Writer Wednesday

I am so excited about today’s prompt! I was NOT a fan of The Great Gatsby, so when I saw a chance to do a little re-write, I squealed! Especially with a magical twist! Here’s today’s prompt:

writing prompt

He knew Daisy couldn’t—and didn’t love—a brute like Tom Buchanan. He just knew it. If Daisy loved anyone it was him, Jay Gatsby. The last time they were together, he could see it in her eyes.

 

But would she leave her husband? Of that, he was not so sure. They had a child together, after all. But Jay could be a good father to that little girl, he knew he could. He would show her how a real man was supposed to act. Yes, he could do it. He could be a stepfather.

 

And, he could be a husband. He could be a good husband, a better husband than Tom Buchanan could ever be!

 

But how could he make her see that? He could find out the name and address of Tom’s mistresses—he knew there had to be at least one out there. He was certain he heard Nick mention it in passing.

 

What to do? thought Gatsby, as he paced in his library. What to do?

 

He walked back and forth, back and forth for nearly an hour. He thought hard. He was sweating, so he took off his jacket.

 

If only I could make Tom tell her he doesn’t love her; that he wants her to leave and never come back.

 

He threw his hands up in frustration. If only that were possible! Suddenly, he remembered something. Once, a very long time ago, while he was walking the streets of London looking very forlorn an oddly dressed man with a long, white beard and half moon spectacles came up to him. He hadn’t even heard the man approaching; it was as if he just materialized out of thin air.

 

“It looks as though you’re in some sort of emotional turmoil, my boy,” the old man said.

 

“I’m fine,” Jay mumbled, and pushed passed him.

 

“You do not look it,” the old man replied, following him.

 

“Look here, sport,” Jay said, an edge to his voice. “I mean no disrespect, but I have no money to give you and I just want to walk in silence, okay?”

 

“You misunderstand stand me, my boy. I do not wish to take anything from you.”

 

“Then what do you want?” Jay asked.

 

“To give you something,” said the man.

“Unless you can give me a fortune, I don’t want it.” Jay turned to leave.

 

“Ah yes,” the man nodded and stroked his beard. “Yes, I was right. Financial troubles. I could see it in your eyes.”

 

Jay sighed and turned back to face the man.

 

“Sadly, I cannot give you a fortune,” the old man said, apologetically. “But I can give you something else.”

 

“Yeah? What’s that?”

 

“The ability to walk in someone else’s shoes,” said the man, eyes twinkling as he spoke. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small vile. The old man then started to explain what was in the vile. Jay couldn’t remember the name of it now, something “juice”.

 

The stranger described how to use it and what it would do—by adding the hair of someone into the Juice, and then guzzling it down, you would turn into that person for a full hour. Even a guy’s own mother wouldn’t know the difference between the two! Jay couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

 

“You’re crazy, old man,” Jay said, shaking his head.

 

“I am many things, Mr. Gatz, but crazy is not one of them.”

 

Jay’s ears perked up at the sound of his name. “How do you know my—“

 

“It is not important, Mr. Gatz,” said the man. “What is important is that you trust me.” The man handed the bottle to Jay.

 

Gatsby looked down at the bottle in his hand. “Will it really work?” He looked up, but the man had vanished. He could’ve sworn he heard a faint pop! sound down the street.

 

That happened nearly ten years ago. He didn’t believe the man then, but now, he was so desperate he would try anything.

 

Gatsby dashed to his cedar chest at the end of his bed. He wrenched it open and started digging through its contents. Old pictures, letters, and books littered the floor until he found was he was looking for, an old blue sweater. He unrolled it carefully and took out the small vile that the old man had given him so many years ago.

 

He ran to the foyer. Daisy had worn one of Tom’s coats the last time she visited. He hoped it was still hanging in the closet. He threw the door open and found it. He prayed to find one of Tom’s dark black hairs. He searched the collar, the back, until finally he spotted one right on the sleeve. He picked up, uncorked the vile, and dropped in the hair.

 

Green smoke billowed out of the bottle. Gatsby couldn’t believe what he was seeing. The liquid turned a dark, dank yellow. It smelled putrid.

 

“This is for you, Daisy,” said Gatsby, holding the bottle up. He closed his eyes and chugged. The liquid burned as it went down his throat and thought he might be sick. He dropped the vile and it shattered into a million tiny pieces on the tiled floor.

 

Gatsby watched, first horrified and then amazed, as his hands started to change in shape. He ran to a mirror in the hall. His once clean-shaven face was now growing a mustache. His neat, blonde hair turned dark. Suddenly, in a matter of moments, he was not longer staring at Jay Gatsby, but Tom Buchanan.

 

He knew what he had to do.

Writer Wednesday

Today’s Writer Wednesday is autobiographical (sort of) in nature.

