Collaborative Speculative Fiction Part 3

Onto the next installment of our group story! Here’s the photo for our collaborative speculative fiction part 3. In collaborative fiction, writers take turns adding sentences or paragraphs to a story. To read the first installment, click here. The second installment is here. Below is the last paragraph from last week. My next contribution is below it. I’d love for your to play along! Write your inspiration in the comments.

What was it? And why was it coming toward me? The creature’s eyes had to be as big as my head. And its eyes were fixed on me. It was approaching me fast, now only ten feet away. A wild cry, a high-pitched roar that seemed to slice my ear drums, raged from the creature’s throat. I spun on my heels, adrenaline surging and heart pounding, but I slipped on the wet pier and face planted the cement. Was this it? Why, oh why did I leave the house, slam the door, yell that I never wanted to see any of them again? Was that really the end of it all?

I whipped around to a seated position, expecting to see the creature opening its mouth for its first taste of me.

Instead it lifted its head and made a sound like a giant sniff. Then it swam toward the end of the pier.

Leaping to my feet, I was about to turn and put as much distance between me and the sea as I could when I saw a light bobbing at the furthest point of the pier. That bobbing had to mean a person was holding a light. I’d thought I was alone on the pier. Had the light or whoever was holding it attracted the creature?

Rescue Reads

What have been your rescue reads? These are books that helped you through a difficult time. As a Christian, the Bible is my ultimate rescue read, but I’d like today’s prompt to focus on fiction. What works of fiction rescued you?

Shortly after I was married, moved to a new city, and began looking for a new job, I was dealing with severe anxiety. The funny, domestic stories of Erma Bombeck were able to lift my mind out of its anxious rut and make me smile or laugh. When I’m depressed, I love to lose myself in the humor stories of P.G. Wodehouse. In his unique, wacky world, a character’s biggest worry is getting jailed thirty days for stealing a police man’s helmet or battling the relatives of the girl he loves because they think he doesn’t have enough money. And in P.G. Wodehouse stories, love always triumphs over snobs, cads, and obstructive aunts and guardians.

So what fiction has been your rescue reads?

Monday Sparks — Writing Prompts: What’s the Plot?

alonew-1867464_1280In August, I will focus on plot in our writing. And my prompts will borrow from an activity we did at an ACFW chapter meeting. We each brought a food for lunch. The writing exercise after lunch was to work a randomly selected food and genre into a story. I had to write a thriller with a casserole being a major plot point.

So for the sparks this month, I’ll provide a photo and a genre, and you can provide the first few lines. Use the photo above in a thriller. Here’s my opening lines:

“As I hid the thumb drive in the hollow heel of my boot, I caught a flash of movement in the tail of my eye. Jerking out my gun, I crouched below the window and peered out.

A toddler? Yes, a toddler was tromping through the weeds in the backyard of the empty house.

I scanned the surrounding woods. No one else in sight. What was a toddler doing out here?”

Now it’s your turn? What’s the plot?

Monday Sparks — Writing Prompts: What Are Your Guilty-Pleasure Movies?

cinemaw-4213751_1280As I prepared the heading for this post, my youngest read it and ask if it meant you felt like it was a movie shouldn’t have watched. I explained that a person felt guilty for liking some movies because they aren’t considered “good”, or they are so strange or off-beat that not many people like them. As a classic movie fan, most of my movie-viewing might be considered guilty-pleasure. But in an effort to give others the courage to admit that they like movies critics and/or audiences have rejected, I am listing a few of my guilty-pleasure movies.

Abbott & Costello Movies 

On Sunday mornings, when I was growing up, a TV station out of Pittsburgh would run the movies from the 1940’s and 1950’s starring the comedy team of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. If for some reason I didn’t go to church, I could watch one of their movies. The team cranked out a lot of film, and some of it is unwatchable, even for a dedicated fan. But some are still sidesplittingly funny. My favorites are Hold That Ghost, The Time of Their Livesand Abbott and Costello Meet Frankensteinin which Bud and Lou don’t meet the scientist but the monster,

Many agree that Meet Frankenstein is Bud and Lou’s funniest movie. It’s as if Universal Pictures took their usual horror script and told all the other actors to play it like a straight movie. But Bud and Lou react and make comments that the audience has been thinking, sending up the conventions of the genre. For example, when Lou figures out Dracula is a genuine threat, he wants to clear out because, as a fat guy, he figures he’s got more blood and will attract the vampire’s attention.

The Incredibles and Incredibles 2

Is it okay for an adult to like kids’ movies? I recently watched The Incredibles and Incredibles 2 with my youngest, and we both thoroughly enjoyed them. That’s part of the reason I like them, because I got to share it with my kid. But I find the super-parents’ dilemma with their kids hilarious.

So what are your guilty-pleasure movies?

 

Monday Sparks — Writing Prompts: Who are Your Favorite Book Characters?

bookw-1012275_1280May’s theme is all about characters, my favorite aspect of writing. All my stories are character-driven. Once I know my main characters, I can run with my plots and settings. Reading about characters who touch me or with whom I identify inspires me to develop my own.

I have lots of favorites, but these are some of the characters I visit over and over again.

  • Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson
  • Archie Goodwin of the Nero Wolfe mysteries
  • The rabbits of Watership Down
  • Jeeves and Wooster by P.G. Wodehouse
  • Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton
  • Montague Egg by Dorothy L. Sayers

So who are your favorite book characters?

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