The Craigslist POSTER


DUDE. You are SO fucking ANGRY that this CHICK doesn’t want to SCREW you. ALSO you use a LOT of capslock. Like, a lot.

This thing is all over the place. BUT I feel like it could be FUN to see the conversation that PROMPTed this post. If writing ABOUT that interaction TICKLES your fancy, please post a link in the comments below!


The Fishbowl

One of the best ways to develop character is through object placement. What kind of stuff would you find in your character’s bedroom? You can tell a whole lot about people by the things they surround themselves with.

The Prompt- Write about a character who has a fish tank, but fills it with something unusual or frightening. How did they get it? What is inside of it? What happens if you stick your fingers in?

Sunday Writing Prompt


Melanie always felt a bit odd going to the Fishbowl to do her homework. In the dank, warm basement room filled with computers and surrounded by glass, she always felt like there were eyes on her. Watching her check her e-mail. Watching her write her essays. Watching her waste time playing solitaire. She was just imagining it, of course, but she couldn’t shake the feeling. It was like being the subject of a The Police song. Every breath you take, every space you make, I am watching you… Yet here she was, her spine a-tingle, because her laptop had crashed, and her Victorian English essay was due in ten hours. Procrastination, and even trips to Best Buy, were no longer allowed. It was time to work.

*     *     *     *     *

She was perfect. Even watching her open up a Word document, those graceful fingers deftly maneuvering over the keyboard, was a beauty to behold.

His green eyes devoured her every movement – subtle movements, since she was stationed in front of a computer screen, writing an essay. She typed furiously, leant her cheek upon her hand, flipped long brown hair over her shoulder, and typed some more. Referenced some books. Checked her e-mail.

Was there anything he wouldn’t enjoy watching her do?

He supposed there was only one way to know for certain.

*     *     *     *     *

When the grumbling of her stomach became too loud and painful to ignore, Melanie decided to take a break. Images of greasy concoctions, available within the span of a few blocks, danced through her mind. (Clement Clarke Moore would not approve.) She was beneath the naked, grasping branches of an oak tree when it happened. Pain of a different sort affected her stomach as strong fingers dug into the soft flesh of her waist, pulling her back roughly. A hand over her mouth, holding a wet, damp rag. Melanie reached for the moon peeking through the tree branches above her, a muffled sound escaping her as the world turned black.

*     *     *     *     *

She was cold, and her limbs were heavy. Reaching her hands out to search for the blanket she must have thrown off while sleeping, Melanie found she was… lying on concrete? Her eyes shot open.

What. The…

She sat up on a concrete floor to see… glass. Surrounding her. She was in a rectangular box of glass, like a still-living Snow White in a glass coffin made by dwarves who got the specifications wrong. She reached out towards the ghostly Melanie visible before her, leaving hand smudges on the cool glass.

Focusing outside of the glass box, she quickly spied a camera. Awesome.

“Hello?” she called out, her voice wavering, sounding small in the cavernous, empty basement. “Hello?! Is anyone there?”

Clumping footsteps sounded on the stairs. “You must be hungry,” a deep voice said. The clumping produced a bearded, middle-aged man, holding a pizza.

Melanie’s stomach grumbled. “No, I’m fine,” she said. “But I kind of need to leave. I have an English paper to finish!”

The man frowned. “I’m afraid I can’t allow that.”

Of course not. Well, she had had to try, right?

“What do you mean? I can’t fail English. My father’s an English professor; he’ll kill me! This paper is worth 40% of my grade.”

“Oh, I’ll let you finish your paper. I just can’t let you out.”

Melanie blinked a few times. Nope. Still didn’t make sense. “Pardon?”

“But first, you should really eat. You’re much too thin.” The man climbed a ladder, placing the pizza in a hitherto unnoticed pulley system, which he then proceeded to carefully lower down to her. She removed the food, briefly wondering if a hunger strike could lead to her release.

“You don’t get out if you stop eating. But I will get you a laptop in an hour so you can work on your paper.” The man sat down on a folding chair, looking at her intently.

“Who are you?” Melanie asked.

“Just an admirer,” he replied. His eyes stared at her, too-focused and unwavering, and she grabbed a slice of pizza to have something else on which to focus.

Short Story Stimulus: Resolution Gone Awry

While many fitness experts are trying to nix New Year’s resolutions in favor of pushing yourself to live healthy all the time, I have a feeling resolutions are a tradition we are not ready to give up any time soon.

We like, too much, our inebriated goals.

