You’ve got a new story to write and it looks nothing like your past.
Book club met today. Eight of the ten of us ate a lovely lunch and discussed Face Off, a collection of short stories edited by David Baldacci. The book included twenty stories written by famous crime authors pairing their famous characters together to tell a story. Think Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch and Dennis Lehane’s Patrick Kenzie solving a cold case from Los Angeles to Boston. Each story was better than the next!
Our hostess is a retired teacher and she planned a writing activity after lunch. We groaned, we moaned, and we begrudgingly took on a (very) short story writing assignment. On a 3×5 card, we were asked to write one sentence setting up a character, including setting, place and time. Then we randomly passed the cards around the table and took another card. On that, we finished the story by adding one sentence adding a problem for this character.
It turned out that I’m not the only brilliant author in the group! Readers, I present today’s short stories:
- Maggie awoke with a start struggling to shake off the dark dread clinging to the shadows. She hadn’t eaten before she went to bed, but she did have an unsettling phone conversation with her ex Roger that evening.
- An up-and-coming Broadway dancer was waiting at the lunch counter for her mother on the day of the Tony nominations. Her agent Buzzie called with the news she’d been nominated for five Tony awards for her show “Butterfly Girls.”
- Santa never left David the toy he asked for, so this year he asked for money. Santa received the request for money and immediately thought of getting money from his good friend Johnny Depp.
- On a cold night in Washington. D.C., Thomas was watching how the Lincoln Memorial was structured. The security guard, Jonas, was getting ready to move him along when Thomas was suddenly mugged.
- It was a dark and stormy night when Lisa was riding on the train home from Santa Barbara. At the last stop, just as she was about to retreat into her book, a tall man with a baseball hat slung low over his forehead took the seat next to her.
- Jeffrey Green woke up to blinding sunshine pouring through the motel window, and a blinding headache pounding in his head. Jeffrey knew he should never drink gin with a strange redhead who looked like Rita Hayworth.
- Colin Firth woke up next to Sandy, feeling better than he ever had, and walked outside into a dark and stormy night. Unbeknownst to Sandy, her husband Dale was sitting in his car, watching Colin leave the building. He was furious!
- It was a cold, snowy night in November. The year was 1956 and that was the day that zucchini-loving Caryn was born. Caryn’s mother was mad at Caryn’s dad because he was in the hospital hallway smoking a cigarette.
Now, really, these are all good opening lines for new stories, and I would love to find out what happens with Dale and Colin Firth. But the most amazing? I tried zucchini today at lunch and I liked it!