Here’s today’s prompt:

“Write about a pet that used to be in your life.”

When I was little, my best friend Marissa lived across the street. She had a cat lovingly referred to as “Momma Cat”. Momma Cat had a litter of kittens one day, and one was given to my sisters and me. The kitty had a twin brother who my bestie and her brother named Copper. At the time, we were obsessed with the Disney movie The Fox and the Houndso we named our twin Tod.

My sisters and I were so excited to have a pet. The only pet we had up until that point was a dog named Shep (who was promptly given away because we girls were terrified of him). A cute and cuddly kitten seemed more our speed. When Tod was small, we would hold him in our little hands and cuddle him like crazy. Soon, he got bigger which meant he was the perfect size to torture. Not in a sadistic way. More in a “we-don’t-have-a-brother-to-torment-with-girly-stuff-so-the-cat-is-a-good-substitute” sort of way.

Tod, in his natural habitat. (AKA, hiding from us)

Tod, in his natural habitat. (AKA, hiding from us)

We dressed that cat up in our doll clothes, pushed him up the street in our toy strollers, and even placed cat food trails along the monkey bars in the backyard to see how far he could walk without slipping. We snuggled him close, brought him in the house to catch mice, and even tried to teach him to play fetch (a plan that failed miserably).

Tod was never an inside cat–our dad wasn’t the biggest fan–but sometimes I’d sneak outside on Saturday mornings before anyone woke up and bring him into the bedroom my sisters and I shared, plopping him on the bottom bunk with Bridget, giggling quietly. As we grew up, Tod became less and less of a priority. We weren’t neglectful by any means. He was still fed, he always got his neck and back scratched, but he just didn’t stick around as much. He was usually patrolling the neighborhood for some tail (ha; pun intended), looking for a fight, or just being curious.  

One day, we came home and saw Tod was gone. I honestly have no idea what happened to that cat. My middle sister thinks he may have gotten into a fight with another cat and lost or might have known he was sick and went off to die in peace somewhere. I was sad when I realized Tod wasn’t coming back, but I was glad knowing that we had made some great memories with that furry feline. Memories that I still hold dear.

"Look at the camera, Tod, and smile pretty."

“Look at the camera, Tod, and smile pretty.”

Do you have memories of your first pet? What kind of animal was it? What was his/her name?

Writer Wednesday

Hello, everyone!

I’ve been super lame about making sure I do Writer Wednesdays. I told myself I need to make it more of a priority. After all, that’s how you get better, right? Practice, practice, practice and all that?

Here’s today’s prompt:

writer

 

“I’m tired of these walls,” Dodger said, looking about him.

“Then go for a swim,” Betsey replied, no looking up from her salad.

“The pool isn’t clean,” whined Dodger, “and the boy won’t be here til the morning to clean it.”

“Go for a walk,” suggested Betsey, pieces of Romaine falling out of her mouth.

“A walk?” Dodger asked, incredulous. “A walk? You suggest a walk when you know I can’t…” His voice trailed off. He looked through his window up into the night sky.

“A walk,” he repeated softly. He turned to his wife, excitement in his eyes. “Yes! Yes! Let’s go for a walk!”

“So start walking,” Betsey said, sighing. “Just don’t bump into me.”

“Not in here,” Dodger said. “Out there.” He motioned his over-sized head to the window.

Betsey’s eyes grew wide. “What do you mean, Dodge?”

“I’m saying, let’s both go for a walk…out there.

Betsey shook her head violently. “No, no, no, no!”

“Come on, Betsey!” Dodger pleaded. “What’s the worse that could happen?”

“You know what could happen!” Betsey screeched. “You know how they are. Don’t you remember where we came from? I like it here. I don’t want to go out there.”

“Please, darling,” Dodger cooed into his wife’s ear. “Think about all the great food we always smell and never get to eat. We could find some out there.”

The scowl that had appeared across Betsey’s mouth started to soften. “Food, you say?”

“Yes, my love!” Dodger exclaimed. “Food of all sorts! And I’ll get it all for you! You can try it all, sweetheart!”

Betsey smiled. “But how will we get out?”

“Leave it to me,” Dodger said.

Dodger moved back as far as he could and ran head first into the steel door at the opposite end of the room. After about five tries, it burst open. Which was good; Dodger’s head was starting to hurt and he was ready to forget the entire venture. After escaping their small apartment, it was only a matter of squeezing through the tiny hallway (which was rather difficult, as Dodger and Betsey were rather ample) and busting through the front gate.

They were able to do both rather quickly, although Betsey thought it best to knock down the gate. She wanted to save Dodger’s head from further damage. He was the brains of this operation after all.

After they exited, they starting walking down a long street. There wasn’t much around them. After several minutes, Betsey suggested they turn around and go back.

