Creative Copy Challenge #94

James Chartrand didn’t get to rib her big-dog friends enough last time, so she’s back for more.  Show her some comment love and visit her site.

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. Perspicacious – acutely perceptive or discerning; Archaic having keen eyesight
  2. Intriguing
  3. Draconian – Exceedingly harsh; very severe
  4. Onomatopoeia – The formation or use of words such as buzz or murmur that imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions they refer to
  5. Shiraz – see Wine James likes to drink
  6. Ostentatious – characterized by pretentious, showy, or vulgar display
  7. Quandary – A state of uncertainty or perplexity
  8. Swordfight
  9. Sterile – Not producing or incapable of producing seed; free from bacteria
  10. Kaleidoscope

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


46 Comments on “Creative Copy Challenge #94”

  1. Shane Arthur says:

    In a swordfight, his famed ostentatious, Draconian, ziiip…flooop… Onomatopoeia would crush my seemingly sterile toothpick in a heartbeat. His looks were equally unmatched.

    I was in a quandary.

    I needed some figurative Kaleidoscopes or Shiraz to even my odds in the eyes of this intriguing redhead whose eyes upon entering the bar already spotted Zeus-The-Great playing pool.

    My perspicacious libido and peripheral vision spotted the beergirl’s plate as it passed, so I slyly swiped a Corona from it, hurried into the redhead’s path, and said, “My gay roommate, the big guy playing pool over there, bought you this drink. My name’s Jim, by the way. What’s yours?”

  2. A. Hamilton says:

    Nice shane;  Good thing that wasn’t his wife you were hitting on.

  3. Shane Hudson says:

    While drinking a rather intriguing blend of shiraz and writing my essay about onomatopoeia, I saw a large draconian man grab a young girl by the neck and hold her up to the wall directly opposite the bar. I could see that the bartender was in a quandary, it was her first night running the bar on her own as the manager had to go home ill not long ago. I felt very worried for the young girl, but decided to stay away from the man.
    Luckily, a somewhat ostentatious performance soon unfolded as a perspicacious man dressed in a noble outfit pulled out his sterile looking sword and the two men had what some would call a swordfight. I wouldn’t though, the large man used more brute force than skill. That young girl was extremely lucky, but her mind must still be very much like a kaleidoscope with all the action that was going on around her.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Shane H: Welcome to the CCC. Excellent 1st submission. Reminds me of the Harlequin theater I visited as a kid, although I barely looked up from my food plate. What did you think of the exercise?

      Everyone welcome Shane H to the addiction. I’ll add your name and URL to our CCC Community page next.

      • Shane Hudson says:

        @Shane A:
        Thank you very much! I am not an great author (as you can see if you look at some of my articles on, but I saw this website and thought it would be fun to have a go… much harder than I expected! Will definitely come back, is it a daily challenge? May one day I could even submit one myself, that could be interesting.
        Oops I see a mistake, *blend of shiraz.

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Shane H: Challenges go up each Monday and Thursday. What I love the best about this site is people don’t even know how good they can write until they do. People don’t know how creative they can be until they try random word prompts like this. We’ve even had people do these challenges using the words in the order they appear, backwards and in patterns like odd then even numbered words. Truly amazing the creativity in this place.

      • Cathy Miller says:

        @Shane Arthur-please share my welcome with Shane Hudson since I’m so late-thanks!
        @Shane Hudson-Welcome to CCC!
        You are definitely a perspicacious gent to know where the fun is – right here at CCC. It’s intriguing, funny, perplexing and rewarding. There are no draconian egos at CCC. Our reward is the sweet onomatopoeia applause of words.

        CCC rivals the city of Shiraz with its poets, wine and flowers. It offers the sometimes ostentatious images of words to those who visit. The quandary over how to meet the challenge transforms into a swordfight of the mind over the hidden answers within. The battlefield is not the sterile ground of mediocrity, but the kaleidoscope that is life.

        We welcome you to the challenge.


  4. Jesse says:

    We sipped the sadly sterile Shiraz while watching the intriguing swordfight with the noisy “clang-clanging” onomatopoeia on his new gigantically ostentatious HDTV.
    My large bare feet, perched on the cushy ottoman, showed a kaleidoscope of brightly painted nails.
    I could see, by the look on his face, that he was in a quandary.
    I chugged the last of my wine and snarled, “Save your Draconian comments about my feet.  My perspicacious assessment of your character already clued me in to the fact that there is no chance of you getting me in your bed.”

  5. margaret says:

    I will admit, when I saw today’s list I was in a quandary as to whether I wanted to make my brain explode or just blow off the challenge.  I love a good kaleidoscope of words, with all of their color and texture, but do not see the need for ostentatious words that human beings never use, such as onomatopoeia or perspicacious.

