Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #207

Larry Brooks chose today’s words. He just put out another book called Warm Hugs for Writers. Give it a look.

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. Rekindle
  2. Reassurance
  3. Prognosticate
  4. Pontificate
  5. Coddle
  6. Commiserate
  7. Rejuvinate
  8. Zen
  9. Hope
  10. Reenergize

Sorry, we used the list below for CCC# 172 (Thanks Mitch for catching this. I’m under the pain meds today. Brain is fuzzy.)

  1. Resolution
  2. Arbitration
  3. Masturbation
  4. Matriculation – to admit or be admitted into a group
  5. Saturation
  6. Exacerbation
  7. Stimulation 
  8. Fixation
  9. Personification
  10. Elation

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


68 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #207”

  1. margaret says:

    Some folks have a fixation with trying to fix our nation
    with politician saturation, but that’s just mental masturbation.
    We don’t need voter matriculation into parties causing exacerbation
    of our political situation.

    That’s as painful as eternal gestation!

    Who will handle arbitration so that all can have elation?
    Big government that our freedoms reposses, will only result in more distress and is evil
    personification so destructive to our nation.

    The only resolution and intelligent solution is for us to not choose sides or teams,
    but to fulfill our dreams …by economic stimulation and constitutional restoration.

  2. Here is my entry for today:

    Ending with Treatment

    Saturation of masturbation
    fixation on personification
    exacerbation of stimulation
    resolution needing arbitration
    with elation at matriculation

  3. Jeanette R. says:

    The blank notebook mocked him.  The bright white paper appeared to be glowing against his black desk.  The special pen he bought to accompany his journal was still hooked in its holder.  The store clerk assured him that he would never want to use a different pen ever again. The clerk’s fixation on pens was a bit unnerving but Frank always appreciated an expert in their field.

    Grabbing the pen, he already felt a sense of accomplishment.  He wrote “2012 Resolutions” on the top and underlined it for good measure. His elation grew with each number he wrote.  Frank knew that he wanted to accomplish at least 5 major life changes.  The constant arbitration with family and friends had narrowed the field down considerably so he finally felt prepared.

    The saturation of weight loss resolutions led him to leave that one for last because he wanted his list to be different. This year, he wanted to focus on mental stimulation rather than any physical changes.  Besides, those pesky extra twenty pounds he carried around never interfered with his masturbation so what did it really matter?

    He stared at the number one.  He added a period after it and sat back in his chair.  The calendar on his desk said it was March 1st.  After sitting down each Saturday morning since the New Year began, his exasperation had led him to postpone setting his goals. Frank was never a man who worked well under pressure.  His matriculation into pharmacy school took him roughly seven years. His girlfriend always joked that he was the personification of laziness, but he didn’t agree with her. He was just someone who liked to pace himself.

    Happy with his work, he set the pen down and shut the notebook.

    • margaret says:

      Good job, Jeanette.  Ah, Yes, we all make those pesky resolutions every year! I’ve actually started working on mine instead of putting that notebook in a drawer and forgetting about it. Brand new year, brand new start!

    • My wife accuses me of being the personification of procrastination sometimes 🙂

    • Jeanette, what a treat. Dissecting the anticipation and collapse of the annual rite has to be one of the more fun things I’ve read from you. Each part was balanced just right!

      • Frank Ruiz says:

        Jeanette, you know I loved this one because my name was in it too!
        Now that’s a level of accomplishment I wish more people subscribed to: going from a blank page to writing a “1” on it IS progress after all (although 3 months was a long time to get that down 🙂 ).

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Jeanette: Book + Write + Jeanette

  4. Shane Arthur says:


  5. I thought those words looked familiar, oh well here is my 2nd entry for the correct words.
    Slow Recovery

    Reenergize reassurance
    rekindle the Zen
    coddle faltering emotions
    commiserate our misery
    Pontificate how to rejuvenate
    prognosticate a return of hope
    recovery on the horizon
    yet never soon enough

  6. Shane Arthur says:

    What do you think of this? http://goinswriter.com/ (Scroll down to Last writing prompt you’ll ever need story)   I’d love to know.

