Friday, April 11, 2008

Saturday Wordzzle Challenge: Week 8


Well, I think I'm going to post on Friday evenings from now on because I realized that some of our participants are in time zones where it's already Saturday so I might as well give them a little more time - and it means people can post as soon as they are ready.

Since this is week 8 of our challenge, I'm going to just get right down to it without any introduction.

The words for this week's ten Word Challenge will be: galaxy, delta, redecorate, dearth, offshoot, Uther Pendragon, cordial, gingerbread, foretold, bonnet And for the Mini Challenge: palliate, functionality, jungle, brass, asphyxiate

Here's my ten-word offering for this week.

Delta
Dingwater, from the planet Zong in outer galaxy of the Uther Pendragon Nebula didn't tell many people about her home planet. A noted explorer and anthropologist among her own people on Zong, she had learned early on to blend in. She had been stranded here on earth waiting for the rescue ship for about two years now and was thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to explore earth culture in depth. Fortunately Zongian and human anatomy were sufficiently similar that she was able to blend in easily. That said as a planet, Earth was a delightful contrast to the bleak world of Zong. To say there was a dearth of color and plant life on Zong was so far beyond understatement that it made her cry. Much as she was enjoying her time on earth she also looked forward to bringing the wonders of Earth home to her own people. She was convinced that she was to be the savior who had been foretold to her people, whose world had once (according to the history and mythology books) been as lush and wondrous as Earth. She looked forward to introducing Zongians to the wonders of earth's flora - she especially love blue bonnets and tulips, with roses running a close third. And trees. Trees! She could, she liked to muse, redecorate not just her own chort (as houses were called on Zong) but the whole planet with all this new life. And then there was the food. Oh, the food Earthings enjoyed! So many flavors and textures. Beyond the necessities there were magical things like gingerbread, cherry cordial, brownies, ice cream... oh and then brownies and ice cream together... and chocolate chip cookies... and chocolate itself... and beer and pretzles.... she could go on and on. Her research into earth food was extensive. An unfortunate offshoot of this research was that she had grown quite rotund. She would have to do something about that if she was going to fit on into the transport ship home, she mused, nibbling on yet a new food discovery, the glazed donut. Taking another sip of her chocolate milk shake, she thought - foolishly - "how hard can that be?"


And my mini challenge:

Stranded as they were in the depths of the Amazon jungle, there wasn't much the expedition could do for Marco except to offer comfort, water, and a little bourbon to palliate the severity of his symptoms and do what they could to keep him from asphyxiating before the rescue chopper arrived. He had been delirious for two days now, and his ramblings had been most informative, consisting as they did of prolonged monologues on the functionality of brass knuckles and the virtue of infiltrating your enemy's operation so you could make a hit from the inside. He had also cried a good deal and asked God why he should be taken now, when he had given up crime and was trying to do good. Luckily for him those tending to him spoke very little English as was also true of the helicopter crew when they arrived to rescue him, so perhaps, God was, after all, giving him a second chance.

Mega challenge was a super challenge for me this week - in fact all of them were - but here's what I wrote:

When the magnificent ship Uther Pendragon ran aground on the delta near Margaret's house she was thrilled and excited by having a little drama to palliate the boredom of living alone in a tiny backwater town and by the proximity of a ship full of lonely men. The dearth of eligible men in Tyler Mills (which was a tiny offshoot of the minimally larger town of Tylerville) was profound. So Margaret happily did what she could to redecorate so her little house would look it's best, hanging the new curtains she had been saving and putting some tulips and blue bonnets into an old brass bowl whose functionality she had questioned until now. Then she baked up some some biscuits and some gingerbread men, made a fine stew, set out a bottle of cherry cordial, doused herself in so much perfume that she was in danger of asphyxiating everyone in a 5 mile radius or possibly even in the galaxy and waited happily for the first visitors she knew would soon arrive across the jungle-like marsh that led from where the ship was stranded straight to her house. What she could not have foretold was that among the sailors who arrived at her door, would be Ned Witherspoon, the man of her dreams or that his ship's Captain, Admiral Jacks (a man with adventure in his soul and romance in his heart) would marry them before setting off to sea again a week later.