    While I have no desire to engage James in a swordfight with sterile weapons, and certainly wish no draconian punishment upon her, I would find it intriguing to know
    why she wanted to make us crazy!

    I would rather sit down with James for pleasant conversation, a glass of Shiraz and a big slice of cheesecake.  😉

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Ma: When I saw the words I say, “Ahhh bleep! How in God’s creation am I going to fit these in.” James is into torture, as her assassin story shows.

    • Shane Hudson says:

      Love it! When I was writing mine (being a first timer I had some trouble) I was trying to create a whole new persona. I find yours interesting as it is much more like real life – just with very long words!

  6. My. God. It’s full of stars!
    I kept thinking this, all day long, at BlogWorld 2011. I might have said it aloud, as I’m sure I spent the entire day with my mouth hanging open. Chris Brogran walked by with Dave Navarro, discussing something about “space launches” that I didn’t quite catch. James Chartrand was handing out pens. Naomi Dunford was surrounded by ninjas and cursing the hotel staff about a lack of Pepsi Max. Jon Morrow nearly ran me over – what an honor!
    The presentations were intriguing, exciting, and too short! But that’s not the point of this story (if it has one).
    I don’t know how I got invited to the afterparty, but I spent little time in a quandary. How could I say no, especially with Shane poking me in the ribs and chattering “Wink wink nudge nudge say no more!”
    I’ve never seen a more ostentatious party. One does not need to be especially perspicacious to appreciate the transformation from sterile meeting room to palatial harem. The decorations were like a kaleidoscope. The buffet started with goldfish (not the crackers) and ended with live squid. The punch fountain in the middle had koi swimming in the bowl. The bar was swarmed, and seemed to offer just about anything imaginable. For example, James had a keg of Shiraz on a dolly which followed her around like R2D2.
    The party lasted all night, and I’m certain I had a great time – my memory is somewhat hazy. I remember Naomi wandering around muttering what sounded like onomatopoeia. I think she was looking for the Ladies’ Room. I remember getting into a swordfight with Shane over whether Morgan’s or Pyrat was superior for a rum-and-coke. We were using breadsticks, so neither of us was harmed. Jon accused us of loafing. We both fell over laughing. That’s the last thing I remember.
    I woke up hanging on a coatrack in the lobby…by my underwear. I suspect Naomi, she can be quite draconian when crossed. I probably deserved it. I hope I’m not sterile now.
    Looking forward to Blogworld 2012!

  7. James nibbled the end of his pen a moment before setting down to write his letter.

    “Dear Margaret,

    Thanks very much for contacting me about my ostentatious challenge submitted to Shane this morning. It might seem a bit perspicacious of me, but both Shane and I were in a quandary.

    You see, he didn’t want sterile words. And he knew I love to spar with language and would find it detrimental to be unable to enjoy myself, much like a knight without a swordfight longs for battle.

    (Truthfully, I’d just had too much Shiraz and wanted to find the longest words possible in the thesaurus, but since that’s a rather draconian technique, please don’t share it with anyone.)

    I have to compliment you on your use of kaleidoscope, by the way, which was brilliantly done, though I admit it’s intriguing that you couldn’t manage to work in onomatopoeia in a more creative fashion. (We’ll disregard that I can’t seem to do so myself, of course. What would the neighbors think?)

    At any rate, please feel free to invite me for cheesecake and wine at any time, though I’m sure that the conversation would be so pleasant that we wouldn’t stop at just one glass. (On the other hand, please advise if that’s the case so that I can bring backup reserves.)



    • Shane Arthur says:

      @James: I think a great way to end this letter would be to ask Margaret to give you and the rest of us a Shiraz Cake recipe.

    • Shane Hudson says:

      A very well written letter! I just wonder why no one ever offers me wine and cheesecake… I think I shall go off to the toilet to weep! Haha.

      On a side note, I noticed we all refer to you as “her” and “she” yet you refer to yourself (well, to James) as “him” and “he”. What do you prefer? Haha not a question I usually ask, but oh well!

      • That’s a very good question.
        I’ve personally always avoided referring to myself as “he” or in the male gender sense. I’ll say things like, “I’m a good parent” versus good father (which would be untrue) or good mother (which just feels all wrong, all things considered).
        But James Chartrand was actually born of a fictional character I’d created for a collaborative writing game. And when speaking of our characters, we’d always refer to them in the third person – so “he” is James, the fictional character.
        Which means that to me, when I write James the character in a fictional sense (as I do here at CCC), he’s “he” and separate from me “she”.
        Enough to blow up your mind? 😉  Imagine living it 😛

        • Shane Hudson says:

          @Shane A:
          Aye, I read that the day it was published (and infact, I linked to it and got the most hits to my site ever). I just do not remember that particular question being answered.

