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Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 6 – Valentine’s Edition

Valentine's Day Tweet TalesHappy Valentine’s Day!  Since this past week led to the big day of flowers and chocolate, I decided to give myself an extra challenge by making each of the 15 Minutes Tweet Tales a romance.  The word-a-day calendar delivered some toughies, but I tried to keep the tales in the realm of romance rather than wandering down the dark and twisty road of murder and mayhem like I usually do.  Although I think this little exercise has proved I’m much better at writing murder and mayhem (and it managed to sneak in anyway on the 12th).  

Anyway, to get you in a romantic frame of mind, here are tweet tales for Valentine’s week:

2/8 – The pabulum that tumbled from her lips was mind-numbing, but the other things she could do with that mouth kept him head over heels.
 
2/9 – He jumps on stage brandishing a “Will you marry me?” sign. To the crowd’s delight, she cries yes just before the guards tackle him.
 
2/10 – She worries her love for him is immoderate, but then she sees the way he looks at her & knows he deserves every drop of her affection.
 
2/11 – She fell for the adorable turophile as he explained the difference between Gruyère and Gouda – even though she preferred Velveeta.
 
2/12 – With unexpected candor, he mumbles his heart is hers. Then he rips it from his chest & hands it to her. Zombie love can be so messy.
 
2/13 – After the abstemious way he ate dinner, she was shocked, yet satisfied, when her date later demonstrated more creative uses for food.
 
2/14 – Valentine’s Day, desperate for her attention: uploads spoony video declaring his love. She uploads video blowing him a kiss: Victory!
 
Whether you have a special someone or you’re single like me, I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!
 
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words.  If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them.  
 

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 5

15 Minute Tweet TalesThis week had the best word of the day so far.  Heck, I love this word so much, it just might be my new favorite word, and it’s definitely in the top five.  So what is this magical word?  Frigorific.  It actually sounds like one of those portmanteau smash-up words that teens come up with, but its first known usage was 1667.  The definition is not quite as exciting as the sound of the word itself – it means causing cold; chilling – but I think it’s a fun word and will be looking for ways to use it casual conversation.  

 
Here are the 15 Minute Tweet Tales for the first week of February:
 
2/1 – The public thinks the Kardashians are otiose, but that’s their cover as they maneuver world leaders to follow their plan for peace. #15tt
 
2/2 – Arranging her DVDs… By genre? Release year? An abecedarian method: title or director? After an OCD meltdown, she threw them away. #15tt   
 
2/3 – “I’d as lief eat dog doo than let him touch me.” When she married him 6 months later, her sister tossed dog turds rather than rice. #15tt
 
2/4 – Despite the hermetic grip autism has on her son, she convinces herself a tear, not sweat, rolls down his cheek while she passes away. #15tt
 
2/5 – Spot wags his tail until he sees her frigorific glare. Uh oh, she’s found his secret pee spot. Time to ramp up the sad, adorable eyes. #15tt
 
2/6 – Her role in the ad was just a tittle in the background, but the jaded “actress” felt like a star when it aired during the Super Bowl. #15tt
 
2/7 – In his quest for epistemic domination, he memorized an entire set of encyclopedias. Too bad it was his grandma’s set from the 1960s. #15tt
 
Since this is the week leading to Valentine’s Day, I’ve decided to give myself an extra challenge - I’m going to try to make all the tweet tales for this week romances.  Since I’ll be single this Valentine’s Day (as usual!), we’ll see how that goes....
 
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words.  If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them.   
 

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 4

15 Minute Tweet TalesWow!  I can't believe I made it through an entire month of writing 15 Minute Tweet Tales without skipping a single day.  I’m actually very proud of myself, since that means I’ve done something writing related every day of 2012 - that’s a pretty big deal for a procrastinator like me.  

Isn’t it supposed to take something like a month for an action to become a habit?  My friend Google tells me that both 21 and 28 days are the supposed magic number.  Either way, I’ve hit the milestone, and that’s pretty exciting.  Writing the tweet tales has become part of my routine; and while some days are easier than others, and some words are more fun to write about, it’s hard to imagine missing a day.  

Here are the tweet tales for the last week of January:

1/25 – Her boyfriends were a mélange of ethnicities and personalities - eHarmony imploded trying to find her type. She met Sarah on her own.

1/26 – The vox populi was that her husband was a monster, so when the media exposed the crime, she was able to slip away with all the money.

1/27 – Trash can chaos. 3 innocent looking dogs. Amy played hawkshaw by sniffing their snouts. No surprise when Trouble had garbage breath.

1/28 – Before killing his wife, he consulted his mistress – a true Philadelphia lawyer notorious for keeping vile criminals out of jail.

1/29 – Tired of being a nerdy boffin, he hit the gym. Soon the women at work were drooling over him, but he only wanted his cube mate, Jim.

