Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #179

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. Bone
  2. Bore
  3. Bunk
  4. Blow
  5. Break
  6. Beat
  7. Bleed
  8. Bloom
  9. Budge
  10. Bend

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


98 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #179”

  1. Where has thy spirit fled? What noxious fumes have paled this bloom? You repose upon our bunk as if asleep. Yet, neither breath nor beat escapes your breast. I pray thee budge once more, bend your lovely knee, blow me a kiss!

    Would that the break that separates your lips bring forth a bubbling whisper of mirth. Why must it bleed so? What monstrous embezzler bore away your soul, leaving this cooling monument of bone?

    Don’t leave me thus!

  2. Anne Wayman says:

    She said she had a bone to pick with me; she’s such a bore! And what she said was bunk. I told her to blow, made my break and beat feet mentally bleeding. The bloom of mental algae was huge; I could budge ‘round the bend. 

  3. Frank Ruiz says:

    Lately I’ve been enjoying the uplifting support of this community to the point that my outlook has changed for the better.  My conditions are pretty much the same, but my recent changes in how I interpret them leave me feeling less conflicted about them.  I guess that, even though they say the only thing in life you can change is yourself, it seems to be enough to change everything that matters 🙂

    I used to lament about being worked to the bone, feeling bored, having to deal with coworkers’ bunk, and pretty much feeling like I’ve blown my shot at doing what I really wanted to with my life, all because my 9-5 wasn’t fulfilling for me.

    Wow, what a high-bar to put on my day job: the complete fulfillment of all my life’s desires!  Very unrealistic, and the perfect frame-of-reference to always feel miserable, because my job will never live up to such an idealized criteria before I allow myself any personal satisfaction!

    I’m happy to say that I’m breaking this artificially-high prerequisite to feeling satisfied with my life.  A job is just a job, and life is so much more than where we plant our butts for 40 hours of “detention” for a paycheck.  As a result of this realization, I can stop beating myself up for what I haven’t achieved, and start patching up the bleeding wounds of my ego that didn’t want to budge on its “all or nothing” ultimatum with the working world before considering a life of happiness.

    Those high bars that we set for ourselves and put our ultimate happiness behind are noble constructions for our planned achievement paths, but when they become enslaving burdens, we are allowed to consider other options to let the fulfillment that waits for us bloom both within and beyond.

    I’m just glad I found out that, in addition to pole-vaulting over such high-bars, I can also bend and “limbo” under them to get to the happiness I really want out of life.

    • margaret says:

      That’s great, Frank…we all have to make a living, but it is also important that we don’t make ourselves crazy doing it. Personal choices….personal expectations….be happy!!
      That is exactly why for years I have chosen the “gypsy starving artist” life over a regular nine to five. As my ex-husband used to tell me, I will never get ulcers, migraines or heart attacks, because I’m the kind that gives ’em, not the kind that gets ’em. haha

    • Amen, brother. Seeking validation outside of ourselves will always lead to self-flagellation, whether in the guise of -doubt, -denial or -worth.
      Once you’ve made the shift, your outlook can’t help but to improve. That seems to lead to a positive feedback loop. Of course, how you nurture that loop makes all the difference.

      • Frank Ruiz says:

        Thanks for the comments, Margaret and Mitch!

        Margaret, I envy your “gypsy starving artist” lifestyle, as the greater freedom I envision you enjoying has a value that can’t be compensated by any paycheck!  I try and find my freedom in the little breaks I can steal away at work and otherwise.

        Mitch, I’m enjoying the effects of the positive feedback loop I currently find myself in, and I appreciate how you and others on here have helped light my path toward this delicious circuit!

      • Frank Ruiz says:

        Thanks for your comments, Margaret and Mitch!

        Margaret, I envy the “gypsy starving artist” lifestyle, and the additional freedom I envision you enjoy.  I try to find my little pockets of freedom in the moments I steal away from work and other times during my mostly-pre-scheduled days 🙂

        Mitch, I’m enjoying this positive feedback loop, and I appreciate the guidance that you and others here at the CCC have given me in order to find my way here!

