Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #169

James Chartrand is choosing today’s words and has a special message:

I’ve been working hard for a year developing a writing course called Damn Fine Words. Monday was its launch day. I’m very excited and (frankly) quite proud to bring this course to life.

So today’s words are in honor of… well, damn fine writing, and Damn Fine Words. Enjoy! (Yeah, that’s an affiliate link. I beta tested the program and, as a former computer instructor responsible for creating my own course material, I can stand behind this no-BS, solid course.)

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. Personality
  2. Activities
  3. Improvement
  4. Education
  5. Writing
  6. Onomatopoeia (I couldn’t let you guys off THAT easy!) – The formation or use of words such as buzz or murmur that imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions they refer to.
  7. Business 
  8. Investment
  9. Success
  10. Damn

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

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91 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #169”

  1. Jeanette R. says:

    Betty pinched the skin on her thigh and jabbed a two-inch needle into it. Damn it.  I will never get used to this. The caramel colored liquid escaped into her body and warmed the surrounding area. As she waited for the feeling to subside, she stared at the writing on the bathroom stall.  Betty was amazed at the failure of success for youngsters to scribble anything creative.  Her years of teaching high school English left her extremely critical of the written word. She noticed the word “boom” repeated in graffiti several times.  Betty made a mental note to teach the class onomatopoeia’s usage via the bathroom stall.

    She wrapped the contents in paper towels and flushed the evidence down the toilet.  Betty figured it was no one’s business how she choose to live her life.  The tight squeeze in the stall made it difficult for her to make a complete turn, so she bent her knees just enough to retrieve her purse. In six weeks, this shouldn’t be a problem. She made the investment two months prior but saw little improvement. They promised her that she wouldn’t have to change her daily activities and she shouldn’t exercise due to the low caloric restrictions.  She was guaranteed to lose at least 60 pounds in 60 days.

    As she opened the door, she noticed a little girl playing with the hand dryer. She ran underneath it and let the air blow through her long hair.  Betty liked to observe children.  She thought you could tell a lot about a child’s personality from how they play. What Betty assumed was the little girl’s mother stared at her reflection in the mirror.  Betty turned sideways and exited the stall.

    She was used to getting stared at, so she smiled at the lady and walked over to the sink. As she set her purse on the counter, the little girl bumped into her thigh.  The force of the motion caused her to bounce and then slam into the wall. The little girl began to cry and was immediately comforted by her mother. Betty tried to apologize but before she could the little girl made eye contact, “She’s too fat mommy.  She hurt me.”  

    The mother’s face was red with embarrassment. Betty shook her head and waved it off.  She knew she was fat, but it was still hard to hear it.  The mother scolded the child and quickly excited the bathroom.  Betty was appreciative that the lady had at least tried to give her daughter the education of proper etiquette.

    Betty rubbed her thigh. She could still feel the slight burn of where the needle was injected. I hope this works.

  2. Anne Wayman says:

    Here’s a pitch for you James 😉
     

    Damn fine words, a course that almost guarantees success with a small investment in your freelance writing business. You’ll learn about onomatopoeias, and will see huge improvement as a result of the educational activities led by that wonderful personality, James Chartrand.

  3. Cherrywood Heights Interlude 3

    Shekhinah sat on the rickety guardrail that separated I-10 from the dusty ditch, watching Abbadon slithering toward him. Today’s discussion would be about the activities in the Cherry Valley.

    “Ahoy!” Abbadon transfigured before his brother, shaking debris from his matted hair. Sitting down beside him, Abbadon proffered a candy bar.

    “Hi, there.” Shekhinah cheerfully accepted the chocolate, noting how solid it remained in the shimmering, afternoon heat. Taking a healthy bite, he started things off.

    Damn! This is delicious! Sweet and chewy, soft and gooey. Where’d you get it?”

    “Some old biddy. I showed her the business end of a dead skunk – just for kicks, ya know? She panicked and threw her purse at me before running away. There was a half-eaten bag of those Nestle’s chocolate morsels.” Abbadon smiled conspiratorially.

    “So, you made these? What’s in ’em? Oh, hell, no! You did not put a nasty skunk in that chocolate.” Shekhinah’s ‘ptui’ onomatopeia was only slightly exaggerated. The candy bar was tasty. He just always fell for Abbadon’s gross pranks and had to acknowledge his celerity.

    Abbadon laughed delightedly. He loved his brother so much. Who else would put up with him? After a moment, he settled down and asked Shekhinah to assess the probability that Abram’s ruse would be a success.

    “Given the lack of education amongst the target population, I’m afraid the probability approaches 1.”

    Abbadon looked confused. “One per cent? That sucks.”

