Week 3 – Summer Short & Sweets – Are You Up For The Challenge?

Week 3 – Summer Short & Sweets – Are You Up For The Challenge?

The 3rd installment of Summer Short & Sweets was tougher. At least for me.

Did I harbor thoughts of backing out?

No way. But I admit it’s taken me longer to come up with something half decent. I’m blaming it on my wacky, whirlwind weekend.

Badge Created by Loni Edwards

Now then, are you ready for this week’s Summer Short & Sweets?

We’re on the honour system again—no scrolling down the page.

Wait! Grab a pen and paper, and then we’re off.

I’ve posted Susanna Leonard Hill’s instructions, hoping my non-writer and writing friends might be tempted to jump in the ring, and give it a whirl.

Take it away Susanna!

“Write down the following things in a list bearing in mind that everything below is supposed to be related so it can hang together:

1.  A noun (you know, a good old person place or thing)

2.  A color that describes that noun or some part of that noun you’d like to highlight (e.g. red, or, lavender, or, cerulean)

3.  A comparison to that color (in the manner of simile or metaphor e.g. summer sunset, or, shadowed snow on a January evening)

4.  Something that belongs to your noun written as adjective, adjective noun (e.g. wide, feathered tail, or, slim, brown limbs, or brass ratcheted gears)

5.  A verb ending in -ing that is something your noun could do (e.g. soaring, or, stretching, or, grappling)

6. Another verb ending in -ing that is something else your noun could do (e.g. sailing, or, reaching, or, frowning)

7. A place written as: preposition [a/an/the] adjective adjective noun (e.g. over [a] broad green valley, or, across [the] shimmering shining stream)

8. A description of something your noun could do in relation to something else, written as:  verb ending in -ing preposition adjective noun (e.g. scouting for silver salmon, or, basking on sun-baked sand, or, digging up acorn jewels) – (yes, I realize “for” is a conjunction, not a preposition, but you can use it if you want.  The reason I didn’t put conjunction is because the others – and, or, nor, but, yet – won’t work.  But use “for” if you want.

9. Repeat #8 with another description (e.g. plunging toward immovable earth)

10. Repeat #8 with a final description (e.g. hoping for sweet success, or, diving for delicious dinner)

11. A simile for the action in #10 (e.g. like a rocket ship, or, like a bow drawn across singing strings)

12.  Your original noun from #1

Okay! Got your list? What we are accomplishing here is part Madlib, part poetry, and will hopefully result in lots of descriptive poems (ha-ha – like how I tricked you into writing a poem?) that will also serve as story sparkers by giving all the devoted readers specific, detailed, poetic descriptions of characters, settings, or objects that they could use in a story! For those of you who write picture books, there are a lot of similarities between picture books and poetry, so this is good practice.

So do you get the idea?  You may of course tweak a bit.  If you need a different verb form or fewer adjectives or an extra word or one less line or two colors, etc. feel free to change it up.”

Use the template below, type in your poem, and then post your comment on Susanna’s blog.

I am [a/an/the] noun from #1
Color from #2 as [a/an/the] comparison from #3  
With [a/an/the] adjective adjective noun from #4  
Verb from #5, verb from #6
Preposition [a/an/the] adjective adjective noun from #7  
Description from #8
Description from #9
Description from #10
Like [a/an/the] simile from #11
I am [a/an/the] noun from #1

Here’s my example:


I am a gymnast

Brighter than a twinkling, yellow star

With muscular, lean limbs

Leaping, lunging

Before cheering, crazed fans

Striving for the elusive glimmering, gold medal

Tumbling toward the Olympic dream

Nailing tough bare soles

Like a hammer driving in a stake

I am a gymnast

I couldn’t find a photo of a gymnast wearing yellow. Oh well.

I’m sure you can do better. So join in the fun.

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23 Responses

  1. Oh my goodness, Tracy…you are a star!!!! I love this entry!
    It was hard for me also…quite out of the box and far away from my comfort zone…but I did it also…and felt really good…as you should. 🙂

  2. I could do everything you described…………….just once……..and then the ambulance would arrive !!!

    • When I read the first part of your sentence I was ready to sign you up for the Olympics.
      But then I laughed out loud when the ambulance arrived. You’re too funny. Keep it up.
      Thanks Terrol.

  3. A great poem, just in time for the summer Olympics! Wasn’t this writing exercise fun?

  4. Great exercise. Very helpful in getting the words flowing. I used to be a gymnast and loved your example. Well done. My attempt initially felt a little lame, but when I read it over again I didn’t think it turned out too badly. We just visited Sea World on vacation…

    • Two comments. Thanks, Laura. As you were a former gymnast, I’m glad you approve.
      You said your attempt initially felt lame, but don’t we as writers all feel that way.
      I’m assuming you posted it? I’ll pop over to Susanna’s blog. I hope yours is there.
      Sounds like a great vacation!

  5. Congratulations Tracy on your post…Your mind is as flexible as the gymnast… Keep on balancing writing and working…One enhances the other…It’s all a balancing act and all is as important as the other…

    • Thank you, Karen for cheering me on. “Your mind is as flexible as the gymnast.”
      What a great sentence, not just that you attributed to me, but it’s a great line to use when writing a story.
      I’m waiting to read more of your writing.

      • Thanks Tracy…It’s always a bit scary when a painting takes awhile…never sure if I’m gonna like it if and when it is ever finished…

        • Oh I hear you. Painting and writing always takes longer than you’d like.
          And you’re right, when it’s finished it’s not what you envisioned.

          • It does usually change somewhat…I do like to have a subject matter that I want to talk about though…Sometimes though, the longer it takes me to paint, the subject matter will change if something in my life comes up and then I sometimes have to start over…I guess one of the tools of the trade is to just keep walkin!!! lol…