Friday, May 30, 2008

Saturday Wordzzle Challenge: Week Fifteen

t's week 15 of the Saturday Wordzzle challenge. Anyone new to the process can refer back here to find out how it works.

The words for this week's ten word challenge were: perpendicular, carpentry, garage, lute player, radishes, tin roof, wild flowers, stop light, gargantuan And for the Mini Challenge: gravy boat, cat carrier, Madison, Wisconsin, March Hare, gratitude

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

Putting a tin roof on the garage was not exactly carpentry, but it was the first step in his plan. Once the roof was on, he would re-design the inside and it would be a garage no more but a haven from the world, even from Martha. It would be a place for meditation and creativity. He would hang the painting of the lute player that he loved so and she so hated. He would plant wild flowers all around the outside and string beans and cucumbers and radishes and he would wrap them in positive energy so that they would grow to be gargantuan and taste like love. He’d plant a large perpendicular board right in front and write peace in all the languages he could find. And since it had once been a garage, he’d paint a two-sided sign in the shape of a stop light. Red would declare no admittance and green would “give the go” to anyone who wanted to join him in meditation. As for Martha, she’d just have to find another place to park her car.

And here's my mini challenge:

George was returning to Madison, Wisconsin with more than a bit of dread in his heart. Thanksgiving with his family was a bit like the Mad Hatter’s tea party, his father playing the part of the Mad Hatter, Mother making appearances as the Queen of Hearts, and three of his four siblings taking turns as the March Hare. It would have been funny if it weren’t so damned scary. At the last family “tea party,” someone had dropped the gravy boat and the ensuing hysteria and filled him with profound gratitude that Madison was so far from his present home that he only had to make the dreadful pilgrimage once every three or four years. Looking over at his cat Alice who was sleeping peacefully in her cat carrier, he whispered, “Prepare yourself, Ali. You are about to enter Wonderland.”

And the mega challenge:

As lute player for a somewhat eccentric string quintet that called itself Alice and the March Hares (for reasons that were lost in the history of some forgotten joke), Miranda was somewhat uneasy about their current “gig” in Madison, Wisconsin. Sitting at the stop light she could not see any prospect of a warm welcome for the March Hares at the large garage-like building with the tin roof at which they had been booked to play. It looked rather more like a biker bar to her than a proper venue for a string quintet. Her dread increased when she was greeted by a gargantuan giant of a man holding what looked like a cat carrier. “Cat?” he had responded to her inquiry and then realizing her mistake had laughingly replied, “No cat. I do the carpentry around here. This is my tool kit…. Don’t tell me you March Hares were expecting the Cheshire cat to be here,” he chuckled opening the door for her... “or are you Alice?” he added as an afterthought? But she hardly heard him so great was her surprise at the sight that greeted her beyond the open door. Her dread washed away. The banquet hall was magnificent. Dozens of tables some perpendicular to one another in “L” shapes, were covered with rich white table cloths and decorated with gravy boats full of the most beautiful wild flowers she had ever seen. There were bowls of fruit and Crudites… carrot sticks, celery, and the radishes cut into the shapes of roses. From an unseen kitchen somewhere in the space, came aromas so rich and fine she felt she could taste the meal just by breathing in the rich scent. At the far end of the room, an elevated stage was already set up for the quintet. She could barely take it all in. “It’s awesome,” she murmured at last. Her giant companion chuckled at her with twinkling eyes. “Not quite what you expected, eh? The others all had the same reaction… as do most people who come here. Our little venue may not be so pretty on the outside, but we have inner beauty. The chef has a nice snack for you in the kitchen if you’d like to join your friends. Gratitude welled up within her. “Thank you so much,” she whispered and followed him to the kitchen, thinking that perhaps Alice and the March Hares had finally found their niche.


Some wordzzle trivia: In one of my unfulfilled fantasies, I took the wordzzles I did at various classes, created a bunch of new ones and compiled them into a book which I dreamed of seeing published, the idea being to have my sample exercise and leave a space for people to write their own using the same words, much as we do here. I still think it would make a great teaching tool for a college writing class, or (with different vocabulary) for grade school. The book's title, HOW THE HOWLING CAT AND THE TEDDY BEAR WOUND UP TOGETHER ON THE MOON came out of today’s vanity wordzzle.

