Saturday, December 5, 2015

Advent Calendar Day 5

Today I'm going to try something different for the Advent Calendar.

I don't know if it will work or not, but hey. A big part of the holiday season are the happy surprises that seem to pop up during the month. So let's go for it. Something surprising both for me and for you.

A story written during 2016 to your specification. A writing prompt--BUT you have to do some of the work too.

Now, as I type these words, I'm filled with doubt. I'm not a huge fan of writing prompts, to be quite honest, but they can be great a great way to flex creative muscles and readers seem to love them, so...

I found the picture below (by Conrado licensed through Shutterstock) and I was taken by the mood and the setting and the pensive but relaxed expression on the face of the model. I thought...I want to write a story about that moment.

So I will. I will write a short story and dedicate it to the person who comes up with the plot scenario that suits this photo and most appeals to me.  So, again, a short story written during the course of next year, and one of you gets to pick what it's about. Write your ideas in the comment section below and--assuming any of them click for me--I will write that story to your (general) specifications.

If nothing else, I bet a lot of you will have fun with these imaginings over your morning coffee (or evening cocktail)!

Hmm. What's he thinking about?

62 comments:

  1. Hmmmmm. Friends finally talked him into a blind date and he's waiting for his date to meet him. The date is late, and when he finally sits down across from him the guy isn't quite what he was expecting. Come to find out (at some point down the road?) his real date stood him up, and mystery man decided to pick up the slack...

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  2. He is an architect who finished his latest project (successfully, by the way) and now he realized that he feels lonely. Happy with work, happy with family and friends, but just...lonely. What do do? He dreads the matchmaking, blind dates or desperate clubbing. He loves gardening but how cliche is that? I should do something new, he thinks. Out of his comfort zone. Like...self-defense class. Or cooking. Both? Where can one find an interesting and , God willing, sexy man?

    goge

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    1. Wait! Gardening as a cliché!? :-D Only on the HGTV channel! :-D

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  3. It's a bitt vague but this is what I thought straight away.

    Sad but resigned that the relationship didn't work. Thinking that it's ok because this may just be better.

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  4. They are staying in a lovely hotel new to them in a city new to them, and he has come down to the lobby to wait for his other half because otherwise they’ll never get dressed and out. In the meantime he’s thinking about how they christened their beautiful room, and also thinking ahead to where they’re going, the whole reason for their having travelled to this place...

    HJ

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  5. He's sitting at a small sidewalk cafe on a Greek island, contemplating a brief but intense romance he'd had 5 years before on this very island. He'd met and immediately clicked with Nikos, a bartender at a local taverna. He now thinks that those 10 days were perhaps the best in his life.

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  6. Ah, free at last. No obligations anymore. If he wants to sit here this time of day, who's to stop him? And look at that piece of eyecandy coming down the street. If the face behind shades, beard en cap is as beautiful as the body, o wow. But who does he remind him of? Surely not .. not after all this time. No way HÈ could be here!
    Gerda

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    1. :-D :-D :-D

      Don't you love when that happens?

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  7. Older lovers, separated by jobs, different european countries, meeting up for holidays on a meditteranean island, he's here first but lover is watching, have had some problems due to distance (more can it work than necessarily temptation), make or break time for the relationship. One will have to make more sacrifice an the other to find a solution

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    1. Older lovers...yes. I like that. Of course I am always a fan of the second chances trope.

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  8. He's waiting. For what? He doesn't look nervous or excited. He's thinking....he has made a decision and he is comfortable with his choice and he is ready to share it. So he is waiting....where to go from here...if I come up with anything I'll add it in the replies

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    1. Ok. His family all pitched in to buy him one of those 10 day tours to (beautiful destination of choice). He didn't really want to go, especially alone, but now that he's there the scenery is magnificent, the weather is perfect, and the few members of the tour group he has met on this first day seem pleasant enough, so damn it! he is going to have a great time....he might even think about being happy as well, but let's not get too carried away.

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    2. :-D AND THEN THE MURDER HAPPENS!!!! YES!

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  9. My first instinct is that he's a man sitting in a cafe on his 39th birthday. A year before, he had found out his best friend had died in an auto accident. He'd loved his friend deeply, and it's been a difficult year. He's tried to deal with the loss and as he sits in the cafe he's able to finally think back on their relationship with not quite a smile but fond memories. He realizes that his sadness won't ever completely end, but he must try to find true happiness again. There is so much he has learned from his friendship, and he is now determined that he must use the things he learned, like confidence, unconditional love, and being his true self. He needs to find his Hallelujah (like the Andy Grammar song "Good to Be Alive (Hallelujah)" that his friend had sent him before his death).

