Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #217

ATTENTION! This is a repost of CCC 217 that got zapped. Please go to the following url to copy your old submission and repost. Sorry. (Thanks Mitch for the url). CCC 217 cached

The lovely Laura Spencer of WritingThoughts picked the words today. Show her what you’ve got.

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. Paucity - Smallness of number; fewness.
  2. Pretentious - Making or marked by an extravagant outward show; Claiming or demanding a position of distinction or merit, especially when unjustified
  3. Fringe
  4. Acrasia – excess; intemperance; fungi
  5. Bother
  6. Circumlocution - The use of unnecessarily wordy and indirect language
  7. Alternate
  8. Dozer
  9. Balmy – Having the quality or fragrance of balm; soothing; Mild and pleasant: a balmy breeze
  10. Bent

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


16 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #217”

  1. Shane Arthur says:

    “Hey Billy! Didya meet my new teammate Paul yet?”
    “Pau-city or Paul-Country?”
    “No. Why?”
    “He’s been assigned to da direct mail project I’m workin’ on for dat company dat makes bling and gold-plated tooth-balmy-balm for bumpkin folks’ tooths so they can feel better about theyselves. Da team’s already callin’ him Pretentious Paul on accout he’s hell-bent on using big words when he don’t need to. It’s acrasiastic, circumlocutionist overkill beyond da fringe of bothersome if you asks me — like usin’ a bulldozer to cut grass.”
    “Bobby, you think dat’s bad; you should see my new teammate Nate.”
    “Alter-Nate, da one getting married tomorrow, or Alter-Nate da one dat got da sex change?”

  2. Chris Fries says:

    OK — this is a cut’n’paste from the CCC217 archive:
    Happy Valentine’s Day Eve, everyone!

    First off — today is also an “Origins” blogfest, and I’ve created an entry on my blog. You’re more than welcome to visit if you’d like to learn about how I started as a writer (click on my name or avatar).

    So for today, with the “writing origins” thought in mind, I created a 10×10 reply for today’s prompt words. For those who don’t know, “10×10″ is a little concept I came up with based on Angel Zapata’s 5×5 Fiction (5 lines of 5 words each), but expanded to 10 lines of 10 words each, with the 10 CCC prompt words used in order, with the first one the first word in the first sentence, the second one the second word in the second sentence, and so forth…

    “The College Novel Gets Published”

    “Paucity of original material; awkward phrasing; derivative plot: C minus.”

    The pretentious summary of Professor Hinkley scrawls across the page;

    along the fringe, he’d scribbled in several other pompous comments.

    “This has an arcasia of banal, trite characters,” reads one.

    Surprisingly, I let it bother me after all this time

    and still hear his windy circumlocution ringing in my ears.

    But the novel he hated has alternate critics reading now.

    “Gripping! It rips through you like a dozer!” said one.

    Even the New York Times gave it gushing, balmy praise.

    It’s selling well — I should tell Hinkley to get bent.

  3. Meredith says:

    copy and paste, thanks. and the bold works! YAY!
    The paucity of intelligent conversation in this pretentious locale destroyed any bit of Christine’s desire for a pick-me-up. The afternoon began with her ex standing on the fringe of the circumlocution taking place in the balmy kitchen. She chose an alternate reality poolside and, while bent over the hot tub for temperature testing, another sad excuse for an intellectual began to bother her with acrasia aimed at trying to make her wetter. It didn’t work. As she picked up her purse to get the hell out, she heard what was unmistakenly the sound of a dozer. WTF?

    • Cathy Miller says:

      Late again—sigh….=================
      @Meredith-Welcome to CCC!
      The paucity of words is missing here as pretentious critics cling to the fringe of negativeacrasia, leaving us to wonder why bother with such a life. The  circumlocution of criticism does not touch us here in our alternate universe where creativity is the dozer of the inane. We wrap our words in the balmy comfort of a story bent on being heard and welcome you to the fold.

  4. meek willed says:

    Here I stand frozen in mind yet not in time as I wait for the spinning chaos that is my heart to become even more splendiferous and amazes  as I see she, it’s screams “you love her” hit‘s my mind an I pretend to be deaf as each step that she takes makes it louder and I smile form my heart as I’m falling apart.

  5. In times of mental paucity, we search for new reality.

    “I move that the Brotherhood adopt the couplet as our new motto.”

    “Are you kidding? It’s pompous! Bogus, even.”

    “Order, gentlemen! Do we have a second?”

    “Indeed not. I move that we not spend another minute on this pretentious circumlocution!”

    “He said, ironically.”

    “Listen, wise-ass …”

    “Sergeant-at-Arms! Do your job, man!”

    “Um, sorry, Frankie. Yo, Pete! Shut up and sit down!”

