Heading into 2021 with more prompts, specifically Week 2 of 2021’s More Odds Than Ends writing prompts. Off we go again! January marks the start of my first full calendar year of being “retired.” I know that this will be a year of adventures for us and I’m looking forward to them. I’m also looking forward to getting out more books and stories along with blog posts and other projects. Last year’s prompts resulted in a series of scenes that will turn into a book. Hopefully, something similar will come from this year’s challenges.

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A break from politics. It is Week One of 2021 for More Odds Than Ends. I do believe that I will need these prompts as much this year as I did last year, if not more so. Anyway…my prompt this week came from Leigh Kimmel: An archeological expedition to an ancient and much battered megastructure (ringworld? Dyson sphere?) that’s made out of some fundamental force of the universe (congealed time? cosmic string knitted into a fabric?). The archeologists are wowing over the intact sections, but the commander and pilot are looking at the partially destroyed areas and realize it’s battle damage. I’ve not really tried to write space opera or hard sci-fi, so I’m sure there are a lot of problems with this. But, the prompt challenge is meant to be just that, a challenge. So, here you go.

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Goblins in the garbage

I know I’ve said this before, but damn. I’ve been doing the prompt challenge at More Odds Than Ends for a year now. A whole year! I don’t think I really expected to last this long, but I’m pleasantly surprised with myself. So, I am happily setting off on year two of prompts and prompt challenges. My prompt this week, Week 53(!) came from Fiona Grey: The goblins got in the garbage again. Growing up I did a lot of camping and backpacking in the Sierra Nevada and San Bernardino mountains. We always had to make sure our food and trash was secure from bears and other critters, and that’s what hit me when I read the prompt. I hope you enjoy this small adventure in camping.

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Whoa. Week 52. A whole year’s worth of prompts. I think I missed two or three, but I’m still pretty impressed with myself. This is one of the weeks I missed sending in a prompt. But, I used one of the spares and came up with the bit below. I really don’t know where this came from since I haven’t fully explored some of the more interesting corners of my brain. I’m not sure I should, but then, it seems there is a goldmine of stories tucked away. Who knew? Not me. At least not me before this year. Many thanks to Cedar for creating this prompting page. It’s been a source of stability and fun in a strange year.

The spare prompt I chose was: The old man’s beard was soft and curly Spanish moss.

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I didn’t get this one up on time, but here is my More Odds Than Ends prompt for Week 51. I was prompted by Fiona Grey with I got him!” She waved her prize in the air and wiggled her hips, grinning at her mentor. He gave her a wistful smile, wishing they were as safe as she clearly believed. “I’m afraid they hunt in packs.” It’s short, but a niggle in the back of my brain thinks it may grow into something more. My prompt went to Mike Barker and he did a couple of different responses. Go check them out!

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Dancing Lights

It’s hard to believe that over at More Odds Than Ends we are at Week 50. Seems like just last month that we started down this road. In the last year of responding to and thinking up these prompts I’ve grown as a writer more than I could have imagined at the beginning of the year. This has been an absolute blast and I hope to keep doing it into next year. My prompt thie week came from ‘nother Mike: Five faeries, like Tinkerbelle, but all different pastel shades, danced down the dragon’s arm and spun around in a circle in its paw… My prompt went to Leigh Kimmel.

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Week 47 (rah!) Odd Prompt

Wow. Week 47.at More Odds Than Ends. An auspicious number for us Pomona types. 47 is our number. It carries a mysterious significance for us all. Hence the rah after the number (as in cheering for the number. Yeah, we’re weird. Deal.) So, anyway. I didn’t get a prompt sent in for this week so I stole one of the other prompts. I looked through the spare prompts but none of them really spoke to me. I ended up stealing ‘nother Mike’s prompt even though it was assigned to Leigh Kimmel. I’m pretty sure Leigh will go in an entirely different direction with it than I did. This is also another stand-alone prompt, not connected to any of my current works-in-progress. I did manage to send in a prompt for next week, so I’ve got that going for me this week. I’m surprised at how unproductive I’ve been this week. The only reason I can come up with right now is that the lack of a semester with all its rhythms is finally catching up with me. This is usually a slower week for me. The semester is winding down, by now, Tuesday evening, most students have left campus even though there are classes on Wednesday, and I’m in no mood to be hanging out on campus either.

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Gumming up the works

My Week 45 prompt over at More Odds Than Ends came from Leigh Kimmel. I couldn’t figure out a way to work it into Cursebreaker, so I came up with this. The prompt was: It was supposed to be a simple hard drive swap, in and out. When the tech opened the robot’s casing, what he saw inside made him yell for the big boss to come and take a look. And in our usual trade, my prompt went to Leigh.

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Cursebreaker #22

This is a very late response to Week 43 of More Odds Than Ends. It’s been a strange couple weeks. Not really anything I can put my finger on, but I’m out of sorts. If pushed, yes, the election is having an effect. The continued restrictions on activities, and normal life continues to grate. That’s getting tiring. Also, our moving plans are not going according to plan. I believe that I am dealing with that one pretty well. Finding a job – a job that you want no less – is difficult in the best of times. And these are most certainly not the best of times. You’d think that retreating into story-telling would get easier under such circumstances. Surprisingly, no, it isn’t. At least so far. I think that if I simply start writing, I will find myself back in the groove.

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Cursebreaker Part 21

I missed sending in a prompt for Week 42 at More Odds Than Ends, so I picked up one of the spares. The prompt I chose was: The architect who specialized in designing hidden rooms. I was looking for one that would allow me to easily insert it into the Cursebreaker story. I think I know where this story is going now and I’m going to be working on finishing it up. That is…I will after I wrap up Book 2 in the Academic Magic series (at least get draft one finished), and finish and submit two short stories. I am busier than I was as an academic and I don’t even have any grading or prep to do! At the same time, I am extremely grateful to be this busy and to have avenues opening up in front of me. It has been amazing to discover this creative streak in myself that I never knew existed before. So much fun!

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