Friday, July 25, 2008

Saturday Wordzzle Challenge: Week 23

(Please scroll down for Skywatch Friday)

This is week 23 of the Saturday Wordzzle challenge. Anyone new to the process can refer back here to find out how it works. Special thanks to Jeff B who sent me a wonderful list of about 60 words and phrases to take me through the next few weeks.

The words for this week's
ten word challenge were: follow-up, buffalo wings, silversmith, furniture, as the crow flies, little red roadster, photograph, pencil pusher, argument, streaking

And for the Mini Challenge: Ireland, mashed potatoes, book worm, fog horn, T.S. Eliot

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

Martha wished she could get to Dinkledorfen as the crow flies instead of having to drive her little red roadster on twisting mountain roads, especially since there wasn’t even any place for her to pull over and take some photographs of the scenery, which was indeed quite beautiful. She was not adventurous by nature. No, she was a born pencil pusher who preferred shopping for furniture to pretty much any other sport around. About the most daring thing she had ever done (by her standards) was to eat buffalo wings at a greasy spoon in Idaho followed up by the worst and greasiest french fries ever made. She considered herself fortunate to have survived. That was as daring as she got, unless you counted streaking her hair that time, but she had only been 13 and all the girls were doing it, so it hardly seemed… but back to the point… she was not adventurous. She was not a driving mountain roads in Germany kind of girl. She was, however, a woman who didn’t like losing an argument and she would prove to that snotty, dim-witted Belinda Bigshot (who thought she knew everything), that the famous silversmith of Dinkledorfen was, in fact, both a distant cousin of Paul Revere and the greatest llving craftstmen in the world today – that is, if she survived the drive up this stupid mountain and lived to tell the tale.

And here's my mini challenge:

No place has better writers and poets than Ireland, Susan stated, serenely convinced of the rightness of her words. “What about T.S. Eliot, you boring book worm,” her brother asked, just to annoy her. (She loved T.S. Eliot.) “Well, of course T.S. Eliot is great,” she sputtered, “but the Irish as a whole… “She was interrupted by her father making a loud fog horn sound followed by, “Why don’t you both shut up and pass me the mashed potatoes. And also I’d like some tomatoes… Now that’s poetry,” he slurred drunkenly, and the children knew that conversation was over for the evening.

And the mega challenge:

Preparing to do her follow up report on the local silversmith and furniture maker, Reginald Ireland, who reputedly also made the best buffalo wings in the Sullivan county (yes, they were doing a follow-up report!), young reporter T.S. Eliot, briefly considered driving her little red roadster off the nearest cliff. She had gotten into an argument with her boss about the assignment to no avail. “You want to be a reporter or a pencil pusher?” he had snarled at her. “If the answer to that question is ‘reporter,’ your next assignment is to interview that wacky bookworm woman who wants to restore the fog horn and preserve the Streaking Island Light House by turning it into a library. And I want lots of photographs.” That assignment at least had some potential, she mused, and Reginald Ireland did have the virtue of being quite handsome and rather witty. He had also once starred in a soap opera called As the Crow Flies. Apparently, the secret of his buffalo wings was coating them with – you heard it here first – mashed potatoes. There was a good chance he was going to ask her out and dating a handsome ex soap star who could cook was not an altogether unpleasing idea. Looked like things might be going her way after all.


This week's vanity wordzzle used the words: Recipient, rose quartz, UPS, yellow pages, the year 2000 computer problem, thermometer, flame, brandy snifter, electric toothbrush