    • Shane, although I made no New Year’s Resolutions, I slammed the door on rhetoric a long time ago. Jeff Goins is entitled to his opinion. He lost me as soon as he implied that we need to play a real game. Whatever.
      Low Quiling’s reply was nicely tempered and pretty much echoes my sentiments.
      CCC and other sites that invite writers to write are empowering. Who knows but what endeavors will arise from the connections, the efforts and the encouragement found here?

      • Frank Ruiz says:

        It’s a shame that Goins decided to paint the issue in such digital, Manichean terms, but I guess he wanted to “stir the pot up” for a challenge, I guess.
        The truth is, it’s never the TOOL that does the job of creation, it’s the DOER.  Skilled artists make masterpieces with whatever tools they have at hand, including writing prompts.

        • Shane Arthur says:

          My problems with the article:
          1. He said propmts are a waste of time, then told people to PAY for his buddies prompt book. At least prompts are free.
          2. He’s obviously never seen this site, where everything is out in the open.
          3. Prompts like ours are perfect places to flesh out characters and ideas that can end up in books.
          4. The artcle seemed rushed and ill though-out. Definitely not best writing site of 2012 material.

  7. Anne Wayman says:

    Two for the show:

    Sometimes I prognosticate, often pontificate,
    I also commiserate and occasionally rejuvenate.
    A bit of a cuddle, and sometimes a coddle
    Rekindles and reenergizes reassurance.
    Ah that Zen-like hope!
    Omg it is as I procrastinated! Sean started to pontificate.
    Ok I’ll commiserate as he rejuvenates with the proper list,
    A coddle for authorship which rekindles and reenergizes reassuance.
    CCC’s Zen-like hope

  8. The world’s first psychic virus sputtered in Jacob Foster’s kindergarten class. Of course, neither Jacob nor any of his twenty-two charges was aware that a tiny thought was to have embedded itself into most of the little brains running around room 3A. Principal Wilson, whose presence with the new girl seemed benign enough, was furiously calculating probabilities as Foster accepted the bright orange folder.

    “Katy Waits,” Foster smiled kindly from his undersized desk. “Who are you waiting for?”

    Katy giggled. “No, silly! My LAST name is Waits.”

    Foster pretended to be embarrassed. “Oh! I see. Well, welcome to 3A, Katy Waits!” He clapped his hands sharply for the attention of the other children. “Say hello to Katy, children.”

    A chorus of greetings sailed toward the front of the room. Katy waved shyly. She looked up at Principal Wilson, wondering what to do next. The gesture wasn’t lost on Foster, as he rose from the desk, cracked his stiff knees and took Katy’s hand. He led her to a child-high bookshelf that was stuffed with fun things.

    Left alone for a second, principal Wilson glared at a tiny, dark-haired boy with glasses. He had to be the problem. Brian was deliberately chosen for his propensity for trouble-making; he and Principal Wilson were well acquainted. As a matter of fact, Wilson’s desire to control the little monster had led to the discovery of the mind-control company. However, he would probably demand a refund. The children were as wild as ever.


    “May I speak with Phil E. Buster, please?” Principal Wilson looked at the grimy business card tucked under the glass of his opulent desk.

    Phil E. Buster

    His eyes passed over the clutter to rest on an equally dirty, single-page flyer, which had a copy of the business card stapled haphazardly near the upper-left corner. The card partially obscured the outrageous claim for the miracle drug: Rejuvenate. Rekindle. Reenergize. Principal Wilson impatiently tapped his fingers on the glass. Just as he was about to hang up, a raspy voice came through the headset.

    “Buster, here. How may I help you?”

    “You can start by refunding my money. Your revolutionary new elixir is snake oil!”

    “Is this Milo Wilson?”

    “Yes it is and I have a mind to call the authorities. The kids are all running wild. Every day, my office is filled with trouble-makers. If anything, they’re worse than before you ever set foot in this school!”

    “My dear man, I commiserate with you. Young ones are more prone to biological infestation, ironically. Their little brains aren’t wrinkly enough to hold much in the way of psychic perturbations. Perhaps we can work something out.”

    Principal Wilson grunted. He wasn’t going to be taken in by this man’s pontifications.

