Prompt–Feb. 3, 2015

*In Keeping with trying to change up our prompts this week I chose one from the book 1,000 Awesome Writing Prompts by Ryan Andrew Kinder. This was offered one day as a free e-book that Meleesa brought to my attention and I downloaded it. It’s prompts are different and I have gone through and highlighted some I thought would work well for us. So this weeks was: “A bird is buiding a nest. Write from the perspective of the bird and the different things (include some odd human materials) it uses to build the nest.”* The four we choose were fun or different.

 

NESTING

Hummer landed with his beak full of curly grey hair.

“Oh, Hummer, this will make our nest ideal, decorated in tones of grey—so gorgeous against your bright green throat.”

“Thank you, Hummerina! I agree with our color scheme this year and there’s a lot more of this on the ground there, a short distance away, he bobbed his head.

Hummer had sat as patient as a rock, and observed how one human sliced off the lustrous, soft material from another human’s head.

Hummerina was proud of her mate and showed her love for him by fluffing up her feathers as she thought, our cozy home sheltered in the  leafy filled tree was indeed a mansion.

She took her turn at gathering the downy fluffs of grey.

After their busy day they flew off to the ‘Red Sweet Bar’ for sustenance.

Kirsten Marie Wohlgemuth, author

*****

My name is Sam, the Osprey, and my partner is Jean.  High above the Columbia River we spend our days hunting and gathering.  Nest building consumes our spring and even though it is in my DNA, I hate it!  I love my partner but nesting just is not my thing.  She is off to the local thrift stores gathering a piece of string, special leaf, or some shiny object.  For me, I’d rather suck raw fish than be caught at Good-Will.  I still do not understand my lady.

pat stone

*****

 

Another season, another nest. Size is always the same. Location, location. location. Where will I be safe with my babies?

There seem to be so many humans around spying with cameras to document my progress. I see one that has left his lens cap cover. That cap might be heavy for my size beak, but I’m going to give it a try!

Landing on the ridge of the old mine shaft, my beak grabs the edge of the shiny plastic. My foot slips in the sand and starts a stream of of sand around the cap that floats it down into the black hole.

OK, plan B.

By Carol Christel Taylor

*****

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December 16, 2014–Prompt – Pretend your one of Santa’s Elves and write a journal entry

clip_image001A day in the life of Santa’s elf.

Dec. 24–This date comes around faster every year. There is just so fast we elfs can work and every year there are more kids to make toys for. Then we have to load the sleigh. Will it ever end? Yes, December 26th is a day of rest and then we start for next year. We outsourced to China, but their manufacturing has not been keeping up with orders and since they practically own America, they have been putting pressure on us to pay in advance.

I don’t know where Santa gets all the money to pay them. Any year now they will stop giving us credit and we have to come up with 18 trillion dollars overnight or there will be nothing but coal in all the stockings. Only problem with that, the coal miners are going on strike and there will be no coal.

Why do I worry? I don’t know, only that they call me a worry wart. Well, someone has to be concerned, we’re not all Democrats.

Ellynore Seybold-Smith

*****

Journal for December 16, 2014 at the North Pole

By I M Anelf, Engineering Supervisor

Those darned reindeer! They’re at it again! Every time I turn around they are getting into more mischief.

Just this morning, as I went out of the igloo to get the morning news, I saw them flying around all over the pole, their hot breath billowing out clouds of steam like an old railroad locomotive. The real problem was that they were fogging up the new windshield that Santa just had us elves make for the sleigh.

How can Santa possibly find every house where the children have been nice and hung their stockings with care when he has a fogged up windshield on his sleigh?

Danged reindeer! I guess I need to go back to the drawing board and design a sleigh windshield defroster.

John Gable

*****

“Whew what a day! I have just enough time to undress and get into bed,” I said to myself. But first I’m going to write in my journal.

Work started off real early this morning. The first thing I heard were the seals squawking and the reindeer clacking their antlers. All that noise woke me up. I began by putting on my red slippers with a bell on each one. Then I pulled on my green and white striped tights. I finished my ensemble with my white shirt, a red waist coat, and my pointed green felt hat.

I hurried down to the main breakfast table to join my friends who were already singing Rudolf the Reindeer and other Christmas songs. Then our boss, Santa, made an appearance to tell us of all the work that needs to be done by December 24th.