    • Kelly says:

      Frank—I never read other people’s submissions in advance but it does sound like you and I were put on similar planes by today’s words. I like that yours has a much more empowering message to it.   🙂

    • Cathy Miller says:

      @Frank – this is the money line (as Shane would say) A job is just a job, and life is so much more –
      loving it-good for you!

      • Frank Ruiz says:

        Thanks, Kelly and Cathy!  You two are right: managing our own inner attitudes will do better for us than trying to directly change the external world around us!  Complete the inner quest, and the outer world is reframed for us!

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @Frank. This piece couldn’t have come at a better time for me returning from vacation.  Well done!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Frank: Think of it this way…
      If someone offered you a billion dollars, would you take it?
      What if they said you had to die a second later?
      I know your answer, therefore even though you don’t make a billion dollars, you just admitted that each second of your life is worth a billion dollars.
      So, try and be happy that you are a billionaire each second of each minute of each day… and you are making our CCC world that much brighter while you’re at it. 🙂

      • Frank Ruiz says:

        Thanks for the great outlook, Shane!  I’m going to remember the true value of our time much easier from now on, and I’ll be celebrating that value a lot more often!

        By the way, congratulations on getting featured in Mark McGuinness’ (of Lateral Action) latest eBook (http://media.lateralaction.com/creativeblocks.pdf)!  I thought it was awesome that he mentioned your tips for overcoming creative blocks!   I know you’ve helped me with mine!

  4. margaret says:

    Dance to the beat and bend and twist
    with Richard Simmons, how can you resist?
    You’ve got to move, and break a sweat
    until your clothes are dripping wet!

    Inhale real quick, and then blow out…
    like a little piggy through his snout.
    Let the music bore right through your brain
    until you’re feeling quite insane.

    To get results you need to bleed
    like a nurtured bloom comes from a seed.
    You must be weary to the bone….
    make sure you leave your comfort zone!

    But me?, today I will not budge….
    I’ll just bunk down and eat some fudge!  😉

  5. Today, rather than a poem a short story was inspired.

    The man’s face bore countless abrasions and bruises as a result of the torment afflicting him over the past several hours.

    Ryan Murphy was his name and all he remembered was his convoy being attacked last night. Fire, explosions and the bloom of bullets invading every surface around him. Hoping to escape, he had tried to scuttle to the South but instead his only reward was the blow of some heavy object connecting with the bone of his skull.

    Now, here in some sort of hidden bunk under God knows where each slap, poke, shock a reminder that his body was still living and he was starting to wish this wasn’t the case.

    Some masked man with no shirt and enough body hair to link his heritage to Neanderthals was attempting to beat information out of him. He felt his pinky finger bend until a loud cracking sound and the wave of sharp pain rolling down his wrist and arm like fire set him screaming.

    “Break Him”

    The only words he heard from the other hooded individual who kept asking him questions he hadn’t the foggiest information on how to answer. His basic training when he was in his early twenties was the only thing that kept Ryan from spilling every bit of information he did possess. He wasn’t a soldier but merely a driver and had no information at all, yet he know if he revealed as much he would be killed just as quickly as if he did reveal the intelligence they were looking for.

    He didn’t know if anyone was searching for him at this point, nor how many hours it had been since the attack. He just kept sitting there and considering, considering options on how he may evade this horrid fate before it turned completely fatal.

    Another blow and all he could do was bleed in silence as a fresh cut opened on his scalp just above his right eye. Ryan struggled against the ropes binding his legs and body but they wouldn’t budge in the slightest.

    They couldn’t pay me enough to be worth this risk he thought, and yet here he was enduring something only the unluckiest few on Earth would suffer. All he kept thinking about was options, what were his options?


    • Frank Ruiz says:

      Wow, powerful imagery, Justin!  Your story-telling skills are impressive, so it’s always a treat when you share a story with us here!

    • This is a great opening scene, Justin! What possible job could this bloke have? My favorite line dealt with the visceral description of the mangled pinky.

    • Cathy Miller says:

      Outstanding, Justin-can’t wait to find out what his options are-we know he has them 🙂

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @Justin. Whoa!  This was a powerful scene.  I could feel this poor guys pain.  I hope you continue this.

