Creative Copy Challenge #103

Today we have James Chartrand of MenWithPens choosing the words for our writing prompt challenge. You know the drill. Show her how to kill a challenge. 😉

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. Indentation
  2. Parameters 
  3. Spartan
  4. Bacchus – a god of wine and giver of ecstasy
  5. Pensive – expressing deep thoughtfulness, often with some sadness
  6. Baroque – Extravagant, complex, or bizarre, especially in ornamentation; relating to a style of 17th to mid-18th century European art and architecture
  7. Ostentatious – pretentious, showy, or vulgar
  8. Cobalt – A hard, brittle metallic element
  9. Smidgen – A very small quantity or portion
  10. Restrictive – see James’ word choices

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


50 Comments on “Creative Copy Challenge #103”

  1. Shane Arthur says:

    Continuation of James’ CCC#102 submission
    “Bet you I can.” James threw a hurried word-list scribbled on MwP stationary into Shane’s lap.

    “What in bleep is this,” Shane asked, coughing beer and rising from his chair like a wounded Spartan warrior questioning the sight of his own blood.

    “It’s a Molson,” replied James, peeking above his equestrian magazine like a mischievous child, “Baroque architecture’s got nothing on Canadian beer strength, wouldn’t you say?”

    “No, this…this Ostentatious word-list, you bleep. What are you, Baccus Restrictivus? Come on, I know the CCC has no parameters other than having 10 words, but damn, James, Cobalt? Baroque? Seriously. Is there not a smidgen of decency left in your soul?”

    James lowered his magazine, indentations from his smirk disappearing, his body assuming an exaggerated version of The Thinker pensive pose.

    “Funny thing that. I lost it in Pilates class… Lozenge?”

    • sylvia r. says:

      Thought I’d pop in real quick to see the tough words you threatened us with last night. As usual, they don’t seem tough at all for you, with your great talent.
      Myself, I’ll have to work a bit on this.
      Happy holidays to everyone.

  2. margaret says:

    Once upon a time, there was to be a huge holiday party in Olympus.
    Their budget was by no means Spartan, but given the parameters of
    their already over-the-top baroque decor, putting much more into the
    holiday decorations would have just been ostentatious.

    Bacchus had been put in charge of the catering arrangements, and
    was being somewhat pensive, as he did not want his menu to be too
    restrictive. He was well aware that this party would include people of
    all persuasions, as well as the normal pagan guest list. He chose to include
    ham as well as the regular variety of beast-flesh , cheeses and all the
     fruits and vegetables nature had to offer.
    So as not to offend any group, he chose to go with cobalt blue linens ,
    rather than the traditional red and green.
    He would keep the wine list conservative, as last year’s soiree had
    gotten a bit out of control. He glanced at the indentation in the beautiful
    old wooden armoire, made by a guest who had imbibed a bit too much.
    Hopefully the revelers this year would show just a smidgen more class.
    He made a mental note to procure the services of the troll patrol, who
    routinely provided security and bouncers for such events.

    He hoped it would be a safe and sane holiday.


  3. Wicked.
    These are a few of my favorite things… meter is off just a hair so you can’t really sing along. Sorry.

    Ostentatious word choice and a smidgen of kittens,
    A Spartan with cobalt wearing restrictive mittens;
    Bacchus at AA with a box of Cialis
    Feeling pensive at the paucity of his phallus.
    Parameters not restricting the lack of good taste,
    Indentations and bruises on the brain where it’s based;
    Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
    Not baroque enough to attend my bashes.
    These are a few of my favorite things…
    Note: Baroque? Can’t wait to read the other entries!

  4. “Yeah, sure, thanks.” Shane popped the proffered lozenge in his mouth and sucked it slowly, a pensive look on his face. “So you mean to tell me this isn’t some ostentatious attempt to show off your skills and intelligence with restrictive words no one even uses any more?”

    He thought a moment, then shook his head. “I’m sceptical, James.”

    “What do you mean, restrictive words?” James looked the picture of innocence, just the right smidgen of surprised shock on his face. “Indentation? Cobalt?! Come on, Shane. That’s an easy one. You know, like… Cobalt blue?”

