Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #234

This is a writing prompt. Bet you can’t do it! 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. Wonder
  2. Faster
  3. Let go
  4. Light
  5. Honey
  6. Sleep
  7. Company
  8. Breathe
  9. Home
  10. Awake

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

62 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #234”

  1. Chris Fries says:

    Another 10×10*:


    Wonder had died, quickly choked by the weeds of disdain.

    Much faster than usual, Claire’s love had turned to loathing.

    So she let go of Morris, fixed her hair, and

    returned to neon light, cigarette smoke, and loud throbbing bass.

    Looking to hear, “Hey Honey,” in a thrillingly different voice,

    and then be lulled to sleep by exotic, enticing newness.

    Claire smiled, finding joy in the company of complete strangers;

    familiarity and closeness made it hard to breathe, she thought.

    She scanned the bar, wondering who to bring home next…

    Later in bed, she shuddered and sobbed, alone and awake.

    *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).


    • Keeping it, real, Chris. You make this look so easy. The words seem to be very cooperative today, though, hunh? 😉
      I love that final line.

    • Jen says:

      Whoa. Bow to the master. I echo Mitch. Last line crushes it.  The other line that snapped me was “familiarity and closeness made it hard to breathe.” A double edged sword, no? 

    • Shane Arthur says:

      Okay Chris! I can’t hold back any longer. Here goes!

      Wonder how Chris keeps coming up with these masterful submissions.
      He’s faster, excuse me, a master at doing these things.
      He just let’s go of the flow, and it does.
      It’s like a light, a creative beacon that enriches all.
      Like a bear with honey, he jumps right in and,
      Puts that writer’s block to sleep, with his intoxicating creativity.
      At the CCC, he’s in the company of proud family.
      We need this outlet so we can breathe our creativity.
      And we’re so glad Chris considers this place home because,
      He keeps us alive, smiling, laughing, clapping, proud, and awake.

  2. Paul was flirting with Esther. “So, I had to kick Vashti to the curb, see? She thought she was all that and a bag of mountain oysters. When I showed her that I wasn’t like Carkas and them, she swooned. Pretty soon, she couldn’t get enough of me and old X was getting suspicious.”

    Esther blushed.

    Sister Marie rapped her yardstick on the side of Paul’s desk. “Pay attention, class. After reading all of your assignments, two clearly stood out. I realize that we all can’t be superstars but, would it kill you to put some effort into your work? Abaddon and Shekhinah agreed to share their poems. Try to see if you can appreciate what they’ve done.” She beckoned to Abaddon.

    Abaddon swaggered to the front of the classroom, surreptitiously copping a feel from each girl on his left. “Alright, losers, listen up. My poem is titled ‘Sheep’ by Abaddon.” He swelled up and deepened his voice:

    The company we keep
    Will comfortably sleep
    Awake though they be
    No light will they see.
    Dark goes the mind
    When left behind
    Faster! Nod!
    Act of God!
    Let go.
    We Know.

    Abaddon, nostrils flaring defiantly, stared down his classmates. Only Paul stared back, outraged.

    “That’s sacrilegious, man!” Paul jumped out of his chair.

    “Sit down, Paul.” Sister Marie stepped protectively toward Abaddon. “A surface reading yields surface conclusions. Perhaps you should read it a couple of times.” She took in the whole class. “Perhaps we all need to look more deeply into Abaddon’s poem. The truth is there. But first, let’s hear Shekhinah’s offering.”

    Abaddon stormed back to his seat. Shekhinah winked at him as he squeezed past his brother in the narrow aisle.

    Sister Marie returned to her desk, giving the floor to Shekhinah.

    “I think a polite round of applause is in order for my little brother.” Shekhinah lightly clapped. No one else bothered. After a few seconds, Shekhinah cleared his throat and launched into his poem:

    The wonder of God is not the land of milk and honey
    It is the fruit of the cow and the gift of the bee.
    The glory of God is not life everlasting
    It is the fruit of birth and the gift of remembrance.
    The abomination before God is not the law of man
    It is the rejection of fruits and gifts.