    “You shut up, bent-nose belly-scratcher.”

    “Boys, boys. Decorum is the fringe on the skirts of civility.”

    “Nice to see that Harvard education paying off. Fringe this, bozo!”

    “Oh, that’s nice. Argumentum ad hominem.”

    “Yes? Well take your motto and shove it up your argumentum!”

    “I have a better slogan…”


    “Okay, okay! How about this for a motto? ‘Cannabis et Acrasia‘”

    “What the hell? You calling us fairies?”

    “Marijuana against my better judgment? What’s that even mean?”

    “Or queens?”

    “You semi-literates! Surely you haven’t forgotten the alternate spelling, which would be more relevant? He means fungus!”

    “Ha-ha! I got one: Puff, puff lick!”

    “Who let this toad into the proceedings?”

    “Who in here thinks things are proceeding?”

    “Why do we need a motto, anyway? Half y’all can’t even remember the secret handshake!”

    “Hey, Dozer just woke up. I want some of whatever you’re having.”

    “You feel balmy in your palmy and be shaky when you wakey.”

    “The resident poet has spoken. Say, man, what do you think of this: In times of mental paucity …”

    “That motion is already on the floor!”

    “Are you kidding?”

    “Order, Gentlemen, ORDER! Oh, why do I even bother?”

  6. Kathleen KL says:

    Untitled –Shannon (Continued)
    “Pretentious little shit,” she said half under her breath as they were moving around the hardwood to the beat of the band’s rendition of the Dixie Chicks “Goodbye Earl”. The ironic solution to a jerk made her snicker. “Wonder if his name is Earl,” she said to herself.
    It was then that Shannon was whipped across the arm and back by the fringe of the gal’s leather jacket that was being spun beside her, making her wince.  The paucity of leather pieces only served to create a bigger sting as they stung her skin.
    “Oh, don’t bother to take your jacket off, ‘cuz it’s really cold in here, in August, in California. Right,” Shannon said under but not loud enough to be heard over the band.
    Jake artfully rotated the duo maneuvedring them around the path of that couple placing his back to them.
    “Yah okay?” he said.
    “Yah,” she was trying to relinquish her irritation. “Maybe she’s used to the Deep South … and this 85 degree night with 70 percent humidity feels … balmy … yes, balmy to her so she needs that jacket in here,” sarcasm dripped from each word.
    “I’m gonna kick your ac-ras-ia I am, all over the parking lot.” They both heard as they passed a swaying buckaroo.
    In quick succession Shannon squeezed Jake’s hand, broke contact, slipped free, and began to leave the dance floor. It was time to escort this fella outside. Jake followed.
    “Hey there guys,” Shannon was cheerful but stern. “Yah’ll can’t be doin’ this stuff here. This isn’t the place for this.” She placed a hand squarely in the middle of the staggerer’s back. “Son, why don’t we step outside for a bit, clear your head, and the air in here.”
    She was pushing on his back a bit now. She nodded to the target of the ass-whoppin’. He stayed put. The crowd parted as Shannon keep the pressure on the would be rabble-rouser.
    “He’s’n aaaaa wannobeeeeee,” he slurred. “A dozer bent on gettin’; more than an alter not spot on the team,” he continued as if Shannon cared and understood.
    “You mean alternate spot?” she said as they made it to the door. He stopped as if it was a major barrier. “Open it up son,” she sternly ordered as if was a child, still encouraging his forward movement with her well placed hand.
    “You need some help there, Shannon?” she heard over her shoulder.
    “Noooppppeee. Thanks Randy, I got this,” she said nonchalantly not taking her eyes off of the stagerer. “Here,” she said as she reached around him and pushed on the door. It began to open and the stagerer followed through it. “There yah go,” she said encouragingly.
    Once out the on the patio she got him to sit in a chair.
    “You got some boys you came here with?”
    “Yes ma’m,” he said pushing his chest out.
    “Well … you think you can wait here till I get one of them to take you back to your hotel room?”
    “Well…” he said looking at her with blurry unfocusable eyes, “why don’t you jus’ take me on back?”
    “No sir. Thanks though, but I gotta stay here, make sure none of your competitors get’s outta line.”
    Just then a roper came joined them. He smiled kindly at Shannon.
    “You oaky ma’m?”
    “Well, I am, but this boy’s not.”
    “Yes ma’m Bobby’s had a bit to much tonight.”
    “Yes, yes he has. Do you know where he’s stayin’?”
    “Yes ma’m. He’s stayin’ with us.”
    “So can you get him back to yah’ll’s hotel room? I can’t let him stay here nor let him back in tonight.”
    “Yes ma’m,” the young man was nodding as he spoke.
    “Do you need to go get your buddies or can you take him by yourself?”
    “Oh no ma’m, I can get ‘em,” he said moving toward Bobby. “Let’s go Bobby. This here nice lady has a beer and the cow boss awaitin’ on ‘er inside. She don’t need ta be babysittin’ either of us,” he said as he helped the stagerer up out of the chair and over to the truck. “Sorry ma’m,” he said looking back at her as he steadied his friend.
    “No problem. Thanks for comin’ tonight. See yah’ll tomorrow. Tell that boy not to drink so much tomorrow,” a light laugh escaped her throat. “Make sure you tell ‘im that in the morning, before he rides though,” she smiled.
    “Yes ma’m. I will tell him. Tomorrow. I will tell ‘im. Thanks agin ma’m.”
    She stood out on the porch a bit longer listening to the music made by his spurs rowels as they lightly hit the pavement with each step.
    Randy was keeping an eye on the door. Relieved to see her come back in he lightly jerked his head, telling her to come to see him. She did, stopping at the West end of the bar.
    “I was beginning to get a bit worried there,” she scrunched her nose in response. “Was that boy dazzling you with his ranch poetry full of circumlocutions or what?”
    “Naw. He was okay once I got him outside. His buddy came out and took him back to their room. It’s all good. Another disaster averted,” she said.
    “Yah, well when Jake came back in I figured you were okay,” he smiled as he put a glass of amber liquid on the bar top in front of her.  “Here, thanks for taking care of that even though you’re not on tonight.”
    “That’s not necessary,” she said humbly.
    “I know. I know. Just take it.”
    “’kay.” She smiled graciously and then turned on a heel heading back to the girls, but not before pausing beside Jake’s stool.  She placed her left hand gently on his shoulder, “Thanks for watchin’ my back there Jake,” she softly said and walked on.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Kathleen: Great submission, and that’s a perfect example of how to start a submission with some fire!

