Monday, July 11, 2016

Monday's Minute Challenge: Writing Prompt Challenge For Teens & Up!





A quick writing prompt challenge (and contest) for teens to get their creative juices flowing for the new week. A new prompt is posted, and winners are announced, every other Monday.



  1. The entry must be between 150 - 300 words. (In order to see how many words your entry is, write it in Microsoft Word, or you can copy and paste it here.)
  2. The deadline for the contest will be the Thursday after next. 
  3. The winners will receive a badge for their blog.
  4. The winner will be chosen based on the judges's preferences, as well as the following questions: Does this entry capture my attention immediately? Does it make me want to continue reading? Is the writing clear? They will also take into consideration the writer's voice and style--not necessarily technical issues, such as grammar, punctuation, etc. 
  5. This is only for fun and to stretch your writing muscles--not necessarily to be taken too seriously. =)

 


The judge panel chooses these winners based on a point system. Keep in mind that the judges are not aware of which entry belongs to which participant until after the judging is complete.



Since there were four entries in the previous MMC, two winners will be chosen. Also, the prompt selections for this week are chosen from a pool of past MMC posts due to lack of submission. Thanks to everyone who participated! I hope you're all having a beautiful summer. =D







A girl. A gust of wind.
She stepped inside the dark, musty room. Walls of chipped wood closed in around her. Slowly, her eyes gazed across at the elaborate wood carvings. Age was gracefully fading them away, but beauty remained. Delicate swirls twisted among fierce shapes of battles and explorations. The girl marvelled at the markings, how accurate and beautiful they were. She took an interest in drawing, and enjoyed tickling the outlines of the elegant animals and trees and mountains.
All of a sudden, a creak sounded from a door on the other side of the room, and the girl swiftly slipped out of the room. Her heart beat fast as she raced away.
In panic she turned the wrong way and fell into a second room. There, in the centre behind a polished table, sat the last person she wanted to see: her brother. He sat with a tall woman. A vase of flowers sat patiently on the surface. All three turned to face the girl as she stumbled in. No words were exchanged. A tingle of fear rolled up her back.
Focusing on the flowers, she spotted that they were fake. Artificial tulips. Her eyes darted from the table to the woman to the flowers. A slam echoed behind her and the draft knocked her forward. A sharp pain erupted from her back; she felt a drop of blood trickle down her spine.
The flowers toppled to the floor.
Congratulations, SimiClick here for your badge, and don't forget to claim your points here. =)




“Are you losing sleep? Cringing over moments that happened years ago? Shedding tears over embarrassments from when you were a child?”
I was a fool to believe the slick announcer on the television. His perfect hair was as fake as his smile, and his words weren’t much better. I’d heard his blathering before. I’d laughed at it, tuned the commercial out, mocked his words. I don’t know what caught my attention that day.
I don’t remember it.
“Never fear! Our scientists have been working for years to find the perfect solution. And they’ve done it!”
Something that day had caught me, drawn me towards that screen, pulled my fingers towards button to turn the volume up.
“Now, for only $79.99, you can say goodbye to your bad memories- for good! Embrace a life of healing and happiness!”
And I had believed it. Stupid, naive little me had saved my money all summer. Little me had dialed the number on the screen with shaking fingers. Little me had torn open the box and eagerly read through the instruction booklet.
And little me had forgotten.
It had worked. I had locked all of my bad memories away in that unassuming cardboard box. Scrawled on the side, I had written firmly, “Bad Memories: Do Not Open”.
Now, years later, as I stood staring at the box, I could hardly remember buying it. I couldn’t remember what had made it so appealing.
Something gripped me, a tightness in my throat as tears burned trails down my cheeks. I needed to know. I needed to know what I had forgotten.
I was terrified, but I needed to know what I had lost.
With shaking hands, I opened the box.
Congratulations, Sierra! Click here for your badge, and don't forget to claim your points here. =)

      Thanks so much to everyone who participated!

