Friday, January 25, 2013

Weekly Wordzzle Challenge # 231

Posting on time this week! It's a miracle! My theme seems to revolve around generosity for some reason. Funny how the words take us (well me, since I'm the only one who plays these days) in specific directions some weeks.

Word for this week's 10-word challenge: King Arthur, seriously, pigeons, spectacular, opening, languish, regulations, paper, generosity, snow   And for the mini: fragrant, emeralds, twisted, strife, pearls

My mega:

The sound of a pair of pigeons cooing on the window sill had drawn his attention away from the pile of papers and regulations with which he had been deeply absorbed. Looking out the castle window, King Arthur gazed at the gnarled and twisted branches covered with snow and thought that Winter had it's own spectacular beauty. Even so, he seriously longed for the fragrant beauty and generosity of Spring and Summer when his people were relieved of some of the strife and struggle of simply surviving the cold and hunger. His father would  have found it un-kingly of him, but he and Gwenivere struggled with a significant guilt that they languished in such extravagant comfort, dressed in warm robes covered with emeralds and pearls and dined on lavish meals. It was on one particularly chilly night, that Gwen had come up with the idea of opening the castle to 100 citizens two times each winter for a small feast. They had struggled with a system for selecting guests which would be as fair as possible and not breed discontent in those who could not attend. In the end they had come up with a system which honored 10 specific peasants for acts of kindness or deeds which honored the kingdom. Those 10 could invite four guests each and then the remainder of the guests were chosen by lot. The event had been a great success, giving the people something to look forward to and allowing the King and Queen to know and learn about the citizens of his kingdom. Many in the aristocracy were horrified by this breach of traditional social norms, but Arthur did not care. He loved his people... and he loved his wife, who was made happy by this small sharing of the abundance which came with being royalty.

My mini:

It wasn't that Jack Jones didn't love the beauty of emeralds and rubies and diamonds and pearls. He found them awesomely beautiful. As a young man he had visited the Tower of London and - somewhat against his will - been dragged to see the Crown Jewels. He remembered wishing he could stand and stare at them forever. They seemed alive to him and for part of his life he had dedicated much energy to acquiring such treasures. But when he learned the twisted tales of violence and strife that went into mining and marketing these exquisite objects, he lost all love for them - well he lost the love of acquiring or even possessing them. Though their beauty still delighted his eyes, they now had a fragrance of blood and death about them that he could not get over. With a mixture of pain and gratitude, and after much thought, he donated his collected gems to an organization that worked on behalf of those victimized by the blood diamond trade.

And the 10-word:

Arthur King - whose friends lovingly called him King Arthur because of his penchant for taking rules and regulations rather too seriously for their taste - was also known for his spectacular generosity. He had not been born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth, but through a mix of good luck and hard work had amassed an enormous fortune manufacturing artificial snow. Some might have languished in idleness and or horded their assets, but Arthur looked for every opening by which he could share his good fortune. He helped one young woman start up her own business designing wrapping paper and stationary and backed her not only with cash but with moral support and encouragement. Hearing his neighbor's daughter expound on her love of golf, he helped her mother open "Pigeon Putt," a miniature golf course that served the community. Since Arthur had always loved miniature golf, there was come consensus that this was less generosity on his part than a way to give himself a big present and make someone else happy at the same time. Those were only two examples. Anyone who came to him with a dream, had a good chance - albeit with a hefty dose of rules and lessons on how to run a good business - had a good chance of getting a leg up from this kind man. Almost all of them succeeded, offering Arthur a return on his investment which he then passed on to some other new dreamer.  When he died at the age of 100, the community mourned his passing and declared his home a landmark, renaming it Camelot in gratitude to a man whom they considered to be their own "once and future king."


Words for next week's 10-word challenge:  wishing well, truck, chicken, coaster, flowering tree, bacteria, matches, colorful, port

And for the mini: swirl, bear with me, stretcher, muffin, gratitude

Thanks you for playing.  Newcomers can check here for some guidelines to make the game more fun. There are no rules, just some general guidelines and tricks.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Weekly Wordzzle Challenge # 230

Oh, my!  I completely forgot about wordzzles. Since it's very late at night, I will just post Mr. Linky, etc. and do my exercises tomorrow.

