Are You Ready for Week 2’s Summer Short & Sweets Challenge?

Are You Ready for Week 2’s Summer Short & Sweets Challenge?

Welcome back to the 2nd installment of Summer Short & Sweets.

Before I reveal what I’ve written, I need to clarify that I wasn’t late last week. Susanna Leonard Hill said as long as the entry is posted on her blog before next week’s round is announced we’re good to go. What a relief. I’m now three days late, but that’s only if you go by last week’s rules.

Badge created by Loni Edwards

If you’re up to participating, here are Susanna’s rules and regulations for Week 2. No, Susanna isn’t a drill sergeant, but if you don’t follow the rules you’re cheating.

Today’s Short & Sweet will work best if you don’t peek. I’m not sure quite how to accomplish that on a blog post, so let’s go on the honor system – no scrolling down yet!

First, pick a number from 1-10. Got it? Write it down.

Now pick a number from 1-10 again and write that down.

Now do it again.

And now, one last time.

It’s okay if you pick the same number more than once.” 

You should have 4 numbers between 1 and 10 written down. For example, I chose 7, 3, 5, and 1.

Susanna continues:

“Use your first number to select from this list:

     Character:

  1. A pirate who likes to sing
  2. A little girl who doesn’t want to practice her violin
  3. A zookeeper with a lost animal
  4. A 5 year old girl with a rainbow umbrella
  5. A homeless child
  6. A boy whose father is a Navy SEAL
  7. A monster who is afraid of thunderstorms
  8. A disobedient robot
  9. A sailor who is far from home
  10. A six year old boy who can’t ride his two-wheeler

Use your second number to select from this list:

     Setting:

  1. a museum
  2. a national park
  3. a playground
  4. a big city
  5. a birthday party
  6. the porch of an old farmhouse
  7. an enchanted forest
  8. a fancy restaurant
  9. the moon
  10. Baskin Robbins Ice Cream Shop

Use your third number to select from this list:

     Time:

  1. first day of school
  2. the Fourth of July
  3. during a thunderstorm
  4. in early autumn
  5. sitting down to breakfast
  6. bath time
  7. the first warm day of spring
  8. during church
  9. a winter evening
  10. after a fight

And use your last number to select from this list:

     Situation/Challenge:

  1. something embarrassing has just happened
  2. someone feels like giving up
  3. someone has to keep a secret
  4. an important decision has to be made
  5. someone has lost something
  6. someone has found something
  7. someone’s pride has been injured
  8. something is where it shouldn’t be
  9. someone has been chosen for something
  10. something has made someone mad

You should now have a randomly selected character, setting, time, and situation/challenge – everything you need to prompt a story!

List the 4 you got and write 50-100 words of whatever story they suggest to you! Don’t agonize! Don’t over-think! We’re all among friends. Just write! All we’re doing here is priming the pump. If all you can squeeze out are 50 rusty words, that’s fine! You wrote 50 words in the middle of your hectic, busy day! But maybe, just maybe, 25-50 more will trickle out a little less rusty, and maybe after you’ve written your 50-100 here you’ll find you’ve got a gush of clear water rushing forth and a whole new story will well up and land on your list of accomplishments for today!

Oh, and if you find it’s too hard to include all 4, it’s okay to just use 1, 2, or 3 of the prompts you picked – the exercise is just to get ideas and words flowing.”

To recap, I chose numbers 7, 3, 5 and 1. So I’ve written my story based on:

Character #7 – A monster who is afraid of thunderstorms

Setting #3 – a playground

Time #5 – sitting down to breakfast

Situation/Challenge #1 – something embarrassing has just happened

Drum roll, please.

Morley scanned the playground. Deserted. His shoulders slumped.

A sonic shock wave cracked and a lightning bolt lit up the sky the way fireworks exploded on July 1st.

Morley’s fur stood at attention like toy soldiers. Rain pelted his fur. He pounded the gravel. Cowering beneath the plank that led to the slide, the wood creaked. I should run home. His paws turned to lead.

He fished a peanut butter and jelly clump out of his shirt pocket. Maybe mom’s breakfast would help. He’d scooped his toast off the kitchen table and lumbered out the door. He didn’t have time to sit down for breakfast because he hoped his girlfriend might be at the playground.

He stuffed the gooey morsel into his mouth and chewed. Thunder rumbled. He shivered. A tear leaked and dribbled down his cheek. Samantha didn’t even know she was his girlfriend and mom’s breakfast didn’t calm him one bit.

The plank rattled again.

“W-who’s there?” asked Morley.

“Boo!” Fuzzy, purple braids tied with silk ribbons dangled over the side.

He gulped. “Samantha?” Heat flushed his cheeks. Certain he was redder than his raspberry jelly, he pinched his arm. Why did I let my voice crack louder than thunder?

“Yup. It’s me. Climb up so we can dance in the rain.”

She’s asking me to dance? Morley wasn’t about to let a thunderstorm ruin his chance at happiness. His chest puffed out. He gripped the plank and swung his legs up. Leaping to his musty feet, the board bounced. Samantha teetered like the see-saw. He grabbed her warm paw. She giggled.

“Ready to dance?” he asked.

She offered a nod. He twirled her faster than the merry-go-around.

“S-slow down,” said Samantha, gasping for air.

Morley chuckled. The rain tapered off.

Samantha flipped her soppy braids, smacking Morley’s face. “Oops. Morley, look.” Her glossy, pink fingernail pointed at the sky.

A rainbow bowed.

Morley’s heart jumped for joy. Thunderstorms didn’t terrify him anymore. Because…at last, Samantha was his girlfriend.

“He who has hope, has everything.”

Arabic proverb

Okay, okay. So this week, I’m over by 230 words. But hey, I had fun.

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14 Responses

    • Thank you, Tina. This was a great exercise that forced me to write about monsters, a subject not on my list of things to write about. Ah, two monsters in love and purple to boot. My favourite colour.

  1. I loved it !!!! Especially that your wee monster had a girlfriend but she didn’t know it. That tidbit was an especially endearing trait. Thanks for a smile and a rainbow of hope.

    • Oh, Terrol. You’re such a gem. I thought back to when I was kid and about the boys who teased me. Looking back, it was their way of letting me know they like me. Go figure. I thought they were just pests. One boy, chased me home for a week after school and said he was going to beat me up because I said I wouldn’t be his girlfriend. I was only in Grade Six. Glad I ran quicker than a flash of lightning. LOL.

  2. Love this, Tracy! And I love that you post Susanna’s entire contest rules so that anyone reading your blog can follow along and enjoy the creative writing exercise. 🙂

  3. I have to tell you that the concept of being someone’s girlfriend without me knowing is a very appealing one indeed. I think that thought almost daily and smile. Of course, they aren’t allowed to be the creepy stalker type but it is intriguing to think I may have a secret admirer….LOL