the background - as reassuring as a loved one's heartbeat.

Notes: This is dedicated to Julie, with love and oldies.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Prompt: I deserve a _____.


Response: I deserve an accent. How lame is it to be stuck speaking in a mid-western monotone when there are so many more interesting ways of speaking available? After being born in a middle income, Caucasian family with nothing particularly special about it don't I deserve to have something about me that's interesting?

In fact, maybe everyone deserves an accent. The way we talk says so much about us - makes such an impression on people we meet. The cadence of our voices can take on so many different properties in the minds of those we meet. We instantly become "annoying" or "interesting" or "intelligent" because how we speak. No matter how uneducated you are, if you have a British accent and you're talking to an American, they're likely to believe that you're smart. And if your accent is Southern U.S., you may sound instantly like a hick.

So, yeah, I deserve an accent - something fun and interesting . . . Most importantly interesting because accents are awesome . . . And I deserve some fun.

Notes: I'd like to remind everyone of my disclaimer for the sake of my own sanity (so I don't wonder what everyone is assuming about me and my upbringing from this) - what I write may or may not be factual, autobiographical or accurate and I reserve the right not to say which. Though, I will say, I do wish I had a British or Australian accent . . .

Monday, June 7, 2010

Color Week: Isabelline

Prompt: A child named Isabelline.

Source: None. Isabelline (found through Wikipedia):

Response: Lillian held Boggart close to her body, her hands shaking. The python bobbed fretfully, feeling the trembling of his master.

"I'm sorry," Lillian whispered, stroking the snake almost as one would a dog. "I'm just nervous."

Using her hand that was not weighed down by the yellow python, Lillian adjusted the sequined costume that Sidney had found in the circus props. It was tight against her thighs, the fringe in constant movement against her skin - a disconcerting brush of unfamiliarity.

"Time to go," A performer she did not yet know tapped her shoulder.

Quivering, Lillian entered the tent. It looked different from the back - the side without the posters of the fat lady and the mermaid and the doll family. There weren't any posters of her yet, but she could hear the announcer - the barker, she remembered - calling out the freaks as she stood worriedly on her platform.

Lillian took a deep breath as she heard the barker call her out: "From the polar ice cap, where skin stays as white as snow, Isabelline the Snake Charmer,"

Lillian closed her eyes for a moment. "Isabelline. Isabelline."

She lifted Boggart above her head as the spectators started filing in and smiled mysteriously as the python wound down her arm.

Notes: This is an idea from my next project - a novella entitled Sideshow. I'd post a URL, but nothing has been written in it yet so there's not really a point. However, it is important to note that because the project is set in the 1940's and 50's, it is not neccessarily politically correct and that no disrespect or offense is meant by it.

So ends Color Week . . .

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Color Week: Red and Gold

Prompt: Red and Gold

Source: My little brother. Red and Gold (found through Google):

Response: Neela ducked her head as she came through the cloth door of the shop, a fluttering of dust sprinkling her and swirling in the air. Honeyed sugar spices engulfed her as she entered the shop. In the scant light that traced its way from the single covered window to the floor she could see minuscule floating pieces of the spice plants that had broke off from their brothers hanging from the ceiling to spread their cloying scent,. They seemed to dance with graceful agility in the breeze created by the movement of the cloth.

The shopkeeper - a man she knew by sight, though not by name - looked up as she came in, but when he recognized the tiny street urchin he inclined his head slightly before going back to his business. Neela never bought anything and she never spoke.

Neela worried her bottom lip with her teeth. She always felt she should say something to the shopkeeper - a greeting or an expression of her gratitude for the many hours she had spent in the deep shade of his shop, perusing but never buying - but, as usual, she could not think of anything specific to say and so she said nothing.

Quietly, Neela made her way past the jumbled rows of cloth -cloth reeled onto bolts, cloth wound onto spools as tall as she was, cloth draped over displays. Passing slowly, she reached out her fingers to catch the edges of the fabric. She felt the rough brocade and the slippery silks and satins, the minute embroidery and the woven patterns beneath her fingers.

The fabrics were intriguing, exotic. Neela could have spent the remainder of her life studying perhaps one or two kinds of cloth, but she has a specific aim that day. Though the cloth called to her with its alluring textures, Neela kept herself focused on her goal.

In the farthest corner, hidden beneath a hanging display of gauzy, floating azure fabric was the selection of red and gold fabric. Neela ducked beneath the airy display and touched with reverence the intricate cloth. Though heavily woven it was soft, comfortable.

