Monday, August 4, 2008

Wake Up! Play the Monday Thirty-Word String Story Game With Me...

Party in the Comments Box!

(Okay, so maybe I don't feel like cutting and pasting anything this week. Something tells me you're all going to give me a little grace here.)

Ahem. There's a lot of talent represented in my readership! So I'm eager to see you have some fun with words. Here's how to play:

Read what's been written so far. Write THE NEXT 30 WORDS. No more, no less. No period if you haven't come to the end of a sentence yet. No end quotes if the dialogue has broken off in the middle. 30 words. And make them flow naturally out of the preceding words.

Oh, and one more thing: Your 30 words MUST contain one of the following words:


Yes, you may choose a word that's already been used by someone else -- but not a word that has been used in the 30-word segment right before yours.

Do you think we can shoot for a 1500 word story? That would mean 50 comments.

I will start the story in the comment box, to keep things all together.

Okie dokie? Show me your stuff!


  1. "I'll have the jalepeno fritatta."

    Calliope wasn't hungry, really. She just wanted something to make her breath smell bad. Maybe then he wouldn't want to sit by her.

    "Do you

  2. have refried beans as a side?"

    Refried beans, no deodorant, and not a stick of gum in sight, Calliope laughed to herself as she fingered the grommet on her new

  3. jacket.

    Now for the pithy conversation... "Bruno hates when people sit on his lap."

    "Bruno?" His eyes flashed amused.

    "My invisible friend. That's his seat." There. That ought to make

  4. Nathan move away. Or convince him she was nuts. Either way, she would be able to breathe again.

    “This is your first visit to Caribou Cove, isn’t it?” His nasal

  5. voice sent railroad spikes of pain through her head. It took all Calliope's self control to not grab that bottle gourd on the wall and shove it down his throat.

  6. "Bruno is grumpy. Bruno is mad. Bruno says you're frumpy and look really bad." Sprechstimme was a last resort, but her music instructor remarked about the eerie cadence her voice

  7. "Oh-kay," he said, leaning back a fraction in his chair. "And I suppose Bruno thinks I like chicken noodle soup too?"

    Calliope shrugged. "Bruno might examine the contents of your

  8. of your cell phone directory. You may want to redact any embarrassing phone numbers listed; say in your top five redials. It's important for Bruno not to worry so much

  9. about your intentions."

    "My intentions?" Nathan's face turned crimson.

    "You fluster easily, don't you?" asked Calliope with a grin.

    "Only when a girl with smelly breath and stinky armpits thinks

  10. that I could be even remotely interested in anything other than borrowing a few packets of Sweet and Low.”

    With that pithy comment, Nathan retreated back to the hole he

  11. came from. Calliope watched him dig into chicken noodle soup with gusto. She felt a slow grin spread across her face. Nathan glanced at her and raised his eyebrows. He…

  12. wasn’t easy to dismiss. Damn him. Why did he have to be so candid about her personal hygiene? She found nothing else attractive about the man, but his unapologetic frankness

  13. gave her tremulous heartbeats. This could be the man she needed. One who gave an honest answer to "What do you think of my hair?" and "What to do with

  14. Aunt Gertie? She was as useless as a farm full of gourd vines in a famine. The only answer I'd come up with so far, was to neck her, but

  15. that seemed too cruel. Anyway, she made the best chicken noodle soup in the city. What Calliope really needed was a man to help her with such situations.

    Sighing, she

  16. toyed with a left-over jalepeno on her plate.

    "That went well, huh?"

    Calliope looked over at Bruno's chair. Then around the restaurant.

    Well?" the deep voice said.

    She looked nervously

  17. at the vacant chair. "Who said that?"

    No answer. Her gaze slid to Nathan. He hunched over his bowl, shaking with laughter.

    "Real nice." Calliope grabbed her purse, frantic to

  18. Oops. Scratch that.

    I forgot to use a word from the list.

    at the vacant chair. "Who said that?"

    No answer. Her gaze slid to Nathan. He hunched over his bowl, shaking with laughter.

    "Real nice." Calliope grabbed her purse, too flustered

  19. Darn it. Now I put the word in the wrong tense.

    *glares at the list*

    at the vacant chair. "Who said that?"

    No answer. Her gaze slid to Nathan. He hunched over his bowl, shaking with candid laughter.

    "Real nice." Calliope grabbed her purse, frantic

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  21. , jerking bills from her pocket to pay. She bolted outside like a caribou from a polar bear and hit steam-bath hot air. Mixed metaphors. Her hunky writing coach always ranted

  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. about her ability to state the obvious with such flair.

    When Calliope rounded the corner, heading home, a tremulous fear ripped through her as the booming voice sounded in her

  25. head.

    "Weren't expecting pithy commentary, were you?"

    "Back off, Goody," another voice answered. "Hey, that cabbie looks cute. Step off the curb. If he hits you, he will have to