September 17, 2012

Short And Sweet

Well, here we are.  It's Monday September 17 and I promised you a Short & Sweet, so a Short & Sweet we shall have!  And just look at this beautiful, updated badge we have to go along with our non-summer Short & Sweets!  Thank you, Loni :)
badge created by Loni Edwards
Actually, now that I think about it, Monday seems like a good day for Short & Sweets - a good way to get those writing gears greased up and ready to go for a productive writing week, don't you think?

Given the extreme hecticness of the last couple weeks, as we've all striven (is that even a word?) to get our kids back to school, or get used to doing homework again, or tried to vacuum ourselves out from under the dog hair mound (oh, is that just me?) we will be very short and sweet today - nothing too taxing.

Let's make up fun characters, shall we?  Since it's Monday morning, I'll give you the chance to think on your own, but I'll also give you options to choose blindly in case your brain isn't quite awake yet :)

Here's what to do:

1.  Choose a name you like, male or female, any kind of name, e.g. Harper, Frisky, Stinky Pete.
     Too broad, too vague, too wide open for this hour on Monday morning?  I'll give you a list to choose from :)  Pick a number from 1-10 (no peeking!) and use the name you get.

     1. Sophie
     2. Alex
     3. Rocky
     4. Kyle
     5. Princess
     6. Lindsay
     7. Becca
     8. Ethan
     9. Tiger
    10. Taylor

2.  Pick 4 descriptive traits, e.g. cautious, hopeful, athletic, smart
     Again, if you need choices, I'll give you some.  Pick 4 letters from A to Z (no peeking) and use the traits you get.

     A= argumentative  B= bold  C= curious  D= desperate  E= eager  F= feisty  G= grateful  H= home-loving  I= impatient  J= joyful  K= kind  L= lazy  M= mean  N= nosy  O= opinionated  P= passionate  Q= quiet  R= rambunctious  S= serious  T= tired  U= unimaginative  V= vacillating  W= worried  X= extra (I know that doesn't really begin with x!)  Y= yellow  Z= zippy

3.  Pick one: only child or sibling of.  If you choose sibling of, list names of siblings.
     example:  only child
     example: sibling of Howard, Henry and Hugo

4.  Pick two things your character loves, e.g. elephants and birthday cake
     Need help?  Let's go with the letters again, that was fun :)  Pick 2 letters from A-Z and use the things you get.

     A= apples  B=bears  C= cacti  D= dinosaurs  E= easter eggs  F= flowers  G= giants  H= hotdogs  I=   ice cream  J= jumping rope  K= kite-flying  L= licorice  M= mountains  N= nighttime  O= ocean  P= pumpkins  Q= quilts  R= racing  S= snow  T= traveling  U= umbrellas  V= violin  W= white-water rafting  X= extra helpings (yeah, I know that doesn't really start with x either :))  Y= yodeling  Z= zip-lining

5.  Pick something your character fears, e.g. spiders
     Can't think of anything?  Choose a number from 1- 20 and go with what you get.

     1= the dark  2= snakes  3= the dentist  4= being alone  5= getting a haircut  6= going to school 7= having a babysitter  8= losing a tooth  9= falling off a bike  10= heights  11= going on an airplane  12= going to sleep-away camp  13= swimming  14= ghosts  15= thunderstorms  16= loud noises  17= big dogs  18= talking to new people  19= bad dreams  20= monsters

6.  Pick something your character wants, e.g. to learn to ride a bike
     Need inspiration?  Choose a number from 1-20 - you know the drill :)

     1= a pet  2= to go to the moon  3= to be famous  4= to be in the school play  5= a brother or sister  6= to stay up later  7= to be independent  8= to be brave  9= to have a best friend  10= to go to the circus  11= to get allowance  12= to go camping  13= to bake a cake  14= to be good at something  15= to be popular  16= to lose a tooth  17= to be first  18= to feel important  19= to be listened to/recognized  20= to get a job

Now.   Put your character all together in the comments like this:

     Jemima
     short, loyal, adventurous, brave
     sibling of Pete
     lover of horses and going fast
     who fears being invisible
     and wants a pony of her own

If you want, write the opening of a story about your character, for example:

     Sometimes Jemima was a little too brave for her own good.  Like the time Pete dared her to climb to the top of the apple tree... and she ended up with her arm in a cast for 6 weeks.

