Creative Writing Prompt #7

FRI. 8/17/12

Base a story off a song lyric or

an entire song…

Kayla looked out the window and waved to her husband. He smiled, driving off. She sighed. He’d be gone for a business trip, a total of seven days alone. She didn’t trust herself. Her husband deserved better.

Grayson, who was the love of her life, moved back into town a few months ago. She thought he was the one until  he disappeared one night. Turned out, he enlisted in the Marines without telling her, his family, or friends. No word, no letters. Two years later, he came back, more quiet, more broody.

She had tried to say hello, but he pretended like he hadn’t seen her. Out of embarrassment and heartache, Kayla decided to leave Grayson alone until he was ready to talk. She needed closure even if he didn’t.

She scanned the driveway, looking for her newspaper. She walked outside to retrieve it, but a light blue envelope caught her eye. It was tucked under the middle flower pot.

Kayla bent down and picked it up. Unmarked. She sat on the rocking chair, letting the curiosity get the best of her.

Was it for her? For her husband? Who was it from? She took a deep breath. What if it was from Grayson? He was always better at expressing his feelings with the written word instead of speaking out loud.

Dear Kayla,

I’m sorry for hurting you. It’s the last thing I ever wanted to do. I was messed up after my mom died, and I couldn’t get out of self-destructive mode. You deserved better than that.

I’ve worked through my issues in therapy, but I fear I’m too late. I would love to talk to you in person, but I understand why that can’t be. You’re happily married, and I can’t be the jerk who messes up your life twice. No matter how much I’m still in love with you. No matter how much I miss you.

Just know, even though I don’t speak to you, even though I’ve been avoiding you, I think about you every second of the day. I wish I could rewind the night I left, but unfortunately I can’t.

I love you Kayla. I love you enough to let you go, as long as I know you’re happy.

Love,

Grayson

Kayla’s tears smudged the blue ink into little puddles.

If only…

THE END

—-

****My song was based off the song Ne-Yo feat. Mary J. Blige Do You. If anyone would like to try this creative writing prompt and share it, email me at Author.Yawatta.Hosby(AT)aol(DOT)com.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Creative Writing Prompt #5

6/19/12

Write about a time someone said “no”…

It was eerily quiet down the boys’ end of the hall, too quiet. It was around 1 am, which still wasn’t an excuse. Yvonne’s residents were loud party animals–school night or not. They must not have came back from the clubs yet.

Yvonne stood patiently near the balcony when Randy, Corey, and Maureen turned the corner. She waved at them.

“What are you doing?” Randy asked. Since she was an RA, he seemed suspicious that she was always up to something, particularly standing by his door.

The residents had bloodshot eyes, swaying back and forth.

Yvonne smiled; at least they came back in one piece. “I’m waiting on Matt.”

“Are you dating Matt?” Randy made fake kissing noises, followed by Corey and Maureen. They giggled as if included in a little secret.

“No. Why do you ask that?”

“You two always have private talks together.”

Thanks for sharing the floor gossip. Yvonne knew her kids all too well, especially vigilant Randy. Whenever he brought up a topic nonchalantly, you could rest assure the guys talked about it all the time. With them, she had to take mental notes of clues presented to her to try and figure out their brains. Whereas, her female residents would lay it out on the table. Yvonne appreciated both approaches.

She shrugged her shoulders, smiling. Where did they come up with these silly ideas?

Matt came out of his room, taken aback from the crowd. “Hey guys.”

“Hi Matt.” Maureen hiccuped.

Matt looked at Yvonne. “What’s going on?”

Randy smirked, folding his arms across his chest. “Are you dating Yvonne?”

“No. Why do you ask that?” Matt laughed.

“Exactly what I said.” Yvonne and him grinned at each other. “He thinks something’s going on because we talk all the time, which how is that even a factor? I talk to everybody who talks to me.”

“But its a different vibe between you two,” Randy instigated, not letting the matter go.

Yvonne was amused. Since she spent the majority of her time in the residence hall and was only a year older than the kids, naturally, she developed crushes once in a while. Sometimes she’d even engage in girl talk with her female residents. They knew who she liked; the boys never could guess right. And it pleased Yvonne to know that, to keep them on their toes.

“How can I be dating Matt when Corey’s my boyfriend?” she teased. She knew she was opening up a new can of worms but didn’t care.

It’s not like Randy, Corey, or Maureen would remember anything later.

Corey made his way to stand near Yvonne, his eyes beaming with pride. He put his arm around her shoulders. “I’m the luckiest guy ever.”

