Creative Copy Challenge #96

Roberta Rosenberg, a.k.a. The Copywriting Maven, chose today’s words.  Show her some comment love and visit her site. And if you sell anything on line, you must read her Landing Page Makeovers.

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. Cockamamie
  2. Pleather
  3. Misguided
  4. Bandbox – A lightweight cylindrical box used to hold small articles of apparel
  5. Trail
  6. Syncopated – stressing a normally weak beat; To shorten (a word) by omitting a sound, letter, or syllable from the middle of the word; for example, bos’n for boatswain.
  7. Certificate
  8. Three-way
  9. Pharmaceutical
  10. Sweeping

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


34 Comments on “Creative Copy Challenge #96”

  1. Shane Arthur says:

    “Whose misguided, cockamamie idea was it to give Uncle Joe a pink-frilled bandbox with a Bed, Bath & Beyond gift certificate inside for Christmas? You know he eats trail mix, loves sweeping in pleather biker pants, and doing three-ways with midget hookers. What type of syncopated, pharmaceutically-enduced illogic is this?”

  2. margaret says:

    Memories……lots of memories surfaced as I went through the contents of an old bandbox rescued from my childhood home.  I had to laugh at the photograph of my family sitting on the cockamamie sofa made of faux gold brocade pleather covered in transparent plastic! This was one of my mother’s many misguided  efforts at interior design. I could coin a syncopated word and call it “gawful” (for “god-awful) but I don’t know if it would ever make it into the urban dictionary.

    My mother loved to leave a paper trail,sweeping through the decades of our lives. I would love sometimes to place a three-way call to heaven and include her in a conversation about holding on to stuff with my daughter, who wonders why I am such a packrat!

    I must admit, though, amongst the many papers in the box were my birth certificate and all of my old report cards from elementary school through high school, and were much fun to read. I love that there was a recurring theme of high marks for academics and negative comments about not following rules and wanting to march to my own drummer! Love it!

    Probably one of my favorite things to find were many small old pharmaceutical bottles which were filled with every kind of antique buttons you can imagine. My mother was a great seamstress, and it brought back memories of the many outfits she had lovingly made for me which at the time I did not appreciate. She would whip out the brown paper grocery bags and make her own patterns, which miraculously would turn into haute’ couture dresses for church, party or the prom.

    I think that I shall take those old buttons and honor my mother’s legacy by re-purposing them into my own cockamamie artsy jewelry. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

  3. Cathy Miller says:

    Ryan shook his head and wondered what cockamamie weed he was smoking when he bought the pleather pants with the matching vest. Talk about misguided!

    Moving the bandbox aside for donation, Ryan finally created a trail through the disorganized clutter of his parent’s attic. He couldn’t believe they were gone. Sure they were in their 80s, but they were so full of life, at least until some drunk stole all their lives – including Ryan’s.

    The thick cloud of loss surrounded Ryan in a syncopated disconnection with his heart and his reason for going on. He reached into his inside pocket, and pulled out the crumpled certificate, meant for Mom and Dad. It was to be their security, a product of his careful investments. How could he know that they had so little time left? How could they be gone when he had so much more to give?

    Tears slowly tracked down a face creased with pain.

    “It’s going to be all right, sweetie.”

    Ryan’s heart bolted with the clutch of recognition.


    “It’s all right. Your Dad and I are right here.”

    Raising startled eyes to the misty swirl, Ryan gasped as his father’s image took shape.

    “Hell of a thing, isn’t it, son?”

    Closing around him in a three-way circle of love, Ryan reached for his lost hope, overwhelmed with the pain of loss that no pharmaceutical could mask.

    Sweeping his parents in a desperate embrace he knew he could not hold, Ryan wept like the small boy he felt inside.

    “We’re here, Ryan. We’ll always be here,” his mother laid her hand on his heart.

    “Man up, son. It really is the wildest ride. Now I have your Mom right where I’ve always wanted her – eternity.”

    Laughing in response to his father’s wink, Ryan shuddered with a shaky breath.

    “I love you guys.”

    “We know, son. We’ve always known and we love you, too.”

    Without even a whisper, they were gone. Looking down, Ryan reached for a photo, lying in a dust mote on the attic floor. Blowing away the dust, he smiled at the old photo of his Mom and Dad, arm-in-arm, on their wedding day.

    “I love you more.”

  4. A. Hamilton says:

    Cathy; Loved, “his mother laid her hand on his heart.”
    Very touching.
    Get Shane to fix, “It’s going to by all right, sweetie.” to, It’s going to be all right, sweetie.”

    • Cathy Miller says:

      @A-Thanks and thanks for the “typo alert”
      @Shane-please fix typo when you get around it-thanks from “It’s going to by all right, sweetie.” to, It’s going to be all right, sweetie.”

  5. A break from Avenged in Blood!

    “What in the cockamamie, misguided third level of Hell went on here?!?!” The Chief was irate. Fairy tale land was going to hell in a hand basket, figuratively and, some philosophizers speculated literally.

    There was a serial killer on the loose in Fairy Tale Land. The police were stumped, and the trail was cold as last weeks coffee when the Lollipop Guild was finally called in to investigate. That’s where I came in. That’s me, Zinger Greenpants, Ace investigator.

    I looked up at the Chief as he towered over me. I said, “Well Chief, it seems that, well, Sleeping Beauty didn’t make it.” He flushed even more crimson.