This week's vanity wordzzle used the words: Howling cat, Teddy bear, moon, entrepreneur, exuberance, similar, struggle, bedroom,

When Fred Johnson threw his daughter’s favorite teddy bear out the bedroom window at the howling cat, he had no idea that he would never see it again, because of course he had no way of knowing that Marigold – that was the cat’s name – was not howling out of some form of feline exuberance, but was actually in a fierce struggle to escape from the clutches of Zorph Zoglop, intrepid Martian explorer and entrepreneur. Zorph loved all things terran and made frequent explorations to earth. He did not usually venture into such populated areas and had not really intended to capture the cat – he just wanted to look at it. Then what with the howling and the Teddy bear attack, the usually unflappable Martian had simply panicked, shoved them both into his collecting sack, run as fast as he could back to his ship, and taken off immediately, convinced that he was about to be caught. It was only when he arrived back at Luna Loa (interestingly terran and Martian words for the moon seemed to have similar origins), that he remembered the cat. Cats take great pride in maintaining their dignity, so being shoved into a sack does not generally improve their dispositions. Marigold came out of the sack primed for battle, but instead floated helplessly toward the ceiling. This was too much even for as proud and independent a cat as Marigold and she docilely allowed Zorph to clutch her with his tentacles and place her gently in a small case with the aforementioned Teddy bear, who quickly became her dearest friend. In time, she actually became quite fond of Zorph and she and the Teddy bear ended their days happily on the moon. Fred Johnson, on the other hand, spent years trying to make up to his daughter for the loss of her beloved bear.


Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: spaghetti, larkspur, Prilosec, roaring lion, adamant, green green grass of home, paradox, filibuster, face cream, trout fishing

And for the Mini Challenge: jury of ones peers, barking dog, a wing and a prayer, liver, sprained ankle

Thanks for playing. For those who are new, here are some guidelines to make the process more fun.
Enjoy! See you next week.



Odat said...

Ok, I'm in, finally got the courage. I'm only doing the mega. I'll post it tomorrow. ;-)

Raven said...

Yippee! Welcome. I look forward to reading your post when it's up. Just add your name to Mr. Linky when you are ready.

Odat said...

oh btw, i love your writings....this one is excellent....
I don't know how I'll live up to all those who write these....phew. I added my name to Mr. Linky...

tt said...

and once again you sparkle!
I love the the book idea. Have you pitched the idea to anyone? You've got such a creative spirit.

Betty said...

Wonderful stories, as always, Raven! said...

Raven, I have decided that the only reason I only do the Megawordzzle is because I am basically lazy. No kidding I am late on this one because I had a really busy day today. Hope you have a great weekend and by the way I loved the imagery in your writing. (But then I always do.)

Richard said...

Loved your stories this week. My favorite is the Howling Cat one.


Best wishes to Zorph

Dianne said...

I think the book is a great idea too!! I'm going to ask my daughter-in-law for some advice/leads, she is a teacher and also part of an "alternative learning association".

We both put wild flowers in gravy boats. I love when that happens.

I love the vanity most of all! I could pictue the cat floating and the Dad begging for forgiveness.

And I kinda felt sorry for Martha and her car LOL

Jay said...

Excellent as always Raven!

LOVE the vanity Wordzzle this week.

And I love the idea of the book. I think it's a brilliant idea!

Akelamalu said...

Alice and the March Hares - ingenious! Loved all three Raven. I had the same idea as you about a book only I thought I'd put my Fiction 55s in as well as my wordzzles - when I have written a lot more of course! :)

maryt/theteach said...

Raven, I did a Mega Challenge this week for the first time... My story involves Alice and the March Hare and the White Rabbit et al. :D Loved your wordzzles so extensive and detailed! Great!

maryt/theteach said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
maryt/theteach said...

My wordzzle is at Answers to the Questions :D

Unknown said...

Great job...AGAIN!!!

I found out I've got a bad modem, which is causing the spotty internet and phone service. I'm hopefully going to get that fixed on Monday or Tuesday. Miss you!!!

Jeff B said...

You've got me hooked!

The book sounds like a great idea. Hope you can see it come to print.

I laughed at next week's "jury of ones peers" as I will be serving on jury duty.

Loved your stories BTW.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to tell you I've been reading about you and your Wordzzle challenges on some of my favorite blogs. They rave about pun intended. I love the challenge. It's some of my most enjoyable reading. Talk about a way to strengthen your creative writing muscle, I want to have some of my co-workers take the challenege.

Raven said...

Hi everybody - thanks for participating and for all your wonderful wordzzles - and for all your kind compliments. James b. I'm just all flustered with your last comment. Raving about me? Really? Cool. Hope you can get others to join in. It's one of my favorite things in the world and I'm always amazed at what varied and creative the things people come up with. Each one I read... I got "Wow! That's the best ever."