Saturday, September 22, 2012

Interruption of Normal Service

For reasons that will be enthusiastically expounded upon in posts to come, my attention is currently directed elsewhere—to the extent that I may not manage to even post writing prompts for a few days. Normal posts will resume ASAP. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Timed Writing Prompt for 9/20/2012

Prompt: "...what do you let a person look at your hand for, with that awful thing printed in it?"
Source: Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain

[about my timed writing exercises]

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Timed Writing Prompt for 9/18/2012


Prompt: "...one thing alone protected you and kept the peace between us: that we disagreed..."
Source: The Paradoxes of Mr. Pond by G.K. Chesterton

[about my timed writing exercises]

Monday, September 17, 2012

Timed Writing Prompt for 9/17/2012



Prompt: "...his body was seldom clean, combed or freshly shaven..."
Source: Elizabethan Costuming by Janet Winter & Carolyn Savoy

[about my timed writing exercises]

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Timed Writing Prompt for 9/16/2012



Prompt: "...his substance, partly aerial, partly terrestrial, accompanied by wetness..."
Source: Serendipities: Language and Lunacy by Umberto Eco

[about my timed writing exercises]

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Timed Writing Prompt for 9/15/2012


Prompt: "...a well-known condition among some shooters—the yips, the shakes, it went by various..."
Source: The Big Burn by Timothy Egan

[about my timed writing exercises]

Friday, September 14, 2012

Timed Writing Prompt for 9/14/2012


Prompt: "...having viewed the bodies before us, we can see by the signs on them that they came to their deaths by visitation of..."
Source: Havoc in Its Third Year by Ronan Bennett

[about my timed writing exercises]

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Timed Writing Prompt for 9/13/2012


Prompt: "...in wrath and madness, it had plucked loose the chain, and smitten or bitten all who came in its path..."
Source: The White Company by A. Conan Doyle

[about my timed writing exercises]

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Timed Writing Prompt for 9/11/2012


Prompt: "...I had loaded too much powder in the hole and that was a waste of money..."
Source: From Shoebox to Rockets by Elmer Johnston

[about my timed writing exercises]

Monday, September 10, 2012

Timed Writing Prompt for 9/10/2012



Prompt: "...taken aback by the little man's scream of indignation and the demonic look on his face..."
Source: Ninjutsu: History and Tradition by Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi

[about my timed writing exercises]

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Timed Writing Prompt for 9/8/2012


Prompt: "...was seated in the chimney-corner of a certain tavern, which has been, time out of mind..."
Source: The Lamplighter by Charles Dickens

[about my timed writing exercises]

Friday, September 7, 2012

Timed Writing Prompt for 9/7/2012


Prompt: "...their hands were concealed by their sleeves, their feet by their robes, their eyes by their caps..."
Source: The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo

[about my timed writing exercises]

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Timed Writing Prompt for 9/6/2012


Prompt: "...she was lying at the old decayed wharf by the lumber-yard..."
Source: The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe

[about my timed writing exercises]

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Timed Writing Prompt for 9/5/2012


Prompt: "...an open grave that had been dug in a deserted churchyard, beyond the city gates..."
Source: A House of Pomegranates by Oscar Wilde

[about my timed writing exercises]

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Timed Writing Prompt for 9/2/2012



Prompt: "...up to the foot of the rock ran the yellow sands of the actual desert..."
Source: The Naulahka: A Story of West and East by Rudyard Kipling & Wolcott Balestier

[about my timed writing exercises]

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Timed Writing: 9/1/2012

Astute readers will note that this initially posted as prompt only. Well, now that I'm back online, I figured it was time I post an actual exercise. Maybe I'll backfill a couple more from the past week. We'll see.

Time: 15 minutes
Prompt: "...as far as I could scan it, it appeared the most uncouth animal I had ever beheld..."
Source: The Bible in Spain by George Borrow

I'm a simple man. I like simple things. I like a warm bed, a wet bath, and an intelligent toilet.

