January 28, 2013

Monday Short And Sweet Plus

Happy first day of the week in which Groundhog Day finally occurs!!!

Phyllis is hopping up and down with excitement!  (And I'm sure that has nothing to do with the WHOPPING pile of strawberry pancakes she consumed for breakfast... with about a gallon of strawberry syrup :))

I hope everyone is keeping in mind Phyllis's Fun Photo Contest (full description HERE) in which you can make your own Phyllis action figure and photograph her predicting spring in your neck of the woods on Groundhog Day.  Which is THIS SATURDAY!!!

Phyllis is hoping lots of people will join in the fun :)
badge created by Loni Edwards
Now then.  It's Short & Sweet day!  Here's what we're going to do... :)

On the honor system (that means no peeking :)) pick a number between 1 and 10.

Then pick a letter: A, B or C

Then pick another letter: D, E or F.

Got 'em?  You should have a combination like 3 B D or 6 A F or whatever.

Okay!  The number between 1 and 10 gets you an opening sentence of a published picture book (except I'm not identifying it because I don't want to prejudice your creativity by suggesting the actual story, and I may have changed a detail or two to make the openings less recognizable.)

Letter A, B, or C will fill in your first blank.

Letter D, E, or F will fill in your second blank.

And voila - you have a first sentence story prompt!  Please write in the comments what your opening sentence turns out to be, and then add a second sentence to continue the story.  (And a third if you're feeling very inspired :))  Hopefully we will end up with a large number of first sentence story starters!

First, here are your options:

1. It was way past bedtime, but ________________ wasn't tired.  Neither was Opie.  The moon was keeping them awake.  It was shining on the shelf where (name you chose)'s brand-new__________________ had been put away for the night.
A. Sarah
B. Lionel
C. Rover
D. baseball
E. flashlight
F. supersonic top

2. _________________ doesn't have a bed.  Actually, s/he doesn't have a home.  This is A-OK most of the time, but not when s/he is desperately in need of a ________________________.
A. Skippy
B. Josh
C. Violet
D. bath
E. nap
F. snack

3. In the back of _____________________'s truck sat a little white _________________ nobody wanted.
A. Farmer Joe
B. Mrs. Peabody
C. Officer Brown
D. duck
E. soccer ball
F. box

4. Once upon a time there lived a very lazy _____________________ who had lots of money and lots of land.  His father had been a hard worker and a smart businessman, and he had given all of his wealth to his son.  But all (character you chose) wanted to do was ____________________.
A. rabbit
B. farmer
C. florist
D. play basketball
E. drive a race car
F. explore the jungle

5. On Thursday, when ____________________ woke up, she found s/he had grown ______________.
A. Jessica
B. Kyle
C. Taffy
D. a tail
E. a foot taller
F. wings

6. Nearly a lifetime had passed, but ______________________ could still remember what it felt like to wake up in the ______________________________, especially during wintertime.
A. Finn
B. Jane
C. Carter
D. forest
E. little house
F. cave

7. ________________________ lived by him/herself at the ________________________.  Each day s/he followed a tight schedule.
A. Flopsy Bunny
B. Gilda
C. Wilson
D. firehouse
E. playground
F. ranch

8.  This is ___________________________.  S/he isn't very good at ________________________.  Video games were never her/his thing.  And when s/he took dance lessons, s/he had the grace of a camel on roller-skates.
A. Luigi
B. Carla
C. Cinnamon
D. knitting
E. playing trombone
F. horseback riding

9. _______________________ stared out the window toward the _____________________ and quivered.
A. Saucy
B. Olivia
C. Taylor
D. ocean
E. big city
F. volcano

10. One beautiful day __________________________ was up in his/her room.  (Name you chose) didn't like to be disturbed when s/he was ________________________.
A. Ursula
B. Froggy
C. Cleo
D. painting
E. singing
F. playing dress-up

And now, here's an example :)

I chose 8 B F which gives me:

This is Carla.  She isn't very good at horseback riding.  Video games were never her thing.  And when she took dance lessons she had the grace of a camel on roller skates.
(To which I add)
"I'll never be good at anything," Carla said sadly.
"Of course you will," said her mother, putting a bandaid on Carla's skinned knee.  "You just have to find out what your talent is.  What do you like to do?"

See how it works?  Yay!  Now you try! :)

Have a happy Monday everyone! :)


  1. I'll have to come back to see if I can hop in the Short & Sweet. But I'm excited Groundhog day is just around the corner. Wonder what news Phyllis will have for us?

