Day Seven – June 24, 2018 – Sprints

Welcome to day seven. So, what do you think? Has this challenge been helpful to you? I hope it has. I’ve certainly enjoyed reading your stories each day. Even though I haven’t been able to comment on your entries this time around, I’ve been truly impressed with the way everyone has written their responses. It has been my pleasure and privilege to walk with you these few days.

So, on to today’s prompt. You’re either going to love this one or hate it. I hope you love it. I like to do this writing exercise I call sprints. It involves writing with short bursts of energy on given topics. Each sprint lasts only for one minute. When given the topic, just write whatever comes to mind. Don’t put a lot of thought into it and don’t reject anything. Just go with the thought that enters your mind no matter how crazy it may seem.

I am going to give you five words or phrases. After I show you each word, I’ll set a timer and give you exactly one minute to capture your thoughts. Once the sixty-second mark has been reached, the next subject will appear. Got it?

Do you have your pen and paper or laptop ready to go? I urge you not to play the video until you can do the exercise. Even though we love being in control, the element of surprise in this assignment serves a great purpose.

I encourage you to use the video below to give you the topics and keep track of the time for you. If for some reason, you’re not able to watch the video, click here for a document to see the words in the sprint exercise and time yourself. Just don’t scroll down until you are ready to begin. You will see one word per page.

Ready, set, go!



18 thoughts on “Day Seven – June 24, 2018 – Sprints

  1. Suzie Shaeffer

    I found that I like more time to think as I’m writing! Anyway, here’s what I wrote.

    Writing Sprints

    1. Marshmallow
    Fire, marshmallow melting, turning black, dripping off stick. Another stays, but burning the inside of my mouth. Ouch!

    2. Fur
    Fur, tickling my nose when the cat’s sleeping next to my face. Miss that, miss having a cat in my face.

    3. Paint
    Remember helping my mother paint a mural in a church sunday school room, here in Daytona.

    4. Complain
    I think I complain too much about too much. Need to be more in the moment and grateful for all the good that surrounds me.

    5. Curmudgeon
    He was an old curmudgeon, but oh, how he could tell stories.

    I really kind of like that last one, because I don’t know who “he” is. It sounds like the beginning of a story. One I guess I need to write.

    Thank you!

    Patricia, thank you for offering this seven-day writing challenge. It’s helped me in many ways. One prompt in particular got me further along in the healing process than several sessions with a hospice counselor did. And I’ve discovered that I think and write better at the computer than I do on paper – who knew?

    Cheryl, thank you for letting me know about the challenge.

    Everyone, thank you for your writing. It was wonderful reading all of your responses to the prompts, and reading your responses to each other. It was very freeing to know that there were such receptive, compassionate readers waiting for each day’s writings.

    1. Cheryl Floyd

      You are so welcome, Suzie. I am glad you joined in the challenge. This style might not be for everyone but I find I need a bit of a carrot dangling before me to write and Patricia’s prompts and classes have helped me so much.

  2. Ericka Parra

    I made it! It was very delightful to read some stories. I learned a lot of vocabulary to describe people and places. The fact I took this challenge was to go back to my writing routine. It is still difficult to follow the same schedule every day. My next goal is to make time as if it were a part-time job. Thank you all!
    Special thanks to Patricia for offering this wonderful community and cyberspace.

    1. I love marshmallows. They remind me my family gatherings in the mountains. Usually after dark, we get together, set a bonfire, and sit around telling stories. We all share marshmallows. We enjoy watching the dark blue sky and many stars.
    2. FUR. Usually, I like to comb our dog’s fur after his bath. Before it happens, and after his bath, he runs all over the patio. When he decides it is time, he gets closer looking the comb. Then, it is the time…
    3. PAINT. Recently, I went to an exhibition about hairstyles in some Cuban paintings. However, what caught my attention was the art of capturing details and textures in dresses. I loved the soft laces and fabrics. They looked almost real.
    4. COMPLAIN. I usually do not complain because when I do, I become emotional. My eyes get wet, my voice brakes, and the words come to me as if I were crying desperately. How do I express myself? I think of complains as if they were an script and I need to perform. Nothing is personal.
    5. CURMUDGEON. My husband usually is very happy. He always has a big smile. He is very kind. But, when he is curmudgeon, I definitely avoid him. Turn around if necessary and go away. Of course, he does the same when I am cranky.

  3. Cheryl Floyd

    Marshmallows – gooey, warm and squished between chocolate squares…yummy treat in or out of a campfire atmosphere

    Fur – Rabbit coat gift during a time when it was politically correct to wear the fur of deceased animals. 1981, the year I received everything on my Christmas wish list. Soft, luxurious, matched my butt length hair perfectly. Felt wonderful against my naked skin. oops.

    Paint – Used to fear it. Still intimidates me, but grateful that I have started painting. I love my hibiscus, manatee and tree with roots that I painted in group settings with a glass of wine in hand. Also now I am willing to pick up a paint brush and change the walls and my mood inside my home.

    Complain – wish I never did…I want to be willing to change instead of complaining. I desire to release, let go and see the prism of life with all its differences. Avoid complaint, look for the re-frame. Release, let go, breath in and flow.

    Curmudgeon – sad pitiful people who avoid the flow of life, not willing to see the bright side or a different way. Not my job to rescue them . Release and let them go.

    1. Sarah Fine

      ‘Gooey, warm and squished between chocolate squares’ weren’t they delicious, even the crunchy slightly burnt edges. And finding the perfect stick for roasting. Your words take me back…

      1. Cheryl Floyd

        Thanks Sarah. All of these prompts have created opportunities to write new stories. Now, to move on with that process. I have enjoyed this.

