Creative Copy Challenge #102

Today we have Roz Morris of Nail Your Novel choosing the words for our challenge. She’s another nominee for the 2010 Top 10 Blogs For Writers Contest. Show her how to nail a CCC.

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. Rush
  2. Pilates 
  3. Pump
  4. Lozenge
  5. Indigo – the hue between blue and violet; a shrub; a blue dye;
  6. Equestrian
  7. Survivor
  8. Blur
  9. Friends
  10. Winding

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


57 Comments on “Creative Copy Challenge #102”

  1. Shane Arthur says:

    Wow, what a rush I’m having.

    This is better than watching a survivor episode.

    My veins are pumping so hard, they need a lozenge to stop the swelling.

    If I don’t do something soon, they may turn indigo even.

    Look at how they are contorting themselves.

    They’re like skilled equestrians without horses, winding and unwinding their appendages, leaving my mind in a excited blur.

    Forget the party with friends tonight. Who needs that when I can watch double-jointed women on the Fit Channel doing pilates.

  2. Not being challenged enough by this simple exercise, I decided that the words should appear in alphabetical order. Short story, right? How about one sentence? Or is that cheating?
    It’s my first time, so be gentle.
    In a blur, my equestrian friend‘s horse, IndigoLozenge, rushed past the rest of the field like a Pilates pro, pumping to become a survivor, not winding up as Elmer’s glue.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @GoingLikeSixty: Welcome to the CCC. A most excellent 1st submission. What you did is fine. People do short form, rhyme form, long form, and a bit of everything in between. All is allowed. People even do them in patters as you’ve done, alphabetical order, in listed order, reverse order, even than odd order. I’ve seen your comments on Copyblogger for quite some time. Glad you stopped by. We have a challenge every Monday and Thursday, so hope to see more of you here. What did you think of it?
      I’ll add your name and URL to our CCC Community Links page now.

      • Cathy Miller says:

        @GoingLikeSixty-Welcome to CCC! We are hanging out at the same places-like Anne Wayman’s 🙂

        On to your “official” welcome 🙂

        During the holiday rush, it is easy to forget to take care of ourselves.Pilates is put on a pretzel-twist hold and the only iron we pump is the one we use for inflating giant lawn decorations.

        We pop a lozenge or two, wrap our neck in an indigo scarf for warmth, and run an equestrian race to finish last-minute shopping. We are the survivor of yet another year where memories blur with holidays past, filled with family and friends.

        No matter where your winding journey takes you, we are glad you stopped by CCC, where all are welcomed and there is always time to sit back and enjoy our creative community.

        Welcome to CCC!

        • @Cathy: Awwwww, how sweet. Yes! I first found CCC via!
          @Shane: There ya go, I didn’t know how I ended up here, but Cathy did.

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Cathy: I’ll direct anybody asking for great writing examples to your welcome page.

          • Cathy Miller says:

            @Shane-smooches ♥ 🙂

          • Shane Arthur says:

            @Cathy: You know. I’m curious. I’ve done these challenges for years by myself, then stopped then started again with the CCC. It took me about 10 challenges to get going and since then, my creative muse is a slave to my demands. I feel these challenges have put my creative writing at a higher level. Am I alone in thinking this? I believe there is value in these challenges to ANYDODY who writes for a living.

          • Cathy Miller says:

            @Shane – let me answer that this way –

            With the rush of deadlines and the general worries of life, it is easy for our words to become tangled in a Pilates twist of a pondering hold. No matter how we try to pump out the words, we are trapped in too much of the same.

            What once worked seems flat and no longer inspiring. We walk away, we listen to music, we search for something to free the sudden loss of words we held so dear. Then one day, you stumble across it. No matter how you arrived at CCC, the words are there, offering the soothing lozenge of creative release.

            The gray skies return to the indigo brilliance that words can bring as your hands race in equestrian speed across the keyboard. The words tumble to become the survivor of an echoing sound of appreciation as the loss is now a blur of forgotten time.