Saturday Afternoon Update: Not feeling well... may have to wait until tomorrow.... maybe later. Not sure. Sorry.

SUNDAY AFTERNOON:  Finished at last. The last one is an introduction (of sorts) to Angel's new "friend" (not so much), Chloe.

Words for this week's 10 word challenge: growling, mercurial, flakes, purgatory, forward, careful, glowing, orderly, passionate, working   And for the mini: brigand, bluff, buttercup, fabric, feature

My mega:

Brigand and thief, Francois Flakes, was brilliant, charming, mercurial and totally unpredictable. Young barmaid Buttercup Benedict thought he was magnificent. She looked forward to his visits to the inn with passionate intensity, in a kind of purgatory of hope and despair. The anticipation of his glowing presence and handsome features made working at the inn more bearable. When she tried to understand the depth of her attraction to him, she was somewhat puzzled by it. It wasn't just that he would sometimes bring her flowers or fancy gifts. It wasn't the rich fabric of his clothing or the lavish way he spent money, though it was always lovely to be on the receiving end of his generosity. It wasn't even his growling ability to call the bluff of bigger, gruffer men who often viewed him with a mix of envy and admiration. In the end, she concluded that what drew her careful, orderly, cautious self to Francois was his intelligence and his free spirit, which sang a siren song to something inside her that longed to break free. She would have been flabbergasted had she known that Francois had seen and been drawn to her secret self and was doing what he could to quietly free her from the propriety in which her spirit had been so tightly wrapped by her parents and the society in which they lived. Several year later - when he asked her to marry him - he would share with her the joy he had taken in watching her blossom and would paint for her a vision of a life worth living. And in the days and years to come he made it so... gave her a life rich in adventure and joy and learning and most importantly, love.

The mini:

Brigand Francois Flakes, laughed with delight when the shopkeeper brought out the exquisite gown he had ordered for his future wife - well, if she accepted his proposal, that is...  The fabric was patterned with buttercups as a tribute to his beloved's name, something he hoped would delight her as much as it delighted him. He wanted the proposal to be as romantic as possible so he planned to take her for a picnic on the bluffs. The occasion would feature a lavish meal (served in a big tent), a troubadour to sing her praises, the presentation of this dress, a ring and his smitten heart. He was dreadfully nervous, something he wasn't used to feeling, but he need not have worried; Buttercup already adored him and the thoughtful creativity of his proposal was the stuff of fairy tales. She was his. 

And the 10-word:   This is a somewhat ungracious introduction of Angel's new companion whose name - at the moment - is Chloe.

Alphonse Smith was working through the mystery of how a normally orderly and careful person like himself had ended up in a miserable and seemingly endless purgatory with this growling, passionate and mercurial cat he had adopted after his sweet girl Flakes had died. For himself, he would have been content to move forward alone with Flake's sister, Snow, but she had seemed so lonely and unhappy that he had felt it would be selfish to force her to live with only him for a companion. His friend Fred had offered such a glowing description of the newcomer... "She's very sweet and loving. Seems truly gentle.'  On what planet, Alphonse asked himself... and then had to admit that she was fundamentally sweet.  A bit wild. Young. Everyone said it would work itself out. He hoped so. Meanwhile, everything felt very unsettled and he felt guilty that he was not loving this newcomer as he should. He still missed Flakes. He missed his peaceful kingdom. He missed his vision of himself as kind and loving. This too shall pass he told himself and hoped that it was true.


Words for next week's 10-word challenge:  King Arthur, seriously, pigeons, spectacular, opening, languish, regulations, paper, generosity, snow

And for the mini: fragrant, emeralds, twisted, strife, pearls

Thanks you for playing.  Newcomers can check here for some guidelines to make the game more fun. There are no rules, just some general guidelines and tricks.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Weekly Wordzzle Challenge # 229

Sorry about the extra week off (without even politely mentioning that I was going to take it). I have not been at my best on multiple fronts. Slowly crawling out of my Self-Pity Pit.  New kitty has not been at all open to making friends with Angel, though we seem to have had a breakthrough last night. They spent much of this morning chasing each other around with minimal hissing. A good sign and at least Angel isn't bored. New kitty is named - at least for the moment - Chloe. Her middle name is probably/possibly Marigold. Still to be determined. I might also call her Gloria instead of Chloe, but...

