Sunday writing chat prompts for 11 Apr 2021

Home Forums Just the Place for a Snark Sunday writing chat prompts for 11 Apr 2021

  • This topic has 2 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by Sue.
Viewing 2 reply threads
  • Author
    • #7243

      The Sunday Brunch Prompted Writing Chat is an opportunity each week to test your skills at writing under pressure — or to have some fun without the need to be brilliant — or both!

      The prompts are intended as both as a challenge and a starting point, open to creative interpretation. You can use these as an excuse to write anything that comes to mind, whether it’s fiction or creative non-fiction or a mixture of both. You can write a separate piece for each prompt, or try to link them all together in a single story.

      If you join in the chat, you can add “an excuse to complain about unfair prompts” to the entertainment, too. But even if you can’t attend the chat session, feel free to give the prompts a try anyway (and leave your responses, comments, or complaints in this thread if you like).

      This week’s prompts are posted below.

      1. Use the following five words: defeat, growth, ask, highlight, grace. (10 min)

      2. Use the phrase, “I don’t know what’s in it.” (10 min)

      3. Write about interruptions. (10 min)

    • #7244

      “Jun?” asked Gin. She was sitting (well, half sitting… it’s easier in the lowG environment of their pod) on the floor, starting at nothing, presumably a screen from the bug in her head.

      “Mmmmf?” said Jun, or some words to that effect. She had almost gotten back to sleep after letting Gin drop out of their shared sleeping bag.

      “I think you should see this.”

      So Jun went through the whole dismount procedure again. You unhook the gentle straps from your shoulders and unzip, slip out of the bag with a little bit of spin, tuck as needed to be feet down by the time you get to the floor, and then flip out and land, gracefully, like that’s exactly what you meant to do.

      “Bravo,” said Gin. “We’re getting that down, finally. You landed like a cat.”

      “Thank you,” Jun managed to say before her hair caught up and dropped around her. “Now what’s up?” she added.

      “That ominous silence?” said Gin. “The ion drive is offline.”

      “Ho-ly S….omething or other,” Jun said. She’d been trying to watch her language, but it was hard in the heat of the moment to remember who objected and who didn’t. Gin didn’t, not really. “What are you looking at?”

      A page of data appeared in Jun’s head bug, with something of a flourish, like a map being rolled out on a table. There was a yellow highlight around the data items that told about the performance of the engine. This wasn’t the page Jun would have picked for those data; it was probably a summary deal for the Systems Engineering group to look at.

      “Prop, Systems,” said Gin, in an imitation of what she’d say over the voice loops if she were on duty. “Don’t you think we should go have a look at this?”

      Jun admitted defeat and gave up on sleep for the time being. “Totally,” she said. Unprofessional, but hey. Gin was her friend as well as a colleague. With, perhaps, the added complication of sleeping together (sharing body heat… that’s my story and I’m sticking to it, she mumbled to herself) torquing the growing friendship.

      “So…” Jun said, when they were mostly finished getting dressed. “If one of the gyros went…”

      “Uh…” said Gin, furiously paging through stuff on her head bug.

      “There’s a canned safing procedure. I dunno what-all is in it, except that it turns off a bunch of stuff,” said Jun. “Including the ion drive, so it won’t be thrusting in the wrong direction when you’re having attitude problems.”

      Gin chuckled. All the engineers except the attitude control system ones referred to any anomaly in their system as “attitude problems,” as if they were talking about a sullen teenager’s bad case of the don-wannas.

      “Excellent guess,” said Gin. “The error log shows a gyro readout excursion and the safe mode script ran. I guess we should check in. I’ll see you whenever I see you. It’s been fun…”

      Jun thought Gin might kiss her, but the moment passed, she opened the hatch, and the two of them dropped through into the podway for the trip down to normG and the Engineering spaces.

      On the lift, Jun tried to tune in the Prop group channel. “Oh, right, the voice loops don’t work so well on the lifts,” she said.

