Saturday, July 4, 2009

Elvis Has Left The Building

Nearly a 12 months ago, Brad Wise had a vision of creating a writing experiment where writers could join together and not only write good material, but read other bloggers entries therefore pushing themselves creatively. In August of 2008, 110words.com was launched. While there were several prompts that rotated with each week's photo, one always remained the same - the entry must be 110words or less. Not only would that be short enough to keep other readers attention, but it also challenged the writer to maintain some sense of time and detail.

Brad trusted me enough to come aboard as administer in the beginning and it's been a great journey for me to not only read each entry but several bloggers challenged me as a writer myself.

But it appears it is time to say goodbye. 110words has run a good course, but I believe the excitement of creating something weekly (and then bi-weekly) has worn off. Fewer and fewer writers submit each week and with the lazy days of summer in full swing, I'm afraid that 110words will soon have no entries.

So we're shutting it down. 110words has run a great course and Brad and I are very proud of each of you for stepping out on a limb and submitting entries for the whole world to read. You have pushed yourselves as writers and done a tremendous job. Thanks for playing along.


The 110words Administrators,

Jenny Stambaugh and Brad Wise

ps- Feel free to continue following Brad's blog at http://bshawise.blogspot.com or Jenny's at http://intertwiningemotions.blogspot.com

In The News



We wanted to try something different this time around with the picture. Instead of just picking a random photo to write about, we decided to choose a photo that was relevant to that particular week's news. Therefore, "In the News" was born. The photo above was taken from the Fox New website about telemarketing calls. We asked our bloggers to put their spin on what they thought the news story was about.


Monster Government
By: Randy H.


In our ‘Monster Government’ segment tonight we have learned that automotive dealerships are advancing the ‘Clunkers for Cash’ legislation way over the limits of the recently passed legislation. Dealers are getting aggressive offering, via pre-recorded telephone call, $4500 vouchers for all sales, ignoring the fuel efficiency provision all together. The lots are so full that dealers are fighting for their lives knowing that if sales continue at this slow pace franchises could be eliminated—not from bankruptcy, mind you, but by a government that doesn’t take ‘No’ for an answer. Desperation from an already uncertain auto industry makes everyone skittish. Nothing like a government take over to calm the storm.


Exclusive
By: Linda Gail A.


Our top story tonight on Fox News exposes the high pressure sales tactics used by Best Chance Auto Warranty Corporation. It appears that salespersons call individuals based upon a list provided by the bureau of labor and statistics and badger them into buying their extended warranty product making promises that the warrant covers absolutely any kind of breakdown. It is only when consumers take their vehicles into auto repair shops that they discover they have been conned. When consumers call the 800 number they get a recording of someone laughing. The attorney general is currently conducting an investigation, and Fox News will keep you posted as updates occur.


Poor Punjab
By: Jerry H.


Punjab Viceroy Patel sat at his workstation underneath the ominous cloud of unfiltered cigarette smoke. He distractedly thanked the barista for his coffee, placed his earphones, and watched the monitor scroll through 218,364 phone numbers. He practiced his script, “Hello I am Jim Smith from Dubuque Iowa.” The word Iowa was the only one that gave him trouble and yesterday’s screaming session from his supervisor still injured his soul. “President Obama tasked me in asking you to help re-elect him, don’t vote for that SL$& Sarah Palin! Punjab didn’t notice and would not have known the 907 area codes that was his target today would cause him to change history.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Closing Out The 3 Week Series On Genres



The final installment of our 3 week series on genres was "Politically Correct". I was a little disappointed about the amount of stories sent in this time - I thought P.C. could be the easiest to tackle. However, it was very interesting to see how each of the writers below took a different angle with how they viewed being politically correct. I thought that was so unique and cool.

Enjoy!


Midgets, Miners, & Misery
By: Randy H.


Dear Mother,

I hope this letter finds you well as I myself am feeling ill. Don’t worry; I’m fine, really. It’s just the critics, they are overwhelming these days. I’ve caused quite a stir with my ‘Snow White’ creation. The ‘Little People’, corrected as I am, are seeking legislative asylum due simply to how they were referred. Those in the mining community are outraged claiming they were depicted erroneously as ignorant, naive laborers. I’ve enclosed a copy of the title tune to my new feature. Hopefully ‘When You Wish upon a Star’ will quiet the politically correct crowd. Not catching any flak from the children. Go figure.

With love,
Walt


Upright Biped
By: Linda Gail A.


We loosely call our creator Walt, but in truth he is so much more. He is technically speaking a homo-sapiens, an anthropoid, and an upright biped but he’s commonly known as human. Walt is the author, the originator, the generator, the designer of who we are. We are animated genius if we do say so. We are not the vermin that many of our kind are referred to as. We have spirits. We have souls. We have personalities. We matter; and we demand to be treated as those with rights! And to further our cause we have created a foundation called ACE: Animated Characters for Equality.


Walt Missed James
By: Jerry H.


Walt missed James. Of all of Walt’s incredible creations James’s work on the screen gave him the most satisfaction. That movie was the first of its kind, mired in controversy, nervous investors, but Walt believed, and his beliefs, his dreams had a way of becoming reality. James was not allowed to attend the festivities of the opening. Walt said “James Baskett was the best actor I believe, to be discovered in years.” Now do to sins that have never healed James’ portrayal of Uncle Remus would not be seen by generations of children and that sadden Walt, because he believed in the world of tomorrow, where color didn’t matter.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Week 2 of 3 in Developing Genres



This is week 2 out of 3 in our series on developing genres. The first week we tackled Western's and this week we worked on creating a Sci Fi story. It was very interesting to see how the writers took the same photo and created some very diverse stories.

One writer in particular e-mailed me something with his entry. It basically said, "Sci-Fi writing is not really my thing. It was a major stretch.... "To that I say, BRAVO!!!! The point of 110words is not to find the world's greatest writer, it's to help you grow. We go thru exercises like the 3 weeks of genre development to push you. We want you to be stretched - it helps you become a better and more creative writer. So what, if it sucks. Try again. Try something different. The possibilities are endless. So next time you read this blog or receive a photo in your inbox, don't think, "I can't do this." Think "What can I do with this?" and then push yourself.



Life after College
By: Josh S.


Chon’s mother did not understand why his senior picture had to look so dramatic. She also did not understand why he insisted on wearing his bluetooth. Chon was all set to graduate at the top of his class from the University of Neptune. He was going to use his senior picture in his portfolio. He completed college with a degree in Earth Reality Television Studies. After graduation, Chon is going to take a full time position as a reality star on planet Earth in the new TV series “Dancing with the Star Wars characters”. He landed this role after he failed his audition for “So Spock thinks he can dance”.


It Hurt
By: Jerry H.


It hurt. NxLie’s chest felt as if a Snarlt with its raptor claws and feline incisors had tore his torso. He endured the interrogation; his pain was more from his failure than injury. They are The Chosen yet they refuse to believe. Refusal because we, like all of the civilizations that never ate the fruit, have no shame that requires us to cover our bodies. The Fellowship approaches. They must be made to understand; they are The Chosen! They possess the authority to defeat The Fellowship before all is devoured and destroyed. The Chosen have a history of not believing saviors until after they’re murdered. Sacrifice? NxLie cried. It hurt.


Longing
By: TresK


“Merde!” Jardin muttered, reverting to his mother tongue. Things had gone from bad to worse to wretched all too fast.

While the larger, harder part of his brain furiously calculated time-zap vectors the smaller, softer part kept thinking of Kaarin. He’d acted rashly, that much he’d admit, but hadn’t she started it? She’d sent him back without calibrating the stopping watch. Their argument, when he finally returned, had simply pushed things too far.

He didn’t want “I’ll show you reckless!” to be his last words, but it wasn’t looking good. The time-plasma was heating up, turning green. Too green, too fast.

Jardin only hoped Kaarin hadn’t tried to follow.


[X-thoo-shush]
By: Randy H.


I am called Xthousious and I come from the city of Dark Forms. By my words my memory has returned but my strength fails. The Worm Lords have confounded me here. This place is cold and I feel a force within it; a shield of sorts, not elemental but spiritual. An evil presence looms here. I must depart at once. I can hear the waves of motion beyond this corridor but I am unable to pierce the threshold. Something—this presence—is preventing my advance. It’s dominion I cannot break. Telepathic signals may reach my comrades in time; for rescue, before the hemorrhaging of the sun. Focus I must.


Reaching Deep
By: Linda Gail A.


On an unnamed planet far in the galaxy, surrounded by people known as Nubnub, I found myself captured. Their torture technique was simple: immobilize the enemy with a green gamma ray that causes pain with movement. But move I must. I’ve got to return to my interplanetary schooner, and be off this planet before the new moon because it’s scheduled for demolition. It’s on a collision course with my home planet, Zarzar where my family lives. I must reach deep and overcome the pain. It’s time to go. I press the sensor implanted above my ear signaling my need for rescue. Within moments I’m freed and on my way home.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Week 1 of a Three Week Series on Genres - The Western



This is Week 1 of a three week series on Genres. Each week the subscribers are given the task of creating a story based off of the photo given (or they can use one of their choosing), however, it must be 110 words or less, it is due by 11am 2 weeks from the date given. In this series, 110words is trying to have writers focus more on the genre itself. Most of the writings we receive are typically not genre specific. We want to help push each writer creatively to help mold them into a better writer in general. We got some great stories back this week based off of our genre of Westerns. After reading the stories below, you'll see some excellent examples of transporting the reader into your story. It's not just about the saying "We are in a Western." How does it smell in the barn? What words/phrases do the characters use? Tell me about location. What is it made of? Does the wood creak at night?

Enjoy!

Outlaws
By: Mark H.


Billy leaned against the weathered beams of the old barn and kept his eyes riveted on the horizon. “You gonna watch with me or yap at them mangy furballs all day, Thomas?”

“Only need one eye to see ‘em comin’, Billy, and looks like you got two good ones. ‘Sides, between us we got the two fastest guns in these parts. What’re you so worried about?”

“Ain’t worried, just ain’t taking any chances. You know Miss Ellie’s give us jobs for 10 years now. I ain’t lettin’ that stinkin’ band of outlaws do anything to hurt that good woman.

“Ok Billy – look ahead there – time to earn our pay.”


New Law
By: Linda Gail A.


“This sure do beat the cow tipping we did last week,” Leroy drawls. “Now we’re the law in this here town, and we can arrest anyone who acts up. Course, we might need to do like Sheriff Monroe did for us. We deputize the two biggest rascals and put them in charge.”

“I’m not sure who was more surprised; us or the town, when they realized we were now the law,” Stern offers.

“We’ll be fine as long as we leave Hank’s boys alone,” Leroy sagely advises.

“They run the largest still in the county,” Stern protests.

“Sounds like deputizing time.”

“Maybe so.”


Dusty on Tuesday
By: TresK3


It was Dusty on Tuesday. It was always Dusty on Tuesday. A guy works hard on the ranch all day, then he has to put up with this? Not for the first time, we offered to help. We could just shoot the calf and be done with it. But no, Dusty had to do it himself, like some actor cowboy from the moving-picture shows. Some people are just that way, no matter who suffers. Tomorrow would be Wednesday and Lefty would cook and we’d eat on time. We’d eat on time all week… until next Tuesday.


Watchful Silence
By: Deb Freitag


“Whaddya see Beelzbub?” said Brooks. He didn’t expect an answer. But he sure wished he knew. Animals sensed danger before humans. Even he knew that. Beelzbub was sniffing the air and staring up at the cliffs across the plain. Whoever stole the horses a fortnight ago was probably coming back for them. They were as ready as could be. No horses. No food. Bastards even filled in the well and killed the dogs. But why? Brooks broke the silence again and asked Simon, “Why did they…” But Simon hushed him saying urgently, “Shush ol’ fool. They’re scoutin’ us now. Watch the shadows on the ridge and get your rifle ready…”


By Government Regulation Every Western Must Have A Character Named Slim
By: Jerry H.


Monroe squinted and exclaimed “That’s them Cat rustlers Slim!”

“Yaep.”

“Member them Yankee cat rustlers back in 1863, da war for our independence.”

“Yaep.”

“Gave them loads of buckshot, we sure did.”

“Yaep.”

“Back East in Chicamungie I recall.”

“Yaep.”

Monroe looked down, “Fluffy, Ya ready?”

“Meow”

“Penelope Ya ready girl?”

