Welcome To Summer Short And Sweets!!!

Did everyone have a nice 4th of July?  I hope so!

I’m happy to report that we celebrated with homemade blueberry pie and vanilla ice cream (that’s white and blue, anyway, even if we a little short in the red department) and watching the fireworks above the valley from my parents’ back deck 🙂

And now, at last, it’s finally Friday and time to kick off Summer Short & Sweets!!!

First things first…..

Please help yourself to a beach cookie (or 2 or 5)…

…and some fresh lemonade 🙂

Ah!  Summery 🙂

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for (or at least the moment I’ve all been waiting for :))
duhn duhn duhn…. the big unveiling!!!

TA-DA!

Badge created by the incomparable Loni Edwards

Just look at this creation of beauty which you may all help yourselves to if you so desire!!!  I hope you’re able to read the part that says “Writing For Kittens” 🙂  (I also hope that if you need any art work done for any reason you will contact Loni – she does such great art and is a joy to work with 🙂  Same goes for Heather… but more about that in a few weeks… I am all about the surprises up my sleeve :))

Let’s start with a brief explanation of SS&S because I’m not actually sure I wrote this down yet anywhere 🙂

The object of Summer Short & Sweets is to keep our writing oars in even as we are caught up in the happy, busy, outdoor fun of summer.  We do not want our writing brains to go on luxury vacation because they are SO hard to jump start when school starts.  The Short & Sweets will be little fun exercises we can do together and share to keep those writing sparks flying and to make sure we write a little even while we’re playing whiffle ball, backyard volleyball, and frisbee golf, making sure our toddlers don’t fall in the pool or get swept away by ocean waves or buried by their older siblings in the sandbox, taking our pre-teens to Little League or Lego Tournaments or tap lessons, teaching our 16-year-olds to drive (I personally am sporting a whole new streak of gray hair, and the imaginary brake on the passenger side of the car is getting quite a workout :)), and tending campfires while we watch the summer sun swim down below the western hills and the fireflies come out (and if you’re at my house, watch the marshmallows catch on fire and become charcoal covered goo on a stick :))

Short & Sweets will last for 8 weeks, each Friday from today through Friday August 24.  For every Short & Sweet entry you write into the comments you will receive 1 point.  You may of course write 2 entries, (or even 3 or 5 or 7 if you are feeling inspired!)  At the end of Short & Sweets there will be prizes (which I am still working on) that will be based on the total points for the summer.  The minimum number to qualify for a prize will be 8 points – 1 each week of Short & Sweets.  If you choose to do more, you can rack up points and I’ll make sure you get something good! but you must do at least one each week to qualify.  The more points you have, the better the prizes.  I’m going to try to get you some critiques as well as signed books and other goodies 🙂  Feel free to let me know if there’s something in particular your little hearts desire as a prize.

The other advantage of Short & Sweets?  We will all inspire each other’s creativity.  Once you’ve put your challenge response in the comments, scroll through everyone else’s and see what they came up with.  Maybe your own entry won’t spark a story idea for you, but maybe someone else’s will!  (And don’t worry – everything will be vague enough that there’s no way 2 people will ever write the same story off the same prompt.  It just doesn’t work that way :))

Now then.  Are you ready for some Short & Sweet fun???

Here’s today’s challenge.  We’ll start nice and easy 🙂

In the comment section below, list the first five nouns, the first five adjectives, and the first five verbs that come to mind when you think about either the beach, the town pool, or the local ice cream shop.  (And when I say the first five, I just mean don’t spend forever on it – you can tweak the words that come to mind into more descriptive ones if you like – run into chase for example – but this whole exercise shouldn’t take more than about 2 or 3 minutes.)  Then pick one each of your nouns, adjectives and verbs and write a sentence that could start a story!

Here’s an example for the beach:
Nouns: shells, waves, sun, seagulls, kite
Adjectives: windy, salty, bright, wet, sandy
Verbs: dig, chase, squeal, laugh, splash
Howard was digging down through the wet sand when his shovel hit something hard that glinted in the sun.

See how easy?  Now you try!

And as an example of where you might go with this, if anyone wants to take Howard and run with him while you’re lifeguarding at the edge of the pool later or chauffeuring the littles around town, the obvious thing for his shovel to hit would be a pirate’s treasure chest, but what if it was something else?  An old English car that had somehow crossed the ocean and wound up on Howard’s beach… A genie’s lamp… A silver medallion with a huge emerald in the center and words in a mysterious language around the edge…  A dinosaur scale… that was still attached to the dinosaur!…  A giant’s gold-capped tooth…! 🙂

I hope you will think this is Short, Sweet, and fun!  I’m really looking forward to seeing what people come up with!  And if anyone ends up getting a story idea out of this, please tell us!  Any 12x12ers, this might be a great place to start thinking for your July manuscript 🙂

Have fun, have a great weekend, and please tune in Monday for Q&A with the fabulous editor, Erin Molta!

95 thoughts on “Welcome To Summer Short And Sweets!!!