The idea here is that, with lots of participants, we'll generate a great list of possible characters, any of which might spark a story idea for anyone!  The same character might spark 10 different stories in 10 people!  Have fun with it - it should be a pretty quick exercise - and feel free to do more than one! :)

I hope we'll get lots of good ideas percolating this morning!  Have a lovely day, everyone, and Happy Rosh Hashanah to those who are celebrating! :)

Reactions:

53 comments:

  1. That was fun! Here's what I got:

    Becca
    Joyful, impatient, nosy, extra
    Only child
    Lover of apple and zip-lining
    Who ears big dogs
    And wants to bake a cake

    Becca's impatience when she tried to bake an apple cake while alone at home one day ends in disaster when she nearly burns the house down.

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  2. J.C.! SO fun that you tried one out! I love it - what a fun one! Thanks for joining in the shenanigans around here :)

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  3. Running short on time this morning so not able to participate, but I had to mention that I'm glad you are keeping the Short and Sweet running. On the mornings that I have the extra few minutes, it is fun to let my brain play around a bit and the short sweets are a good way to do that.

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  4. Cindy
    Clumsy, klutzy, kind, curious
    twin with Charles
    lover of gerbils and gingerbread
    who fears friendship
    and wants to learn the piano


    May be back later for the beginning of the story!

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  5. I'm so happy to see S&S here today! On Friday, look for a shout-out on my blog. :)


    This is what I got:


    Cranky Hank
    stingy, mischievous, grouchy, oddball
    only child
    likes slingshots and Skittles
    afraid of bears
    wants to time travel


    I don't know what kind of first line to make out of that because I'm a bit woozy on cold medicine. But I'll be back to read everyone else's and maybe come up with another or two. Fun!

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  6. Gerbils and gingerbread - yay! I love gingerbread AND had a gerbil named Gretchen AND I wanted to play the piano...have you been reading my schoolgirl diary? Really cute, Joanna!

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  7. Well, the good thing is, you can do them whenever you have time! Feel free to join in whenever :)

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  8. You have school today? It's Rosh Hashanah!

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  9. Ooh - Cindy sounds like a character with lots of potential! :) I hope you'll be back with a beginning :)

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  10. Oh, I think Cranky Hank has the makings of a good story and/or poem! Maybe we'll see him featured in a NWR poetry video :)

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  11. I didnot do it right and missed that she was afraid of something. ha ha but this is what I got.


    Oh, I didn't know I was supposed to list the character traits first either.


    Princess was a cautious kitty desperate for love. She was the sixth sibling of her litter and she didn't know how to make herself stand out. She loved traveling and umbrellas and wanted desperately to be good at something.


    Next time I'll do it right. I'll know how to list the traits instead of writing a paragraph. lol This was fun. :)

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  12. How fun, Susanna!


    Here's mine:

    Becca
    Bold, curious, desperate, eager
    Only child
    Loves giants and hot dogs (!)
    Fears talking to new people,
    Wants to be independent


    I have NO idea where to go with this one except perhaps to have Becca, in her quest for hot dogs and independence, run off and join the circus! Or maybe she hears about an island of giants and, grabbing her stash of frozen Sabretts, runs off to Giant Isle to start a personal coaching business. However, she's thwarted by the fact that she's afraid to talk to new people, so she can't get any new clients. That plus the fact that she's only eight.


    BUT... she's bold and eager, always bold and eager. And curious. Not to mention clearly desperate. Will Becca's desire to be independent win over the fear of talking to new people? Tune in next time...

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  13. This is fun Susanna! I did one with the numbers...after choosing a name. And I did one after I learned the drill!


