My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
It is hard to mark this as finished since I will be using the entire year. The prompts are fun and challenging. I have been reading all the prompts that are from the start of the year. They are inspired. Having good, interesting and challenging prompts really get the creative juices flowing. As a writer that is what I want, a little prompt, a prod, a push into my creative mind. This book fills that need. It is inspiring.
If you are a writer, then you should pick up this book. It is really a great tool. I am looking forward to the 2017 version as they keep me inspired and thinking when I am between stories or books. The scenes that are in the book are unusual and light a spark.
Where to Find the Daily Prompts: 2016:
This book is avialable in Kindle and Paperback.
This challenge is to post a different blog daily starting with the letter from A to Z.
Today we are celebrating the jovial letter J!
The Blog dejour is:
J.C. has a wonderful blog that tells the steps and struggles of being an author. She shares her progress on works in progress as well as book reviews of books that she is reading. She writes polished and very honest reviews.
Each month she shares her previous month’s words count and explains about her world building and publishing processes. J.C. is also very personable and friendly with her followers. She visits their blogs and offers comments and encouragement.
She also lives on a farm in North Carolina and I enjoy when she shares about her 31 or so cats and kittens. How impressive that they each have a name, and she remembers them.
J.C. Cauthon has several books available on Amazon. She is really a prolific writer, with usually several books in the works at any given time. I think visiting her blog will be an enjoyable visit.
She is also the author of the Daily Prompt 2016 that I use so often. Her prompts are fun and they spark my imagination so well
Enjoy your special letter day today. J. C. Cauthon. Today is all about you!
About the A-Z PE challenge.
This is a fun way to showcase blogs that you like and people that you want to know better. Come join us on the 26 day challenge!
This challenge was created by gapawa.
He came up with the A-Z People Edition challenge and it is an awesome idea. If you want to join in the fun, then just join in.There is no set date or month. Just 26 days of your choosing. Here is the link to the instructional blog you can visit
Here is a Quote from his blog explaining his motivation for this fun challenge.
” This is the people edition! So on the first day you find someone who’s screen name starts with A and you check out their blog. The idea is that you read through some of their posts, introduce yourself and give them some feedback. Then, write your post of the day and publish it, describing who the person is and your experience finding and interacting with them, what you thought of their posts. What you came away with. I think it could be fun:)”
The Prompt from: The Daily Prompt 2016 by J. C. Cauthon
Use the following items to create a scene:
a Gameboy, a basketball, and a pasta strainer
A Brother’s Blessing by Sojourner McConnell
Conrad, sitting with his feet curled up under him at the kitchen table, appeared to be completely focused on the Gameboy propped in his lap. His little brother, Cole sitting directly across the table from him was idly spinning the basketball on one finger.
“Mom, look! I can do it!”
The boy’s mom was leaning against the sink with a pasta strainer in her hand waiting for the last of the water seep out from the spaghetti noodles. “Just a minute, Cole. This is hot!”
“He isn’t supposed to play basketball in the house, is he?” Conrad doesn’t bother looking up from his game, as he makes his announcement.
“Are you going to let him play ball in the house, Mom?” Conrad speaks loudly over the beeping and whirring of the game.
“I am not playing ball in the house, I am just spinning it for Mom, right Mom?”
“No fighting boy’s. Both of you stop playing and set the table. No more arguing.”
Both boys grumble as they drop their toys and began gathering up plates, forks and spoons.
“I’ll call Dad. Boy are you going to get it when he finds out you were playing ball in the house.” Conrad mumbles as he passes Cole.
“Mom, Conrad’s trying to get me in trouble. Tell him to stop!”
“Everyone stop the arguing it is dinner time!”
As Mom carries the spaghetti over to the table she asks, “Who wants to say the blessing?”
“Can I pray that his Game boy breaks?”
“No!” Mom and Dad answer in unison.
“Then not me!” Declared Cole.
The Prompt from: The Daily Prompt 2016 by J. C. Cauthon
Use the following items to create a scene:
A Post-It pad, a nightstand, a wedding dress, a ballet slipper
One Note by Sojourner McConnell
Sylvia stood in the doorway, looking back and forth at the small furniture. She stopped panning the room when her eyes fell on the lone ballet slipper that was lying next to the dressing table. The frilly lace cover almost blocking that small sliver of pink from view. But Sylvia saw it and it made her smile. A forlorn smile that spoke volumes about her emotional state today.
