OLWG #280- What Happened?

This week’s prompts are at the bottom. Feel free to seize the prompts, twist them, form them, play with them as you will. All comers are welcome. The words below are just practice for me. I had a lot of fun writing them, and you know what I always say, “Practice makes perfect.”

Here’s how to play along, if you are unsure.

Hi Kids, It’s me, TN. I don’t believe I’ve ever done this before, but today, I must. You guys may have noticed that I missed posting prompts last week. Yeah, I know that’s not like me. But, it happened. Let me tell you exactly what happened.

It was a tick after midnight and I was sitting at my desk, planning my usual story to introduce prompts; you know how I do. I was drinking, a little, but having a hard time coming up with a story, so I thought I’d review my list of prompts. I have over 1500 writing prompts in this list. I have used about 1300 of them have once. I’ve been providing prompts for various writing groups for more than ten years now. More than 250 of these prompts have been seen only me.

I was reminiscing over some of the older ones, recalling the stories that had they had inspired. I was working on my third Malpais Stout. Note that this particular Stout is a fine New Mexican beer brewed by La Cumbre, in ABQ. It’s a strong dark beer (kinda like a Guinness, but better) when I heard a tapping at the window.

I paused and listened until I heard it again, when I reached over my desk and pushed the curtain aside. On the outside side of my window stood the Wicked Witch of the West. She’s been known by many names and described in many ways. That night, she resembled most the character portrayed by Margaret Hamilton. In the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz”. Complete with green skin, hooked nose, and tall pointed hat. She seemed somewhat agitated, spooked.

She motioned for me to open the window. I pointed to the door, and rose from my chair to make my way there. Opening the door, she stood waiting for me, leaning on an umbrella. I opened the door wider and she swept into the house behind me.

“I’ve been looking for you.” she opens, “Why are you wasting your time looking at all those stupid writing prompts. You need to get out and live a little.”

My eyes grew wide.

Look at the sky,” she grabbed my hand and pulled me out to the edge of the porch. “Look at it,” she commanded, “what do you see? Tell me about the light. Show me the dark. Describe to me the size and the shape of the clouds. Paint me a picture of the way the moon hovers behind or beneath them.”

“Come out here in the morning and do it again. What colour is the morning sunshine? How does it differ from the same sunlight at noon, or at dusk?” She shook her finger at me, like an angry school teacher, and then she took my hand. I found myself in a barroom where country music strayed and played past my ears. String-accompanied symphonies with roots deep in folk and cowboy music. Easy vocals, simple in form and harmony, and typified by melancholy ballads. “Tell me about the music. Inform me if I hear acoustic or electric guitars, banjos, violins, pianos, or harmonicas.

I next found myself moving in rapid succession – an auditorium, an airport, a restaurant, train station, classroom, and library. “Tell me about the people you see. The people in petrol stations, restaurants, bars, schools, casinos, and the like. I want to know about them. They are all different, though many are similar. Are they men or women or a mixture of both? What do they wear? How do they speak? How do they string their words together? What do they look like? Are the women substantial or lithe? Heavy breasted or perky? What colour hair do they have? How are their faces shaped? Their lips? Their hips? Their legs? I want to know it all.

Are the men ripped or doughy? Bearded or clean shaven? Long or short haired. Tall or short in stature? Rough or refined? These things are important and I need to see what you see.

How do they speak? Are they concise, or do they keep their subject on the periphery and sneak up on it? Do they speak the truth or do they obfuscate?

“Are you my muse?” I asked her. What happened to the warm glow of the liquor? The soft embrace of the narcotics? The prompts?”

“Why do you cling to your crutches, when you can walk?” she asked. “Why do you walk, when you can spread your wings and soar? Pay attention! That is all you need do, my pretty.

“Re-envision what you see. Remember all you hear. Put it in a box and shake it up. Shuffle the cards. Write it down.”

She whopped me up side of the head with her brolly, turned on her heel, and clacked down the stairs. At the street she looked left, then right; then vanished. In turn, I looked left, and then right, I backed into the house and pushed the door shut. I detoured into the den to grab a bottle of whisky and a glass. Back at my desk, I shook the mouse to reawaken my laptop and resumed studying my fat file of prompts. I try to forget the witch.

I try.

This week’s prompts are:

    1. rattlesnakes and firebugs
    2. she slipped away
    3. pieces of one another

    And because I owe you some prompts from last Sunday Morning:

    1. I’ve lost my St Christopher
    2. change the words to this poem
    3. I guess I do

 You can start writing whenever you want, just write, get the words down – and have fun!


9 thoughts on “OLWG #280- What Happened?

  1. Ya know the original OZ baddie was from the East! But well politics got in the way (espeically when making the movie…) Anyway. You sound like the Witch gave you an Ebenizer Scrooge wake up call.
    And now I’ve got to ‘fart’ with two sets of prompts!! I get you my pretty!!

    I haven’t really looked at the prompts yet. But I’ll think of something. Once my muse gets my brain gets in gear… there’s no telling what’ll happen. Just hope it works out – the words that is…

    I’ll be baaaack… if I don’t melt first…. 😉


  2. Just finished with a Midsummer Murder mystery…(so may twists in those episodes) maybe that’ll spark something in my brain. 🙂


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