This words for this week's vanity wordzzle (something I wrote a long time ago and am sharing here because it's the only way anyone will ever read it) are: Linoleum, jade, giraffe, candle, kitty, Mr. Potato Head, aloe, wishes, incense, iron

I will always remember the first time I visited Martha’s house. I had thought her quite an ordinary person, and I suppose in many ways she was. She was a secretary. Her wardrobe was neither exotic nor prudish. She was quiet and pleasant, smiled easily, but also always seemed to be holding something back. That holding back was probably why I accepted her invitation to coffee that Monday evening after my third group therapy session. I was pretty depressed and to be honest I figured even anything was better than going home to my own lonely prison. So, anyway, I said yes. And you know how you somehow usually imagine what a person’s home will be. I always kind of figure that people dress themselves kind of the way they dress their houses, so I expected it to be beiges and neutral colors, nothing too memorable. Boy, was I wrong. I guess the first thing that hits you when you walk into Martha’s place is the color. And the rich smell of incense. And the thousand little details. But then, the next thing, the thing that always stays with you, with me, anyway, is the altar – or maybe Shrine is a better word. First off, it’s big. I mean really big, like a whole corner of the room, but shaped like a triangle with the middle cut out, so you can sit inside of it. And it’s built in tiers – three, I think, each maybe six inches deep and probably a foot tall, so it kind of rises up around you. There are three big cushions in the middle space, really plush and each one a different color and texture, so they are like different moods that touch your eye. And there are all sorts of candles, dozens of them. But it’s the objects that sit in various places that really make it both strange and magnificent. There’s a holiness about the space that makes the oddness of her artifacts seem quite normal. It is quite unnerving and yet somehow healing. I don’t know how to explain it, but let me tell you some of what she has there. The first thing I noticed was an old, half-broken Mr. Potato Head and next to that this exquisite porcelain flower sitting on a square of red linoleum. Then there was an odd little jade kitty, a baseball, a stuffed giraffe, a funny little black iron kettle which I guess was for burning incense, lots of crystals in different shapes and colors and sizes, some angels, a carved snake, and oh, a bunch of animals, then a whole host of photographs scattered all around. Some in frames, some just lying there. A lot of them were of her as a child, but there were some other children too, another iron pot that said wishes and had a had paper and a pen sitting next to it. Then there were the plants, all kinds. Ferns, violets and one aloe plant that I especially remember because I had never seen one with a flower before. It was awesome, like this work of art, like a soul spilling out of itself, mourning and rejoicing, remembering and forgetting, discovering and releasing all at once. Just looking at it was a religious experience – and I like to think I’m an atheist. All she said was, “I thought you’d like it. We can have our coffee here, if you’d like.” It was good she said that, because I couldn’t have torn myself away, it was that special, like love poured out of it and washed over you. “Make a wish,” she said, “make as many as you want and then just say thank you when you put them in the pot. You’ll be surprised at how well it works.” It was one of the best nights I’ve ever had. Like everything was magic. She told me all about every item on the altar and how she had built it and why and taught me how to create my own, which I have done – am doing. It was an amazing experience. I never saw her again after that, though. She didn’t come back to group and when I asked some other people about her they didn’t seem to even remember who she was. But I’ll never forget her.


Anyone who wants to emulate the amazing megawordzzlers can try merging both challenges and make another megawordzzle. It's fun! I'm so glad that Jay Simser invented it.

Next week's words are again a mix of suggestions that came from Jay, The Pirate, Michael and Richard and I tossed in a few of my own. Suggestions for words/phrases from other participants are always welcome. Also any advice/suggestions on how to make the process easier would me much appreciated.

Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: cocker spaniel, penultimate, fetters, warranty, tarmac, quartz, paparazzi, apple sauce, earsplitting, laxidaisical

And for the Mini Challenge: spinach, interwoven, compromise, tennis, intangible


Thanks for playing. For those who are new, here are some guidelines to make the process more fun.

Enjoy! See you next week.


DON'T FORGET TO ADD YOUR NAME TO MR. LINKY!!!!!