      • Glad you enjoyed the story as well, I tend to not have as much time to write so short stories come few and far between.  Fortunately I type really fast so if inspired I can bang out ones like this in a few minutes.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Justin G: Damn! You should definitely do more of these. Great stuff. I was rooting for this character.

      • Thanks, it was fun to write. I don’t really know if I am good at any of this stuff, everything I write I just do because I enjoy doing it.  I don’t claim to be any good, creative writing was one of my classes in High School that I really enjoyed and excelled in.  I started a Fantasy type novel when I was 11 years old on a Commodore 64 computer once but lost my entire book (about 48 pages) at the time when I was saving to a 5 1/4″ floppy during a thunderstorm and lightning bolt knocked power out to the house while I was saving.
        I never committed to starting a real book since, which is kind of funny.

  6. Kelly says:


    One day, you decide to bend the rules a little.

    Just a bit, mind you; you don’t want to blow it at work. But you’re bone-tired from ill-advised partying the night before, so you’ll just break your own rule of leaving the house at 7:30 sharp and you’ll sleep in a little, get ready a little slower, and leave just a bit too late to blast into the office bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 7:55.

    8:00 will do. Or, you know, 8:05. Just this once. Being a slave to routine is such a bore!

    By the end of the day, the office atmosphere is so tense it feels like you’re working in a bunker. You’ve been running so hard, it feels like your feet are bleeding inside your two-sizes-too-small shoes. You almost don’t want to budge from your desk, you’re so beat. But at 4:50, you’re SO out-of-there. You burst out with no hesitation about who might see you. You’ve earned your stripes! Let somebody else collect the brownie points for being last through the door. Who cares?

    In a week, the answer is “Not you.” A little shaving of the time here, a little fudging there, and pretty soon, your slacking off has bloomed into a real problem.

    You know the problem. You hate your job! You’ve just been lying to yourself all this time.


    You’re sitting on a bomb of your own making, and you’ve just lit the fuse.

    • Frank Ruiz says:

      Wow, excellent story, Kelly, and such a great description of the slippery slope that can lead us from going with the flow at work to standing out for all the wrong reasons!

      • Kelly says:

        Frank—Exactly. One day, you just need a small attitude adjustment… soon after, if you don’t perform that attitude adjustment, you’ve talked yourself into hating everything. Whenever I see myself going this way I have to shake myself hard to get back to my ol’ positive self!

    • Really great story, do you know when I worked about 5-6 years ago at my current job in a different position there used to be a guy who would fall asleep on conference calls at his desk at least 1x per week.  We would all hear him snoring over the cubicle wall while his conf call was on speakerphone.  This story reminded me of that.

      • Kelly says:

        Justin—Oh, yes, definitely. I’ve seen folks who spend all their days gabbing with anyone who’ll give ’em a seat in their office, folks who do “shave” a few minutes off the front and back end of every day, folks who spend more time on Facebook than on work… in the end, you’re just writing your own funeral march and making yourself miserable in the meantime. Kinda dumb, but not rare. Sadly!

    • Dang, Kelly, you read my personnel file. LOL
      Apropos to Frank’s submission, I will say that such an incendiary might not be a lethal bomb, but a life-altering gluteal torch. (cheesy grin) When I made the mental decision to leave my job of 17 years, you bet I slacked off!

      • Kelly says:

        Mitch—For the lucky ones (people like you, with a lot more vision/determination than the antihero of this story has), there’s a rainbow at the end of the storm—but as the saying goes, “in this economy”… mostly, people like this are just gonna get soaked!

    • Cathy Miller says:

      @Kelly-I think we’ve all told us that lie at one time or another. 🙂

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @Kelly. I think I work with this person (he!he!)  I’m a stickler for promptness but I make up for it in other ways ;)  This was good.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Kelly: Lovely, lovely lovely … as always.
      What’s that saying? Employers pay you just enough not to quite and employees work just hard enough not to get fired.

  7. Jeanette R. says:

    Hi. My name is Schnebly and I’m a squirrel. Don’t give me that face. I’m not just any squirrel, like those idiot forest squirrels that hang out around the bend in dark corners waiting to race in front of you.  They get a kick out of seeing your break lights after you think you’ve run over them. They don’t care if you nick them and cause them to bleed.  They will always beat you so don’t try going faster.  But I digress.

