Short Story Stimulus: Being Creepy

If you have casually perused my blog at all, you will know that I kind of love reading Craigslist’s missed connections. Sometimes sad, often funny, these writings have the potential to touch my soul, but more often, skeeve me out.


So, this week’s writing prompt? Be obsessive. Write the creepiest Craigslist missed connection you can think of. Maybe you can use it in a story or something, but post the m.c. writing on your blog & link to it with Mister Linky – so that Craiglist can inspire even more amusement, for me.

I really think this prompt can inspire some great work!

Craig’s List Capture: That’s Descriptive

Craig's List Capture: That's Descriptive

I can’t tell if this one is a joke or oblivious. There’s no identifying information, other than that this poster works at some place that sells something that is capable of being returned.

“You have pretty eyes” is also hardly a qualifier for – oh, I’m sorry, it’s “really” pretty eyes? Well, I suppose that makes all the difference. This poster is obviously talking about me. Even though I remained at home with my baby boy all day on Tuesday, July 16.

Short Story Stimulus: WHAT YOU KNOW

This week’s writing prompt – we’ve all had that co-worker who we just can’t stand. They’re mean, or backstabbing, prettier than you, or just idiotic. So your challenge, should you choose to accept it (and you should), is: Write a fictional story about the co-worker you hated, including at least 3, but no more than 8, traits gleaned from reality (& you don’t need to tell us which traits are true, and which aren’t – we’re operating on the honor system, and I also recommend keeping it on the anonymous side).

grumble, grumble... stupid job... grumble, grumble...

grumble, grumble… stupid job… grumble, grumble…

Don’t forget to share your post by clicking on the Mr. Linky button!

You have one minute to leave this page and begin writing your short story before your computer self-destructs. And 59 seconds… And 58 seconds…

Story –> Writing Prompt –> The Tattoo

Shelby was not an alcoholic. She didn’t consume enough alcohol to be an alcoholic. Unfortunately, when she drank too much, she could be convinced to do almost anything. And it didn’t take much to be too much.

While she objected to the label “one beer queer,” it was accurate.

It only takes one...

It only takes one…

Fortunately, when sober, Shelby was a goal-oriented individual who was easily able to discern and carry out the actions necessary to fix the situations her drinking got her into.

Broke a lamp? She found a broom and dustpan and swept up the mess before heading home. Ripped her dress? She borrowed a dress/shirt/etc. from a closet before heading home. Slept with her friend’s boyfriend? She stopped and procured the morning after pill on her way home.

Then one late morning, Shelby woke up, head aching, eyes burning, torso extremely sore. Pulling up her shirt to ascertain the extent of her torso injury, she was shocked to be faced with the sight of Chuck Norris punching a unicorn. It was undoubtedly the worst tattoo she had ever seen… and it was on her body.

bad tattoo

She knew there were only two options on how to deal with this: cover the tattoo up with another one, or get the tattoo removed via lasers. Both options were expensive, but she couldn’t very well deal with keeping the tattoo, as it was…

No more bikinis. Seeing Chuck Norris’ furious face every time she glimpsed her torso in the mirror stepping out of the shower. Explaining the unicorn to all of her sexual partners – assuming they were still willing to seal the deal after seeing it. Because nothing is creepier than a twenty-something girl who’s still into unicorns. She could walk into the bedroom holding a knife, with blood dripping from her mouth, and it would still be less creepy than cuddling a stuffed unicorn – or worse, marking herself with one.

No more bikinis...

No more bikinis…

The thing was, while sober Shelby was an intelligent, discerning individual who could fix problems, she was also a bit of a wimp. Not quite as bad as a recovering heroine addict, but still fairly intolerant of pain. The idea of allowing a needle to torture her skin repeatedly was unbearable. The thought of a laser burning her? Possibly worse.

The solution hit her as she was nearing the end of her waitressing shift. But she needed help. Reliable help.

“Hey, Melissa,” she purred, setting down her tray and smiling at her friend.

“What do you want?” Melissa asked. Her eyes looked a bit red and puffy, and her voice was low, almost muted.

“Are you okay?” Shelby asked.

“I- I’ve just got a bit of a headache,” Melissa answered. Shelby wasn’t certain she believed her, but whatever. She needed to take care of this problem; she could get to the bottom of Melissa’s drama later.

“Well, you know what they say about headaches,” Shelby said. “There’s only one cure.”

“Oh, yeah? What’s that?” Melissa asked, raising one eyebrow in an arch display of skepticism.

“Vodka. Preferably in martini form. Possibly shaken, possibly stirred.”

Isolated Martini Glass

“That’s not going to make me feel better,” Melissa said, shaking her head.

“It might. Plus, I need help. From someone I can trust,” Shelby replied. “Please?”

After a pause, Melissa said: “Yeah, okay. At your place?”

“You know it. Call Jake and let him know I’ll be giving you a ride from work.”


*     *     *     *     *

“Who did this to you?” Melissa asked, giggling and scratching at Shelby’s torso. “This is… kind of amazing. And actually really good artwork. Are you sure you want to get rid of it?”

“Yes! Now get me drunk, and tell me to get laser removal.”

“I can do that,” Melissa replied.

*     *     *     *     *

Bright light burned through her eyelids and awoke Shelby. “…the f@#k?” she muttered, pushing herself up into a sitting position. She was on an unrecognizable orange couch. She knew that she had been drinking. And her arm hurt like a motherf@#cker.

Looking down at her left arm, Shelby spied another tattoo… of a teddy bear.


A high-pitched keening sound escaped her throat. This visible marker was only slightly better than the last one, but it was also far more…visible.

“Oh, you’re awake.” Melissa appeared in the doorway. She smiled, before asking: “How are you feeling, honey? Would you like some water?”