We like, too much, our inebriated goals.

“Resolution” is a wonderful word. It is a noun that indicates a firm decision. It does not, therefore, need to be solely attributed to New Year’s.

But a New Year’s resolution is a powerful thing. It gives the fresh, unsullied year a purpose. It gives the goal/resolution a deadline – within 365 days, the resolution maker will have done ___.

Then, we sober up, and usually realize that what we resolved was, indeed, a good idea, and pretend that we are going to attempt it, but usually just sit on the couch all day, eating chinese food and watching bad television.

New Year’s resolutions are lofty ambitions that most of us don’t really think we can achieve. Or, at least, not without a lot of hard work (which, let’s face it, is usually not in the cards).

So you can write a short story about New Year’s resolutions being attempted, and subsequently, not achieved.

Or, be more creative about it. Maybe a resolution, New Year’s or otherwise, results in a murder. Or jail time. Or falling into a magical wonderland.

Your characters could learn a lesson. Or not.

So many possibilities – but maybe try to resolve to finish your story before the new year begins. & don’t forget to link via Mr. Linky, or in the comments!

Good luck, writers! I think this prompt could yield very interesting results, and I look forward to reading them!

Short Story Stimulus: Titles

As you may have noticed, I kind of like reading Craig’s List. The latest ad to tickle my fancy? Voila:

gr8 title

I’m not a fan because of the ad itself, but really because of the title. While this ad is actually referencing the town Hell, Michigan (that’s right folks; Hell really does freeze over every year, if you ever need that fact in your pocket to win an argument), my mind immediately jumped to a different H-E-double hockey sticks.

Oh, yeah. I went there.

Oh, yeah. I went there.

Thus from a site that used to be prominently known for prostitutes and serial killers comes this week’s inspiration: Write a story featuring a manager in Hell.

Then, link to it here:

I hope the writing goes well!

Short Story Stimulus: Ahoy, Me Matey!

So I read somewhere that Sept. 19th is Talk Like a Pirate Day? I feel like there are several “Talk Like a Pirate” Days throughout the year, but who doesn’t want to pretend to be one of Captain Hook’s swarthy crew once in awhile?

Especially when he looks like this... yum!

Especially when he looks like this… yum!

Keeping in the spirit, I thought a children’s tale/poem/etc. featuring a pirate and/or pirate lore was in order!

Write me well!

Write me well!

Please post a link of your resulting work via Mister Linky or in the comments!

Short Story Stimulus: Stereotypes

My recent viewing of, and subsequent post about, The Breakfast Club, got me thinking about stereotypes. I’m getting kind of sick of the “the stereotype is not really me, man” storyline, aren’t you?


Which brings me to this week’s prompt: write a story that has at least one central character that adheres to the stereotype.

The thing is, stereotypes exist for a reason. There are a lot of cheerleaders who date jocks and care more about tanning and makeup than good grades. There are a lot of kids who are bored and smoke weed and can’t utilize transitions in their writing, because they don’t know what a transition is. There are mean girls. There are choir geeks.

If you can, write a story that features the stereotype as the protagonist.

& don’t forget to link to your results!

Short Story Stimulus: Mythology, Reworked

I recently wrote a book review about a novel that re-tells the Trojan War myths for a middle school audience. I was not a fan of the novel, but mentioned that I like re-worked myths. Myths began as oral stories, and are consequently malleable. They are supposed to be altered, be added to, subtracted from, and become the marked product of their current narrator.

Due to my love of mythology, and the fact that there are so many interesting things a writer can do with them, this week’s writing prompt is: Homage to a Myth. Poem, Short Story, Play, Novel – whatever form you choose, base it on a well-known myth.

I’m currently working on the Daphne metamorphosis myth:


What myth are you working on? Leave a comment to let me know, or link to Mr. Linky with your blogged piece!

Buy Me Dinner, First

Apparently, August is Read-a-Romance month. You know what they say – what you read, you tend to write. (I don’t know if the ambiguous “they” actually say anything of the sort or not, but this is my blog, and I’ll attribute whatever cliched sayings to them I wish, dammit!)

Who says "it?" "They" do.

Who says “it?” “They” do.

I’ve already done a post on romances to indulge in (when lamenting over my own lack of Valentine’s Day plans), so if you’re looking for some inspiration, that’s a good place to start.



Write a romance. A cute one. The one you wish you had. The one you really have. An erotic one. An impotent one. Post it & link to it here!

I’m excited! I think some very interesting pieces can result from this prompt.

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!

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…