Sunday writing chat prompts for 29 Nov 2020

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    • #6600

      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: create, ample, publicity, promise, elbow. (10 min)

      2. Use the phrase, “I’ve forgotten how to dance.” (10 min)

      3. Write about trying to finish before a deadline. (10 min)

    • #6606

      The sun rose the following morning. It does that.

      Mo decided to brush her teeth, hoping the hangover taste would go. Cris was still snoring, though, it seemed, with a smile. Mo heard water running in the other bathroom, so she decided to make coffee first, and found Lia in the kitchen tending to that task.

      “I think you created ample, uh, promise, or something,” said Mo, shading her eyes. “Powerful stuff you cooked up. I trust it did what you wanted?”

      Lia giggled and grinned and nodded, pulling a lock of grey hair out of her eyes.


      Susie woke up to an elbow in her ribs, and tried to imagine how one of her own could do that. It wasn’t hers. Considering the size of her twin bed, she was a little surprised she was still on top of it, and within elbow range of…

      It was Susan, who smiled, stretched, cracked a few joints, and seemed much fresher in the morning than Susie did herself.

      “Ooookay, then,” said Susie, opening the door. She was hoping to get some water from the kitchen without too much publicity in front of the roomies that she had in fact slept with Susan. Well, at least in the literal sense of the words: they slept, together, in the same bed.

      Webb’s door was open and the bed unslept in. But the door to Skud’s room popped open and there were the four of them, all wondering what exactly had gotten into them the previous evening. Besides the wine; that much was obvious, attested by the empty bottle on the table.


      Miranda disengaged herself from a heap of Jim’s people, to see about the fussing of the baby in the next room. They had borrowed a crib from somebody Vicky knew, and Sonia had slept longer than Miranda had any right to expect.

      Sam came out of the bedroom, rubbed an eye, stared at Miranda for a long moment, shrugged, and got some water. Somehow it was different, sitting in the kitchen in the morning sunbeam, giving Sonia her delayed early morning breakfast, than it had been sleeping in a heap in the bedroom.


      “Umkaaay,” said Susie, when she had made a pot of coffee and four people with unkempt hair were sitting around the table sipping it. “Who wants to go first?”

      Susan looked into Susie’s eyes. “I, um, dunno,” was all she could say for herself. And then “Thanks for taking me in?”

      “That’s it?” said Susie. “You’re welcome, by the way. I didn’t know you, like…” she added, hoping the head gesture that followed would obviate the need for words.

      “I guess I’ve kind of forgotten how to dance, or something,” said Susan.

      Skud pushed a hand across the table to Webb, who took it. “Dancing,” they said. “Yeah, that. I dunno if I ever did know how, but we figured it out.”

      Webb looked at Skud, and then at Susie. “I’m just going to… the euphemism,” said Webb.

      “It seems a day for it,” said Susie. “I think there’s an imp nesting in my hair, above my left eye someplace, whacking my temple with a drumstick.”

      “I can’t swear there isn’t,” said Susan, inspecting the bedhead. “I remember the costume you had in first grade… Well, not the costume exactly–were you a bear or something? I forget–as much as trying to help you get the animal ear bit of it out of your hair afterwards.”

      “I’d forgotten about that,” said Susie. “Right about where the imp moved in,” she added, massaging the area.

      Webb returned flopped into the chair again, and refilled everyone’s coffee. Skud was staring, and Webb made no move to break the spell.


      Cris rolled into the kitchen followed closely by Sarah.

      “Hey, you,” said Cris, hip-checking Mo. “Thanks for that.”

      Sarah snuggled in beside Lia where she stood at the counter. “What they said, exactly,” she murmured into Lia’s ear.

      Lia smiled. “I was wondering… I mean I could read the one edit you made, but it’s not all that… impactful, doing it on the women’s side of the house. So when we thought to sequence Jim’s genome… Clever. So I synthesized some of it, with the help of some yeast, and…”

      “I wonder if there’ll be more grandchildren for the holidays next year,” said Sarah. “Ours and other people’s, with a little help from the clinic. It was a bit of a rush, getting it ready in time for Jim, what with all the Sturm und Drang around getting Miranda going.

    • #6607

      “Yep. I am the youngest I have an older brother and an older sister. In their infinitely higher levels of wisdom, they usually voted against me.” Allison said. “So instead of my parent’s creating a tiebreaker when I was born, they unknowingly created a butt of jokes and someone for my siblings to elbow each other and snicker.”

      “Ahh.” I said. “That explains the introversion you claim to have.”

      “Yeah, you learn to not draw attention to yourself pretty quick.”

      “So how does that fit in to working with Kamila. Doesn’t your firm do publicity?”

      “We do marketing and online presence consulting. But most of that work is done in the background.” She glanced at the kids to check on them and smiled. “I do most of the office accounting and administration. The type of work done deep in the shadows. I promise you, there is never a reason for me to be in the spotlight.”

      “Well, I’m glad Kamila let you out of the dungeon today.” I motioned to DJ and Joey playing with Leah’s kids. “I know DJ is having a blast now that he isn’t the only boy in the group.”

      Allison smiled. “Me too. Joey is usually really reserved around new kids. I honestly can’t get over how much he’s participating. Usually, he’d be beside me on the blanket watching the other kids play.”

      The kids looked like they were having a great time. DJ and Joey were having mini races with each other. DJ is usually an outgoing little guy and today is no different. “Maybe we can get together and do a play date with the kids.” I said before my brain caught up with my mouth. For Pete’s sake, I’m in no shape to start dating again. If I was, Allison would be the perfect type. Warm, homey and smart. She had her head on straight. All the more reason not to get involved now when I’m still in the middle of a messy divorce.

      She looked surprised. “Yeah, I suppose we could do that.” She watched the kids. “We have to be super careful. Even though I know we’re following all of the safety protocols, today is outside my comfort zone.”

      “We can figure it out.” I nodded to the boys. “We’re kind of in the same social bubble so it’s safer than meeting up with classmates from school.”

      “You are right about that.” She thought to herself and then nodded. “Yeah. I think that’s a great idea.”

      DJ came running up to our blanket. “Dad, we have to go. Mom is picking me up at four and it’s almost three.”

      “Okay my man.” I stood up. “I have almost everything packed. How about you fold up the blanket and then we’ll be ready to go.”

      I’d barely stepped off of the blanket when my kids pulled it away. “Easy kiddo. You don’t want to kill your old man. Then who would drive you?”

      “Sorry Dad. Mom promised we could go to MacDonald’s for supper.”

      “MacDonald’s eh?” I looked over to Allison with a smirk on my face. “She doesn’t cook.” I turned back to my son. “I thought your mother hated MacDonald’s.”

      “She does.” He said as he lined up the ends of the blanket with the sloppy precision only a six-year old can manage. “She gets me drive thru.” He finished rolling up the blanket with a flourish. “Ready.”

      I crouched down to his height. Secretly pleased that he’d managed to keep his mask on all afternoon while playing. “Is it okay with you if I made arrangements for you and Joey to play together again sometime?”

      “Without the girls?”

      “Yeah. Or we could invite them too.”

      “No.” he shook his head. “Just me and Joey is good.”

    • #6608

      My first break with kids my age, was when they became interested in parties and disco, while I still wanted to spend my days at the park, riding my bicycle. I was not completely disinterested in going dancing, but no one would teach me how; they said “just move your body” and that was too ill-defined for me, so I didn’t go. The way my brain works, I need to know how to do something before I can do it.

      I did learn some folk dances in my teens, and then later on took a salsa class. The folk dancing was the best, because I could sit out and watch until I got how it was done, and THEN when I tried it, I knew what to do and could do it quite well. With the salsa class, everyone had to do it at the same time, and those brief practices didn’t give me enough time to properly learn the steps… I got it eventually, but I was always lagging behind the rest of the class. One unexpected thing I learned from those lessons, was that I preferred dancing with women. I also wanted to learn swing dancing, but there wasn’t a class available at the time, and later I never got around to it. Even with the dances I had learned, I never had any opportunity to dance after the classes were finished. I think by now I’ve forgotten how. Which is too bad; I had enjoyed dancing, for that brief period in my life.

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