Tag Archives: Writing Exercise

Prompt Group: Statue

11 Sep

Every other Tuesday is my writers’ group that focuses on prompts.  We did two as a group last night and I wasn’t happy with either of them.  The first was “I’m feeling hot, hot, hot” to which I wrote a short account of someone who’s sick going through the overheating/freezing stages, but it was noting special.  The second was to write an overly fictionalized account of someone in the room going to a museum of natural history.  While Nicole and KK found what I wrote amusing, I don’t think it would appeal to the wider audience of WordPress.

So, Nicole and I stayed after and did an ‘Extra Credit’ prompt which, I can happily say, I am pleased with.  In the spirit of NaNoWriMo prep, I used my main character from my NaNo.

I’d love to hear what you think in the comments, as well as how you are preparing for NaNo.  Enjoy!

There was a statue of the founder of Fairbanks in the middle of town, E.T. Barnette.  Unfortunately for him, the person who made the statue didn’t think about the climate of Fairbanks.  The statue was porous and water could sneak under his skin. E.T. defrosted every spring and parts of his body fell off over time.  By now, his left hand, left ear, right toes, and his entire forehead were missing.  As Melissa sat there in the spring, there were bird feces covering the gouge in his head, dripping out like a boiled stew.

She sat down on the pedestal, breathing deeply and feeling the rise and fall of her stomach, knowing that soon enough, it would be mostly rise and not as much fall.

In only a month, the place she was sitting would be buried under a foot of snow and in just the thin sweater Melissa was wearing she would catch frost bite on 90% of her extremities.

Melissa realized that she didn’t know a thing about Fairbanks, Alaska, or harsh winters in general.  In fact, she had never even seen a movie that took place in Alaska or bothered to read Jack London books about surviving winters north of Minneapolis.  She was drastically unprepared for the Land of the Midnight Sun.

On top of surviving an Arctic winter, she had her grandmother to care for.  Taking care of someone couldn’t be that hard, Melissa reasoned.  People take care of old people and babies all the time.  Granted, most of them probably don’t do both at once during one of the harshest winter in the United States.  But somewhere, someone’s got to be doing it as well.

She heard her mom calling her from the hospital.  “Grandma’s ready to go.  You have to sign the release papers.”

Melissa got up: not excited, not dreading, but not quite hopeful.


Daily Prompt: Excitement

8 Sep

So, I realized that that the post I wanted to be published tonight went up last night instead.  Oh well.  I guess I’ll just have to write up another post for tonight.  Am I right?!

I liked doing the Daily Prompt yesterday, so I’m going to do it again today.  Again, these are my characters from a scene not (yet) in my novel.  I’m just getting to know them better.  Here, we’re visiting June, my female protagonist.

The Daily Prompt: Excitement

June was shaking with anticipation.  She hadn’t been to this barber shop since Donny’s father was shot there.  The bullet holes that Benny’s guys had fired were still in the back wall.  The distillery that had been there was gone and the owners were new.  The blood of Donny’s father was long since cleaned up, but the memory was permanently etched in the plaster.

“All of it, ma’am?” the barber asked.

“All of it,” June replied, her voice revealing that she wasn’t quite as sure as her words implied.

The snip snip snip of the scissors was all she heard for a time.

“You need to stop shaking, ma’am.  You want a straight line and I can’t guarantee that with all your shaking.”

“I’m sorry,” June said.  “I’m just so excited.”

The big man smiled.  “Lots of ladies are excited to finally get their hair bobbed.  Though, most of them did it years ago!  What made you finally change your mind?”

June thought a moment on what the best response would be.  Was it that she knew her brother would be mad?  Was it that she finally felt like the flapper mentality was creeping into the crevices of her brain?  Or was it that she wanted to impress a certain blonde who she knew would be enthralled?

“I got a new hat and I just knew that it needed some short hair to make it look like the bee’s knees.  It just had to be time for a bob!”

The barber let out a chuckle and made his final snips.  It hadn’t taken long and there was no going back.  June fingered the ends of her hair as she gazed in the mirror.  The long flowing red locks were short and came to an abrupt end like a sentence cut off by a whining child.

“It looks wonderful, ma’am.  I’m sure you’ll be quite the sheeba in your new hat.”

June grinned.  That was the plan, after all.

Daily Prompt: Luxury

8 Sep

I’m very familiar with prompts.  A weekly writers group I attend does one to three each meeting, and then we share with the group.  I convince myself that these prompts will help me come up with new ideas for novels and short stories.  After almost a year going to this group, it’s happened only once.  My husband’s solution was to try using my characters in the prompts to help me get to know them better.  Total times I’ve done this: 0.  I do think it’s a great idea.

So here’s attempt #1.  The Daily Prompt for today was ‘Luxurious,’ the one luxury you can’t live without.  And here’s my attempt to show my male protagonist, Tony, within these confines.  Enjoy!


Driving down the street, Tony couldn’t wipe a satisfied grin off of his face.  The grey Lincoln attracted attention on its own, there as no need for him to draw even more by cruising slowly and making eye contact with pedestrians.  He loved the feeling of being seen in the car.  A Lincoln meant money and a need for speed.  It meant he was living the high life in his penthouse apartment and that alcohol was a lucrative business.

If Tony had been a gentleman, he would have picked up his date in the grad car and driven her to a restaurant where he would woo her with a gourmet meal and champagne straight from France.  But honestly, what seventeen year old heir to a mobster throne is a perfect gentleman?  He parked the car behind the hottest speakeasy in Cicero and waited for attendants to open the door for him.  There was a group of fine looking debs huddled near the door.  Tony smirked, it would be like shooting fish in a barrel tonight.

“Ladies,” he said, coming up to them with a smile.  “Why are you waiting outside of this fine establishment?  Wouldn’t indoors suit you much better?”

A tall girl in a navy blue cloche giggled.  “They won’t let us in yet; they say the place is packed and there’s not enough room.”

Tony grinned.  “Nonsense.  I’m sure these fine gentlemen can find some space for three dolls.”  Every girl blushed.  “Come on, you’re with me.”  He started walking to the entrance which was carefully hidden next to the garbage pile.

“Was that you who drove up in the Lincoln?” a girl in a red knee-length dress asked.  “It was really nifty.”

It was too easy.  “Yes, yes, that’s one of them.  The black one’s my favorite but I could only get the grey one tonight.”  The girls exchanged excited glances as Tony knocked on the door.  A small panel slid open and the bouncer eyed him up and down quickly.  The loud jazz poured out of the hole and Tony’s heart started to rush in anticipation of the evening.

“Tony Pellerito?” he asked.

“That’s me,” Tony said, flashing a smile.

The door opened quickly.  “No need to speak easy tonight, Mr. Pellerito.  Welcome.”

Tony flashed the three girls a devilish smile and walked in.  He put an arm around two of the girls as they followed.  Life was just too easy for Tony these days.