This past Xmas, the Missus got me a writing prompt book as a gift.
Given that we had agreed not to exchange Xmas gifts, this resulted in me
A) noticing an extra package for me under the tree and
B) making a mad dash to the store on Xmas Eve to pick up something for her.
This is how the Missus ruins my Xmas every year.
But as the end of February approaches, I have finally overcome the trauma of last-minute Xmas shopping on Xmas Eve and reached a point where I can start using the book. And I’ve decided, unless I have something better to blog here, I will start posting these entries rather than letting this space lie ‘fallow’ for months at a time.
You have been warned.
Since the first page of this book clearly states that no part of the book can be reproduced without permission (I’m paraphrasing here, not flat-out reproducing!), I’m a little reluctant to spell out the prompts. Instead, I will underline the words I’m supposed to use in my narrative…in my narrative. Without further ado, my first exercise!
I went to the carnival to have fun. Instead I sprained my wrist fending off a pickpocket wearing a mask. Hardly inconspicuous. The pickpocket or the sprain.
There were some uncomfortable moments at the first aid station as I flirted with the attractive nurse while my wife and kids looked on, becoming less and less sympathetic towards my predicament.
Things only got worse when the police showed up. The pickpocket was a juvenile, and I’d sprained my wrist while grabbing him, causing the twerp to twirl sideways, fall down against a bike rack, and break his arm.
Apparently this had stirred up a bit of a controversy: a forty-something man breaking a thirteen year old’s bones. The only reason I wasn’t immediately arrested is because the kid fled when the cops showed up. Still, the arrival of the police and the departure of my wife (and kids) left me a little shaken.
However, the nurse was both sympathetic to my plight and receptive to my overtures, so the day wasn’t a total loss. She gave me an apple and instructed me to return in an hour when her shift ended.
I found a bench, had a bite of the apple, and then watched the white flesh turn brown due to oxidation as I waited for the hour to pass. That long, endless hour.
The nurse and I spent a pleasant afternoon walking and talking in the shade of the sassafras trees that ringed the carnival site. But in the end, as I leaned in for a kiss, she pulled away and invited me to join her cult.
Awkward! So I found a piano bar and requested “Particle Man”.*
* I feel I need to address that last sentence, which is itself more than a little awkward. You see, I got so focused on making sure I used all of the prompt words that I forgot that the story was supposed to be about a strange request made at a piano bar. In fact, when I went back to make sure I’d used all the words and discovered this oversight, I wrote underneath the subject the comment “Tots forgot about this!” and then went back and added that last line. You see, I had no choice. I’d literally used every available line on the page, and having written using ink, I could not erase the work to try again.
If you’re interested in the book I’m using, it’s called WRITE THE STORY. I make no endorsement, as I’ve hardly scratched the surface. Though I must admit, the title on Amazon is Write The Story Art Teaching School Kids Adults Class Project Leaning, which is not only awkward but appears to have a typo in it. But the two exercises I’ve done thus far are…writer prompty and have been fun.