I gathered my wood working tools and electronic diagnostic tester from my locker and ran with the streaming crowd of fellow elves to the workshop. The shop was huge but divided into sections as conveyor belts moved in all directions. Each of us began making a small part then passed it on until the toy was completed for the packaging department.

This went on all day.

Goodnight for now Journal, until the same time tomorrow night.

Nancy Nation

 

*****

December 16, 2014

Dear Diary,

What a day it was at J.O.S.N. LLC. Here we are only nine days until Christmas—well we really only have eight days before Christmas Eve and that’s when Santa must make his trip around the world delivering toys to all the good little boys and girls.

I cant’s believe Delbert would do this TO ME! I thought he was my friend. What did he do someone might ask? He called together all the other elves. Those like him who are part of the lower echelon and got them to walk out.

Now I and the other twelve chief elves are left to run the toy assembly line. What a job! It’s been so long since I worked the line that I had a hard time remembering where the on and off switch was. Now, my arthritis has every joint in my legs aching. I don’t know how I’ll manage to stand there all day tomorrow and put eyes into baby doll heads.

We are going to be way behind schedule. And, it’s all because of such a silly thing—a change in the coffee in the break room.

I’m sure Santa didn’t realize when he asked me to find a cheaper brand of coffee (coffee prices have gone sky high this year) that it would cause such chaos.

I searched and researched looking for a blend similar to what we had and thought I’d found it. Who knew elves were such connoisseurs of the Starbuck’s Christmas Blend.

Morty the Elf, Manager Elfin Resources

Christine Howard

Another Pick Six Prompt–November 4, 2014

For this Pick Six  the instructions were: Pick a character- Roll the Dice – first roll what is your character doing (ours was washing) -second roll what is your character doing it to of about and (it was kiwis) and the third roll – along comes: an (it was a lynx)

Captivating a Kiwi

I was caressing my favorite Kiwi.  She was wonderful; soft, succulent, sweet-smelling, and just a touch too somnolent as we lay on the blanket in the beachfront summer sun.  That is why she didn’t notice the lynx lazily strolling toward us along the beachfront, probably also enjoying the silent sun-drenched setting.  I saw her a short distance away but was too involved with current activities to be distracted by an errant wild animal.

It wasn’t until the lynx was almost upon us that my lovely Kiwi opened her eyes, looked up, took in the situation with one instant visual gulp and let out with a scream that would have awakened the dead (had there been any dead nearby).

I, of course, being the virile and fearless companion that I am, slowly arose, pointed to the end of the beach from whence the lynx had originated, and stifling a yawn, whispered, “Git!”

The lynx yawned back, slowly turned tail, and ambled along the beachfront, eventually disappearing from view.

My stunning but still somewhat startled Kiwi, looked at me with unabashed admiration, placed both delicate hands upon her left breast, and, in her sensual Australian accent, cooed, “Ohhhhhhh, my hero.”

She knew not, of course, that the spotted wild feline which had stumbled upon us was named Martha and had been my loving pet since I had raised her from kittenhood five years previous.  I captivate many lovely young things through Martha.

By Lloyd Rain

March 11, 2014–Prompt: Moving

 

“Yesterday Freddy walked in from mowing the back forty and told me he was sick from breathing the new grass.”

Martha laughed. “What he really said was, “Martha, I’m tired of this shit. I think we need to sell.”

“Where would you move?” I asked.

“Well, I was thinking about moving to another State.” Martha grinned.

“Another State? What about your kids?”

“Oh hell, we wouldn’t tell our kids anything.” She took a drink of her morning Bailey’s coffee. “How else could we keep all our income? You know, they would be right here with their sad stories wanting money like they did when we moved five years ago.”

She slapped my shoulder. “Joe, our oldest son found us and came a callin’. I pretended I’d lost my mind.”

Suzie Hagen

*****

There are many times in a persons’ life where moving away can be a chance for a whole new way of life.

Graduation and turning old enough to at least think you are an “adult” and still “know everything” is one of the first times this may show up.

Other situations like your parents splitting up and one moves to another town; or splitting custody may be another opportunity.

Marriage also allows a chance to be on your own and get into a different lifestyle.

Some people go off to school or college. A lot of young women may be looking for their MRS degree, where others take learning seriously. What better way to ensure your future than to go to law or medical school and see who is going to make big dollars later on. Granted it may not turn out that way, but I know of some people that actually think like that.

Other times in life one may decide to move away from a cold climate to a warmer one. Some become “snowbirds,” others turn out to be permanent residents. Depending on your fate in life, it may not be a choice that would have been made willingly, but just turned out that way.

