Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #177

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. Thing
  2. Try
  3. Test
  4. Twist
  5. Think
  6. Trust
  7. Thank
  8. Treat
  9. Twice
  10. Thick

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.)

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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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61 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #177”

  1. Here is my poem for today’s entry:

    Some Treat
    Come on and test it
    try this treat thing
    don’t think twice
    trust this recommend
    thick custard flavor twist
    you will thank the culinary gods

  2. margaret says:

    I think most recipes I’ll try to test
    ’cause making treats is what I do best!
    I’ll thank you to trust my cooking skills,
    ’cause I never, ever make food that kills!

    (not twice, anyway)

    The thing I really like to do, is give it my own twist
    and make it new.
    My shakes are thick, my cookies crunchy,
    and no low-cal shit goes in my munchies!

  3. sefcug says:

    *The Milkshake*
     
    The thing about the test is that you need to treat it as if the thick liquid is the main component, not the ingredients to make it so, and to trust your instincts. No one will thank you for circumventing the parameters, so make sure to read all the instructions.
     
    Jack did not read all the instructions, so concentrated on the milk, berries, and sugar, forgetting all about the ice cream. The ice cream is what makes the milkshake dense.
     
    Moral:
     
    Think twice before accepting an assignment, as sometimes there will be a twist that will try your patience.

  4. Frank Ruiz says:

    Writing is a bit of a gift and a curse for me.  I think the gift is its ease of entry: at any point when I’m alone (and otherwise, albeit with more difficulty when amongst others), I can sit in front of a keyboard or scribble on a Post-it Note and engage in creative activity, hopefully creating a thing of beauty for those who behold it.

    I think the curse, however, comes from the fact that what addicts me most to creative activity is the interaction (toward hopeful approval) from an audience.

    I want continuous validation, point blank.  The quickest way I can get it is via interaction with an audience, whether it’s one person or a group I’m “hamming it up” in front of.  This comes most efficiently through live performance.

    Writing can garner such validation as well, and the CCC blog (as well as social media postings and e-mails to attentive recipients) provide a very close approximation to the live, immediate validation that I enjoy when performing.

    The shorter and more immediate the time period between the first words I write and its reception by an audience, the closer it feels to getting instant validation from live audiences I perform for.

    The longer and more involved the written piece, however, the more removed the validation component is from the creative equation.  Also, the longer we create in a vacuum (away from our work’s intended audience), the more we lose touch with the immediate feedback-loop we can react and adjust to when giving a live performance.

    Such reception time-gaps and feedback-loop delays can lead to situations where an enormous amount of time and effort is spent in crafting and honing a creative work (a thick, multi-Act story with several plot twists, for example, which can take more than twice the investment to create than a blog post) in a vacuum, without testing the waters of public perception.

    When we’re lucky, we can trust enough in the creative process to craft such expensive (in time and effort) works and hopefully receive satisfactory validation from audiences upon their reception and consumption of it.

    Without a reception feedback-loop during its creation, however, we increase our risk of having invested a large amount of time and effort only to create a work that audiences won’t enjoy when it comes time for them to consume it, and this can happen despite whatever care we treat our creation with in presenting it to them.

    So why am I writing all of this?  I guess I’m trying to figure out how best to exercise my creative desires in life, and I’m not so sure the prospect of long-form story-crafting is that route anymore.  Thank goodness for the alternatives of the sort the CCC offers!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Frank: Don’t give up on the long form. As Larry Brooks would tell you, the long form is comprised of smaller boxes, with even smaller chunks dividing those boxes. Lately I’ve found it extremely hard to get the work done that I need to. I was getting frustrated that I was not reaching my optimal level, but I decided to break each task into small, measurable chunks. It amazed me how much work I can get done simply by opening the program I’ll use. That’s it; just open the program and see what happens. Before, I’d be caught up in my head and the deadlines and such and feel frozen from starting.

      Write on!
      Shane

      • Frank Ruiz says:

        Hey, Shane!
         
        Thanks for the response, and glad to have you back.  Hope you and the family had a great vacation!
         
        You and Larry raise a good point about being able to reap the benefits of small-investment writing, even when we create them within bigger, potentially intimidating works!
         
        As you said, it may be as easy as just short-circuiting the guy in me that sees the whole journey, when I could deal with it more easily by looking down and just putting one foot in front of the other 🙂
         
        Thanks again!