      • Submit your response in the comments below, or post it on your blog via InLink (below).
      • Your response should range between 150 - 300 words. 
      • The deadline for the contest will be the Thursday after next. 
      • If you'd rather not submit your post in the comments or on your blog, you may email it to me instead.





      Choose at least one:

      Note: You can always combine the prompts into one entry.

      The prompt selections for this week are chosen from a pool of past MMC posts due to lack of submission. 

      (Optional) Write a passage continuing your entry from last week week (or whichever week you'd prefer). If you can, try to continue it using one of the following prompts.
      • Write a passage using these items: glass, leaf, mirror (submitted by Kendra)
      • Write a passage based on this picture (submitted by Savannah)
      • Write a passage either incorporating this phrase OR based on this phrase:  

        "The saddest thing about betrayal is that it never comes from your enemies."  (submitted by Maddie)


      Post your entry on your blog!:


      If you're posting your entry on your blog, please add your link below:






      Tag your friends!

      (Optional) If you post an entry on your blog, tag at least 3 writers who have never participated in Monday's Minute Challenge. Be sure to comment on their blog to let them know they've been tagged. (Thanks to Micaiah for this suggestion!)


      Do you have an idea for MMC? I'd love to hear! 
      Send me an email at christiswrite (at) gmail (dot) com. 



      Submit your prompt idea!:

      The prompts that are used for Monday's Minute Challenge are submitted by the participants. 

      Here's how this works:
      • You will be able to submit 3 prompts each week in the same format as above: three objects, one picture, and a piece of dialogue or phrase.
      • On Mondays, I will choose 3 prompts that have been submitted by 3 different people.
      • If your prompt is selected, you will receive 2 points!
      • You may submit in the comments below.






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      28 comments:

      1. Item prompt: Needle, paperclip, scarf
        Picture prompt:

        http://67.media.tumblr.com/0874bac27dac9c3929284751ba9504fb/tumblr_inline_o8czewIl231qcipmn_500.png

        Sentence prompt: I hadn't known that our goodbye was forever.

        ReplyDelete
      2. Item prompt
        Violin, black boots, hearth
        Picture prompt
        https://pixabay.com/en/frozen-berries-red-fruits-berry-201495/
        Sentence
        "I'm sorry I hurt you. I only wanted to show you what you did to me."

        ReplyDelete
      3. I used the picture prompt. My submission is 295 words long.

        “You can’t play music on that; it’s broken.” I leaned up against the wall and watched as Christopher eyed me with playful defiance. He pulled out the piano’s bench and swiped at the thick layer of dust. As he did, the dust particles played in the sunlight streaming through the window panes that held no glass. I choked.
        “Please, if anything in this old abandoned house kills me, don’t let it be dust.” I gagged but I didn’t move because I was probably holding up the two-story structure just by leaning against wall. As much as Christopher annoyed me when he did this, I didn’t want him to be buried under the house’s remains.
        “Are you done complaining?” He asked me as he fingered the greened keys and adjusted his legs under the rotted wood. He pretended to flip through music. Finding nothing to his liking, Christopher did a melodramatic sigh, “I can’t work like this!”
        I laughed. Then, he ran his slender fingers over the keys in a quick scale, pitting his fingers up against one another in a race. Hollow moans and high twinkles reverberated through the ancient parlor.
        Christopher looked at me and winked.
        “Want me to play more, ma cherie?”
        “Si vou plait.”
        Clearing his throat, Christopher dove into a melody that held every human emotion all at once. He cradled the whole room in his hands as he poured out every piano lesson he ever had on that instrument. As I watched him, my heart lept and dove with his movements. It followed him along the keys and into a story he was trying to tell that room without any words. I was mystified.
        He was spell-bound.
        And the woman who entered the room at the last note was angry.

        ReplyDelete
      4. Here's my submission. I used the picture prompt and the item prompt. Mine is 299 words long.