  2. I wonder that too, Angela, but there's no way to guess! :)

  3. 3CD In the back of Officer Brown's truck sat a little white duck nobody wanted. Officer Brown tooted his horn as he entered the Refuge for Unwanted, Lost and Abandoned Animals. "Good luck, little duck," he whispered, "RULA finds homes for nearly all its animals."

  4. Oh gosh! I hope the little duck finds a home!


    Great idea. I was 8AE. I'll let you know.....

  6. OK:
    Nearly a lifetime had passed, but Jane could still remember what it felt like to wake up in the little house underwater, especially during wintertime.
    (I added the underwater part to make it more interesting)

    I can't wait for groundhog day!

  7. Ooh! I LIKE it! Excellent addition :) Phyllis and I can't wait for Groundhog Day either!!!

  8. I probably went a little overboard. And this is probably YA, not PB!
    Nearly a lifetime had passed, but Carter could still remember what it felt like to wake up in the cave, especially during wintertime. His body shivered at the thought of the cold, damp floor where he’d sleep huddled next to Mama and Brynn.

    Sleep came easily to him then—most days were filled with running after wild boar and antelope, spears in hand. Those were the good days, anyway. Carter remembered all too well the other days—the
    days when the sun never came out and the air smelled sharply of smoke and ozone. It was during those dark hours that Carter
    and his family were the hunted ones. And sleep wasn’t an option.

  9. Yes, Kim, probably not a PB, but GOOD! Keep writing - I want to read it! :)

  10. delores @ thefeatherednestJanuary 28, 2013 at 8:53 AM

    Gilda lived by herself at the ranch. Each day she followed a tight schedule. There were zebras to brush and camels to water. Oh my, could those camels drink water.

  11. LOVE this!! I'll have to come back to it, but I've got my number and letters. :) Such a great idea for story prompts!

  12. Flopsy Bunny lived by herself at the playground. Each day, she followed a tight schedule: wake up, munch on a root or two, and finally tidy her rabbit hole. Then she would venture forth into the world of humans...

  13. These are always so fun! Okay, here goes.

    In the back of Officer Brown's truck sat a little white box nobody wanted. His old truck rattled down the street. With each bump, the box slid closer and closer to the open tailgate. Officer Brown swerved around a pot hole and Thump! The little box tumbled to the side of the road. When Charlie stepped off the school bus, he spotted the box and picked it up. Charlie dreamed of soaring through space one day. Maybe this little box fell out of the sky! he thought.

  14. Gosh, Laura, that's such a compliment coming from you - the queen of Wednesday Workout Writing Prompts! :)

  15. Ooh, good one, Jarm! I sure want to know what she does in the world of humans and what happens...!

  16. Ooh, I love it, Cheryl - so imaginative! I wonder what's in the box... and whether it will help Charlie in his dream of going to space...? :)

  17. Excellent, Penny! So creative! Whatever will Gilda do in the forest on her firetruck-turned-witch-mobile???

  18. Love it, Delores! So creative to have a ranch with zebras and camels! What will happen next???

  19. Thank you, Susanna! These prompts are great. Now I want to finish the story and find out what's in the box, too. :-)

  20. Wow, I'm intrigued! Great job!

  21. :)

    Cheryl Secomb (unregistered) wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    Thank you, Susanna! These prompts are great. Now I want to finish the story and find out what's in the box, too. :-)

    Link to comment
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  22. Great prompt, Susanna!

    In the back of Officer Brown's truck sat a little white box nobody wanted.

    "Hey Mike" shouted Officer Brown, his voice barely audible over the sound of the powerful hoses. "Make sure you vacuum the seats and floor while you're at it."

    "Sure thing" replied the car wash attendant as he opened the back door. "What do you want me to do with this little white box?"

    "Just dump it...I don't want it!" said the policeman. "It's not good for anything."

    "I don't know about that" mused Mike. "A little white box like this could be used for many things."

    After I wrote that, I had another idea:

    In the back of Officer Brown's truck sat a little white box nobody wanted.

    Huddled next to it, trembling with fear, was 5-year-old Maria. "Don't worry, sweetheart" soothed Officer Brown's side-kick, Detective Joan. "The ambulance is taking your momma to the hospital. The doctors will help her get better.

    Hesitantly, Maria reached over and touched the box with her shaking fingers. "This looks like a magic box" she thought. "Maybe it is filled with wishes." Maria closed her eyes and gently rubbed the shiny white surface. "Please make my momma be well."

  23. I wanted the one with horseback riding. :( *FROWNY FACE*

    Here's mine:
    Saucy stared out the window toward the ocean and quivered. She'd never learned how to swim. Now the entire class would see her thrashing about for dear life. Thoughts of red cheeks floated through Saucy's mind.