Sylvia, again looked across the room, her mind filled with visions of her little Tracey carrying her ballet slippers into her bedroom every Monday night. Always with the little bun on the back of her head and the pink leotard with flouncy skirt. Her memories were so vivid she could almost touch that golden hair stiff with hair spray and gel.
Blinking back to the present she stepped farther into the room and her eyes lit on the white lace dress placed carefully on the foot of the bed. The white in sharp contrast to the pink and black stripes of the comforter. Reaching out a hand she touched the crisp lace and her hand gently smoothed the material.
Her mind floating back to earlier in the day when that golden haired woman had entered the chapel her face bright with emotion. Her eyes filled with love looking only at the handsome man standing by the alter.
Sylvia wanted to make eye contact with her little girl one more time before she became a married woman. A woman that was starting out life in a different direction. A direction away from her doting mother. Sadness was there, but oh, so much pride. So happy that her beautiful daughter had found the man that she would love, cherish and assist through their life together.
Sylvia never got a chance to look at her, nod in approval and smile with all the love that enveloped her heart when she looked at that dear face. Tracey was focused on the man that had stolen her heart.
Stroking the material, she sat down on the bed next to the long white beaded dress. Her eyes next noticed the small wooden nightstand that typically held her little ballet dancer lamp and the book that she wanted to read before bed. This room had been empty for the last five years while Tracey went to college and then moved into the city to work. Five years since her girl spent more than a night or two in this room. Today there was only the lamp and a yellow post-It pad.
Sylvia did not remember a Post-It pad being in here the last time she dusted. Reaching for the small pad, she saw her daughters small fine penmanship and she read, Mom.
With tears in her eyes she continued to read the quick note on the little yellow square.
You taught love.
Now, I’ll teach love.
I’ll love you always!
A smile crept across Sylvia’s face. Perhaps her daughter did have room enough for her new husband and the mother that loved her so much.
“Don! Don! Let’s go out to dinner and celebrate our daughter’s happiness.”
Standing she went downstairs to the comfort of the living room where she knew she would find her husband. The husband that had always shared her heart with their daughter.
Sylvia remembered that her own heart had expanded to make room for the people that she loved. Both when she left her Mother to marry Don, so many years before, and yet again when she gave birth to Tracey.
Sylvia only needed that one note to remind her.
Today, I am going to share my first rough attempt at suspense. It is probably pretty lame. But I wrote it for my daily prompt. So I might as well share it. Don’t judge it too harshly 🙂
The Prompt from: The Daily Prompt 2016 by J. C. Cauthon
Using the following setting, write a short story or poem:
In an orange room, 7:00 PM
Coming Home by Sojourner McConnell
Sandra King woke up slowly with the feeling that something was wrong. The feeling was intense and made her want to shut her eyes again and become lost in that cloudy nothingness that felt so secure.
Yet, before she could drop back into that dark abyss, she heard the constant tap tap tap across the room in the darkness. Sitting up she strained her eyes to see if she could make out what was making that distracting tapping noise.
Steadily creeping to the bottom of the bed, not daring to place her bare feet on the invisible floor. Her knees pushing down the blanket as she reached the iron bar that made up the foot of the bed. Leaning over the iron bar, the cold cutting into her stomach causing her to shiver. She reached out, stretching as far as her fingertips to go she brushed a cold hard object. Clutching the edge she brought it back to her face so that she could try to make out what it was in the darkness. She could feel the movement inside the object. It was familiar and suddenly she knew that it was simply a clock.
Squinting into the face, she angled the clock in an attempt to get a glimmer of light to cross the oval glass face. Shifting back and forth she found the thin stream of light and read. 7:00. She knew it was night, there was no light streaming in to give any semblance of daylight.
Why was she in this strange room at seven pm? It made no sense to her. The last thing she remembered after arriving at the train station in Omaha, was coming up the walk to her Grandparents house.
Where was her grandmother and why was she feeling so fuzzy and thick. “Where in the world am I?” Oh no, she did not sound like herself, she sounded hoarse and stuffy. Had she been drugged? With the tapping of the clockworks filling the room, she felt more comfortable to examine this dark room.
Climbing off the bed she cautiously placed her feet on the floor and shuffled directly across the room until she touched the wall. Her hands slid along the wall and she felt the narrow knob coming out of the wall. She flipped it up and the light almost blinded her. The overhanging light fixture reflected off of the orange walls causing even more confusion. Why was she in an orange room? Who painted a room orange?