“Meowww.”


Monroe and Slim vigilantly and skillfully checked their weapons. Monroe spit a wad of chew on the ground. It oozed it’s substance like an ice cube melts in the sun.

“Meow!”

“Sorry Penelope. I’m always nervous when cat rustlers are coming.”

Fluffy observed, “Meow, meow, meow memeow,”

“Yaep.”


The Strike
By: Josh S.


“Is that all they do all day Carl?”

“What are you talking about Willie?”

“They just walk around, sit down, and look around at everything all day long.”

“What is wrong with that?”

“I don’t know, it just seems kind of pointless”

“How else are they supposed to keep the mice out of the barn?”

“Well they could give us our pension benefits and the health care options we asked for then we could come off of our strike and lend a hand.”

“I don’t think they will budge Willie, I think they actually enjoy being lazy.”

“Well, at least we don’t need guns to kill mice like halfwitted humans”


Moonshine Whiskey
By: Randy H.


“Jeb, would you stop messin’ with that damn cat? You’re makin’ me nervous,” shouted DeWitt.

“I’m just tryin’ to make a friend, maybe somethin’ you should be doin’,” Jeb replied.

“You told me you would help me stand guard against those county bastards that want to shut down grandpa’s still. This still has been producin’ for ages and I ain’t about to back down. You with me or not?,” asked DeWitt.

“I’m here ain’t I?,” responded Jeb. “You didn’t tell me I’d have to stand guard with my rifle. Besides, I’m supposed to be hayridin’ with Miss Annie.”



“Chasin’ felines is about all your good for anyway,” bemoaned DeWitt.


Longing For Her Return (A Western)
By: Lindsey D.

Stringbean stared off into the distance, the barrel of his gun set snug into is thigh, longing for her return. He felt the pulsating stress of the early morning ride on his inner thighs and hoped to have another. It was she who had finally made this gangly, awkward cowboy feel like a real man; in control of each and every move.
The bright sun reflected off of the bare field exhibiting the remnants of the season’s harvest. He squinted, strained, searched. He spotted her strutting toward him, her long legs stretching elegantly with each step. A smile crept across his face.
“That goddamn horse is back,” Old Jim grunted.

Monday, March 30, 2009

028

Regarding the survey that was available a few weeks ago for you to take about 110words, Brad and I have reviewed the results and you will see some changes being made in a few weeks. Thank you for taking your time to complete the survey and to take part in 110words!!!



This week's prompt was: * Prompt - This cat just got a major break and will star in the new Muppet Movie. Tell me about the character the cat will play in the movie and what the cat did to land the part. Great job, Josh!

The Replacement
By: Josh S.


Filming for the new muppet movie was starting in April. Jim Henson got an email from Animal’s agent saying that Animal was not able to do the film due to an elbow injury from drumming. That gave Jim one day to find a replacement. That night he was scheduled to see a band play in Manhattan. Kermit and Miss Piggy had invited him for a night out before starting production. Jim called them to cancel, but they would not accept no for an answer. So he went to satisfy their egos, and there he found Beastie, a great drummer, a freelance actor, and an attitude crazy enough to replace Animal.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Juicer: Faux Nostalgia

This guy's dry sense of humor is killer. I don't know how yet, but we're going to do a 110words writing experiment based on the different types of work he does i.e. faux nostalgia. It's long but it's good. Enjoy.

Monday, March 23, 2009

#027



I found this gem on snopes.com. That bunny is for real, ya'll. Seriously. Wow.

Okay, so this past week, the writers had three prompts to guide them:
1) Must be 110 words or less
2) Must be in by 11am today
3) How did the bunny and the man holding the bunny meet? (They can't be owner/pet)

Here's the magic happened:

Eddie Rabbit Alter-Ego
By: Randy H.


Dewey’s was slow, so slow that the girls bailed before the last set. The smoke was thicker than usual and curiously sweet. Teddy felt sick and the sweat was a squall. He needed the money so he swallowed one last shot and set his pick. Next thing he knew, he was singing songs he’d never sung before. He closed the bar with “Every Which Way but Loose” but had no idea why. Ironic? Yea, his head was pounding. Dude in the front asked for a photo and autograph; wrapped his arm around him and grinned. The lights went out and that is all Teddy could remember.


George and Bugs
By: Josh S.


George met Bugs at the annual Holtville Carrot Festival. George first saw Bugs in the Carrot Festival parade as one of the largest rabbits to win the carrot eating contest. Later George ran into Bugs at the Best Western indoor pool where he struck up a conversation about why his parents named him Bugs. George remembers Bugs responding that his parents weren’t very creative. Their choices were either Bugs or Roger. They chose Bugs, and saved the name Roger for his younger brother. That was the beginning of George and Bugs’ friendship. Every year since, they have stayed at the same Best Western with connecting rooms for the Carrot Festival.


Caught Ya!
By Linda Gail A.


At first I thought I was losing my mind. Food was missing; specifically my chocolate. I laid a trap. I put chocolate cream eggs in a bowl on the counter. Then I sprinkled flour on the floor. I left the room and I waited. The noises came, and I turned on the lights. Sure enough, the eggs were gone, and there were huge tracks. I grabbed my cane and followed them outside and under my porch. There two eyes glimmered back at me. It took time and many more chocolate eggs, but soon I had my hands on fur. And to my surprise I pulled out a giant bunny.


Big Bunny
By Deb Freitag


“‘Twas the luck o’ the Irish on that day, I’ll tell ya tha’,’” remarked Pauly as he donned his cap. “As you know, I’d had a might strong gamin’ streak in me since way back.” His quickening step revealed his excitement. “I’d lifted up a bit of a prayer t’my ever present

God: “Lord, y’know I’ve overspent on my gamin’, so forgive me and bring on the luck today.”

Well, as I tossed out the dice I yelled, “‘Big Money, Big Money,’ and as luck would have it I blurted ‘Big Bunny’ the third time. And dontcha just know that I lost at the dice but won the rabbit raffle!”

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Juicer: Have You Seen This Yet?

If by some chance you haven't seen this yet.... you're welcome.



Also, please fill out the 110words survey. Your input is valued.

Monday, March 9, 2009

We Want You!

If you've been around 110words for a while, click on this link and take our fun survey. It only takes about 3 to 5 minutes and will take the place of a writing assignment for this week.

