Creative Copy Challenge #97

Our Own Shane Hudson chose today’s words.  Tough, but cool, words those. Show him some comment love.

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. Uncharacteristically
  2. Origami
  3. Penguin
  4. Egyptology
  5. Balloon
  6. Ogre
  7. BildungsromanA genre of books in which the protagonist develops both morally and psychologically throughout childhood and into adulthood.
  8. Aesthetically
  9. Franchise
  10. Slope

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


36 Comments on “Creative Copy Challenge #97”

  1. Shane Arthur says:

    I entered Bill-Dung’s-Room-And was shocked to see an uncharacteristically happy slope of a smile on his Ogreish face. Looked like both his cheeks swallowed balloons, with dimples folded inward like soft origami, his jet-black hair and white Domino’s Pizza franchise shirt making him look like an aesthetically pleasing penguin.

    His date with that female Egyptology major must have gone well.

    • Shane Hudson says:

      You make it look far too easy! Well done.

    • Kelly says:

      Shane—LOL at the reuse of bildungsroman. Funniest cheat ever!

      • Shane Arthur says:

        @Kelly: I made myself laugh when I thought of this.
        I just went back and re-read the last 20 submissions I wrote. I don’t know how I thought up any of those quite frankly. It’s like another person wrote them. That’s what I love about this place. It unleashes a creative muse inside us that our “normal” mind doesn’t readily remember.

        • Kathleen says:

          Shane A.. well done. Creative use of the tough word. You make me smile when I read.

          Shane H. — I like your choice of words! You challenged me.

  2. Shane Arthur says:

    programming note:
    I’m doing the Mr. Mom thing again today, so I’ll comment when I can later today.

  3. Diane Horton says:

    She thought her Penguin origami was aesthetically pleasing yet as she studied it, it seemed uncharacteristically ogre-ish. Perhaps this wasn’t her calling after all.  She might have to revisit the Bildungsroman section again to see if a new franchise presented itself – perhaps Eyptology might provide more slope, and less mountain.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Diane: Welcome to the CCC. Excellent 1st submission, especially the ending. Super creative way to use that word.
      Everyone welcome Diane to the addiction. We post every Monday and Thursday, so we’ll see you then.
      I’ll put your name on the CCC Community page next. What did you think of it?

      • Kathleen says:

        Diane — Welcome to CCC. You look like you are right where you belong :}  Good job with this list.

      • Cathy Miller says:

        @Diane-Welcome to CCC!

        Your first impression may be that CCC is uncharacteristically welcoming, but, in truth, that is standard operating procedure around here.

        With your keyboard you create an origami of unique words as they take shape in your mind and your heart. So, pull up your chair, and perhaps a penguin biscuit or two, as you form your own Egyptology-like exploration of how to uncover the magic behind the challenge.

        You’ll balloon with pride as you overcome the ogre of self-doubt. And isn’t that what self-exploring is all about?

        Your words evolve into a bildungsroman – an aesthetically-pleasing creation worth sharing with all. Who knows? You might just follow Bayou Billy into an epic franchise of success.

        What once seemed an insurmountable slope is now a straight pathway to your dreams.



  4. margaret says:

    So, by this time you probably all are aware of my comprehensive education by that franchise known as Catholic school. It was a slippery slope of a wondrous origami of intellectual and aesthetically rich learning experiences and a water balloon in the face of a torturous boot camp run by a tribe of
    uncharacteristically strange assortment of women in penguin suits.

    My teachers varied in personality from the sweet, June Cleaver mothering type, to the one who was
    such an ogre that Shrek would have quivered in fear. I learned about art from my roly-poly Bohemian teacher who would eccentrically glide around the class on her skateboard (true!) and marveled at mythology tales that I had to translate while taking a compulsory two years of Latin
    from a weird little nun who always had to have a student sitting by her side and petting her her as though she were a villain with a cat in a James Bond movie. (also true).

    I learned about Egyptology, the Roman empire and suppositions about Atlantis, but I must confess, as varied an education as I received, I never heard of “Bildungsroman” until now…so goes to show you, Shane…we learn something new every day.

    • Kathleen says:

      Miss Margaret!!! ahh another recovering Catholic! I love your take on Catholic schools and the ladies in Penguin suits… I could see these gals… even when I wrote my piece and they were not there in my piece.