    "Come on Saucy! It's time to go in the water," Sarah said, jumping up and down.

  24. Oh, these are both awesome, Vivian! Great ideas! You will be surprised if I tell you what book this opening actually came from :)

  25. This is a great beginning, Robyn! How will Saucy overcome her fear of swimming? Or will she find a way to cleverly side-step it? Keep writing...! :) P.S. You can choose the horseback riding one if you want! The randomness factor was to make it easier for people who have trouble choosing. Go for it. I'll be waiting :)

  26. Okay, I have to apologize . . . I didn't get past the strawberry pancakes part. *drools* Did you post more? ;)

  27. 2BE Josh doesn't have a bed. Actually, he doesn't have a home. This is A-OK
    most of the time, but not when he is desperately in need of a nap. Sometimes he catches a few winks when he hops onto trains and rides the rails west. Yep, he's headed to those gold fields to strike it it rich. Maybe then his father will show him some respect.

  28. Wow, Cheryl, I really enjoyed reading this. Please say you're gonna continue with this.

  29. What happens next? What happens next?! Tell us!

  30. Thank you, Pam! I'm doing 12 X 12 this year for the first time. These prompts are a great way to get ideas started. See you in class soon! :-)

  31. Ooh! What an interesting twist, Pat! I like the direction this is headed :) You will laugh, though, when you find out what book that sentence came from :)

  32. I also picked 8BF which obviously means I'm psychic. And I see that you read a book today. Am I right?! Ooh, spooky...

    This is Carla. She isn't very good at horseback riding. Video games were never her thing. And when she took dance lessons, she had the grace of a camel on roller-skates. But in the kitchen, she smoothly slides from the sink to the stove like a ballerina. She researches recipes with amazing speed on her iPad. And she can carrol a mess of carrots, celery and potatoes into a stew faster than you can say "giddyup."

  33. I'm
    posting here again. I thought I left this post at 12:30a, but my
    internet went away and I guess my pb masterpiece of all time was not
    meant for this moment. Such a shame. It was truly Brilliant! Now you
    only have what I can remember:

    - B - F: Gilda lived by herself at the ranch. Each day she followed a
    tight schedule. The ranch had long been abandoned. Still, Gilda had

    the sun peeked its head above the tall Elm, Gilda trotted down the
    thick grassy path to her pond. With a hopeful heart, she lowered her
    head toward the dimpling waters, and whispered. “Soon, my boy will
    return and I’ll be waiting.”

    ripples gently smiled their reply. Gilda neighed and stomped her hoof
    in gratitude. On cue, Papa Perch and his school of fry sprang up,
    through the shimmering, folding curls and sprayed a watery hello to
    Gilda. Mother Mallard and her ducklings quacked their salutations. The
    sparrow sisters trilled their merry greeting. Yes, Gilda's friendly
    whiny was the perfect wake up call. It was the start of a brand new

    Hmmm....this doesn't present much of schedule. I'll have to work some more on this.

  34. Apparently you and Phyllis are twins separated at birth... except for the species difference :)

  35. This is beautiful. I love the imagery!

  36. This is beautiful, Pam! Very evocative! I can picture it all! I'm wondering where her boy is and when he'll be back and what adventures they'll have together! :) Great job!

  37. This is great, Lauri! I like it much better than mine! You segued so smoothly into what she does well! Keep writing - I want to know what happens! :)



    This is Luigi. He isn't very good at horseback riding. Video games were never his thing. And when he took dance lessons, he had the grace of a camel on roller-skates. Coordination just wasn't his strong suit -- at least not on land. If only the boys at school could see him in the lake behind Nonna's cottage, they wouldn't be laughing anymore.

  39. This is great, Victoria! I love the direction you're going here! What happens next? :)

  40. Thanks for posting, Susanna! Here is a test post...let's see...

  41. It worked! Still on iPad...but clicked the link on the bottom to view the full web site (it defaults to a mobile site).

  42. Oh YAY! So glad you figured it out and it's working. I'll have to remember this to suggest as a fix to others who have trouble posting! Thanks!

    Victoria Warneck wrote, in response to Victoria Warneck:

    It worked! Still on iPad...but clicked the link on the bottom to view the full web site (it defaults to a mobile site).

    Link to comment
    IP address:

  43. delores @ thefeatherednestFebruary 21, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    lol...well let's just say that Gilda is a safari witch and she doesn't ride a broomstick.

  44. 7BD Gilda lived by herself at the firehouse. Each day she followed a tight schedule. She was up at 6:00 and sliding down the pole by 6:05. One minute later, was out the door and bouncing through the forest in her firetruck-turned-witch mobile.


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