People’s children may be angered and no longer acknowledge you as a family member or grandparent. A lot of times a guilt trip may work, but for people that want to get a life of their own, it can be a liberating change.

What can be amazing is going back to a town that was moved away from and meeting up with others that never did. It allows a feeling of being more worldly or experienced in life. A lot of people “our” age are still trapped in living their high school days. One almost feels sorry for them and makes you happy that the new outlook and challenges made you a different person than you would have been without the opportunities.

Shirley Lentz

*****

Moving Away:

I saw an old pickup truck the day over filled with household items such as a full dresser set, headboards, and appliances. The sight reminded me of the old TV show Beverly Hillbilly’s, only no one was sitting atop the furniture pile.

As I and my husband were getting ready to pull into a restaurant by the road, so did the overloaded truck. A young man, and what looked like his newly married wife, hopped out. We said our ‘Hellos’ and started talking.

“Have you been traveling long,” I asked.

“No, we are just moving away, and you?” The man responded.

“We come here every Wednesday lunch. Why are you moving?”

“Oh, mom’s house is too small and since we just got hitched – you know.”

The young woman spoke up to say, “We are married, not connected like a trailer,” She admonished her husband as she didn’t like the expression of being ‘hitched.’

“Well, have a good trip you two.” I offered as we entered the restaurant together.

Nancy Nation

*****

December 17, 2013 Prompt–It Just Hung There

Imagine walking through the forest, watching and listening for birds, waiting to take pictures and record their distinct calls. Then, among the trees a shadow appears that seems out of place. Squabbling of birds of prey can be heard in that direction. Getting closer, a corpse reveals.  It just hung there and vultures pecked away at the carrion. Gone were any identifiable facial features.

I took as many pictures as I dared in short time, then back tracked, darting away from the scene. I forgot all about birds and their song, thinking only of my own safety and the frenetic need to find authorities to whom I could unburden the horror of my day.

by Kirsten Wohlgemuth

Alice’s Dilemma

It just hung there, drawing me in, calling my name. I resisted, shunning the
temptation. But its alluring power kept drawing me back. Oh, the boiling sin
it expressed, the way it played upon my thirst for attraction. I turned to
leave and preserve my humble virtues. But, no, I bought the dress.

by Kevin Draper

December 10, 2013 – Prompt – From the Back of the Truck

From the Back of the Truck all that Billy could see was a cloud of dust and a vehicle quickly bearing down on them.  He had no idea why the people were chasing them, but was shocked to see a hand out the window holding a pistol being aimed in his direction.  Then he heard a bullet zing past his head followed by the sound of the gun being fired.

John Gable

FROM THE BACK OF A TRUCK

I had always wanted a tuxedo. I don’t know why, it’s not like I wear them often, but there’s the high cost of rentals and that whole James Bond thing that I grew up indoctrinated with. I mean that dude is classy! He can be in a swamp or hanging from a helicopter and he will be wearing a tuxedo, looking good; cool; calm; confident.

When I saw the commercial from the new store at the outlet mall called “From the Back of a Truck”, I knew that this would be my best shot, or most affordable chance to have that James Bond look, that secret weapon, within close reach in my wardrobe.

I immediately went down to “From the Back of a Truck” and inquired about the $99 tuxedo special advertised on TV. The salesperson directed towards a powder blue selection which was more 1970’s prom that Monte Carlo James Bond cool.

It looks like no James Bond for me today, From the Back of a Truck.

Barry John Johnson

Universal Gender Confusion – By Lloyd Rain,

There were seven or eight of us joking around in the back of the pick-up as it roared down the freeway at seventy mph or so. Our driver could see very little through the crowd in his rear view mirror so he maintained his speed and it was fortunate that no one fell overboard; that is, until someone actually did tip over the tailgate and disappear. I seemed to be the only rider who even noticed this but I quickly leaped to the tailgate to ascertain his or her status. And sure enough, there( he or she) was, clutching the bumper while sliding down the road at high speed. (He or she) was desperately trying to get enough purchase to pull (him or her) back onto the bumper and thence, into the truck. In the most heroic manner that I could muster, I stepped over the tailgate, placed one foot on the bumper and my left hand on the top rail of the tailgate. From that vantage, using every newton of strength I could rally, I reached as low as I could with my right hand and tried to grasp any part of (him or her) that might save (his or her) life by lofting (him or her) back into the truck. Finally, after three attempts, crouching lower and lower each time, I managed to grasp (his or her) shirt collar and drag (him or her) a few inches upward so that (he or she) could use both hands to advance (himself or herself) upward onto the bumper. It was not until that moment that I actually saw the face of the person who I had saved as I continued to stabilize (him or her) with my grasp on (his or her) collar. Because none of the other occupants of the truck had any cognizance of the little drama that was taking place on the rearward side of the tailgate, I realized that I had three options facing me and that a decision had to be made almost instantly. Here were my options;