    • Frank, I’m hardly one to offer sound advice. the best I can do is offer the sound of my voice:
      You have to be your biggest cheerleader and your harshest critic. The first will keep you going; the second, grounded.
       
      CCC is a perfect playground for creative validation. Thankfully, it leaves the editors and critics at the door (as far as I know.) I mean, this is supposed to be fun. If something more substantial wriggles out of the swamp and takes root on dry ground, you are free to water it here or gently pull it up and put it in a planter on your desk.
       
      As for the stuff that swims and mutates, well, ten words will do that to you – generate random ideas. I often ask myself, “What the heck would I write without a ten-word prompt?” The answer is really a shrug. I’m full of ideas but, as Larry Brooks says, “An idea for your story isn’t enough. And a theme isn’t a concept at all.”

      Brooks, Larry (2011-01-31). Story Engineering (p. 35). Writers Digest Books. Kindle Edition.
       
      (Gotta love copy paste from Kindle – hope it’s not format-challenged.)
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

      • Anne Wayman says:

        yes, could be the short form is a fad around here 😉

        • Frank Ruiz says:

          Thanks for your comments, Mitch and Anne!

          Mitch, you’ve eloquently laid out both the potential for creative validation within and beyond the CCC, and your reply deserves praise as a work of art itself!

          Anne, the same goes for you and your brief masterpieces!  There’s merit in both the short and long form, so I’ll work on getting my inner cheerleader ready for the longer “games” of creation as well 🙂

          Thanks again!

          • KathleenL says:

            Frank — to say I echo the sentiment of our fellow CCC-ers is expected, I am almost certain. I have come here… drawn here… repeatedly for the hope of bouncing my wordplay off of others, but also to become inspired by other’s wordplay. I share a multitude of your feelings – effective communication and making others think, feel, start conversations with family members, friends, even strangers about something I have written. It’s wordplay all the way. Stay. Keep hittin’ the keys. I hope it’s as good a relationship for you as it is for me!

          • Frank Ruiz says:

            Kathleen,

            Thanks for your wonderful words of encouragement, and I’m looking forward to continuing to engage this incredible community for all the reasons you listed above!

            Thanks again!

  5. Molly didn’t think twice as she pumped six slugs into Kenny’s chest. “You bastard! Who is she!”

    Kenny, looking up at his wife, incongruously admired her stance. She was a good student. He opened his mouth to speak, but a thick soufflé of blood, spit and fluids choked off his final words. His body gave a comical shudder and twist before settling down for good.

    Not satisfied with his hasty exit, Molly assaulted Kenny’s corpse with her boot and her curses. She might have continued, out of sheer outrage, but she really wanted to go after the mystery, squeaky-voiced bitch. She had no idea who was on the other end of 303-555-9467. Whoever it was, was in for a treat. She pressed the speed dial.

    ***

    Thank you for meeting me on such short notice.” Molly extended her hand in greeting. The perky thing attached to the well-manicured hand was so typically Kenny’s style. She looked fresh out of high school for Pete’s sake!

    “No problem, Ms. Lane. I’m glad to meet you, finally. All this cloak and dagger stuff is way over my head. I try hard to keep up in Mr. Lane’s class.”

    Molly dropped the painted hand and unbuttoned her overcoat. “That’s just it, dear. Kenny never said a word about a live-fire test, until you called this morning. I guess he doesn’t trust me, either.”  As she trained the gun on the startled woman, she added, “Why do you suppose that is?”

    She didn’t wait for an answer.

      • Frank Ruiz says:

        Whoa, for a story about shooting first and waiting for answers later, you sure managed to infuse your prose with delicious sentences!

        “He opened his mouth to speak, but a thick soufflé of blood, spit and fluids choked off his final words. His body gave a comical shudder and twist before settling down for good.”
        “Not satisfied with his hasty exit, Molly assaulted Kenny’s corpse with her boot and her curses.”

        Those two above are mental meals I love to nosh on!

        • KathleenL says:

          Mitch!!!! an opening I love! My first thoughts: You go girl!
          “… soufflé of blood…” Great imagry created with this one.
          Fast moving, keeping the need of this reader to see what what coming next!!! 🙂

  6. Aslam Yaqoob says:

    He has promised himself that however selfish the world would become, he would always think positive for his fellow being. That is why he seems to trust everyone and treats him as human. Human who commits mistake every now and then and off course learn through them! But at the same time he follows some principles. He never complains if someone bites him. He just thanks him for his time and leaves him to himself. He never tries him again. Yes. Once bitten twice shy! He rather tests someone else.
     