Click Here to take survey

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Juicer: David After Divorce

I'm sure by now you've seen this David after Dentist phenomenon. Same story different players. Kind of fascinating.



The original.

Chad Vader.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

#026



Honestly, what is not to love about this photo?

Week #026 and 'Big Elephants' as I like to call this picture, wrap up our 3 week series on character devolpment. If you're new to 110words or simply haven't read the blog in a while, our writers were prompted to connect the last 3 weeks worth of photos and intwine each photo with the original character they created in week 1. It was just simply the idea of taking taking the same character along for different rides.

I hope the writers enjoyed writing them as much as you all enjoy reading them.


A Conversation
By: Josh S.


“Hey there Crimson Tidette. What up?”

“Why are you wearing yellow rubber pants?”

“I’m a fisherman, except today I am a fisher of women. I like your shirt.”

“That’s the first time I’ve heard that lame line. Being a “fiisher of women”, you should get your eyes checked because this ain’t no shirt honey.”

“Oh I see”

“Get lost pal, I’m only here to hang out with real Alabama fans.”

“I am a fan, in fact, I could be arrested for even being here. Didn’t you hear about my Alabama fishing boat?”

“No way, you’re that crazy Geoff guy who Alabama has a restraining order against?”

“In the flesh baby”


Maude
By: Linda Gail A.


I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw her. I, Willie Worthington, was speechless. She was the epitome of everything a good woman should be: a Crimson Tide fan that wasn’t afraid to wear her support out for all to see. I found out from my buddies that her name was Maude. I also found out she was married to the meanest cuss this side of the Mississippi river. I never approached Maude. But my eyes never strayed far from where she was. I came in off the lake to attend the final game of the season. I didn’t see a single play of that game.


Mom
By: Jerry H.


“Mom” Leroy exclaimed as he embraced his mother in a huge hug. Leroy’s daughter Tammilou groaned, not at her grandmother’s clothing (Tammilou was wearing the same outfit), but that her dad was embarrassing her with his enthusiasm.

“Son I am so proud of you, all that money you gave to the school that made the Crimson Tide so good they’re in the Super Bowl.”
Leroy shrugged, his mother continued.” They fixed up your luxury box the way you wanted it, with a big pond, and a surprise from home.”

Leroy’s face exploded in delight pouring even more embarrassment on Tammilou. “The fishin’ chair?”

“Yes”

Leroy jumped and shouted with joy.



Painted Memory
By: Randy H.


“I don’t think Herb saw me”, said Kenny to himself, gasping for air after running down the ridge as fast as he could.

Catching his breath, Kenny cranked the motor to his craft and headed toward the middle of the lake. With the high sky and a stiff breeze, Kenny’s mind wondered, remembering the company he kept on Saturday afternoons. Pulling an old photograph from his pocket, he thought of his beloved mother. Kenny was just a teenager when it was taken. It was the only game they ever attended in person.

Pushing a tear away, Kenny cried, “I know you’re up there watchin’ mama. I miss ya.”


"Crazy Dorene"
By: Russ B.


It had been a year since Festus’ disappearance on Ellyfnat Lake... and his wife, Dorene (she prefers “widow”) had gone quite mad.

Though most believe Festus had “run-off” with another, Dorene is convinced ellyfants got him.
“I seen da blud on da water... but i kant call it dat. I call it crinsum tide. It helps me not be sad when I hear dat blud tune.”

Because of Dorene’s indiscretions, just two days after the Festus disappearance, townsfolk require her to wear the letter “A” on her clothing.

She is also required to carry a bag of Potpourri (she thinks it keeps away the ellyfants)
...but it wasn’t working.


Jennie Lou
By: Mary F.


It was sure nice of JennieLou to send me her picture. I ain’t seen her since Ma died. She’s a real Alabama woman like Ma, and her hubby’s darling. “Always wanted a woman with meat on the bones.” he used to say. “She’s built for lovin.” Sure hope they hang together till death like Pa and Ma did.

Bubba, and me and JennieLou – we’ll still mournin Ma’s passing. She died so quick. Hit by a drunk driver. Pa went off the deep end then and got suckered into marrying that yankee.

It’s like we’re orphans now, me and Bubba and JennieLou. Makes me cry every time I think about it.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Juicer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHrl6lMkYwo


Even though it's an advertisement, the writers took a great approach to what could have been a totally crappy boring statement.

Monday, February 23, 2009

#025



By chance, if you have just stumbled across this writing experiment, let me catch you up to speed... A bunch of us goofy writers get together once a week and write short fiction bits based off of a picture that is sent out the week prior. It has to be 110 words or less and sometimes there are prompts. You've caught us in week #2 of a 3 week series on character devolpment. The pictures change, but each person must work at devolping the main character from week #1 and tieing them into week #2's photo. And so on and so forth. So take a gander and feel free to drop some comments.

Other Plans
By: Randy H.


Satisfied that Kenny was sober, the warden left. Now, Kenny had just enough time before kickoff to grab a bag of pork rinds and his 'Bama foam finger. As he headed up the ridge, he noticed his cousin Herb and a few others, that he had not laid eyes on before, had gathered out in front of his trailer. Remembering that the revival meetin' was goin' on, Kenny decided to go with what he already had-half of an oatmeal cream pie and a plug of Levi Garrett. He had to hurry though to get back down the hill before Herb caught sight of him. Today football was his religion.

Untitled
By: Scott D.


"It could have been one of Jerry’s proudest moments. He stood in deep thought and awe at the fact that his idea had finally come to fruition. To see so many others enjoying the festivities like the Squirrel Shoot and the Toilet Seat Ring Toss was a bit overwhelming. The only thing that made this day completely unforgettable was the completely liberating feeling of vinyl, albeit loose-fitting, against his skin on such a sublime summer afternoon."

Moving On
By: Josh S.


Since Geoff's fishing boat was confisgated last week, Geoff had to adapt his fishing techniques by purchasing rubber pants overalls at the local gas station. He realized that they would be perfect expanding his ability to get deeper in the water without having a boat. Part of Geoff's probation agreement from the "boat incident" was that he was not allowed to wear any Alabama clothing. The University took out a restraining order against Geoff for negative publicity after the picture of his boat made the font page of the newspaper. This morning Geoff traded a blue gill for a Coors Light. Representatives from Coors had "no comment" on the photo.

