Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #231

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. Hurry
  2. High
  3. Carry
  4. Damage
  5. Resistance
  6. Crazy
  7. Candle
  8. Spite
  9. Quit
  10. Real

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


43 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #231”

  1. Chris Fries says:

    Happy Monday, all!
    I’m hoping things are calming down a bit and I will get more time to comment today or tomorrow.  I’ve also foolishly signed up for the “A-to-Z Blogging Challenge” so will have that biting into my free time throughout April (feel free to check out my blog to read my posts and to get the link to the 1,800 bloggers who are taking part in this month-long blogfest).
    For today, I’m back to the 10×10* responses to the prompts:
    Night Diggers
    Hurry up!”  Moorehead said.  “We need to finish before dawn.”

    From high in the pines, an owl screeched.  Moorehead flinched.

    “Why you carry on so?” Kolchiezk growled. “Like little girlie…”

    “Look, just don’t damage it,” Moorehead said. “Focus on digging.”

    Kolchiezk’s shovel clanked on resistance. “I find box.” He smiled.

    Moorehead shuddered at Kolchiezk’s twisted, crazy grin.  Moorehead’s stomach lurched.

    A cold wind picked up.  The candle flame blew out.

    Moorehead wanted to run, but stayed in spite of terror.

    He knew he was in too deep to quit now.

    He only prayed Kolchiezk was wrong — that Strigoi weren’t real.
    *10×10 = Ten lines of ten words each, using the prompt words in order and in number position within each line (the first prompt word as the first word in the first line, and the second prompt word the second word in the second line, and so forth).

    • Chris, your biting wit is all over this 10×10. 😉
      Well done. I decided to leave that a-z alone. After all, I already have my Alphabet Soup series. I’ll check out yours. Good luck and have fun with it!

    • Jen says:

      Is it possible to love these more? I don’t think so. I was thinking of Mark Twain as I read, and I was also totally creeped out. Fun and skeevy. Nice. 

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Chris: You’re building something fantastic with this 10 x 10 collection. When you get enough of these, come talk to me and Mr. Platt. 🙂

  2. Cornelius Watson wasn’t used to resistance from Lisbeth. He watched her hurry from the penthouse, unable to reconcile the potential damage of her departure with the crazy notion of her defiance. He shouted for her to stop.

    Lisbeth was halfway to the elevator when she heard her father’s anguished command. In spite of herself, she paused, without turning around. She recognized the mental conflict for what it was and she fought hesitant legs, willing them to carry her forward. I’ve come too far, done too much, to quit now. He was right, I need to disappear. At least Vanessa will be safe. He wouldn’t dare cross me on this! She stabbed the button and sealed her heart.


    Detective Sam Waters skidded to a halt outside of the Towers. He noted what had to be Lisbeth’s vehicle – at last! As he jumped out of his own car, he speed-dialed Detective Bateman and asked him to block the wanted car and have it held for forensics. He dashed up the steps, surprised that the concierge was not waiting at the door for him. As he tried to open it, he saw a commotion in the lobby. He banged furiously on the glass, but no one paid him any attention. He took out his phone again and called the lobby.

    The concierge spun around, looked toward the desk and then noticed that the detective was banging on the glass. “Stop that, you damned fool!”

    He turned back to the impatient woman. “See? I told you he wouldn’t be long. You can leave now, so please calm down. Let me just let him in and you can be on your way.”

    The concierge jogged to the front door. Concealing his movements from the woman, he put a finger to his lips and then cocked his thumb toward his chest while jerking his head slightly. As he reached the door, the woman ran right up beside him.

    Detective Waters caught the gestures of the concierge. Coupled with the high anxiety on the woman’s face and her skewed wig, he knew Lisbeth was standing just on the other side of the door. Involuntarily, his eyes widened, broadcasting recognition.

    Just as the concierge disengaged the lock, Lisbeth took in the flickering emotions marching across the detective’s face like a wind-kissed candle at a vigil. He knows! God! He knows! She had three seconds to choose fight or flight. She squeezed her eyes shut and stayed put. The door opened.

    “Miss, are you okay?” Detective Waters gently touched Lisbeth Watson’s arm. He had to be certain it was her and he didn’t want her throwing up a deceptive wall.

    Lisbeth opened her eyes to see real concern staring down at her. She glanced over at the concierge, who had a guilty look on his face. Slowly, she swung her head back around and looked up. “Actually, no. I’ve been trying to get this doorman to let me get to my medication. Insulin. It’s just outside, in my car. But nooo! Mister big-shot hero refused to open the door. Would you kindly help me to my car?”

