Monday, January 02, 2006

Blog Round Robin

It’s a new year and some of us (me, Jenny and Sabrina) are starting on new wips. Through various IM and e-mail conversations the topic has come up about whether or not blogging helps or hurts our writing and creativity. Personally, I’ve come to the conclusion that it can be helpful as long as it doesn’t cut into writing time on my wip. It can help stoke the creative fires—and things can get pretty creative around here.

I don’t know if I can blame him for starting this chain of thought, but Mike Snyder (who always seems to be the source of, um, “creative writing” on this blog) left a comment last week about brainstorming a story. Then Malia mentioned the idea of a round robin story on her blog. So she and I brainstormed and came up with the idea of doing a round robin short story through our various blogs. The more the merrier so feel free to kick start your creative juices in the new year and jump on in.

Here’s what we came up with:

Anyone who wants to join in will write a 300-500 word segment of a short story. Hopefully we’ll end up with about ten segments but that’s not set in cement.

Each segment should include at least one of the following:
A tire iron
Nail polish
A map
A dead body (for us suspense writers)
A kiss (for the romance writers)
The ocean
The desert (because it’s my blog)
A visit to a salon
A writer who gets her book trashed to her face (knowingly or unknowingly)
A rainbow
A clairvoyant basset hound

Use your imagination. These things don’t have to be used in the way you would normally think of them. Feel free to steal each other’s characters or use your own.

What I’m thinking is that as you write your section, post here in the comments what part you’ve written (part two, part three, etc), then we can go read it on your blog. Then when it’s all done, (if ever) I’ll post the whole thing all put together either here or on my website.

Okay, I’m going first.

Part One

Sarah sat in the warm sand, digging her toes deeper to find the coolness underneath. The last rays of the day played across the water, turning the film of water left by a receding wave the color of champagne. It was beautiful, relaxing, perfect… yet she felt none of those things. Why did Ryan have to disturb her world? Why couldn’t he have given her some warning instead of making such a huge display, forcing all eyes on her while they awaited her answer. She couldn’t have said no.

She needed to go home and work on her dream house plans. That would make her feel better since the beach wasn’t doing it today. Today she’d run across a molding design that would be perfect for the built-in bookcases in the library, and—

Something warm and wet slithered across her hand. With a small yelp, she jerked away, then looked.

Soft brown basset hound eyes stared back.

“Well, hi there.” What a sweet dog. She lifted her hand slowly and the dog obligingly sniffed the back of her hand.

Realizing he must have an owner, she followed the leash up to the man holding it. Strangely enough, her first impression was that the dog and his owner shared the same soft brown eyes.

“Sorry about that. Sonny must really like you. He’s not usually that friendly.”

Sonny nuzzled Sarah’s hand, and she rubbed his head and scratched his ears. “He’s sweet. Sonny’s his name?”

“Yeah.” He moved a step closer and the leash sagged with slack. “I’m Russell.”

“Russell and Sonny, huh? I’m Sarah.” Still scratching Sonny’s head, she studied Russell out of the corner of her eye. Nice, boy-next-door good looks. “Visiting?”

A surprised looked flashed across Russell’s face. “Yeah. Why?”

She nodded toward the sign fifty feet away. “Dogs aren’t allowed on the beach this time of year.”

He looked at the sign. “Oh. Didn’t see it.”

“Not a big deal since there’s no one around to complain.” If it were the weekend with the lifeguard towers fully manned, that’d be a different story. She gave Sonny a final pet then stood up, brushing the sand off the back of her shorts. Friendly or not—nice dog or not—this guy was a stranger.

Sonny sniffed her legs, rubbing up against her. Wedging his nose between her ankles he pushed his nose forward.

Sarah took a step away and tripped over Sonny’s leash, falling backwards.

Russell grabbed for her arm, but momentum already had a hold of her, and she landed in the sand, pulling Russell with her.

Warm sand enveloped her back. Russell’s weight pinned her from the front, and Sonny continued to sniff around her feet, tickling. She kicked her feet away.

Russell rolled off of her and sat up. “Sorry. Are you okay? I tried to help but I guess I just made things worse.”

Sarah sat up and shook the sand from her hair. “I’m fine. It’s sand. I had a soft landing.” He still looked concerned. “Really. It’s okay.”

“I’m sorry. I don’t know what got into Sonny.”

Sonny had left Sarah’s feet for something more interesting. He made soft snuffling noises as he strained against the leash, following some scent in the sand.


Her head snapped up at the familiar voice. Uncertainty rolled through her stomach. Ryan. Striding down the bike path, headed her way. How’d he find her? She came here to get away from him.


Malia Spencer said...

Awesome! Now come over to my blog at to read the second installment.

Who's going to be next?

Robin Caroll said...

Cool premise...going to see Malia's blog now! :)

Jennifer Tiszai said...

Robin, you should jump in. Not only does the game bear your name, I'd love to see some of your writing. :)

Sabrina L. Fox said...

Part three on my blog in a couple minutes.

Malia Spencer said...

Part three was awesome Sabrina! Robin are you going to write part four?

Jennifer Tiszai said...

Just a quick update on the required elements. I used the ocean, Malia used the kiss, Sabrina used the tire iron. Col. Mustard in the conservatory with the candlestick. Oh wait, wrong game.

Dineen A. Miller said...

Hey, cute idea! Off to part two!

Real-E said...

This is a great idea!