“No, not yet,” Dodger begged. “Please. Just a little further. I think I see light ahead.”

After a few moments, the couple found themselves at the top of a small hill. When they looked down, Dodger shouted in delight.

“Look! Down there!”

Betsey followed his eyes and saw a parking lot full of different trucks. Each one of the trucks had pictures of food on them; food she had definitely seen before. There was also an oval-shaped area with tall walls and bright lights. There were sounds of cheering and whistles coming from it.

“Let’s go!”

“Are you sure?” Betsey asked. “What if we’re not welcome?”

Dodger kissed his mate. “Just be yourself. Everyone will love you.”

The couple walked down the hill and entered through some gates. They made their way to the trucks with the pictures of food and went to the window.

“Just a sec,” called a man from inside the truck over his shoulder.

The couple waited patiently.

“Alright, what’ll you have?” the man asked, finally looking at Dodger and Betsey.

Before either one could open their mouths, the man screamed.

Another man rushed to his side, “What’s wrong boss?”

The first man pointed to the window. The second man saw the couple and looked like he might faint.

“Call the cops!” the first man yelled. “Tell them there are two hippos at the Saint James’ homecoming game!”

Writer Thursday

Hey guys!

Remember about three months ago when I shared the beginning of a new YA novel I was working on? I FINALLY wrote some more!

Before you read on, start here to read the opening scene and then continue.

I hope you like it! (And if you don’t, keep your mouth shut. Nobody likes a Negative Nelly.)

 

 

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

My best friend in the entire universe, Josie, was abandoning me. For the entire summer. Okay, so maybe abandon isn’t the right word to use here. More like, going-to-a-camp-for-super-smart-engineering-wannabes-who-will-probably-end-up-working-for-NASA-or-as-Disney-imagineers. And yes, I know that’s more than one word, but I don’t care. I don’t care about anything. Because Josie leaves tomorrow and I’ll be alone.

 

Well, I won’t technically be alone. My irritating little brother will be here. Which means all of his annoying friends will be here. Every. Single. Day. That’s why I’ve decided to refer to this summer as: Suckfest 2014.

 

My alarm started to go off again. I didn’t bother hitting the snooze; that was just delaying the inevitable. Maybe if I stayed in bed long enough, Mom would come up here and see my laying in bed and tell me I didn’t have to get up.

 

Five minutes later, Mom was knocking on my door.

 

“Winnie, you up?” she called through the Harry Potter poster-clad door.

 

I groaned weakly.

 

“I don’t speak zombie,” my mother said out in the hall.

 

“Just come in,” I whined.

 

“What’s the matter?” my mom asked as she opened the door.

 

“I don’t feel so good,” I said, making my face look as pitiful as possible.

 

“You know this day will continue to progress even if you stay in bed all day.”

 

She was on to me.

 

“I really don’t feel good,” I moaned. “Honest.”

 

“Arwen Renee Stephens,” my mother said in a stern voice. (Yes. My parents named me after an elven princess. They never even gave me a chance.) “You cannot hide from your problems. You are seventeen years old. You are far too old for these childish games. Get up, get dressed, and get going!”

 

I threw the blankets over my head and whined even louder.

 

“Winnie, come on,” my mother coaxed in a softer tone. “Seriously. If you get up now I’ll stop you by Starbucks on the way to school.”

 

“Fine,” I said, uncovering my head. “But I’m not just getting coffee. I want at least three cake pops.”

 

“Deal.”

 

Writer Wednesday

Happy Hump Day, peeps!

Here’s today’s Writer Wednesday prompt:

prompt

 

It seems like everyone I know has some hidden–or not-so-hidden–talent. Huff the Hubs can play guitar, piano, and trumpet. My dad can build ANYTHING your imagination can come up with. My mother is a crochet ninja; my sister is a master baker; and practically everything my other sister touches turns to gold. So where does that leave me…?

I’ll tell you where: impressions.

No, not painting. Actual impressions. But not of people…of goats.

I honestly have no idea how this impression came about, but ever since I was about 12 years old, I found I was able to do a dead-on impression of a goat. So dead-on, in fact, that my friends would CONSTANTLY ask me to do the impression. In between classes, during assemblies, in the middle of church. You name it, a goat sound was heard.

Even now that I’m almost 30 (gulp) I’ll see friends from middle school and they’ll ask me to “Do the goat!”

I really wish I had a more productive talent/skill. Seriously, how far does a goat impersonator go in life? And how can I utilize my talent for the betterment of mankind? I mean, everyone I mentioned above would be GREAT to have around during the zombie apocalypse. But me? I’d probably be the first one sacrificed to save everyone else.

Oh well. At least the zombies would have something laugh about as they gnawed on my legs.