1/30 – She swore she’d only eat a salad, but the lasagna at the trattoria was too tempting. A trip to the toilet & a mint fixed everything.

1/31 – His wife’s eidetic memory drove him crazy, but when he needed to dump her body, it would have been useful for finding the car keys.

The toughest word this week was Philadelphia lawyer – soooo boring and soooo many characters.  But I’ve always been a fan of the word mélange, so that was fun.  

Play along and craft tweet tales for the above words.  If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. 

 

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 3

15 Minute Tweet TalesThis week I had to “cheat” several times to make the stories fit by using shorthand.  I know using abbreviations and numbers is typical for tweet speak, but it always reads choppier to me (‘cause I’m old!).  And while it doesn’t bother me in regular tweets, I think it kind of interrupts the flow in story tweets.  But when you have a tale to tell in only 140 characters, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.  So here are the 15 Minute Tweet Tales for the third week:

1/18 – His lips curve into a smile just 4 me, sending my heart into a staccato dance. His wife tugs his hand. He follows her out of my life.

1/19 – Fran proudly entered the Westminster ring with her pug, but his sudden diarrhea brought an infra dig end to her quest for greatness.

1/20 – He told her she’d always be his queen, now shards of glass form a bloody diadem on the head he grew bored of hitting with his fists.

1/21 – His wife blew in like a williwaw shrieking about toilet seats, but her soaked outrage was so sexy, he planned to “forget” again soon.

1/22 – He spent years perfecting his manuscript, never spotting the solecism in the 1st sentence that made editors dismiss him with a laugh.

1/23 – It started with meditation to better control his rage, but he was soon buried in a mountain of self-help books and pompous solipsism.

1/24 – She thought “Leave me alone!” was a univocal statement, but he heard “I want to be with you forever” & decided death was the only way.

My favorite word from this week is williwaw – I just love the way it rolls off the tongue.  Not a meaning I’d use in everyday conversation, but now I'm going to look for ways to work it into random sentences.

Play along and craft tweet tales for the above words.  If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them.   

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 2

I’ve surprised myself a little by making it through another week of successfully writing tweet tales.  Just like with NaNoWriMo, the second week was a lot tougher than the first because the ‘fun newness’ is wearing off.  And then on the 13th the word ‘pork barrel’ almost had me skipping my first day.  Not only was it a boring word (two actually!) to write about, it took up a lot of characters making it even more challenging.  But I muddled through, so here are the 15 Minute Tweet Tales for the second week: 

1/11 – When the alien landed, shock made me tutoyer it. “Yo, dude, wassup?” Requiring a more respectful greeting, it declared formal war.
 
1/12 – The director recoiled at her rugose outfit. How dare she audition for the Martha Stewart biopic looking like she didn’t own an iron?
 
1/13 – The senator initiated pork barrel projects to distract reporters from the intern who’d disappeared after a month of morning puking.
 
1/14 – She thought it was cool to have a boyfriend who sparkled… until she found out he and her grandpa were coeval. Then it was gross.
 
1/15 – Notes scribbled on her shoes were the true ancilla to passing Latin, not the tutor her mom had worked so many extra shifts to afford.
 
1/16 – “I reckon you better hare off down the road to fetch the sheriff.” “Why, Papa?” “Cause your mama’s ‘bout to have a fatal accident.”
 
1/17 – It took him months to write, but he smiled imagining the euphony of his self-penned eulogy being read aloud. Then he loaded the gun.
 
I think my favorite for the week is the vampire one for ‘coeval.’  I’ve been on the vampire adoration train since I was twelve, but when you really think about what it means, it is more than a little gross.
 
I hope you’re feeling inspired to play along on some of the days, and you can still craft tweet tales for the above words.  If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them.   

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 1

15 Minute Tweet TalesI had a lot of fun with the first week of 15 Minute Tweet Tales.  It’s a rush trying to create such small stories in a short time frame.  I think some of them are pretty good, while others… well, at least they use the assigned word.  :-)

I ran into my first stumbling block on the 4th with the word flack.  In the rules for the NYCM contests, you have to use the word exactly as it’s assigned – no changing tenses or making it plural.  But trying to use flack without changes was leading to some really awkward attempts at first person present tense.  So as my precious time dribbled away, I made the executive decision that since this is a challenge I’m doing for myself, I can make up any rules I want!  With only fifteen minutes to write a story using an uncommon word, I think it’s fair to tweak the tense/part of speech/whatever as long as the word is used according to its definition.
 
There are a few extra tweet tales this time, since the New Year started before Tuesday, so without further ado, here they are:
 
1/1 - Tina jokingly used fortune cookies as her lodestar until the night one led her to a tall, dark stranger… with a proclivity for knives.
 