  5. Kelly says:


    I was uncharacteristically thirsty, for three in the afternoon, on the day you asked me if I’d like to jet out of work early for a little something at the bar down the street.

    Maybe that was a mistake.

    Aesthetically, the place is nothing (just like any corner pub in New York), but the beer at Joan’s place is out of this world. I don’t know if her secret is aeration or temperature or freshness or who-cares-what? She ought to franchise it, but then it wouldn’t be the same. Well, I couldn’t resist it this day. I had a couple of pints in me before we’d ordered a snack.

    My napkin origami was magnificent architecture in my eyes, but it may have been a sign of not paying attention, in yours. And hey, I can’t deny it. You do tend to go on and on about the desert slopes you’ve hiked on your occasional Egyptology tours and the latest bildungsroman you’re reading. Sometimes I wish I were making squeaky, vivid balloon art to pass the time instead of discreetly (so I think) folding Joan’s cheap paper napkins.

    This day, you weren’t really bothering me too much. You were yammering a bit about our boss and his incredible demands, but mostly keeping your blather brief. I was even thinking you were kind of cute. Not such a pest after all. That I’m kind of mean to hope for an ogre to jump out of the novel you’ve been reading and carry you off so I can drink my fourth beer in peace. That, in a way, after working with you so long, I’m kind of starting to like you.
    And that’s how I wound up swinging by my apartment, high as a kite, picking up my two-decades-old penguin suit, and standing in a line at city hall with you by 4:15.

    If only Joan had brought out the snacks sooner.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Kelly: Just a wonderful read, as always.

      • Kelly says:

        Thanks, Shane, glad you liked it!
        P.S. has the typeface in this box gotten reeeeally small or is it just me?

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Kelly: I’ve seen that too. I have no idea what’s going on with our site. First the RSS, now this. Damn Gremlins.
          The only thing I can say to make myself and you guys feel better is to let you in on a little secret about the CCC getting a facelift and redesign within the next two months. I’m hoping these other issues will resolve with the improvements.

  6. Shane Hudson says:

    As a penguin I have always wanted to fly. One day I thought to try making a plane but had no idea how. So I went to the library looking for a book on origami (yes, I wanted a paper plane) but uncharacteristically I procrastinated and found myself reading a bildungsroman book about the development of a young ogre obsessed with egyptology.
    Unfortuntantly I never did find the book I was after, so instead tried to fly using a balloon. Didn’t work. So now I am going to start a franchise selling “How Not To Make A Penguin Fly” book.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @ShaneH: Loved where you went with this one.
      I do believe you left out slope and Aesthetically, however. Send me the addition and I’ll add it to the submission. 🙂

      • Kathleen says:

        Shane H — voon-de-bar … You made me laugh. This is a great use of your list, bravo.  LOL

      • Shane Hudson says:

        Oops, I modified it and must have forgot to put them back in!

        As a penguin I have always wanted to fly. One day I thought to try making a plane to zoom off the slope outside my house (well, hole) but had no idea how. So I went to the library looking for a book on origami (yes, I wanted a paper plane) but uncharacteristically I procrastinated and found myself reading a bildungsroman book about the development of a young – and aesthetically challenged – ogre obsessed with egyptology.

        Unfortuntantly I never did find the book I was after, so instead tried to fly using a balloon. Didn’t work. So now I am going to start a franchise selling “How Not To Make A Penguin Fly” book.

  7. KathleenL says:

    The ogre folded the gilded paper into … well … the directions said it was going to be a penguin, but… the slope of the beak was wrong and there was no curve or ballooning belly. Surprisingly, he was uncharacteristically happy and pleased with it. It was his most aesthetically pleasing example of paper animals he had produced. He had two-hundred in the basket.
    I should make more and sell them… by golly I could start an origami franchise, he thought with a childlike glee.  Now that I’ve learned this … I think I will take on that Egyptology class.

    As the watcher chronicled the ogre’s life he often, like now, shook his head as giant tyrant’s life story would not be an award winning bildungersoman. The watcher sighed resigned to that fact.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Kathleen: I was just talking to my aunt today about origami. She said she saw a pair of origami earrings that were $15 each. Quite a business to get into if you’re good. My Japanese professor in college sold origami to raise money for the parties she would throw for our classes. She was 71 years old and looked 40…and partied like 20.