Everyone laughed, except Maureen. She pouted. “But Yvonne, RAs can’t date residents. I don’t want you to get fired.”

Randy gave Maureen a hug. “Yvonne’s not going anywhere.”

It’d be a lost cause to explain they had been joking, so they tried cheering her up before the group went into Randy’s room. Once again, Yvonne and Matt were left alone.

“There’s never a dull moment on the 9th floor.” Matt playfully punched her shoulders. “You know that you and Corey will be the new rumor, right?”

Yvonne smirked. “If there’s gossip about me, I’d rather be the one to start the trend, so I know what you guys are talking about.”

They walked into the lounge to watch TV and have another private conversation.

THE END

—–

If anyone would like to participate in this writing prompt, please email me at Author.Yawatta.Hosby(AT)aol(DOT)com.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Creative Writing Prompt #3

6/8/12 Prompt

Start a story with: Once when

no one was looking…

**This story is dark. Not meant for everyone.**

Once when no one was looking, someone poured sugar in Naima’s gas tank. During the pouring rain with no umbrella, she made the three block journey to her friend’s house.

Knock. Knock.

Kolo opened the door. He grinned, grabbing her by the hand to come in. “What are you doing here?”

“I’m sorry. My car won’t start, and I didn’t have any other place to go.” Her teeth gritted together rapidly like an instrument solo. Naima’s body shook violently from the shock–her wet clothes stuck to her like cold cement.

“You know you’re always welcome here.” Kolo escorted his friend to his bedroom. He pulled out a white t-shirt, black hoodie, and grey sweatpants out of his dresser, and then handed the clothing to Naima. “Wear this until your clothes dry.”

She nodded, scanning the room. It felt awkward being in such an intimate, personal space after what happened last week. Out of nowhere, he had kissed her. He couldn’t use the excuse of being drunk because she hadn’t tasted alcohol on his breath. If circumstances were different, then maybe she’d give him a chance. But, it had felt wrong. Kolo was best friend’s with her ex Desmond.

She wasn’t interested in being “the girl” traded between friends.

He looked Naima up and down as though lost in a trance. She coughed. Why wouldn’t Kolo leave, so she could change?

Kolo met her gaze, his eyes full of lust. “Sorry. I’ll give you privacy.”

“Can I use your phone to call a tow truck? I would use my cell, but it got wet.”

“No worries, I got you.” He smiled, leaving the room without closing the door. Naima sighed and did the task herself.

She quickly changed into his warm clothes. She squeezed herself in glee, feeling so much better. Kolo was her friend; she shouldn’t be uncomfortable with him. He wasn’t crossing a boundary, so she should loosen up and try to get things back to where they were before.

In the living room, Naima was impressed with all the food. Kolo had a large Hawaiian pizza, breadsticks, chicken wings, and cups of soda spread out on his long coffee table. Her stomach growled; she held it, licking her lips. “Expecting company?”

“You,” he teased. “Come over here and help me eat.”

Naima didn’t have to be told twice. “Thanks.” She fixed her plate. “What did they say?”

“They’ll be at your car in between an hour or two. Can I ask what happened?”

Naima gulped. She didn’t want to tell the truth because then Kolo would probably get overly concerned. Besides, she didn’t want to be asked a billion questions of who she may have pissed off. Hopefully, it was a horrible prank by immature, stupid teenagers.

Changing the subject would be best. “Maybe I should go wait for them.”

“Not by yourself, this late at night.” Kolo laughed. “Changing the subject. Nice.”

Naima blushed, taking a couple gulps of her Mountain Dew.

Time passed where they enjoyed each other’s company. Kolo had been the perfect gentleman, and Naima was confident they’d get their friendship back.

She peeked at Kolo, who already stared at her. “We should go.”

Closing his eyes, Kolo sighed. “Or you could stay here.”

Naima bit her lip. Oh no, please don’t hit on her again.

#

Kolo stood in the hallway by the bathroom door. Naima had needed to switch back into her clothes. He didn’t understand why she didn’t just take him up on his offer to stay in his.

Kolo cracked his knuckles, grinning. His plan had worked perfectly. He was never caught spying on Naima through the cafe window. She had looked so beautiful, typing away on her laptop, hard at work.

Plus, no one witnessed him pour sugar in her tank. Good thing she never entered the kitchen because the evidence–container of spilled sugar and red tunnel–lay right on the table. He never got a chance to get rid of it.

Everything had been perfect tonight. She came right to his door just like Kolo knew Naima would. He licked his lips, anticipating how lucky he’d be within a few minutes.

