Tag Archives: 100 Word Challenge for Grownups

100 Word Challenge for Grownups – Memories

Julia’s 100 Word Challenge for Grownups gives us another picture this week to inspire our short-short stories. Let me know what you think of mine!


The package came on Monday – an inlaid wooden box, locked. On Tuesday, a small envelope. The note inside said only “Rosemary. That’s for remembrance.”

The key lay in the frostbitten herb garden. Her heart hammered as she picked it up. Late at night, she turned the lock. Letters overflowed as she lifted the lid. Taped inside the lid, another note – “Pray you, love, remember – remember how I love you. Love, let me come back.”

She smiled grimly as she fed the letters into the blazing fireplace. What about the box? Pretty, new, no memories left in it. She’d keep it.

100 Word Challenge for Grownups: The Contest

This week, Julia’s prompt for the 100 Word Challenge for Grownups is  …what does it taste like…

To participate, add 100 more words to the prompt and tell us a short-short story. (Don’t forget to post the link over at 100WCGU!) Here’s my version. Please comment – I’d love to know what you think of it!

The Contest

My Aunt Joan’s hobby is winning cooking contests. Well, entering them. So when I heard her excited voice, I knew what I was in for. I went over anyway.

She waved a dripping spoon at something with lots of multicolored layers. “What is it?” I said.

“Lima Fruit Parfait.” She beamed at me. “For the Lima Bean Festival down in Cape May. It’s got strawberries and oranges and blueberries and, of course, lima beans.”

“Lima. Fruit. Parfait. What does it taste like?”

“Oh, who cares? People eat with their eyes, right? And it’s pretty.”

“But lima beans with strawberries? And stuff?”

“Beans are fruit. Technically. I think.”

* * *

(The Lima Bean Festival in Cape May, New Jersey is real. Aunt Joan and her parfait are not, and the actual festival should not be blamed for them!)

100 Word Challenge for Grownups: A Clear View

This week, Julia has given us a picture to inspire our stories for the 100 Word Challenge for Grownups. Let me know what you think of mine –

image011A Clear View

I was on my honeymoon – our honeymoon – when I found out Mike and I had seriously different tastes in fun. We both like sightseeing, but I like to be awestruck from safety. Mike would like to take me rappelling down the side of Mount Everest and exploring ice caves in Antarctica. As it was, I’d already fallen off a horse, twice, and wrenched my back when the bungee jump cords weren’t adjusted right, before we got to the Grand Canyon.

“I’m not walking out over thin air!”

“Honey, you’ll never get a better view. It’s safe. Don’t you trust me?”

And that’s when I realized: I didn’t.

100 Word Challenge for Grownups: Escape

This week’s story prompt from Julia is “….the extreme weather meant…“, and she asks us to add a hundred words of our own to turn the prompt into a story.

There’s a crumb of reality behind my little fable – years ago, I came across a book about a small valley in New Guinea which, according to the writers, had a nearly perfect climate. Jack, and his story, are straight out of my imagination.

Please tell me what you think of it!


Nobody could fool Jack. To him, the extreme weather meant disaster looming. Time to escape to the world’s best climate – he just had to locate it. No traceable internet research; he read about his refuge in an old book, traveled to New Guinea, hired a driver.

Who loved to talk. “You wouldn’t believe how we’ve changed. My grandpa only ever thought about raising pigs. Now look around – roads, electricity, why, I’ve got my own web site.”

“What for?”

The driver grinned. “Help grandma market the pigs. Where were you going again?” Jack repeated the name of the perfect valley. The road wound higher past a hydroelectric dam. The car stopped. “Hope you can swim.” An expansive gesture toward the lake. “It’s down there, all flooded.”

100 Word Challenge for Grownups: Lessons

I haven’t participated in the 100 Word Challenge for a week or two. Time to get back on track! This week, Julia asks us to add 100 words to the prompt “…the notes from the piano…” to make a very small story. Hmmm. Where is that piano? Who’s playing it – and what kind of music are they playing? Here’s my answer – please let me know what you think!


The notes from the piano in the studio downstairs drifted through the floor. Sounds charming, right? Well, no. Scales, G to G, drifted through the floor. Over and over, up and down. And every time, the same wrong note. I burrowed into the pillows, coughed some more, and tried to sleep.

Finally the hour’s lesson was over. Blessed silence. No – footsteps stomping up the old stairs. A fist banging on my door. I pulled on a robe and staggered out to answer.

“Look, I’ve been hearing you cough all afternoon. Are you – no, I can see you’re not okay. Do you need help? What can I get you?”

Only one more day of 2012!

We’re staring 2013 in the face.

I don’t usually write about my problems here, mostly because I don’t have much that’s fresh and insightful to say about the subject. But the end of the year seems to be the traditional time to evaluate our lives and make plans to improve them.

And what did I accomplish in 2012? I started off with grandly overambitious plans – “finish writing at least two books; be thin; live in a tidy house; rebuild my savings account; learn to draw; and, for the heck of it, finish several reading challenges.” It’s been a sobering year.

