Random Scribbles · writing

Daily Prompt: Simply the Best

Daily Prompt: Simply the Best

NASA is building a new Voyager spacecraft that will carry the best of modern human culture. What belongs onboard?


This one is easy.

A tablet or laptop computer with a home page set to WordPress.  There anyone can find a huge and diverse, cross section of modern human culture.

Nuff said!

Random Scribbles · writing

Daily Prompt: Express Yourself

Daily Prompt: Express Yourself

Today’s prompt and the accompanying description make my brain hurt! I mean, what do I do with a prompt of “Express Yourself” and directions that ask me to tell about a time when I couldn’t quite get my words or images to express what I wanted to express. This could go anywhere (and probably will).

Well, it doesn’t literally make my brain hurt but, it certainly does spark cogitation.  Sparks can ignite conflagration, which in turn can produce smoke. So I’m sitting here with smoke coming out of my ears and a headache induced by a fire inside my skull. Maybe my brain hurts after all!

I’m not sure that you, dear reader, truly understand what I am trying to say so let me try again.  I am supposed to tell you about a time when I couldn’t get my words or images to express what I wanted to express. I could write about almost anything with this prompt.

I Write
We all know that punctuation can save lives (i.e. let’s eat Grandma). We are also aware that proper grammar and spelling will enhance the reading experience (I wrot the goodest blog post ever). We know these rules because these rules, and others like them, are what we have been taught. However skillful misapplication of these rules can also convey information and enhance the reading experience (re: Faulkner). Sadly, we are not all Faulkner’s so we follow the rules, we edit, we punctuate, and we try to make it easy for our readers.

I Draw
I’m not very good with drawing feet though. Most of the people I draw are standing behind something or wearing shoes. I manage to convey what I am trying to convey without having to draw feet. I know, this is the cheap way around the problem. I should probably just work on my feet…  “Work on my feet,” probably not the most eloquent way to tell you what I should do but I hope you understood what I am talking about.

I Bake
Sometimes, I use a little too much sugar, or not enough. Sometimes I cook things a little longer than I intended, but hopefully you will still recognize that I made a cookie.

I guess that every time we open our mouths, put a pen to paper, or fingers on a keyboard we can expect to be misunderstood. In a perfect world you, dear reader, would understand exactly what I was hoping to express. But this is not a perfect world so, maybe you don’t understand exactly what I meant to convey but as long as you understood something, then we have made progress. And, if you don’t think you have quite gotten the gist of this post, you might try rereading it.


Random Scribbles · writing

Daily Prompt

“the ___ is the new ___”

The DAYS are the New DREAMS

I don’t know what this means
I am really not sure
I followed the rules and went to my favorite blog
I got “The BEFORE is the new ENTERTAINED”
I went to another great blog and got “The MISFORTUNE is the new ACCOLADE”
I checked a couple more with equally disappointing results
I thought about how nouns might be the key to success with this particular prompt
I wished that I could change the prompt to read “____  is  the new ____”
I didn’t want to cheat
I kept checking blogs
I finally I hit upon “the days are the new dreams”
I thought about daydreaming…
I thought about how daydreams are the new nightmares
I thought that wouldn’t be so bad, most of my daydreams are pleasant
I tried to think if it could work the other way around too
I decided that if nightmares were the new daydreams things would be pretty bad indeed
I figured people would learn to refrain from daydreaming
I imagined all the cool things that would never be invented because no one wanted to dream them up
I decided that “The DAYS are the New DREAMS” would have to be strong enough to stand on its own
I then, and only then, decided I had scribbled enough gibberish about something I never really understood well in the first place

I probably should have just made some words up!


19 October 2013

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The prompts are:
1. Do you believe the news stories?
2. They seemed to always travel in pairs
3. She took a step back to admire her work and…

Begin writing
I got to the stop just as my bus pulled away.  I chased after it for a couple hundred yards; waving my arm, yelling “Hey Hey,” and sucking diesel exhaust.  I gave up the chase and turned back.  “Well this might just make me late for work” I said aloud as I approached the bench to wait for the next bus.

“So why don’t you just forget work and take the day off?” a small voice asked me from behind the shelter.  I looked for the speaker and saw a petite grey haired woman wielding a can of spray paint.  She was apparently putting the finishing touches on a graffiti painting on the back of the bus shelter.