He had tried to tell Naima how much he loved her but was shot down. Why? Kolo put her on a pedestal like she deserved. He would treat Naima better than Desmond ever did. Why couldn’t she see that?

“You okay in there.” Kolo took a step towards the door.

“Yeah,” her voice sounded muffled.

Within seconds, he heard a thud. Kolo sighed in relief, opening the bathroom door. There Naima lay on the tile floor. He knelt down and gently pushed her hair out of her angelic face. Kolo kissed her lips, and then picked Naima up to carry her to his bedroom.

Thank goodness she trusted him enough to drink the soda. No questions asked. Now, he could have his way with her all night.

He placed Naima on his bed, kissing her lips again. He smiled while running his finger all over her body. Then, he took off his shirt…

THE END

***Anyone interested in sharing their version of this creative writing prompt, please email me at Author.Yawatta.Hosby(AT)aol(DOT)com.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Creative Writing Prompt #2

6/5/12 Prompt

In a busy grocery store, a person is waiting in the

express lane for a very long time because the person

in front of him or her won’t stop talking to the cashier.

Person is on his or her lunch break and may have

to clock in late (5 minute drive back to work)…

I hate Martin’s Grocery Store.

Its my stupidity for stopping by the deli counter; I should’ve known better. Now, forty-five minutes of my lunch break has been ruined. All because the old timer moved as slow as molasses. Probably on purpose. She’s most likely a cat lover who hates people, who hates her life, and, most importantly, who hates her job.

Why else would she ignore me for thirty minutes before fixing my order? She had the nerve to make her quota sandwiches first to put on display. Then it took her an extra fifteen for mine.  Apparently, a veggie sub was the most difficult thing on the menu.

Lesson learned. I won’t be coming to this damn store anymore. I sprinted through the pasta aisle, almost knocking a woman holding a little boy’s hand down. “Sorry,” I said.

Yes. No one’s in any lanes. That’s a first. Before I could bask in the glory, I stopped in my tracks. Geez Louise, I forgot my boss’s Doritoes.

Turning around, I speedwalked to the chip aisle. She was the reason why I was here in the first place. I grabbed the big bag and grinned. If I suck up enough, maybe she’ll get off my back.

I made my way back to the check-out counter. What the–? Where did all these people come from? There were five lanes filled with three people–who had a billion items in their carts–in each line.

I’ll take my chances at one of the express lanes, both have about twelve people in each. My retired baseball coach smiled. “Hey Dustin. How are you?”

“Hey Coach Mackie. I’m good. And yourself?”

“Still breathing. That’s always a plus,” he joked. We both laughed. “Look at you in a suit. You’ve come a long way since high school.”

I tugged at my tie. “Don’t let the suit fool you. I work in customer service.” I grinned.

We chuckled. Actually, I worked as a marketing consultant; I enjoyed my career. However, recently, I messed up. I had been dating my sexy, Cougar boss until I cheated on Maria with her sister. Now, she rides my ass whenever she can. Said the next time I’m late for work, I’m fired.

I looked at my watch. Fifteen minutes left. I had plenty of time. The line moved quickly. Now, only a lady at the register, then Coach Mackie, then me. No sweat. I pulled out my wallet, anticipating the transaction. It’d be nice to get to, you know, actually eat on my lunch break.

We had a staff meeting–corporate was in town–soon, and I didn’t want to go in there on an empty stomach.

Coach Mackie and I continued to make small talk because that’s what people do when impatiently waiting for their turn. I sighed, looking down at my watch again. Seriously, five minutes had passed. What was this lady doing?

I tapped my foot, drumming my fingers on the conveyor belt.

“Sorry ma’am. That card didn’t work either.” The cashier frowned.

The lady pulled out another credit card. “This one should work then.”

Of course, it didn’t. Bugged-eyed, I wanted to scream. This lady would end my career. Could be worse. At least I wasn’t Craig, who got fired on his day off over “stolen” boxes.

No, I’m just a pushover–prisoner to grocery store politics of wasting customers’ time. I glanced over at a magazine with Kim Kardashian on the cover. She used to be so hot until she turned her face into a plastic doll. I drooled over Susan Sarandon’s photo. Now, she was a fox.

If only I was a celebrity and could get away with being fashionably late.

“I’m so sorry, dear. I could’ve sworn money was in my account. I have to use change now.” She retrieved a piggy bank, reaching for coins.

Coins! This would take all day!

The cashier rolled her eyes. “It’s okay, ma’am. Take your time.”

Take your time. A plague on both their houses. I tapped my foot impatiently, wiping sweat from my forehead. Coach Mackie conversed with me, but I couldn’t focus on what he was saying.

