Sunday, November 28, 2010

Saturday Centus - Writer's Block

It's Saturday Centus time again boys and girls! Remember how you used to look forward to Saturday morning cartoons? Well, Jenny Matlock at Off On My Tangent is my "grown up" version! Our lovely host Jenny provides us with a prompt, and we write a story of 100 words or less exclusive of the prompt. It sounds easier than it is, but it's a great way to stretch your editing muscles and your imagination. Jenny leaves the link live all week, so you've got plenty of time to come up with a nice little tale to share. Because the stories are so short, I get to visit every link. And I'm glad, because Jenny's mad little band of Centusians is one talented group!

This week, another curve ball. In Jenny's words:
This week we have a unique prompt supplied by Clearspace...a regular contributor to SC. Here are the instructions for this week: This weeks prompt writing will be one with a twist. You know those horoscopes in newspapers? One of those will be your new prompt. Pick one randomly from a paper or a website and write a story <100>

The horoscope that I chose is in bold font.

A favorite hobby or skill takes priority this morning and occupies your mind until you eat your next meal. Your many interests may include reading, trains, dolls, model building, miniatures, etc. There may be an opportunity to attend an art show this afternoon, perhaps a public showing of collections and hobbies. You will enjoy being with some of your friends that have the same sort of hobby interest as you. Working with hobbies is a wonderful way to get to know someone better. A common interest in spiritual values among family members may occur as well. You happily involve yourself in many conversations with great people today. You may be called upon to settle a debate this evening. You know just how to direct the conversation.

The scent of coffee wafting through the air roused her before the alarm. Thank God for automatic coffeepots. Throwing the twisted blankets aside, she slid out of bed and stumbled into the kitchen. Fired up the laptop, and just for grins, checked her horoscope. What a crock. She hadn't written anything in weeks. Her muse had skipped town, taken the last train out without so much as a goodbye. Sighing, she opened her unfinished manuscript and was shocked to feel herself falling down that familiar rabbit hole. Eight hours later, her rumbling stomach called her back to reality. She smiled.

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Saturday Centus - What's in a name?

It's time to join the lovely Jenny Matlock at Off On My Tangent for Saturday Centus! Life has been crazy lately and I haven't been able to post much. But I always make time to join our little band of Centusians for this weekly writing exercise. Jenny provides us with a prompt, and we write a story of no more than 100 words exclusive of the prompt. The only rules are no pictures, no profanity and no splitting the prompt! Jenny is gracious enough to keep the link live for the entire week, so you have plenty of time to craft a tale to share.
And the stories are so short, there is no excuse for not visiting all of the links. You'll be glad you did, there are some amazing writers who join every week.

I look forward every week to waking up on Saturday and seeing what Jenny has provided us to work with. This morning was no different. Until I read the prompt. Initially I groaned, then started laughing so hard I almost lost my coffee in a very unbecoming way. This is going to be an interesting week! Here is my contribution, the prompt is in bold blue font.

For years, he suffered. Bullies taunting him in the schoolyard. Raised eyebrows and barely suppressed laughter as teachers read his name for the first time. Outright howls whenever his name was called in public. His parents certainly had a flare for the outrageous. How many kids grew up in a house painted Barney purple? He always assumed that the anesthesiologist had used a free hand with the demerol when he was born. But what was his dad's excuse?

Then he read the job posting on Monster. And smiled as he entered the corporate offices of Butterball.

"Pardon me," said Tom T. Urkee. "Which way to HR?"

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saturday Centus - A Childhood Memory

Oh glorious Saturday. My favorite day of the week. It's the day we get to play with words and join the fabulous Jenny Matlock at Off On My Tangent for Saturday Centus!
Won't you join our merry band of Centusians and write a story? I won't tell you it's easy, because it's not. But it is fun! And it may just be that kick in the pants you need to start writing. The premise is simple. Jenny provides us with a prompt. We then take that prompt and write a story of 100 words or less, exclusive of the prompt. The only rules are that the prompt must be left intact, no pictures, and no profanity. Simple, right? And to sweeten the pot, Jenny leaves the link live for a solid week, so you've got plenty of time to craft a story.

The other benefit to joining us is the amazingly diverse group of writers who participate. And this is the most supportive and fun gang of people you will ever meet. I have yet to see a single snarky comment. Other than those from Tom. But he's just cracking wise about us Southerners, not about the writing. I think the ghost of Flannery O'Connor needs to visit him and straighten that boy out, don't you? I try to visit every link, every week because the stories are so great.

This week's prompt is in bold, blue font. Enjoy!

Gazing out the window, Eva sighed. It was going to take all weekend to rake those leaves. She remembered her first glimpse of this old place, falling in love with the magnificent trees guarding the house like benevolent sentinels. Now those same trees were the bane of her existence.

Eight grueling hours later, she looked around. Heaps of fallen oak leaves lay scattered like ancient burial mounds.

The early November sunshine cast golden rays of light over her handiwork. Laying the rake aside, she smiled. She couldn't resist. Laughing, she took a flying leap, landing in the largest pile, casting hours of work to the autumn breeze.

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Saturday Centus - Danny Part 2

This is my second contribution to Saturday Centus this week, hosted by the lovely Jenny Matlock at Off on My Tangent. This started as a memorial to a very good friend, mixing some fact with some fiction. 100 words was not going to cut it, so this is part 2 of my story "Danny". The prompt is in bold blue font. Hopefully this story stands on it's own, but if not, read Part 1.

"... Storm of the Century. Let's look back at some images from that day..." Turning off the television, she didn't need pictures to remember. Waking to a wind so fierce it rocked the house. Ancient trees snapping like kindling in the early morning tempest. Looking out the kitchen window as Frankie's bike flew past, cartwheeling through the heavy air like a lunatic gymnast.

She warned Danny to stay home. Devil's Hollow was surely washed out. Even if it wasn't, no one could handle those hairpin turns in that storm.

For most, it was the 11th Anniversary of the storm. For her, it was the day Danny died.

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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saturday Centus - Danny Part 1

Time for Saturday Centus hosted by the lovely Jenny Matlock at Off On My Tangent. We are back to our regularly scheduled program, after last week's detour into brevity. You know the routine by now, right? Jenny provides a prompt, and we fashion a micro story of 100 words or less exclusive of the prompt. Last week, Jenny shook things up and allowed us only 50 words. 50 words! Guess she got tired of all the complaining - "100 words is not enough, I can't possibly write a story with only 100 words" whine, whine, blah, blah, blah. After last week, this is going to feel like writing an epic!

This story is fiction mixed with some fact, based on a dear friend from high school. I couldn't do it justice in 100 words, so this one's a two parter. And before Tom starts his Southern bashing, I will tell you that I never could stand "The Devil Went Down to Georgia". But now I do at least smile a bit when I hear it, because it reminds me of my friend... The prompt is in bold, blue font.

The morning broke clear and crisp, frost sparkling like fairy diamonds. Oh, the irony. Amazing how something as simple as the weather could change everything.

She closed her eyes, remembering Danny. A gentle giant, his laugh booming through a room like happy thunder. The way he danced whenever he heard "The Devil Went Down to Georgia". Good Lord, that boy could NOT dance, but his sheer joy infected everyone. His bear hugs, lifting her off her feet as he sang "Short People", grinning like a loon. She smiled, wiping tears from her face.

It was the 11th Anniversary of the day she lost her best friend.

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