    “You do look rather pale. Maybe you should sit down. I’ll get your medicine.” Detective Waters steered her to a lounge chair, well away from the exit.

    Damn. Okay, have it your way. She handed him the keys and pretended to sink gratefully into the chair. “Thank you, detective.”

    “Which vehicle is yours, Miss?”

    “The black Mercedes 500 SEL.”

    “I’ll be right back. Wait! Where is the medicine?”

    “Mother-of-pearl etui.”

    Detective Waters couldn’t take it anymore. He burst out laughing. “Stop. Lisbeth, do you really think I’m going to let you out of my sight? Etui. Mercedes. How about a brown paper bag in that green Chevy Impala. I’m taking you downtown.”

    Lisbeth smiled. As she held out her wrists, she winked. “My daddy is going to kick your ass!”


    The End

    Okay, bring on the rotten tomatoes. Did I wimp out?

    • Chris Fries says:

      No rotten tomatoes from me!  Only kudos and applause. 
      I liked the ending — I don’t think it’s a wimp out.  I loved Lisbeth reverting to invoking her daddy’s protection at the time of arrest.  I think it added a very nice character twist at the ending.  It may seem a bit unresolved (will she get through a trial and all that), but I actually like that uncertainty.
      A great series, my friend!  Now you can exhale and relax and get our from under the serial pressure for a while, LOL!

      • Thank you very much, Chris. I remember reading somewhere about how much to leave for the readers’ speculation. I kept thinking this ended like an hour-long cop show – we never see the ends tied up.

        I sure will relax – I have a story cooking on Holly’s blog. So that’s where the energy will go.



    • Jen says:

      I like it. There were tons of great lines today, but stabbed the button and sealed her heart was my fave. The characters were just the right amount of human foible (funny in their quirks). I like it. No tomatoes from this peanut gallery. 

      • Thanks, Jen! I really did get to know these characters and their quirks. One of my favorite things throughout the series was your selecting favorite lines. I appreciate that!

        Now, I’ll sit back and enjoy your serial story!




    • Shane Arthur says:

      @MITCH: Rotten tomatoes? Heck no. You have something fantastic here. You’ve taken me away from my world for weeks with eager anticipation. Polish and publish this.

  3. D.R. says:

    Taking a different storyline. Just a short little piece of writing. I’ve been reading Tina Fey’s Bossypants too.


    What is it with these girls and the art of gossip? Are world events not good enough conversations for lunch banter? Is the rumor mill that interesting? Could life not continue on if we didn’t know who dumped whom and why so-and-so is this-and-that?

    Then again, I remind myself, adults spend their hard-earned dollars on tabloid magazines and read their online counterparts. I think it’s crazy how obsessed these girls are with gossip, and not even just within the decrepit walls of this school; they talk about celebrities and their lives as if they were somehow apart of it. These girls carry around tiny purses with high price tags and fill it with all kinds of stuff. Then they complain they can never find anything in it and conclude they just need a bigger purse. You know, instead of cleaning it out and ridding themselves of the junk they mindlessly toss in there.

    In spite of this, I still get a kick out of listening to them, endlessly chatting about some trivial event in the grand scheme of life. I bet they have no clue there’s a whole world out there beyond celebrity gossip and relationship woes.
    “Hurry and finish your story Britney; I want to tell you guys what I heard in Biology. It’s a real story, I promise. It really happened. It’s going to damage her social status. ”
    “I hear Amy’s Dad lost his job and now they use candles at night because they can’t afford electricity. So sad huh? Poor thing. How does she blow dry her hair in the morning?”
    Sometimes it’s real hard to not laugh out loud at some of these things they say. I have to remind myself I’m close enough to overhear; so then they’re close enough to hear me laugh. I would play it off, but when you’re sitting alone sometimes, it’s sort of hard to. I need to quit smirking too when they tell their gossip stories. I’m sure my expression says so much sometimes. My resistance to enter “Girl World,” and my seemingly lack of social skills and gossip knowledge, has kept me on the outside circle. I do have friends; so don’t pull out your pity card. And what do we do sometimes? We gossip and talk about the girls who gossip and talk.
    Oh the irony huh?

    • Chris Fries says:

      Hi D.R. I posted a reply  to your post, but accidentally clicked the wrong place, so it’s an orphan comment below…

      • D.R. says:

        Thanks for reading! I’ve never had an orphan comment before; I shall cherish it for life. 🙂 I loved that scenario. I’m pretty sure, if I wasn’t in a lazy mode, I’d be watching my neighbors and the cops!