Option 1) I could continue lofting (him or her) upward until (he or she) was fully safe inside the box of the pick-up;

Option 2) I could ask (him or her) to marry me and then proceed in accordance with (him or her) answer;

Option 3)I could release (him or her) shirt collar immediately and climb back into the truck as if nothing had happened.

The decision I made at that moment has changed my life forever.

Prompt for November 5, 2013 – Adverbs how not to use them

Our prompt this week was a departure although it was about the barn as a lesson in why using too many adverbs is not good for our writing we were to use as many as we could in the prompt to show how awkward they make a passage.

The only slightly visible light was a small one over by the old and ugly barn. Hurriedly, I donned my clothes and quickly I went for the brightly shining speck of light. I entered the barn and noticed a drawer in the old ugly cupboard that was slightly open. I approached and carefully, slowly, I opened it further.. Some sort of weirdly shaped object was giving off the light. That was not the only thing questionably different about it. It hummed strangely—stranger than anything I ever heard before. And, it shook slightly. I put my hand on top of the thing. It burned my hand very badly. Oddly it stopped the noise and its movement. Feeling very faint, I pushed the drawer gently closed deciding I would investigate further  in the early dawn. Wearily, I trekked back to the house and took to my bed, where I slept comfortably.

KirstenWohlegumuth

I slowly opened the heavy barn door. Inside the dimly lit room was an elephant. ‘How could have it come in here?’  I asked myself. Quickly I picked up the broom and made a sweepingly motion toward the beast. The pachyderm had a beautifully embroidered rug on top of its’ back. Slowly I approached the large animal and fondly reached out to touch its’ roughly dry skin. the elephant started to crotch awkwardly and rested on its’ haunches as if it had been thoroughly trained to take on passengers. Carefully I placed my foot upon its’ ear and jumped hesitantly up onto the back of the elephant. Gaily I shouted ‘HO’ and the pachyderm quickly rose up. Out of the barn we strode silently into the night.

Nancy Nation

I had walked languidly to the barn and looked in expectantly hoping to find my husband sleepily checking on our newly born calves. Amazingly that was not what I found. Instead a very large purplish alien was sitting in the center of the barn floor contentedly picking his nose.

“Where did you come from?” I asked in a quaveringly shaky voice.

“I am from the planet Nistra and on our planet we are devastatingly hard on people who don’t use adverbs at a minimum already you have blatantly exceeded the number we allow which is only two a year.”

I stared unblinkingly  at this monstrously strange looking creature, “what right do you have coming here and unthinkingly imposing your rules on us.” I asked bravely. “We’ve been over using them for nearly three hundred years and we will probably be doing it for practically that many more. So take your revoltingly purple self out of my barn and quickly go back to where you came from.” I tried to smile pleasantly as he left but I was unable to seriously do it.

Christine Howard

Nix On “Adverbs”

I opened the barn door quietly but it slid squeakily past the stops and came thumpingly to rest against Emily’s nakedly rear end as she was enthusiastically quantifying the historically loaded but perfectly balanced columnar list of spotlessly scrubbed pillory boxes which demonstrably and visibly restfully canted against her barely exposed posterior which, of course, was pinkishly tinted in concert with her peachy colored other beatifically membrane components.  

“Emily.” I said with shockingly delivery.  “What in the worldly realm of historically perfunctorily transactions are you doing?”

“Why, essentially, Lloyd,” said she assuredly, “Clearly, I’m intrinsically counting my adverbs!”

By Lloyd Rain

September 24, 2013 Prompt–What Would Happen If….

What Would Happen If….

All the electrical currents stopped working.

People depend too much on machines and do not use their brains anymore. Math skills have been lost because of calculators.

People do not communicate in person as much, or even talk, because they use the art of texting.

It would be interesting to see how these children that live on video games and are eternal couch potatoes would react to a different reality, A REAL ONE. Put them on a farm; make them play a sport, no engaging in anything technical for a week. A certain lifestyle of the past is now lost and is gone. The ‘good old days’ are gone forever.