  1. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    🙂

    Tracy Campbell wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    Wonderful! I'm glad you've let me join in. I'll be linking this on my blog later today. And Susanna, glad you loved my wacky piece.

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  2. Loni says:

    Thanks for the props on the badge Susanna! I'm so glad you liked it 🙂

    I'm late to the party, sorry, I had to work. But here is my entry which did fuel me into thinking about my July MS – Hooray!

    guitar, rocks, waves, ocean, beach, boy
    gentle, rocky, salty, carefully, jagged
    listen, climb, move, avoid, see

    The sound of a guitar gently filled the salty air as James climbed along the jagged rocks, carefully avoiding the lapping waves.

  3. Penny Klostermann says:

    So you said we could write more than one…and I had a shower inspiration! I had to keep repeating it while I rinsed my hair! It's another ocean one, so if I can only have one ocean one…that's OK. I just have fun doing this kind of thing.

    shark, fish, sand, park, dog
    sunny, sinister, seaside, relaxing, crunchy
    surveilling, swishing, swimming, crashing, swirling

    Swishy spotted a sinister shark
    surveilling the sandy seaside park.

  4. Joanna Marple says:

    pebbles, book, jellyfish, snorkel, yachts
    scorching, crowded, calm, clear, underwater
    read, dive, float, scream, cool off

    Floating far from the crowded beach, Gerry discovered an underwater world of plastic bags, discarded cans and other debris discarded by the flashy yachts.

  5. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    This is great, Joanna! I sense a story that involves recycling or being careful to dispose of waste properly! When we were in Nantucket, a seal beached itself near us because it had some kind of plastic string stuck around its neck. It was awful! About 4 of us called the island animal rescue and we were assured a professional would be out to take care of it. We took turns keeping people away until the guy arrived. We did not have the last turn (had to take the kids in for lunch finally) but the next day the seal was gone, so hopefully it all worked out. Still, a good reason to be so careful with what you throw away!

  6. Cathy Mealey says:

    Nouns: kids, sand, sunscreen, towels, waves
    Adj: bright, hot, sticky, sweaty, frazzled
    Verb: sit, sweat, stare, snooze, wish

    Her hands slick with sunscreen, Izzy pushed back her sandy hair and stared at the waves, trying to spot the crazy kids she had been hired to babysit.

  7. Carrie F says:

    Ice Cream Shop
    Nouns: sundae, dish, milkshake, cow, hot fudge
    Adjectives: delicious, creamy, cool, smooth, chocolate
    Verbs: gobble, munch, enjoy, relax, lick

    Bossie and Berta stood in their stalls, gobbling hay and bickering over whose milk made a better milkshake — Bossie’s chocolate or Berta’s strawberry.

    I can't wait to read through the others. What a fun idea, Susanna!

  8. Donna L Martin says:

    moonlight, mist, stars, waves, mermaid
    shimmer, dashing, blinking, crashing, quiet
    sing, stroll, laugh, swim, play

    The mermaid playfully danced among the waves in the moonlight.

    Stars shimmered in the sky as two young lovers strolled along the water's edge.

  9. Joanna Marple says:

    Oh, poor seal! I am so glad it was people like your family that found him and alerted the animal rescue, as these things are best left to the experts…

  10. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    He was OK besides the thing around his neck – healthy looking. Although I didn't see the actual rescue, I like to believe they came and got the thing off and he went happily back into the ocean.

    Joanna Marple wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    Oh, poor seal! I am so glad it was people like your family that found him and alerted the animal rescue, as these things are best left to the experts…

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  11. Romelle Broas says:

    Hi Susanna,
    I've been stalking your blog during your pitch contests. Summer Short & Sweets sound doable so here I am as a first time participant of your blog.
    Nouns: Pool, beach, sun, waves, sand
    Verbs: Swim, surf, relax, crash, play
    Adjectives: breezy, hot, fun, exciting, cool
    All the sea snails clung to the reef as the waves came crashing, but Sammy got swept away.

  12. Heather N. says:

    I'm a bit late to the party, but here goes!
    Toes, pizza, backyard, fly, apple core
    Sweaty, salty, stinky, breezy, loud
    Flinch, shudder, toss, wiggle, swoop

    “With a loud battle cry, the fly swooped down towards the sweaty boy eating pizza in the backyard.”

  13. Karenlee8888 says:

    Short and Sweet…A Story…
    Posted on July 9, 2012
    This is a little brain exercise using 5 nouns, 5 adjectives and 5 verbs…With these words, I invent a story…Here goes…

    5 nouns…sand, air, rocks, trees, waves…

    5 adjectives…fresh, slippery, cool, wet, huge…

    5 verbs…breathe, walk, climb, sit, lay…

    While walking on the hot sand, I decided to breathe it all in and cool my feet on a very slippery rock…/

    As I admired the waves, the next second I was laying in the shallow water looking at those huge massive trees on the shore…I had lost my footing and now my whole body was cool…It was shocking at first and then really refreshing…I decided to get myself re-balanced and just sit…There is much to be said for sitting…It is a beautiful thing…The world slows down right before your very eyes…I notice the shape of the waves after they flow over parts of my body…A bird flies by me so close that I can hear his wings moving the air…The rocks shimmer under the water as the waves subside…I’m going to sit more often…There are no accidents…I slipped…I sat…I felt…I climb out of the water a better person…