    Shekhinah chuckled. “No, what sucks is your math skills. Never mind. I meant to say 100, okay?”

    “Hah!” Shouted Abbadon, pumping his fist into the air and dropping his candy bar. “That’s a big improvement. I’ll say, Abram has the personality of a chameleon. You see the way he played the good doctor? Like a cat on a hot tin roof!”

    “Arrgh. Fiddler, you moron.” Shekhinah never knew when his brother was faking. His uncanny ability to sway people with his writing showed an obvious investment in higher learning. Who knows, maybe he just didn’t watch much television.

    “Whatever, man. She was like putty in his hands. ‘I tink I taw a putty tat!’ See, self-absorbed professionals like her never stop to look at the big picture. When has big government ever set foot in godforsaken tarpits like Cherry Valley? They probably don’t even know this is here!”

    Shekhinah agreed. “Hope does that, you know. Raises expectations.”

    “And we both know miracles are moribund in this age. I’ll bet you two fig newtons to a candy bar that most folks wouldn’t recognize a bona fide miracle if it screeched at them from a burning bush.”

    “Dude, that wasn’t a miracle, that was a manifestation.”

    “I read somewhere that Moses was high.”

    “Don’t play with me; you wrote that gibberish and passed it off on that poor schlub from University.”

    Abbadon had the grace to giggle shame-facedly. “Well, man loves building truths out of hypotenuses. That’s their right, you know. Listen, I gotta run.”

    Shekhinah sighed contentedly. As his brother slid away, he thought about his playful mangling of English and how similar it was to his manipulating of the human brain.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Mitchell: Dammit Mitch! Write some bleepin’ books. Fantastic!

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @ Mitch. Best line : “Well, man loves building truths out of hypotenuses. That’s their right, you know..”  This kind of reminds me of the last season of LOST with Jacob.  Were you a fan of the show?  Awesome writing.

      • Frank Ruiz says:

        Jeanette, you and me had the same favorite line in this one!

        God’s using the populace as playthings!  Awesome writing, and very topical!  I imagine some pockets of Capitol Hill have conversations that aren’t too different!

        I’ve got my money ready for your books, Mitch!

        • @Jeanette, @Frank: thanks! I appreciate your compliments and feedback.
           
          I tried to hang in there with LOST, but that season where everything went screwy sent me packing. My wife is a true fan and even she was disgusted with that detour.
           
          Cheers,
           
          Mitch
           

    • I didn’t think of LOST until after reading others’ comments, but I can see how this beauty would call it to mind. (Alas, I loved LOST!!)
       
      LOST aside, I loved the contrasts, and how you do not discount the intelligence of the dark side, neither dismiss the playfulness of the light.  Hypotenuses, bell curves, who are you?
       
      *Reaching for purse*
       
       

      • Oh, no! Please don’t hit me with the Nestles! LOL
        Oops, did I just call you an old biddy? I take it back. 🙂 I’m glad you liked the interlude.
        I am so tickled that you referred to both posts, Vernessa. I wrote them, one after the other.
        I’m going to have to give LOST a second chance. My wife and I were just talking about it, yesterday.
         
        Cheers,
         
        Mitch
         

  4. Sean Murphy says:

    A Zombie story, part 9
    Continued from CCC167
     
    Grant walked side by side with Dave, supporting Emily by the shoulders.  They passed without words through the great court, not wanting to break the unearthly silence that had descended. The hellscape had changed dramatically from a few minutes prior. Teenage forms that had been busily engaged in activities of dubious educational merit were now still on the ground. Grant noted with a slowly renewing sense of curiosity that they had all fallen backwards, eyes starring into the night sky, drained of personality. The still-flickering lights of the punch volcano put a demonic cast over the scene, reminding him of a Dionysian revel, frozen in place.
     
    “We should call an ambulance. And the police. They’ll need to find whoever did this.” It was surprisingly hard to break the silence, as if the words didn’t want to go alone into the empty night. He couldn’t blame them.
     
    Dave looked at him doubtfully, honey-colored eyebrows expressing his thoughts clearly; This seemed like the business of something beyond the police. Nonetheless, he pulled out his phone, the sleek technology incongruous against the limp legs in his other arm. Punching in three digits, he held the phone up to his ear, but almost immediately shook his head; no success.
     
    “Not even a dial tone,” he said worriedly, “All I hear is this weird electronic sound, like a whir mixed with a whine.”
     
    Grant shifted Emily’s weight in his arms and reached for the phone, holding it up to his ear. His brother’s attempt at onomatopoeia had been a good attempt, but it couldn’t quite describe the strangeness of the sound. It was vaguely electronic, but it seemed to pulse with almost organic undercurrents. Hanging the phone up, he passed it back to his brother.
     