      “Tricky problem to make that work,” said Gin. “Wish me luck.”

      “Good luck,” said Jun. “For all of us.”

      Jun hopped off on Deck Eight, where the Prop group anomaly gathering point was, sharing the conference room with Electricals. Gin waved as the door closed, on her way to Systems, just off the control room on Deck Ten.

      Jun had just time to wonder if that extra two decks of gravity explained why Gin was so tired at the end of a day. But of course Systems had to keep straight what everybody in Engineering was doing, not just one subsystem.

      “Ah, there you are,” said Mona, when Jun walked in.

      “Sorry,” Jun mumbled, wondering why the alarms didn’t wake her up. She opened up a notepad in her head and started adding things to do… sometime later. Like investigating what alarms were sent by which systems and to whom. “What’s up? We figured a gyro…”

      “Tune in to Systems,” said Mona, interrupting.

      Sure enough, there was a situation briefing in progress. It was complicated and she’d missed the beginning but she gathered a gyro had thrown a rod or whatever it is they do, been taken offline by monitoring software, provoking a transition to safe mode, which flips pretty much everything in engineering to the redundant systems, turns off the ion thrusters (as Jun had correctly remembered), closes a bunch of their prop system valves, and a host of other things they’d be all night recovering from. Whenever Attitude figured out what was the deal with the gyro and whether it was safe to bring it back on, or which backup one to use instead (and how to do the swap).

      “OK, questions?” Mona asked, when the Lead Systems Engineer was finished.

    • #7245

      Tamera pulled up to a dead end road, which shouldn’t really be a surprise since she’s hauling two kick-butt off-road vehicles. She hopped out of her elevated truck with an unexpected grace and unlocked the gate that was blocking our way.

      I slid over on the bench seat and drove through, leaving her enough room to shut the gate and swing up into the passenger seat. “There’s a parking lot up to the left, pull in and park.”

      It was awkward to drive her truck. She was shorter than me, but I wasn’t about to adjust her seat for a few hundred meters.

      She directed me where to stop and then hopped out before I’d shut off the engine to start releasing the straps holding the two big all terrain bikes in place.

      Without needing to be asked, I do the same on my side of the vehicle. I watch her expertly back her brother’s bike off of the trailer and then followed her directions to set up ramps so she can unload her bike from the box. I helped her gather the straps and toss them into the backseat of her truck before grabbing my bag.

      “That was slick.” I said as we stored the ramps and locked her truck. “I can’t do that with my trailer since the wheel covers are a couple of inches too close and would get in the way.”

      “My brother custom-made this trailer to avoid that problem.” She said as she loaded up a bunch of stuff into the wide case at the back of her bike. Honestly, that looked custom made too.

      She snapped the lid closed, and I realized I’d been so distracted that I don’t know what’s in it.

      “Ready?” her eyebrow raised at me while I stood like an idiot beside her brother’s ATV.

      Not willing to highlight just how scattered I felt, I nodded and strapped the helmet she’d tossed at me on my head. “Ready.” I said as I hopped on the bike and started the engine.

      I followed her through a well-ridden trail bordered by tall trees and lush undergrowth. The defeat I’ve been feeling over the past few months shook off my shoulders with every jolt of the machine underneath me.

      Ahead, Tamera slowed and pointed to the right. In the trees was a momma deer and twin fawns, still young enough to have spots on their backs.

      Tamera called out to them in a soothing voice. “Sorry for interrupting you Momma, we’ll be out of your hair in no time.”

      We passed by the trio slowly, idling our engines as much as possible, so they wouldn’t be as noisy. It amazed me they just stood there, watching us pass.

      Tamera looked back at me with a huge grin on her face, which forced her cheeks to squish against the sides of her helmet. Her eyes sparkled with glee before putting her ATV in gear and leaving me in her dust.

Viewing 2 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.