Last Witness
By Stephen T.


We caught up with Jerald Furnbee, cousin of Roscoe Furnbee who went missing last summer in search of a creature believed to be the inspiration for the Arkansas Crimson Tide elephant mascot.

“I knew I’d be getting’ questions at this family reunion but I don’t know too much. I told him not to go out there. I pushed his boat 20 feet out and that’s the last I seen uh him. Brave kid but kinda slow. He could be anywhere.”

Jerald has worn the waiters he had on that day since his cousin went missing as a memorial.

“I’ll I got is Coors Light to keep from goin’ crazy.”

Love thy cousin ?
By: John A.


As luck would have it, ordinarily good natured Earl got picked to help his cousin Larry out of a tight spot out on the water. And it doesn't take much to set him off when it comes to Larry. His shenanigans gripe Earl to no end. Poor Earl somehow always gets the short end of the stick. "Leave it to Larry to get hisself all tangled up in fishin' line, doggone idjit. I think I'll knock the far outta him" squawked Earl as he gazed up and down the lakeshore, looking for Larry's whereabouts. "Well, HAIL FAR ! I don't see 'em no where. The damn fool. Well, he can just wait. I'm gonna finish this beer first."

Upgrade
By: Linda Gail A.


When I first started fishing, I rigged up a lawn chair on a small raft complete with steering capabilities. Now, I’m older and I’ve upgraded my ride. I found what used to be a porch of a camping cabin, and converted it. Now it’s my raft, complete with shade from the sun. Fishing has never been sweeter. The only problem is that I need help from friends to launch me, and then they want to come along. But it’s cool. You can’t be a loner forever. And besides, they usually bring food along!

Bubba’s brother
By: Mary F.


That’s Bubba for you –left me holding the bag. Pa told us he’d cut us out of his will if we didn’t start acting nice to his new wife’s relatives. So now I’m stuck in the middle of these city slickers. I’ll bet anything Budda is sittin on that fishing chair in the middle of the lake having a beer.
And that ain’t the half of it – he’ll get by with it. Wouldn’t be surprised if Pa cut me out of the will and gave Bubba my share. His new wife will probably say I wasn’t nice to these freaks. A fella can’t win for losing.

“Boating Accident”
By: Russ B.


“Ah don know whut al do wif out my cuz, Festus”
Billy-Bob was beside himself with a grief that went deeper than his best waders.

For two days teams of relatives scoured “Ellyfant” Lake to try to find some trace of the beloved entrepreneur, yachtsman, and cousin to all... Festus.

“Ah blame muh self. Ah nevr shudda souped dat motor up. Festus cuddn’t handle fas cars or wimmin. Guess wull hafta add waterkraft to dat list.”

“Cudda ben a bird strike. We had dat lake cuvverd wif decoys ta keep da ellyfants herded.”

Spirits remained high... (the beer was really cold!) It was destined to become an annual event.


Back Home Music
By: Jerry H.


Leroy swallowed a cold one allowing the liquid to explode in his stomach like the splash his kids make jumping into the pool. He hadn’t been back home since his video for American-Inventors won, not because of his fishin’ chair, but how he combined coal and foam, that was now being used from housing to space shuttles. It felt good to be out of suits, just relax and be himself. He laughed at the challenge of his kids and Bettylou as they pumped out a Habitat for Humanity house on her parent’s old farm. The blue grass music and dancing sombered him. He softly cried. His dad would’ve been proud.

Monday, February 16, 2009

#024

Alrighty, so we here at 110words decided to try something a little different. As I mentioned in last week's blog, we no longer are focusing on a "winning entry". Everyone's stories are good and everyone can glean something from each entry. Also, for 3 weeks we will be focusing on character devolpment. We began the process during week #024 using this photo. Whatever character was devolped out of the photo you see above, is the character each writer must stick with for week's #025 and #026. The photo's will change - the main character will not. It's not too late to get in on the fun, just e-mail me at the110experiment@yahoo.com and I'll send you the photos....

As for week #024's gems....

Bama Man
By: Stephen T.

“I am searchin’ for answers, ya know, like that DaVinchi Code guy. I just don’t got any money for fancy equipment.” Roscoe Furnbee, 28-year old Alabama football fan, longs to discover the greatest mystery of his people, the Crimson Hippo. The meaning behind the Crimson Tide’s mysterious elephant remains a mystery to some. Roscoe says he knows the answer.

“Last summer, me and my cousin Daryl was out here fishin’ when we saw this big, red thing come up outta the water. My daddy told me that in 1929, Coach Wade was out here drinkin’ tryin’ to clear his mind when he saw it.”

“I will find that red monster.”


Alabama Pride
By: Josh S.


In this photo Geoff is explaining to the local authorities his reasoning for turning a chair into a fishing boat and using it to fish in the lake. Geoff was looking for sympathy telling the cops that he needed extra money so he can buy tickets to the next Alabama football game. The cops tried to explain to Geoff that there were no fish in this lake, and that swimming let alone fishing from a lawn chair boat was illegal and dangerous. Geoff told them that the gas station owner said he would give Geoff five dollars for every fish he brought back from the lake. Joke was on Geoff.


Dem Mountains They Dream, They Dream
By: Jerry H.


Leroy dreamed of life beyond these Lookout Mountains. As he set up the video camera he ‘borrowed’ from the Wal-Mart down in Huntsville his insides shook like his uncle Leroy during his biannual detox sessions. He wanted to send a video to that American Inventors TV program to show his personal fishing chair device. Even though his Dad screamed that working the mines wasn’t so bad it’ll keep you in money and Betty Lou just laughed at his silliness, Leroy had moving pictures in his head that he would only see for real with some cash and education; no coal mine would get him that, and Betty Lou deserved more.



Idle Living
By Linda Gail A.


Wentworth Leroy Worthington III was a disappointment to his father and grandfather. Willie, as his friends called him, loved nothing more than two things – The University of Alabama and good old fashioned fly fishing. And since he inherited enough that he’d never need to work if he lived a frugal life, that’s what he aimed to do. A log cabin on the lake, a homemade motorized raft and a radio tuned to the Crimson Tide’s games, and Willie was set for life as he saw it. Forget high society. Forget dating women that only want him to get a job. This is the life!