    Damn it.” He wished for a moment he were a more vulgar person. Emily was showing no signs of improvement, and the strangeness of the night was starting to become overwhelming. Bringing his eyes up, he realized they had left the great court and reached the nearby student parking lot. The familiar form of his brother’s mustang was only a few hundred feet away.
     
    “We’ll have to drive to the hospital and get help there. I don’t know what’s going on with the phone lines, but we’ve got to get Emily to a doctor.”
     
    “I guess buying a car instead of taking the bus in every day wasn’t such a bad investment after all,” Dave made the ghost of a grin as he brought up one of their most frequent brotherly arguments.
     
    “If she comes out of this, I promise I’ll never hassle you about that idiot gas guzzling muscle car again.” Even in his current state, he couldn’t resist a jab. The car was idiotic.
     
    “I’ll want that in writing
     
     
     

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Sean: Another solid read! Man, you’ve got me on the edge of my seat waiting for that girl’s lovely eyes to turn evil. TENSION, TENSION, TENSION! Love it.

      • Jeanette R. says:

        @Sean M.  I think with every story you get better and better with your descriptions and breathing life into these characters. I love how realistic they are down to the jokes that don’t feel forced.  Write on!

        • Frank Ruiz says:

          Wow, Sean, you can construct the Hell out of a sentence, and a story!  My favorite: “It was surprisingly hard to break the silence, as if the words didn’t want to go alone into the empty night.”

      • Sean Murphy says:

        @Shane – Don’t blame me, blame the words! But don’t worry, we’re getting close.
         
        @Jeanette – Thanks! That’s great to hear. As long as there’s improvement, I’m meeting my goals while having fun with this story. Win Win!
         
        @Frank – That was probably my favorite as well, it’s always fun when they just pop out like that. Thank you!

    • Sean, this eerie quiet period is well-played out. Like Shane said, the tension is building. My favorite part is Dave’s strong feeling that “this seemed like the business of something beyond the police.”
      Indeed.
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

  5. Shane Arthur says:

    “Hey, mm, mm, Bill, mm, mm, y, mm! I’s, mm, mm, ain’t da onomatopoeia here, mm, mm!”

    “Damn Bobby! Take dat fried chili-cheese mountain-oyster fritter out your mouth while you’s talkin’ … and stop writing dirty pictures on da wall and hurry up out dat stall. I got a log to drop and it means bid-ness.”

    “Sorry Billy. I said I ain’t the only-man-to-peeah in here. Urine, and fecal matter, be all over dis here stall. Dis open-Mick dive has a personality worst den our outhouse. Lord knows what other activities done gone on in here.”

    “Ah, Bobby. It’s an open-Mike dive. If you’d make a bigger investment in your studyin’, you’d have successfully known da difference between those two fellers. ‘An education is a wasteful thing to make more terrible,’ they say.”

    “Good thing we stolt some poetry from Justin though, eh Billy? We’s gonna be a big improvement over those mime poets dat just got booed off da stage.”

  6. Jeanette R. says:

    @Shane.  ‘An education is a wasteful thing to make more terrible,’ I guffawed at my desk and quickly recovered with a cough.  I want to see this story bound with pictures on my coffee table. That is all.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Jeanette: “Hey Billy! Jeanette done fawed off her chair. She’s got a cold too, on account of dat cough of hers.”

  7. Frank Ruiz says:

    “Do you think I give a damn about your business?”

    Wow, tough crowd… of one.  But if I could change this guy’s mind, the folks just ahead of him waiting for me to kick-start this seminar will love me.

    “I don’t know sir, but I’ll bet that after a little education on what I’m offering, you’ll be a believer.”

    “I don’t want to sit through your hour-long scam-session, pal.”

    “Then why are you here, sir?”

    “I wanted to see for myself the guy who sells nothing to suckers.”

    Ah, the usual complaint.

    “It’s not ‘nothing.’  Just because you can’t grab a hold of what I’m selling doesn’t make it any less valuable.”

    “All I know is folks walk into your talks and walk back out with a grand less in their pockets and nothing to show for it.”

    “Sir, I think you just don’t know what to look for.  After my talks, people are different.  They’re better.  As far as the money, that credit-card charge is their investment in their improvement.”

    “I work with a lady who went to your talk, and she seems the same to me: a bitch, but just worse now.  The only reason I’m even here is to shut up her constant yapping about how much I should come see you.”

    “Being assertive about what’s important to you isn’t a bad thing, sir.  In fact, it’s an important aspect of what I teach.”