    Lorelai
    tired, passionate, curious, joyful
    sibling of Corbin
    lover of white water rafting and bears
    who fears having a baby sitter
    and wants to be first


    Sarsaparilla
    sassy, sarcastic, sneaky, spry
    only child
    lover of parrots and treasure maps
    who fears heights
    and wants the Mighty Mountain treasure


    Love Loni's updated badge!

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  14. Yay. S&S!! Woohoo! (I would pick Princess!)
    Princess
    argumentative, nosy, impatient , feisty
    only child
    loves horses and presents
    afraid of being in front of people.
    wants to dance in the ballet (and boys)
    Princess lived in the city on the hill. She dreamed of dancing in the ballet, but she wouldn't dare arabesque for all those people. They might stare. Or worse. They might boo.

    Now you can boo me. Hugs woman!

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  15. This works fine, Clar! We're not that strict around here :) I hope you had some fun with it!

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  16. P.S. Mine has NOTHING to do with her traits. That's because those aren't the traits I wanted! So I should have changed them. Meant to and then forgot. *sigh* Changed to timid, fretful, impatient, desire.

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  17. You are so funny, Kim! I love your ideas :) I will definitely stay tuned :) Thanks for playing along!

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  18. Lorelai and Sarsaperilla both look like they would be fun to write about and have great stories! Thanks for joining in :) And I'm so glad you like the new badge and appreciate you commenting on it - Loni worked hard! :)

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  19. No boos from me! I think it sounds like tons of fun! Will you be writing Princess's story? Will she overcome her stage fright...?

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  20. It's fine! The name/traits/siblings/fears etc. are just jumping off points to get you thinking. You don't have to use all of them (or any of them!) in your story. The idea is just to get the gears turning :)





























    Robyn Campbell (unregistered) wrote, in response to Robyn Campbell:

    P.S. Mine has NOTHING to do with her traits. That's because those aren't the traits I wanted! So I should have changed them. Meant to and then forgot. *sigh* Changed to timid, fretful, impatient, desire.

    Link to comment
    IP address: 75.104.156.145

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  21. What a fun way to start off the week!

    Ginger
    Joyful, passionate, Bold, Feisty
    Sibling of Gemma
    Lover of apples and zip-lining
    Who fears swimming
    Wants to get a job

    I'm keeping all of these in a Google Docs file for future reference. If I don't come up with a story now, I just might in the future!

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  22. What a great idea! And love your contribution! So fun :)

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  23. Sidney Schuhmann LevesqueSeptember 17, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    Beans


    stout, cantankerous, shy and gassy


    brother of Spoons, Cookie and Biscuits



    lover of French cuisine and belching


    who fears people won't take him seriously if they know he's a chuckwagon cook



    and wants to compete in Bocuse d'Or, a world championship cooking contest in Lyon, France.

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  24. Very creative and entertaining, Sidney! I love this! Thanks for joining the fun :)

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  25. Sidney Schuhmann LevesqueSeptember 17, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    Thanks! When I was thinking of a name to use, I remember seeing an E.L. "Beans" Mershon on Findagrave.com and I got to thinking about who this person was and built a storyline around him.

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  26. Great idea!






























    Sidney Schuhmann Levesque (unregistered) wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    Thanks! When I was thinking of a name to use, I remember seeing an E.L. "Beans" Mershon on Findagrave.com and I got to thinking about who this person was and built a storyline around him.

    Link to comment
    IP address: 150.252.11.20

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  27. Gabby
    chatty, nosy, feisty, rambunctious
    only child
    loves to gossip and spread rumors
    who fears kids won't like her
    and desperately wants to be popular

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  28. Sidney Schuhmann LevesqueSeptember 17, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    I also liked the new badge because it reminded me of my Summer Send-Off contest entry...someone sitting down to write their once upon a time fairy tale! And the writer on this badge has a real tail!

