Friday, July 04, 2008

Saturday Wordzzle Challenge: Week Twenty

This is week 20 of the Saturday Wordzzle challenge. Anyone new to the process can refer back here to find out how it works. Given the holiday, I don't know how many people will be participating, so I'm posting this early in the totally illogical belief that that will somehow make a difference. Happy 4th everyone.

The words for this week's ten word challenge were: handy, operation, gratitude, parallel bars, the color purple, manic depressive, Puget Sound, fragmentary, perpetual motion, secretive And for the Mini Challenge: sympathetic, filet of sole, mysterious stranger, elephantine, music

Well, quite a few people expressed concerns about the fate of Abraham Lincoln from last week's post, so, since I can’t leave everyone worrying about him (how could you think he wouldn’t be rescued?!!) here's my ten-word offering for this week.

Abraham Lincoln’s people (sometimes referred to as owners) were somewhat secretive due to the fact that they were both former Olympic athletes – Martin was a gold medalist on the parallel bars and Talia Jane in tumbling and floor exercises. She was noted for always wearing the color purple. He had recently been diagnosed as a manic depressive, but was doing well on his new medication. When they had moved into their beautiful white house on the shores of the Puget Sound, they had felt profound gratitude for the beauty of their surroundings and the peace and privacy afforded to them by their neighbors and their gated community which kept them safe from the prying eyes of the paparazzi. Still their fame had come in handy in persuading the local police force to mount a full scale rescue operation for a cat based on a confused and fragmentary description of the kidnapper and a rather blurry video tape of the aforementioned Mr. Lincoln. Both Martin and Talia had spent the hours following Precious Puddy’s catnapping in a state of perpetual motion, pacing the floors with worry and concern for their beloved and very spoiled kitty child. The local cops were not all that sympathetic about expending so much energy on finding a kidnapped cat and had they not been dealing with two famous and influential athletes, would probably have blown the whole thing off. Luckily for everyone, one of them recognized the voice on the tape as well as a landmark dimly noticeable outside the window in the video tape and the story had a quick and happy ending. Mr. Lincoln was quickly rescued and returned to his palatial digs. Already too pampered for his own good, he none-the-less milked his brush with danger for all it was worth and was lavished with hugs, kisses and lots of treats. Everyone lived happily ever after and Mr. Lincoln lived to a ripe and happy, if somewhat chubby, old age.

And here's my mini challenge:

Marigold was grateful for the sympathetic ear of the mysterious stranger sitting next to her at the diner’s counter. As she dug hungrily into her plate of filet of sole, she rambled on about her frustrations at succeeding in the competitive arena of the music business and about how wrong it was that a normal (well slightly chubby) person like herself was considered elephantine by the industry. “You’re such a good listener,” she said shaking the stranger's hand as she got up to leave. As he had through out the whole encounter, he smiled graciously at her and nodded. Checking out at the cash register, she mentioned to the cashier how kind the gentleman sitting next to her had been and what a good listener he was. “Harry?” the woman grinned back at her. “He’s deaf as a post.” Seeing Marigold blush, she added, “Lots of us tell our troubles to Harry. He really is a good listener. He may not hear the words, but he is present in a way that many who can actually hear aren’t…. and you feel better, don’t you?” “Well, I guess I do,” Marigold laughed. “Life sure is strange sometimes, isn’t it?” "Indeed," the cashier nodded. "Have a great day," they said in unison and both laughed.

And the mega challenge:

Being manic depressive wasn’t easy and over the years, Violet had become extremely secretive about her condition. Surprisingly, most people were not very sympathetic. Some even reacted as though she was dangerous and pulled back from friendship. She had only fragmentary memories of the days before diagnosis and treatment. What she did remember was a sense of frantic, perpetual motion and racing thoughts. She had nothing but gratitude to the mysterious stranger who had apparently found her in a frenzy of activity, surrounded by a dozen paint cans, trying to paint everything in sight the color purple so that she (being Violet) would blend in. He had somehow persuaded her to check herself into the Puget Sound sanitarium where she had not only received treatment and counseling for her bi-polar condition, but also a gastric by-pass operation which had helped bring her body down from it’s formerly elephantine proportions to something much healthier. The mysterious stranger – who was apparently a kind of John Beresford Tipton for crazy people had not only paid to send her to culinary school (she was, it turned out, more than handy in the kitchen) but built and funded a restaurant for her which she had named Sole Music since sea food, particularly filet of sole was her specialty. She had designed the place with parallel bars on the side walls, one serving alcohol, one serving health food and non potent drinks. Today, twenty years later, as she received the Cordon Bleu Award for Culinary Excellence, she gratefully blessed the mysterious stranger who had given her everything and never asked for anything in return, not even a thank you. No one could ever tell her than angels don’t exist. She was watched over by them.