    “Huh, so you want me to drop a grand so you can tell me to be more of an asshole.  You got some pair!”

    “I’ve got to start my talk for the folks who want to hear me shortly, but I’ll leave you with this: you ever heard of ‘Onomatopoeia?’”

    “Onomota-what?”

    “They’re words that sound like the sounds they’re describing.  So, the people I speak to… before they hear me, they’re like those words, like the word ‘clap,’ let’s say.  After my talk, though, that layer is stripped off, and they’re living directly, like this!”

    I CLAP my hands an inch from his face as hard as I can.  He almost falls from jumping back so hard.

    “Hey, watch it!”

    “Intensity, my friend!  You’re full of it after my course!”

    “‘Full of it’ sounds about right.”

    “So what’s it going to be, sir?  Are you going to keep only sounding like you’ve got a life, or are you ready to really live?”

    “I’m not paying for this shit.”

    “I’ll tell you what.  Why don’t you sit in for free?  It’ll be our secret.  That’s how much I believe you’ll get something out of it.”

    No snappy come back for that one.  I may have him.

    “You know what?  Paying nothing to get nothing sounds like a fair deal.  I’m curious enough now to sit through your act.”

    “Excellent!  Come with me and let’s change lives forever!”

    We walk into the meeting area and I sit him right in the middle.  I’ve always got to pick one from the group, and he’ll be perfect.

    “Some crowd you got here.”

    “Funny, sir.”

    It’s true the groups are small for my talks, but that’s how I like them.  Any more than a handful of people at a time and I really couldn’t work my magic right.

    I take the podium.  Here we go!

    “Today we’re talking about transformation.  We’re going to turn virtually all of you into the people that everyone wants to be, and it’ll happen before you leave this room.  There’s no need for long programs, affirmation-writing sessions, or involved activities here.  By the time we’re done, you’ll have a magnetic personality and successfully get anyone to do whatever you want.”

    I leave the podium and approach them.

    “I’m not one to preach without practice.  I like to teach by example.  If you’re simply willing to take on one behavioral adjustment, then the world is yours!”

    With that, I show them my knife.  Not much of a reaction.  When I PLUNGE it into the freeloader’s neck, though, they all started scrambling.

    I had to scream to get them to hear me over this lump’s death gurgles.

    “THE DOORS ARE ALL LOCKED.  YOU’RE ALL TRAPPED.”

    I leave the knife in his body and pull out my gun.

    “I can pick you all off where you stand from here.  Sit back down NOW or I will!”

    They all retake their seats.  They’re trembling and whimpering.  They’re living!

    “You feel that?  Your hearts are like earthquakes in your chests right now.  THAT’s what it feels like to be alive!  You can live like that all the time if you want.  Just reclaim your killer instincts like I have.  When you’re willing to kill if folks don’t do what you ask them, you find a room full of willing participants.”

    Time to prove my point.

    “Take your IDs and credit cards and toss them to me.  If you don’t, you die.”

    Point proven.  I pocket all their cards.

    “I know who you are, and I know where you live.  Always remember this.”

    I move to the big finish.

    “Stand up.  Move your chairs off of the tarp I laid out before you got here.  Notice this dead fuck is on it.  You four are going to wrap the tarp up and we’re going to get rid of this body… together!  This door behind me leads right outside, so we’re all going to have his blood on our hands, and we’re all going to get away with it.  We’re all murderers!”

    My new initiates wrap the tarp up tightly.  They’re still weeping mush piles, but they’ll harden up when I get them to dismember this fuck.

    I hit them with a few more words of wisdom before we roll.

    “Killers rule!  Embrace your new identity!  I’m going to keep tabs on you all, and if you give up on the gift I’ve given… if you snitch on your fellow killer, then I will find you, and I will kill you, just like I did the corpse you’re holding.”

    “Now let’s go, we’ve got work to do!”

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Frank: This story was RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME! I would never, ever have thought of something like this. You could turn this story into a screenplay for an awesome, 1-hour long, Hitchcock-type thriller. Get on that!

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @Frank. Talk about a ‘self-help’ seminar gone wrong. I love how you took what usually happens, i.e. people preaching about the benefits of these types of seminars and turning that shit right on its head.  These people got the wake-up call of their life!   This was insane…in the best possible way!

      • Frank Ruiz says:

        Thanks, Shane and Jeanette!

        I do enjoy the screenplay form, and it’d be fun to see how the rest of the night goes for the seminar attendees!  It would definitely continue the insantiy 🙂

    • Sean Murphy says:

      @Frank: I didn’t see that coming at all – amazing twist! I could totally visualize this as a screenplay, like Shane said.