1/2 - Locked inside the CDC, they watched the news in horror, wishing they’d explained how the virus spread in a more exoteric way.
 
1/3 - Dad was an unreconstructed under-er, while Mom believed in over. The divorce lawyers rolled their eyes @ the toilet paper shenanigans. 
 
1/4 - Weary of flacking for talentless reality bimbos, the publicist bought implants, released a sex tape, and vaulted herself to stardom. 
 
1/5 - The dirt permanently etched into his agrarian hands: a badge of honor for him; a promise broken for his wife who longed for the city. 
 
1/6 - The way the dog looked at me gave me the jimjams, so I gave him his owner’s femur to keep him happy while I cleaned up the blood. 
 
1/7 – “One road bifurcates in a green forest…” Robert Frost crumples up the page and starts again. And that has made all the difference.  
 
1/8 – He plucked a mint from the kickshaw on the hospice counter. Stale, just like his grandmother. So weary of waiting for his inheritance. 
 
1/9 – “Yo, oldster, you got the time?” Al opened his pocket watch to find the hands had finally stopped. A smile of relief. “Not anymore.”
 
1/10 – Janice felt shame that she needed subvention to help feed her children, but watching soaps was so addicting she couldn’t go to work.
 
Two other people contributed tweet tales this past week, which was fun to see, and I hope more people play along in the future.  You don’t have to commit to every day, just jump in on days you need a creative jolt.  And you can still craft tweet tales for the above words - if you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments so I get the chance to read them.  
 
So do you think it’s fair to tweak the assigned words or is that cheating?  Do you think you might try your hand at some tweet tales?  Should I post the definitions for the words in the weekly Tweet Tales Tuesday roundup? 

15 Minute Tweet Tales

I’ve mentioned before how much fun I have with the Tweet Me a Story contests run by NYC Midnight.  The challenge of creating a complete story in such a small space gives me a writer’s high (which thankfully involves much less sweat than a runner’s high).  In a seemingly random segue, the other day I unearthed a 2011 Merriam-Webster’s word-a-day calendar I bought last year and promptly forgot about as soon as the sparkly ball dropped.  Not wanting to waste those 365 treasured words, I’ve decided to use the old calendar for a daily tweet story challenge.  

Each day a new year-old word will be the prompt for a tale told in less than 140 characters.  But since I tend to obsess over and tweak my stories to death, I’m giving myself a time limit for each one.  Once I tear off the calendar page to reveal the new word, I'll only have fifteen minutes to craft my masterpiece, and then I’ll tweet the story, no matter how much it makes me cringe.  

This daily exercise will be helpful in many ways.  The most important being that by challenging myself to do this every day, I’ll exercise my writing muscles even if I don’t have time to work on my longer pieces. Also, the theory is the new words will actually stick in my forgetful brain once I’ve created a story using them (and an arsenal of big words is always better, right?).
 
I hope other people will participate, since my favorite part of the NYCM contests is reading the variety of stories everyone else produces using the same word.  Maybe you can’t commit to a tweet tale every day, but if you have a few minutes to kill, join the fun and stretch yourself creatively.  I’ll use the hashtag #15tt (for fifteen minute tweet tales) when tweeting the word of the day and my resulting tale.  And even though it uses up five of the precious 140 characters, I hope others also use the #15tt hashtag if they play along, so we can easily find and read their tweet tales.
15 Minute Tweet Tales #15tt
Each Tuesday I’ll bundle my tweet tales from the previous week in a post on the blog and invite others to share their tweet tales in the comments.  Yeah, I know Tuesday is a random day for a round-up post, but I just love the alliteration of Tweet Tales Tuesday.  
 
And while I’m not an expert at writing micro-fiction, here are a few of my tweet stories from past NYCM contests as examples (I've bolded the assigned word from NYCM):
 
She caressed the sway back of her dying horse, overwhelmed by childhood memories. Sobbing, she loaded him on a trailer bound to nowhere.
 
Comrades lost to roadside bombs. Buddies sent home draped in flags. The numb marine didn’t shed a tear until he left his Baghdad pup behind.
 
The dusty dolls stuffed in the closet mourn silently as their no-longer-little girl tries on outfits for a less innocent game of pretend.  
 
I pretend we’re driving to the dog park. He knows I’m lying, but wags his tail through the pain. It will all be over soon. 
 
Deep below the frigid water, Jack finally finds his treasure - the sun sparkling like gold on waves too far to reach with an empty tank.
 
I’m looking forward to creating and reading new tweet tales throughout the year!  
 
Have you ever written any micro-fiction?  Are you going to craft some tweet tales this year?  Don't forget to use the hashtag #15tt if you post your tales on twitter.
 
Read my 15 Minute Tweet Tales: Week 1  Week 2  Week 3  Week 4  Week 5