      • Kathleen KL says:

        Shane – 
        Thanks. As I play along here and continue on with this story… I often find myself wondering if each submission should be a separate chapter or?
        As I am a fan of throwing in short chapters…I.E. — giving the reader permission to only feel obligated to one short chapter “right now”… I am wondering…wondering. — any thoughts on this would be welcomed.

  7. Jen says:

    It was not the foie gras, or the Acrasia stuffed crab, or the tall flutes engorged with a sluice of bubbles and ennui. It was not the elegant red velvet drapery which hung from oaken poles sturdy enough upon which the Queen of Sheba and her retinue could perch. It was not the bother of dressing for such an illuminatingly, gorgeously pretentious evening. After all, that is what we in my circle do. No. These things did not make the event such an overall snore, a dozer to which I would have brought my hot rollers and hair pins were we still at school. 
    Being bent, as it were, by my parents’ proclivity for the fringe element, as we say, their penchant for the “alternate” lifestyles of the upwardly mobile newly monied ne’er do wells, my eyes surveyed the room, lidded in color, but not with the elephantine skin of age, thank you Dr. Segal. The simple paucity of this type, those hot shot bankers and lawyers were such easy targets, gave me very little about which to speak, or upon which to prey. I’d have to settle for the handsome waiter passing canapé, and we all know how those things tend to implode with a distinct lack of grace. 
    “Well, shit,” I murmured through plumped lips. Perhaps it was the balmy night air which called my attention to the open French doors leading onto a startling high balcony over the city. Perhaps, though, it was the cut of the rented tuxedo on the strong shoulders of the young waiter. I could barely conceal my hungry grin. The balcony? How quaint. An arched eyebrow propelled me. The elegant circumlocution of my set had no place, really, in the turbid heat, balmy or no, of the city whose streets we owned but did not dare to tread. Where the unseemly, ever so slightly tawdry invitation could be issued to the beautiful man with the silver tray who had just slipped out there, into the starry evening. 

  8. Kelly says:


    Ah, yes. We are so bent on seeing things from our own perspective, we don’t bother to look around for alternate solutions to the chaos. We insist we’re guarding against acrasia (pretentious though it is to think that we can control those impulses), “standing firm” in our beliefs, but in fact we are guarding against any and all action—positive or negative.

    The paucity of evidence doesn’t hinder us at all. In fact, we take it as a blessing! Less known, less time spent in circumlocution to make it work within our fringe theories. And if there was a dozer among us, taking advantage of that balmy night and thereby costing us our wild preponderance of proof—our mandate to go forth and proselytize for another four years, or ‘til we’re older and wiser, however long that may take—well that is no great evidence either. We refuse to concede an inch!

    Perhaps The Great Pumpkin did hide from our seven spotters and our elaborate camera setup this year. Fear not, loyal followers. We’ll get ‘im next time.

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