    He does not blame others for their misdeeds. He actually feels as if he is learning human psychology for free. In fact, he has been writing his log of sour experiences for quite sometime now. He does not twist things up, he writes as he actually experiences. He ensures that he does not repeat a mistrusted name again in his log.
     
    The day has come when he wondered why his log has become so thick. Has he left some pages blank?  No. Has he repeated experiences by mistake?  No.  His sifting through the pages revealed that every known name with the exception of one has occupied his log. His own!

  7. Aslam Yaqoob says:

    He has promised himself that however selfish the world would become, he would always think positive for his fellow being. That is why he seems to trust everyone and treats as human. Humans commits mistake every now and then and off course learn through them! But at the same time he follows some principles. He never complains if someone bites him. He just thanks him for his time and leaves him to himself. He never tries him again. Yes. Once bitten twice shy! He rather tests someone else.
    He does not blame others for their misdeeds. He actually feels as if he is learning human psychology for free. In fact, he has been writing his log of sour experiences for quite sometime now. He does not twist things up, he writes as he actually experiences. He ensures that he does not repeat a mistrusted name again in his log.
    The day has come when he wondered why his log has become so thick. Has he left some pages blank?  No. Has he repeated experiences by mistake?  No.  His sifting through the pages revealed that every known name with the exception of one has occupied his log. His own!

    • KathleenL says:

      Aslam — wwwwooooooooo this guy makes me want to know why “everyone” is against him. I re-read the last Paragragh… to see if all the names in the book were his, but alas he trusts no one. Hummm.

  8. Anne Wayman says:

    (getting notices late again)
     

    Darn that thing! No matter how hard I try, how often I test my theory, even with a twist, even when I think I’ve got it right and trust my answer, it’s a thankless task with no treat at all. Twice is not enough – I’m so thick!

    • Frank Ruiz says:

      Ah yes, the pains of being wrong!  It always hurts and frustrates me too!  You think I’d have gotten used to it by now, with as many times as it happens to me!

      • KathleenL says:

        Anne – Thick you may find yourself as you try, try, and try again to test your thankless theories that twist in the wind, but trust that the thing is… you are twice, if not thrice, treating yourself to a good lesson learned, I think.

  9. Martha says:

    I don’t know why my momma told me all I had to do was try. I always try. But the teacher’s tests are so hard. The other kids don’t seem to mind. Janie is always saying she thinks the tests are a treat and that I am just thick. I think she’s just saying that ’cause she’s always yammering on about something. Daddy says people who yammer don’t have much to say, much like the preacher man thanking the Lord for the rains last Sunday. It’s always rainy season come September, everyone knows that. Daddy says if the preacher man spent less time on his knees and more time on his flock, he’d be better off. Momma tells Daddy to hush now, little pitchers are listening. ‘Course momma always says trust in the Lord and he will provide but I don’t know ’bout that. I don’t think the preacher man knows much. He’s too shiny and twisty. He’s always got an answer or a prayer for one thing or another. I saw him last week coming out of teacher’s room at Annie’s mother’s boarding house. That’s twice now. He had a funny look on his face when he saw me. Asked me why wasn’t I in school little girl? He must think I’m thick too. I can’t be in school when teacher’s at home, can I? I don’t like it when he calls me little girl. Only my Daddy gets to call me that. My Daddy promised me a quarter if I tried harder in school today. He said don’t tell momma, it’ll be our little secret. I don’t like secrets, but I sure do like quarters. Maybe if I buy Janie an ice cream with my quarter, she’ll be nicer to me. I could try for that.

  10. Sean Murphy says:

    The mirror is not a thing to be trusted. Should I thank it for deceiving me, treat it as a friend when it twists my image into acceptability? No. I’m not thick. I know the truth it tries to hide from me. I know how wrong I look, how people snicker in corners when they think I can’t see. I have to test it to see the truth, but eventually it always comes out. Looking once or twice is never enough, but turn just right, try to see out of the corner of my eye, and reality becomes apparent. I always find the ugliness the mirror hides.

  11. Jake says:

    The one thing that I try to test, will often twist in my mind as I think and meditate on the delicate and fragile trust that I have in myself.  I thank God for the divine treat of freewill in my life, at least twice daily, and continue to muddle through this thick, melancholy and befuddled world in which I live.

  12. KathleenL says:

    A Note of Love —
    I think about you every day,
    Many nights I lay awake…
    I think, its time… to let you go…
    It hurts real bad; but I won’t show.
      