Not sure if I will do this now or tomorrow. I thought I'd post the bare bones so I have no choice but to do them at all. Computer is acting squirrely at the moment. My screen jumps around every so often for now apparent reason. Now it has stopped again. Sigh.  I will post this much and come back later today or maybe tomorrow and do my exercises.

Saturday, 6:30 PM:  Finally finished. Not too thrilled with these. A bit out of practice.

Words for this week's 10 word challenge: children, drastic, guns, preparation, moved, knit, spare, lesson, blanket, wink   And for the mini: escape, plastic, gravity, sarcasm, giggle

My mega:

Raven's heart was breaking and she was moved almost beyond her ability to bear it as she watched children - who should have been laughing and giggling, playing and learning - instead standing in the cold wrapped in blankets and parents weeping over the deaths of 20 children and 7 adults.  She was impressed by the people of this peaceful close-knit community, who- thought they had not been without preparation against intruders - had not even conceived the idea of something as drastic and unfathomable as a boy with semi-automatic guns shooting his way into a grade school with the intention apparently of letting none escape, of sparing no one. She couldn't help but wonder what would of the mind would let someone do such a thing? Was he seeing children? Was he shooting at something else because his mind was sick? She was moved by the gravity of the President's response, by his clearly genuine intense grief. Would the country finally learn a lesson or would they/we let the plastic shills on FOX News and the NRA sell fear and stupidity to the minions whom they kept in a state of constant paranoia. Seemed to Raven that they were the truly evil ones in this story. It seemed impossible that they believed much of the nonsense they spewed and she was sure they winked at one another off camera, amused by the effectiveness of their personal pact with the Devil. She was grateful for the brilliant wry sarcasm with which Jon Stewart called them on it and only wished that he was not mostly preaching to the choir. Still, this time things seemed different. Maybe we would finally draw the line of "tolerance" at a body count of 20 six and seven year-olds. Maybe there was hope.

My mini:

It was with a mix of irritation and good humor that Principal Johnson addressed a group of giggling 13-year-olds and their science teacher.  It has not escaped my notice," she remarked
soberly (but with a twinkle in her eye) that you have been doing practical experiments on gravity using plastic bags full of water dropped from the roof. While I appreciate your enthusiasm for learning - would that it happened more often - I suggest that future experiments include safety precautions to protect innocent passers-by. I know," she continued, with just a hint of sarcasm, " that you would never have intentionally targeted someone who could give all of you detention should she so choose." Turning to the young teacher who was torn between laughter and terror, she said somewhat curtly, "See me in my office at your next free period."  Then, turning on her heel, she said, "Good day, children," and headed to her office to dry herself off.

And the 10-word:

"Spare me your left wing drivel about how learning to knit sweaters and blankets and sing kumbaya  is better life preparation for our children than gun lessons." Kitty Wink, shouted at the assembled parents who had gathered to discuss safety after the recent school shooting. Knitting her brow in angry frustration, she continued, angrily, "This situation calls for drastic action. We meed armed guards - and I think our teachers should carry too. What's wrong with you people, that you don't care about protecting our children, What's wrong with you? I just want my girls to be safe," she said finally, moving from anger to the edge of tears. "I just want my kids to be safe."  "So do we all," her neighbor Jenny Sanders, replied. "We just don't agree about how to accomplish that. I don't want guns around my children. That doesn't seem to me to be the way to keep them safe. I understand your fear. I'm frightened too. I just believe that if we work together, we can find a better solution than turning our schools into armed camps. Let's use our imaginations and our common concern and look at all possibilities available to us before we just leap at one that seems to me to be the most risky. Can we do that?"  "I don't see the point," Kitty replied tiredly, "but I assume I have no choice."  Although the gathered parents remained divided, they all appreciated the calming tone that Jenny had lent to the conversation and the meeting proceeded in a more amiable and productive way. Eventually, they formed a committee to study security and came up with a number of solutions that didn't require guns but that left even the most fearful parents feeling more secure about their children's well being.


Words for next week's 10-word challenge:  growling, mercurial, flakes, purgatory, forward, careful, glowing, orderly, passionate, working

And for the mini: brigand, bluff, buttercup, fabric, feature

Thanks you for playing.  Newcomers can check here for some guidelines to make the game more fun. There are no rules, just some general guidelines and tricks.