Neela lifted an edge to touch to her cheek. The design came to her eye line - it spread before her like a field of red and gold fire dancing in a high wind, yet it was somehow warm and calming. It reminded her of watching the sunset on the hills behind the shack she called her home. It reminded her of the cold winter months when she would wrap herself in a blanket and watch from the back door as the sun spread its rose-colored light over the hill. She would watch the sky fade from the gentle reds and golds to intrusive blue then black and wish that she could follow the wonderful colors over the horizon. Neela would wish that she could find somewhere warm - somewhere that was always red and gold and warm.

Neela reached into her small pouch and fingered the coins inside. She had been waiting and saving for so long to buy her own piece of the red and gold sun world - a piece that she could have and carry and wrap herself in - a piece of the rosy light to protect her and keep her safe from the winter and the storms.

Cautiously, Neela lifted the bolt of cloth in her frail arms and walked slowly to the shopkeeper. She laid the fabric on his counter, unable to make eye contact. She fingered the edge of the cloth, unable to let it go.

"Can I have two lengths of this, please?" Neela swallowed, blinking quickly.

The shopkeeper looked down at her, almost tenderly, as he removed the cloth from her hand and measured slightly longer than two lengths. He cut it with a pair of long sheers, severing the lovely threads.

Neela dug in her pouch, piling her coins on the counter before the shopkeeper could even calculate the price in his head. He counted quickly while the small girl fidgeted nervously. The shopkeeper folded the swath of fabric precisely, making a show of care for the benefit of the urchin.

When he offered the fabric Neela took it slowly, clutching it to her chest. She fled the store. It was still light outside - still warm - but it would be cold that night, Neela could tell from the heaviness of the air.

By the time she was home it was dusk and Neela began to shiver, but she was unwilling to unfold the cloth. She was almost afraid to look at it - as if it might disappear.

She reached her house just as the sun began to slip behind the horizon. Neela crouched in the back doorway, unfurling her piece of red-gold sun and encircled herself with it. It was warm, safe.

Neela fell asleep before the sun had fully faded from the sky, leaning against the door frame. The night grew chill and harsh around her - cold and vicious - but Neela never felt unsafe. She had never felt more protected in her entire life. Her dreams were peaceful and sweet even as her skin took on a blue tint that contrasted with the red and gold of her protective sheath.

Notes: Well my computer is back . . . it's not perfect nor is it back to where it was but it is back from the brink - hallelujah!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Color Week: UFO Green

Prompt: Incorporate this line into a story: "His eyes were UFO green"

Source: None. UFO green (found through Google):

Response: The Girl Obsessed With Aliens

He suited his suit which suited him so sweetly. His eyes were UFO green beneath his computer programmer glasses and the slight sheen of sweat that specked his bespectacled brow. Hot it was, the heat rising like super-luminous jets from the computers, but the slight sheen of his light sweat in his suiting suit was rather becoming, juxtaposed as it was with his eyes of UFO green.

His fingers flew over the keyboard's keys and she could not help thinking how heroic his flitting fingers looked as they protruded from his suit cuffs to fly across the keys. The light off the screen - like the shine of a distant star - reflected in rays off his glasses causing him to squint as he gazed into the depths of the binary sea displayed.

She thought his suit so very suiting as she watched his fingers in warp speed on the keys.

All it is missing, thought she, is a belt to strap a blaster on - that'd suit him indeed.

He looked up frankly - startling her from her fantasy reverie - his brow furrowing though he smiled ever so sweetly. "Looks like it'll be ok," He touched the machine as she sighed with relief.

He extended his hand, "I'm Jim, by the way."

"Jean," she breathed.

She could not help but inwardly swoon as they talked of nothing - the price of computer parts and the economy's state - and everything - the wonders of technology. How could she doubt that he felt the same as she as he laid a hand on her shoulder near the door and said, really quite huskily, "Come back tomorrow, Jean, and I'll have it ready for you."

She retreated in her suburban to the suburbs to the mother ship of gray trim and trimmed hedglings, thinking all the while of Jim and how well a blaster would have suited him. She washed the dishes the washer wouldn't and ate something she would never hope to remember later.

She saw him - like a hologram - in his oh-so-suitable suit as she dressed in her cadet uniform for bed. Sitting before the monitor of her back-up computer she sighed breathily at the thought of his eyes beneath his glasses - of their perfect UFO green.

Logging in, she sailed away, leaving her mother ship in the suburbs of gray. She greeted her companions with giddiness and ease. Late into the night the girl sat and the girl obsessed with aliens over her newfound fling with the human Jim.

