Sunday writing chat prompts for 26 Dec 2021

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    • #8277
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      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: death, parade, time, potential, public. (10 min)

      2. Use the phrase, “Can you hear it?” (10 min)

      3. Write about doing something other people thought impossible. (10 min)

    • #8278
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      So Becca called up a mutual friend of Moira’s. She’d met Colm in school years before, but when she let herself think that way, he seemed kind of dreamy and strong and she didn’t really know what-all, but she didn’t mind the idea, at least, of being seen with him in public. Potential date material, she thought, though of course she had no idea what she was doing and admitted as much to herself.

      “Oh,” said Colm, after they’d chatted for a bit. “This is gonna be a date, isn’t it? I just figured that out.”

      “I mean, if that’s okay with you?” Becca said, wondering where the upspeak had come from.

      “Suuuure,” said Colm. They set a time and when he hung up Becca sort of felt as if he’d looked her up and down in his mind in the middle of that one long drawled syllable. She… was used to that, in a way, but somehow now it was one step closer to something real, which made it exciting but not in an altogether good way.

      So unlike the date (if that’s what it was) with Moira, she dressed a little more conservatively, helped out to some extent by a bit of cooler weather. Colm did indeed look her up and down and she resolved to enjoy the sensation, at least that far.

      Dinner, food, conversation, mostly to do with what-all they’d been up to in college. Colm thought it odd that Becca was studying physics, but she said she’d gotten interested when she was in middle school and a teacher had told her girls couldn’t do science.

      “‘So why do you think that is?’ I asked him, thinking… well, if it’s genetic I might be a good test case. Or hormonal or whatever.”

      “I remember Mr Gregg asking you that, and how furious it made you,” said Colm.

      “I guess I’m still proving him wrong,” Becca admitted. “How about you?”

      “I seem to be beating my love of Irish Poetry to death,” said Colm. “The literature curriculum isn’t anything like I thought it’d be.

      “Speak to me in poetry, then,” laughed Becca.

      Colm thought for a while and started to chant in a foreign tongue.

      “It sounds wonderful,” said Becca, “but I don’t understand a word.”

      “Maybe I can think of something that’s in English, then,” he said. “My Irish is rusty anyway. So how about love poetry?” His hands met hers halfway across the table the waiter had just cleared, and he stared into her eyes while he spoke words she could not remember until the rhymes came around two lines later.

      “Do you like it?” Colm asked, when he had finished.

      “I like how it makes me feel,” said Becca, and quoted one or two lines she happened to recall. “It’s a poem I’ve heard before, but never like that.” She squeezed his hands gently. “Thank you,” she added, just to have something to say in the silence.

      “It’s my pleasure,” said Colm. “The words were written with a lovely girl in mind. Someone like you. Can you hear it, behind the words?”

      “I… uh…” Becca stammered.

      “You’re blushing. I’m sorry I embarrassed you,” said Colm.

      “No, I…” and she stopped again. Now he had mentioned it, she could feel her face glowing as she thought about him, reciting poetry, to her, of all people, and…

      And where the evening would go, where it could go, where for the first time in her life she could imagine letting it go. Because after a lifetime of struggle, at last she appeared to be who she really was. The impossible became possible, just because Colm had taken her hands in his and looked into her eyes and dredged a love poem out of his memory.

      “What are you thinking?” he asked.

      “I love… it’s lovely. The poem. Being here, now, with you, and the poem, of course, but mostly you. I dunno what I’m talking about.”

      Colm smiled. “I don’t think I’ve had that effect on a girl before.”

      “Do you have another one?” Becca asked. “Maybe we could, I dunno, hang out somewhere and talk the night away. Sipping sherry or whatever.”

      “I’d like that,” said Colm.

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