Thursday, September 22, 2011

Whoseywhatsit Thursday: Writing Prompt!

This week has been an insane one for me, and I haven't had time to write or edit or critique or do much of anything. So when it came time to post I decided I needed a "writing prompt" to get me back into a creative frame of mind!

Since autumn officially begins tomorrow, I thought we'd use that as our prompt. You have up to 250 words to throw your character into a fall-like setting, develop a flashback, write a poem, try something new, whatever you want. Post those words below and then comment on at least one other person's writing. (You don't need to necessarily critique it, this isn't polished writing people!)

Ready. Set. Go!

(And here's mine ...)

When Helene was eight, she and her older sister dressed up as wizards for
Halloween. Christi came up with the idea, as always. She spent an entire afternoon flipping through the costume catalog, tagging pages that grabbed her attention. Every time Helene leaned over to point to something, Christi turned the page so fast she nearly gave herself a paper cut.

“What about the rock star?” Helene asked as the costume sailed in and out of her vision faster than a shooting star.

No response.

“Or the zombie?” Helene wanted to scare the idiot neighbor kids.


“Why can’t I pick my own costume, anyway?” Helene crossed her arms and flopped down on the couch. “I don’t want to have to match.”

Finally Christi opened her mouth. “Because, you are clearly incapable of choosing something appropriate. And I have much better taste.”

Christi narrowed her choices down, further and further until she finally stuck the page in front of Helene’s nose. “We’re going to be wizards. You’re the boy.”

Of course Helene was the boy. And after the Halloween parade, when she’d had to lead everyone around the playground because she was by far the tallest in the class, Helene stripped off the robe and hat and promptly stuffed them in the trash.

Who cared about trick-or-treating anyway?

Image Source


  1. Great prompt, Nikki. You made me work today, but in the spirit of Destined, I decided to invent my own myth. Ever wanted to know why the leaves change colors in the fall?
    As spring turned to summer, flowers had exploded in Psyche’s gardens. The sky almost seemed alive with sunshine and heat, strangling and baking the earth with its rays. Psyche’s days were slow and lazy, holding hands with Eros. Sharing chilled glasses of ambrosia. Napping in the hottest hours of the afternoon.
    But now, as summer drifted into fall, the blooms began to wither. Mornings greeted Psyche with a chilly tickle and the dancing rays of the sun came later and less frequent. Psyche knew Persephone would be going back to Hades soon – that Ceres was in mourning. But she hated the way the earth wept right along with the grieving mother.
    To, Eros it was obvious that Psyche’s spirits were drooping. The smile didn’t quite reach her eyes. Her cheeks didn’t flush with the sheer joy of living.
    And so he’d decided to talk to Ceres – see if there was some way she could hold off bleeding the earth of color even though Persephone would be underground. After all, Persephone liked being with Hades now. What was there to mourn?
    Not quite willing to let the earth remain alive in flowers, but wanting to help nonetheless, Ceres agreed to a compromise. The trees would adorn autumn dresses in colors that delighted the senses. Their leaves would turn every color in a fire and blaze like a million candles before they fell from their branches. And so began the annual ritual, where the trees get to dance in a pageantry of their own, before the chilly nip if winter sets in.

  2. I'm swamped right now or I'd totally play along. But I have to say that is the coolest picture I've ever seen! Love it!

  3. She wears purple mittens and a burgundy coat into the crisp air. A golden scarf bounces around her neck while she runs across the street. Orange, gold, and green meet her boots on the street. She kicks up a few of these fallen leaves, and a rainbow of autumn swarms around her.

    Perched on the doorstep of her best childhood friend, is a plump pumpkin with eyes, a nose, and an irregular smile. The young girl knocks once at the door. Kimberly pokes her head out of the curtains in the front window before opening the door. Her mother’s advice, because mother knows best.

    “Hi, Sierra,” she says. Kimberly’s dark hair is pulled back into a ruffled beanie. She also has on purple mittens, which grab for Sierra’s hands to lead her inside.

    The cozy home is overflowing with the scent of pumpkin spiced candles. A pleasant wood-burning fire in an old-fashion fireplace casts the home in amber lighting. And there, sitting on the overstuffed couch, is Kimberly’s mother. She is crocheting a burgundy sweater.

    “I wanted a sweater just like yours,” Kimberly whispers to her best friend.

    Sierra watches her friend’s mother weave the yarn, designing a piece of clothing that matches her own. She glances between their matching purple mittens.

    “Here,” Sierra says, and slips out of her sweater. “You can wear this until your mom’s done.”

    Kimberly’s eyes light up, and with eager hands, she accepts the sweater. But climbing into the warmth, she smiles, and hands it back.

    This is a simple story of the kind hearts of young children.
    And, if I was a better editor, this would not be 252 words!

    Happy Autumn,
    Robin Quinn

  4. Nikki, I loved the line: Helene wanted to scare the idiot neighbor kids.

    Jessie, what a heart-aching love-story, but with a wonderful ending.

  5. Robin -- your first paragraph in particular just dropped me right into the moment. Love your descriptions. Thanks for taking part!


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