            The friends of CCC have been there, too, and that is why they understand the winding, up and down road we writers must take. Yes, CCC, makes you a better writer, and even if it didn’t, the journey is well worth the time.

            Just sayin’ 🙂

          • Shane Arthur says:

            @Cathy: Just sayin’ oh so well! Thank you kindly.

          • Shane Hudson says:

            @Shane – There is value in these challenges for everybody, not just those that write for a living. Creative fluidity intertwined with improvement of literacy skills has to be worth it for anyone, besides the challenges are fun too!
            What better way to improve and work your brain than to have fun doing it?

          • Shane Arthur says:

            @ShaneH: Thanks man. Yeah, you’re right. Anybody can benefit from these, and have a hell of a good time, too.

  3. Shane Arthur says:

    @GoingLikeSixty: Okay Sixty, let me be the first to say that YOU BELONG HERE IN THE CCC. For you to do two submission using both orders is awesome.

    I do believe the CCC addiction is in motion for you. 🙂

  4. Or in reverse alphabetical order.
    Winding up on Survivor, using a water pump to replace her Pilates workout, she rushed it and gagged on a lozenge. Turning a beautiful shade of Indigo, my Fuschia friend was choking like an equestrian who ingested lidocaine. Instead of a making a soul-wrenching whiney, all she could choke out was a “Blur-ur-ur-ur” before she died.

  5. margaret says:

    There are so many activities during the holidays that after a while it all becomes a blur. When you finally find things winding down after overload of food, booze and shouting over all the noise at parties, all you want is some quiet time alone or with just a few close friends.

    You are lucky if you are a survivor that only has a sore throat, easily solved by sucking on a lozenge made from herbs and a bit of gelatin generated from rejects of an obscure equestrian farm somewhere in Switzerland.

    The worst part is having to work off all of the rich food. I don’t know about you, but I am never in a rush to pump iron or do pilates until I have bruises that are a rich, indigo blue. Can you burn calories by watching tv?


  6. Guys, you are awesome! Shane contacted me this afternoon and said, ‘quick, I need some words’. I had no idea what you’d be doing with them so plucked some juicies right out of the air – and you’ve been mega creative! Thanks!
    Roz – aka @dirtywhitecandy (explanation on my website, far too long and involved for here)

  7. Anne Wayman says:

    Rush, pump!
    My movements winding, a blur.
    I’m a Pilates survivor, with indigo vision.
    While my friends take equestrian ease I chew on an energy lozenge.

  8. Anne Wayman says:

    Thanks Shane… see, I told you I’d be back. Glad to see goinglike60 here as well.

  9. The rush that you get will pump up your writing skills from blue to indigo. The linear pedestrian prose that you typically would propose becomes an equestrian blur on a winding whir, practically under your nose! CCC is like a lozenge for your writer’s block. It is Pilates for your creativity. You will make new friends and learn to become a die-hard writing survivor.

  10. I do a very similar type of game on my poetry blog where I take random words from people on Twitter and create poems including those random submitted words, I have been doing it for 2 years now and over 428 random poems created including an average of 10 words per poem.
    Here is an example of a poem I create using your 10 random words (I just wrote this now)
    Equestrian Survivor

    A savage rush winding over you
    as friends pump fists into the air
    movement a blur of indigo and brown
    rehearsed forms like choreographed Pilates
    yet defeat tastes like a bitter lozenge
    and you are once again, for the last time
    just a lonely equestrian survivor
    -Poem by Justin Germino

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Justin: Welcome to the CCC. Excellent rhyme form here. We have several regulars here that posts rhymes all the time. They’ll love you. The idea for this site came from poetry boards. Just tweeked it more toward short stories. Too cool. Everyone welcome Justin to our tribe. I’ll add your name and URL to our CCC Community Links page now.

      • Cathy Miller says:

        @Justin – Welcome to CCC!

        You’ll get a rush each week when the challenges appear as you twist their meaning into Pilates-like prose. They’ll pump up your writing and act as a lozenge for frustrated attempts. So, when your writing is turning your face an indigo hue, breathe life back into it by visiting CCC.