Shelby pointed to her arm, as another whine fell through her mouth.

“Yeah, you look like you need some water. Just a sec.” Melissa disappeared, returning a few minutes later with a large glass filled with clear liquid.

Shelby took it from her, sipping slowly. “Where are we?”

Woman Drinking Water from a Glass

“Oh, we’re at my buddy Zach’s house. He’s the tattoo artist who helped you today.”

“Weren’t we supposed to get rid of a tattoo?” Shelby pulled her shirt up, but the enraged Norris and victimized unicorn remained stamped on her skin.

“Well, that’s what you wanted. Until you had a few martinis in you. Then, my suggestion of a teddy bear complement really excited you,” Melissa responded.

“But… You were… Why?!” Shelby looked down at her arm.

“You know, that’s what I’ve been asking myself since I found out you slept with Jake. I mean, you knew we were pretty serious.  Why would you sleep with my boyfriend? And that’s what Jake asked me when he broke up with me yesterday. Why would he stay with me when I make him wear a condom and I have slutty friends who are happy to have unprotected, hopefully not STD-ridden sex?”

“Uh…” Shelby looked down at her arm.

“I should probably thank your drunken, slutty ass for showing me what an asshole my ex-boyfriend is. But I won’t. I’m still pretty f@#cking pissed about it right now.”

“Was it really this – ” Shelby waved her toy-infested arm before her friend – “bad?”

Melissa laughed. “Probably not. But that – ” she pointed, giggled again. ” – made me feel better. You’re still pretty inebriated, so I’m going to borrow your car so I can get home. I need to shower before heading to work. You can pick up your car, later, ‘kay? I’ll let Oliver know you’re running a little late.”

Goodbye, bitch.

Goodbye, bitch.

With a little wave, Melissa snagged Shelby’s keys off of a nearby table and walked out the door.

“Shit,” Shelby said, flopping against the back of the couch. Water sloshed onto the orange couch and floor. Her arm throbbed. Her head throbbed. And she now had two problematic tattoos instead of one.

Short Story Stimulus: TATTOO

Deadlines. Some love the sound of them whooshing by, and some find them helpful to actually finish a project. For those who fall in the latter category, as a writer, I want to try posting writing prompts on a weekly basis. On Sundays/Mondays, I will try to post a prompt, and you can write whatever type of work you would like based on that prompt. Then please share the link to your writing by clicking on the Mister Linky button. I would love to read your work! But no pressure. These are prompts, and you only have a week, so the expectations are for first drafts, not polished pieces of perfection.

So – this week’s prompt? The worst tattoo.

Need a little more inspiration? Click the picture.

Need a little more inspiration? Click the picture.

Let me know what you think of this week’s writing prompt in the comments below! Any problems with Mister Linky? Let me know, and post your link in the comments. I look forward to reading some of your material – and if you can’t decide what format to write in, beginning with a poem is often easiest.

On How Writing a Novel is Similar to Being Fed as a 9-Month Old Baby

When baby boy was 9 months old, it was awesome, as well as more work. You think things should get a little easier once your baby starts sleeping longer – which might be true. I wouldn’t know, since my baby is one of the guys who wakes up every few hours singing “Feed Me, Momma!” in a sing-song fashion reminiscent of a cult-classic movie.

This is pretty much what my baby sounds like. Well, substitute “milk” for “human.”

But baby boy’s not only breastfeeding – he is also eating baby food (and now, finger foods!). This process has gotten increasingly difficult, which brings about the parallels alluded to in my title.

It begins with a hunger, gnawing at your insides. The baby knows he needs to get food in his stomach, asap. The writer knows she needs to find time to sit before a computer and allow her thoughts to pour onto the Yarny page*.

You're inspired. This is going to be AWESOME!

You’re inspired. This is going to be AWESOME!

But actually taking the time to feed your hunger is another story. The baby locks his legs and screams in frustration as you try to sit his small form in his high chair. Why can’t you just whip out your boobs and feed him NOW?! The writer sits down before the computer, only to realize – she’s hungry! She forgot to make coffee! She can’t write without CHOCOLATE**.

& the computer chair sits, empty, waiting...

& the computer chair sits, empty, waiting…

It seems like everything is in order… The baby has been seated and strapped in like the tiny, hungry lunatic he is. It is time to commence feeding. As the spoon approaches his open mouth, he decides he wants to feed himself, and snatches the spoon from his parent. In this process, most of the food on the spoon falls on the floor before he can shove the spoon in his mouth. He refuses to let go of his Spiderman-strong grip on the spoon, and is incensed that food does not miraculously re-appear on the silverware. He is hungry! The writer has finally stacked a fair amount of snackage in the vicinity of her computer, and opened her Yarny page. She sits, staring at the page for a second. Then she opens her Facebook page. She flips back to the blank Yarny page. It is still blank. She decides reading Gawker might inspire her again. It does not. She types the first two words of a sentence before checking her e-mail. She flips back to the Yarny page. It is mostly blank, and now she needs to leave for her doctor’s appointment. Baby and writer scream in rage. WHY ISN’T THIS WORKING?!

The page remains enrageingly blank

The page remains enragingly blank

Eventually, the baby learns better (or the parent is able to wrench the spoon from his strong grasp). The writer has the occasional burst of inspiration where everything works, and she manages to type out a few pages. These bursts are often replaced with bouts of depression as the writer is certain that her work is no good. Maybe, one day, the novel will be done.

Somewhere over the rainbow, my novel is done...

Somewhere over the rainbow, my novel is done…

*This is the writing site I use. I like that it automatically saves, and is accessible from any computer. I am also, however, welcome to suggestions – do you utilize a different and/or better site?

**As you can see, my mind kind of has one track – food & drink are desired constantly. Thank goodness my boyfriend is a cook!