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