Posted in Writing Prompt

Writing Prompt for September 25, 2021

Prompt: Suddenly the mysterious light disappeared around the bend.

It was a warm evening in the summer of 1978. We had moved into a second floor apartment in Oakland, California six months earlier. I was 9, my sister was 8, and my brother was 7. We made fast friends with the other children in the complex.

Two siblings who lived two doors down came over that evening to play on our patio. The patio was off of the kitchen and faced the parking lot of a church. The sun was going down so we were keeping an eye out for the Goodyear Blimp that would often cruise the sunset sky. The blimp thrilled us because as it floated by, it would sometimes have a cartoon flickering on the side. We could never get enough of cartoons no matter the quality or form.

While we kept a look out for the blimp, we spent time teasing the Doberman Pinchers that lived in the backyard directly below us. We teased those lean brutes so much that they’d leap up the wall in an attempt to get us.

I envisioned the terror I’d feel if I ever fell down below, and the mess the pair would make of me if I was unfortunate enough to meet the fate of a fall. I decided to put a stop to the teasing, when we saw a round disk-like object in the sky with multi-colored lights flashing and rotating around the sphere.

The object didn’t move very fast but it kept getting closer. We realized that it wasn’t a blimp but didn’t quite know what it was. It began to pick up speed as it got closer to the church. Suddenly, it was moving so fast that we didn’t think it was going to stop. I tore open the patio door and we ran back into the kitchen. We hid behind the curtains and braced for impact but things were very quiet. I waited a moment before I pulled the curtain back enough to survey things and suddenly the mysterious lights disappeared around the bend.

It is now the summer of 2021 and 60 Minutes has just validated the claim of UFOs.

Photo by willbot studios from Pexels

Posted in Creative Writing - Fiction, Writing Prompt

Writing Prompt 1/27 (10 Minutes) – Wicked Wickles

“You all think you know me!” Gildy yelled. “Well you don’t know me! You know nothing about me at all! He turned and looked each person in the room in the eye. His uncle Bertram turned away. His sister Phyllis, casted her eyes downward. The only one to hold his glare steady was Wilford, the family butler. He was the one who finally broke the silence.

Wilford cleared his throat and in the tone he’d used with Gildy from the time he was a little boy, said, “Master Gildy, you’re just tired. Let me get you some tea.”

“I don’t want any tea!” Gildy yelled.

“Tea always makes you feel better.” Wilford said while walking over to Gildy. He held his arm and guided him over to the sofa where Gildy collapsed and began to sob.

“There, there Master Gildy.” He soothed. “Those wicked Wickles will pay for what they’ve tried to do.”

Posted in Creative Writing - Fiction, Writing Prompt

Writing Prompt 1/26 (10 Minutes) The sugar scandal

As far as scandals go, Bright Johnson, 8th grader at Stacey Abrams Middle School, accomplished the greatest scandal anyone in the school could have ever imagined. This was her final year in the MESA program. MESA is where all of the smart kids and those kids whose parents dream of having smart kids come together to create scientific fetes such as prosthetic arms made from kitchen tongs and duct tape. She wanted to end her middle school career on a high note so coming in first place was a must. Her toughest competition was Audra St. Blume who lived a few houses down from Bright. They used to play together when they were in elementary school but middle school changed her. During their final friendly play date Audra said to Bright, “New school, new clothes, new me, new friends. Bye!” So Bright concocted a scheme to bring her down. It came to be known for years to come as the great sugar scandal of Stacey Abrams Middle School.

Posted in Creative Writing - Fiction, Writing Prompt

Writing Prompt 1/25 (10 Minutes): Unseasonably Salty

All of his life’s efforts came to this one moment. All of the hours alone with the light of his laptop transitioning to the light of the sun and back again. All of the sacrifices. A marriage that never stood a real chance, even though he found time, at least twice, to spend 15 minutes physically connecting. This was evident in the two children the coupling produced. Aside from DNA, there was no real connection to the children. Yet this is what his mind decided to ruminate on. How are David and Cassandra doing? The unexpected longing in his heart, an unfamiliar sensation, made him unseasonably salty considering the fact that he just hung up the phone on his agent and the news that he was now a Pulitzer Prize winner for poetry.

Posted in Creative Writing - Fiction, Uncategorized, Writing Prompt

Writing Prompt 1/24 (10 Minutes): Ricocheting Rocks

“When is mama coming home Gil?” Danny asked.

Gil examined the rock he had just spotted poking out from under the log they were sitting on. “I don’t know D. Daddy said it could be a long time.”

“Do you think she’s gonna die?” Danny asked in a whisper.

“Do you think I got a crystal ball or somethin’?” Gil barked before lobbing the smooth rock with just the right wrist action, causing it to skip across the surface five times before it sank.

Ricocheting rocks is one way Gil found that steadied his mind and soothed the ache he felt in his belly when he worried about something.

“Help me find some more rocks.” Gil ordered.

Posted in Creative Writing - Fiction, Writing Prompt

Writing Prompt (10 Minutes): Certifiably Sensational

Commit yourself to an unsubstantiated notion, a conspiracy theory, as it were. Allow it to grab hold of your heart in such a way that whenever your brain receives information that attacks the logic of the notion and begins to ruminate on it, you feel the cold hand of death grip your heart as if it were a hapless stress ball. Your fight or flight instincts begin to kick in. You desperately reach for your laptop, the door to your tribe, and navigate through the halls until you reach the social media room in the darkest corner of the web. You enter, and it’s as if the occupants have been awaiting your arrival. Your fingers relay the rhetoric of which, surprisingly or not, the occupants are all too familiar. Surprisingly or not, they are armed with the medicinal response that instantly dispels the grip. You can breath now. You can, certifiably now, go out into the world and be sensational again.