Her confusion was growing by the moment. She saw the stark white door that was closed on the far wall. She rushed over to it her feet cold on the concrete floor. She had the fleeting thought she might be in a basement. Concrete floors were often in basements. Perhaps she was not in danger, but if not, then what the heck was she doing here.
Grasping the knob she turned it and the door creaked open. She was looking into a narrow hallway and she was uncertain which way to go. Her logic was intact and she knew that if she thought to go right she needed to go left. She aways had gone the wrong direction when given a choice. So she immediately went left.
The moment she reached the end of the hallway, she once again had to make another decision. She could go up the stairs to the right or she could go down the corridor to the left. She wanted to gt out of this clammy cold basement. She climbed the steps listening for any sound of occupancy. She heard nothing. She reached the door at the top of the stairs and she slowly turned the knob and once again entered an old linoleum floored kitchen.
The gray flecked table with chrome legs sat in the center of the room. Sitting at the table was a person. Sandra could see the stooped shoulders of a gray haired old woman with a shawl around her shoulders and fluffy pink slippers on her feet.
“Grandma? Is that you?”
She saw the head turn around on stooped shoulders and she saw a mouth full of large teeth that gleamed in the dim kitchen light.
“Sandra, Honey, Where have you been? Why are you creeping around like that?”
Sandra looked confused at her grandmother and shrugged her shoulders. “Grandma? Why was I in the basement? Who put me there? Did you know I was in the dark in the basement?”
“No, child, I didn’t know you were in the basement. I waited on you to come to the door, and you never did. Why are you sneaking around. Were you hiding in the orange room in the basement? Do you not remember that your Grandfather did not want you in that room?”
“Grandma, you are scaring me. I had forgotten that Grandfather did not like me to go down to his workshop. I don’t know how I got there. I am a little fuzzy.”
Are you on drugs Sandra? Are you back doing drugs again like you did as a teenager?”
“I did not do drugs Grandma, I was always afraid to do drugs after what happened to Mama. Remember, Grandma?”
The old woman turned again moving her entire body this time to face the young woman shivering next to the basement door. “Tell me Sandra, why do you keep calling me Grandma? Don’t you remember Grandma died almost ten years ago? Are you ill again Sandra?”
“Grandma died? Ten years ago? Oh my God… you’re right. She did! Who are you?”
Sandra dropped onto her heels with her knees folded under her. “Who are you and why was I in the orange room? What is going on?”
The woman’s face was spidery with wrinkles and her grin was not a friendly smile, it was a toothy smile that looked more evil than benign.
“Sandra, Do you not recognize me? Your Mama? Come give me a hug my dear.”
Sandra started screaming, “No no, My Mama is dead, who are you? Who are you?”
The old woman stood her back bent with age and her hand rested on a cane. “Come to me child. Come to your Mama”
“My…my mother died years ago. She died in the hospital when I was a teenager. I do not know who you are. I want my Grandmother. Stay away from me. Stay back!”
The dark eyes of the old woman stared at the young woman. “I am your Mother. I have been away a long time. I am back now. Now you will pay for choosing your grandparents over me.”
Sandra stood, kicked the cane out from under the old lady’s hand, and ran out the back door. She ran as fast as she could through the brush until she reached the house that she remembered as Mr. Coventry’s.
She knocked on the door and knocked again for good measure. When the old man opened the door and saw the ashen face of the young woman he was shocked.
“Is this little Sandra?”
Sandra opened her mouth to tell him that it was indeed, when she felt a gnarled hand on her back. She turned just in time to see the old woman reaching for her again. Screaming directly into the old woman’s face she hurried closer to Mr. Coventry. “Help me, Please!”
Mr. Coventry was unable to believe his eyes. He recognized this old beaten down woman with the snarled hair and the wrinkled face. He remembered her when she too was a young mother and wife. He remembered her before she went mad after the death of her husband.
He could remember like it was yesterday, driving the ambulance that took her to the sanitarium on the other side of the county.
He remembered her screams, wails and threats as they walked her out arms wrapped and bound tightly around her waist.
“Dotty! Dotty! It’s me. Earl… remember me Dotty? Remember how I took care of you before? How did you get here Dotty? Did you run away?”