    • Frank, you so bad! I woke up my whole family laughing at this delightful farce. I can barely type this comment from chuckling.
      This is some twisted stuff, right here! Killers Rule!
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

    • Why does “They’re living!” sound like it should be said in the same intonation as “It’s alive!”
       
       
      Frank you really held me … Boy, oh boy, I laughed at this one!  His co-worker really set him up, but good!
       
       
      Great dialogue.  My other favorite line: “we’ve got work to do!”
       
       
       

      • Frank Ruiz says:

        Thanks, Vernessa!
         
        I’m glad everyone reading took this in the tone I intended, as I was laughing when writing it 🙂
         
        By the way, I loved LOST too!  Even I was let down by the ending though, and it’s what intimidates me about long-form writing.  If the same geniuses who crafted the first 5 seasons ended up with the open-ended conclusion of the 6th, then the mission to have a satisfying ending must be harder than I thought!

        Looking forward to your next story, Vernessa, and thanks again!

  8. Jen says:

    It didn’t matter so much that he had the personality of a soggy paper plate. Or that all of his free time was spent as an investment in the improvement on his six pack abs. None of us, not one of us, as we lounged poolside in the sweltering oppression of the Texas summer, cared that his education seemed to have halted at 9th grade.
     
    We, the mothers of Elderberry Estates, spritzed water on our soft and child-marked bodies, we carried pouches of cheese crackers in our purses, and slathered sunscreen on our youngest and oldest kids, embarrassing them as we clucked over them. It was our business to protect and serve the youths of our gated community and we did so with remarkable efficiency. We settled our oversized D&G sunglasses over our tanned faces, peering out from under our gigantically-brimmed black straw hats, that flopped over our sweating brows and threw shadows onto our designer tankinis, marked with the polo player, or the C, or the double E. We might have thought we were  demure in our middle-aged desire, but, as I remember it now, we might have been a touch on the conspicuous side.
     
    I’m sure our heads turned in one, a chorus line of lust, as the young lifeguard strolled past, his blonde hair nearly onomatopoetic as he swished it back from his golden brow. The only shadows cast on him were caused by the undulation of his various perfectly primed muscle groups as he engaged in the activities of the modern day guard. Bending to retrieve a popsicle wrapper, hauling a lounge chair into the shade, or whistling at a child to stop spitting at his au pair.
     
    We considered the day a success if we could get him to “rescue” one of our children from harm or death. We took turns slipping a twenty into one sweaty palm after another, asking the kids to fake a tantrum or a sudden cramp. Jeanie kept a log of our escapades in a leather folio clasped with a polished platinum lock, the key to which she wore around her elegant, tanned neck. Each day she returned to her home in the cul-de-sac, writing the story of who he saved that day and how. She scanned the story in and sent us each a copy via email.
     
    Trudging home with the troupe of kids at the end of a long day at the pool, walking back into the polished granite and luxe cotton of my own bathroom, entering again the lonely quiet of an oversized home I thought I had wanted always felt like the sad detumescence of a day perfectly lived. Showering in the double-headed shower, then wrapping in a towel and enjoying a singular and lonely margarita in a custom built kitchen was nothing. Not compared to the fun of behaving like a bunch of school girls given too much time and too much money. Damn those days were fun. That was before it all fell apart.

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @Jane. I loved this!

      My favorite line “I’m sure our heads turned in one, a chorus line of lust, as the young lifeguard strolled past, his blonde hair nearly onomatopoetic as he swished it back from his golden brow”.

      I hope you continue with this.  I want to know what fell apart…and if I can put the pieces back together and live the good life 😉

      BTW, I went to your blog. I am a  marathon runner (on a yoga hiatus) and I’m interested in your book. With writing chops like this, I’m sure it’s going to be a page turner.  Much success to you!
       

      • Jen says:

        Jeanette, Thank you so much. Oh, you know those cougars, always up to no good. Thanks for visiting my blog. I am in no way, shape, or form, as dedicated a runner as you. I thought about running a marathon, but running the two halves were really really good. I plan to continue that distance for now. You’re very kind in your assessment of my writing and I appreciate your words. Now, how can we link up elsewhere? I’m jenluit on twitter.

        • Frank Ruiz says:

          Jen, your words paint engaging, detailed pictures, and your ending definitely hooked me into wanting more!  I’m sure your books do the same!

    • Jen, surely this is a pilot. Traveling Pants: Crisis Years, or something. There is something so desperate about this perfection – probably the lonely margarita and emailed exploits. LOL
       
      I also would love to know what ruined it for these ladies.
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

      • KathleenL says:

        Jen — “…personality of a soggy paper plate.” Wow, brought such giggled images to my mind. Gotta love cougars.