Roll Tide
By: Randy H.


"Yep, we'll go right out there a ways to get the best signal," Kenny explained to the game warden, who wondered about the contraption he had seen motoring around the lake.

Kenny wasn't one for long drives or large crowds but he loved his Crimson Tide football. Instead of traditional tail gating, Kenny enjoyed listening every Saturday on his FM dial. A scratchy, snowy broadcast was all he was able to get from his trailer tucked beneath the densely wooded ridge.

"You been drinkin'?", questioned the warden.

"No sir," replied Kenny. "Neither the Lord or the extre weight on these insulation panels could stand it." "Plus it's dangerous."


Ellyfants
By: Russ B.



“Jist twenny-five dollers, an a’ll take ya out wher de ellyfants are.”

Before I could escape, The Huckster had me in his spell.

“Now `yall don wurry bout dem ellyfants attackin. Ellyfants are a scared a ducks. An I got all deese decoys to keep `em away.”

How far would he go with this pitch? I had to hear more.

“An if dat ain’t enuff, me `n cousin Billy-Bob wired this motor to outrun anythin’ on dis lake.”

Even though I knew the Alabama Elephants were a hockey team, his spiel (and my love of speed) were irresistible.

Darn shame that battery was dead!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Writing Workshop

I'm not sure what you have scheduled for this Tuesday night (2/17/09) but whatever it is, cancel it and make sure that you're at the Vineyard Community Church's Student Union building for a sweet writing workshop led by Brad Wise.

Anywoo, whether you've written novels or just funny e-mails, come out and have some fun writing with your peers. Brad will facilitate and it's only from 7-8:30pm so it's not even that long. I went to the last one and it was a blast.

Join us for an experiment in short fiction led by Brad Wise. Your imagination will be stretched through exhilarating, invigorating, stimulating and amusing writing exercises. (How about those big words?) It'll be fun and laid back, perfect for non-writers and closet-novelistsalike. Bring your laptop and/or journal + pen. For ages 16-103.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Juicer: People are so strange # 2

This has nothing to do with anything. It's just weird. And I'm not sure what's weirder- the lady scared of balloons or the fact that Maury is on television scaring the crap out of her.

Monday, February 9, 2009

#023



This week's photo was taken by Cindy Tucker. I asked her for a little background on the shot. "Remember that local bakery in Dresden, Germany that I visited while I was attending the 24-7 Prayer International Leaders Gathering? Well this sign was located just a few doors down to what looked like a resident entrance. There was a group of us walking to lunch when we discovered it. Needless to say, I think this young man's sign had it's picture taken by at least half the attendees of the gathering."

"We attempt to contact the person and invite them to lunch with us because we wanted to hear his story and what adventures the sign had brought, but he wasn't home."

Also, the administers at 110words made an executive decision to just start focusing on the entries as a whole, and not "picking an winning entry". Because really, everyone's entries should be highlighted. And now, without further interruption...

Next Step
By: Josh S.


Thomas was trying to come across as embarrassed by the sign he secretly put on the window of the family diner acting as if someone else was responsible for it. It had been 4 years since the accident. Thomas had barely spoken to or even looked at a woman since he lost his wife. Last night he had decided to move on after much encouragement from his family and his daughter. He needed a way to jump start the process to let everyone know he was ready. His daughter came up with the sign idea as a joke. Deep down Thomas hoped that something might come out of the sign.


Window Shopping
By: Randy H.


Hey look honey, in this window. It looks as if someone is desperate for a date. Isn't that romantic?

Romantic? It's a hand made WANT ad! What's wrong with the world when a man can't walk up to a woman and ask her face-to-face for a date?

These are different times dear. Young people today meet and get to know each other on the computer. He must not be able to afford one of those match making web sites.

This recession is nailing everyone…banks, retailers, auto makers, and even single guys. I betcha Henry Ford never had trouble getting laid! He didn't need a computer, that's for sure.


Wanted
By Linda Gail A.


“Wanted – Lil’ Sexy Gal ta make me warm this Fall – Reward….” I stuck it up on my parent’s shop window with two pieces of gum. I just hope she walks by before my Pops sees it, because I know he’ll take it down. He wouldn’t understand. But, Emily will understand and know it’s for her. After all, she’s the cutest girl in the second grade, and she dressed up as a princess for Halloween. I overheard her telling a friend that she wanted a boy who would make a scene for her. Hope this works before any of the guys see this or I’m toast!


The Princess
By: Mary F.


Hey, Thomas, what’s with that ad?” Jake asked.

“Just what it says,” Thomas replied, not bothering to look up from his computer screen.

“Don’t you want to find your princess yourself?”

“No time for that. I’ll pick from the applicants.”

“Well, Thomas,” Jake said two weeks later. “You got a response.”

“Just read it to me. I have to finish this program.”

“Hey, big guy. I’m just what you need – a well built royal brunette. Cuddling is my cup of tea. If you want to go out and play, I’m game. Consider me your little princess. Enclosed is my pedigree, AKC registered."

"I think she’s too good for you, Thomas.”


Princess Petra
By: Jerry H.


Thomas studied the ancient palace’s ghostly reflection on the glass while he hung his sign. He wondered if Petra was watching him through the window in her flat. The hole that was born when she left had gnawed at his soul. His guilt in criticizing her on going to Vienna to study art encapsulated him in a force field of despair. He selfishly wanted to bask in his own glory of being voted Norwood’s best fry cook. He now waited in the cafĂ© she frequented each morning, espresso adding to his nervousness of leaving his safe life behind, squeezing the engagement ring, praying that Petra still believed in fairy tales.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Juicer: People are so strange

This is one of the strangest videos I've seen in awhile. I would love to know the story behind this. How in the world did they ever get to this point? How long did it take? What did the discussions look like planning something so ridiculous? Do they rehearse this in their mind when they're driving to work, eating breakfast, etc? I find this fascinatingly weird.

How's this apply to writing? Figuring out the inner workings of strange and quirky people can make for great characters in your stories. As you develop your characters and give them traits and quirks think about how they got there. Ask your characters some of the same questions I just "asked" about these newscasters. That'll give your characters depth. Depth makes them believable and interesting.