        With equestrian speed, the words will return as you become another survivor of a temporary block. The troubles blur, and your CCC friends welcome you as together we take this winding road to creativity.


        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Cathy: Reading these is like seeing a sunrise. Love ‘um.

        • Funny, I have been doing the Twitter Poetry game daily for almost two years, it is refreshing to see another site and so many other people who have the same creativity.   I would be happy to have some of you follow me on Twitter too (@dragonblogger) and partake in the poetry game sometime.

      • @Shane can you install the ReplyMe WordPress plugin so users get an email reply when someone directly responds to one of their comments, this is far better than having to subscribe to a whole post to see if someone replies directly to you. I use it on all 9 of my WordPress blogs and it is highly recommended.  (The user is automatically notified if someone replies, they don’t have to check mark anything to get replies).

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Justin: I’ll look into that plugin. I passed this along to the other guys so they could give me their input. We’ve had a weird issue for quite some time regarding our threaded comments showing up in email with different people’s names. We’ll have to work this out and your suggestion so that everything operates seemlessly. Thanks buddy.

          • Yeah, I just didn’t notice my comment was replied except when I remember to manually check.  By the way I featured your site on my personal blog -> really happy that somebody pointed me toward your site and I plan to participate in the challenges.  I really love writing exercises though I only really write poetry for fun.

          • Shane Arthur says:

            @Justin: Thanks man. I saw that pingback. Now you have the perfect excuse to go outside of poetry, too, if you choose and test the waters in a safe environment. And since it only takes a few minutes to do and is free, you won’t be overwhelmed at all.

          • It isn’t that I can’t do fiction, in fact I think the free form fiction when using the words is easier than tying it into a cohesive poem.  I sometimes go so far as to make sure I use at least 2-3 of the random words in the same sentence in every poem or rhyme them when I want a greater challenge.
            The reason why I don’t write much fiction is because I tend to write in very short 10-15 minute bursts, writing I do as a hobby and I maintain 3 blogs and write over 60 articles and 20-30 poems per month, I tend to be burnt out writing and therefore need to write in shorter increments (hence no long fiction would bore of my own work before I finished it).
            I just sent 10 original words for the CCC game on 1/3 via email.

          • Shane Arthur says:

            @Justin: I agree. Rhyme submissions are the toughest. We’ve had some people that have done these challenges in reverse order, alphabetical order, odd-then-even order. It’s awesome what people can do here. I love the rhyme form submissions. You and Margaret and going to get along well, too.

  11. […] random words submitted on Twitter and I decided to take up the challenge on December 20th for Creative Copy Challenge 102 and I created a poem in less than 5 minutes and tossed it into the comment area just to test […]

  12. “Bet you can’t.” Shane threw a lozenge at James, winding him up.

    The lozenge stuck in James’ hair and he ruffled it out, shooting Shane a dirty look before going back to his equestrian magazine. “It’s a good thing we’re friends, you know,” he muttered. “Anyways, of course I can. I can do anything. I’m a survivor, you know.”

    “Survivor of what? Pilates experiments?” Shane rolled his eyes and got up to get them both a beer.

    “Pilates. Give me a break,” James snorted. Then he peered at the page. “Hey, check this chick.” He pointed to the model’s eyes as Shane came back. “Is that what they call indigo? Freaky.” James shuddered. “Not the kind of thing that gives me a rush.”

    “Yeah?” Shane stuck the beer in James free hand and slung himself back in his armchair. “What does?”

    “Fast cars. Good coffee. Life passing by in a blur,” he grinned. “That’s the kind of stuff that can pump me up. What about you?”

    “Hassling you,” Shane grinned back – and tossed another lozenge James’ way. “Bet you can’t.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @James: Fantastic! Love what you did with me pestering you on twitter to do this challenge. I love these make believe encounters with your internet buddies. You know, you should do this more often and put them up some place! 😉
      ps. This must be Christmas. Your comment didn’t go into spam.

