Monday, January 31, 2011

10 Word Exercise #3

Acknowledgement, green, heritage, squire, resolution, needle, assignment, measurable, fortified and landscape.

The only reading George Freeman had time for prior to his cruise on the Resolution, was to retrieve, then destroy, his next assignment. So it was with measurable relief he read, Heritage: A Knight’s Tale, simply for pleasure while aboard-ship.

The tale told of Robert Green, a squire who’d become one of King Edward’s most trusted knights, and his adventures riding the rolling landscape of Scotland assuring the King’s battlefronts were well fortified with enough men and supplies to stand protected against the enemy. And, right up to the part where King Edward knight’s him Sir Robert to reward him for being trustworthy, it was a story George could relate to.

There was little more than acknowledgement when an assassin, prepared to kill or be killed for his country, retired, as George well knew. What did he expect from an establishment whose needle on the dial of life was set to obscurity? Obscurity that, most of the time, he well understood was for his and his fellow agents’ protection.

Without it, he wouldn’t be retiring with all his limbs and faculties about him; he’d be dancing to the enemy’s tune. For that he was, and would always be, grateful, but once in a while something - fact or fiction - would tweak his desire for what others would consider a normal life.

Monday, January 24, 2011

10 Word Exercise #2

phosphorous, argon, kettle, Bunsen Burner (you may count this as 2 if you wish), anniversary, cocoa, November, date, numbers AND fire

The scientist in him couldn’t regret the amount of time spent lighting a fire under his Bunsen burner, but he knew the man, if he’d excluded his wife from his experiments, would. Oh, how he missed her. Lana had been the only woman, outside the scientific world, who was only too happy to listen to conversations that would have bored a lesser woman.
When he touted the benefits, and dangers, of phosphorous acid -- or similar chemicals -- instead of rolling her eyes as most would do, she’d found it fascinating to learn that something she used to kill root rot in her Winery’s greenhouse could be so beneficial...or deadly...depending on how one handled it.
Victor knew he was being maudlin today, but as this was the anniversary of a date he was not likely to forget, he felt entitled to be. On the morning of November eighteenth one year ago, while he’d waited for the kettle to boil for his wake-me-up cocoa, his wife was at her Winery struggling unsuccessfully to get air into her lungs.
Safety in numbers couldn’t save her, and like chickens to slaughter, the argon gas leak from a faulty tank claimed her life and the lives of her Bottling Attendants. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

More Challenging?

If anyone wishes to make my 10 word exercise more challenging, please write 10 words in the comments below and I'll turn them into a story.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

10 Word Exercise

Recently in a writing forum we were given a ten word exercise. We had to pick ten words, then write a story start to finish using those ten words. 
Once the confusion many of us had - how to possibly use only ten words and tell a complete story - was cleared up, that the story could contain as many words as we wanted, as long as those ten words were in it, I got down to work.
Our forum leader was quite impressed with the story I wrote, sorry that I'm unable to post it here, and suggested expanding it into a children's book. Maybe I will, maybe I won't, I'm undecided at the moment on that particular avenue, but I truly loved the exercise. So much, that I've decided to do it once a week here on my blog. 
So here are this week's ten words, and story. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Bottle, Picture, River, Philodendron, Thimble, Water-skiing, Birthday, Woman, Boat, Picnic  

Sleep was elusive as the picture of the four year old child, and tears of a distraught woman pleading with them – owners of The Philodendron Detective Agency - to find her daughter, Lacey, kept running through their heads.
One minute the child had been sitting at the picnic table with the other birthday party attendees, holding her bottle of pop, in the next she was gone. A thimble found at the edge of the nearby woods the only possible clue.
The couple hoped, in taking their boat out on the river to do some water-skiing, to see their way clearer to solving the case they’d been working on round the clock when they spotted something bright red under some brush along the riverbank.
Drawing closer, they saw the girl, huddled, hugging a knitted doll, spilling tears quicker than she could tell her story.
“I saw Mrs. Kinsey walking up the path, carrying an armful of dolls. She gave me one as I ran to her. She forgot some cookies she’d made and had to go back, and asked me to help her. But when we walked through her door, she got scary. Her eyes got real big as she slapped at her chest and fell over,” Lacey explained. “I’m sorry I hid in the corner; I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t understand what she was saying so when she stopped talking to me I ran out, but I didn’t know which way to go. I want my mommy.”
This case had a happy ending – many don’t – as Mrs. Kinsey, having suffered a mild heart attack, was now recovering nicely in the hospital, while Lacey, a daily visitor, read stories to her about her adventures in the woods.

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

The spirit of the season, for me at least, starts in October and lasts until the beginning of January. I am, as usual, sad that it's over but as I sit here this morning I have to ask myself what it is that makes me sad to see the season end. What could be sad about seeing the end to the long lines at store check-outs? Could I be sad at not being jostled around by the stressed out 'Scrooge's' of our day when picking up last minute groceries? Could it be sadness and disappointment at seeing the end of the sugar-laden treats that abound in our house?

And then it hit me.

I will miss that feeling of love, peace and happiness that pervades (most) at this time of year, the sometimes too sentimental messages spouted from every Christmas card, seeing my Christmas village that reminds me of simpler times, and happy times spent with family and friends.

And then it hit me again.

It's what I hold inside that makes or breaks the season as I see it. What's stopping me from keeping that feeling all year round? Why see things in a positive light, be quick to forgive and forget, feel free to say no to unwanted tasks or unneeded stress, only at this time of year? Why save the eat, drink and be merry attitude for the holidays? I don't mean I expect to see Christmas cards or keep my Christmas village up year-round, or eat my way through the cookie platter on a regular basis, but if I'm longing for simpler, more sentimental times, then why not work towards that all year? And that brings me to my New Year's resolution: to keep that attitude year-round.

To look at the positive side in every situation, to forgive and forget - if only to give myself peace, to say no when I feel there's too much on my plate - literally and figuratively, to say 'stop' instead of allowing meaningless gossip to reach my ears, to spend more time surrounded by, and showing appreciation for, my loved ones...and if I want to be sentimental in March, why not go for it?

In the words of John Lennon, 'Give peace a chance.'

So the next time I'm standing in the checkout line, I shall turn with a big smile on my face and thank the woman who rammed me with her cart unable to wait for me to pay for my purchase. When she wonders what I'm thanking her for, I'll say, well, for being in such a hurry to pay for my groceries too. :)

Wishing you all a happy and peace-filled New Year!