Creative Copy Challenge #74

Cathy Miller chose the words today. In case you missed them, check out  Cathy’s welcome messages to new CCC arrivals.

BET YOU CAN’T do this writing prompt. Take the 10 random words below and, in the comments, crush writer’s block by creating a cohesive, creative short story tying all of them together! And remember: after (if) you finish, highlight your words and click the bold button to make them stand out and help you determine if you forgot any words. (If you’ve missed previous writing prompts, we BET YOU CAN’T do those, either.)

  1. Scintillating
  2. Preposterous
  3. Hopeless
  4. Law-abiding
  5. Caricature
  6. Trauma
  7. Encompassing
  8. Action
  9. Jury
  10. Aucupate

NOTE: Don’t copy and paste from MS Word. Use a program like notepad that removes formatting or just type in the comment field itself. Also, finish your submission, THEN bold the words. Thanks. (And don’t forget to tweet this and share it with your friends.)

Resources you should check out:
Thesis: Best Damn Theme on the Web
Collective Ink Well: Personalize Your Thesis Theme
Third Tribe Marketing: Marketing done the right way
Story Structure Demystified: Best damn writing book out there


96 Comments on “Creative Copy Challenge #74”

  1. Cathy Miller says:

    @Shane-thanks for the shout-out-I’m glad I did my Death & the Detective series for the week. Now I have to figure how to use my own words. 🙂

    P.S. #6 should be Trauma

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Cathy: It was my pleasure. Now I have to figure out what half of those words mean first. 😉 ps. Fixed #6. Thanks

  2. Nothing like  a pile of words you have to look up eh Cathy?  I love words you think you know the meaning of but really have to look up to use correctly.  Thanks a lot.

  3. never mind, some online dictionaries are better than others

    • Cathy Miller says:

      Aucupate – To go bird watching or bird hunting.

      In a sentence…The photographer decided to go to the park to aucupate, he came back with some great shots!

      I told Shane, the only reason I know it is because a good friend of mine is an avid birdwatcher & smart, too. It just stuck with me. Als0-feel free to create your own meaning. 😉

  4. Shane Arthur says:

    I know it’s encompassingly preposterous, but if you kill someone and you’re late for work because of this action, you’re scintillating. Writing such a sentence proves to any jury how hopeless a law-abiding, creative person can become while viewing CCC word lists and traumatically transforming into a caricature of a literary aucupator’s horse’s ass.

  5. Patsi Sota says:

    Hopeless. That is the word to describe how I am feeling at this moment. At this time which can never redone or started over.

     I started my day with a cup of coffee and the announcement to my husband that I was going to aucupate down by the lake, at the northside beach. I was suppose to pick up Jan. She had her bird book. She had told me that if I was going to bird watch than I would need the book with me. I told her that was preposterous. I really just wanted to be alone. He reminded me of the crimes that have been committed down there just recently and I told him I would take his hunting knife with me.

    There was a man on the corner, one of those starving artist. He asked if I wanted him to draw a caricature of me. I sat down on the bench and his hands and body went into action. His strokes were long and dainty and first. He was young, maybe 30.  I watched him bend and move, very graceful. He was absolutely scintillating.

    I thought of my life and hated him. His moves and strokes were now short and jagged. They sawed into my flesh and ground my bones. His mocking dance was encompassing my very soul. He sneered as he drew. I felt the life flowing out of me. The pschyological trauma was immesnse and I it thought to be irreparable.

    I could not take it anymore. He was just like the mime last month and the can banger the month before and he flute player,  fortune teller, and the guitarist before them. I pulled the knife from my purse and slashed his throat before he could sign his name to my picture. The blood squirted but I was careful to get out of the way in time.

    Why would he attack me like this? I am a law-abiding citzen who just wanted to be alone. How could a jury not see this? Why would anyone blame me? I gazed at the sketch in my hand. It was really very good.

  6. “Your scintillating wit never ceases to bore me to tears,” said Herman.

    “Well you, my dear fellow, have all the preposterous, hopeless, all-encompassing stupidity of my brother’s cousins,” huffed Dumar.

    “Your cousins?”

    “No, my brother’s cousins.”

    “Those would be your cousins.”

    “Would they?” Dumar scratched his head. “I’ll not take your word on that, sir. As I’ve no doubt you wish to make a mockery of me.”