Posted in Creative Writing - Fiction

Assignment #4

This is my latest assignment for my Creative Writing course. Feel free to answer the two questions at the end and to offer any insight you may have that may be helpful in my journey toward being an effective writer.

These are the instructions:

Write a story (up to 1,000 words) following the ABDCE structure that includes at least one full scene. Also, your story should have at least TEN sentences of rising action.

After your story, along with your submission, ask two specific questions of your readers. Think back to the 21-point checklist. Within the time and logistic constraints of Coursera, we can’t follow all the best practices of writing and revision, but as you work through your assignments and especially as you write beyond these courses, keep them in mind.

Example questions you can ask your readers could be: “What did you think of my main character’s actions?” Or : “Were there any parts that seemed confusing or hard to follow?”

As you end this course with your reader feedback, process it and see if it makes sense. Consider the feedback as you move through other courses in the Specialization, and your writing in general.


Chance Waits for Floyd

Chance sat at the kitchen table fingering the papers that lay in front of her. As her fingers pushed them back and forth, she listened intently to the quiet of the house. She tried to bring that quiet into the middle of her stomach which insisted on flaring as if she swallowed a smoldering fourth of July sparkler. There was only a faint echo of the children who would be sitting at the table eating dinner right now.

Dr. Vance, her therapist, recommended a paralegal service who handled the divorce papers. They called that afternoon to inform her that the divorce papers were ready. On her way to their office, she called her mom, Ruth, and asked if she could drop the children at her house after they came home from school. Ruth was more than happy to care for the children, but she was also worried about what could happen when Chance confronted Floyd with those papers.

As Chance hugged her children goodbye, Ruth asked, “Do you want your brother to come with you honey?”

Chance directed the children into the living room, and said, “No mama. I’ll be fine.” She instantly wondered if that was true. She noticed that there was a steadiness about her resolve that she hadn’t felt for a long time. At that moment, she honestly believed she would, in fact, be fine. She carried that feeling to the car as if it were a broken limb. A part of her that had been fractured long ago when Floyd hurled his first assault against her young and brittle constitution.

Floyd was 17 years her senior. But she didn’t learn that until six months after they met at the Paladium. The Paladium was the new club her friend Diane had been dying to check out. Since it was Chance’s 22nd birthday, Diane’s gift to her was a Saturday night out at the club.

They were stopped at the door by Floyd who examined her photo closely and looked back at her with a perplexed look. “This isn’t you?” He said. Chance was confused, she wasn’t accustomed to being flirted with.

“Tell me fast, when’s your birthday?” Floyd demanded. Before she could respond, he repeated the command, “Fast, when’s your birthday”?

“April 3rd, 1969” she stammered.

Diane interrupted, “Dude, you can clearly see it’s her. Here’s our money. Let us in.”

Floyd held her  gaze for a moment and said “You’re gonna be good?”

She gave him a quizzical look, then shot back, “Maybe.”

Floyd opened the door and the ladies went through.

They found two seats at the bar and ordered two Long Island Iced Teas before a guy slid up next to Diane and asked her to dance. Diane rushed off to the dance floor, leaving Chance at the bar looking after her drink.

She accepted long ago that she wasn’t exactly the type of girl men fell over themselves for. She was somewhat average looking, and on a few occasions had been flat out called ugly. She never knew how she’d be taken so she proceeded with caution around people, especially men.

Alcohol did loosen her up though. She was halfway through her Long Island when Floyd walked up to the bar beside her and ordered an orange juice.

She said, “You don’t drink or something?”

Floyd shook his head, “Naw, I don’t drink and you shouldn’t either.”

“This Long Island Ice Tea is pretty good though.” Chance said, taking another sip.

“You just be careful with that sister. I wouldn’t want to see something happen to you behind alcohol.”

“Ok, Orange Juice.” She said.

“My name is actually Floyd.” He offered her his hand and she shook it.

“So Floyd, I’m Chance.” She said

Floyd cocked his head and said “I remember. I also remember your birthday was earlier this week. Just like mine. You turned, 22 and I turned 28.”

That was the first lie. Her mother told her once, “A relationship that starts out with a lie will end with a lie.” That turned out to be gospel.

They went out for a few months, before Chance introduced him to her family. It was Chance’s brother who brought up the question of Floyd’s age. “Have you checked that dude’s driver’s license, sis? 28 year-old brothers don’t wear shoes like that.”

She had never given it a thought all of this time, but she realized that Ralph had a point. The next time he picked her up for dinner, she noticed other things about him that didn’t seem to fit with men closer to her age. His word choices, the way he seemed to covet her, it was all something indicative of someone much older.

When she questioned him about his age, he became evasive. She pressed him and asked to see his driver’s license. He eventually relented, but not before saying, “I’m really scared to show you. The only reason I didn’t want to tell you the truth is because I was scared that you wouldn’t want to see me. You have to know that what we have together, age shouldn’t be a factor.”

Chance began to feel really afraid. She wondered if he was 50. She knew she couldn’t be involved with someone fifty years old. As it turned out, Floyd was 38 rather than 28 and not only had he shaved 10 years off of his age, he shaved 10 years off of his life in general, including the children he had left in Atlanta.

In twelve years, she had allowed herself to be overtaken by an emotional paralysis caused by the need to constantly discerning truth from lies, and the responsibility of decisions rooted solely in her own peace and happiness. Since Floyd ministered to her that a woman’s value resided only in the happiness of her husband, she sought other council. As she sat at the table, awaiting his arrival, she repeated the four words Dr. Vance casually offered up that gave her clarity and will: “You owe him nothing.”


Question 1: Is the scene cohesive? Does it logically move in and out of the past and present?

Question 2: Does the dialogue and sentence flow naturally throughout?