    • Jen says:

      Oh,  the kid who sits alone. So many directions, so many story lines. I like this. I’m a girl, and I don’t get the gossip thing either. Still do it, but I don’t get why. 

      • D.R. says:

        Thanks for reading! The character isn’t actually alone per se, but sometimes when you just sit and observe others (instead of just talk, talk, talk), you notice so many crazy conversations. True though with the multiple story lines. I hate trivial gossip, but can’t help talking about things with people at work.

    • Ha, ha. Delicious irony and so true. Sadly, it’s not just school girls. We did it at work. It was so, um, high school.

      I love how you captured the meanness of it all.




      • D.R. says:

        Thanks for the read. I know exactly what you mean; my co-workers and I talk about things all the time. It’s usually people complaining about others, but you know. ;D

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @D.R. That was great. At the very least, you can study these girls and use them as character fodder for a book.

      • D.R. says:

        Thanks! Between you and me and everyone else reading, there wasn’t anybody in particular this is about, but sssshhhhh. 😛 But they could be worthy of book material. Hmmmm.

  4. Chris Fries says:

    (Oops — orphan comment! This was supposed to be in reply to D.R.’s post above…)

    LOL!  I loved the ending — too true!  Anyone who starts feeling smug about gossip and trashy news stories should picture themselves in this scenario: 
    You’re sitting in your living room and turn on the TV. Just as you tune the channel to a panel discussion about world conflicts and political efforts towards peace, police cars pull up at your neighbor’s home and cops rush up to the door.  Where does YOUR attention go: To the TV or to the window?  ;^)

  5. Jen says:

    Sarah, my assistant, finally waddled in at 10 and tsked in my general direction. 
    “Hush Sarah.” I murmured from the bed, from which I had not moved. “Spare me the disapproval.” 
    She delivered her protest like a nurse taking vitals, just doing her job. “I didn’t say anything, Mrs. Snedden.” 
    “Uh huh. Well, I heard you anyway, dear. Keep it to to yourself, or you can just carry that fat little ass of yours right  on out the door.” I do so love to shock her.  
    She and I both knew that would never happen. I’d worn her down over the years, turning her resistance into complicity. When she started working for me, back when they still thought I had something to give besides money—if they every really thought that—she quit three times in the first month. I coaxed her back every time, never with cash. The last time had been the hardest. It took me a month and all manner of paperwork before she would consent to return. She said I was surly. She said I was mean as a wet cat. She said I was unbearable and how did I ever manage to get married let alone raise a son. I told her marriage was easy, since all he could see was my capital, and my very fine gams. Raising a son? Why ever would she think I had anything to do with raising him? That’s why people hire nannies. She came around. 
    As often as I threatened to fire her, she threatened to resign. She shook her fist in my face, stomped her foot, even slapped me. Once. Sarah always came back. Sarah was the truth of life in human form. She was the only real thing I ever knew.  She would’t leave me for anything. 
    Sarah didn’t answer me but motioned the cook to hurry in with my breakfast; no one enters my room without Sarah’s permission. While the cook assembled my table, overlooking the grand park below, Sarah lit the rose candle and picked up the cluttered room, continuing the disappointed mother routine, muttering about the room and the damage I—we—had done the night before. She was so cute when she tried to show spite. 
    “Bring me the mirror.” I propped myself on the high backed, velvet coated chair and surveyed the crazy hair, the dark circles under my eyes, looked at the swirling, yellow and runny eggs on the plate before me. Then I ran to the bathroom to vomit. 

  6. Rebecca says:

    Don’t quit because someone else tells you your dreams are crazy.
    They don’t understand the damage their words can do.
    Besides, resistance from others is natural.
    Hold your head high and carry on.
    There’s no need to hurry — timing is everything.
    Light a candle, and let it show you the way.
    Imagination is more real than reality.
    Move forward and spite no one.
    You wouldn’t want to do with the karma.

    • Jen says:

      Resistance from others is natural. That is a profound truth, Rebecca. Nice. 

    • Nice message as always, Rebecca. Every time I re-read your advice, I pick up a missed nugget. I loved this one:
      Imagination is more real than reality. 

      So, so true. I live in my head…




    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Rebecca: I’m so tired lately, I can barely keep my head up, much less up high! 😉 I shall try though. Thank you.