    Shekhinah smiled beatifically and nodded at Paul.

    • Jen says:

      Shoot, man. You will. The internet is over. First of all, “that and a bag of mountain oysters” I know Shane’s going to LOVE that. The two poems, the two brothers, destruction and glory. That is one tidy package a lot of punch. I can not choose a favorite line. All of it. Even Paul. Dude. Nice. 

    • Chris Fries says:

      Excellent stuff, Mitch!  So many layers of goodness…  
      Knowing Paul, he’s going to start a letter-writing campaign.  He’s always been big on letters…
      Wonderful work, my friend!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Mitch: Dammit, Mitch! You’re breaking the keys on my keyboard that spell Bleepin’ Fantastic! These two characters really are fantastic. I’ll repeat what I said to Jen, write a book!
      And yeah, that oysters line was a trip.

      P.S. Did you see my submission for the last challenge and where I’m taking Bobby and Billy for their finale?

      • Thanks, Shane. I like these two characters, too! I’m thinking about doing something with them, down the line.

        I went back and checked out Bobby and Billy. If Gater Crossing is what I think it is, I was wondering if that would be a new website home for them? Future escapades?




    • most wicked! well done, my good man, well done!

  3. Jen says:

    I was so disappointed in the poor showing I gave my waiter that I decided to give him another day. 

    Whatever. I flicked another cigarette into the small pile of butts at my feet. I crumpled the empty packet and tossed that, too. Another break sucked away, I straightened my tie and ruffled my hair, prepared to pass another thousand trays of cold drinks to a gaggle of a certain set. This was some outdoor luncheon, maybe for a bride or a new baby. Something feminine. There was an awful lot of pink. I hid behind a white staging tent, drinking half empty cups of sweet, slightly alcoholic punch, pink of course, that I’d rounded up before my shift ended. Why waste it? It was good company for my memories, such as they were. 
    The boss, a young woman with a headset whose hair was pulled into such a tight bun her eyes seemed never to close, yelled at me to get back to work. I  gathered a tray of honey-colored cakes that were far too small to seem at all satisfying. “Going!” I winked at her, pushed my hair back again.
    “Dammit. Now you have to go wash your hands!” Not the response I was going for. 
    I rushed off, looking over my shoulder at her before she could stop me, “It’ll be fine. I won’t tell if you won’t.” She let me go, which surprised me. 
    I didn’t have to wonder what it was like to host a party such as this. I’d watched my mother argue with event planners for decades. Walking from the tent with a platter of food, I guessed the hostess immediately.  She was the one walking slowly from table to table, her eyes awake and alert, ready to solve any logistical problem. Gluten free? Not a problem. Can’t sit Aunt Rose next to cousin Sally. Done.  My mother used to say, “Sleep when the party’s over!” Then she’d rush off with a clipboard in hand and a phone stuck to her head. 
    I watched her, a matronly vision in a coral silk suit, pearls. She might even be able to recognize me. I recognized her. The last time I saw her, she’d had a bit more in the jowl department. I’d grown my hair, though, and it had lightened in the summer. Still, I carried the tray a little faster as she came near. 
    Not fast enough, though. She touched my arm, just like they all do. There are different ways they touch your arm, each touch has its own shades of meaning. This touch meant she required something simple from someone who could make that happen, but with whom she did not want to engage. Letting a blonde strand fall over my forehead, I turned to her, keeping my eyes low. 
    She breathed near my ear, but far enough away to keep her dignity. “These cakes are delightful. Wrap the extras for…” and here she let her eyes fall onto the white tables, the green lawn, the heads in shades of grey, “…that woman, in the blue, table 8. See her?” She turned to me, looked me dead in the eye. 
    “Yes, ma’am. I’ll take care of it for you.” I was so focused on her not recognizing me, I didn’t register the woman in blue, the one chosen to tote home a box of cakes, but when I did finally spot her, I nearly let go the tray. 
    I don’t know why I was surprised to see Merrit Snedden at the party, but I was. It wasn’t part of my plan to meet her yet. Not today.  

