Bouncing around blog land, I came across Raven's blog and her weekly meme, "Wordzzle" challenge. It sounded like an easy enough thing to do so I picked up the glove and self tagged. I don't promise to keep this up weekly as I don't know how much I'll enjoy it. Or how much time I'll have later on. Until then, here's the skinny on the Wordzzle.
It's week 16 of the Saturday Wordzzle challenge. Anyone new to the process can refer back here to find out how it works. The woman who started this is Raven. What she does is give us a bunch of random words and phrases to make into a SHORT paragraph. It's great fun and a good challenge for your creativity.
The words for this week's ten word challenge were: spaghetti, larkspur, Prilosec, roaring lion, adamant, green green grass of home, paradox, filibuster, face cream, trout fishing And for the Mini Challenge (designed after a request for fewer words): jury of ones peers, barking dog, a wing and a prayer, liver, sprained ankle.
Raven put some guidelines up on week two to help handle things:
1) If there is a word or phrase which seem like the most difficult to use, try to get it out of the way first.
2) Sometimes especially outrageous words can be turned into the name of a character, e.g. given the words Bambi and bonanza on one occasion, I created a character named Bambi Bonanza, thus eliminating two really hard to use words in one easy stroke. Try to keep the names plausible, though. Nothing like teddy bear toothbrush. That's just cheating.
3) If you come across a word whose meaning you don't know or can't quite remember, there are a number of solutions. One very simple one is to have a character tell you that they don't know what it means. Make it part of the title of a book. Put it on a flag or poster. If you think you can get away with it, use it to name the cat or dog, a company or a castle.
4) Let your imagination play. It is not necessary to write the Great American Paragraph, to be profound, to make perfect logical sense or to write with total scientific or historic accuracy. The idea is to have a good time and to stimulate your creativity.
5) Don't work too hard. I seldom spend more than 20-30 minutes on these exercises. But it's up to you. If you want to spend time crafting a masterpiece why not? As long as you enjoy the process. If you aren't enjoying it then it is probably doing your creative juices more harm than good and you might want to find another way to entertain yourself.
That's about all the hints I can offer. This is an art, not a science, a game, not a chore.
So here's my effort on the Ten Word Challenge:
Trying to deny the existence of her Prilosec headache, Samantha decided to go ahead with the longer but delicious version of her grandmother's spaghetti sauce for the gathering of friends she was hosting. She didn't really feel like cooking this evening. Lord knows it was hot enough, but if she didn't start on the sauce tonight there wouldn't be time to complete the rest of the menu tomorrow. In the back yard she could hear her husband giving their son, Jason, his fly casting lessons in preparation for the planned trout fishing trip to the rivers of North Carolina. She was looking forward to the trip and spending time with her childhood friend Joann and others from school. She didn't know if there'd be much to talk about. The flat lands and distances of the great plains had definitely taken their toll on her life. Living under the unshaded sun of their Oklahoma ranch she felt like she'd become as aged and uninteresting as the crumbling bank of the dead creek that was just a stepping stone away from their back fence and the reason for John's being adamant on a fishing trip. He wanted their son to be able to see mountains and know the joy of bringing in a fighting demon before he headed off to law school. Yes, the green, green grass of home was definitely calling her. "Why did I even put up a fight?" she asked herself. Then she remembered their "discussion" on where to stay. John had wanted to camp along the rivers while she wanted to stay in a nice bed and breakfast in town. "How could I have forgotten?" she wondered. The argument had lasted for days. John knew she didn't like camping. Laughing, she remembered how she'd almost called off the wedding when he suggested it for their honeymoon. But the paradox created by their at odds vacation expectations had defeated him till he agreed that she needn't accompany the men on their overnight treks. It bothered her, not doing things together as a family should. With the scent of dried mown lawn and larkspur on the evening breeze aggravating her headache she pushed her worry down as she gathered her ingredients. Knowing she'd be up late till the sauce completed its 5 hour cooking process, she figured if she didn't get rid of the headache it would be so bad by the time she got to bed that she would have to sleep in another room so that her crying didn't disturb John. Hating that she did so, Samantha downed a hydrocodone in the hopes that the drug would create a filibuster in her system preventing the headache's progression to migraine status. And it was finally working when Jason and John came racing in hollering about the upcoming storm which was blowing in. She could hear the wind coming growling through the sparse trees like a roaring lion. The change in weather hadn't dimmed their excitement at Jason's putting the training fly in the target ring seven times in a row. She congratulated her men and reminded them it was almost dinner time. That being done she got back to her sauce which had now taken on the consistency of lumpy face cream, meaning she needed to add more water to the pot.
Ok, that wasn't a quick exercise. Hopefully I'll get faster if I practice. And it actually feels like more of a story than a paragraph. It seems to want breaking up at several points. Considering the length of time it took me to do the 10 word challenge I understand the request for the mini challenge. If I do this again I may tackle the mini instead. In fact it may be a requirement that I do the mini instead. See that list below? They looked good until I tried to use my dictionary to find out one of their meanings. It wasn't in there. It wasn't on the Oxford web site either. So can anyone tell me please, "What does prenomial mean?"
Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: prenomial, inexplicable, tangerine, masks, chocolate cake, panorama, librarian,
Since my group shares memes and of course, we write a lot, I'd like to invite Paschal, JS, San, Sandi, and Anne to join in.