    I think this is supposed to be children’s story…I just wrote whatcame to mind…Not really a children’s story but I did enjoy writing and thinking about this…A fun exercise…

  14. Karen Lee says:

    Short and Sweet…A Story…
    Posted on July 9, 2012
    This is a little brain exercise using 5 nouns, 5 adjectives and 5 verbs…With these words, I invent a story…Here goes…

    5 nouns…sand, air, rocks, trees, waves…

    5 adjectives…fresh, slippery, cool, wet, huge…

    5 verbs…breathe, walk, climb, sit, lay…

    While walking on the hot sand, I decided to breathe it all in and cool my feet on a very slippery rock…/

    As I admired the waves, the next second I was laying in the shallow water looking at those huge massive trees on the shore…I had lost my footing and now my whole body was cool…It was shocking at first and then really refreshing…I decided to get myself re-balanced and just sit…There is much to be said for sitting…It is a beautiful thing…The world slows down right before your very eyes…I notice the shape of the waves after they flow over parts of my body…A bird flies by me so close that I can hear his wings moving the air…The rocks shimmer under the water as the waves subside…I’m going to sit more often…There are no accidents…I slipped…I sat…I felt…I climb out of the water a better person…

    I think this is supposed to be children’s story…I just wrote what came to mind…Not really a children’s story but I did enjoy writing and thinking about this…A fun exercise…

  15. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I think I fixed the duplicate… although with me and technology you just never know 🙂

    Karen Lee wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    Thanks so much for your reply Susanna!! Much appreciated…

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  16. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Ah, so you invited Karen! Thank you, Tracy! 🙂

    Tracy Campbell wrote, in response to Karen Lee:

    Lovely! Karen, I'm glad you took my advice and joined in.

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  17. Sue M. says:

    Running a bit late. Just found this link on Erik's blog.

    town pool
    nouns: lifeguard, diver, swimmer, toddler, parent
    verbs: step, dive, grab, toss, walk
    adjectives: pounding, cold, sunny, thundering, warning

    The lifeguard at Shady Glen Municipal Pool was warning a swimmer when the toddler stepped into the deep end of the pool.

  18. Jennifer Poulter says:

    Nouns: tide, rocks, breakers, fish, tidal-pools
    Adjectives: flecked, gritty, abrasive, cool, salty
    Verbs: rushes, drowns, floats, swims, traps
    The tiny baby shark swam round and round in the tidal pool watched by the small boy who prayed quietly to himself that his older brother not find it.

  19. Jennifer Poulter says:

    Thanks for the invitation Susanna – how do you join in? [I had already posted my entry – was that okay?]

  20. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Your entry was great, Jennifer, and you've joined just by posting it – nothing else needed! Your emails came through out of order, so when I wrote the first response I hadn't seen that you already put in an entry!

  21. Jarmila V. Del Boccio says:

    The flipflop cookie looks real enough to wear, Susanna! I'm late, but here's my feeble attempt:

    The Beach

    Nouns: jellyfish, sand dollars, breeze, toes, sandcastles
    Adjectives: bright, toasted, squishy, energetic, lazy
    Verbs: skipping, danced, floating, gazing, twirled

    The birthday girl twirled her way across the sand, her hair blowing in the breeze until she felt something squishy-squashy beneath her feet…

  22. Robyn Campbell says:

    Vacation, birthday, bite, mint, friends
    visit, lick, smile, wait, watch
    purple, yummy, eager, happy, slow (The ice cream shop worker is always too slow.) *wink*
    On vacation, Gene licked his lips as he waited for that yummy, purple ice cream cone to mold with his tongue.

    *sigh* I'm no Johnny on the spot. It took me two minutes to come up with that junk. (But it's in honor of my hubby. He loves to go to Gastonia and get a grape ice cream cone.) Ha!

    I think I'm all caught up. I think.

  23. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Genius! I love it! Purple ice-cream yum! 🙂 You are amazing to be trying to catch up after all you've been through. Extra ice cream for you 🙂

    Robyn Campbell wrote :

    Vacation, birthday, bite, mint, friends
    visit, lick, smile, wait, watch
    purple, yummy, eager, happy, slow (The ice cream shop worker is always too slow.) *wink*

  24. Laura Renauld says:

    Nouns: picnic table, sugar cone, ice cream, line, napkin
    Adjectives: sweet, impatient, sticky, messy, generous
    Verbs: drip, fall, scoop, lick, shiver
    Distracted and impatient, I lick my dripping cone too hard and my minty confection tumbles to the ground.

  25. Essie Woods says:

    sand,towel,trowel,castle,pants,itchy, scratchy, towering, heavy,tenacious,dig,pile,scrape,smear,bake;

    Jessie attacked the sand vigorously, smearing the scratchy particles up her pants leg and then scratching at them futilely with her trowel.

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