Friday, April 03, 2009

Saturday Wordzzle Challenge: Week 57


This is week 57 of the Saturday Wordzzle challenge. Anyone new to the process can refer back here to find out how it works. Besides the fact that I had some unexpected company, my brain is having a hard time coming up with even a bad idea for how to use this week's words. Next week, we can all thank Quilly, who generously supplied me with 15 words for us to work with. Yippee! Boy... I thought this week's words were REALLY hard... even harder than last week's and I thought last week's were pretty terrible. I didn't think I was going to come up with something but in the end I did... Whew!



The words for this week's ten word challenge were: apoplexy, doctor, hummingbird, shallow end of the pool, brigadier general, mustard, greed, parallelogram, slumber party, casual Mini Challenge: Mount Olympus, arsonist, portraits, birch trees, "that car needs a new muffler"




Here's my ten-word offering for this week



Brigadier General Howard Apoplexy had spent a life time being teased about his name. Few people made the same joke twice, however, for although he tried to respond with casual humor, it usually became clear to all but the most dense that his name suited him. He was a toe the line, cut the mustard, spit and polish kind of man well suited to general-hood. He had very little sense of humor. The military was his bride, his child, his everything. His parents – whom he referred to as “those people at the shallow end of the pool” – had wanted him to be a doctor. They would have had my life be part of a parallelogram chaining me to them. They would have had me drive some little hummingbird of a car, with a dozen kids and swings and slumber parties and everything about greed and impressing others,” he would pronounce to his siblings, still seething with anger 40 years later. “I chose to do something that matters,” he bristled, to the amusement of his sister the brain surgeon and his brother the Senator. “Yes, Howie,” they would laugh in unison. “Thank goodness one of us made something of himself.”




And here's my mini challenge:


As he worked on what he called his portraits of the birch trees of Mount Olympus, New York, artist in residence, Hans Halderon, felt profound irritation as his new neighbor revved up the engine of his beat up old jalopy. That car needs a new muffler, Hans muttered to himself. That car needs a quick death; where are all the good arsonists when we need them?





And for the mega challenge:


Sitting at the shallow end of the pool, Brigadier General Mustard basked in the casual luxury of his new home. He loved Mount Olympus, as he called his beautiful new McMansion. He loved his parallelogram-shaped pool, the wonderful gardens full of bright flowers and the hummingbirds who visited the numerous feeders spread across the wonderfully landscaped yard. Then there were the three amazing birch trees. He had lots of trees, but the birches were his favorites. He was a happy man. Inside, the house was modest but wonderfully comfortable. The family portrait painted by a talented young officer who had served under him was his most prized possession. He could scarcely believe that the great tragedy in his life – the injury that had cost him his leg - had been the source of all this. Suing the doctor had not been his idea… he had been against it at first, but in the end he had realized that it was the right thing to do, not just for financial reward but because he realized that young men under his command might also become victims of that incompetent drunken hack. Retired now, he rejoiced in the wonder of this peaceful and abundant life. He was amazed at how well he was adapting to a life away from war and work. His two teenage daughters and his son each had separate wings where they could avoid the apoplexy they sometimes brought out in one another. The Greedy Arsonists as his son’s band called themselves (why he had no idea…) could practice in their wing and the girls could have a happy peaceful slumber party without ever crossing paths. Even at home there was peace now. Except of course for the strange noises that the Greedy Arsonists called music; he would have to sound-proof that room and soon. “That car needs a new muffler,” the gardener had said to him the other day and he had moaned and laughed and said. “Not a car, I’m afraid. My son’s idea of music.” But even the dreadful din of his son’s drums was a peaceful sound compared to the misery and explosions of war. The General was glad to be a soldier no more.





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~






Thank you, Quilly for sending suggestions for next week's challenge: Here are Quilly's words:


Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: acrobat; grocery store; ceiling fan; dandelion; bumble bee; alabaster; scissors; chartreuse; strenuously; cube


Mini Challenge: iPod; poison ivy; computer; interpreter; optometrist



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!!!!!

Please only add your name to Mr. Linky if you are participating in the Wordzzle Challenge. Thanks.




22 comments:

Richard said...

Katherine: glad to read a story about a general making peace in his family. Got a kick out of the description of the music. Good story.

Jeff B said...

I commend you and any of the others who were able to come up with something from these words. They simply kicked my butt this week. Nicely done.

Melli said...

Oh Raven! They're all good as always - but I laughed out loud at Brigadier General Apoplexy! And your mega was very sweet. That man deserved to have the good life!

Thom said...

Wow Raven. Very nice. The mini challenge was my favorite in that where is an arsonist when you need them. I cracked up. I names of your generals were absolutely great. Excellent!!!

Akelamalu said...

You're right Raven, the words were difficult this week - I really struggled again. :(

I'm glad Howie did what he wanted to do and not what his parents wanted. :)

The Greedy Arsonists is a great name for a band and we both had a parallelogram shaped pools in our stories! :)

Dr.John said...

You did such a good job that the stories just seemed to flow from the words.
In the first and last stories you made the characters come alive . I could see the so proud general in the first . I could almost hear that horrible band in the third.
But the line that cracked me up was the end of the mini challenge.
Well done. Very well done.

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Akelamalu said...

PS when did you slip 'doctor' into the 10 word challenge? I copied the words off last week's wordzzle post and I swear it wasn't there!
:0

Lu' said...

Ha we both chose to go with a suffers a stupid name charachter. I guess that is bound to happen. Good stories tough words :)

Finding Pam said...

Raven, your stories are great and I enjoyed reading them. It would seem the general has had a hard time with losing his leg and all.

Living in that big house with seperate wings sounds like they all want to be left alone.

Dianne said...

I feel a bit sorry for Howard Apoplexy

Love the mini - made me think of my neighbors

pinklotus said...

My First Wordzzle Challenge...

PINKLOTUS - Wordzzle Challenge Entry 1

Travis said...

Love the comparison of garage band music to a car that needs a new muffler. That was a great line!

bettygram said...

They were all great again. I liked the way you used the words in ways you would not expect.

TLG said...

Such a cool idea! I've joined!

Stephen said...

I have my stories posted now.

Stephen from Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
http://stephen-has-spoken.blogspot.com/

Akelamalu said...

A note to Honey - your comments box doesn't appear to be working.

Nessa said...

I thought the words hard this week too, but you did great. I really laughed at the first General.

the watercats said...

The words were a brilliant challenge this week!.. think I missed out mount olympus somehow though!.. your stories were brilliant, love the general bloke, lol!.. cheers!

Jojo said...

Ms. Raven, as usual every week you surpass yourself...which seems impossible, but somehow you do. The mega challenge was my favorite.

Alice said...

WoHooo, 3 well written stories, Raven. Of course, from you I would expect nothing less. Have a wonderful week.

Carletta said...

You tied these stories together brilliantly!

Even though mine are never really impressive I actually missed not doing them this week. :)