Writing prompt #35

These are the writing prompts my writing group often used to do at our meetings. We’d pick a random number, set a timer for 10 minutes, and see what came out. We play “Connect the random words – or not!” Feel free to play along if you like.

Today’s random number was 35, so the words are: ice, gift, map, moon, lamp.

This is what I wrote:
The lamp stood in the window, a signal we had long given up hope would ever be answered. At the very least, its light turned the glass into a mirror, reflecting the room back to us rather than the blasted moonlit icescape outside. That view sucked the heat from the room all by itself. The others stood around the map stretched out on the room’s one table, plotting out each route again and again, looking for the mistake, the oversight that would make the impossible possible, allow an escape, a sliver of hope. But to me that map had become as soul-sucking as the view outside, our fate sealed in careful brushstrokes and precise measurements. I stood instead facing the hearth, trying to draw inspiration from the licking flames, from the sparks that spiralled up the stone chimney. I figured my chances of success were about equal to those of the group huddled around the map.

I was, at least, the first to notice when the wind picked up. The sparks’ dance gaining in frenzy, the flames leaping higher as the draw on the chimney gained force. A shift in the weather? Or the sign of…

Writing prompt #33

These are the writing prompts my writing group often used to do at our meetings. We’d pick a random number, set a timer for 10 minutes, and see what came out. We play “Connect the random words – or not!” Feel free to play along if you like.

Today’s random number was 33, so the words are: bridge, note, match, string, dial.

This is what I wrote:

Bridge the gap, note the change, match wits with a well-balanced adversary, string along a mark, dial back the rhetoric.

The rustle of raindrops on the wooden boards of the bridge overhead. A match held between trembling fingers that struggle to set fire to damp wood. Not enough light yet to read the dial of a pocket watch, tucked well away from the wet in an inside pocket of his cloak. A rough cough of thunder overhead. The storm still building power. Not yet ready to unleash its full temper on the weary travellers. Beside their hurried camp, the river gurgles higher between its banks. Tucking so close to it on a night like this is dangerous, but the bridge is the only available shelter, and dubious though it is, still preferable to the full force of the rain. The wind picks up as the first flickers of lightning chase each other across the underside of the clouds, a series of mournful notes where it whistles between loose boards. The travellers tent their cloaks over their heads, backs to the rain, building just enough shelter between them that the fire finally takes hold. Sputtering and smoking its own miserable protest against the weather.

Goals and Big Ideas for the Fall

This fall I’m going to find myself with a pair of luxuries I haven’t had together in nearly 20 years: time and stability. And while I should probably be panicking about picking up more freelance clients, I also don’t want to waste this amazing opportunity to do something BIG. Continue reading