Friday, September 26, 2008

Saturday Wordzzle Challenge: Week 32

This is week 32 of the Saturday Wordzzle challenge. Anyone new to the process can refer back here to find out how it works. Many thanks to Maggie-Beth R. (aka Chatty) for next week's words. Linda at These Are the Days has created yet another category of wordzzle in which she combines the mini, the regular and the ten words from the vanity wordzzle into one paragraph. I'm not ready to try it yet, but anyone else who wishes to can do so. I think maybe we can call it the Mega-Max unless someone has a better idea. I look forward to reading everyone's stories this week. Thanks again to MommyWizdom for this week's words.

The words for this week's ten word challenge were: exacerbate, leotard, path, tomato, Jungle Book, vagabond, parade, limber, storage, Maharajah
And for the mini challenge: crocodile, special, sleep, droll, turn around

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

Looking through the old storage trunk that held the memories of her vagabond life, Miranda’s mind paraded down a path of memory that was a mix of brambles and rose gardens. First she found the old pink leotards that reminded her of days when she was agile and limber and danced the part of everything from a giant tomato in grade school to the Maharajah’s wife from the Jungle Book ballet when she was part of the New York City Ballet Company. Memories washed over her and she felt her broken body try to rouse itself and as that inner joy awakened it also exacerbated the grief and pain she was seeking to escape. She had thought this journey down memory lane might lift her spirits, but lifting another costume when she came across the photo of John, the deep grief she had been holding since the accident which had shattered her body and taken his life spewed forth. It was not the healing she had come looking for, but it was the healing she needed.

And here's my mini challenge:

He lay in bed tossing restlessly in his sleep. In his dream he kept yelling at Samantha to turn around, turn around. But instead she stood there looking at him with that special droll expression he loved so much, oblivious to the crocodile that was moving towards her from behind in the water. Waking up, he looked at his sleeping wife with apprehension and love, hoping the dream was indigestion and not a warning of an unknown peril to come.

And the mega challenge:

Harry Mortenson lifted the worn and treasured copy of The Jungle Book from the arms of his sleeping daughter and slipped it onto the shelf across the room. He treasured the joy of every moment with his only child. Her presence made each second seem special. The shelf held a unique collection of treasured books such as The Vagabond King, Constance Crocodile’s Crooked Cottage, Lucinda’s Lilac Leotard, and the tomato red copy of his own first book, Rumblebottom the Droll Troll. It was clear he was going to have to come up with additional storage space for Miranda’s growing collection of books. It made him almost dizzily happy that his daughter shared his love of words and that he now had sole custody and could make up for the painful lost time. He could hardly believe how his life had turned around since the divorce. It was as though his wife’s departure had lifted some kind of curse from every aspect of his life. Her mere presence in his life seemed to have exacerbated everything negative in his being. The physical pains that had haunted his every move for years had magically evaporated almost as she walked out the door and he felt mentally and physically limber and creative for the first time in years. Within days of Molly’s departure the story of the Droll Troll had begun flowing forth and submission of his work this time had been quickly followed by calls from a veritable parade of publishers. Kissing his daughter lightly on the forehead he tip-toed out of the room and headed off to his office. The Maharajah and Path, Princess of the Petunia People would not write itself.


This week's vanity wordzzle used the words: swashbuckler, brassiere, Wedding Bell Blues, summer nights, uno momento, lavishly, wanna buy a balloon

She sat in the diner drinking her second cup of coffee, deep in a sea of daydreams. Even the painful pinch of her new brassiere - elastic not yet stretched and broken in - had ceased to bother her. Wedding Bell Blues, of all songs -- was this a time warp? -- played tinnily on the juke box and dragged her back to a time when there was still hope in her lavishly constructed fantasies, when the swashbuckler hero, be he cowboy, sailor, prince, or poet, charged into her life, saw her unrecognized beauty, and gazing at her adoringly, asked for her hand, a time when summer nights held magic and not just heat.

She took a sip of coffee and tried to shake away the sense of gloom. What had set her off, she wondered? Probably the funny little man outside who had called out, "Una momento, senora, wanna buy a balloon?" had thrown her back, somehow, to childhood pain and adolescent escape, to times when she still believed in rescuers and hopes and dreams, to a time before all that she believed in was defeat and realism.

Sighing, she finished her coffee, paid the check and walked out into the spring sunshine, wondering who was really wiser, the dreamer or the realist. It suddenly struck her that maybe somewhere along the way she had gotten the answer backward.


Many thanks to Maggie-beth R. aka Chatty for next week’s words.

Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: tattletale, homogeneous, flighty, cornucopia, plethora, militant, lovelorn, myopic, digitalized, mute

And for the Mini Challenge: washing machine, cholesterol, blatantly, Birdman of Alcatraz, poltergeist

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

Enjoy! See you next week.



Linda Murphy said...

Mega-max is great and I enjoyed your Wordzzles.

One thing-on "uno momento"-it is actually "un" and not "uno"-just appeasing my Spanish roots. :)

Off to work on my wordzzle!

Raven said...

Hi Linda,

Thanks for the Spanish lesson. Those were words given to me about a million years ago. I was just an innocent bystander. Glad you are playing again.

HeatherK said...

Wow those are great. I kept mine really short, short. I stayed with the basic ten word and mini challenge for my first wordzzle. Happy weekend.

Chatty said...