    “You make a mockery of yourself merely by breathing, dear boy.”

    Dumar’s cheeks flamed and Herman stifled a very un-manly giggle at the picture he made, the very caricature of an over-educated and under-brained country gentleman.

    “Come, come,” Herman said. “We waste time putting you through the trauma of this pondering. You agreed to accompany me so that I may aucupate on your lands this morning and I mean to be off.”

    The gentlemen turned words into actions and set off.

    The findings of the jury, weeks later, was that the upstanding, law-abiding Mr. Dumar Fliviam, would never have deliberately shot Mr. Herman Hermanson in the back as they hunted that morning. Everyone knew Dumar had not the wit to discern the mockery Herman made of him and was not clever enough to devise a situation in which to take his revenge without consequences.

    Dumar himself was his own best witness, displaying his profound stupidity before the court in every statement of his testimony.

    That night, as he sat alone in his comfortable drawing room, with his sherry and his slippers, he said to himself, “Only a fool, dear boy, underestimates the fool.”

  7. Patsi Sota says:

    Leah love the vocabulary. I was taken to another time!
    Thank you so much for turning me onto this challenge. You are my new source for addictions.

  8. Sarah Olson says:

    Hopeless. Crumpled on my sofa at dawn, I’m wasting my life on a movie on Starz called “Law-Abiding Citizen”.  I can’t help but feel my situation is utterly hopeless.

    Who would believe me? It’s as believable as the performances in this damn movie. Honestly, the trauma of his family’s murder turns a doting father into a calculating psychopath? Preposterous. And Jamie Foxx as a do-good lawyer is a cheap caricature of a lackluster character. Watching this movie is as scintillating as aucupating must be to the blind. Good thing I’m not blind, or I’d have missed the only worthwhile scene in the movie, checking out Butler’s ass.

    You know who Gerard Butler should have killed in this movie? Not his lawyer, not the judge or jury, not the murderers who slaughtered his family. He should’ve killed the audience and put us out of our damn misery.

    Why am I watching this movie anyway? It’s terrible. I should turn it off and do something else. Anything else. But I can’t. I need something to force the images out of my head, encompassing my thoughts in thick walls to keep them safe. Anything will do. The more moronic the better. Give me action. Give me humor. Give me something.

    Give me an escape.

  9. margaret says:

    Do not be my judge, jury and executioner because I am a hopeless romantic.  I try to be a
    law abiding citizen , but should I choose to put my thoughts into action by wearing preposterous victorian hats for no apparent reason, or flirting with strangers in a scintillating way, know that causing others cultural trauma  and confusion is not my intent and is no crime. I know that at times people see me as a caricature  and odd bird, but they should not view this as an excuse to aucupate. I am encompassing of  life and silliness and whatever makes your spirit soar, So deal with it!!! 

  10. Cathy Miller says:

    I promise to come back later tonight to read all the wonderful submissions. Since these are my words, I figured I’d better break my pattern of visiting on the weekend & post my submission now.

    I’ll be back as the Governator would say-thanks for using my words. 🙂
    As a lawyer, Jonathan McGee delivers scintillating closing arguments. Give him the most preposterous, hopeless case and Jonathan truly sparkles. Why he could make the devil himself look like an innocent, law-abiding citizen.

    His current case would test the very limits of his oratory genius. His client was the quintessential caricature of evil. The trauma he left behind extended beyond the physical, encompassing his victims’ families in a web of hollowed-out pain.

    Critics condemned Jonathan for taking the case and few doubted the action the jury would take – guilty of murder in the first degree.

    Jonathan rose from his seat beside his client. Placing his hand on the defendant’s shoulder, Jonathan began.

    “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, if I asked you if you aucupate, how would you answer?”

    Several jurors blinked in surprise. A smattering of laughter broke out in the courtroom, causing the judge to slam his gavel, calling for order.

    “Words are so fascinating, aren’t they? They create an image – even if we do not know the true meaning of the word. Depending on your background, your education, I imagine your reaction and response to my question would produce varied results.”

    “For those who are not familiar with the word, aucupate, let me end the suspense. It means to go bird watching.”

    More laughter broke out in the courtroom.

    “Ah, didn’t expect that, did you? Well, let me explain why my client is innocent – even if you didn’t expect that.”