    • margaret says:

      O No,ma   po  toe , eee, ahhh!! What the hell? won’t even try that one, James, but the cheesecake and shiraz still sound good….maybe a party at Sean’s someday?  Thank you for your letter of response. 🙂

      Shane, I will work on that shiraz cake…I am sure a rum cake recipe would work…soak a few golden raisins in shiraz and throw them in…yum!!

  8. The light splattered the crystals of the ostentatious chandelier, creating a sterile kaleidoscope of black and white angles across his quiet face.

    She was watching a movie.

    The blond in the yellow jumpsuit vs. the draconian Asian in a gore-fest swordfight.  She drank shiraz and developed an intriguing theory.  The blades were cocks and the director had a thing for trannies.  And feet.  Whatever.  More wine.

    Even while drunk and spewing half-baked film criticism as part of her ongoing internal dialog, she was persipicacious enough to realize that she wasn’t yet ready to deal with her current quandary.  She would sit.  Wait.  Drink.  Think.

    “Slice” is something of an onomatopoeia, she thought.  The on-screen blades cut through the air and her memory locked onto the bloody morning battlefield between the kitchen and dining room.  There was a sound when she walked up behind him with the Wusthoff and quickly slid it across his Adam’s apple. 


    She closed her eyes and fell asleep.  The wind kicked a cloud between the sun and the massive window.  His face went gray and dark.

  9. Cathy Miller says:

    With the perspicacious nature of the woodland fairies, Muriel flapped her wings in a life-saving halt. Lightly settling on the moss-covered branch of an ancient oak, she watched the intriguing scene unfolding in front of her.

    Marthusias, the draconian Lord of Evil raced on his mighty steed of darkness. The forest telegraphed its onomatopoeia beat of alarm as Shiraz, Prince of Baltezar, sat in an ostentatious display of seeming disinterest, beneath the soft embrace of a weeping willow.

    The forest creatures were in quite a quandary; some trembling in fear of what this clash of power would bring to their quiet refuge. Marthusias was known across the land as the victor of many a swordfight, a vicious Lord who showed no mercy.

    Pulling sharply on the reigns, Marthisias brought his menacing steed to its back feet in a shrieking display of protest.

    Shiraz sat, unblinking, with a trace of a sardonic smile.

    “Marthusias, you misjudge your journey’s end.”

    “It is you who misjudge where this will all end, Shiraz.”

    “Tell me, Marthusias, what it is you seek.”

    “Your blood across this sterile ground of land.”

    With a swift release, Shiraz unleashed his sword with a kaleidoscope of ageless memories and vowed –

    “This sacred ground holds your grave.”

  10. Kelly says:


    I swirled those last two ounces of shiraz half the night, as I recall. The kaleidoscope of colors that you can find in just one ruby-red glass!

    If you’re looking for it, you might say. Well, yes, not everyone finds clinging droplets and lapping shores of wine in a cheap bar glass intriguing, but I do. Or I did that night.

    Too perspicacious for your own good, you might say.

    “Too big a word for you to use,” I’d say back. Then I imagine I’d throw a pillow at you from the sofa where I’m lying. But you’re not here, so I return to musing on that last night.
    “Crash!” you yelled, when that droplet on the side of the glass finally sank into the two-ounce ocean remaining at the bottom. I looked at you with one eyebrow raised in amusement.

    “More like ‘slosh,’ if you want to get the onomatopoeia right.” (Another word, too ostentatious for the occasion.) “But you… you look like ‘crash,’ honey. How about if I drive?” The reception had gone on far too long for me. I was limp, exhausted, and sick of watching the wine swirl around. Being polite to the bride and groom (who had twenty years on me but still seemed like they could go on and on) no longer held any thrall for me.

    I don’t think it did for you, either, but one more drink sure did. And your wife’s taking the wheel did not. As if I’d suggested jailing you for being soused, you cursed and made your way back to the bar. I didn’t think taking your keys would be seen as draconian in this day and age… just a way of saying “Go on and drink if you want.” Not to you, though.

    When you returned I told you I didn’t want any more verbal swordfighting that night. Let’s live to clash another day, eh? I was considering the quandary you’d put me in if I had to ride shotgun to Hiccoughing Hubby when you let fly with the last words of the evening. You called me sterile and cold, colder than the teats of a cow in a January blizzard. You said I was a nag and a constant thorn in your side. You accused me of everything from emasculation (yours) to brainwashing (our friends—even our best friends, whose wedding we were attending).

    And you walked out.

    Walking, I thought, was a lot better than driving, so I made my way home and waited for you to arrive. But the laughter as we traded barbs for six years is over. I guess I thought we were playing, and you thought we were sparring. I guess I know now, that you were right on that last night; I’d gone cold and sterile and whatever-else-you-said over those wicked years. What I was looking for in that ruby-red glass was the last pour from my heart.

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