    Who would have thought a simple thing, like Facebook and who you are dating,
    Would bring a turmoil to me, not knowing what to do, but if I change it I’ll be forever loosing you.
     
     
    A Loving Response —

    Sweet girl, there will come a time that you will move forward in your life.
    You must.
    You are only 19 and life is going on.

    When you change your relationship status to being in a relationship with someone else, on this bloody format… it will be letting go of the pain that is surrounding this twisted test of your courage to go on. You will be moving forward… not forgetting, not moving on… just continuing to live in spite the death.

    But the reality is… My beautiful boy is a part of you FOREVER! Trust in that my dear. Ethan being a part of you is twice evident in the fact that you two loved each other; loved each other through thick and thin. As you travel down this road of life he is not ever going to be very far … just look at the tattoo of his name on your chest over your heart (LOL).
     
    And when you are ready to change who you are in a relationship with… all of us who love you both will understand; including my Lovie lookin’ down.
     
    I never raised my son to — not Love.
    He was a loving person in oh so many things that he did. He cared deeply for those he chose to love. The heart is not a completely limited thing, he knew this too. Our heart, proverbial heart, is a multi-layered thing. After all he was able to love me, love you, love his dad (stepdad), love his father, and love his sisters, his grandparents, his dogs, his horses…. He had girlfriends before you he cared for deeply.
     
    You know he and I have always had frank conversations… so just as I knew he did not want to be put in the ground… I know he does not want your life to end just because his did.
     
    Moving forward does not negate what you two had.
     
    Try treating yourself to a life. Honor him by living a good and full life my dear not-quite-daughter-in-law. I am thankful he met you, brought you into our lives. Trust that he would not want you to die alongside him, nor die of the grief you are trying to conquer — because of the loss of him.
    Continue to love. Continue to live.

    • Martha says:

      Oh my. This just broke a piece of me:
      I never raised my son to — not Love.
      He was a loving person in oh so many things that he did. He cared deeply for those he chose to love. The heart is not a completely limited thing, he knew this too. Our heart, proverbial heart, is a multi-layered thing.

      • KathleenL says:

        Martha — Thanks… I hope I did not make you hurt too much. Glad it struck a cord, but as noted previously… not want to make folks hurt too much.

        • Martha says:

          No you didn’t; I do a lot of work in mental health and have lost several friends and colleagues to suicide. This was a beautiful way of expressing why we must go in spite of the choices our loved ones have made to deal with their pain. It was beautifully written and really shows why love matters.

          • KathleenL says:

            Martha — I hope my not-quite-daughter-in-law sees this as that, as she is only 19. So much life in front of her. I would hate for her, or any of my other children to become a Heavenly victim in the ripple of a murderer’s wake.  Love Does Matter. It Really Does. I am gld God has given me that ability, that gift.

          • Frank Ruiz says:

            Kathleen, your powerful piece (including the comments you and Martha wrote afterward) was incredibly moving.  Loves teaches us to hold on and let go at the same time, and it’s best reason for us to continuously do both in this strange journey we call life.

          • KathleenL says:

            Frank — I hope you don’t mind if I barrow that last line.. it says it sooooooooooo well.

          • Frank Ruiz says:

            Thanks, Kathleen, and I don’t mind at all (as long as you fix the grammar mistakes I made first, heheh) 🙂

  13. Rebecca says:

    Continuation of The Haunting of Jaynne Alexander (YA novel; changed spelling of Jane to Jaynne)

    Jaynne walked into the modern kitchen. Look at these stainless steel appliances; they’re so modern and new. I wonder if I could test them out. That would be a treat! Jaynne reached for one of the burners on the stove but couldn’t get it to work. She was getting aggravated and flustered.
     
    “Damn it! I want to try out the stove,” shouted Jaynne.
     
    Click. The burner went on. The blue flame flickered before Jaynne’s eyes.
     
    “Sweet!” said Jane
     
    I guess I have to be really pissed off to work stuff; it shouldn’t be too difficult for me. Bored with the gas stove, Jaynne turned off the burner while she was still filled with negative energy.

    “Time to explore; I better not run into any kids who can see dead people,” said Jaynne.

