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

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