Friday, July 11, 2008

Saturday Wordzzle Challenge: Week Twenty-One

(Please scroll down for Project Black and Sky Watch)

This is week 21 of the Saturday Wordzzle challenge. Anyone new to the process can refer back here to find out how it works. I just want to say that whoever came up with this particular set of words should be taken out back and given 50 lashes. Oh wait… it was me… Umm… Maybe I should just be fired and the job given to someone else who will not come up with such an insanely mis-matched, demented set of words. What was I thinking? If I wasn't the host of this thing, I think I would have chickened out this week. Whew, I had a hard time. But enough whining...

The words for this week's ten word challenge were: 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

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

Lavender Luscious had failed her driving test four times – not only because she found parallel parking completely impossible - the concept was too symmetrical and she hated anything symmetrical – but because she also had a penchant for driving very fast, ignoring stop lights and chatting amiably with whoever was sitting next to her. This was not such a major problem driving an ATV on wilderness roads, but here in town such methods did not sit well with driving inspectors or other drivers. The last inspector who had taken her out for her test had growled at her, his face red with fury, “This is a driving test, young lady, not an audition for the stock car races.” He was originally from Turkey and those words with a Turkish accent had struck her so funny that she had burst out laughing. Needless to say, he had not passed her. Tomorrow was her fifth and last chance to get a license and her nerves were frayed to the breaking point. In an effort to relax and distract herself, she had tried making origami frogs (she loved amphibians) but she was so nervous that she had gouged holes in everything until all her attempts looked like so much Spanish moss. The last thing she remembered before falling asleep was a commercial for Gravy Train dog food. Waking, she remembered that in her dreams she had sped through the test flawlessly holding an adorable puppy in her lap and that after it was over that same man who had mocked her bowed his turbaned head to her, salaamed and declared in his mellifluous voice. “Congratulations. You have passed.” Maybe, she thought, it’s an omen. I hope so.

And here's my mini challenge:

“No, Go away! I’m never coming out!” Marigold wailed from behind the locked door of the cathedral bathroom. If only it had been a nightmare… But it had not: the church bells had been ringing loudly as she arrived. It was pouring rain but she hadn’t cared. She was getting married to the man of her dreams in the gown of her dreams. She was aglow with happiness and she felt beautiful. But as she stepped from the limo in her beautiful wedding dress, a huge black mastiff broke loose from its owner and came joyfully jumping on her with huge muddy paws and knocking her down. To make matters worse – (who’d have thought it possible) just at this moment a cab went by at speed better suited to stock car races, raising a huge wave of muddy puddle that surged in her direction. No longer a beautiful bride, she was a figure of mud from head to foot. And as if all this wasn’t enough the stuff of nightmares – the photographers had caught it all. Her humiliation was too great. There would be no wedding. In fact she was never leaving this bathroom again. Unless, perhaps it was to kill that stupid dog...

And the mega challenge:

Lucinda Montgomery had always dreamed of getting married to a gravy train husband in an elegant cathedral, with chiming church bells, and a luscious satin wedding dress. She had envisioned bride’s maids, beautiful flowers, and a magnificent banquet. Her beautiful ten layered cake was to have been decorated with origami cranes and real violets. And in her dreams it had always been a glorious sunny day. But here she was, standing in the pouring rain next to the gouged out trunk of a huge old cypress tree hung with Spanish moss that looked like time-worn, shredded veils. There were no shiny limousines either, no streets with parallel parking; instead the open field held half a dozen ATVs and a few beat up cars and trucks that looked like rejects from the stock car races. The choir (yes, she had wanted a choir) consisted of a chorus of wild turkeys, crows and croaking amphibians whose noisy chatter was punctuated by the loud barks of Charley’s six huge black mastiffs. Charley’s face did not have the handsome symmetrical features of her long imagined groom, either. But it was the kindest face she had ever known and reflected the kind and gentle heart of its bearer. Standing beside him in the rain, dressed in blue jeans and a sweater, holding a bunch of hand picked wild flowers, she could not have been happier. She was in love and the wedding of her dreams paled beside the reality of this one.


This week's vanity wordzzle used the words: tattered pages, language, bark, resistant, altar, grapple, rain, wait, patterns, honey

I bent over the tattered pages like a supplicant at an altar. Whatever ancient language these pages were drawn in seemed resistant to every trick in my codifier's bible. I had been grappling with the intricacies of its subtly nuanced pattern of strokes for months now and it continued to defeat me. I am not accustomed to defeat and I do not like it. The old priest says there is a lesson in this for me and I must wait for it to be revealed. My own techniques have failed me. I am at a loss for what to do. I will try his way, I guess. I will sit here on this bark-covered log he calls a bench and listen to the silence and the beating of my heart. This space smells of honey, which I do not like in ordinary life, yet here, somehow it is comforting. The rain outside beats a kind of music on the leaves and grass. "I am listening, God," I cry, "What is the message?" And I don't know if it is imagination or a trick of the night, if it is the sound of rain on the breeze or if it really is a voice which whispers, oh so lovingly in my ear: "Not every mystery, child, has an answer and some mysteries have more than one solution. Remember that it is the journey not the destination which matters and be at peace."

Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: cardboard box, liquor cabinet, ostrich feathers, longitudinal, hamburger helper, partnership, laundry detergent, magnificent, San Francisco, prognosis

And for the Mini Challenge: worst case scenario, marginalia, water fountain, specialized, fortitude

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...

I shall carry the image of poor Marigold in my head for a long time. do you suppose she was going to marry Mr. Phrog. Stay tuned.

We both had origami turkeys - great minds. j

Akelamalu said...

I could just hear the caterwauling of the choir at Lucinda's wedding! Great stuff Raven.

Mine's up.

I will be scheduling a post next week but I won't be able to visit because I'll be in Greece but will catch up when I get back. Could you add me to Mr. Linky next week please?

maryt/theteach said...

My wordzzle is written, Katherine. I'll have it up in about an hour... :)

Anonymous said...

My wordzzle is up now Katherine! I'm glad to be participating again. I hated missing last week! :)

Dianne said...

We both did a story about an "alternative" style wedding!!

I think Marigold should get married just the way she is LOL

great stories!

Jay said...

I'm kind of hoping that Lavender doesn't pass her driving test. There are enough loonies on the road already. haha

And let Marigold's ordeal be a lesson to us all. Just elope to Vegas and get married in your swimsuit next to one of the pools at the big hotels. ;-)

Richard said...

Loved Lavendar Luscious.


Richard said...

Ode to Katherine's Birthday

Raven or Katherine or Lady or Girl
It's enriched my spirit having you in my world
So on this day your remember your birth
Let me remind you of your friendship's worth

It seems the Wordzzle and other events
Brings us together in this virtual tent
Of laughing and loving and thinking a bit
And you my friend are responsible for it

So Happy Birthday, I heard it was number 39
Remember me and your friends while downing your wine
And blow out the candles on cake of supreme delight
Knowing we love you and cherish your light


Raven said...

Hi everybody - thanks for your kind comments and your brilliant wordzzles...

Richard - a poem for me! Wow. I'm sitting here beaming and going "Awwww.... awwww.... " Thank you so much. Some clever person gold me a way to do the count.. I'm celebrating my 39th birthday for the 22nd time... But that's actually kind of depressing.... makes me seem even older. I'll just stick with 61 and face the truth.

Dianne said...

I love rich's poem!

Dianne said...

sick of me yet!?

Michael left another "closet Wordzzle" over at my post ;)

rebecca said...


Hooray, I finally did it! Hello everyone, I'm a newbie, I struggled last week and could not come up with anything that I was satisfied with.

But this week, the Muses decided to play nice. Here's my first attempt: The Pages of Life

maryt/theteach said...

Katherine, Happy Birthday! I didn't know! Sorry it's belated! All the best to you! :)

Carletta said...

Hi Raven,
I actually almost finished one and then got so busy with Project Black and Sky Watch I didn't finish. I had words like origami and amphibian to deal with! Where do these words come from? LOL!
I didn't think it fair if I couldn't get around to others.
Good news - this week I can see Mr. Linky.
Anyway, I loved Lavender and Marigold's weddings - well done.
I especially liked your phrase "the rain outside beats a kind of music." Yes, it does!

Raven said...

dianne - we have to get michael out of the wordzzle closet. He's good at it.

rebecca - welcome to wordzzles. Your poem wordzzle was magnificent. Hope you will add your name to Mr. Linky.

maryt - my niece and her boyfriend celebrate a birthday season. I like that idea, so you aren't late. It is still birthday season. Oh... and thank you for your good wishes.

carletta - I don't know where the words come from and I often wish they would go away. I hated what I did to myself and the rest of us this week. I try to just put down whatever pops into my head and not edit, but this week's words were really wicked.

I'd love to see what you came up with if you still want to post it.

I kind of like the phrase you mentioned too... that's an oldie from the dim past. I was more poetic then.

Jeff B said...

I finally got mine posted. It's still Saturday here on the west coast, but just barley, (10:30pm)

Our mini's have a very familliar theme to them this time.

I'm off for some sleep now, but will be by to read the other Wordzzlers tomorrow.

rebecca said...

your imagination is limitless...i'm still in awe on how you use all of the challenges!

- Luscious was cute...seems like all teenagers we know.

-- poor Marigold! i felt her pain....

-- Lucinda Montgomery's story was beautiful...simply beautiful. I loved it.

and your last story was sublime.

i bow to you, well done! and, i see someone has cause for celebration....happy birthday!

LA Nickers said...

Oops! I did this older one by mistake. Well, here's my late entry: