Sunday writing chat prompts for 31 Jan 2021

Home Forums Just the Place for a Snark Sunday writing chat prompts for 31 Jan 2021

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    • #7075

      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: meet, date, announcement, practice, rainbow. (10 min)

      2. Use the phrase, “There’s only one left.” (10 min)

      3. Write about hoping someone understands. (10 min)

    • #7076

      It was one of those days when the group leader wanted to have a field trip for everybody, going into spaces that were usually off limits, to demonstrate some stuff. Which meant that it would happen in the middle of someone’s sleep cycle, and Jun drew the short straw. She thought this was unfair because she was the junior person in the group, and so arguably most in need of eyes-on experience of the equipment.

      “Meh,” said Gwen, who was just coming off shift. “I haven’t been in there either.”

      Jun spent her spare time during the shift just prior re-reading the announcement to be sure of the date, which was always confusing since she got off shift at midnight. Gin wanted to meet after shift to decompress, but that would eat into Jun’s sleep time, so she regretfully said no. She was aware of Gin coming in sometime later, and she tried to get up and going quietly without lights. But it takes practice, and living in each others’ back pockets since they were on the same shift most of the time had gotten them into the habit of spending all their time together.

      She had also been going over the drawings of the valves and pumps they’d be visiting, trying to imagine the situation. There were tanks all around, typically wrapping the ship and so at like a gee and a half worth of rotational fake gravity. Centrifugal force. But that was handy compared to zeroG, because at least the liquid would stay put near the drains and you don’t have to do anything fancy to get the flow started.

      But the plumbing compartment was at halfG, and so they’d have to be careful not to move around too quickly. It’d be about the same as the cafeteria, but Jun didn’t really spend much time there, and most of that was sitting down eating.

      Jun found her way aft, having figured out that there were no passageways on the halfG deck. Some of the equipment was big and so the passageways were threaded in between things that were where they were for sound engineering reasons unrelated to convenience of the crew. She climbed the ladder and there was the door, and there was the group, except for their leader. “Where’s Mona?”

      “There’s always one left to come,” said Jon. Gwen took advantage of the time to do some stretching exercises on the ladder up to the next deck. “Long shift?” Jon asked her.

      “Meh,” she said. “Usual, pretty much. Come look at this,” she added.

      In the aft wall of the compartment, there was a window into the vacuum spaces, and as it happened one of the thrusters they were responsible for was a meter or so beyond the window, aimed kind of sideways. Which made sense when Jun thought about it for a few seconds, since this system was about helping out the gyros stabilizing the spin of the ship. There was a different system for getting from here to there.

      “It’s unloading angular momentum,” said Gwen.

      “It’s like a rainbow,” said Jun. “At least when the sun goes by.” Which it did pretty often, but it made Jun dizzy to watch. Really it was they who were rotating, which gave them centrifugal fake gravity, and attitude stability. But it’s easier to think about the ship as mostly stationary and the rest of the universe whirling around them.

      Which brought her back to missing that hour or two with her pod mate in the zeroG lounge, where the twistiness of the motion was obvious.

      The midshippers in her class came aboard during the last earth flyby, so everyone else had already been there at least a year and a half, what it took for a round trip. They were right out of the academy, technically not graduated until they qualified on their systems, so it was pretty stressful. They had studied hard, worked hard learning how to live in variable gravity, how to wear a flight suit that had ideas of its own about where your blood should go and what other body parts might need supporting when you got off the lift and the guys were watching.

      And they played hard, especially in the zeroG lounge after their work shifts. Comparing notes, it turned out most of the girls at least had done acrobatics as kids, and so they started out doing various twisty solo flyings across the room while people watched from around the sides where there was a little bit of centrifugal force, enough to make drinking easy.

      When the Environmentals were having trouble with the heat, and learning on the job while everybody else just wanted to know if, and when, they’d be done… Jun and Gin had started sharing a sleeping bag, just because of the body heat. From there to shared zeroG acrobatic tricks was a short step and it seemed obvious.

      She missed Gin when she had to sleep alone.

      “What are you thinking about?” Jon wanted to know, while they waited.

      Jun looked at him. He seemed to have grown out of his fascination with her flight suit and its fit, varying with the grav situation. But she was not at all sure she wanted him knowing that she was hoping Gin would understand the need to sleep alone, hit the sack right after shift, and miss out on dancing with her in zeroG. Nope, not telling him about that.

    • #7077

      ANNOUNCEMENT: Due to the continued restrictions to help combat the pandemic, we will not be able to hold our annual Rainbow Recreation Day. In its stead, we suggest that families meet together within their bubble and practice the events for a date in the future when we can all gather together again.

      DHANNAH: Well, that bites. My child was looking forward to hanging out with the other kids.
      ALVIE: So was mine. Kids are growing bored because they can’t play with their friends as much as before. Summer break kinda bites the big one this year.
      DHANNAH: I hear ya. My co-workers and I have created a bubble but even then, the kids can’t get together very often.
      BENTLEY: Is it safe with your coworkers?
      DHANNAH: As safe as any. We’re mostly single parents and we already spend workdays together. It feels like it would be less risky to include our children than to spend time with another, not already connected family.
      ALVIE: I agree with Dhannah, that sounds safer since you’re already crossing paths.

      “Mom.” Joey distracts me from the forum. “There’s only one ice cream sandwich left. Can I have it?”

      “Can you have it….what?”

      “Please, Mom. Can I please have the last ice cream sandwich, please?” he giggled as he threw his little arms around my neck and gave me a big sloppy kiss.

      “Since you asked so nicely, I guess you can have the last one.”

      “Thanks Mom. You’re the bestest mom in the entire, whole world.”

      I did a pseudo bow without moving from my cross-legged position on the couch, I waved my arm with a flourish to the side, nearly making my laptop into a lap-topple-to-the-floor in the process. “Thank you for appreciating my magnificence, oh thou son of mine.”

      His laughter made me smile.

      All things considered we were doing all right. This was a tough time, especially for a six-year-old. It was a delicate balance between telling him enough about the threat of Coronavirus, hoping he’ll understand and be safe without scaring him so much that he’s afraid of everything.

      Thank God for the online forum for single parents I found. We try to keep ourselves anonymous, hell we don’t even say what gender our children are unless it’s relevant to a specific issue. Although some of the names give it away. I went to middle school with a Dhannah, I often wonder if that’s her on the forum.

      “Wash your hands when you’ve finished your ice cream. I don’t want sticky fingerprints everywhere.”

      A laboured sigh comes from the kitchen. “Yes, Mom.”

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