It felt like I was stuck in a comedy sitcom–the scene where everything plays in slow motion to empathize how bad the character’s life is going. Except I’m not an actor who’ll hear “Cut.” This was my real life.

“Ma’am. The total is $5.20. You only have $5.05.”

“Oh, I’m so sorry, sweetie.”

“It’s okay.”

The lady shook her head. “Oh no, sweetie. I can’t cheat the system.”

But you can ruin my life!

“It was nice seeing you again, Coach Mackie.” I patted him on the shoulder, then walked over to stand beside the lady. I handed the cashier my two items. “Ring these up.”

“You can’t cut in line, sir.” The cashier folded her arms across her chest.

I took a deep breath to try and calm down. I couldn’t act a fool in here, but I was two seconds away from being banned. I threw the sub and Doritoes at her. “Ring these up. I’ll pay for them.” Frazzled, I put a twenty dollar bill in the lady’s palm of her hand. “Keep the change.” I rushed out this hell hole they call Martin’s Grocery Store.

#

“Fifty on pump one.” I slumped my shoulders. I sighed and closed my eyes. It took all of me not to cry. I couldn’t even bear to think of the box on my passenger seat from where I had to clear my desk. Maria had fired me, yet accepted the chips. Cold-hearted bitch.

I reached for my wallet and opened it. This couldn’t be right. Wide-eyed, I searched through it again. I pulled out a twenty dollar bill. Earlier I had two bills–one a twenty and the other a fifty.

I scratched the top of my head, disheveling my dirty blonde hair even more. I had given the annoying lady a twenty–

Wait a minute!

A line formed at WaWa, a convenience store. I whispered, “I could’ve swore…nevermind.” I pouted. “I’m sorry, make that twenty on pump one.”

I handed the cashier my dollar bill in defeat. Twenty dollars wouldn’t even get me to the unemployment office in the morning. I shook my head, sighing loudly.

Where’s a therapist when you need one?

THE END

** If anyone would like to share their take on this creative writing prompt, email me at Author.Yawatta.Hosby(AT)aol(DOT)com**

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Creative Writing Prompt #1

6/1/12 Prompt

Begin a story with a character saying

“The first time I wore…”

“The first time I wore my RA shirt, I wanted to take it off and throw it at you guys.” Yvonne shook her head. “You guys were so bad, sneaking alcohol on the floor the first two nights. I wanted to quit.”

Jason smiled. “You can’t leave us. You love us too much.”

Yvonne rolled her eyes.

“We love you too,” Jason encouraged.

“Yeah, you love to drive me crazy.”

Carla nudged Jason’s arm. “Don’t let Yvonne fool you. People on this floor complete her.” She imitated a heart shape with her hands.

Everyone laughed. Carla was an RA for the 8th floor, which consisted of only females. To get away from the cattiness and boredom, she’d often escape to Yvonne’s lounge to hang out with her and her male residents. Every floor was co-ed, except 8th.

People often joked that Jason spent too much time with RAs, but he didn’t seem to care. Once, Carla told Yvonne she thought he had a crush on Yvonne, but she just brushed the news off. The whole ‘if you avoid the issue, then it’ll disappear’ thing.

Deciding it was time to decorate the bulletin board, Yvonne went to her room to gather her materials,  then walked back out into the lounge. She scooted her chair to face the board by the elevators while the others continued their conversation.

It was almost the end of second semester–a bittersweet moment. On one hand, it was great for vacation. However, she’d miss everyone. After this  year, they wouldn’t be Yvonne’s kids any more.

Busy at work, she cut the paper, so it’d line up properly in the bulletin. Randy turned the corner. “What ya doing, Yvonne?”

“Hanging up superlatives.”

He stepped closer, scanning the papers on the chair. Yvonne bent over to pick another one up. “Hey everyone, get your lazy asses out here! Yvonne’s putting up superlatives!” He grinned, not moving from his spot, which was directly behind her.

Yvonne smiled. She enjoyed company. All of a sudden, several boys rushed to stand behind her. Then another group appeared. “Keep this up and we’ll be able to call this a floor program,” she joked.

“We’ll stay as long as you need us to, but you have to buy us pizza,” Randy offered.

“I’ll talk to Aidan to see what he says.” Aidan was her co-RA. They couldn’t have a floor program using part of the budget if both RAs weren’t present.

Yvonne was flattered and shocked that the guys, of all people, were interested that much in the superlatives results. If anything, she assumed her girls would be more into it.