  13. jaced says:

    She may do Pilates while I dabble in equestrian, and she may listen to Blur while I prefer to spin some Rush, but we’re still best friends. We will always have our differences on this long and winding road of life, but there is one thing we will never disagree on: ’tis better to have an indigo lozenge pumped from your stomach than to be forced to listen to those Survivor songs on the Rocky IV soundtrack.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Jaced: Now that patented Jaced right there! So glad to see you back here, man. You add a unique flavor that I’ve missed all this time. Well done. Loved the ending especially.

  14. Kelly says:


    9:15am. Third throat lozenge of the day. Trying to play down the pain and pump up my mood; trying to tell myself I’m not getting sick. When sick looks almost inevitable, as inevitable as using the client’s wife’s favorite colors on the equestrian-themed car ad. How does an indigo sky and a white horse sell their new line of pickup trucks?

    I don’t get to ask that question.

    10:45. Second meeting of the day. Can I inject a little orange into that psychedelic Montana sky? We need more “zippy,” apparently.

    Let’s just put in a rainbow, I suggest sarcastically. The AD considers it, and thankfully rejects it before I have to explain that in my mind that was funny.

    2pm. First meal of the day. Only a text from friends, telling me I’d missed our Wednesday hot-dog-at-the-corner-vendor rendezvous, reminded me I’d also missed breakfast and lunch entirely. My throat feels worse. Think I’m getting a fever, too. The touch of orange low on the horizon, though—that’s fabulous.

    I wolf down an egg salad I left in the fridge Sunday afternoon and decide to call my Pilates instructor and tell her I can’t make it tonight. I hope she won’t say “So what’s new.” If I’m going to be one of the survivors in the ad-agency shuffle we’re always playing, stretchy, slinky muscles will always come a distant second to another game of yessir-nosir with the boss, and today the boss says, “Can you stay late?”

    8:45 Rush, rush, feel like fainting, rush, rush, rush. That orange sky issue seems like a week ago. Time to check the soft proofs. The younger kids are just winding themselves up for another long night. Me, I’m barely pretending to hang on.

    9:30 I decide I don’t care. The day’s been a blur and I’m doing no one any good after this long anyhow. I walk over to my overcoat with a defiant squint around the office, shrug a couple of times to settle it warmly on my tired, vaguely-sick shoulders, and then…


    The boss is behind me. All defiance leaves my body when I hear him call my name. Suddenly, dammit, I realize I do care. “I thought you’d gone home,” I say, realizing only after the words are out that that sounds as if I were waiting for him to go before I escaped.

    “Can I take the elevator with you?”

    What can I say? When the boss you’ve worked intimately with for four years wants to share your elevator, the potential outcomes are myriad, but the potential answer is only one.

    “Of course,” I say, with what I hope is an eager crinkle of welcome… not quite a full smile, that would be too much… beginning at the corner of my eyes.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Kelly: I’ll say it again. I’m so glad our paths crossed. I consider these gifts you give me, each time making me smile and think how talented you are.

      • Kelly says:

        Shane–Right back at ya, of course!! These challenges are gifts you give to me!!

        One of my fave things about the CCC is how completely I can be gone to these places that I write about… it’s almost hard to shake them off and see what’s really in front of me… and then with the next challenge, we get to do that all again. Sure, I could do that with any creative writing, but would I? Not nearly often enough… not ’til Simon & Shuster comes a-callin’ with a little advance, ho ho…

        (Being addicted to) the CCC forces me to go to these places that I don’t even know about ’til I start writing them down. Love, love, love it, as ever.

  15. Laurie says:

    Caroline was an equestrian fanatic, she was also a survivor of a few rough riding accidents. Her pilates workouts helped her endure long rides and deal with pain controlled by several of these accidents. The latest accidents were a series of mishaps that occurred after she got in to big of a rush, her friends would never let her live it down! She had ran late after dying her mare’s mane and tail indigo and forgot to take off her pumps before climbing up to ride Sugar, and as they were winding around the curvy hill, she shifted to reach for lozenge in her pocket, and her pump caught at a funny angle and she fell off and everything was a blur until she awoke in the hospital.

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