What with the end of the world scheduled, Sylvia Johnson did not really see why people were so worried about the year 2000 computer problem. But then after she had had a few drinks, Sylvia tended to wonder why people worried about anything at all. She was not much of a drinker as a rule, but today had been one of those days, and she thoughtfully took another sip from the large crystal brandy snifter balanced between her hands. It has been one of the most horrible days of her life and she was tired to the bone. Aside from the fact that George had left her, finally, after years of threatening, the people at Publisher’s Clearinghouse had assured her that she was to be the recipient of a large sum of money on this very date. She had dressed herself neatly in preparation. (She did not intend to appear on TV in dressed only in a towel like some people.) And she had waited, and she had waited. Then finally, at 4:00 PM the bell had rung and she had run breathless to answer, only to find the friendly UPS man with a package for her neighbor. Some stupid electric toothbrush or thermometer or something according to the box. Insult to injury. The only delivery had been for someone else. Now it was 11:00 p.m. and as she stared wearily into the candle flame her eyes filled with tears. Sniffing them back she quickly gulped down the remaining brandy and rose shakily to her feet. Now what was she to do? At least with the money she could have hired a good lawyer, made sure she got her due from dear old George. Now she would have to resort to a lawyer from the Yellow Pages, if she could even afford that. It was so unfair. She hurled the empty brandy snifter against the wall and watched it shatter. It would be a nuisance to clean it up, but she had always wanted to do that or something like it, something high drama and passionate like they did in the movies. So perhaps the day was not a total loss after all, like her life. What had been the point, she wondered of all those years. A waste, a terrible waste. But even as she said that, here eyes fell on the large rose quartz heart that her daughter had sent her for her birthday last month and she realized with a start, that perhaps, disappointing and painful as this day had been, her life had not been such a waste after all. And picking up this rediscovered treasure, she went wearily to bed and fell into a gentle sleep clutching that precious heart against her own.


Special thanks to Jeff B for next week’s challenges. Thank you so much Jeff. Thanks to him I have a list of words that will last me for another month or so.

Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: ghastly, excrement, bill of sale, vague, thicket, precarious, life long ambition, gunnery sergeant, posthumous, bellowed

And for the Mini Challenge: lap of luxury, yellow-bellied sapsucker, quinine, generalization, abnormality

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

Enjoy! See you next week.


I don't know why Mr. Linky has vanished from sight. He is still there. If you click on the little empty square, you will find him playing hide and seek.


Carletta said...

As always Raven - well done!

Your ten words is the perfect beginning to a novel. I wanted to know what was going to happen next.

The mini challenge was such a concise little paragraph and everything fit so well.

Of course after those I knew the rest was a piece of cake for you - they were wonderful.

I would have to spend all my spare time for the whole week coming up with anything that would remotely be considered good! Honestly.

Jeff B said...

I love the name Dinkledorfen!

Your mini has a decidedly sad twist to it. Well done.

I'll come by in the morning and sign Mr Linky. I put my entry on a scheduled 1am post, I should probably wait to sign in.

Glad the words are a help. After looking at them again, I'm wondering how to string them all together now.

SMM said...

Hey Raven...completed Wordzzle this week and also added my name to Mr. Linky

Richard said...

katherine: I am also a fan of the town of Dinkledorfen, not to be confused with the burg of Heffelmiester Endorphin.

Betty Bigshot sounds like a pain. Though I am surprised to hear that Paul Revere has Germanic roots.

Loved the stories.


Dianne said...

I want to hug Sylvia Johnson and the kids at the dinner table.

And I loved the up the mountain adventure.

And thanks to Jeff B for supplying more words - do you mix them up? I've always hesitated to suggest any for fear that I'll then be bored with them when I see the very next week. I am selfish! I know ;)

DivaJood said...

Played this week - and it's really a challenge. Whew, you're good. said...

Sorry I was late getting mine up. Yours are better. I am afraid the Sisters are getting boring. I may have to do something awful to them - Either that or Phrog and Esmerelda Stay tuned. j

Jay said...

You know Martha is going to show all the proof to Belinda and Belinda is just going to shrug her shoulders and accuse Martha of faking the documents or something. That's the way people like that work. Just like George Bush supporters. They just ignore the evidence. LOL

Great Wordzzling Raven!

I finally posted mine. Meant to much earlier. I'll be around to read everyone's this afternoon. ;-)

storyteller said...

I always enjoy reading the Wordzlles others post and have tried my hand a couple of times, but find writing them most challenging … probably because ‘fiction’ has never been easy for me. I tend not to comment, but I always enjoy yours and am glad you started this weekly activity. Maybe one of these days my highly critical self will allow me to post one … but not today. Hope you’re enjoying your weekend.
Hugs and blessings,

Raven said...