        “Play it again!” I commanded. Emma stuck her blue Gatorade stained tongue out at me before following my instruction. She slowly placed her hands on the discolored piano, making a show of curving every single finger. And once again, the song poured out of the old instrument, as sweetly as the first time.
        I leaned back on the sofa. My friend’s talent never ceased to amaze me, no matter how many times I had heard her. I’d been coming to this same apartment every day since kindergarten and every day, Emma had played the piano for me. One day, she had performed “Glass Melody”. I had fallen in love with it and had instantly renamed it “Ballad of the Green Leaf”. Ever since then, Emma had played it for me every day.
        “There,” She said, taping the final key. “Think Carnegie Hall will ever be ready for me?” I laughed and threw a pillow at her. Emma didn’t even need to duck; it came nowhere near her. My aim was horrible.
        “Why don’t you play a song?” I was horrified. Me touch that extraordinary ivory board?
        “You know I can’t play piano!”
        “You’d be good at it! And you’ve seen me play a million times! Just one song!” Emma pleaded. I shook my head so hard that I saw my elastic fall out of my hair in my reflection in the mirror hanging on the opposite wall.
        “No.”
        “What! And I played your song twice!” She paused, confused, “Why did you want me to play it twice? I’ve never done that before.” I shrugged.
        “I don’t know.” I swallowed as the lie slid out of my mouth. I had never lied to Emma before but I couldn’t tell her that today was our last day.
        Tomorrow I was leaving.




        ReplyDelete
      5. Item prompt: glasses, apple, and aspirin
        Picture prompt: http://swiftbeat.tumblr.com/post/122930924302
        Sentence prompt: I never really loved her.

        ReplyDelete
      6. Here's my submission. It's 299 words long and I used the picture prompt and the object prompt.

        “Play it again!” I commanded. Emma stuck her blue Gatorade stained tongue out at me before following my instruction. She slowly placed her hands on the discolored piano, making a show of curving every single finger. And once again, the song poured out of the old instrument, as sweetly as the first time.
        I leaned back on the sofa. My friend’s talent never ceased to amaze me, no matter how many times I had heard her. I’d been coming to this same apartment every day since kindergarten and every day, Emma had played the piano for me. One day, she had performed “Glass Melody”. I had fallen in love with it and had instantly renamed it “Ballad of the Green Leaf”. Ever since then, Emma had played it for me every day.
        “There,” She said, taping the final key. “Think Carnegie Hall will ever be ready for me?” I laughed and threw a pillow at her. Emma didn’t even need to duck; it came nowhere near her. My aim was horrible.
        “Why don’t you play a song?” I was horrified. Me touch that extraordinary ivory board?
        “You know I can’t play piano!”
        “You’d be good at it! And you’ve seen me play a million times! Just one song!” Emma pleaded. I shook my head so hard that I saw my elastic fall out of my hair in my reflection in the mirror hanging on the opposite wall.
        “No.”
        “What! And I played your song twice!” She paused, confused, “Why did you want me to play it twice? I’ve never done that before.” I shrugged.
        “I don’t know.” I swallowed as the lie slid out of my mouth. I had never lied to Emma before but I couldn’t tell her that today was our last day.
        Tomorrow I was leaving.


        ReplyDelete
      7. Prompts
        Items: cloak, dirt, frost.
        Picture: http://pin.it/EYF3Uu7
        Sentence: Had I only know what I meant to him...

        ReplyDelete
      8. I used the items prompt and the sentence prompt.
        My submission is exactly 300 words.