***********




I hope you will all take a minute to remember that this is Autism Awareness Month. The following blogs and posts offer an opportunity to put a human face and heart on something which for most of us is just something we have heard about but don't really understand.

These are the Days
Forks Off the Moment - We are All Unique
Mother of Shrek
Full Soul Ahead
Down River Drivel
Look Me In The Eye

21 comments:

Jay said...

Excellent as usual Raven. Loved the image of someone coming to Earth and becoming a foodie.

Enjoyed your Mega-Wordzzle a lot also!

Rich said...

Katherine, as a chilld of the 60s I can say without any reservations that a planet whose name rhymes with Bong has got to be very cool and laid back.

Of course the munchies would then come in to play wouldn't they?

Rich

elena jane said...

i'm up, but thank goodness i don't do this for praise, cos yours are amazing. and mine, well, aren't!! :-)

Raven said...

Thanks Jay - I thought the words were difficult this week. I did enjoy her freedom to eat without hesitation or reservation... or GUILT....

Rich... hmmm... I wonder if I was subliminally channelling Bong. Actually, it probably would have been funnier if I'd named her planet Bong. I have just always (since grade school) had a tendency to name things with Z names. The first story I remember writing in 1st or second grade was about a place called Zog Zog Soz Lop. Where that came from I have no idea and I'm ever more surprised that I remember it.

elena jane - thanks for the compliment.... I think you did a great job. That's what I love about this process... Everbody write's something wonderful. They're just all different.

SnoopMurph said...

Okay, Delta Dingwater was my favorite and you are just so clever with your ideas for stories. I'll have to show Tom, as sugary snacks and sci fi stories are two of his favorite things.

I copied the words to work on but I'll have to post tomorrow.

Also-I think you didn't get to read all of my latest entry. Hop back over and you'll see. :)

Akelamalu said...

Fabulous, I love '..monologues on the functionality of brass knuckles....' whilst in a state of delirium! LOL

Mine's up.

Raven said...

Hi snoopmurph - I'll pop by shortly and see what goes with that beautiful picture.

akelamalu - I kind of liked that line myself. Be by to see you shortly.

SnoopMurph said...

I posted the Wordzzle. I'll try to email you some words this week too-if I forget, remind me. I actually jotted a few down as I was writing this morning.

I'll stop by naptime to check out the other entries. Your delightful nephew will be spending the afternoon and evening, and all day Sunday with us so I need to get Ian ready to pick Trev up. :)

Raven said...

Hi... I'll go check out your wordzzle.. did you sign into Mr Linky too?

Give my delightful nephew a hug from his aunt and have a great day!

Oh - and thanks in advance for the word suggestions.

Dianne said...

Your Mega is wonderful!

and I think Delta Dingwater was in the store today. She does blend in well except for the fact that she was eating a chocolate bar while touching the white blouses. She was a bit insulted when I held up a large for her to try on, she insists she's a medium. Whatever! ;)

Raven said...

That must have been Delta... or parhaps another Zongian... I gather there are quite a number of them now that they have discovered the joy of earth food. Sorry it was a rough day.

the teach said...

I'm late today Raven but I mean to get mine up before the day is over...

Betty said...

I always enjoy your stories, Raven. Sure hope Delta can lose those extra pounds so she can get back home. lol

Raven said...

the teach - I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

betty - thanks I hope Delta does better than I do.

maryt said...

Mine's up Raven! I loved yours - so very creative and clever!

Raven said...

thanks, maryt - I hope people check back and discover your wonderful late postings.

the teach said...

Raven how about the word "penumbra?"

Raven said...

the teach - I'll add it to my list. THanks

steerforth said...

Just wrote and posted An intergalactic messenger in search of Camelot and hope I'm not too late. (It's for the 10-word challenge.)

Thanks for the words!

Raven said...

steerforth - your wordzzle was WONDERFUL! I wish I could post a comment at your site ... I tried to find an email address and couldn't find one. Glad you joined in.

Anonymous said...

О! Thought I would comment and say neat theme, did you make it for yourself? It’s really awesome!