She bent down, hard at work, not even paying attention to the people behind her. She was too nervous. Her male residents were cute–hence why Carla was always in the lounge with her. After the last page was taped to the wall, Yvonne turned around.

The boys moaned and pouted. “You’re done already? That was too fast,” Bradley, a huge flirt, said.

“Sorry. At least, you can see the finished product now.”

Bradley extended his hand, helping Yvonne jump to the ground. To her surprise, the boys scattered back to their rooms quickly. Randy pushed the elevator button and left. Why didn’t they stay and read the superlatives?

Just like that, Yvonne, Carla, and Jason were left alone again.

Yvonne pushed her chair back to the table. She looked out the window at some guys playing basketball.

“Yvonne, I can see your ass,” Carla said.

Turning her head, she asked, “What?”

Carla smiled, nudging Jason’s shoulder. “I can see both your butt cheeks.”

Yvonne covered the gigantic holes in the back of her jeans with the palm of her hands. She bit her lip. “Damn, I thought this long shirt would cover that up.”

“Wrong.” Jason imitated a buzzer going off, a loud and annoying buzzer. “You don’t dress like an RA.”

Yvonne looked down at her navy blue Hooters shirt and light blue jeans with flip-flops. “Why didn’t you tell me you could see my butt before?”

“The thought never occurred to me,” Carla replied. “Don’t act like you didn’t like the guys’ attention earlier.” She smirked.

Yvonne hid her grin. Of course, she had, but there was no way she’d let Jason know that. Her guys would never let her live it down. “At least, it was nice of Randy to share the view.”

The women chuckled.

Jason didn’t look impressed. “So, are we eating before the cafeteria closes or what?”

Carla stood. “I’m down.”

Jason folded his arms across his chest. “Well, are you gonna change?”

“The day’s almost over; what’s the point?” Yvonne shrugged her shoulders.

He frowned, rising from his seat. They made their way  to the elevator. The next time she’d wear these jeans, she’d either have tights underneath or wrap a sweatshirt around her waist. Problem solved.

THE END

**If anyone would like to share their take on this creative writing prompt, email me at Author.Yawatta.Hosby(AT)aol(DOT)com.**

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Creative Writing for Beginners

It boggles my mind how many times I hear people express an interest in writing a story but believe they cannot do it. When I ask them why, I always hear the same answer: No natural talent. I will just leave it up to the pros.

Say what now? Yes, you can. Writing is an art form where you can teach yourself the skills. Educate yourself. On the web, author forums provide tips from professionals and people who write as a hobby. The Absolute Write Forum is my favorite thus far. I signed up last month and have found out things in a few days then what I could have spent researching by myself for a year. It covers everything to writing fiction, nonfiction, freelancing, publishing, etc. I’m not saying you have to participate on an author forum, but it doesn’t hurt to obtain insider information on the writing industry. Plus, it’s great because all the information is located in one place (on one website). Saves a lot of time.

There are other websites and blogs specifically related to creative writing, which can be very helpful. And, they are easy to find. You just have to go to a search engine, type ‘how to write fiction’, and research the websites that interest you. If you can afford money on ink and paper, then print out what you find. For me, it is easier to jot notes down in a notebook, so I focus on just the key stuff.

What if the internet isn’t your thing? That is perfectly fine. You can go to your local library or visit a bookstore. Read books dedicated to this topic. On the other hand, when you read your favorite novels, this can help too. Make sure to pay attention to how these authors intrigued you. Study their writing approach.

The keys elements for storytelling are:

  • Character-the people in your story
  • Plot-the actions in your story
  • Point of view-how your characters perceive and interpret their surroundings
  • Setting-the places and times in your story
  • Scene-brings all the different elements together
  • Dialogue-how your characters speak
  • Voice-how you arrange words on the page
  • Beginning and Developing-how you open your story and keep the reader’s interest to the end

After researching these, you can apply what you learned by writing anything to get in the habit of exercising your mind as well as your fingers. You can write in a journal or diary. You can write short stories, essays, and letters. Write what motivates you.

If this is your first time attempting to write a short story or novel, here are some tips:

  • Do not just tell what happened as a reporter would. You need more than informing your readers with Where? When? Who? How?
  • You want to entertain your readers by setting a mood. Be descriptive. Give the answers to why things happened. You should show your readers how your characters feel. What are their motives? Give dialogue, and describe the setting.
  • With first drafts, don’t be afraid to overwrite. And, you definitely shouldn’t think about proper technique. Just focus on getting your idea down on paper. You can always edit later.

Keep smiling,
Yawatta Hosby

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