It's that time again! Thanks to all who participated in April's 300 Words - Paragraph Prompt. If you are not currently receiving our (absolutely free) Just Write enews, you can sign up here.
If you'd like to participate in next month's 300 Words - Paragraph Prompt, we're doing a special Mother's Day challenge for May. Have fun, be creative,k and promote your personal blog or writing website all in one fell swoop! Just follow our lead sentence and finish the paragraph in your own creative style (300 words max, please), then email your piece and your URL link to Amy by May 18: "It was exactly the kind of thing my mother had always warned me about ..."
And now, without further adieu, here are the submissions for April's 300 Word challenge, "It had seemed like an excellent idea at the time...":
from Mary Jo Olsen (at maryjoartist.com):
June 17, 1994
It had seemed like an excellent idea at the time to call Mother on her 70th birthday.
Summer in Round Top Texas was the place where wonderful musicians played different repertoires in the huge barn-like building. But I was outside in a rickety phone booth in the woodsy part of the country behind the theater. But I could hear some music.
We had just said our hellos when she quickly interrupted, “I’m watching OJ speed in slow motion down the freeway. “It’s a police chase.”
“How could it be a chase if it’s slow motion?” I said.
She laughed. “You know. It’s for the cameras.”
I pictured orange juice rolling down the 405.
“You remember,” she said,” that handsome football player? They say he killed his wife and someone else.”
I tried to remember the Hollywood scene and of course it was OJ Simpson she was talking about.
I missed those days when your neighbor was on TV playing to the camera. Your neighbor was famous and OJ wasn’t orange juice. Your neighbor was a big handsome football–player-bit-actor and not only did he slow down to catch the camera after he murdered people, the whole of LA stopped to watch the action.
“Mom, I’m in a phone booth out in the woods. I’m missing the show.”
“Well you sure missed this show,” she said. “But, they’ve got him now. He pulled over.”
Lighting danced about in the distant sky. The storm was moving in. The cello played. Then applause filled the phone booth.
“Well Happy Birthday anyway,” I said.
When I rushed to my seat, the music had finished, but the thunder clapped and the barn shook and the sky outside the window lit up like fire out there. Things were moving fast, slow, and always.
Rachel1 came home from work to find Rachel2 sitting on the couch eating the last ice cream bar.
"Hey," Rachel2 said, watching cartoons. "How was work?"
"Meh. Why didn't you call for the missing invoices like I told you to?" Rachel1 opened the fridge.
"Hey! Did you eat my leftover fajita?"
"Yeeees?" Rachel2 said. "What? I was hungry. Anyway, I didn't call because I figured you could do it. You only work one day a week."
"Yeah, but that's so I have time to write." Rachel1 slammed the fridge door."I fixed that chapter you started yesterday. It was corny."
"What!" Rachel1 ran over and yanked the laptop off of Rachel2's lap. "You can't do that!"
"You were tired when you wrote it, though. I figured I was in a good mood so what I write will be better!"
"You're not the one who thinks about the story every day, you're too busy focusing on stuff at work!"
Rachel1 sat down and opened the latest chapter. "You deleted that scene with the oranges? I was gonna make it work! You didn't know where I was going with that."
"Yeah, I really didn't, which is why I deleted it. It just seemed like it distracted from the plot."
"Arg!" Rachel1 flopped over. "You should have just done the dishes."
"Sorry for trying to help." Rachel2 sighed. "You know, maybe sometimes I want a chance to do something creative, too! It kills me to just work and veg all the time."
Rachel1 grumbled at the dirty dishes in the sink.
"I guess a clone of myself would probably want all the same things I want." It had seemed like an excellent idea at the time. "Next time I meet a mad scientist I'll ask for a robot friend instead."
from Amy (at Forsooth & Forsythia):
It had seemed like an excellent idea at the time.
She had doubled, then tripled, then quadruple checked her list of preparatory To Dos. Check, check, check – they were all neatly marked off. She had completed all the tasks. She had arranged all the necessary items just so. She’d done everything she was supposed to do. According to all the data, she was ready.
So why was she hesitating? There was no reason she shouldn’t move forward. No reason she should stay in this one spot, unable to so much as shift her weight. She felt frozen, looking out at all that lay ahead.
And all that lay ahead was certainly intriguing enough. Beautiful even. She found nothing so alluring as a wide open space, vast and wondrous in its tremendous possibility. A blank slate.
Yet she sat, stone still, staring out in front of her, unable to take a step in the direction of all that possibility. But she knew she couldn’t go back either. A decision had to be made.
With a deep breath, she shook herself – almost violently – into motion. She lifted her right hand, picked up her pen, and began to write.
It had seemed like an excellent idea at the time. Looking back now, with the full benefit of hindsight, I realize now that it WAS!