Every generation has their memories, but none is as pleasing to remember as those of the baby boomers are. Can you imagine being over 100 years old and watching the first car and/train appear and towards the end of life, see jet planes and cars that do not need fuel to run? It must be really hard to comprehend, but what a gift to have all of that knowledge and be able to share these experiences with others.

I am sure a lot of it would be more than inconceivable to todays’ youth. It would be fantasy to them and hard to comprehend at all.

I would love to watch this happen to several young people that I know or would enjoy knowing better; if they could slow down and have a down to earth or real conversation, on a one to one level.

This loss of energy or power will more than likely actually happen. Bank records and everything important lost because people do not keep handwritten records anymore. No money can be taken out of the bank everyone goes back to bartering or some/many stealing for a meal.

We need to prepare ourselves in many ways and be at least somewhat ready for a major disastrous event. Even an earthquake that is long overdue could happen at any second. Are you ready —I am not?

Shirley Lentz

 

What would happen if I chose not to respond to this prompt at all?

Would the sky turn black? No problem there. It’s already black (if you get high enough above the earth’s surface).

Would terrorists blow up a few more of our buildings? No problem there. We build them as fast as they can blow them.

Would all our great universities crumble into disorderly heaps of dried cow dung ? No Problem there. What else is new?

Would I lose my virility? No problem there. Most of its gone already.

Would my writing group cast me out in disgrace? No problem there. That can happen at any time for any reason.

Would my adult children desert me? No problem there. They already have (thank God).

Would I lose my fine writing ability? No problem there. It’s not that great to begin with anyway.

Would my wife trade me in for a newer model? No problem there. She could definitely do better but I don’t think she’d be able to duplicate my comical and cynical outlook on life. She’d miss that.

Would my dog go on a backpacking trip around the country and abandon me for a better partner? No problem there. She’ll never find a better caretaker than I am, especially one who loves her as much as I do.

So, in view of the total absence of negative consequences for non-participation, I think I’ll just kick back and daydream about hot sex, cold beer and life on a desert island .

No prompt response today.

Lloyd Rain

Sept. 10, 2013–I saw it in the sky

I saw it in the sky. Hover. Beep, beep, beep, land. The window opened. Heads with three eyes looked out and searched the scene before them. My head buzzed and my body shook. All went dark.

I opened my eyes in a world of four dimensions and colors unseen before. Ahead was a deep canyon with animals buzzing on the ground below. They glowed in the front and faded into a long tangled trail in the back.

Ahead, stood a bizarre creature starring back at me with only two eyes

Kevin Draper

 

I’m Including a second prompt response from one of our members who missed the meeting as I found it so apropos.

 

It was a warm October night when George stopped the car in front of my house. As we were walking to the front door I looked up at the clear sky rich with stars.

“George, look there is a star moving.”

“Stars don’t move, it must be a plane.”

“No, it is no plane. It is one steady light. Don’t you believe me? Look for yourself, there,” I said pointing.

He turned his face in that general direction and said, “I don’t see any star moving. Stop making things up.”

“Good night George, thanks for taking me to the dance,” and quickly went into the house.

Next day the newspaper headline was RUSSIA LAUNCHES SPUTNIK.

What I saw in the sky was Sputnik, and yes, I broke up with George.

This is how I remember that event October 7, 1957.

Ellynore Smith

August 27, 2013–Prompt–A girl put a quarter in a gumball machine and a human tooth came out.

Prompt: A girl put a quarter in a gumball machine and a human tooth came out.

It was a very special day. It was Sarah’s Birthday. This year she would be celebrating her 7th birthday.

Her parents agreed that she was old enough to have a pizza party at the local pizza parlor. She was very excited. Her dad had rolls of quarters for the game machines and her mother had decorated a cake in blues and purples, her favorite colors. There were party hats and favors to match. It would be great fun.

The party turned out perfect. Her friends raced from one game to another. Their quarters were almost gone. The party was winding down and the cake was served. As she finished opening her cards and presents, several of her friends went to the gumball machines. She wanted gum too. And the prizes were always fun. She waited her turn as a girl put a quarter in a gumball machine and a human tooth came out. When they realized what it prize was, they both shrieked and freaked out.

She would put the tooth under her pillow tonight and see what the tooth fairy would bring. It was a perfect birthday.

Joanne Mowckzo