    Jaynne didn’t think twice about roaming through the house. It was a treat for her. Let’s check out the backyard. Jaynne walked through the French doors that were off of the kitchen. The grass looked thick and green, very well maintained. The fence wasn’t too high; it gave the new home owners privacy but at the same time it didn’t feel like a fortress. Enough of this; it’s time to get back to the house. Jaynne walked towards the French doors and through them; she was back in the kitchen. She stood for moment, closed her eyes and breathed deep. I’d like to thank whoever bought the house; I trust you’re fun loving, happy-go-lucky people. The  energy of the house seems light and airy compared to the dark and depressed energy that filled the home when I lived here. It’s too bad there was always a thing, a presence that hung in this house like foul stench. My insides would always twist into a bunch whenever I was home.

  14. Depression and loneliness were the heaviest of the two emotions. It’s not that he didn’t have friends when he lived in Mayberry years ago. No. The thing was that all of his friends had moved away, and he reflected on that. They had left. Even he had left. But now he had come back and old feelings surrounded him.
     
    What is there to do in a small town for a young adult? Most of the time boredom led him to doing any of the various activities he did. But he needed more. Jeff could try to find more to do. Perhaps he would be too tired from work to want to do anything else. That would be his hope, however, he still wanted to have a healthy social life. How could he keep that up here? It would be nearly impossible. He could test out his fellow employees, but he really didn’t enjoy the thought of being with anybody at all hours of the day.
     
    He was a social being after all. He needed to be around other people. That was the strange twist in Jeff’s life. Though he thought himself an introvert, he felt lonely when away from other people for too long, yet when always surrounded by others, his soul yearned to be alone. To think one extreme was better than the other was the biggest mistake he had made in his life. The middle was his answer. Jeff just needed equilibrium in his life. And he wasn’t getting it now. He wanted to put trust into his guts on this one. They weren’t telling him much other than this situation wasn’t the best, but it would not be the worst he could be in.
     
    Jeff rose from his meditation. He wanted to get his mind off this. The less he thought of the depression, the better. Perhaps a distraction of sorts. He went to check his mail, doubting anything would be in the box since he had only recently moved in. Upon opening the box, however, he discovered that he had indeed received a letter. A Thank-You from his new employer, with a description of Mayberry. Jeff only laughed and though it was a treat. The distraction he was needing. He quickly read through it, some portions even twice, just for humor’s sake. The thick goo of his depression began to wane.

  15. Shane Arthur says:

    I’m catching up. now that my submission is done I can comment on your submissions (Damn Thursday is almost here. Damn!)

    “Hey Billy!”

    “No, don’t ‘Hey Billy’ me. It’s my turn to talk, thank you. You got ole’ Bubba-Ray fired and replaced with purdy Miss Gullet here. She’s a thick thang … built like a brick outhouse matter of fact … wouldn’t mind treatin’ myself to some of dat … though she already twisted my lizard when I tried to offer it to her as a spatula … come to think of it, she fixed my lizard of his curve … I trust you ain’t sore at me for tryin’ … anyhow, I thinks you misunderestimated her cookin’ skills.”

    “Billy, she done got her degree in cookin’. She told me so herself. She said she turned on da oven one day and saw that there degree display on da oven and dat qualified her for a cookin’ degree.”

    “Well, she does sound knowledgeable … but dat don’t matter nohow. We had da food she was makin’ us tested … tested twice matter of fact, to make sure we was sure of how sure we was dat somethin’ just wasn’t right for sure. Every one of them there meals she served us, even the pancakes, was made with rotten squirrel parts. So, she gots to go … and now dat I’m thinking about it, dat yummy jello she made, da one with da M&Ms dat looked like eyeballs sprinkled throughout, was a bit furry.”

  16. RoseLee says:

    One thing I have learned, life will test you with it’s twists and turns.
    Most of the time, your not quite sure where it will end.
    Trust yourself and those deserving. 
    Try and be thankful for all that you have.
    If you come across a less fortunate person, don’t think twice about offering a helping hand.
    Remember too, to treat yourself every now and then.
    And know that you will make it no matter what,through thick or thin.

  17. Cathy Miller says:

     
    The thing is no matter how hard I try, time continues to test me with its twist and turns that leave me wanting more. I think if I trust that what needs to be done will be done, I will be able to thank the time spent as it delivers the treat of what’s already done, so I won’t think twice about the thick folder of work that awaits.

  18. Kelly says:

    DOES ANYBODY KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON HERE?

    The thing to try is to twist the thinking.
    To trust the thinktanks not to be thick.
    Once tested, twice shy; they’re hard to rely on
    Should we thank for predictions that treat us like dinks?


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