Hi everyone - Not having my best day - headache that won't quite and general sense of the blahs... so it's a wonderful comfort to have all the nice wordzzles to visit and read.

carletta - thanks for your kind compliments. I thought the wordzzle you did a couple of weeks ago was excellent, but it should be fun and not work. You could always just do the minis... if you wanted to...

jeff b - thanks. That name came out of nowhere but I liked it. Thanks again for the list of words. It was so nice not to have to sit here and think them up for myself this week.

divajood - so glad you joined in. Thanks for your kind compliment. I thought you did a great job on your first try.

jay simser - so glad to see you. I do love the sisters and Phrog but understand if you are tired of them. You could always just send them off on vacation instead of killing them of, so you could bring them back if you wanted to.

jay - George Bush supporters are a separate class of dimwits. (Apologies to anyone I may have just insulted.) I'm sure you are right about Belinda, though in this case, I'm nit entirely sure there will be any proof to dismiss.

storyteller - I hope you do join in. You can always start small with a mini nibble and work your way up to the ten word. Wordzzles don't have to be works of art. They are just for fun. Glad you are enjoying them in any case.

Raven said...

oh boy - I am in bad shape today. I posted that and my brain went "wait..." you didn't reply to....

smm - glad you got yourself into Mr. Linky this week. I'm enjoying your story.

Richard - I like Heffelmeister Endorphin. As for Paul Revere, I fear that poor Martha may suffer the humiliation of being wrong in her conviction. Still, I think it is great that she has pushed herself so far out of her comfort zone, so I think she is a winner even if she loses.

dianne - sylvia and the kids I know would gratefully accept your hugs. I'm enjoying Finola's adventures. I always want to give her a big hug too. There's something so endearing about her.

Jeff B said...

FYI - Jay Simser's link doesn't go to his site.

Good bunch of stories out there again. Hope you're feeling better this afternoon.

Raven said...

Thanks for the info on Jay's link. I actually got there using it. I clicked on the link in the thing that said no such site exists (!) and it took me there. Cyber space is strange.

Thanks for your good wishes. I'm somewhat better. Took a long nap and may take a second one. Tomorrow is another day and I will be feeling great by then.

Gene Bach said...

Hey there! Since I'm back around now, for awhile anyway, I decided to play the game this week. In fact, I wrote my little story in "honor" of my dear, sweet brother, Jeff. BWAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!

Raven said...

Welcome back, Gene. I hope this means that all the fires are out. An incredible job that you do. Thanks. Off to read your wordzzle picking on your brother.

Carletta said...

I was checking in here before bedtime as usual and didn't find a new post.
Hope things are ok.
Thinking about you and I'll check back tomorrow.

Raven said...

Hi Carletta - thanks for thinking of me. I've been a bit under the weather today. Hopefully I'll come up with some haiku for OSI tomorrow morning. Had planned to be in bed by now but got intrigued by a PBS show about grizzly bears. Now I will check on you and a couple of other people and head to bed for real.

Linda Murphy said...

I miss the Wordzzle...I am hoping to get back to it next week.

Great wordzzles!

P/S I have something ready to send to you in the mail....don't hold your breath, but I am very hopeful to have it en route this week! I'll keep you posted.

San said...

Raven, I've fallen off the wordzzle wagon. Who knows? Maybe I'll hop back on. Your writing inspires me to try it again. This summer has been so busy!

I believe what I admire most (and there is so much to admire) in your wordzzling, is the way you create a character I care about.

Martha is aptly named! I don't want her to drive that little red roadster off the moundtain, because something tells me that silversmith of Dinkeldorfen will not disappoint. Martha's focus is too white-hot for that.

And tears came to my eyes, reading that mini dinner scene. Such poignancy in a momentary exchange.

A reporter named T. S. Eliot instead of Ernest Hemingway? Brilliant my dear!

And your PCH-awaiting Sylvia reminds me of my deceased Aunt Willie Mae. Beautiful.

When you have time, come and collect your award...

San said...

Moundtain. Where'd I get a spelling like that? I like the sound of it. You even inspire my creative spelling!

Dianne said...

Hope you're feeling OK

Thinking of you :)

Mississippi Nature said...

Great Job!

Raven said...

snoopmurph, san - I look forward to both of you joining in again. You are both so very good at it.

Thanks for your kind compliments.

Dianne, sorry I worried you. I'm ok. Just fussing around trying to write haikus and make decorative art to distract from them. Frustrated but fine.

For the people - thanks... won't you join in next time?