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  29. I'm back! Here is my entry -

    Shakes Peare,
    Grateful, quiet, passionate, and very serious,
    A lonely only child,
    loves his violin and poetry.
    who fears swimming,
    and wants a sister to call his blood.
    ------
    I love the new badge! :)

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  30. Oh my goodness! I sense a fantastic MG novel here! Let me know when it's written so I can read it :)

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  31. I hope Loni's checking in to see how much everyone likes her badge! :)

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  32. Ooh, an excellent character with any number of possible stories! Thanks for joining in, Pat! :)

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  33. Thanks everyone for the nice comments on the badge :)

    Here is mine:

    Becca,
    bold, eager, serious, feisty
    Loves bears & traveling
    She is scared of heights
    She only wants to be brave.

    This is an awesome exercise! Thanks Susanna!

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  34. Ooh, good one! And another Becca! Was that number 7 or something - everyone's lucky number? i love how different all the Becca's are though - we've got lots of spark for stories here! Thanks for joining in, Badgemaker!

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  35. 1. Annabelle is Shy, Clumsy, opinionated,
    cautious


    3. Sibling
    of Avery, Alex, Amelia, and Aspen.


    4. She
    loves kittens and yelling.


    5. She
    fears balloons.


    6. She wants
    to order her own sundae.





    Annabelle knew exactly what she wanted: a sundae with peanut
    butter ice cream, m&ms, hot fudge, whip cream, and no cherry. Waiting for all her brothers and sisters to
    order was giving her butterflies in her tummy.
    She peered up at the lady in the window and stepped closer to
    Mommy. Finally it was her turn, but
    Annabelle was gone. Mommy lifted up her
    skirt and found Annabelle hiding underneath.

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  36. Lauri this is wonderful! I love your description of Annabelle! The best part might be that she wants to order her own sundae - that is so perfectly little kid, isn't it? I think Annabelle's got a story! :)

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  37. Susanna, you never disappoint! And Loni...cool badge revision for the new season...I will definitely grab it and put it on my blog. :)
    Here is mine entry:
    Rocky
    Lazy yet eager, vacillating yet opinionated
    Sibling of Roxanna, Rowena, Rhonda and Rachel
    Lover of kites and violins
    Who fears falling off a bike
    And wants a brother (because he already has FOUR sisters).

    Rocky crept away from the house, clutching his precious violin. If only he could escape the constant cacaphony of his sister's chatter that drowned out the music he heard in his head. The quiet forest glade would be the perfect place to compose the song that he knew would win first prize (a glorious kite) in the music contest...but the wooded area was too far away.. If only he'd practiced riding his bike instead of watching television and wasting time, he'd be able to get over there easily. Rocky slipped into the garage and cautiously approached his shiny new bike...not a scratch on it...he'd never even gotten on it. Taking a deep breath, Rocky swung a leg over and settled himself on the seat. Gripping his violin under his arm, Rocky slowly pedaled out of the garage. "I can do this!" he thought.

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  38. Sidney Schuhmann LevesqueSeptember 18, 2012 at 9:42 AM

    I'm having second thoughts about my cook, Beans, being gassy and belching, maybe just the cowboys he serves. No one wants to eat food from a gassy cook! Sorry I didn't think that one through!

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  39. Posted for TRACY


    Princess (my character's name) isA curious, desperate, mean, and tiredOnly childWho loves apples and giantsBut fears swimmingAnd wants to be first
    Slinky Pinky--My Wacky OctopusPrincess curled her toes in the bleached sand. She raised her heels, squinted, and peered in the distance. Oh no. She spotted her prized, juicy red apples bobbing in the turquoise ocean.Princess stomped her feet. I just have to get the apples so I can win. She wished she had an older brother or a sister to help. Her only friend was a giant, but he was nowhere in sight.She dipped one toe into angry waves.Whoosh.Water slapped her face. Princess leaped back, spit out a mouthful of salt water, and then licked her lips.For hours, Princess stood like a sandcastle statue at the shoreline. The only movement--wind flapping the curl in the middle of her forehead.Finally, princess rubbed her eyes and yawned. She inched forward and waded in, her gaze never left the marked goods..Tentacles snapped the water. Fear strangled Princess' throat. Eight slimy octopus arms, thicker than firefighter hoses, nabbed all the apples with its suction cups.Princess balled her hand. "The apples are mine." She shook her fist.
    Slinky Pinky grinned. “Catch me if you can, but I swim faster than any child or man.”“I order you." Princess thrashed the water. "Bring back my apples.”Slinky Pinky waved a sign. “Consider them good as sold.” Slinky Pinky splashed and laughed before disappearing into deep waters.Princess grunted. She shifted her gaze to the left, and then to the right. “Where is my giant when I need him?”