This week's vanity wordzzle used the words: tick, philanthropy, waddle, tennis, “are you going to eat that?”, epidemic, ellipse, symphony, draft, slurp

Mrs. Smith gazed disapprovingly at her daughter. “Are you going to eat that?” “Yes, Mom, I am,” Amanda responded and slurped down several more bites in willful disregard of her mother’s frowning glare. “Yes, and tomorrow, you’ll waddle out to the tennis court complaining about how fat your are! I don’t know why you do it.” Amanda listened to the kitchen clock tick loudly on the wall as she held her breath to swallow the rage which lay shrieking inside of her. In Mrs. Smith’s eyes Amanda’s flaws were epidemic and her criticisms sang eternally in Amanda’s head like an unholy symphony: you’re too fat, too loud, you’re lazy, you’re bad. What will the neighbor’s think? What will the neighbor’s think?” Strangely enough, even though Amanda’s eating habits were one of her mother’s greatest obsessions, Amanda felt increasingly pulled towards food. It provided a kind of strange ellipse - a central point, like the eye of a hurricane - between her mother’s judgment and her own self-hatred. Eating was a kind of perverted philanthropy aimed at putting salve on the wound in her soul. As she stood there choking down her anger and pain, she felt, although she did not recognize the sensation, the cold, deadening draft of her mother’s darkness blow across her, dimming, at least for the moment, the flame of her spirit.


Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: gouged, symmetrical, Spanish moss, ATV, parallel parking, Luscious, origami, amphibian, turkey, gravy train

And for the Mini Challenge: pouring rain, mastiff, church bells, wedding dress, stock car races

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

Enjoy! See you next week.


18 comments: said...

Wonderful, as always. I am so glad Mr. Lincoln was saved. jcs

Carletta said...

I am participating this week with an attempt at least. It will be up later; but I don't see a Mr. Linky anywhere- what am I doing wrong?

Raven said...

Hi Carletta - I use the bargain basement Mr. Linky... You have to click on the box at the bottom of the post and add your name in there. Glad you are joining in!

Carletta said...

Mr.Lincoln safe at last!

You have such talent with words. I am completely amazed each week.
I'm going to have to work harder on mine next week!
And, I can't see a box at the end of your post. It might be my server I'm not sure. I even tried clicking on the white space but nothing would take me anywhere. :(

SMM said...

Did it this week. Btw do i have to add my name to Mr. Linky every Saturday?

Raven said...

Welcome to wordzzles. I'm afraid that Mr. Linky does need to be fed each week, I'm afraid. It's the budget brand free, no cost Mr. Linky. He is not as user friendly as his richer cousin.

Akelamalu said...

Way Abraham got home safe and well!

I love all three Raven, have you noticed the similarities in our megaworddzles? Great minds think alike eh? :)

Clarence said...

Three happy stories balance out the sad story. I hope things work out for Amanda. I can feel her pain. I like the ellipse analogy you used, that's cool. And also "the cold, deadening draft of her mothers darkness blow across her..." great choice of words. I like what you do with words! :)

Jay said...

Well, I guess it's good that Mr. Lincoln made it home so quickly. But, I don't know, he's pretty spoiled. Maybe it would have done him some good to have to rough it for a bit? haha ;-)

Wonderful as always Raven! I'll be around to read everyone's a bit later. Got some Saturday morning stuff to do.

Raven said...

Hi everyone... I'm too lazy to make individual responses. Thank you all for your kind words and for participating.

Jay - I knew someone would think Poor Mr. Lincoln got off too easy.

Raven said...

As always happens when I try the lazy way, I end up working harder...

Clarence... thanks for your comments about the vanity wordzzle. It is, alas, autobiographical. I'm not sure how things have worked out. Good in some ways, but some scars are hard to erase.

Richard said...

Mr. Lincoln sounds uber spoiled, as are most cats with loving human partners (never owners).

I enjoyed the deaf listener very much.


Dianne said...

I enjoyed the deaf listener too! Made me smile as did Mr. Lincoln's rescue.

My absolute favorite was Violet trying to paint the world purple in an attempt to blend in. I get that! Absolutely brilliant Raven.

My continuation of Finola's story is up and I'll be back to read everyone. I too have some Saturday stuff to attend to.

Maybe I'm with Jay!? Ohhhh blog rumors ;)

Jeff B said...

Your mini warmed my heart! It was very touching and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Kimmie said...

Raven, I so love reading your Wordzlles. I loved the "deaf listener"...I often talk outloud to my kitty, and even though she usually just looks at me like I'm nuts and follows up with a big yawn and squinting eyes, I feel a hell of a lot better! LOL! So, I get that story very well. Being a middle child of 7, I have to say, Violet's blending in touched on my heartstrings. Till this day I often feel very invisible. Sad but true. I am happy Mr. Lincoln made it home and is fat and happy! Amanda, lets just say, her story just breaks my heart. Being a Mother that loves my daughter beyond words and is always incouraging and supportive, I cannot imagine what goes wrong that there are some Mothers that just don't have those maternal nurturing skills. It is a mystery. Hugs to you Raven. :-)

Kimmie said...


Sorry about forgetting to do the Mr. Linky! What was I thinking? I wanted to grab your link, and then I forgot to come back. Duh! *giggle* Thanks for the reminder. Now I am off to read everyones stories. I love Saturdays! Thank You!

Unknown said...

I find I repeat myself when leaving comments on your wordzzle posts...I need more adjectives that describe great writing! I keep using the same ones over and over. But you've done it again! Stupendous! (Don't think I've used that one yet!)

maryt/theteach said...

Didn't get to Wordzzle this week, Raven... Was visiting family in Boston and celebrating 4th of July. We had a real good time! Will be posting pix soon. :)