Writing Prompts & Asteroids

“Hey, Nix.” Tanner watched his brother punching the keyboard with his index fingers. “Finally working on that bestseller?”

“Nah. Just doing a bit of writing exercise…in preparation for the day. I googled ‘writing prompts’ to see if I could find one that would light my fire.”

“Well, miracles still happen, they say.”

“Talk about overload! Here are eighteen pages of writing prompts. A few sites give 365, one for every day. And here’s another with 101 writing prompts. Some are specifically for fiction, some for journal, some to use as story starters. Hey! There’s even one called ’40 really awful writing prompts that no writer should use.’

“Cool! Everybody’s gonna want to check those out. So, what do they call a really awful writing prompt?”

Nixon clicked on the site and scrolled down. “These were written by Kim Z Dale and they are…yeah…some are pretty awful.

“Like?”

“Here’s the first: Write a story set on another planet exactly like our own. Call that planet “Earth’.”

Tanner moaned. “Okay. A definite lack of imagination. But you could embellish it, right? Make it Earth, but have everyone get along, people all bubbling with goodwill. The Fountain of Youth has just been discovered and the world is full of happy, smiling faces.”

“That would be a mega-miracle. I think this is supposed to be a regular Earth with everyday people living normal lives, going to school or rushing off to work, roaring along the freeways, pushing and shoving for bargains and fast foods, eyes glued to their phones.”

“How boring is that? You need some high adventure, some major catastrophe. Hey, I know. You could have a regular Earth, with normal people doing their stuff, then they find out a giant asteroid is streaking toward the planet and it’s going to blow the world to smithereens. People all over the world stop to watch the skies.”

“Um…technically only half the world would be able to see this at any given time,” Nixon reminded him.

“Spoilsport.”

“Anyway, they wouldn’t just stand there watching the skies for months. From the time we first knew it was coming, it’d take at least half a year to get here. We’d have months to get ready.”

“But what else would we do? No point working, buying stuff, putting money in the bank. No point planting a garden or anything if the planet was going to blow up. Maybe a great time to travel. See the world while it’s still intact.” Tanner chuckled, then thought for a moment. “I suppose religious folks would spend the time praying the world would be spared.”

“Hey, I’d be joining them!”

“And some folks might decide to make peace with their relatives. Write about some guy making peace with his family because they’re all about to be wiped out.”

“That’s an idea. ‘Sorry I’ve been such a pain, everybody.’ Lots of hugs and kisses. Nah, too intense.”

“Hey, it sells. People nowadays love intense.”

 “But you know, Tanner, the government would be saying ‘Not to worry, folks. We’ve got this.’ Calming everybody down, and NASA would be figuring how much to hit it with, long before it gets here.”

“Right. Most people would expect to survive somehow, though they’d be stocking up on survival rations, just in case. That’s what I’d do, trusting this would all blow over but ready for some fallout.”

“Yeah, a lot would say ‘It’ll never happen.’ After Y2K, when all the electronic and financial systems in the world were supposed to crash and things carried on like always, people have become cynics.” Nixon shook his head melodramatically.

“So are you gonna write about all this?”

“I dunno. It’d take hours. I see the Ragtag community does a prompt and their word for today is Embellish. And the Word-of-the-Day challenge is Miracle. Maybe I’ll try one of those and keep it short.”

😉

Grandpa’s Bedtime Story

My muse has been fluttering around today, checking out all the prompts and spinning a tale, so I’ll post it while it’s fresh, even if I’ve already done another.

The Word Prompts are Word-of the Day’s LIGHT
Ragtag Daily Prompt’s DEEP
and Crimson’s Challenge #52, this photo:

https://crimsonprose.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/flixton.jpg\

Grandpa’s Bedtime Story

“Deep in the woods you must go
to find the golden sword
but you must never forget
the helpful magic word

for only this word can smash—
all other attempts are vain—
the seal of the calabash
and break the binding chain.

Into a cavern of stone
in the depth of the darkest night,
and you must go alone,
you may hear the call tonight…”

Suddenly the door opens. Mom eyes her two sons. “Not sleeping yet?”

In a voice a-quiver with awe her youngest answers. “Grandpa’s telling us a bedtime story.”

She takes in their excited faces, their wide-open eyes. “I see. Well, now it’s time for lights out.”

“What’s the magic word, Grandpa? Tell us quick,” they plead.

Grandpa tousles their hair “It’s ‘Good night’.”

“Awww….” The two boys groan loudly.

Mom grins. “I think we’d better let Grandpa tell morning wake-up stories from now on.”

Manor Matters

This week’s Creative challenge from Crimson involves an interesting set of manor gates. My first impression has led to this 150-word tale.

Manor Matters

“Another one asked about the gates, sir. Some old lady from Canada this time.”

“Well, what can they know about history and culture? Living in igloos, running about on dogsleds half the year. EH?”

“Piddly little, I suppose. Gets tiresome, though.”

“True, but they’re paying £25 each to see the place. Our bread and butter, if you will. Stiff upper lip, Witherham. Fall is coming.”

“I’ll do my best, sir. But if I hear one more, ‘Why don’t you paint the other one?’ I may go off my nut. Say, could I perhaps trade with Franks? I’ve always wanted a crack at being the manor ghost.”

“Then you’ll hear a steady stream of ‘Who’s under that sheet?’ and ‘I don’t believe in ghosts.’ Tourists are impossible to satisfy! Franks has threatened to throttle the next skeptic. He’s doing the turret tour now; we’re getting a robot for the ghost.”

Brunch for Mother

The Haiku Foundation Poet’s Dialogue is doing a series on Food and the Senses. I’ve been inspired with that idea, but tend to miss the submission deadlines, so here’s the family brunch I’ve put together.

cutlery clatter
Matthew sets the table
wanted to crack the eggs

thunk thunk the wooden spoon
Jenna stirs the grape juice
pop goes the toaster

Brittany sneezes
Father performs the frying
sprinkling more pepper

Cole opens windows
tries to hush the smoke alarm
mother’s to be surprised

brunch is ready
Mother expresses delight
smoke alarm hiccups

Picky, Picky

As I wrote in my last post, The Haiku Foundation’s dialogue this week is about Food, focusing on the sense of sight. Here’s another senryu I’ll add on that theme:

get a life
he grumbles — she slowly picks
sausage off the pizza

 

Pizza slice
Open clip art from Pixabay

Since the Word of the Day prompt this morning was CHIC. For lack of anything more erudite, I’ll give my response in this gem of wisdom:

It’s never chic
in public view
to carefully pick
anything from your stew.

Is That A Leg?

The Haiku Foundation’s dialogue this week is about Food, focusing on the sense of sight. I missed contributing to this round, but I’ll post a bit of nonsense humorous senryu on the subject.

just a coffee ground
she assures me —
I look for little legs

Coffee black dot

Interesting fact:
The word unadulterated is celebrating its 300th anniversary:
according to Merriam-Webster, this word first appeared in an English publication in 1719.