Thursday, March 27, 2008

Someone’s crying within the Land of the Prompts!

Thanks, Adaora and Patricia! If it wasn’t for the two of you coming around dropping comments to me, then I wouldn’t end up having 4 STORY IDEAS RATTLING ABOUT UNCONTROLLABLY IN MY HEAD WITHOUT GETTING MY FIRST WIP OUT YET!

I’m joking. Really I am. It’s nice that you stop by. The problem has to do with my own imagination. I read someone’s offhand comment and then suddenly I have six story pages laid out in my skull. The impairment first started when I was in the ninth grade and my English teacher had chalked ten different phrases on the board. The class was supposed to pick a phrase and then take the next 30 minutes to write something about it. I chose the phrase "Swiftly and silently," and ended up writing a short fiction about a scared boy and a demon creature who turns out to be the boy’s Uncle Bob - the look on the teacher’s stunned face was priceless!

So, yeah, I have a problem when people innocently mention something. Like when Adaora wrote the comment concerning a serial headless chicken reaper. I have no plans on making a story about it. Come on, now! Who would be interested in reading such a weird topic? Yet the prompt self in me can’t help but to accept the challenge . . .

Sticky. Why is the floor so sticky as I run down the length of the hall toward the second-story window? Curiosity wants my eyes to glance down, but I don’t want to look at the sticky floor any more than I want to look behind me at the shadowy figure. I don’t want to listen to the clomping of shoes chasing after me. If I could get to the window, I might find a gutter attached to the house siding. I could climb down to the ground - the burglars make it look so simple in all those cop shows I watch. Then I could dash toward my car, throw it into drive, and peal off toward the comedy gig that I was supposed to be the emcee for at the Ranchero Stockholm’s Bacon and Flytrap Revue.

Papers crinkle in my shaking fingers. Again I curse the wind that had blown my stage notes out the car window and into this rickety building. I curse the unlocked door and my own arrogance for thinking it was all right to trespass in this house while ignoring the "DO NOT ENTER" signs posted in the yard.

Damn it! Why does it stink in here? Why are my feet sliding on the rug? I don’t know those answers. In the end, it really doesn’t matter so long as I can reach the window. I’m almost there now. So near. So close.

My feet betray me as I trip and fall toward the floor. My hands splay out to absorb the shock as fingers crunch down on . . . eggshells? I slipped on eggshells? And worse, they’re rotten eggs. Old chicken ova slowly drying from the heat of the day with the stench filling the air and irritating my asthma.

The clomping shoes stop behind me. Instinct controls my face as I swivel around to gaze at the shadowy figure who has been chasing after me for the past hour. I decide to put on a brave front. Stare the Grim Reaper in his eyes and maybe he will become scared and run off.

I peer upward at nothingness. It would be easier to stare someone down if they had a face. But the upper body only has a neck sticking out. So I drop my sight toward its waist and the belt made of severed chicken heads. Twenty rooster noggins swivel on their own to look at me. Then tiny beaks open.

Buck-buck-BUCKAW! The rooster heads scream. The faceless body takes another step as a hand comes up and holds something out at me.

"Okay, dammit! I’ll give you an autograph!" I snatch the pen and straighten out my crinkled stage notes. After writing down my John Hancock, I give it to the shadowy figure who pats me on my shoulder in gratitude.

"Yeah, whatever. Do you know how long it took me to write those scripts? Now I’m going to have to ad-lib my entire comedy set. Thanks for nothing."

As you can see, I didn’t want to write about it. Yet the prompt curse has me in a tight grip. Patricia made the comment about my other post "Lotto Blues." She said it would make a great premise to a novel. Yes, it would. Oh, BTW, here’s the start of the story I didn’t want to think about . . .

The homeless man startled Jena as she rounded the street corner near her apartment. He held out his palm in the customary can-you-spare-a-dime pose. Jena frowned when his lips started to move as she ran down her mental list of all the excuses she has heard during her urban life.

"Can you spare a few dollars to help a brother out, Jena? I need to buy a lotto ticket."

Jena’s mouth popped open. Then her purse clicked open. She took out her wallet and handed him the two dollars without waiting for his second beg for money. At the nod of his head in gratitude, he trudged up the street toward the convenience store. Already a crowd of people waited for their turns with the cashier. The Big Payday Jackpot had reached a grand whopping total of $42millon - some of which the winner won’t ever see because of taxes to the IRS.

Jena studied the bum who took his place near the doors. He needed to buy a lotto ticket? Hell, with a line that original, he deserved the two dollars.

Prompts are my handicaps. My curse. If you have any more suggestions for me, go ahead and post them. I don’t mind. Really. The crying you hear comes from tears of happiness in keeping you entertained. They’re not for my poor WIP that I’m neglecting.

Sob. I’m happy. So happy.


  1. Muhahahah!

    I do what I can to cause unrest.


    You know how we do.

    That's brilliant Michelle.

  2. Unrest? Unrest? A story of unrest where the heroine (perhaps I'll name her Ada Ora) is captured on a distant planet of mutant toads where she discovers her Prince Charming is an intergalatic spy who is secretly planning to sell off her body parts to the highest bidder.

    ARGHHH!!!! You are cruel with your comments. Another prompt story in the making . . .

    More unrest. ^o^

  3. *GASP*

    Say it isn't so!

    Shut up your mouth!



    It's what I do.

  4. Oh, but I will not be silenced! Our heroine Ada Ora finds out about the secret plot and ends up creating an alliance with her Prince Charming, thus breaking the spell of mind control over him. With love in her eyes and swelling bosom, she gives a kiss to her Prince, who transforms into the rock and roll legend Curt Cobain. He reveals that his death was a setup and that he is an emperor of his planet made of chocolate bunnies.

    Take that Adaora!!!


  5. Heya!

    Thanks for the heads up about that 'Anthology Builder' website. I hadn't looked it up before, but even so it seems ok. Its not something I'm putting all my hopes and dreams into about making it big in the publishing world. I'll take it as a place to leave my short stories after they have died and gone to heaven.

    Love your blog.



  6. Glad you stopped by. I figured the link could help. We aspiring authors have to stick together.

  7. Michelle:

    First, I love your sketches. Very nice.

    Second, great post on queries and why you should approach it like they were a blog comment - short and sweet - and yet so many writers go on and on, explaining to the agent every little thing. Jeesh!

    Third: I refuse to "enable" you with a prompt. I read a novel - forget the title - with a writer character who just came up with sentences. That's it. Just sentences that represented a line from a story or novel idea he had - he wasn't capable of taking an idea past a lone sentence. A spoof - no doubt - on writers who jump around from one idea to the other without finishing, but still, I think there's a message there: you gotta finish what you start.

    Fourth: In your blog roll, you might not want to call your WIP a "fiction novel" - pick one, or the other - agents will nail you on that one!

  8. Thank you for coming by, Josephine, and for the heads-up. It becomes too easy to get carried away with my typing and sometimes I interchange words. I didn't realize I was doing just that. WIP-Fiction novel. I certainly don't want to tick anybody off.


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