    • Chris Fries says:

      Extraordinary scene-setting Jen! 
      I just love the depth and nuance you give your characters, and how you make them so easy to identify with, regardless of who they are.  It takes a lot of talent effort to do that and make it seem so effortless! 

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Jen: simply fantastic! Write a book!

    • Jen, you waiter is vindicated. :) 
      That was a monster scene – You could put it at the very beginning for a sure-fire hook!
      This is actually one of the best episodes (a tie with CCC #223, in my opinion.)




  4. My entry for this one:


    I wonder
    do I still breathe
    in the company
    of my honey?
    I wonder
    do I sleep soundly
    in the quiet
    of my home?
    I wonder
    do dreams go faster
    while being awake
    in reality
    I wonder
    do I finally let go
    embrace the light
    and start the day? 

  5. I am concerned with my writing abilities. I wonder if there could be a faster way to become a published author. I know I need to let go to and let the light in. I need to take some time and breath. Perhaps more sleep would fit into the picture, or maybe I should spend more time being really awake. Seems every time I get in the mood to write, company arrives and breaks the mood. Finally the company leaves. I pour some tea, add a little honey, breathe once again, and buckle down writing. The company has left, here I am at my little home on the lakeside, and the words flow. What more could a person want?

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Harvey: Welcome to the CCC. That was most excellent. You’ll find no writer’s block here. We’ve killed that 234 challenges ago. How did you think of the exercise?

      Hope to see you each Monday and Thursday too. Everyone welcome Harvey to the fun.
      P.S. RV Boondocking sounds like something cool.

      • I was informed about this site by Kathleen as we played 9 ball pool at the VFW. Writers block is something I’ve been dealing with for the last few years, and I am thinking that the vibrations of the universe have lead me here. I am a newbe here, but look forward to more interactions.

        And yes, if I get off my butt and start writing again, rv-bookdocking will be “very” cool.

        “How did you think of the exercise?” she asked, and I responded “This is a very cool site.”


      • Cathy Miller says:

        @Harvey @Sarah @JW – Welcome to CCC!

        At CCC you wonder if the time is going faster or if you have simply let go of reality. The light of creativity flies at warp speed as the honey taste of words coax you from a slumbering sleep of mediocrity, The company you keep will breathe life back in what you write as you bring your story home. Awake to the possibilities.


    • Meredith says:

      Welcome, Harvey! It’s a great place for flowing and loooove! (Hoping that doesn’t sound weird.)

    • Meredith says:

      I continue to wonder how the hell I am going to keep up with all this writing: a blog a day, 5minutefiction, picture show friday, and of course 2 helpings of CCC, all along with my insane 17-hour work days editing.  Ah, let go, my mind says after reading 30 pages of a thesis. We get there faster if we breathe and keep company with some well-versed and happy writers. So, while awake, I keep the light shining on the writing despite my dreary sleep capabilities. This is a home of homes for which I’m blessed. Honey to my soul!

    • Welcome to the CCC, Harvey. Lakeside home sounds like a wonderful place to write!
      See you Monday!

  6. Sarah says:

    George forgot himself. The faster he went, the further he was from home. The further he was from home, the easier the distance became. With dreams of a deep, deep sleep he was only aware of the horizon and the fading honey light on his back. Away from the flashes and sirens of the city, his mind grew quiet.  

    Who needs company when you have memories? Why wonder when you don’t really care? It’s so easy to breathe when you realize that being awake is only temporary. It’s so easy to let go when you no longer have anything to prove.

    To face the sun refreshed. 

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Sarah: Well done! That was so smooth. Welcome to the CCC. I’m sure everyone will love your style. What did you think of the challenge?
      Everyone welcome Sarah to the addiction.
      P.S. Don’t worry about the bold. You can do so on the next challenge. 🙂

  7. Sarah says:

    Oops I forgot to bold my words! Rookie mistake!