        “Remember what I told you, Mary,” he had said to her one tender spring morning. He gave her his hand, his gentle gaze searching hers for confirmation; “I know you are a clever girl.” he was silent for so long she thought he was finished. Suddenly, his eyes sprung back open. He stared at her, his expression laced with urgency, “Here” With this final word, the old man closed his tired eyes and opened them no more.
        She bent down towards him and rested her head on his chest. The smell of his old-spice tickled her nose and she could still feel the warmth of his embrace. After a moment of silence broken only by her gentle cries, she pushed herself away.
        There he was, helping her to her feet. “Shh,” he soothed, turning her to face him, “It’s going to be okay.”
        She took a quivering breath, “Oh, Steven. Are you sure?”
        He reached over, gently brushing away her tears, “I’m sure,” he stepped back for a moment and peered over her shoulders to her grandfather’s resting form. “Are you positive he’s gone?”
        She nodded, confused, “Of course.”
        “Good,” he smiled, but it was a stranger’s smile, “This has worked out beautifully.”
        “Steven,” she stepped back, “What’s happening?”
        “Oh, Darling,” he reached over to the nightstand, retrieving John’s weathered journal. “You should have headed your grandfather’s words long ago.” In one swift movement, he smacked her across the head. She was flung across the room and landed against the mirror on the wall, shattering its clear glass.
        “I’m glad we got married,” he sneered, “after today, the fortune is mine.”
        A single tattered leaf floated down beside her. She now understood her grandfather when he said: "The saddest thing about betrayal is that it never comes from your enemies."



        ReplyDelete
      9. Items prompt: moss, medallion, postcard
        Picture: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/407294360034375592/
        Sentence: "There you go, making this way too easy for me."

        ReplyDelete
      10. Hi Tessa!
        I just realized there hasn't been an MMC post in a while, and figured it probably from the lack of entries. If so, how many more do you need?
        ~E

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. Thanks for asking, Esther! One more entry is needed before a new MMC can be posted. =)

          Tessa

          Delete

      11. My story is 225 words.

        Revealing reflection


        In its reflection, I saw myself as I really was.
        I remembered as I looked at my myself now, how I used to feel when I looked into a mirror, I was always left dissatisfied, and hurt. “I wasn’t pretty enough, I had too many freckles. My hair was to straight and thin. Who would ever like you?” I would tell myself, and I would watch as tears turned my eyes red and puffy.

        I saw, I really I saw myself, and I didn’t feel like bursting into tears. It is strange, but I was neither happy nor sad, I was...content. For I saw myself as others do, more of personality than looks, or was it that my personality enhanced my looks? Did it matter? No. It didn’t. I couldn’t look away.I still don’t know how long I stood, staring at myself. But a gentle hand pulled me away, saving me from the sin of vanity
        I never saw that blessed mirror again. But since that day, I have learned not to think only of how people see me, but of how I can improve their day with a kind word. True, there are still days when greasy hair still gets me down. But mostly, I can be happy knowing I am more than what I look like.

        ~E

        ReplyDelete
      12. My entry is 225 words.

        Revealing Reflection

        In its reflection, I saw myself as I really was.
        I remembered as I looked at my myself now, how I used to feel when I looked into a mirror, I was always left dissatisfied, and hurt. “I wasn’t pretty enough, I had too many freckles. My hair was to straight and thin. Who would ever like you?” I would tell myself, and I would watch as tears turned my eyes red and puffy.

        I saw, I really I saw myself, and I didn’t feel like bursting into tears. It is strange, but I was neither happy nor sad, I was...content. For I saw myself as others do, more of personality than looks, or was it that my personality enhanced my looks? Did it matter? No. It didn’t. I couldn’t look away.I still don’t know how long I stood, staring at myself. But a gentle hand pulled me away, saving me from the sin of vanity
        I never saw that blessed mirror again. But since that day, I have learned not to think only of how people see me, but of how I can improve their day with a kind word. True, there are still days when greasy hair still gets me down. But mostly, I can be happy knowing I am more than what I look like.

        ReplyDelete
      13. When will the next MMC be? Do you need another contestant?

        ReplyDelete
      14. Here's my entry. It's 194 words.
        Sarah steeled herself and turned the doorknob, stepping into the house.
        She stifled a cry. The colorful knick-knacks that her parents used to leave around to decorate, the bustling energy the house always seemed to have- they were gone, and the house was half-collapsing, an inch of dust covering everything.
        Her gaze turned on the table in the corner, where her father used to teach her and her siblings, then on the piano.
        That rickety old piano, the subject of many wisecracks and where Sarah had learned to pour her soul into music, with the encouragement of her mother.
        The keys were mildewed, the seat creaky and unstable, but Sarah didn’t care. She sat down on it, letting the memories flood her head.
        Playing a few experimental notes, she smiled sadly, and ignoring the fact that the keys were badly out of tune, she began to play.
        She played an old sonata, as familiar to her as the back of her hand. It was her mother’s favorite song.
        Her fingers faltered on the keys and she sighed. None of this was going to bring them back.
        Standing up, she stepped away from the piano.