    • D.R. says:

      “Don’t quit because someone else tells you your dreams are crazy.
      They don’t understand the damage their words can do.”
      My favorite part. Quote-worthy, even.

  7. Shane Arthur says:

    You all rock! I’ve been busy lately, so my comments have been a bit delayed. Sorry, and have a great night.

  8. Meredith says:

    Roxy let the light around her makeshift door brighten a bit before removing it. She’d been cramped in that tree for several hours, but she hadn’t had one lick of sleep. She hoped the two goons had quit looking for her. She really needed to get home and assess the damage. She looked around carefully and hurried, in her bare feet and pajamas, home. Today was her day off, luckily. She’d decided she was going to do some real digging into that club she worked at and find out what all the crazy business was about.
    Margaret hadn’t been too keen on leaving last night. AJ assuaged her resistance with promises he didn’t think he could keep. That didn’t matter at the moment. He had had to get out of town, even if it meant leaving her there. Thank goodness, it hadn’t. He’d worked hard to get back with her and losing her now, when things were so haywire, well, that just wouldn’t do. They got to the woods by dawn. He’d hidden the microchip in Margaret’s bag; she didn’t know she was carrying it. What choice did he have? Margaret was at the club that night and got stuck with all the other patrons after he had left. AJ thought Alex was trying to spite him by keeping Margaret there for hours when he knew she had nothing to do with anything illegal. Of course, Alex probably didn’t think he would do anything illegal either.
    The cabin was closed up for the season. After unlocking the door, AJ asked Margaret for the large candle they brought. He set it up high on the mantel so they could see what they were doing. AJ took Margaret’s bags and his own and went into the bedroom. Maybe she thought he was a gentleman or something. He didn’t know anymore, but he knew he was going to have to tell her about the chip soon. She wasn’t going to want to stay in the cabin for long.

  9. The dim light of the candle dances in the dark, illuminating strange beasts and ghosts of yesteryear upon the walls and in my dreams. My breathing – ragged and harsh, speaks a message of hurry and despair. In spite of the constant prayer that drips from my lips, my sullen words seem to slip into the cold empty mist; just crazy nattering to an uncaring god. The outside world is a harsh uncaring place, constantly armed to inflict damage of extreme magnitude to the vulnerable and innocent.

    The scars I carry are real but still I refuse to quit. My resistance to lie down and allow the pain to carry me into the darkness is strong. The light in my soul lifts my head up high and I carry His words to my heart.

    Somewhere in the room, another candle is lit and its saving light drowns out the ghosts in their armor of fear and mistrust.

  10. Shane Arthur says:

    “Hey Billy! In spite of how bad I’s tryin’ to quit, dis stuff is damagin’ my resistance and hurryin’ my mouth into carryin’ da truth out of it at high velocity. It’s crazy, but dis truth serum is real after all. Billy, I like to burn candle wax on my nipples. Did I just say dat out loud?”

    “Bobby, I slept wit’ your sister. And your maw!

    “Shut up, both of you country bumpkin fucks! It’s time for our guinea pigs to take their drug study medicine! Open wide!”

    I’m thinking of killing them off within the next several submissions. What do you all think? I’m torn. I love writing these guys, but I see an ending. Perhaps I can end them and this will be a first season and I can pick them up again later. I”m not sure. 

  11. Rebecca says:

    @ Jen, @ Mitch, @Shane, @ D.R. … Thank you for your comments! I think I’ll compile my Inspirational CCC posts into an eBook. Stay tuned. 🙂 Write on!!

  12. Hurry up!”

    “I can’t carry this any faster, man. Quit badgering me.”

    “Who recruited you into the Resistance, anyway? You’re gonna damage my reputation.”

    “How about you get off your high horse and come help me?” 

    “What, are you crazy? Victor transferred you to my team just to spite me.”

    “At least Victor does real work. You can’t hold a candle to him.”

  13. […] Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #231 […]

  14. Kelly says:


    Enough damage done for today. I’ve had my say, you’ve had yours. Let’s hurry through the apologies and quit this crazy bickering. I have a high tolerance for strife and a resistance to angry impulses that’s second to none, and in spite of that you persist in pushing to the black limits of my gentle nature. There’s a real sadistic streak in you that’s completely foreign to me; maybe a masochistic streak in me, too—don’t I continue to carry on this no-win conversation, too?

    Rest assured, my dear, there is no one who holds a candle to your ability to lie, stall, and manipulate my good will.

    Now, one last time and I’m through with you—exactly when are you going to restore my cell phone service back to normal?

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