      • Kathleen says:

        Shane — I grew up playing at the side of some wonderful Japanese folks that we are blessed to have in our family. Us girls learned to fold the beautiful cretures available to us all in Origami. It was something my son enjoyed as well. Shane H’s list brought back memeories. Good memories. And as i wrote  this I could see, in my mind’s eye, an origami mobeal(okay that could be spelt wrong) a bunch of origami hanging from different lenth strings. And now I am intregued by the origami earrings!!!! 🙂

  8. “This is bullshit.”

    Ask the Dust is a bildungsroman.  In this installment of his Bandini franchise, Fante’s aesthetically sparse Los Angeles is the dystopian background against which Arturo evolves.  The Bandini ogre character slowly climbs a slope of self-actualization as he realizes the deeper nature of his feelings for Camilla.  The early insults give way to uncharacteristically honest observations…

    Willie’s bored hands reverted to second grade.  He made an origami football with a page from his notebook.

    “The Twentieth Century American Novel, my ass”, he thought to himself. “I might as well be in Egyptology 101.”

    He prepared to flick the paper toward the annoying cow two rows ahead and slightly to the left.  She carried bullshit selections from the Penguin Classics line with her everywhere, badges of her make believe authority.  She gushed over every word the jackass prof uttered.

    “Janikowski lines up for the long kick…”  His index finger strained against his thumb.

    The words left the instructor’s mouth and collected in a balloon above his head.  Jumbled.  Artificial.  Meaningless.

    The lecturer’s features changed.  The carefully groomed dandy in a bowtie was an acne-scarred bum in a sweat-stained wife-beater.  Charlie Bukowski looked into Willie’s eyes and snarled.

    “Fante is God.  Kick the fucking field goal.”

    He did.  The folded paper whizzed from the desk, above its target, and continued through the air.  It sliced right, hanging in the air just long enough to zero in on Professor Stallworth’s reappearing forehead. 


    Willie didn’t move for a few seconds.  Then he stood up, turned his back to Stallworth and lifted his arms straight into the air.

    “It’s good.  It’s good.  Janikowski splits the uprights from 60 yards out.  Raiders Win!  Raiders Win!”


    Willie walked across the quad.  Another Chinaski.  Another Bandini. 

    Or maybe just a spoiled kid from a gated community with a little ADD playing the parts. 

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Carson: Bleepin’ funny. I remember those footballs. Great fun. You know, this submission made me remember the first few submission you wrote about the college campus. Great stuff that.

  9. Kathleen says:

    Carson– You made me laugh, thanks… I could actually see “The words left the instructor’s mouth and collected in a balloon above his head.” Oh how I have sat in this type of proff’s’ classes.
    And your guy standing up with the touchdown antics…. I could soooooo see me wanting to do that oh so many times in class.

    Shane — I too remember these footballs.. oh wait.. I think there was one on my washer just last week… the kids still make em. And not just the boys cuz my girl’s pockets are the ones I pulled the latest football out of.

  10. Marlee says:

    While participating in an archeological dig during my Egyptology studies, I discovered an uncharacteristically balloon-like artifact that reminded me of an Ogre. The artifact was less than aesthetically pleasing, but I could tell this object represented a character much like one found in a Bildungsroman novel. Ecstatic over my discovery I traversed down the slope to my professor for confirmation of my assertions. To my devastation it turned out the artifact was merely an origami penguin used to promote a local franchise.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Marlee: I hope you like where this challenge let you, because I loved it. Such a fun read. And who couldn’t use more of those.

  11. I had to go to Cairo on business. Nasty business. Yet another place I’ve been that I’ve never officially been. My contact was Tym, a fat adminobot on the wrong side of the Nile.

    “Come in, come in, my friend. So good to see you again!” Tym oozed upright as I limped through the doorway, extending a hand-like appendage for me to shake. We’ve never actually met before.

    The origami figure on Tym’s desk was aesthetically pleasing, yet uncharacteristically simple: a penguin holding a balloon. I don’t want to come across as some sort of ogre, but it looked more like a paper doll than paper art. I was about to ask him about it, when he shoved a picture of a temple in my face.

    “What do you think about this temple in southern Cairo?” Tym asked.

    Bildungsroman,” I said.

    “What?” he said.

    “Sowwy, I haf a code,” I said between sneezes. “The buildings are Roman.”