She took a step back to admire her work and stuck out her hand, “My name is Anita” she said as I shook her hand.

“Pleased to meet you, I’m Tom.  Are you a tagger, Anita?”

“We prefer to call ourselves muralists” she corrected me.  “This is my co-worker, Lisa” she pointed to another woman, blonde hair, indeterminate age who stuck her head around the corner of the shelter.

“Hi” said Lisa as she grabbed a new can of spray paint and disappeared back around the corner.

“There’s two of you?”

“Of course there’s two of us.” Anita said, “We always travel in pairs.  Safer that way.” Then she nudged me with her elbow.

A light went on over my head, “Wait a minute,” I turned to Anita, “I’ve heard about you.  For the last week or so you’ve been tagging all over town.  Sorry, muraling all over town, no that’s probably not right either… Painting all over town.  I’ve seen your work on TV.”

Anita frowned and knitted her eyebrows, “You don’t really believe those news stories do you?” she asked.  “I’ve seen that coverage as well.  Two people couldn’t possibly produce all those murals in such a short time.  Lisa and I are only one of seven teams currently beautifying the city.  Wanna try?” she asked.  “If you got the right stuff you could be half of our eighth team!”
Time is up. Put down your writing implements and step away from the paper


12 October 2013

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The prompts are:
1. You pressed the space bar.
2. A Cheshire cat moon.
3. The people in my stories are all me.

Begin writing
Marie and I had walked to the restaurant that night.  The atmosphere had been perfect, the food had been sublime and the wine? … well the wine had complimented the rest of the evening.

Walking back, we held hands as we moved along the waterfront.  “Look at the moon,” Marie said.  “Such a buttery color, and it looks like it could hold water.”

“That’s not the moon,” I said, “if you had looked up earlier you would have seen the whole cat.  He’s gone now. Only his grin remains.”

That’s about as far as I got with that prompt so I started again with another story line.

It was quiet in the room and we were all hunched over our writing equipment.  Some had pencils and paper, some had spiral bound, quad ruled notepads; others were busy clicking keys on their computers.

There was probably less than 15 minutes remaining to write when we all heard Jeff mutter, “Shit.”  He closed the computer and mumbled some more.  It sounded to me like he said, “peas and carrots, peas and carrots, head in a bag, missing scientist,” or perhaps I don’t hear as well as I used to and that wasn’t what he said at all.

Then he very clearly articulated a phrase I hadn’t heard in a while, “Blue Screen of Death.”  He leaned back in his chair, waited for the timer to lapse and everyone else to finish.  When we did, John leaned over to Jeff and asked what had happened.

“I was writing a story about a computer virus taking over the government servers.  A lone computer scientist, a character loosely based on myself, was about to save the day.  As I typed, it felt good.  I was in the zone, you know.  Then I hit the space bar and the screen went black. Then the screen went blue.  Slowly, a message appeared on the blue screen in a courier typeface, ‘Windows has encountered a problem and will shut down.’  I believe it’s time for me to invest in some yellow legal pads and number 2 pencils if I want to keep writing.”

As we left the library I watched while Jeff slid his Sony laptop into the trash can by the front door.  I guess technology isn’t for everyone.
Time is up. Put down your writing implements and step away from the paper

We find ourselves with a bit of extra time.  We opted for another go.  A single prompt and 12 ½ minutes writing time

The prompt was:
1. Outside the courthouse

Begin writing
Frank was standing outside the courthouse speaking with his client Leigh.  “It was a technicality that got you acquitted you know,” he said, “They could have just as easily given you the chair.  Judges and juries are hard on killers in these parts.”

“I never doubted you, Frank” Leigh said.  “You are a great lawyer, better even than Perry Mason.”

perrymasonFrank scowled and squinted up at the Latin inscription carved over the columns adorning the building.  “Perry Mason was fiction Leigh” he said, “The people around here loved your victim.  You might want to think about moving out of town. Despite the fact that you have been acquitted, lots of folks aren’t going to want to let it go.  They could make your life tough.”

“You’re probably right.” Leigh said, “Maybe Florida is far enough away.  I’ve always fancied Florida.  I can’t believe that they would actually put a screen writer on trial for killing off a character though.  I am forever in your debt.”