    I think the story would be best as a parallel story between their friendship and the man finally finding happiness again. While in the last year he had moved on and lived his life, he realized that he had held himself back from fully living his life.

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  10. He's just back from a long stay in a conflict area, probably in Africa, working for an NGO... Maybe he's a doctor, or an engineer... He's just wondering what to do with his life next. He's been volunteering to conflict areas for some time, and now he's pondering his options. Maybe he's heading back home, to old memories and friends. Maybe he's about to find his new adventure... That's up to you...

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    1. And maybe all his plans go KA-BLUEY! when...when...

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  11. It's a bright summer morning and he's sitting alone in the lobby of the boutique hotel that he designed/ decorated. He knows that the colors and themes of the decor were his lover's favorites. They are no longer seeing each other so the project feels like his alone and he is satisfied with his work and is glad that it is completed. He can move on to the next project knowing that his career is on track. Still, he feels wistful that he has no one special to share the experience with. His life has been all about the work for the last year. Little does he know who is coming to the hotel opening that evening...It's going to be quite a shock since they're supposed to be on different continents...and what that will do to his well-earned complacency. Clary

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  12. Five years, they had agreed. Nothing fancy like Paris or London...someplace simple, nice...someplace they could relax for a week, or just a long weekend, if things were still tight. They hadn't had the money for a proper honeymoon when they first got married...finally got married. That wasnt an issue now, unfortunately.

    Daniel sighed. Noah would have loved it here. The weather was perfect. He watched as an art festival began setting up on the street outside the hotel, the hour still early. A tall man lugged totes filled with something out of the back of a SUV. His hair a shock of white blonde, like Noah's, only spiked.

    14 months. Sometimes it seemed longer. Other days? He could swear he could still smell Noah's cologne, his scent. Could feel the heat from his body as he lay in their bed. Only to wake up feeling cold. He had just recently taken his ring off, but only to put it on his other hand...much to the chagrin of his family and friends. They didn't understand.

    Daniel sighed again. Maybe this was a mistake. Maybe he should have listened to his family. Maybe this wasn't the best way to find closure, but they had promised each other. No excuses. This was one promise he would keep for the both of them.


    That's all I have. Hope you can make something out of this. Great idea.

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    1. Awww. I love the thought that went into this.

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  13. Oh, and even if the story you end up writing doesn't sound like mine, if I read about anyone sighing, I'll know you got that from me. Lol. ;)

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    1. Hastily going back through my current projects and removing all "sighs." :-D

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  14. The psychotherapist watches his client order coffee at a cafe for the first time since the horrific night six months ago when a spray of gunfire had turned a Paris vacation into a nightmare. His client had come to him wracked with guilt and nearly debilitated by PTSD. Months of counseling and patience had brought them to this place, and the therapist knows he's helped his client heal and overcome his fears. But now, at their last session, he realizes that he's fallen for the man he needs to release from his care.

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  15. He's on the patio of a cafe in a busy outdoor mall and sees a high school aged boy being bullied and made fun of by a group of other kids. The boy is dressed differently than the other kids and he can hear slurs being hurled at him having to do with his sexuality. The man remembers being treated similarly when he was younger and the loneliness and despair he dealt with. He wonders if he should step in or just mind his own business, since several of the boys doing the bullying look pretty tough. But when the name calling escalates to shoving, he realizes he can't stay quiet. This kid needs help and needs to know somebody is there for him.

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    1. And then when he goes over to tell the bully kids off he discovers the boy is a girl. Just as he finishes telling the asshole kids to fuck off a guy in a suit emerges from an office. This guy is the girls father (and the love interest) who has seen the altercation and offers to buy him a drink out of gratitude. Patio guy accepts. Over he course of the drink he discovers that the awesomely built Dad is gay and the reason the girl is bullied is because of that (i.e. "gay is catching/heriditary therefore girl is somehow damaged by father's gayness").

      Patio guy is like, "Oh I'm just here on vacation." and Dad guy is like, "You should allow me to show you around tomorrow."

      Where to go from there?

      After drink Dad guy is walking patio guy back to his car when they both get jumped.

      Asshole kid takes swing at hot Dad guy.

      Patio guy pulls out taser and drops asshole kid. Hangers-on scatter.

      the patio guy takes out badge and arrests them. (Is surprise ending--patio guy is FBI he just wasn't saying so during drink cause Dad is some sort of liberal thing--like ACLU lawyer.)

      And ACLU guy is like, "I did not see that coming."
      Patio Guy: "I'd hoped not to taze anybody on vacation, but sometimes its just the thing to do."