    I am a Canyon Squirrel. As in The Grand Canyon.  I’m not going to bore you with facts and stories about the place, but I will tell you this…I live quite an adventurous life.  Not every squirrel can become a Canyon Squirrel. As soon as I was born, my parents (who are fifth generation Canyon Squirrels) sent me deep inside the Canyon to Phantom Ranch to get specialized training from the Three Wise Mules.  These guys know their stuff.  They could tell you stories that would blow your mind.  Humans can be so stupid and careless sometimes. But back to my story…

    I bunked with all kinds of animals and learned the ins and outs of canyon living.  We learned how to differentiate between rock and Dinosaur bones so as not to disturb nature’s telling remnants.  The Three Wise Mules also taught us how to stay on the very edge of the canyons to maximize our climbing experience. They explained to us that they heard the humans being warned to not budge when mules are on the trail because they prefer to stay on the edge.  And since it gives them quick access up and down the canyon, it should work for the rest of us.  And it does!  You should see how fast I can go!

    As far as my daily responsibilities, I have discovered my ability to provide entertainment.  I bloom in front of a crowd.  You should see how people throw food at me like flowers to an actor on stage.  One time, I sat outside of a window at one of the cabins watching television for hours.  I learned how to contort my face and ‘act’ human.  The tourists go wild for me! I give daily shows about every hour at Cedar Ridge.  I’ll toss up a pine cone and balance it on my nose or I’ll run really fast around the rocks to show my strength and speed.  

    I also give sunset shows on Mather’s Point for those tourists waiting for the perfect photo opportunity. I must admit, I sometimes get caught up in the beauty of the sky too and forget all about my job. Ahh, it’s great to be a Canyon Squirrel.

    • Frank Ruiz says:

      Awesome story, Jeanette, and I have a soft spot for squirrels, as my experiences with them on the road haven’t always been the best for me or them!

    • Jeanette, Schnebly needs a television show. This is so happy and stuff, I want to eat cotton candy and stare at the puffy clouds. Heh, just like Schnebly, I guess.
      Way to go! By the way, is Schnebly’s lineage in any way connected to Rocky?

      • Jeanette R. says:

        @Mitchell, I don’t know if he’s related to Rocky but I was honored to have met him on my vacation last week.  This squirrel was so cute and moved around the canyon like a pro!

    • Kelly says:

      Jeanette—Great, fanciful tale! I think I know his cousins—we don’t have ” idiot forest squirrels” here, but we sure do have a heck of a lot of idiot urban squirrels. You had me laughing out loud at seeing things from his perspective!

    • Cathy Miller says:

      @Jeanette-love the whole dang squirrel family 🙂

    • margaret says:

      Love it, Jeanette! I’ll admit…I love squirrels…they run up and down the power lines and trees in my yard and tease the cats (unfortunately, one of them wasn’t fast enough last month:(). I used to have a flower shop that a squirrel visited every day. I called him “chomper” and fed him acorns which he would stash. He became very tame and bold and the landlord made me stop feeding him because he was scaring customers and they were scared he would bite a child. sigh!!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Jeanette: OUTSTANDING! This is my new fav from you. Reading this was like getting a shot of Happy Crack! No way anybody reading this won’t feel better afterward. I’m all smiles. Truly.

  8. Cathy Miller says:

    Trying to get back into my CCC routine-life has been crazy lately.
    Lieutenant Michael Stapleton was bone-weary. The murder case bore down on his soul and appeared to bunk there permanently. Six women – brutally murdered and there wasn’t a spec of evidence.

    Try as he might, he just couldn’t seem to blow this case open. He desperately needed a break or he might as well go back to walking the beat, for all the good he was doing.

    He welcomed the distraction of his ringing desk phone.

    “Stapleton, Homicide.”

    “Well, Lieutenant, I am so happy to know you are busy at work.”

    A flash of anger raced up Michael’s spine. He knew this voice. The killer made sure of that.

    “Isn’t a little early for you to be crawling out from under your rock?”

    “Oh, Lieutenant, surely you can come up with something more clever than that,” came the amused response. “I thought you might like a little heads-up – seeing how you’re collecting them now.”