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  40. hee hee hee :) I keep thinking of the cook in Atlantis (Disney version) who identified the 4 food groups as beans, bacon, whiskey and lard :)





























    Sidney Schuhmann Levesque (unregistered) wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    I'm having second thoughts about my cook, Beans, being gassy and belching, maybe just the cowboys he serves. No one wants to eat food from a gassy cook! Sorry I didn't think that one through!

    Link to comment
    IP address: 150.252.11.20

    ReplyDelete
  41. This is terrific, Vivian! And I've got to say, I'm a little worried about that violin... on a bike... with a new and potentially wobbly rider... Will we get to see how the story ends? :) Thanks for playing along! :)

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  42. Slinky Pinky...love this story, Tracy...aren't these creative writing prompts amazing for inspiring us? :)

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  43. Thanks, Susanna. What amazes me is I have NO idea where these stories come from...I've never written THIS type of story before...probably because I never took a bonafide "creative writing" class. Lots of writing in HS and College, of course...but I don't remember being given prompts like you to for us. I, too, was worried about the violin, and thought about having him put it in a saddlebag or bike basket...but perhaps it will add to the tension. : And as I read it over again, I think I like this idea...so yes, I will finish it...to make it in rhyme would probably be CRAZY...so perhaps I'll keep it in prose. :)

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  44. Clarabel
    Spunky, witty, spontaneous, fun-loving
    Sibling of Miles
    Lover of skateboarding and collecting sticks
    Who fears ladybugs
    And wants to be an only child

    This is a great exercise on character development, Susanna. Thanks! I don't have a story for this...yet.

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  45. This is great, Susanna! I'm getting inspired reading through this great collection of characters. Here's mine.
















    Rhonda

    Loud, sparkly, bouncy, imaginative

    Only child

    Loves tambourines and pasta

    Fears being alone

    Wants to learn to tap dance

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  46. Sidney Schuhmann LevesqueSeptember 19, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    Penny, I just read your blog post with Phyllis the Groundhog. I live in Abilene, too! Are you a member of the Abilene Writers Guild? I just joined a couple months ago. Are you going to the West Texas Book Festival events this week? I went to the library brown bag yesterday. I signed up for a spot with Robyn Conley (Writers Doctor) on Saturday. Can't wait!

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  47. I haven't joined yet! I need to get myself to a meeting. I am not going to the West Texas book Festival. I am in Colorado for an SCBWI conference. I hated that they conflicted. I hope we meet soon!

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  48. delores @ thefeatherednestSeptember 19, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    Sorry I'm late....busy busy busy

    Rocky
    thin, wiry, curious, athletic
    only (fur) child
    loves chasing chipmunks and rolling in catnip
    fears bath night
    wants a brother to play with

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  49. Rhyme would be tough! :)






























    Vivian Kirkfield wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:


    Thanks, Susanna. What amazes me is I have NO idea where these stories come from...I've never written THIS type of story before...probably because I never took a bonafide "creative writing" class. Lots of writing in HS and College, of course...but I don't remember being given prompts like you to for us. I, too, was worried about the violin, and thought about having him put it in a saddlebag or bike basket...but perhaps it will add to the tension. : And as I read it over again, I think I like this idea...so yes, I will finish it...to make it in rhyme would probably be CRAZY...so perhaps I'll keep it in prose. :)

    User's website
    Link to comment
    IP address: 184.99.22.93

    ReplyDelete
  50. This is great, Romelle! My two favorite parts are the stick collecting and that she has a brother but wants to be an only child!

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  51. I love it, Carrie! I can already see Rhonda tap dancing - what a great idea! :)

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  52. Not too late :) And love your character - so glad someone went furry! :)

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