      Then some cute ending.

      then some sweet ending like

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  16. He sit in a street cafè. He had to decide, where his life should go. He works together with his S.O. in a law firm. But now he could go for two years to Madrid, to represent his firm there. He would love to do that, but his partner don't want to go. Should he go or not. Could they be so long be apart from each other, without breaking what they have. What have the now together?

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  17. Sitting in the airport waiting for him to arrive. The plane has been delayed and I don't really know if he is going to be on it or not. So I am sitting here thinking of when we met and the time we spent together and how we agreed to meet again on this date. Was it a stupid thing to do? Is he really going to come? Can we pick up where we left off? Will we feel the same once we see each other again? He should be here in less than an hour now...

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  18. He's sitting in a restaurant, a man he saw with friends slipped him his number on the way out. Will he call? Does he dare? Sorry but I think that story just needs to be written. :-) Or maybe it already has been,

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  19. Sitting at an outdoor café observing a man hurry into a shop and then come out in a hurry trips and drops everything he is holding.

    The other thought that comes to mind is remembering the kiss he shared with his first date the night before. A man he meant at the beach yesterday on his vacation.

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    1. Uh, that first scenario is MY OTHER LIFE STORY. ;-D

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  20. He's an attractive man, about mid-thirties, expensive glasses and accessories and casually but expensively dressed. He's smart, got a good job--he's got his life right where he wants it. Right?
    Not exactly right. His girlfriend called it off recently--he's too much of a cold fish, she said. And shitty in bed.

    Now he's pondering the reason for the fishiness--and remembering that he let a man who may have been the love of his life slip away... not because he was ashamed to admit he was attracted to men, but because he was ashamed to admit he was attracted to THAT man.

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    1. Because...because...DON'T STOP THERE!!! ;-D

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    2. I'm wondering who THAT man is myself!

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  21. Sitting at the café where the hot barista works. Making his plain black coffee last as long as possible. Wondering if anyone can tell that he just lost his job. Or that Nate left eight months ago and he hasn't been with anyone since. Or that he's going commando because he forgot to do laundry. Again.

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  22. Or he came back from Spain, his friend has found a new one and now he has to rebuild his life.

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    1. It's enough to make us all afraid to go on vacation! ;-D

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  23. Anonymous person sent him that watch with a note saying "Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to be at this place, at this time, on this date, according to this watch."

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    1. LOL and then the note explodes before he can finish reading it?

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  24. I like the blind date scenario, but I think he's been talking with person he's waiting for through one of those dating apps-- grindr, tindr, one of those. They clicked, but haven't exchanged pictures yet. He'd waded through all the dick pics and cheesy come-ons and found someone he really liked, but now they're about to meet in person and it's a little scary. Then he sees him, the guy matches the description perfectly. But it's actually someone he already knows, someone from his past, an ex-coworker, an old high-school classmate, maybe someone who dated his cousin, the postman who delivers his mail, or his old TA from college, but he KNOWS this guy. And now all his perceptions and memories have to change and be adjusted. What did he think before? How does he feel now? His world just tilted a little bit on its axis.

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  25. Sean has just finished the last of the unpacking, and as a reward to himself, is having a cup of coffee and trying out the lemon pie silce, that TripAdvisor swears by from this cafe. He ponders if he'll get a cat, and the thought warms his soul.

    Because, cats are all the rage now.

    -Teko

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    1. Crap! I knew I forgot to add the cat to my idea. Teko is right. Lol. Suddenly I have images from those You tube skits where guys are using cats as machine guns...my mind so wanders.

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  26. Um. So some of you are brilliant. And some of you are CLEARLY insane. :-D :-D :-D

    There are many possibilities here--or bits and pieces of possibilities. I am reserving judgment however. So if anyone feels like contributing further scenarios, do not be held back!

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    1. This page almost reminds me of a collection of short stories by Virginia Woolf I read in college (yes, I can remember that far back). Just brief glimpses/thoughts she wrote down and stuffed in a drawer somewhere. Some more developed than others, but all having potential. Ah, the imagery.


      Now you should have people reply AFTER trying the wassail recipe out. That would be entertaining. ;)

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    1. Cecily, what happened? You had some cool ideas!

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  30. So. As of this moment I have not settled on any of these story possibilities. Which is to say they all hold a certain amount of promise. Reading all of them together is actually quite inspirational. :-)

    I sort of like this exercise though. It's fun and inspirational.

    So I guess what I'm saying is there's a lot to work with...but I haven't yet selected one idea above and beyond all others.

    I will keep you posted and we'll see what transpires in 2016.

    Now having said this, if any of you are authors yourselves and now that you've thrown this idea out to me you're hesitant to use it, don't be. Part of the fun of any creative exercise is the ripple effect. And truthfully even if we ALL wrote the same idea, we'd all have totally different stories, so no worries.

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