    “How could this happen?” he screamed. “We used to all live happily ever after and now, in less than 3 weeks we have lost the Mad Hatter and Rumplestilstkin! Not to mention the fine stew we found from Brer Rabbit and the March Hare! How in the Sam Hill can we complete the stories and dreams of all those kids?!”

    He had a point, but I had no answer. “Go home and take a pharmaceutical Chief.” I said. “I will find out what is going on.” I brushed him aside with a sweeping gesture rendered ineffective by my tiny munchkin arms. He nodded and began to walk away. “I still want to know how this progresses, Greenpants, and none of your syncopated Lilliputian hijinks or I’ll have you drummed out of the Lollipop Guild so fast it will make your tiny short and curlies spin!” I nodded and he left.

    I surveyed the scene. Besides the body in the leaves of the oak tree there was a small pleather bandbox that held a rather skimpy pink frilly thing and a certificate for a three-way with Prince Charming and Cinderella. Very curious and ever so slightly kinky. Prince Charming could either be a lucky man, or a murderer. I was off to the castle to interrogate, er, investigate.

  6. Shane Arthur says:

    programming note: I’m doing the Mr. Mom thing today. Just wanted to check in real quick and say I’ll reply to comments tonight. #TrueChallenge

  7. Shane Hudson says:

    this n mornin my techer gave me ten words to write a sentence from these words were cokamem cocke Cockamamie, plether Pleather, Misguided, Bandbox, Trail, Syncopated, Certificate, Three-way, Pharmaceutical, Sweeping. i had lots of fun witin maeking wrighting doing a story about them and the holl hole class wer told to read there storys out loud.
    My techer enjoyd my story but somebody elsess was d better i am only aet and veary prawd of meself for doing it but not sure what all the words meen so asked the teching assiissstat who as well spelted speled the hard words proper.

    Hmm cheated a little! But quite fun putting myself into the persona of a younger child.

    EDIT: This does not seem to have parsed properly. There should be many strikeouts and the chosen words should have been in bold!

  8. “It’s the most cockamamie thing, stranger than a pleather cow eating astroturf,” said Shane, waving his beer around like a faery wand.

    “Are you still going on about losing the color formatting of your post?” I asked, dodging the ‘fairy dust’ spilling from Shane’s beer-wand.

    Jon’s cursor hovered over the Delete button. “Don’t make me do it. If you two don’t shut up about that, I swear I’ll do it. One word from me, and you’re history!”

    “I was on the trail of a hostile bot, I swear,” I said, trying to look serious. “It was trolling around the Internet sucking all the color out of photos and text alike. I lost track of it on”

    “There is no pharmaceutical on the planet that would get me to believe that,” said Jon.

    Shane looked annoyed. “I’m in a three-way conversation again, being used as the butt of bad geek jokes. This is my web site, I own the certificate! I should not have to put up with this sort of sweeping abuse!”

    My fingers made a syncopated rhythm on the keyboard. “I can’t think of a good way to end this misguided conversation. But I’m all out of words.”

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Steven: Awesome way to tie in what I went through over at I spent a boat load of time trying to fix that. Serves me right offering free edits, huh! 🙂

  9. Kelly says:


    Syncopated rhythm
    Syncopated rhythm

    Jump into the band
    your fears and stand

    Misguided elation
    Criss-crossing the nation

    No certificate to hold to
    Just crowds you gave your soul to

    On the trail of wicked, they’ll
    Catch your eye for wicked

    Don’t know when to stop it
    Cockamamie offers
    Girl in pleather proffers
    Pills you shouldn’t pop It
    ‘s she who’s gonna profit
    Three ways to take her treasure
    Crash from too much pleasure
    When you’re down the problem’s not hers

    Sweeping through your veins
    Pharmaceutical remains

    Syncopated rhythm
    the rhythm

  10. On a Friday night in 1979…

    The Trans-Am made a sweeping turn and slid to a stop.  It left a trail of rubber on our new concrete driveway that stopped inches from dad’s freshly Turtle Waxed Chrysler Newport.

    He was smack-dab in the middle of a misguided pharmaceutical-fueled revenge mission.  I was in the basement celebrating my future as a gainfully employed working man.

    Shelly and I were listening to Rickie Lee Jones.  I was stretched out long and straight on the sofa, espousing some cockamamie theory about the hidden meaning of “Chuck E’s in Love”.  Keeping time with Steve Gadd’s syncopated beat as it flew from the 105c‘s.  Tapping the pleather cushion. 

    We were smiling.  Flirting.  Planning. Fucking happy. We didn’t know he was out there.

    The tech school certificate was on the cofee table, tucked into a little purple, felt-lined bandbox.  Our centerpiece.  We drank beer and imagined our own house. 

    The little vinyl hiss that separated tracks gave way to “On Saturday Afternoons in 1963”.   We were in love.

    He kicked in the door.  Rickie Lee Jones screeched as he flipped the Pioneer PL-518 turnable in a fit.  He grabbed a speaker from the bookshelf.  The Becker three-way came down on Shelly’s head. 

    It found mine five seconds later.

    I’m still in the basement.  The diploma is still in the box.  Shelly healed.  I didn’t. 

    I don’t drink beer and I don’t kiss girls on Friday nights.  Dad’s gone, the Newport’s gone and mom’s too old to drive the rampvan these days.  It’s quiet.

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