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Becoming a Writer: A Writing Exercise (and a giveaway!)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The last few posts in this series have been laden with lots of information. I don’t know about y’all, but I’m still trying to digest some of it.

So it’s your turn to help write this blog—it’s time for a writing exercise!

Write an opening paragraph (no longer than five sentences—or about 100–125 words) for a scene/story using at least five of the following words:

Stealth Bomber
Old Codger

Use your imagination, be creative, and get inspired. Comments must be posted by 4 p.m. Central time on Thursday 1/29. I’ll pick a winner, which I’ll announce on Friday, who will win his/her choice of a signed copy of Stand-In Groom now or be placed at the top of the waiting list for a signed copy of either Menu for Romance or Ransome’s Honor, which both come out in July.

  1. Lori permalink
    Wednesday, January 28, 2009 10:35 am

    Though I have never written anything before, I thought I would give it a try. Here goes:

    The maiden with her flaxen hair sat down to what she hoped would be a wonderful romantic dinner. The chef approached carrying a shiny silver tray containing the mysterious dish of eggplant. As he sat the tray down and began to remove the lid a most agreeable smirk flowed across his face as if to say “hear is my masterpiece”. While the presentation of the dish was a beautiful kaleidoscope of colors the maiden’s face turned a lofty shade of green as the curdle smell of spoiled milk filled the air. It was in that moment the maiden thought of the porcelain Queen Anne statue in the foyer and wished to be as bowelless as that shell of the woman she admired most.

    Be nice.:)


  2. Wednesday, January 28, 2009 10:50 am

    Great contest, Kaye! I love these kinds of things. Here’s my entry, at 112 words.

    The old codger looked out the window as the nor’easter battered the trees and bushes, heck, even the grass, surrounding his little house. With weather like this, it wouldn’t be as easy as he thought to get his grandaughter, Hannah, to marry that stealth bomber of a man. He laughed. What had Hannah said the last time he pushed her together with the town’s newest resident? Ah, yes. She had told him to “Go opine to an eggplant — it would care more” than she did. He wasn’t fooled, though. He’d bet his bowelless old dog that by the end of the month Jack, the aforementioned man, and Hannah would be engaged.


  3. Wednesday, January 28, 2009 11:29 am

    It was blustery in the hour before dawn and the plump old woman in the white cap was almost taken away as her apron flew around her, determined to whip and wrest. Without knocking, she flung open the door of a small cottage and made a beeline for the bed. There a young maiden lay in agony; for her temperature was so high, it would soon curdle her blood. Beside her crouched an old codger of a man who was apparently her father.
    “Hurry!” The nurse demanded. “Fetch me some wet rags!”
    The father made no movement toward kitchen. Catching the nurse’s glare he dared to opine: “If I might make a suggestion…”
    “No!” The nurse flared up, obviously antagonized. “Rags, if you would!”


  4. Wednesday, January 28, 2009 11:31 am

    Love this, Kaye! I’m 123 words…

    Major Nate Summers pounded his fist on the table in the flight briefing room.
    The bowelless pilot shifted his glare from person to person and spoke through gritted teeth. “The competition was fair. The Stealth Bomber is mine!”
    One old codger’s calm demeanor unnerved Nate as he shoved the last bite of eggplant in his mouth and slid his plate to the side. “Gentlemen, it’s time to enforce a tough decision here.”
    Nate stood from his chair and red-faced, placed both fists knuckles down onto the oblong table.
    The old man opened his briefcase and revealed a stack of papers. “The report of that B-1 and the Nor’easter.” He slid the papers toward Nate. “Your name’s all over it. You’ll never fly again.”


  5. Wednesday, January 28, 2009 12:25 pm

    “I mean like, come on, Marcie. You’re letting him antagonize you.” Stella bit into her eggplant and made a face. “Mm-mm! This’ll curdle your stomach.”
    Marcie groaned. “I don’t need anything to assist my stomach.”
    “I can’t believe you’re like, letting one confrontation unnerve you like that.” Stella consumed the gross eggplant as if it were ambrosia.
    “You know what the old codger said to me?” Marcie leaned on the table. “He said that a stealth bomber should come and wipe out the whole town so he wouldn’t have to deal with maidens in distress like me.”
    Stella snorted. “What did you say?”
    “That he had misanthropic tendencies.”
    Stella’s nose wrinkled. “Misa-what?”
    “Never mind. I just don’t want to deal with the old nor’easter again.”

    (I love eggplant, by the way. Just couldn’t think of anything else to couple with curdle. 😉 This was fun! And I’m right at 125 words.)


  6. Wednesday, January 28, 2009 12:37 pm

    Old Codger! The maiden wrested her skirt from the thin, wobbly fingers that grasped ahold as she walked past. He’d tried to make his touch seem accidental but she knew his actions, like a flyover by a stealth bomber, were intended to antagonize her. Well, she intended to be her most agreeable ever self, never mind that her insides curdled at the thought of being anywhere near the aged lothario. He could opine for days, weeks, even years, for all she cared, on the tragedy of her father’s death and the sudden, bowelless disappearance of her fiance, two events that left her both vulnerable and in serious financial straits. It didn’t matter. She would never, ever consider the wealthy geezer’s proposal. Not even if they both survived the Nor’easter that was sure to kill them, if tonight’s eggplant dinner didn’t first. She sat down just as the server made his way to her end of the table. She stared at the mashed vegetables and overdone meat atop her plate. She’d find a way to survive, and to save her family’s business.


  7. Wednesday, January 28, 2009 3:20 pm

    Great timing! I had this idea this morning. 121 words:

    After seven years, Johnna Fiske was a civilian again–until the blast that knocked her to the sidewalk jarred her back into the bowelless agent she’d been yesterday. She struggled to her feet in the wake of the shock wave, tightening her grip on her son, and searched for the rest of her family. Unnerved by temporary deafness, Johnna barely registered strong hands wresting his wrist from her fingers, voices whispering about medical attention. More strong hands and agreeable murmurs ushered her into another emergency vehicle. How had they arrived so quickly–unless they’d been waiting? The van lurched forward as they gently tended her superficial wounds, yet behind their eyes lurked something dark. Sinister. Misanthropic. She had to get away.


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