 

What’s your hidden talent? Is it embarrassing like mine? Or is it more practical?

Writer Wednesday

Hello all!

No prompt/short story for today’s Writer Wednesday. I thought I’d instead give you some tips! There are many, many books out there that can help unleash the writer within as well as help you hone the skills you already have. Here is just a short list of books I think every writer should have in their arsenal.

 

1. Eats Shoots and Leaves

eat shoots leaves

A cheekily titled book that discuss a no-nonsense, take-no-prisoners approach to punctuation. I actually read this in a book club! It was very informative (and quite hilarious!).

 

2. On Writing Well

writing well

This book is thorough and easy to read. It has help for just about any area of writing that you may be struggling with. A definite MUST have.

 

3. Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus

writer's thesaurus

I actually own this bad boy! And let me tell ya, it has come in handy SO many times! After about three hours of writing, your brain starts to turn to mush. So it becomes difficult to find another word that means sad. Soon all of your sentences say the same thing: “She was sad. He was sad. The turtle was sad.” And that, my friends, is just…sad dismal.

 

 

4. Choose the Right Word

choose the right word

I also own this one! This book helps you determine the correct usage for certain words. Just look up the word, see the contect you need to use it in, and bam! you’re good to go!

 

Have you read any of these? Do you own any? Are there other books about writing you’d recommend?

Writer Wednesday

Hello all!
Last week I didn’t do a Writer Wednesday post. I know; everyone was very sad. Well, dry your eyes, cupcake because I’ve got a whole new story to share with you!

Here’s today’s prompt:

prompt writer

 

 

She’d been in the tower for almost two years. She would look out the window every night and think of her parents, the King and Queen. She could even see the turrets from their castle.

So close yet so far away, she’d think to herself.
She knew she was here for her own protection. Still, it didn’t make it any easier.
She sometimes wished she could get the “Aurora Treatment”; being in a coma would be better than being bored out of your mind day in and day out. But, she found ways to pass the time.
She’d read–what little books she had. She’d dance. But, her favorite pastime was singing. Her friend enjoyed it too.
Oh no, the Princess was not entirely alone. She had a friend. A friend that protected her and cared for her. He was a kind, gentle creature. Though many wouldn’t have seen him that way upon first glance. You see, her friend was a Dragon.
The Dragon would wake up in the morning to the sound of the Princess singing. Then, he’d come to her window, get a soft pat on the head from his royal companion, and then take the princess on a morning flight around the countryside.
Most fairy tales portray dragons as mean, fire-breathing terrors. But not this Dragon. This Dragon had an important purpose. He was here to protect the Princess.
There was a Prince from a far away kingdom who wanted to marry the Princess. However, she was not inclined to marry a man who stood three feet shorter than her, had a horrendous case of halitosis, who wanted nothing more than to rule his kingdom with an iron fist, and who also referred to himself in the third person.
In an effort to keep their daughter from the awful fate of becoming his bride, the King and Queen devised a plan: they would send their daughter to a faraway tower under the Dragon’s protection until the pint-sized Prince had married some other poor soul.
What the King and Queen had not counted on was the Prince’s determination and the fact that every king and queen with a daughter of marrying age within a 50 mile radius had all devised similar plans. Being as it was, the King and Queen had the closest kingdom to the Prince so the Prince was determined to find the elusive Princess. And this is how the Princess came to be in the tower.
Now, one day after a beautiful morning riding atop her Dragon’s neck, the Princess spotted a shining lump in the far distance.
“What’s that?” She whispered in her dragon friends ear.
The Dragon let out a low moan.
“Let’s get closer,” whispered the Princess.
As the Dragon flew closer to the ground, the Princess immediately knew who it was. It was the Prince! Dressed in full armor!
Quickly, the Princess came up with a plan. She had the Dragon drop her back at her tower and then she discussed the plan with her fire-breathing friend.
“We can do this,” the Princess said. She hugged the Dragon around his neck and rushed to her dresser. Quickly, she tossed her belongings in and raced down the stairs. She slipped out the back way and his behind a bush. This is what she saw…
The petite Prince burst through the front gate outside the tower “Oh-ho! Fair Princess, The Prince is here to rescue you! Sorrow upon those who stand in the Prince’s way! Oh-ho! Onward!”
He charged toward the front door if the tower. As soon as his hand reached for the handle, he was scooped up by the Dragon and whisked away to the Princess’s former window.
That’s when the Princess ran. She ran as fast as she could. She didn’t stop running until she reached her parents’ castle. Panting and gasping for air, the Princess ran to the castle gates. She knocked on the door until it opened with a loud creak!

She was greeted with open arms by everyone: the courtiers, her ladies-in-waiting, and most importantly, by her parents, the King and Queen.