  8. Hi Meridith;

    This is great!

    and I cannot find any weirdness.


  9. Her soft brown eyes gaze hopefully at me. Like sweet honey, always comforting. Again I am struck with wondering if I am making the wrong decision. I have lost many nights of needed sleep, turning the debate this way and that in my head, never arriving to the light of sunrise with an answer that seems correct.

    I had been awake for hours in the company of an empty house, her sleeping downstairs and my own committee in my head, when the call came. “You can come in today.” We made the decision already but now I am afraid. I know she has been in pain for too long but I can’t let go of her love, her gentleness, her loyalty. I know the faster I accept it, the easier it will be, but sweet God in heaven, why must this be so hard? Why must it hurt so much? Why does the price of love come with pain of loss?

    The needle goes in and I forget to breathe until I realize you have quietly gone home. May you run through green pastures, bark at flitting leaves and lap clear blue streams for the rest of eternity. 

    RIP Shelby. 2001- April 13, 2012.
    You were an incredible companion for so many years. You brought light to my soul when there was darkness. You will remain in my heart and memories. 


  10. Lynne says:

    I walk quickly through the shadows, footsteps echoing hollowly in the empty parking lot. I’m tired, it’s been a very long day. There it is again – a slither and step. Glancing behind me, I see no signs of movement but I am certain I have company. The echoes are deceptive – is the sound really coming from behind me? I think so, but I’m tired. Right now I can’t be sure of anything. I hear it again.

    There’s light ahead. I breathe deeply, trying to quell my rising panic. My mind sets up a refrain, “Walk faster, don’t look back”, even as I wonder how I could be so stupid as to be out here, alone, in the night.

    That slither – it sounds like something being dragged. It’s closer and I definitely hear steps accompanying the sound. Slow, heavy steps. Am I going towards those sounds or away? Wide awake now, I can almost taste my fear. Imagination taking flight, I start to run. I am almost to the light. Just ahead, just a few more minutes, and I will be safe.

    Rounding the pillars that stand sentry before my door, I reach the light. And shriek as a hand grabs my heaving shoulder.
    Let go!” I scream, struggling in an iron grip.
    “Ssh, honey, it’s me”, a deep, familiar voice says in my ear. “I was just putting the garbage out sweetheart, before heading to bed.”
    Sobbing, I turn and collapse into my husband’s arms.
    “Oh baby,” he whispers as he strokes my hair, “I’m sorry. Did I give you a fright?”
    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Or hit him.
    I tell him, “It’s been a long day but I’m home now. C’mon, let’s go and get some sleep.”
    As we walk, hand-in-hand, into our bright, light, welcoming apartment I heave a sigh of relief. I’m home. This night, however, I don’t think I will read a murder mystery in bed.

  11. J.W. Roberts says:

    The swamp bubbled and gurgled, swollen against the blackened earth. The air was putrid, sinister
    and vile, like a rotting corpse. Han did not want to think about how many corpses were
    drifting beneath the surface of the light green ooze. The brawny man covered his mouth with a
    meaty hand as if it might stop the smokey haze from entering his lungs.

    He had to breathe!

    Let go of your face,” Torgak muttered irritably. “Lest you like looking like a cursed fool!

    “Not like anyone else is out here,” Han said, forgetting to remove his hand before opening his
    mouth. The words were a jumbled mess. He sounded like a fool.

    He did not understand how the older man stood there without expression, smooth as honey.
    The hero beside him had seen more death than he had life. No doubt, it had taught him the
    fervancy that Han lacked.

    Han readjusted his cowl to filter his breath. He inhaled deep.The air was dry and sticky, but
    the decay was off his tongue. He hoped that they were beyond the swamp by nightfall. Sleep would
    not find him otherwise.

    They would have to move faster.