Monday, February 2, 2009

#022




Scott Docherty found this gem for us. He didn't take it, but I still thought it fit our style. And I'm jealous that the dude can jump that high. I'm too fat. And I'm pretty sure that I'd poke my eye out with the umberella, so I can appreciate the risks this gentleman is willing to take.

Randy H. created our winning entry this week. I love reading Randy's work, because he's very good at giving the reader access into what the character is thinking and why they're thinking those particular thoughts. Along those same lines.... I know that each week you're prompted to create a new character and a new situation, but if a particular character that you created sticks out to you, keep writing! I hope that none of you ever just toss aside ideas. This blog is to encourage to write and think more creatively and to push your minds a bit. You're bound to find a few diamonds in the rough. Keep working, keep striving. Push yourself.

Okay, enough talking. Just read Randy's story and you'll see where a great character is being devolped.

Convincing Mom
By: Randy H.


Yes! This potentially no good, horribly bad day has turned sublime. "Good by" community theater and "so long" teeth whitening commercials. My big break is finally here. I'm going to be a star with endorsements, paparazzi, bling, a pop album….I need to call my friends, oh and mom. How do I tell my mom about this part? Do I mention the bedroom scene? I'll never here the end of it. I know, I'll tell her it's just a kissing scene, which I've done before. What if I have to take my pants off? She'll never understand. Ahhh, I'll say I have a stunt double and that those cheeks aren't mine.


Happy
By Linda Gail A.


I supposed I looked a little silly jumping in mid-air wearing shorts and a polo shirt in January holding my umbrella to keep the sleet off me, but I was so thrilled. You see, I’d just left my first weigh in at Weight Watchers and I’d lost 10 pounds. All of the sacrifice was worth it! Now my wife would be off my back because I beat her; she only lost 2 pounds. Now it’s time for a chili dog, because calories don’t count the day you weigh in. Here I come hot chili and melted cheese over mystery meat. I can’t wait!


Untitled
By: Joshua S.


Cecil was the happiest he's ever been. He felt like he was replaying the "singing in the rain" movie scene. Earlier this week Cecil and his friends saw that the new employee at the Women's Hair Salon was attractive, and Cecil bet his friends 20 dollars that he could get her number in a week. He got her number today after only 4 days. His strategy was going to the salon each day to shop for hair products for his relatives. After purchasing hair products for his mother, sister, aunt and cousin and spending $322.18 in four days, he finally got her number. Cecil won the bet and 20 dollars.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Juicer: Epic Snow Battle

Every tale needs conflict. It usually happens halfway thru the story and it links everything from the beginning and sends the story in some kind of "new" direction. That happens here. On a side note: the cops eventually showed up and arrested people for "throwing with all their might." Ah, what strange times we live in.

Monday, January 26, 2009

#021

This week's photo was taken by Jerry Hartman. Jerry has shared several wonderful photos with 110. When I first asked Jerry about his photos, he had this to say, "I took these when we were in Kazakhstan for 7 weeks (that’s 49 days too long) adopting our daughter Anastasia."

And Linda Gail Adams' entry was oh so worthy this week. Not only could I visualize the rush her character was in (no time to tie her scarf), but the ending made me laugh out loud. and it slightly reminded me of something my dad would get excited about. Read on, you'll see how wonderful this bit is.

His Hero
By: Linda Gail A.


Ralph didn’t even let me wash my hair. He saw his hero was in town and we had to leave within a minute. Ralph grabbed his jacket, pinned on his numerous medals and he was out the door before I could tie my scarf. His medals of “bravery” were each earned by turning in ten cereal box tops and signing a form promising to be brave. Ralph honks the horn. I hurry out to the car and soon we’re on our way to the mall; Ralph, me and hundreds of five year old kids to see his hero, Scooby-do.


William Rudolph Kincaid
By: Randy H.

Died January 26, 2009 at the age of 82. Beloved husband of Mildred Warner Kincaid, loving father to daughters Kimberly Fairchild & Joyce Woods, and cherished grandfather to 13 grandchildren. Preceded in death were three sons; William, Bradley, & Daniel. Known for his patriotism, Kincaid adorned proudly the military achievements of his sons who died in service of their country. Memorial service to be held Friday, January 30 at 10 am. The medals of valor will be bestowed to his loving wife and will then be donated to the National Museum in honor of her friend, hero, and soul mate. Family and friends will be received at a private burial

"Lop-sided Jacket"
By: Tim P.

Straining to see, Harold reports, “No, Sugar. I don’t think this is the entrance either.”

Pensive, Edith complains, “We’re going to miss the whole thing!”

“Let’s try down that way.” Harold leads through the bustle, her aged waddle anxiously trying to keep up with his impatient stride. His jacket lop-sided with the burden of these ridiculous medals. Edith had insisted he wear every one – even the two he received for “Custodian of the Year” (’91, ’94).

“If it’s that important to you,” he had told her, “I’ll wear them.”

“It is,” Edith confirmed. “I want everyone at the reunion to see what a fine gentleman I have for a husband.”

Omigawsk
By: Russ B.

It was quite a sight to behold. People world-over traveled to the small eastern Siberian town, Omigawsk.

Boris was quite proud of his new creation... even without all the medals from the Ministry of Art.
“This is the best I have done! And to have made it an age of 85!”

He beamed with pride.

Svetlana was also proud to have been the model for his creation. His medals probably meant more to her. She new that Boris’s wife, Olga, thought the medals were for some earlier work, done during the USSR era. But she knew better. They were for the glistening, 50 foot, nude statue of her.

The Tramp
By: Deb F.

Gladys could see the nostalgia well up in his eyes as he watched the street performers. It was 52 years since Marcus stood on the podium at the World Games. In 1956, he won three silvers for trampoline performances in individual and pairs. In ‘57 he scupped all the gold medals. Marcus’ flips, height and pikes were perfect. After trampoline was dropped as a world-class sport, his work was done in secret for the KGB. No more glory days. Gladys encouraged him to wear the medals on walks. She got a tingle at the base of her spine when she reminisced about their passionate times on the trampoline—together.

Symbols
By: Mary F.

Valentine’s recovery was slow. Silva watched his anxiety grow as the house deteriorated. She sold the house and now, the day before the festival, they were unpacking in an unfamiliar apartment. Silva reached for a trash bag and noticed the box of metals. “Valentine, what is this doing here?”

“Its trash”, Sil, just history”.