        ReplyDelete
      15. Sorry this took so long, Tessa! Here is my entry of 196 words, I used the picture and sentence:

        1
        Notes. Songs. Words. Melodies. Lifes. Deaths. Joy. Pain. Love. Hate. Sorrow. Despair. Hope.
        I play all these things. I play with them and about them and for them. All on the dusty old piano sitting in the charred ruins of my home. Somehow it survived. Barely, but survived. The white keys are dusty with soot. The stool is blackened with ash. Fire has eaten part of the back. Five keys don’t play anything. I call them my companions.
        *******
        2
        I come here every day. I like the feel of this place. It feels so…. Desolate. It reminds me of my heart. I come here and watch the mist, the whisp, the ghost. It sits on the stool, and plays. Just plays. The melodies it draws from that burnt piano are otherworldly. Too beautiful to stand. Unless you know them. My heart knows those notes. It understands the pain in those chords. It feels the loss in the song. I know what it means to lose everything. Except life. And still feel like you’re walking a living death.
        That’s the worst part about being betrayed, it never comes from your enemies. It comes from the ones you love.


        The numbers signify the different people talking, so you are not confused. They are both hppening at the same time.

        ReplyDelete
      16. My prompts:
        Objects: skirt, tea, beret

        Picture: https://media-mediatemple.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/Emir-Ozsahin.jpg

        Sentence: I really wouldn't have thought you could, I guess I was wrong.

        ReplyDelete
      17. My entry is 262 words long. I apologize for it in advance as it was a hurried attempt. XD

        Laying on my back, I held the paper to my heart and stared at the ceiling. Tears welled up in my eyes. I shut my eyelids tight as the tears overflowed and ran down the sides of my head into my ears. I couldn't help but sob at the words that had been written down. Even though it was over a month old, I couldn't help but sob. I looked back at the page. So sincere were the words of comfort, enhanced by the quality of empathy. I hadn't known what it was like to be hurt, not really. I knew that Duncan had. When I heard what happened to him, I was sorry, but in a generic way. I didn't feel anything for him. I wasn't sorrowed by his pain. I continued to read the letter for the tenth time. One sentence struck me even harder than it had before. "The saddest thing about betrayal is that it never comes from your enemies" I was never mad at the person who hurt Duncan. I was good friends with her and dismissed it, makings excuses for her in my mind. But she had turned around and done the same thing to me. Not for the first time I felt wretched. How could I have been so foolish and heartless? I had betrayed Duncan by staying friends with the person that hurt him. But now, even now, he wrote to tell me how sorry he was. Even when I had done nothing for him, he comforted me. Why... why would he do that...?

        ReplyDelete
      18. I finally wrote an entry! http://ingodswritinghands.blogspot.com/2016/10/time-mmc-july-11-2016.html?m=1

        ReplyDelete
      19. Once you have 6 entries, how long will it take for The judges to pick a story?

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. Hi, Anon! A new MMC will be posted this upcoming Monday, thanks to the recent submissions. =)

          Delete
        2. YAY!! I can't wait! Thank you!

          Delete
      20. Hey Tessa, did you get my comment? I'm pretty sure I entered, but I don't see it up. Can I re send it? I AM SO EXCITED FOR ANOTHER MMC!
        ~E

        scribblingpencils.blogspot.com

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. If you could send it again, that would be great.

          I'm glad you're excited! Sorry for the hiatus; it's easier to judge entries when there are at least six of them. =)

          Tessa

          Delete
        2. This comment has been removed by the author.

          Delete

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