    “Easy for you, maybe,” Shane chastised. “I’m sure the others would prefer a more Spartan sense of wiggle room in your parameters of selection.”

    “Oh, pffft.” James rolled his eyes and took a swig of beer, then wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “S’good for them. Stretches their wings. They can get all baroque and show off.”

    Shane’s eyebrows rose. “Baroque is showing off?”

    “Better than Bacchus showing off.”

    “Got a point there,”Shane mused. But then he grinned. “Told you it was about showing off.”

  5. Alright, here is my short story entry for this game:

    The lone pensive Spartan sits quietly watching people dance in this baroque establishment where drinks are served in chalices adorned in cobalt gems.  A smidgen of ostentatious behavior lurks behind every prayer to Bacchus before imbibing.  The indentation on his seat indicates just how long the man sits waiting, watching and listening.  The Spartan who follows a rigid moral code with restrictive parameters does not partake in what some would consider debauchery and depravity, but instead just absorbs the atmosphere waiting for something or someone.

  6. Anybody who writes poetry or fiction on a blog regularly, list me your Twitter ID so I can add you to my Twitter poetry list and your blogs/sites can be featured in my paper that comes out daily.  I want to help promote everyone.

  7. I twirled around to make sure no one had seen me remove the brick and slide out the baroque wooden box from the basement wall in the old Restaurant Bacchus. The cobalt blue color scheme, although ostentatious, nonetheless captivated me, a person normally of Spartan tastes. I stuffed the box in my oversized Hermes bag and proceeded out the front door to the condo on the Rue de Rivoli left to me by my French grandfather Antoine.
    Once safely inside I pulled out the gaudy box and examined its impenetrable parameters for clues to its entry. An indentation on the left side taunted me to push it in even further, which I did despite the annoying growling in my abdomen caused no doubt by the restrictive, yet voluntary diet of wine and baguettes I’d adopted since moving to Paris two weeks earlier. A smidgen of wood broke off revealing a small, interior keyhole.
    I ran to the antique bedroom dresser sporting a pensive demeanor and pulled open the top drawer. I grabbed the tiny key my French grandfather had pressed into my hand on his deathbed six months ago and ran back to the box.
    If it fit, my family’s name could finally be cleared.

  8. Pensive, his fingers running along the indentation on his forehead, Bacchus eyed the spartan landscape before him.
    The indentation had been left by a smidgen of Cobalt, hurled at him by one of the minor deities during one of the more ostentatious nights of debauchery within the admittedly large parameters of his sensitivities.
    It still hurt whenever his brow was furrowed.
    The landscape, as threadbare now as it had been Baroque only hours before, foretold a restrictive future for him and his fauns.This was going to be a long aeon indeed.

  9. Jesse says:

    Sitting in the Bacchus Pub of the Bozeman Hotel, I looked up over steaming bowls of thick Cream of Broccoli Soup to gaze at the ostentatious mugs of the drunk-looking bards in the Baroque frames.
    I shot a pensive glance at the indentation on your forehead and thought of asking how you would have acquired such a distinguishing mark.
    Then I remembered your spartan parameters of self-expression and your restrictive ability to talk of anything personal, so I opted to focus on the smidgen of soup clinging to your lower lip.
    I’ll assume that indentation on your noggin came from your last girlfriend who lobbed one of those cobalt blue bottles of fancy water at you.
    Happy Holidays, everyone!

  10. katirra says:

    This is my first time attempting this writing exercise and it was challenging but fun. I will definitely participate again and hopefully it will be easier next time.

    Stark white walls seemed to mock with their lack of ostentatious debauchery. How was he, Bacchus, supposed to host a party within a room of such restrictive parameters? Snapping his fingers, he looked for his aide. A pensive fellow marked with permanent  indentations from his hand smacking against his forehead.

    With a wad of cash slapped into the aide’s hand he pushed him down the stairs yelling, “Buy a bolt baroque silk, a cobalt sword and ornate wine glasses!” With a smidgen of worry the god sincerely hoped tonight wouldn’t end as a total disaster.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Katirra: Super first submission. Welcome to the CCC. Love the scene you drew for us, love your name, and love your blog design. We have challenges every Monday and Thursday so hope to see you then. How’s you hear of the CCC?