    “I see you have two dozen vials of Zen Tranquility emulsion, 7 per cent. I hope you’ll consider a stronger dosage, say 9 per cent? I can come by tomorrow.”

    “You take me for a fool? You know very well that I have no reason to interfere with the school’s infirmary, beyond authorizing expenditures. I don’t know why I let you talk me into this. Now, when I signed that contract of yours, you gave me every reassurance that those trouble-makers were the best vectors for spreading this – this mind-control syrup! I feel silly just saying it aloud! I demand a refund!”

    The voice on the other end of the phone allowed a degree of coldness to slip in. “Milo, when you signed that contract, did you not understand that past performance did not guarantee future results? I’m a medical practitioner, not a mindless prognosticator!”

    The principal began to hyperventilate.

    “Furthermore, Milo, I don’t think the parents of those trouble-makers would appreciate learning that their coddled cupcakes were being systematically drugged. Don’t call here again, unless you wish to re-order.”

    The line went dead. Principal Wilson went red. He stabbed the plunger, punched 911 and reported a fraud.

    • Pam says:

      I love that, Mitchell. Great story! 🙂

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Mitch: How in bleep did you think of this? You should study what Sean Platt is doing with the serialized fiction stuff for Kindle. You could have 10 books by year’s end.

      • Hi Shane,
        David Wright and I were JUST talking about you – all good of course. I have been studying the format, the pricing model – which is much improved over last year – and the concept is appealing.
        I am thrilled that you like these types of stories. As to how I came up with it, I wish I could remember. I do remember writing some silly stuff and then deleting it. Twice.
        At this point, I’m just going to say that reading other authors on CCC is inspiring some of the ideas.

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Mitchell: I believe it’s magic most of the time. Writers throughout time believe the same thing, as if they are pulling words from a place they have no control over. Another reason FOR writing prompts.

  9. Pam says:

    “Damned machine doesn’t need coddling, it needs a good whacking with a large spanner,” the captain pontificated.
    “I wish I could reassure you that was all it needed,” Zen, the engineer, replied. “But we need to reenergise the power crystals, rekindle the nucleo-thermal reaction in the engine core, and then hope that the transfer coils have enough structure left to be able to channel the power flow. I can’t rejuvenate the engine by hitting it with a spanner. It’s old and we need a new one,” he prognosticated, patting the engine cover as if commiserating with it.

  10. Frank Ruiz says:

    To rekindle the anxiety of the dreaded “FUD” (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) beast, or to muster up inner reassurance?

    Those who choose the former are fair game for society’s swindlers; the so-called “psychics” and “seers” who manipulate our fears for their benefit.  They tell us they accurately prognosticate, but the only time that’s true is when they tell themselves that “A fool and his money will soon be parted.”  Such manipulators of our fears don’t only come from the pagan realm either.  There are plenty of modern-day “spiritual leaders” who pontificate with so-called institutional authority, but who make us pay for our coddled souls by pilfering our pockets.

    Those who choose the latter begin their journey in solitude; bootstrapping their own missions to rejuvenate their spirits so as to reenergize their resolve in the face of an unsure world.  When reaching such Zen levels of inner peace, some seek to proceed toward serving their brothers and sisters still consumed by the “FUD” beast.  Through this compassion we commiserate, and as a unified society, refusing to manipulate each other, we still have reason to hope.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Frank: You’re the man! Solid write.

    • Frank, Interdependence is the second highest form of organic existence. You’ve done a great job of showing that.
      The FUD mongers also know that Dependence is the path everyone must travel on their way to Transcendence. Thus, like highway bandits of yore, the swindlers need only lie in wait.

  11. Ingrid says:

    Another “group story” from my FB friends and me 🙂
    ‎”We gotta rekindle that thar’ fire,” said Mountain Bill.
    He could always be relied upon to provide reassurance in seemingly hopeless situations.

    He spat in the ashes and poked at the paste with a stick. Like grandma reading tea leaves, he was about to prognosticate.

    He cleared his throat, and began to pontificate Ozark hillbilly wisdom…

    ‎”It’ll do no good to coddle them kids. The situation is as serious as serious gits. Now, each of ’em will need to do thar chores just like regular days. I’ll see to the rest of this mess.”