  11. Patsi Sota says:

    Love this sentence:  test the very limits of his oratory genius. Okay don’t leave me in suspense. What was the crime, why, to whom?….

  12. A. Hamilton says:

    The prosecutors were scintillating and convinced the jury to take action based on the fact that the two men had never been law-abiding citizens. Instead, they proved, the two were hopeless felons who perpetrated preposterous crimes against humanity encompassing murder and trauma to infants from batter. I can’t give a vile enough verbal description of these scum, neither could the court artist who tried to render fitting caricatures.

    My job, as a prison guard, is to aucupate and make sure these two never see freedom again.

  13. Karetha says:

    In order:

    My desire for scintillating conversation seemed preposterous, or even hopeless as I gazed at the image tacked to the wall in the town square.  Even the law-abiding residents of our town couldn’t look at the caricature without suffering mental trauma.  The pain encompassing my mind spurred me to action.  Without waiting for judge or jury, I tore the offensive thing down, stuffed it into the nearby trash can, and embarked on a trek to acupate in the nearby mountains.

  14. A. Hamilton says:

    Karetha; It takes talent to write them in order and make the story flow with logic. Nice going

  15. Patsi Sota says:

    Karetha, Great flow.

  16. Roselee says:

    Edward Greene led the police to the body which was half hidden by brush. They could tell immediately by the trauma to her neck, that she had been strangled.
    When questioned at the police station, Mr. Greene told them details of how he stumbled across the victim.
    He went out to aucupate like he normally did every Sunday. He loved the fresh morning air, and the scintillating rays of the sun. It was therapy for him, that helped to relieve stress when feeling hopeless.
    He was walking along a trail and decided to sit for awhile. He took out his binoculars and as he was scanning the branches and brush for birds in action, he spotted human legs . After closer inspection he realized it was a body deceased and called 911.
    After about an hour of questioning, two detectives encompassed Edward Greene, informing him of his rights as they handcuffed him.
    “This is preposterous!” yelled Mr.Greene. ” I am a law-abiding citizen in this town and some of you even know my family.”
    “Why am I being arrested?” “I had nothing to do with this murder.”
    “We will have to let a jury decide that.” answered the detective, as he placed a sketch book on the table.
    “Is this yours Mr. Greene?” asked the detective
    “Why yes, I take that with me to draw the different birds that I encounter.”
    The detective flipped to a page in the sketch book showing a caricature, of the victim smiling.
    The moral of this story? Stick to drawing birds when you are aucupating.

  17. Patsi Sota says:

    Hey guys, I went back to the very 1st challenge. I think it is my favorite. If anyone gets a chance can you please leave me feedback?

  18. Roselee says:

    Hello everybody! I have been sick the past week so just now doing the challenge. I submitted one for # 73 as well . Please take a look if you have time. I am very open to critiques. Also, can anyone tell me how to get that annoying message off below my name?

  19. P_S says:

    I was waiting for him at the dingy pub around the corner. It started to rain. He was half an hour late. I was unimpressed. It started to pour. I was now trapped inside the bar. Was this really happening? Was I going to aucupate a man who might be completely unsuitable for my needs? It was ridiculously preposterous. I felt like a caricature of myself. I could not believe I would convince a law-abiding stranger to help me steal a horse. I was beginning to feel hopeless. Convincing a stranger to break the law required more than some scintillating flattery. I thought back to what the jury had ordered. Action to erase the trauma incurred. This was the best I could do since I couldn’t erase the night of the incident from anyone’s memory. Talk about a horse-jumping show gone wrong. That horse had trampled ALL the prizes. I had to get rid of him.
    At least I had a plan encompassing every possible situation we might encounter. Security, electric fences, and other livestock had all been provided for. Now I just needed this guy to answer his craigslist ad and drive me to my competitor’s stables. We could load the horse and he could drive it to New Mexico. He would be paid well. Then the horse would have disappeared, his presence erased, one might say.
    I was proud of my plan. But I have to say, this new equestrian judicial system is really quite exhausting.

  20. sefcug says:

    These were hard for me, but here goes, in order even:
    I found it scintillating, preposterous, and hopeless, that such a normally law-abiding individual could become such a caricature of a criminal mastermind.
    The trauma, caused by his all encompassing action, made it very hard for the jury to believe, that he only went into the forest to aucupate, not to completely exterminate the breeding eagle population.