Dotty’s eyes shifted from Sandra to Earl and back again. “I didn’t mean any harm. I saw her coming up the walk. I didn’t mean any harm. I love her. She’s my baby. I just wanted her to stay with me. I knew she wouldn’t stay unless I put her in the orange room. I just wanted my baby. I missed my baby. Is that so bad? I didn’t hit her hard, just hard enough to make her sleep. I didn’t mean any harm. You believe me don’t you, Earl?”
“Of course I do, Dotty, of course you love her, she’s your baby. I know you didn’t mean any harm, girl. Sandra’s fine. She is just fine. Come with me and lets get you settled.for the night. Come on with Earl, Girl.”
Sandra watched the interaction between the two, clarity coming to her finally. This was her mother, her mother that has been locked away most of her life. She was afraid of her mother, but she believed Earl would keep her safe.
Sandra, smiled a nervous fake smile and assured her mother that she was going to be fine. She was scared but she knew not to startle the old woman. “Let’s go with Earl… Mother.”
Sandra almost choked calling her Mother, but she felt it was the right thing to do. Sandra and Dotty followed Earl into the house and once the coffee had been made they all sat at the table and Earl calmly explained to Dotty that he would return her home. She would be fine and no one would be mad about her escape. She looked at him with trust.
His kindly face showed her there was nothing to fear. Sandra waited until Earl and Dotty had left in the long white ambulance before heading back to her grandmother’s home.
She was in a rush to get her car and go to a local motel. She was absolutely not going to spend the night in that house. She was going to put the house up for sale and never come back.
She never wanted to see the house, her mother or the orange room in the basement ever again, and she never did.
The Prompt from: The Daily Prompt 2016 by J. C. Cauthon
Take the following words, and use them in a short story or poem:
new, subtract, amused, escape, second-hand
The Second-Hand Hero by Sojourner McConnell
I woke up this morning in the mood for something new. I had known right away what it had to be. So I grabbed my checkbook and began to subtract the debits from my checking account. To assure I had the funds for my mid week escape. When I wake up in this type of mood, there is no other place that cures what ails me like, Susan’s Second-Hand Rose. That store amused me like no other. There were vintage clothing and shoes. I have always loved a good nineteen forties Dress.
It made me happy to dress like an actress in some of my favorite movies. The Egg and I, My Favorite Wife, I remember Mama. Oh, I do love a good nineteen forties movie. I loved wearing a dress that made me feel like Irene Dunn. Sure, I looked nothing like her. I for sure don’t speak like her. I am a country girl from Alabama with straight blond hair. I couldn’t pass for the beautiful Irene Dunn, if I tried. But I sure feel like her when I am in one of those dresses.
But today, I wasn’t interested in those dresses, or Irene Dunn. Today I wanted to find a well loved book. One that had been read by a sensible woman from the middle of last century. I wanted to fall in love with a man that had caused another woman’s heart to flutter in her chest right after the Second World War.
But not just any man. He had to be one of those handsome young men that felt the call to arms. A man that had enlisted with vim and vigor. A man that had written to his family regularly telling them of his love of God and country. A man that had stood up bravely on the shores of Normandy. A man that had loved deeply and was now afraid he would never love like that again.
I knew that he had come from a farming community somewhere in middle America. A man that would come home a little different than when he left. A little wiser, a little jaded and perhaps a little broken. I needed to find this man and mainly I needed to read his story.
Today, I needed to be the woman that saw him as he returned home, a hero. The woman that saw him as the only man she could love. The woman that could acclimate him back to civilian life. The woman that made him able to love again. The woman that made him feel unafraid of loud clashes of thunder and vivid lightning. The woman that made him whole again.
Today, I needed to be that woman. I wanted to read myself into her words and see myself in her clothes, wearing her sturdy shoes. I wanted to read myself in her actions. I needed to be the woman that had sacrificed her own sleep to make sure that he was able to sleep through the night again. Today I needed to be the woman that loved that soldier.
I had only been inside the shop for a moment when I was approached by the owner. Susan always greeted me with a smile and called me by name, today was no different.
She asked, Lillian, what are you looking for today, I have several nice dresses that I just acquired.
I shook my head and told her “today I had something else in mind.”
I walked to the back wall where the second-hand books were stacked neatly on the floor to ceiling bookcase. I began to cull through the books hoping to find what I needed so desperately.
There were plenty of books on that large oak shelf that were about the war. The hard surfaces faded and the corners curled, but I did not find what I was seeking. I brought over the footstool that Susan kept for short people like me, to reach the higher shelves. I climbed up the first rung. There I was able to see what treasures were housed just above my head.