    “You son of a bitch,” but the killer had already hung up. He made his point. Michael knew they would find another victim soon – decapitated like the others before her.

    Michael punched the speaker on his phone when he saw the internal number.


    “Sorry, LT, too short a call to trace anything.”

    “Yeah, I figured. Later.”

    Michael punched the speaker button in frustration. The urge to see the killer bleed began to bloom like a raging wildfire. Stalking out of his office, he yelled out to his partner.

    “Scott, we’re rolling.”

    “Where to?”

    “To the crime scene.”

    “Which one?” came the sardonic reply.

    Whirling around, Michael shoved his partner against the door, “Don’t make a joke out of it.”

    “Hey, hey, hey. I’m one of the good guys.”

    Lucas Scott knew just how Michael felt. They were operating on gallons of bad coffee and 36-hour days and still couldn’t budge a single clue out of the whole damn mess.

    “Look, buddy, don’t let the asshole bend you up like this. It plays right into his game.”

    “It’s way past time we took over this game.”

    “Now you’re playing my tune.”

  9. Cathy, it’s good to see Lt. Stapleton again! This is as hard-boiled as they come. Of course, now I want to reacquaint myself with the case.
    As I was combing through “back issues” of CCC, it occurred to me to just Google it!
    site:creativecopychallenge.com stapleton
    For the intrepid reader, I see #127, #139, #141 and #157. Are there others? I’m remembering this now 🙂 No spoilers…y’all go read those back issues.

  10. siggiofmaine says:

    Jack was sleeping on the upper bunk when they came
    to blows at the bend in the river.
    The voices carried all the way to the bunk house
    as the stranger beat the cowboy who wouldn’t budge
    from his opinion as to why he was bleeding from the breaking
    The stranger had a bone to pick with the cowboy about the bloom left
    on the table from the broken coffee cup, and his eyes bore into
    those of the cowboy trying to get him to confess.
    Jack kept quiet as he knew who left the bloom on the table
    from the wet coffee cup…he didn’t budge from the upper bunk
    because the stranger would make HIM bleed if it were known
    it was HE that did break the strangers boring coffee cup
    that left the bloom on the table.

  11. Darting from their bunk. Yelling. Screaming.  Blow for blow exchanged.  Bruises bloom. Neither would budge from their position. The brawl comes into the kitchen.

    “What’s going on?” I ask finally fed up with the fighting.

    “Loreli hit me and wants to beat me up!”  exclaims my son.

    “Seth hit me!”  retorts my daughter.

    “Did she make you bleed?”

    “No sir.”

    “Did he break a bone?”

    “No sir.. ”

    “Then I don’t want to hear it…”


    “There are no “buts”… Only your’s being spanked when I bend you both over my knee if you don’t stop with the fighting NOW!

    “Is that understood?”

    “Yes, sir.”

    Seconds later. Yelling. Screaming.  Blow for blow exchanged.  Bruises bloom. Neither would budge from their position.

    Life with children is never a bore.

  12. KathleenL says:

    Eric the Bolton — Awhhhhhhhhhh truer parental words never rang more true.  I just ref-ed this type of thing  a few months ago. Thanks for the smile, now, that I could not muster then.

  13. Shane Arthur says:

    Still trying to catch up. It’s bleepin’ hard once you fall behind!!!!
    “Hey Billy. It’s great we’s bunk mates in dis here fraternity room. We’s gonna fix it up purdy and break all kinds of babe-scorin’ records. Gals is gonna be blowin’ down our doors and beggin’ to give us beatjobs. My little Bobby’s bloomin’ wit bone-excitement.”

    “Until I fix da bend in my Willard, all your sex talk is borin’ me, Bobby. Gals is snickerin’ at me lately. I know what they’s talkin’ ‘bout. I’s been bending it the opposite way so hard to try and fix it, it been bleedin and beggin’ for mercy … but it ain’t budgin.”

    “Billy, perhaps dats why dat gal wit da glasses, Mysa Crosst, still digs you.”

  14. @Shane: As Sheldon Cooper might say, “I think not! Haven’t you heard of ‘mens rea‘? ‘Actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea‘ and, I might add, BaZINGa!”

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