    Torgak continued along the trail. Han stumbled behind him, heavy-footed. The way was curved, broken in several areas. Torgak stopped time and time again to rediscover
    their path. Han followed reluctantly, ignorantly. He had no knowledge of tracking. He was a barely
    a man without craft. The axe at his side was admittingly an ornament upon his attire. Wielding the
    weapon would be as effective as growing breasts.

    Han shook his head. He had to remember why he was out here.

    Han could not return home without Ivana. She was out in the Wilderness somewhere, and it was his duty to find her. His parents had given him this charge, and he would not fail them. Then again, as important as her life was, with each passing step, the measure of her worth lessened.

    For a moment, it was considered that the grief of her loss may be easier to stomach than the
    grueling journey ahead.

    “Han!” A hand grabbed hold of his shoulder and flung him backwards. He had no time to wonder at what had happened. Keeping his balance was out of the question, and soon he found himself lying with his eyes towards the clouds.

    “Wha – ” his breath was gone. It was possibly the first blessing that day.

    “Are you awake?” Torgak loomed over him with a sneer. “Bout found your death in the watery muck. Watch
    your footing, lad. I won’t be saving your arse next time.”

    Han only had one thought as he pulled himself up. He should have chosen better company.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @J.W. Welcoome to the CCC! That was a super-cool 1st submission. I love the arena you chose for this story.
      Hope to see you here each Monday and Thursday too.
      What did you think of the challenge? Let me know. I’m always curious.

      Everyone welcome J.W. To the fun.

      • J.W. Roberts says:

        @Shane – Thanks for the positive feedback. I enjoyed the challenge, and is unlike anything that I have done for a while. That is probably why it struck my interest when I came across your site. I just recently finished my first novel – worth publishing – and wanted to find something to keep my mind ticking while I am preparing query letters.

        I hope to continue entering the challenges as frequently as necessary, but my career keeps me busy most of the time. Look forward to making some new connections (and maybe even getting some fans…)

        Take care!

  12. Rebecca says:

    Do you ever wonder where your life has gone?
    It seems to move faster and faster every day.
    Sometimes, you can’t even breathe.
    It’s time to awake from you unconsciousness.
    Let go and let the honey light shine upon you.
    Allow it to keep you company for a while.
    Get plenty of sleep, running on empty doesn’t work.
    Before you know, you’ll go ‘home’ to the place from which you came.
    Live each day to the fullest. Start living today.

  13. Shane Arthur says:

    “Hey Billy. You still awake huh? You ain’t sleeped in two days during our trek to Gater’s Crossing and you’s breathin’ faster like you gots the night wonder-lust for your honey Yvonne again. Dat big gal done lighted up your love- loafers.”

    “When I’s in her company, wit’ my head buried inside her fifth stomach roll, I knows I’m at home-drippin sweat-home, and I can’t let go. Tomorrow we’s gonna exchange fluids once more. And I gots a feeling we’s gonna find out why we’s da only humans left standing after dat gub-ment virus.”

  14. Rebecca says:

    @ Shane … Ah yes, taxes. I hope you completed yours or at least filed an extension.

    I wonder what Billy & Bobby think of filing taxes. Hmmm…. 

  15. Rebecca says:

    @ Shane … Uh oh! I hope Billy and Bobby’s ending isn’t like “Thelma and Louise.” 😦

  16. Rebecca says:

    @ Shane … Noooo! I didn’t get to CCC#235, yet. 

  17. Kelly says:


    Breathe, Baby. The pain won’t last forever. I’ll keep you company while you cry.

    Sleep, Honey. Just let go. Sometimes hiding under the covers isn’t running away; it’s loving yourself. You’ll just have to trust me on that, for now.

    Maybe, maybe it doesn’t go away faster when you’re asleep. But warm dreams give you strength, for when you’re awake. No more self-torture then.

    Stay home tomorrow? Yeah. Sure. You want to go to the zoo like we used to? Or a movie?

    The light of my life is flickering this week, but she’s got a strong spark. I know she’ll be bright again soon.

    I wonder how long it takes to get over your first real heartache?

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