The faded greens and grays with the occasional pale orange and blood red bindings were a delight for my eyes. My nose was also twitching with excitement at the aroma of those books, some almost one hundred years old. My fingers felt thick with the ages old dust and oil of other people’s hands. Yet, I was in heaven. I had slid my fingers over every title written on the side panel of each and every book. Then I saw something that made my heart flutter. I took in a deep breath and smiled.
The title was Come Home My Darling by Dorothy Napier, the cover was deep blue and the letters were embossed. My fingers traced over the letters and I pulled it off of the shelf. I did not even step off the stool, I simply opened the book and read.
The train pulled into the station and the soldiers began to cover the cement platform like ants marching in green wool. Men in all manner of military garb stood shoulder to shoulder, duffel bags on their backs and nervous grimaces on their faces. Every eye was shifting back and forth as they looked desperately for familiar faces. One by one the grimaces became smiles when they found there was someone that loved them waiting at the station.
I watched hoping to find the one face that would respond to my smile. I wanted to be there when he came home, his welcoming wife. If he is not on this train, I will be here for the next, and the next. I will be here to welcome him home. No matter how many smiles I have to muster.
I sighed. Yes, in my hand was the book that had called me here. Here was the woman I needed to read about. I would wait with her on that crowded platform, waiting for him, our hero, to come home. I had found exactly what I needed. I took that blue hardback book to Susan. I paid in a hurry, ready to escape to my own home, to my own bed. To read the second-hand book that had so urgently called to me today, to meet my second-hand hero.
The Prompt from: The Daily Prompt 2016 by J. C. Cauthon
Blackberry Bushes and Applesauce by Sojourner McConnell
I remember the Summer we went to my Granny’s to live. My brother and I were staying with my neighbor, Mrs. Clarke. We went there everyday during the summer and after school in winter. Will and I played with her little boy, Matthew. We were there, as usual, when the policeman came to the door and told Mrs. Clarke some bad news. It was only after the police left and my Granny came to her house that they told us what had happened. My parents were gone. There had been an accident on their way home from work.
I was scared and confused. I was only 11 years old and Will was only 5. I was always close to my little brother Will, I felt like I was the only one he had left, other than Granny.
We had visited Granny’s farm before as a family. Mom and Dad, Will and I. Now it just didn’t seem right, it wasn’t a vacation. It was to be permanent. I can remember the first night with the crisp line dried sheets on the bed that smelled of sunshine and bleach. It was a smell that made me miss my mom even more.
I was lost in memories of coming here with her to this farm and picking apples. Not just picking them, but going into the kitchen and helping her and Granny make applesauce. Will was just a baby and Mom would place him in the high chair that had been hers as a baby.She would feed him the fresh applesauce, still warm from the stove. I could almost smell the apples in the air as I remembered those moments with my Mom.
Then I closed my eyes and shifted deeper into the sheets and I had another memory. It was the day my Mom and Dad and I left Will with Granny so that we could go out to pick blackberries. The sun was high over heard and I remember my Dad warning me about snakes. I was scared at first to put my hands in to the blackberry bushes, but I finally did. I did it and I was rewarded with blackberry preserves that next morning for breakfast. I was never so scared as I was that day. Listening for snakes and tentatively sticking my hands into those prickly bushes. I remember how proud my Dad was of me.
I felt the tears start to fill my eyes. My Mom and Dad would never be proud of me again, I thought. There would never be moments with applesauce and blackberry bushes ever again. Mainly I cried for Will. He did not have the memories of Blackberry bushes and making applesauce with Mom and Granny, like I did.
Before I fell asleep, I promised myself that I would make those memories for Will. We would go out tomorrow and pick the ripe red apples from the trees in the pasture and ask Granny to make some applesauce. Then we would make the trip to the shrubby area by the trees and pick blackberries. I would use my most serious grown up voice and warn Will about the snakes. We would make new memories that would go hand in hand with the old ones. I would make sure that Granny and I made Will some wonderful memories to hold onto.
Now we are here at Granny’s once again. This time to say goodbye to her. Will and I sit on the back swing gently pushing off with our feet. Funny how that motion comes without even thinking about it. It is like the muscles know what to do and automatically do it. As we swing, Will and I recall all the times we sat here before watching the sunset in the horizon. We talk about the memories we have growing up here. The main ones we both share have to do with blackberry bushes and applesauce.