I have a quiet job. A job that should be quiet. Boring. I should get bored with my work. Bored is good. I like bored. That's what I like. That's why I took this job. You can have the excitement, the thrills, the stimulation and shit. Give me a nice piece of boredom with nobody to bother me and a nice little wage that isn't big enough for any of you to want to cut. Don't give me any of this strange animal shit. This kind of responsibility. Not like I was asking for intrigue and adventure, now, was I?

So yeah, technically—technically—my job description includes cataloging of all intruders. Yes, that includes anyone—or anything—not glowing an authorization aura. And yes, I'm technically supposed to be ready, at all times, to catalogue such intruders, be they human or otherwise, regardless of whether my scanner is operational. I passed the cataloging tests though, didn't I? Guess maybe your tests weren't any good, were they? Don't get on my case if you passed a flunkie.

Besides, who'd ever want to intrude 'round here? By far the most boring place on earth. That's why I took the bloody job, isn't it? I happen to like boring and this job was supposed to be boring. That's what I was led to believe. A chance to spend my mornings lazing 'round the flat, then come in here to work four in the afternoon till midnight. Watch the sunset, maybe, whiles walking the grounds. Just stroll about with this here scanner on my shoulder and point it at any little bugger that moves. That's my job.

Tonight? Well yeah. So tonight wasn't boring, was it? Fucking weird, it was. Don't like that. I like boring. But tonight—well tonight, just as I was settling in for a nice little walk about the grounds—just as I was going past them thermal diffusion tanks, out beyond the stardrive assembly plant—yeah, you know where I mean—well, that's when it jumped out at me. Okay, so it didn't jump really. More kind of rustled and slinked and slid, I guess. Fast though. One second I was flashing my beam around at the tree tops and next minute, there it is in front of me, filling up the whole path and a lot taller than me. Couldn't make out how far it went back into the dark behind. But those pinchers! Fuck.

I done my best to get its image. Didn't come out so good, but I did try. As far as I could scan it, it appeared the most uncouth animal I had ever beheld. And its talk was worse than its appearance. That's for sure. I turned that scanner beam on it straight away and it says—it actually talked!— it says, "Fuck you." Would you believe it? A creature like that? Speaks my language is bad enough, but then it says, "Fuck you. Fuck you, fucking Earthling." That's what it said. Least that's what I think it said. The mic on the scanner cut out same time as the scanner, so I'm not super clear. And it had a weird accent. That's for sure.

But then, after it said "Fuck you," it turned around. It just said, "Fuck you, you stupid, fucking Earthling," and then it turned around—all fifty feet of it, with all them slimy legs—or what do you call them—you know, like what octopuses have. Sort of like that. But not that floppy. Shit, I don't know what to call them. Legs, I guess.

Well it whips its self around on all its legs—must have been a hundred legs. Maybe more. Bet even you couldn't have counted them fast enough. And when it's got all turned around and is going back down the path, away from me, it farts. Yeah. Farts. Big cloud of the foulest stink I ever seen. Man, was it awful. Nearly passed out then, didn't I? Tried to take another scan of the animal as it left, but that billow of butt stink—something in it must have fried the scanner, 'cause ain't nothing of that animal's ass in the images.

No. Course I don't expect you to take my word for it. Expect you'll fire me and pick up some moron to replace me tomorrow. That's what I expect. Won't change what I saw though. It was there alright. Uncouth motherfucker with a thousand legs. Hell. Go ahead and fire me. I only wanted this job 'cause it was boring. I don't need any of this stimulating crazy weird uncouth animal shit. Keep that for yourselves. I just want a nice little wage and my quiet mornings.

I'm a simple man, and it's been a hell of a long night. And frankly, I'm sick to hell of talking to you. I've got an early appointment with my toilet, and it knows when to talk and when to shut up, so to hell with all of you. I'm gone.



[about my timed writing exercises]


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