“Sit, love” she said, reaching into the box. “Remember this metal, your first, the year we married. You won for us.”

One metal at a time, she told the story of their lives together.

The next morning, she handed him his suit coat. “We go again today - to remember and to celebrate.”

“Yes, my love.”

Flashback
By: TresK

Stan breathed in the heavy aromas of the street vendors. From somewhere in that mix of smells, the scent of roasting peanuts prodded deep into his brain. Becky, his wife of 32 years, was unaware of the pangs of longing that smell elicited, unaware of Stan’s sudden desires, just as she remained unaware of the true meaning of his medals.

He’d always hedged about his war years, calling it “psychological research.” Becky would have tried to understand (she was a good woman) but she’d never know the true pain he’d endured or what it cost him to learn certain secrets. She didn’t know about his time as a squirrel.

Untitled
By: Josh S.

"Owen, I wish you wouldn't flaunt your metals in public"

"Oh come now Beru."

"Its just that since the last Fair, people have become suspicious"

"We've won twelve years straight, I can wear my prizes anywhere I want to"

"Its just that with those baseball players getting busted, the judges have tightened their rules and they might require testing next year."

"Ever since they changed to metals instead of blue ribbons, we've had to step our game up to keep up with the competition. What do you think tipped them off?"

"Naming our last pig Barry Bonds! The two people to our right are on to us, we should leave."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Monday, January 12, 2009

#020


Untitled
By Steve


A medal. The humans who remained on our side - squirrel lovers we called them - thought I deserved a medal, just for surviving the final battle. But most of my brothers were gone. After years of destruction, tearing down our trees, stealing our nuts... it was war. A costly one. I didn't want to be a hero. I just wanted to do my part and protect my nuts... for me and my kind.




The Offer
By Linda Gail A.


It is such a tempting offer: a medal to complete my favorite outfit in exchange for a dangerous and not so ethical mission. My quest should I choose to accept is to climb up the oak tree, jump across to the power line, tightrope walk across the wire above the wide street below, jump onto the roof of the First National Bank, and make my way inside through the air vent shaft. Then I find the rare Gemini diamond, secure it, and make it back to the park bench without getting caught or dying on my mission. The medal is perfect; so incredibly shiny.


Untitled
By Jennie O.

“Your mission should you choose to accept it Sir Squiggly, is to arrive at the enemy camp and deliver the message of peace. It will be symbolized by this medal.”
“How sir, Can I convey such a message dropping directly into the enemy camp?” cough, cough,cough,”What if I do not make it into the camp?’”
“Would you like me to go for you Squiggly?
Immediately.
“No, Sir!”
“Why not, Squiggly?”
A pause.
“Because, I have faith I can do this Sir!”
“Is the faith in you, Squiggly?”
Another pause.
“No, Sir a far Greater Source. I’ll be off Sir. See you Soon!.



Super Softeyes
By Mary F.

“Private Softeyes, your assignment is to entertain a kid at Ronald MacDonald house.”
“Chirp.?”,
“He started chemo today. His Mother said he likes to watch squirrels so go swing and climb and keep the kid entertained.”
Chirp.
That night, Softeyes climbed the oak, swung to the window and located a spot in the child’s line of sight. He reached into his pack, pulled out the life lite, chanted the magic word, and aimed it at the boy’s eyes. Green glistening particles of life flowed into his body. The instrument beeped and shut off automatically.
Light dawned and Softeyes put on a show for a healthy boy who was going home.



The Kingpin
By Randy H.


While watching from a curiously safe distance, the Poser; sweat raining down, hears a snow patch in his ear and wonders if the boss has made the switch. Meanwhile, the boss, embracing his role as the brains behind this heist has again let his zeal get the better of him. Overconfident and dreaming of fame, the costume has attracted the attention of a hot, young woman for whom the boss would like to get better acquainted. The distraction of the savory perfume compromises the plan and the switch, which is integral to this heist, never happens. Nevertheless, the boss signals success, igniting the next phase.



Homeland Security
By Russ B.


Homeland security gave out it's first medal today.

Carl knew for the first time that his sacrifice was worth it.
“America’s nuts are now safe from the foreign nuts!” he mused.

Rumor of a terrorist attack against Georgia’s peanut crop had proven to be true, and almost more than he could stand against.
It was only through recruitment of the local rodent population that all terrorist ski masks could be stolen.

“Cowards,” he reasoned, “can’t fight showing their faces!”

Carl knew the mind transfer to a squirrel was dangerous, and one way.
But he didn’t know how short of a mission it would be.

Somehow, his peanut allergy transfered also.



Sir With Honor
By Jerry H.


Captain TomTillerie the first squirrel ever to lead The Long Patrol stood at attention but his stomach was twisted like discarded plastic wrap.
Brother DaveJoe of the Redwall Abbey spoke, “Captain we are counting on you to deliver this special flash drive to Salamandastrom. It contains the Holy Scriptures, to guide the church planters of the Polaris Vineyard in their attempts to love the creatures of the Frozen North into relationship with Christ; with our prayers, be safe, Godspeed.”
“Sir with honor” TomTillerie answered. He calmed.
Their adventures and challenges inspired tales for generations for they always gave God the glory.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Juicer: Breakin' the mold

Sometimes you gotta break from the pack and do your own thing. In writing and in life. Right?

Monday, January 5, 2009

#019

The lovely Deb F. found this gem online at yahoo. I thought it was appropriate to wrap up the holiday season with. Thanks, Deb. You made me laugh out loud when I originally saw this one.

As for the stories, I cannot stress enough how proud I am of each of you. I love to read the entries each week and see all of the different ways you take a simple idea and picture and create moving stories. Linda Gail A.'s story was no exception. I chose to highlight her this week because not only did she create something wonderful, it was moving and unexpected. Congratulations, Linda!!!!

Remembering
By: Linda Gail A.

I usually don’t cry when I come to my baby girl’s memorial; her last request. Brittany wanted an ornament because Christmas reminded her of gifts and life is the best gift. She wanted it gold because it would remind us where she was now – walking the streets of gold. And she wanted a hook to remind us that time is short. We need to grab opportunities that come along and live life to the fullest. That’s what my Brittany did until cancer took her from me. I usually don’t cry, but today she’d have been nine and I ache to hold her one more time.

Gimme some more...