      Everyone welcome Katirra to our addiction. I’ll add your name and url to our CCC Community Links page now.

      • katirra says:

        Thank you! I will certainly be back on Monday for another challenge- I really enjoyed it. I saw your site listed on one of the blogs I follow but unfortunately I don’t remember which one. Oh & thanks for adding me your your community.
        Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to everyone!

  11. Jesse says:

    Hi Katirra,

    Welcome. I bet you’ll love it here.

  12. “Just a smidgen more indentation,” Shane said, “and it will be perfect!”

    I imagined choking him until his faced turned cobalt. “There is no setting in MS-Word for ‘smidgen’, you ostentatious hack!”

    Shane shrugged, spilled his beer, and claimed it was an offering to Bacchus. “Are you still upset because Naomi didn’t pick you? or anyone?”

    “No,” I said, “I’m upset because the restrictive parameters of this challenge will force me to post a Spartan dialog instead of my usual pensive, Baroque dialectic.”

    Shane grinned wickedly. “Or a silly robot story.”

  13. Cathy Miller says:

    @Shane-sorry I am sooo behind-I hope you can get these welcome to the right place as I play catch-up…ahem (clearing the welcome pipes)…here we go…
    @Martin and @Katirra – Welcome to CCC!

    I finally made an indentation into my holiday schedule to make my way back to CCC. What a pleasant surprise to see your submissions as you joined the CCC community. There are no parameters on what you write – unless you consider having fun a parameter.

    At times our words are spartan and other times they flow in Bacchus delight. No cause to be pensive about what you write. At CCC, we have it all – from the baroque pattern of long-ago prose to the ostentatious expression of more colorful creators, whose words turn the air a cobalt blue. There isn’t a smidgen of doubt that this place delivers in all its non-restrictive style and we welcome you to the addiction.

  14. Kelly says:


    Oh, you might say working conditions at the paper were a smidgen restrictive. Back in those days, if we were still long enough to have our butts make an indentation in our ripped-up cobalt-blue chairs, we probably weren’t trying hard enough to catch a scoop, you know. No time for being pensive—just work your contacts and get out on the street. They could have given our desks away to two different reporters, for all the time we were allowed to spend in them.

    Prob’ly did. The place was so Spartan neither of us would have wanted to hang out long, and I was so eager I’d never have known if someone else was there most of the day, just so long as he vaporized before it was time to bang out the words on the typewriter. Those were the parameters of the job and we knew it when we signed on. Don’t like it? Try another paper. Or meet with Bacchus nightly around 1am like every other hack does, and moan that it’s better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.

    Sure, I’ve been back since I retired. The place has gone all baroque. Trying to please investors with the sense of grandeur and permanence, trying to lure top writers with fancy chairs and ostentatious dual-screen computers with eight zillion gigabytes of memory.

    What the hell for? They still treat ‘em like serfs, pay ‘em like slaves, work ‘em like dogs, and throw ‘em over for the Next Big Deal Writer the minute you’ve put up a framed 5×7 of your honey back in Winnetka on the corner of the desk… the one that you’re still not supposed to be sitting at, anyway.

  15. Laurie says:

    I found this one harder but here goes.

    Bacchus would get a bit ostentatious when he had a smidgen of merlot which he liked to do when he spent time with the Spartan admiring the work in the castle done Baroque style. What was behind that indentation by that flower in carved into the wall? The parameters on the drawings did indicate there could be another room between this great hall and the library. Bacchus asked the Spartan how he thought you would access the mystery room if it existed. The Spartan was pensive for several moments before answering. He said well notice how this leaf is made out of what appears to be cobalt? Its hidden well but its not the same as the rest of the flower I bet we do something with it. Bacchus asked why so pensive then? He said well if I’m wrong, the cobalt tends to be brittle and we might break this historic work! Bacchus having had a smidgen of merlot wasn’t up to worrying about the restrictive nature of trying to preserve this ancient castle, reached up and pushed on the cobalt leaf.

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