    Tym looked perplexed. “Well, that explains the slope of the roof, but not the rest of the architecture.”

    I shrugged. “Egyptology was never my strong suit, but I’d venture that the sphinxes flanking the staircase were added after the Romans left.”

    Tym frowned. “Long after they left – they weren’t there yesterday.”

    Now I was interested. “What did the streetcams show?”

    “Nothing,” he said, “nothing at all. No activity on the street all night, then suddenly at 0600 the sphinxes were there. Along with this stupid penguin.”

    I blinked at my EyePad for a moment, and projected the results in the air between us. “Look at this: ‘The Riddle of the Sphinx’, published by Penguin Books in 2007.”

    Tym was so shocked his pseudopods gave out, and he sank back into his conformachair. “That was over two hundred years ago!”

    I nodded. “Obviously someone glitched the cameras – there’s no way that street had no traffic all night long, it’s right next to the Ritz-Carlton Brothel. You’re being baited.”

    Tym looked grim. “Clearly. But by whom?”

    There could only be one answer, the last word in this sort of espionage. “The Franchise.”

    [to be continued…maybe]

  12. Cathy Miller says:

    Catching up—
    Death & the Detective series
    Detective Brett Connors wasn’t a fan of the holidays. Nana Connors, his only family, in the truest sense of the word, had been gone a few years now. Yet, for some reason, he was uncharacteristically happy this year. He didn’t even mind that he was in a mall, just weeks before Christmas.

    He smiled as he watched antsy kids, tugging on their Mom’s hands, as they rushed to get in line to see Santa. He passed a table where a young girl, her tongue caught between her teeth, was carefully creating Christmas origami designs. She had a snowflake, holly and a really cute penguin.

    “Hey, those are really good.”

    Blue eyes sparkled like twinkling lights on a Christmas tree as a dimpled smile reached out and grabbed his heart.

    “Thank you, sir. Want to try it?”

    He might as well write a book on Egyptology.

    “Thanks, sweetheart, but I’d rather buy one from an expert. How much are they?”

    “Oh, they don’t cost anything. I just like to share them. Which one do you want?”

    When’s the last time you heard a kid at Christmas giving away the chance for some money?

    “I’ll take the blue star. It’ll remind me of your pretty blue eyes.”

    She giggled as she felt her heart balloon with her first crush. Brett would have laughed, had he known. He thought he was more likely to be thought of as the scary ogre, a product of a child’s worst nightmare.

    “Merry Christmas.”

    “It is now.” Brett bent over and gave the innocent cheek a kiss of thanks, “Merry Christmas, sweetheart.”

    Brett meandered along the mall. Stopping in front of the display at the bookstore, Brett looked at a copy of Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield, a great example of the bildungsroman style Brett loved as a child.

    The mall was decked out in all its aesthetically pleasing glitter, and Brett sighed with the memory of how much Nana’s eyes would brighten at Christmas time. He could almost smell the cookies cooling on their racks. She could have made a fortune on a franchise of those cookies. But, then she didn’t need the money.

    “Merry Christmas, Nana. I love you,” Brett whispered.

    He turned to walk down the slope into the food court. The cold, hard stare of evil damned him as he strolled along on his journey of another time.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Cathy: Wonderful. That last line is the best example of telling the reader without telling them I’ve ever read. I can just see the sicko following Brett on the upper level mall platform.

  13. From Penguin to Popeye’s Chicken

    Like a tale out of a Bildungsroman, he had changed from a feckless youth to a staid & sturdy Egyptologist.

    , he had recently turned from his study of Egyptology to creating origami. Particularly puzzling was his sudden penchant for penguins.

    Aesthetically, they were pleasing, if a bit balloon-shaped. But still, it was the start of a short slippery slope from steady academician to franchise-owning retail ogre.

  14. hey guys something totally random…
     One day I just woke up. I looked around and saw, well, a steep slope of green grass, sculpted into an aesthetically pleasing depiction of an origami penguin of all things.
    I blinked in surprise at the uncharacteristically odd state of my world at the moment. I could not remember anything prior to waking up here. Racking my brain I could only come up with the word, Egyptology as I noticed a large red balloon floating free on the breeze while being chased by an ogre.
    I had to be in the middle of a bildungsroman, I could only hope that it would get optioned and become a thriving movie franchise and maybe I could get out of this story inside my own head…..

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