Summer Short & Sweet – Week 2

Happy Friday, Everyone!

Hurray!!!  It’s time for another Short & Sweet!  But first…

I have returned from The Pine Tree State where I still did not see a moose!  I saw signs – “Moose Crossing”, “Watch for moose in roadway” and just plain

but although pretty much everyone else in the northern hemisphere has seen an actual moose, I still haven’t.  Don’t get me wrong… I do not want to meet one in my car at 60 mph!  I just want to see a real one looking serene in his or her natural surroundings 🙂 preferably alongside a cute baby moose 🙂

Anyway, onto business.  The winner of the June pitch pick, whose pitch will go for a read by editor Erin Molta, is none other than the fabulous Lori with her pitch for These Little Piggies!  Congratulations, Lori!  And congratulations and thanks to all who bravely put forth their pitches – you are all winners in my book just for stepping up to the plate!

In other Would You Read It news, the vote for whether or not to keep the system the way it is was TOTALLY evenly split and indecisive!  So now what?  I don’t know.  I’ll have to think on it.  While I think, nothing will change.  If anyone has thoughts or opinions, please share 🙂

Now then, are you ready?  Let the fun begin!!!!!!!!

Today’s Short & Sweet will work best if you don’t peek 🙂  I’m not sure quite how to accomplish that on a blog post, so let’s go on the honor system – no scrolling down yet!

First, pick a number from 1-10.  Got it?  Write it down.

Now pick a number from 1-10 again and write that down.

Now do it again.

And now one last time.

(BTW, it’s okay of you pick the same number more than once.  If you want to make it really random you can roll a pair of dice and just discard any 11s or 12s you roll, or take an ace-10 out of a deck of cards and randomly choose cards.)

Hopefully you now have 4 numbers between 1 and 10 written down (for example, I have 3, 7, 1, and 5)

Now, use your first number to select from this list:

     Character:

  1. A pirate who likes to sing
  2. A little girl who doesn’t want to practice her violin
  3. A zookeeper with a lost animal
  4. A 5 year old girl with a rainbow umbrella
  5. A homeless child
  6. A boy whose father is a Navy SEAL
  7. A monster who is afraid of thunderstorms
  8. A disobedient robot
  9. A sailor who is far from home
  10. A six year old boy who can’t ride his two-wheeler

Use your second number to select from this list:

     Setting:
  1. a museum
  2. a national park
  3. a playground
  4. a big city
  5. a birthday party
  6. the porch of an old farmhouse
  7. an enchanted forest
  8. a fancy restaurant
  9. the moon
  10. Baskin Robbins Ice Cream Shop

Use your third number to select from this list:

     Time:
  1. first day of school
  2. the Fourth of July
  3. during a thunderstorm
  4. in early autumn
  5. sitting down to breakfast
  6. bath time
  7. the first warm day of spring
  8. during church
  9. a winter evening
  10. after a fight

And use your last number to select from this list:

     Situation/Challenge:
  1. something embarrassing has just happened
  2. someone feels like giving up
  3. someone has to keep a secret
  4. an important decision has to be made
  5. someone has lost something
  6. someone has found something
  7. someone’s pride has been injured
  8. something is where it shouldn’t be
  9. someone has been chosen for something
  10. something has made someone mad

You should now have a randomly selected character, setting, time, and situation/challenge – everything you need to prompt a story!

In the comments below, list the 4 you got and write 50-100 words of whatever story they suggest to you!  Don’t agonize!  Don’t over-think!  We’re all among friends.  Just write!  All we’re doing here is priming the pump.  If all you can squeeze out is 50 rusty words, that’s fine!  You wrote 50 words in the middle of your hectic, busy day!  But maybe, just maybe, 25-50 more will trickle out a little less rusty, and maybe after you’ve written your 50-100 here you’ll find you’ve got a gush of clear water rushing forth and a whole  new story will well up and land on your list of accomplishments for today!

Oh, and if you find it’s too hard to include all 4, it’s okay to just use 1, 2, or 3 of the prompts you picked – the exercise is just to get ideas and words flowing 🙂

Here’s my example in case you don’t quite get it:
The numbers I chose were 3, 7, 1, 5, so I get

Character #3 – a zookeeper with a lost animal
Setting #7 – an enchanted forest
Time #1 – the first day of school
and Situation/Challenge #5 – someone has lost something (which accidentally overlaps with the character description so I’m only going with one lost thing!)
Given these prompts, I might write the following 50-100 words:
George took his job as zookeeper of the enchanted forest very seriously.
At the end of each day he checked that the unicorns had plenty of magic meadow grass.
He made sure the griffin’s nest was comfy and the sphinx had his book of riddles.
He tested the mermaids’ pool – it would never do if it was too cold!
He made sure the dragon had plenty of fresh water in case he set his bed (or anything else!) on fire.
Then he double-checked that all the cages were locked, said, “Good night my friends!”, and went home to his supper.
But on the first school day of the year, with Miss Venus’s class field trip due any minute, George arrived to find that the Loch Ness Monster, had gone missing!
“How can this be?” he moaned, wringing his hands.  “I was so careful!  And Nessie’s cage is still locked!”

(OK.  I’m wordy.  And I got caught up 🙂 149 words.)
See how easy?  Ready, set, WRITE! 🙂  I can’t wait to see what you come up with! 🙂

P.S.  For anyone who’s just finding Summer Short & Sweets, full info is on that link or above in the tab 🙂

103 thoughts on “Summer Short & Sweet – Week 2

  1. Kim Murray says:

    Better late than never! Thanks Susanna for letting me know which weeks I missed…

    7 – Monster who is afraid of thunderstorms
    3 – Playground
    4 – Early Autumn
    2 – Someone who feels like giving up

    Monsters are supposed to be scary, not scared. They are supposed to shout, “Boo!” — not whimper like a baby and cry, “Boo Hoo.”

    But, when the thunder boomed and the lightening cracked, you could hear Petey’s wails across the whole playground. He howled and hammered his tail against the ground with every Crash! Boom! Bang! refusing to come out from under the bridge until the early autumn sky shone pink instead of ominous grey.

    When the storm’s painful pummeling finally stopped he lumbered over to the swings amidst the twitters and whispers from the other, braver monsters. As he glided back and forth he practiced his resignation speech. Tomorrow he was leaving the monster academy.

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