Frank grabbed Leigh by the shoulders and turned her so that she was facing him squarely, “You didn’t just kill of a character Leigh,” he said, “You shot JR.”
Time is up. Put down your writing implements and step away from the paper


05 October 2013

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05 October 2013

The prompts are:

1. Pets can be quite demanding.
2. Of course you know nothing about me.
3. Truly momentous events can often catch you unaware.

Begin writing
Doctor Ivan Kutcherpeckeroff, DVM finished taping the sign to the window, stepped back and admired his handiwork.  The sign read:



He turned and went back inside the clinic, stopped at the front desk and told his techs, Jason and Miranda, to prepare for a busy day.  “This ‘No Hump’ special should have them flocking in today,” he said in his heavily accented English.  “What time is our first appointment?”

Miranda pushed her hair back, snapped her gum and looked through the appointment book on the desk in front of her.  “Ms. McGill is bringing in Nay Nay the cat today at 2:00.  Nothing is booked before that.”

“Wonderful,” exclaimed Dr. K, “that means no waiting for the new spay and neuter customers!”  He grabbed a red magic marker from the pencil holder in front of Jason and went back outside:


He appended to the sign.

“You know where to find me when the crowds come.” Dr. K said, and retired to his office to prepare for the busy day.

Miranda and Jason spent the morning playing ‘Candy Crush’ and ‘Words with Friends’ on their cell phones.  Dr K came out and manned the front desk himself when the two techs went to McDonalds for lunch.  When they returned he went back to his office and heated up the leftovers he had brought to eat.  He pondered why his ‘Spay and Neuter’ special had not brought in the anticipated rush.

At 1:45 he stepped out into the waiting room to greet Ms. McGill when she arrived with Nay Nay the cat.  Dr. K firmly believed that this kind of personal touch would help to build his business and his future clientele would appreciate his consideration.

He glanced out the window to the parking lot looking for Ms. McGill’s car to arrive.  The window was clear.  His sign was gone.  Dr. K’s face turned bright red and his hands began to wave about.  “Where is our sign?  Where is OUR SIGN?” he asked over and over.  Sometimes he seemed to be asking Miranda and Jason.  Sometimes he seemed to be asking himself. “No wonder it’s been so quiet today! Our sign is missing!”

At that moment a red Taurus nosed into the lot.  Dr. K rushed outside and scooped up Nay Nay the cat from Ms. McGill.

“Sorry I’m late Doctor.  Nay Nay was being finicky.  Sometimes pets can be quite demanding.”
Time is up. Put down your writing implements and step away from the paper


21 September 2013

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21 September 2013

The prompts are:

1. She studied her face in the mirror
2. It’s Christmas Day and it’s like 80 degrees
3. They had obviously confused movement with progress
Begin writing

Beatrice woke up and rolled over in the bed.  Slowly opening her eyes a crack she determined it was light outside.  She snapped her eyes shut again, groaned and pulled the blanket over her head.  Eventually she recognized the futility of trying to go back to sleep and tossing the covers back she sat on the edge of the bed.  She groped her way to the bathroom, splashed water on her face and studied her appearance in the mirror.  Not too bad she thought those bags under my eyes are hardly noticeable.

As she began looking around, she slowly registered the fact that except for her own face in the mirror, nothing else looked familiar.

“Huh,” she said aloud to herself, “what have I gotten into this time?  Where am I?”

“You’re at my house in Kauai” a white bearded man answered, sticking his head around the door frame.

“OK,” she said, “You look familiar but who are you and how did I get to your house in Kauai?  The last thing I remember I was in Minneapolis.”

“That’s right,” he said, “Do you remember any more?”

Beatrice reached into her memory and found a few scraps that seemed recent.  “I think I dropped the boys at the rink for hockey practice and then went to the market to do some last minute shopping for Christmas dinner.”

“Ho ho,” said the bearded man, smiling “I wasn’t sure if you would remember or not.  Sit down and let me fill in some blanks for you.”

She nodded her head and perched on the edge of the toilet waiting expectantly.  The large white haired guy leaned against the door frame; he was big but in pretty good shape for an old man.  He was wearing a red tank top and board shorts.  “You are at my retreat in Kauai” he stated.

“Wait a minute, we didn’t…?” she began.

“No, no, we didn’t do that.  Now where was I? Ah yes, today is the first day of my vacation.  It’s Christmas day and I’ve been working all night.  I always take a couple of weeks off after Christmas Eve.  You know, before I go back up north and get to work again.”

Time is up. Put down your writing implements and step away from the paper