Hi Raven - wow. I was already feeling lousy - now, I think I may have to take the gas pipe - because I am to blame for next week's words - gee, they look daunting in print like that! Now I know how YOU feel every week, trying to come up with wordzlles using the words you generate!
Anyway, because I'm still sick, I sluffed off and only managed the mini challenge, but at least it's up...wonder what my excuse will be when I have to try to use my OWN words?! Oh well, sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof...

Lu' said...

I enjoyed those. I think I liked the vanity best. I liked the line about the unrecognized beauty.

Thanks again for the words Raven :)

Anonymous said...

Raven, your stories were a bit dark, I thought. But good, of course!

I really liked this phrase: "Miranda’s mind paraded down a path of memory..." very nice!

It was HARD to write using my words. I wrote and re-wrote too many times. I wanted to give everyone some closure, though. I hope you enjoy this week's post. :-)
Have a great weekend.

Lu' said...

I missed the vanity words again. Where are they listed? I feel rather stupid, but I don't see them.

Raven said...

Hi all - everybody is posting nice and early this week.

Lu - the vanity words/wordzzle are posted right after my mega. The vanity wordzzle is one I pull from old stuff I have saved from years past and only appears when I post each week.... not in advance. Does that help? I guess I need to make that clearer for those who have not been wordzzling for long.

Carletta said...

You surprised me with the ending of the ten word - sad.
I loved the mini.
The mega was great - you sure got rid of those pesky words as titles of books - awesome job.

I didn't participate. Well, I had a mini and when I started typing I realized droll was not drool. I've had a migrane for three days so I didn't have it in me to try and fix. I'll be back next week.
And, I don't have one and this week I can actually see Mr. Linky!!Don't know whether to laugh or cry at that!!!

Casdok said...

I am not clevery enough to do these but i am always so impressed with yours. Excellent writing.

Akelamalu said...

When I finished reading the first one I had tears in my eyes - it was so sad, but brilliantly written. Then I thought the second one was going the same way, thankfully it had a happy ending. the mega was just magic, I loved the way you made the words into book titles. All in all three absolute winners! :)

Dr.John said...

Four great stories. Wonderful use of the words .

Lu' said...

Then the mega-max wordzzle can not be created until after you have posted because it is only then that we will have the vanity words?

Melli said...

Ohhhhhhhh wow! You amaze me every single week!

The 10 word is so sad... and yet, I know it WAS just what she needed. The mini is great -- and the MEGA - Oh my gosh! I just love it! I could FEEL what he was feeling! You are just good!

Mine is minuscule this week!

Melli said...

Raven, is there any rules about the words that go into the lists? I would like to submit words one of these weeks... I noticed there is always a movie or book title - is that required?

Dianne said...

I really LOVE the mega!! So happy and hopeful. I was glad the crocodile was just a dream and the first was bitter sweet.

How cool that there are more people, new people, more people donating words and now we have the Mega-Max

Big doings in Wordzzle World! :)

Raven said...

carletta - sorry you aren't feeling well. Don't you hate it when you mis-read a word and have to start all over again? Hope your headache goes away.

casdok - you would be GREAT at this. If you give it a try, you'll realize it isn't as impossible as the idea of it seems. I've read your writing. You'd be great at it.

akelemalu - aw, shucks, thank you.

dr. john - thanks

lu- yep... not only is Linda so good at this that she can do the mega max, she does it really fast.

melli - thanks for your kind words... and for your kind offer of words. There are no rules. Just words and phrases. The woman who I first learned this technique from was brilliant at coming up with funny, irritating and difficult options that were really creative as you can tell from the vanity exercises. My own system is to just put down the first things that come into my head. Since the TV is often on in my house, sometimes it's a phrase I hear on the boob tube, mostly they come from who knows where.... The only editing I do is if, say, the first thing I think of is bacon and the next thing is eggs... I'll eliminate one of them because I like the words to be as random as possible. Thanks in advance for any donations. I still have some left from the ones Chatty sent so there's no rush. I'll joyfully receive what you send, though.

Jeff B said...

Your mini is a great reminder to not eat pizza late at night!

My creativity was a bit blah this week, so I was really happy to have this to jump start it again. Thank you for continuing to host it.

Very cool to see so many new faces joining in as well.

Maddy said...

Not joining in just yet, but that looks like a lot of fun.

Anndi said...

A wonderful post once more Raven!

I loved the book titles! They gave me a giggle.

The ten-word was sad and sorrowful, but real.

Ed & Jeanne said...

I left mine in the comments last week before I should have so I'll just cut and past them here. I'll try to catch up and participate in the upcoming one...

Maharajah came right out of a jungle book. Lean, limber and donning only a leotard she stole from the circus storage shed, she lived a life apart from normal society. Her vagabond path played out like the parade of clowns at the circus she used to ensure her escape was permanent. From an uptight working woman drowning in the corporate melting pot to an Earth muffin tomato growing tree hugger in a manner of one extended vacation that she never came back from. The real circus was out there: the media, the politics and the business world. They were the real clowns that would exacerbate her philosophy on their life and keep her in the jungle or touring with the circus. There could be no going back now. But who really lived apart? Was it they or was it she? Watching them from afar try to manage their world through increasing complexity her answer had never been so obvious.

Raven said...

ve - This is great! Glad you played. I hope a few others find it and get to read it.