Notes: Aw . . . Nerd love. This is what's known as prose poetry and I'm not sure how it became what it is - it sort of appeared that way. Hopefully I didn't reveal too much of my intergalactic side which (while not very big) is far far too geeky for company. The fact that it's roasting hot here probably added in more than its fair share as well.

Wasn't sure there would even be a computer I could write this on today . . . My computer is still out of commission but I'm hopeful that it won't be that way for long. Blerg.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Online Goodies

One of the most amazing things about this blog is that it has given me the opportunity to explore what the world has to offer when it comes to writing prompts. And now I have discovered some sites that are worthy of their own personal mention. All of these sites offer prompts that work for any level of writer and are creative and fun.

- WEbook's challenge projects. Current project:
- WEbook on Facebook (Both the Facebook page and the challenge projects are competition exercises and have rewards)
- NaNoWriMo on Facebook

I would particularly recommend - it is probably my favorite site at the moment.

Color Week: Hues of Indigo

Prompt: "Suddenly before my eyes hues of indigo arise."

Source: Paint the Sky With Stars by Enya. Indigo (found through Google):

Response: Hues of Indigo

All the clouds are in the sun

as suddenly

before my eyes hues of

indigo arise

disclaiming the gray

and amber skies

and solar-powered. Railroad ties

crossing the country like

notebook paper lines or cross-stitch

sampler patterns

of charcoal and gold -

All the children collect box-tops

in Ziploc bags

shining with the smell of

warm plastic

surrounded by the perforated

and pop-up skyline

and mom-approved. Assembly lines

under the ground like

veins of red Kryptonite or labyrinth

rabbit warrens

of shimmer and punctuation -

All the stories are in the wind

as ocean water

begins to surface rainbows of

spilling oil

spreading the lavender

and emerald slick

and machine-washable. Silk ties

kept in the box like

rows of porcelain girls or striped

candy ribbon

of heliotrope and green.

Notes: Unfortunately, my computer's operating system is in dire need of repair (or I risk losing all my files and my system forever) so my computer use is currently limited to whatever time I can scrounge on the family computer (not much). What does that mean to you? Not much, but I'm going to be very hard pressed the next couple days to get prompts out - so if I miss you'll know why.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Color Week: Purple

Prompt: Write from the perspective of a character who can only see one color.

Source: None. Purple (found through Google):

Response: You see the sky and you see blue. You see the grass and you see green. You look at other people and you see the tone of their skin - the mixture of red and white and yellows and browns that covers the frame of their bones.

I have never seen those colors. I was taught them when I was young - shown cards in class just like other kids, but they all look the same to me. I don't know what color you would call my world, but all colors are the same to me.

I look at the sky and the grass and skin and they are all the same to me. All colors blend together - every object the same, except one.

Pansies grew outside my house when I was a child. I didn't tell about the colors - that they all looked the same, but I couldn't help being fascinated by the pansies that grew outside. They were the only thing that looked different - their velvet petals were a lovely color, so different from everything else in my world.

As most humans are captivated by the mountains, the sunset, the stars, I was mesmerized by those pansies. Because I happened not to have purple clothing and nothing else in our home was purple, I was convinced that the flowers were something magical, mystical, unique.

In my mind, the flowers were a connection to something I was not given at birth. I knew everyone else was able to see things differently from me, but I felt like the flowers were a gift.

When I went to high school though, despite the fact that I no longer strictly believed that the pansies were anything special, I lost all faith in their magic. Even though I said I didn't care, pretended I did it on purpose, I was teased that everything I wore clashed. My obsession with purple was constantly commented on.

I began to feel that the flowers - rather than being a gift - had been left - by accident or design - to torture me. Because everywhere I looked, I saw nothing. I couldn't even imagine what other people might be able to see.

When I left high school, left the town I grew up in, I moved to an apartment in the city and I filled it with purple things - flowers in the window box, pictures on the walls. I painted the walls varying shades of purple and when I was home I was happy.

Leaving my apartment was like dying - like ripping myself out of a natural environment and trying to transplant myself somewhere unfit for habitation. But it wasn't until recently that I realized something - no matter how much purple I splashed on the world, I would never see what other people saw.

It wasn't until then that I realized I would never belong. Not like you. Whatever else you are, you and everybody else in this world belong here.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Color Week: Chartreuse Politics

Prompt: Chartreuse.

Source:None. Chartreuse (found through Google):

Response: Politics

Dana ran her electric-blue fingernails through a patch of hair, separating the newly-dyed strands. She stared at the hair overshadowing her eyes intently before she turned to her best friend, lifting a single strand. "What color would you call that, Julia?"

The two boys sitting across the room on the couch answered before Julia had a chance to raise her eyes from the book she was reading.

"It's a lovely, warm urine color." Trevor teased.

"No way," Matthew disagreed. "It's bright, irritating neon green. Who pees green?"

Julia and Dana glared at them with identical contemptuous expressions. The boys grinned innocently. Despite the differences in their appearances - Trevor was Korean and Matthew was as pale as they come with strawberry blond hair - their not-so-innocent smiles looked practically identical.

"Are either of you named Julia? No. Didn't think so." Julia looked at the newly colored sections of Dana's blond hair contemplatively, twirling a strand of her own black curls. "I'd call it chartreuse."

Dana looked up at the peripheral hair laying over her forehead pensively. "Chartreuse . . . Yeah . . . You know, I could put in some dark green pieces next and razor cut the ends. That'd look good, right?" She looked for her best friend's approval, ignoring the eavesdropping boys entirely.

Matthew cut in before Julia could form a properly enthusiastic response. "If your goal is to look like a piece of broccoli."

"Or a palm tree." Trevor added.

"Oh shut up," Dana said, her cheeks coloring in frustration. If she had been a cartoon she would have had smoke pouring from her ears and her teeth would have become fangs as she stared down the boys.

Julia dutifully assumed an excited expression. "I think it would look good - kind of punk."

"A punk palm tree maybe," Trevor snorted, ignoring Dana completely, prompting a burst of laughter between the two boys.

"Ugh, can't you guys ever take anything seriously?" Dana stomped out of the room.

After a second, Julia folded down the corner of the page she was on and brushed her dark hair behind her ear. She rolled her eyes at the boys. "Nice one, retards."

Outside of the living room, Dana looked at Julia worriedly. "Do I really look like a palm tree?"

Julia looked at her best friend's skinny, boyish figure, tanned skin and newly green-blond hair. She smiled and lied, "Not at all - the boys are just being stupid."

In the living room, Trevor leaned back on the couch, his laughter dying down. "You know the best thing about palm trees?"

Matthew grinned. "They're hot."


Notes: In case anyone was wondering, I think classes should be offered on boys. (And I suspect there are boys who feel the same but opposite)

Dang It, I Did It Again - The Beginning of Color Week

Oopsie. Once again I managed to post a prompt response on webook and totally space the blog. A thousand apologies.

Yesterday marked the beginging of Color Week (every prompt will have something to do with a color). Here's the one I missed:

Prompt: The man in amaranth robes.

Source: None. Amaranth (found through Google):

Response: The boy sat quivering on the edge of the mattress, wracked by the chills and shivers of illness. But he shied away from the man in the corner, the man dressed all in red - looming over the room in his beaked mask. Lalith brushed the hair back from the boy's forehead, off of the edge of his blank white mask.

Lalith tried to hold her hand still as she touched his shoulder soothingly, tried not to look at the mask - the awful blankness of the mask, the wrongness of its blankness. She found her breathing hitching as she tried not to look at the boy, and tried not to look at the man in the amaranth robes. There was no where she could look safely.

She had never been in the presence of a Plague Master, but she realised that though who had had not been exaggerating. Their presence was like a deep black shadow in the room - the reminder of death, of mortality.

The man stepped closer. "He will be fine. You should go."

The voice raised the hair at the back of Lalith's neck - it was quiet, but powerful, and the full-facial mask distorted the very sound of his voice. The mask made him sound alien, frightening.

Lalith stood abruptly, the unfamiliar fabric of the chiffon sent shivers through her as it brushed against her legs. Though unwilling to leave her charge alone in his trembling condition, she wanted to get away from him. And, she justified, he knew more about medicine than she ever would.

Lalith touched the boy's shoulder. "I have to go check on Ducal."

She wanted to say something like "you will be all right", but her throat closed as she tried. She straightened her ill-fitting mask and turned, again noting the disconcerting sensation of chiffon against her skin where before there had only been brocades and silks.

The Plague Master came forward out of the corner as Lalith passed. His very aura seemed to reach out to her - brush past her, grasp at her. Lalith could not hold back a shudder as the door closed.

Notes: I mentioned on the blog that I wanted to start doing some themed weeks and months and I decided to just kind of jump in right away. This week all the prompts are going to be about colors - whether they be just the color (like "purple") or something a bit more complicated (like "Write about an oddly colored pet chicken"). I will always include a sample of the color. As usual, there are no requirements for word count, genre or format - let the colors flow! (Wow, that was cheesy . . . )

Also, in case you couldn't tell, this is another piece from The Plauge Master (