  9. My entry for today’s challenge:
     

    Studying Dogs

    Stark business investment
    damn aggravating activities
    all for the improvement of education
    task to learn their personality types
    spewing onomatopoeia as if I were one
    how can success be measured in writing
    when studying how dogs actually think?

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @Justin. Your poems are so vivid.  The words don’t seem to phase you.  Another awesome piece.

      • Thank you, I rarely run into trouble.  Took about 5 minutes to whip that one up.  I have used onomatopoeia in twitter poems previously so was already used to using it in poems.

        • Frank Ruiz says:

          Greaet poem!  That’s awesome that you use the Twitter platform for poetry too!

          • Thanks, just posted today’s Twitter poem too if you want to see how that game looks, it similar to Creative Copy Challenge except I call out to my Twitter followers to provide me words and I craft a poem including all submitted words, can get anywhere from 9 – 20 words on an average day.  http://www.wandererthoughts.com/social-caf-random-twitter-poem-aug-18th/

          • Frank Ruiz says:

            Hey, Justin,
             
            Thanks for letting me know about your site, Wanderer Thoughts!  Your ability to write so much via so many different outlets is awesome!

    • Justin, too bad there’s no voice plugin here. I’d love to hear you read this one!
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

  10. You know, I’ve been trying to write this challenge since it went live… and I keep stopping to grin at the entries. They’re brilliant – I think this is the best CCC ever, Shane!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @James: I say that same thing each challenge. Then the next one comes along and I have to keep contradicting myself. 😉

  11. margaret says:

    To whom it may concern:

    I am writing this letter to inform you  that in spite of my more-than-adequate education and larger than average vocabulary, which I feel does not need much improvement, I am ignoring your
    request to make an investment in your damn business.

    Because of my personality, which takes affront at pompous communications which feel they have to use words such as onomatopoeia, and talk down to the normal populace, I question the business practices and activities of your company and have no wish to contribute to its success.

    Sincerely,
    One of the regular people

  12. KathleenL says:

    Another — Mind-full Conversation
    The activities of that fate filled day, with the Pre-Trial Hearing looming, stick in my mind … his comment: “I am going to sell you.” Hours later… her comment: “I told you if you were going to do this you need keep the door closed.” … really show the personality flaws in these two
    .
    Sorry Lovie, I know you could have heard that first comment said to your girl, I don’t know if you were out like a light at that moment. I used to pray you were, but my-new-face-of-brave’s testimony at the prelim has shaken my wishful reality of your last hours. Hours! I don’t know what you experienced that last day. But the improvement of my education … Damn if it doesn’t just makes the business of this mess worse.

    Who am I kidding Lovie? Makes it worse…for whom? For me? What a fool momma is. How can I be so selfish to think that way? Sorry Lovie. It was all “worse” for you; for your gal, my new face of brave. She is the one who has to repeat, aloud, in front of a… most likely full courtroom, what he did to her. She will have to repeat what she endured. What she saw – you, already down on the floor of the shed, pool of blood under your head, what she heard, what she endured. Sorry Lovie. I don’t mean to be selfish. I know if you two withstood him, endured him … I will pull myself up by my bootstraps, stand in your stead now. I will show the jury you were loved. Your life had value. This is an investment in strength and courage … the same strength and courage you have come to expect out of momma. Yes, Lovie, the same strength and courage I taught you to have. Yes, Lovie, Yes. Thanks for understanding my weak moments.

    I wish the writing was on the wall for them too, Lovie. On one hand … it should be with the surviving witness. But the success of this trial depends on humans. Humans are fickle. Kind of like the judges at the horse shows I used to write about, yes Lovie. But life is so fickle… and it’s all about the wins. His Defense team wants to win. The District Attorney wants to win.

    I have heard it from here too Lovie… the distant clank of metal hitting metal. I too reveal in the knowledge he has to hear the scraping metal and the clank. I hope he hears it daily, too. Metal colliding with metal, hopefully a daily reminder of what he should not have ever done…. Only you can see what kind of cell he is in.

    No more listening to the angry chewing of a chain saw as it eats into a tree…

    Yah son, that is a sound a guy with a wood business would have liked, right.

    No son, that is not an onomatopoeia, sorry, I am just not that talented today. After all, loving you, my dear boy, it lacks a sound today. Yes, son, I will try not to cry today, I will try. By for now, Lovie. Talk to you soon, yes.

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @Kathleen. I had no idea this was a true story. I am so sorry you have to deal with this.  I hope you find justice and peace in your heart.

      • KathleenL says:

        Yah,
        — Big sigh… It’s true. Thank you for your kind words and support.

