Sunday writing chat prompts for 22 May 2022

Home Forums Just the Place for a Snark Sunday writing chat prompts for 22 May 2022

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    • #8563

      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: jewel, paint, opinion, table, average. (10 min)

      2. Use the phrase, “Does Tuesday work for you?” (10 min)

      3. Write about noticing a tree. (10 min)

    • #8564

      The phone was sitting on the desk and it buzzed quietly. They had compared notes and opinions and taught each other how to program in different response tones for text messages from different people’s messages. Josh was kind of amazed that Olivia produced a table with official names of the text tones, which of course they had listened to together. There’s no way to do that quietly; it’s like auditioning birds for the front porch birdhouse or something.

      “Josh–wanted to let you know I’m thinking of you–Olivia,” said the screen.

      “Who’s Josh?” said Steve. The office mate who was too interested in personal things. The average co-worker cared, a little, about what made life human for the people around them. Steve was…

      “And is Olivia available?” said Steve.

      “I hope not.” Steve was Steve, always a little too much, a little too close. There was no possible color to paint the great Josh and Olivia story that Steve would accept or understand.

      Josh figured Olivia might have ideas about keeping prying eyes away from their text messages. Not that it seemed important to spend their together-time on such things.

      “Bathroom break.” Phone in hand, bound for the one private place around the office.

      “Olivia,” said Josh’s thumbs. It seemed important to use each others’ private names. To remind themselves of what was important in life, which was not work, not conforming to someone else’s ideas of professional behavior and dress. It was O and J, together, giving each other permission to be. “You wanna go out sometime? –Josh”

      And back to work, carefully ignoring the signs… well, and everything else in the bathroom area. “You want some coffee?” Steve said when Josh returned.


      “Does Tuesday work for you?” said Steve.

      Josh looked up sharply to see Steve’s all-too-present gaze, and shuddered in response. “I thought… Well, you’re going down the hall to the break room, right?” Josh offered the mug handle-first.

      “Juuuust checking,” said Steve.

      The phone buzzed while Steve was out. “Josh–Does Tuesday work for you?–Olivia.”

      “What are you grinning about?” Steve wanted to know when he returned with two steaming mugs.

      Inhaling steam, Josh considered what other subject might be to hand. “You know how you walk the same way every day, and then, after months, you wonder if you ever noticed that purple house on the corner before? Today’s find was a tree in the yard there. I’m sure it’s been there for sixty years, and I’ve only been walking that way for a few weeks, but wow. There’s a tree there. I was kinda wondering what I was smelling.”

      “Which corner?” said Steve.

      “Walnut and… that must be Fifteenth? Sixteenth maybe?”

      “Oh right, there’s a linden tree there. They smell really sweet for a week or two in the spring. And they have weird seeds in the fall that glide, kind of like maple seeds only different.”

      “Exactly unlike maple seeds,” said Josh.

      Steve laughed.

      The phone buzzed again, and Josh did not activate it, which kept the message private.

      “Soooo this Olivia person…” said Steve.

      “Mmm?” said Josh.

      “I mean, networking is a thing, right? Can I get an introduction?”

      “Under the linden tree, Tuesday night,” said Josh, making a mental note to be anywhere else that night, out in public with Olivia. They’d had a few dates, carefully public, when they’d first met, but there was so much more they could do, could be, when they were alone together. But it’s not sustainable, and they both knew that. It would be… interesting… shall we say.

    • #8565

      I wanted to pinch myself.

      It was surreal to be standing here casually talking to Rose, my rosey-rose Rose as if the past thirty years didn’t exist. Our conversation slipped back into the same old cadence as if we’d seen each other this morning. Normal. Average. Even though it felt anything but. The teenage part of my heart was racing in my chest with her standing so close.

      Even though it felt the same as it was, so much had changed.

      We were older and hopefully, wiser. At least I hoped I was. I didn’t plan to waste this chance again.

      Her blue eyes reflected the light from her back deck like jewels, painted much darker than I knew they were by the shadows of the night.

      “You’re looking really good.” I offered my opinion. “I can’t believe you’re as old as I am. You must have found the fountain of youth out there.”

      She looked down quickly as if trying to hide a blush. “Thank you.” She sighed as she raised her head. “It’s a trick of the light. It’s been a long day and right now I feel every one of my fifty plus years.”

      “What’s a couple of under-eye bags between friends.” I groaned even as the last word fell from my lips. “That made no sense whatsoever.”

      She laughed, “Yup, that was pretty lame. I thought after all this time you would have upped your game.”

      “Nope, I’m still game-less.”

      She tried to hide it, but her yawn took her breath away.

      “I’m being a jerk. You’re tired. I should let you get to bed.” I paused, not wanting to leave her without plans to meet up again. “How about you come over to my place sometime this week? I’ll cook you a welcome home dinner.”
      Her smile got wide. “Grilled cheese?”

      “I think I can do better than that.” I scoffed at her suggestion.

      “I don’t know. There is just something about the way you make them. I haven’t had one nearly as good since I left.” She pulled out her phone and checked her calendar. “Does Tuesday work for you? I have to meet up with Ruby tomorrow.”

      “Tuesday is perfect.” I stepped toward her and gave her a side hug. “I’m really glad you’re home.”

      “Me too.” She turned to go back inside. “See you Tuesday.”

      I watched her until she was safely inside and locked the door behind her. She disappeared past the kitchen island slash table before I could tear myself away and head back down the path to the beach to make my way back to my own house. I was so lost in thoughts about her that I didn’t notice the tree beside the gate leading to my house. I was past my property and a halfway down my other neighbour’s stretch of beach before I realized I walked too far. Even that couldn’t dim the smile on my face. “Rose is home.” I whisper-shouted out to the waves.

      This time, I saw the tree and opened the gate to the stairs leading up to my childhood home. I couldn’t wait for Rose to see the changes, not only in my house, but also in me.

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