    Them thar kids wanted to commiserate with one another, but they knew they’d better git to their chore of shoveling 10 tons of manure, before Mountain Bill git to them.

    Mountain Bill continued, “Many hands made light shovelin’ an’ it’ll rejuvenate yer skin givin’ y’all a youthful-youthful complexion.”
    “And ain’t nothing more Zen-inducing than the aromatherapy of 10 tons of manure.” Mountain Bill paused to glare at each person in turn around the campfire. “That’s right, I said Zen, and aromatherapy, in the same sentence. Got a problem with that?”

    Hope is necessary in every condition. The misery of shovelling manure without this comfort would be insupportable – damn the zenness and aromatherapy.

    So, armed with hope and the vague promise that their task would in some way reenergize them, the youngsters picked up their shovels one by one, threw their eyes to heaven, and set to work.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Ingrid: I love what you and your friends are doing here. And what’s even cooler is you have 10 paragraphs. Are you telling everyone to do one sentence/paragraph with each word or did it just turn out that way?
      P.S. Don’t forget to bold the challenge words. 🙂

    • Ingrid et. al., awesome! Is this the same group from last time?

      • Ingrid says:

        Hi Mitch!
        It’s slightly different people than the last time. I basically post the word list and the challenge of “One sentence each one word each” on my FB page as a “status update” and my fabulous friends take on the challenge. (Of course I always add something too…) But I love the wonderful places the story goes from the multiple perspectives.

  12. sh13151223 says:

    Their authoritative prognostication of the future of life were pontification for the common man. All their hopes washed away in imaginary floods and fumed away in volcanic eruptions. He will return to rekindle and rejuvenate life on earth. Ideologies of Zen and other believes reassured them with commiserating words. Those coddling leaders re energized the aimless mass.
    http://shop.authorstand.com/Products/5657-symphony.aspx Use this link to read my story, I would like to have reviews. Sorry for the disturbance if any.

  13. Shane Arthur says:

    “Hey Billy. I needs to reenergize and rejuvinate my reassurance dat my prognostication dat I’m stupid or somethin ain’t right and is just a bunch of commiseratin’ pontificatin’ on my part.”

    “Bobby, I ain’t one to coddle—dat just ain’t in my zen—but I hope I can help you. What’s da problem?”

    “My lady-gal game me dis Kindle for Christmas, but it ain’t workin’. It’s got dis sticker graphic on it dat just won’t come off, no matter now hard I scratch it. And da pages are stuck together. Dis thing ain’t even as good as Fred Flintstone’s tablet. I felt like throwin’ it away, but didn’t want to hurt her feelings.”

    “So what’s you end up doin’ with da gift, Bobby?”

    “Remember dat witch of a step-mom of mine? I rekindled it to her.”

  14. Kelly says:

    Hi, Shane – Can you check your spam filter for my #207? If it’s not there I’ll have to rewrite it, as I don’t seem to have a copy here. Ack!

  15. Kelly says:

    Last repost… thanks for finding this for me, Shane.   🙂

    Can you commiserate today with me, or
    at least prognosticate when lunch will be?
    The smell of lasagne from down in accounting
    rekindled my animal instincts this morning
    I’ve been on the hunt since I-don’t-know-when
    for a snack or a trifle to bring back my zen
    For months I’ve had hope that I could resist
    (get my waist to the size of an elephant’s wrist)
    but this office conspires to bring me desires 
    that stop diets cold and bring back my spare tire
    Oh, the scents I sense here! I can’t re-energize
    when all of my thoughts are on meat-laden pies…
    when Mama’s best red sauce wafts past my nose…
    I mean, how can will power compete with those?
    Don’t pontificate, but heavens! don’t coddle
    Just walk with me; help me avoid a new waddle
    I need reassurance that temptation’s not failing 
    If my strength don’t rejuvenate, my diet is sailing 
    a familiar cruise down warm, cheesy shores
     that I promised I would not visit no more
    Let’s get out of here
    and go get some air
    The further I run
    the less I will care
    ‘til I come back tomorrow, and face it again
    Italian food’s made fools of far greater men 

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