  21. Sara says:

    (Nice words, Cathy!)

    “What do you mean, you thought it was an acupuncture appointment!” roared the lawyer. 

    Preposterous! You made me look like an idiot in front of the judge and jury, and since you couldn’t bring yourself to attend court, now it’s over. I can’t do anything for you.”

    “Come on,” whined his soon-to-be-ex-client, “I am just a law-abiding citizen who suffered a great deal of trauma as a child! My mother never held me and my dad always said I was no good…”

    Scintillating, really, but not my problem,” sneered the attorney.  “I don’t care if your parents were nothing more than caricatures, their combined efforts encompassing those of Jack the Ripper. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going home, getting out my binoculars, and will then be off to aucupate.”

    “Well, you don’t have to get all gross and sexual about it!” huffed his ex-client. “Besides, being a lawyer with all that money, I bet you get plenty of action.”

    The lawyer huffed and called the guards. “You’re hopeless.”

  22. Cathy Miller says:

    @Sara-glad you enjoyed the words & thanks for a great read-had me laughing and isn’t that a treat? 🙂

  23. Sara says:

    I’m so glad my little story made you laugh, Cathy! 🙂

  24. […] a Sentence Challenge 73, on dads and first sleepovers Challenge 74, on lawyer-client relationships Challenge 75, on being sleep-deprived Possibly related posts: […]

  25. finally I have sat down and wrote! Here is Avenged in Blood, Part 31

     I spent the rest of that night and most of the next day in the bottle. Or 3 bottles. I really felt hopeless. It was like an alcoholic falling off of the wagon. I was becoming an alcoholic and watching that wagon head off into the sunset.
    I didn’t care. At all. I didn’t know if I could make it back to my law-abiding ways anytime soon.
    I was praying to the gods of American Standard for the sixth or seventh time when I had a clear moment. I was becoming the caricature of what a private detective should be. I needed to go get a trenchcoat and a fedora to complete the look. I tried drawling like Humphrey Bogart in the Maltese Falcon but all that came out was something from the middle of my large intestine. I was not in a good place.
    Finally, it had been a week since the shooting. My home booze stash was depleted and I had finally dried out. Maybe I needed to start those meetings. The jury was still out on the whole drunk/alcoholic debate.
    I decided to head to the park, take some time to aucupate and decompress. It seemed like that should be harmless enough, if a bit preposterous. My response to trauma and extreme violence was to be birds. If I didn’t keep a rein on it, I would be encompassing bunnies and puppies in the future, and trying to find a box to keep my manhood in.
    Nevertheless, I entered the park, determined to take some action over my life, or at least try to find something scintillating to my senses. I sat on a bench. I watched the birds frolic in the fountain. I felt the sun grow warm on my face. I could smell booze leaking from my pores.
    Life seemed fairly good for the moment. Of course, that moment was going to change very quickly.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Justin: So glad to see you back in the saddle again.
      I tried drawling like Humphrey Bogart in the Maltese Falcon but all that came out was something from the middle of my large intestine. – Now that’s a money quote. 🙂

  26. Kelly says:


    I’ll head out to the zoo to aucupate today. The flamingo exhibit in D.C. is a scintillating flurry of color, encompassing much more of the rainbow than you can imagine. The jury is out on whether the birds are elegant or preposterous to look at, but they are certainly much more fantastic than the caricatures you keep on your hopelessly ornamented lawn. If I weren’t such an upright, law-abiding citizen, I’d long ago have taken action. I’d end the trauma caused by driving up to your place, by removing the coral-toned beasties and their friends the gnomes, the oversized, plasticized vermin, and the polka-dotted mushrooms from your yard.

    But I respect your mythic lack of taste.

    And you respect my predilection for colossal—dare I say, titanic—words, when smaller ones might do.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Kelly: hahaha! Super funny. “But I respect your mythic lack of taste” That was the money line.

      • Kelly says:

        Shane–Thank goodness there are fewer of those lawns than there used to be, at least in my neck of the woods. “Mythic” is the only way to describe the lack of taste when you run into one, though!

    • Cathy Miller says:

      @Kelly-OMG-welcome back!! We missed you. Sorry I’m so late in getting around to your submission-I love it-who would ever think of pink flamingos? I’ll have to catch up on my reading. I’m always running behind on these things-that darn work business.

      Anyway, great to have you back at CCC.

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