        It
        is difficult, as you can imagine, and I pray none of my CCC family has to
        experience except through my cathartic writing.

        Earthly
        justice… I hope for but am feeling a little jaded today. Pre-Trial Hearing is
        coming up on Friday. The scuttlebutt is the Defense is going to ask for a
        continuance… the legal games further injures. This uncertainty tries even the
        kindest of personalities. Justice is
        an education in patience, I can tell
        you. This business of standing up for a loved one, in hopes of a successful outcome… takes a huge investment of time, energy and that
        ever elusive patience the family is learning to endure. There is no promise for
        an improvement in the “justice”
        system as it is designed to protect the innocent until PROVEN guilty… He
        shouldn’t have underestimated my daughter-in-law-to-be… Damn straight he should not have. The activities of Friday will determine whether we get to stand up for
        our boy next month… but… if another delay is in the works… then so be it… it
        will not change the facts.

        Again,
        thanks for the support, hope the writing is not too disruptive before and now that
        you know it is Me speaking to my son.

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Kathleen: Write away! I’m so glad you have an outlet for all this.

          • KathleenL says:

            Shane — me too. It has… Helped. I have some other writings I have done and it’s all “my” way of being able to work through this. And with the blessing of this CCC Family I promise I will, because … who knows… this may turn out to help someone else down the road. Now that would be great!

        • Jeanette R. says:

          @KathleenL. If your writing gives you an ounce of relief in your day than you should continue posting here.  In the book “Tuesdays with Morrie”, the author writes “Death ends a life, not a relationship.”  Keep your connection and legacy to your son alive through your writing.

          • KathleenL says:

            Janette — I have not read “Tuesdays With Morrie”… I have read other works by same author… but… hummm he is a smart man. Thanks for the reminder.

  13. Kathleen, good to see this continuation. Have I missed any? Last two I read were CCC #154 and #155.
    I never did ask, though, is this fiction?
     
    Mitch

    • KathleenL says:

      Mitch — I am not sure that you have missed any installments in the Mind-full Conversations. I will have to check LOL.
      No Sir, it is not Fiction. The Pre-trial for the Orange Blob who robbed my son of his life and threw a monkey wrench into my not-quite-daughter-in-law’s life … will be next week with, as of today, the trial scheduled to begin September 12th.

      • Kathleen, I felt that it was way too poignant and I was so afraid it was based on fact. I’m so sorry for your loss and I do hope that writing about it helps in some way.
         
        Mitch

        • KathleenL says:

          Mitch — Nope… I just checked, My Postings on #156, #157, #158 were playful. Sometimes the tears blurr the screen and other times… other times I am not obsessing about missing my E-man (Ethan). But there will be more. I think, if it is not too creepy to read, from yah’ll’s side, I might included it in a manuscript.

          • Hi Kathleen,
             
            It takes a lot of courage to share your innermost feelings … you are very courageous. Had Mitch not asked the question, we might never have known the struggle you were braving right here before our very eyes.
             
            Of course, no words we say can erase the pain, but I hope the conversations with your “E-Man” and the caring community who surrounds you will take the edge off enough that you can enjoy the memories more fully, sooner.
             
            I further hope you and your daughter-in-law see justice done in the courts. And may you have the biggest gift of justice, which is that any evil done cannot erode the best gift of all: Ethan.
             

          • Kathleen, thanks for checking. Like Vernessa said, it’s courageous, not creepy at all. If it helps, by all means, do continue when the feeling hits.
             
            Mitch

          • KathleenL says:

            Venessa and Mitch  and all of you — Thanks. And Venessa, you are absolutely right… my Ethan is a gift from God and the 19-years-110-days I was blessed to have him down here on earth … well the Orange Clad Blob can’t take those days away from me. I am glad these Mind-full Converstations are not creepy. Thanks for standing in with me, all of you. If not earthly justice… then the Good Lord will take care of it all. Right? Right.

  14. Dominica says:

    I  told myself I would take a small break from my studies of education to enjoy a movie. I would get there, watch it, enjoy it, and then leave to head back to my studio. But with my sincere personality and ability to seem to never say no, I suppose this is why I am now sitting at the theater cafe with my “newfound friend.” So much for my personal plan I had set.

    The old man was chatting away, again; this time it was his life and his quirky little activities he enjoyed. He mentioned something about collecting stamps and something about spelunking. Spelunking? I wondered alone to myself. Sounds weird. Almost intriguing. I asked him. Or would have asked if the man would stop to take a breath. For an old man, he sure could talk up a storm.

    When he finally stopped to sip on his drink, I chimed in with some conversation, which led to questions about college. “I’m studying English; I adore writing. From my early days to now, I see such a vast improvement in my writing development. I like short stories the best.”