My house is as messy as it’s ever been, possibly worse. I’ve gained five pounds. I don’t have the free time to concentrate on drawing. The reading challenges petered out midyear, largely because I found other topics to post about, so I don’t really care about that failure. Have I succeeded in anything?

My main accomplishment, one I didn’t realize I was facing a year ago, has been to keep my mother out of the hospital and the nursing home, living quasi-independently in her familiar house with her familiar belongings and as many of her familiar routines as she feels up to bothering with. And it’s stressful for everyone involved, and pretty time-consuming.

But what about my January pipe dreams? Well, there’s writing. Writing fiction is something I’ve made progress on. No, I haven’t finished two books in the past year. In spite of my high hopes a month ago, I haven’t even finished one; it turns out that my mother now gets very upset by the prospect of Christmas (with all the things she feels she ought to do and can’t do), so upset that soothing her leaves me emotionally drained for most of the day. So that will have to be factored into future plans: December is a washout.

Even so, I’ve learned a lot – partly by participating in Friday Fictioneers and the 100 Word Challenge for Grownups – about writing: structuring plots, developing characters, keeping a story moving. Well before spring I really should have the current fantasy-in-progress rough draft written. (Pause for cartwheels.)

The score for the year? I guess I’m keeping up with the absolutely essential top-priority things. Almost top-priority, not so good. Tomorrow I’ll inflict a post on you about where I go from here.

(On a different subject, I just got home this afternoon from a two-day trip – my husband and I decided to give each other a mini-vacation for Christmas. I think I’ve caught up on all the comments people made on my posts while I was away; I know I have dozens and dozens of your posts to read. I’m looking forward to them, but it will take a while to get through them all. You may still be getting comments in February 😉 )

100 Word Challenge for Grownups: Guests

This week, Julia gave us a seasonal prompt – “twas the night before Christmas.” As usual, all we have to do is add 100 words to it for a ministory. What I came up with was this tale of a woman who’s feeling overburdened…please tell me what you think of it!


Twas the night before Christmas. Sarah’s house was bursting; she was fuming. “It’s David’s fault,” she told her neighbor Abby-the-gossip. “Invites every no-good who claims to need help to stay.”

“Looks like you’ll have one more soon,” smirked Abby, glancing at a very-pregnant girl.

She was right. Sarah would have liked to order Abby out when the girl’s labor started, but Abby was a good midwife and she needed the help. At last it was over. Abby peered at the newborn. “This one’s a troublemaker. Look how he’s started,” she said happily.

“Oh, nonsense.” Sarah smiled at the weary mother. “He’s a miracle, like all babies.”

100 Word Challenge for Grownups: Ho Ho Ho?

Julia has given us a classically seasonal prompt for this week’s 100 Word Challenge for Grownups – a simple “Bah Humbug!” And the director of this production of the Christmas Carol is about ready to join in…

Ho Ho Ho?

“Only time for three more rehearsals, and that’s if they come in tomorrow morning. It’s going to be a disaster.”

“The children sound all right.”

“Oh, the kids know their lines, the singers are fine, the script works. And there’s a hole right in the middle of the production.”

“A hole?”

“Instead of a bad guy. Says he likes Christmas. If he’s not loathsome in the first act, nothing’s going to work. Hey, Scrooge! Let’s hear your first line again.”

A cheery “Bah humbug!” Pause. “That wasn’t right, was it?”

“You hear that? You call that a Scrooge? Nick, what’s wrong with you?”

100 Word Challenge for Grownups: Self-sacrifice

All right, this story is in response to Julia’s real prompt for the 100 Word Challenge for Grownups. And in a few minutes, I’ll find out whether I’ve managed to miss the deadline for this week…


I’m on a mission.

You know the way people put out treats, especially around Christmas, and then leave the plates  sitting with just one piece left? It’s cruel, that’s what it is. Tempting people like that. Just think of the poor souls who struggle with their weight. Why, they might eat that last piece!

Someone has to protect them. So from now on, whenever I see a plate full of goodies, I’m going to eat it all, every bite, right away, before anyone else can get at it.

No, no, you don’t have to thank me. Just knowing that I can help is reward enough.

100 Word Challenge for Grownups: Something New

Julia’s keeping her prompt for this week’s 100 Word Challenge for Grownups short, simple, and seasonal – just one word: grey.

And here’s my story about a woman who’s not about to be defeated by November gray. Let me know what you think!

Something New

She pulls out one hair, a second, a third, and inspects them  carefully. It’s true. They’re all grey. Time to face the facts. She makes an appointment.

The stylist fingers her hair thoughtfully. “You’re naturally dark haired, aren’t you?”

“It’s almost black. Was almost black.”

“We don’t recommend dark brown, for ladies with your situation. A soft brown, or maybe a rich blonde – that will flatter your skin tone more.”

“I don’t want a soft brown,” she says firmly. “Or black. Let’s go for something new.” He produces a small professional smile. “It’s almost Christmas. I want the left half red and the right half green.” She grins back. “Come January, we’ll think of something else.”