  4. nancy nelson

    I love marshmallows, especially in smores. The key is to cook them perfectly–not too done or underdone. They are best heated up over a campfire.

    My mother had a fur coat-mink from her uncle’s mink farm. When young, I loved snuggling up with her when she wore it. Now it hangs in my closet because it is out of favor. I still run my cheek against it.

    I attempted to learn to paint with watercolors. I tried hard but never got the hang of it. My teacher, Sr, Stephanie loved to tease me to help me laugh at my awful work.

    I find it difficult to be around people who complain. I’ve worked very hard the past few years to look at people and situations with joy and gratitude–to eliminate my complaining.

    My brother-in-law was definitely an curmudgeon, in fact that is the term he used to describe himself. He loved finding fault with just about everything and took the joy out of many events.

  5. Sarah Fine

    There is a cranky curmudgeon living in our tiny back yard. She sleeps on the lawn recliner under a pile of brightly colored fake furs. She complains gruffly there’s not enough sun to grow a decent vegetable garden. She’s decided in her bad tempered way to paint a campsite mural on the side of our old garage. Then she’ll build a small bonfire or borrow the neighbor’s barbeque and roast marshmallows. I am hoping she won’t start singing surly songs all night.

    P.S. There’s a “Wiki How To Be a Curmudgeon in 13 Steps” with pictures that’s worth the read.

  6. Norma Beasley

    DAY 7-Sprints
    WOW! What a delightful change. Very refreshing.

    Marshmallows-A hot gooey mess on my fingers and mouth. Using small tree branches and wire coat hangers as props. Backyard and beach campfires.

    Fur-Soft kittens. I love them…playful and fun. I have used yarn to entice them to play.

    Paint-I love to paint, inside my home or the outside of my house. I recently painted my mailbox and posted bold house numbers on it. My creative drawings are very painterly looking. I have all kinds of brushes and mark making tools. Some empty buckets of paint need to be disposed of.

    Complain-I don’t complain much. I prefer to identify the problem then try and solve it. It has to do with looking past the present and into the future.

    Curmudgeon-Aaah, stumped me. After looking it up, I don’t know of anyone.

    Patricia, we need more exercises like this one. They promote spontaneous fresh thinking. These thoughts in turn spark new and interesting stories.

    1. Cheryl Floyd

      You are so fortunate to not know any curmudgeons, but then perhaps that’s because you don’t leave the door open for any to stay close to you. I think that is it. You create positive energy in your space. Keep it up.

  7. Vera Zimmerman

    We have Marsh Mallows here in Florida. They’re a flower that grows in swampy areas, sort of Hibiscus-looking. I often see them when I’m hiking.

    My last remaining kitty cat, from a litter of four, is Gris Gris. Yes, she’s a grey Tabby with soft fur in shades sof grey. She was a feral cat but over time I tamed her. Now she loves to get her petting. We both enjoy it, sort of like meditation.

    It’s been a long time since I got out my paints. Life has gotten in the way. I miss painting, mostly with acrylics. Oils take too long to dry in Florida. I enjoy watercolors, too, and colored pencils.

    I do that a lot lately. Complaining to myself mostly. Getting old has been hard and the less my husband can do, the more I have to do. Now the lawn mower is broken and the grass is getting high and I can’t find anyone to do the mowing.

    I know several curmudgeons, only we call them grouches. Lovable old curmudgeons. Maybe I’m one.

  8. Judy Watkins

    Marshmallows: Smores and campfires come to mind – toasty brown and gooey, this is family time and fun.

    Fur: Cats have fur and I think of love and warmth, winter nights cuddled up with a cup of hot chocolate and my cat in front of the fireplace.

    Paint: I wish I was an artist and able to paint and capture the beauty of a Spring morning with the dew on the flowers. I’d like to capture the smells too.

    Complain: What good does it do to complain? Life will go on and we must make the best of it. If we love ourselves we will make it through. Trust in the good in life and don’t complain.

    Curmdgeon: I am not sure what this really means but I picture a scouling old man in tatters – not a person that I know but the stranger on the street. Not sure why.

  9. Jeanne Sullivan

    Day seven 6/24/2018

    I like my sweets so I’ve had some experience with marshmallows. They are great toasted over an open campfire. If you like to go further with them, make s’mores. All you need is a couple of graham crackers and a Hersey bar. I also use them to top my sweet potato casserole.
    Since I am such an animal lover I do not wear fur. I do however eat some meat. I normally keep it to chicken and fish. I have a long history with rescue dogs. The two I have now are Maltese. They do not shed. I was told their fur is different. It is not actually fur but hair. Could be, mine is almost as white as theirs.
    I love to paint. No I have no artistic talent. I just like painting things like walls, the house, trim on the shed etc. I like it because it makes everything look fresh and new. I appreciate those who can paint a picture or portrait.
    Usually it accomplishes noting to complain. When necessary to complain, make sure you are complaining to the right person or authority. Rather than complain, if you can do anything about the problem get permission, fix it. Be a solution not the problem.
    I believe this is always used to describe an old man, a crusty old man. I have never heard it used to describe an old woman. My mental picture of a curmudgeon is that of an old man grumbling and complaining about everything.

    1. Cheryl Floyd

      Funny about the old man reference. I also had only heard it that way until a woman in one of my classes described herself as a curmudgeon. Then I started seeing the characteristics in different people. I also have seen it in one of my young grandsons. I think it may be more of a character trait, maybe one that is misunderstood and judged as bad rather than of character. Who knows? Webster says bad-tempered, heck, my husband used to call me bad-tempered when I was hungry. HA!

Leave a Reply