    “English huh? Where you make up stories and use big fancy words like onomatopoeia?” He chuckled. “But, ah college, I never went,” he continued. “No need for me. I started a business with my own two hands.” He put his hands up, looking at them. “Huge success I tell you. Time and heart were the greatest investment I ever made in that business. Besides the money and great product of course.” He smiled.

    I started to really enjoy the company of this new stranger. He reminded me of my grandfather who passed away last year. We were incredibly close. Of course this man sitting across from me couldn’t feel that void, but he sure was nice to be around.

    Just then I looked down at my watch. Oh damn, it’s almost midnight. I better get home and study.

    • Dominica, yep, we old-timers sure do love the sound of our own voices! LOL
      Great entry. I can believe how time could fly like that.
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @Dominica.  It’s always nice to sit and talk with someone with more experience and life knowledge. It makes you see the world differently.

  15. Jen says:

    I gave the first five words to my 13 year old daughter while I worked on mine. Here’s what she wrote. I thought you’d get a chuckle:
     
    This is a writing activity that Mom is having me do as part of my home education. I hope to improve my writing over the course of the year. I can’t think of a way to use personality…wait, I just did!

  16. Hey Guys!  Ii didn’t quite drop off the face of the earth, here is Mal Reynolds story part 7
     

    Part 7
    Mal burst through the door to the crime scene in such a rush that everyone in the room jumped. More than one officer turned to draw his weapon before relaxing when they saw Detective Reynolds. Most knew his abrasive personality and his quest for 100% success case closings.

    He almost ran to the crime scene techs. Upon reaching them he began without preamble. “Where is the gut pile?” He asked. “The what?” the tech asked. “The gut pile.” Mal repeated. “The victim had no intestines. And no penis. Did you find either?”

    The tech paled visibly. “Nothing like that here sir.” He said. Mal shook his head and asked, “Anything yet on that writing on the wall?” The tech shook his head. “Damn.”

    Mal swore and turned to go back to the nasty business on the tape. With his back still turned he asked the tech, “Any broken glass in here or bloody footprints?” “None of that either Sir.” The tech replied.

    “Damn” Mal swore again as he walked to the door and out of the crime scene. His years of experience were starting to give him a massive headace because he knew that this case would require a massive investment of his time. At least it was an improvement on filing paperwork back at the station.

    Mal arrived back in Brubaker’s den of crap a moment later. His mind was reeling trying to process information that was somewhere in the back of his mind, from another case, one that he hadn’t solved. He had to figure it out, and his education into the matter continued with the activities on that tape.

    He started it again feeling the same revulsion and the same déjà vu tickle in his mind as the man in the white tabard came back into the frame. There was mumbling and then a rhythmic chanting and a strange set of onomatopoeia “whoosh” like sounds. Mal continued to watch, more clues to the twisted murder coming clear as the tape played on.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Justin M: Hey man! I just saw a tweet from you a few hours ago and said, “Hey, Justin needs to stop by again.” Cool that you did, and great story. I love this tale.

  17. Kelly says:

    AFTER THE FAIRY-TALE ENDS
    “Love the one you’re with.”

    I’ve tried. For so long, I’ve tried. I get involved in your activities, there’s an improvement for a while. You make a half-hearted investment in “being present in the moment,” whatever that is, and I think maybe we’ll work this thing out. But the success is temporary.

    Maybe I’ll write a little poem about it. “Honey, I want to add a little onomatopoeia right here. What sounds like the utter silence in this room?”

    Silence.

    Yep, I knew that.

    So you’re back to not giving a damn, and you tell me this is the “settled-in phase” of our relationship.
    But who said I wanted to settle in?

    When I first met you, I thought you were amazing. You sometimes gave me chills with your brilliance. And you still do, when you’re “on”; you’re great in business, but not in the business of making this work. For all your personality, you’re an awful bore when there’s no crowd around you.

    “Home time is down-time,” you say. Time to get your next mountain-climbing education program going. Time for your writing for all the environmental magazines that want your opinions on how to solve our global water problems. Time for spontaneity? Time for those thrills you used to give me? Time for looking up and wondering why we’re tumbling out of control, and not even enjoying the roll?

    Nope.

    But hey. You aren’t listening anyway.
     
    Dear Jack,
    I gotta go. If all you want is a warm companion, get a cat.
    Love, Jill.

    • Kelly says:

      Shane–My line breaks didn’t show up and the silly thing says I don’t have permission to edit the comment. Before you put it to bed in my compilation, can you edit it here to make it look nice (add in the line breaks between paragraphs so it’s readable)? Thanks…


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