Second Challenge – Platform Building Campaign….

Second Campaigner Challenge

Do one or more of the following:

Write a pitch/logline for a book based on the prompts (less than 100 words)

Write a short story/flash fiction piece of less than 200 words based on the prompts

Write a poem with a twist using the prompts as inspiration (in less than 200 words)

Write a story/poem in five sentences, each sentence based on one of the prompts

Write a poem/flash fiction piece (in less than 200 words) about the water pear *without* using the words “pear”, “spoon”, or “droplet”.

For added difficulty/challenge:

Complete at least three of the above activities and tie them all together with a common theme (feel free to either state the theme in your post or leave us to guess what it might be)

Write in a genre that is not your own

Ask Challenge entrants to critique your writing. After the Challenge closes, you may wish to re-post your revised piece(s), and I’ll include a Linky List at the bottom of this post for those wishing more feedback on their revisions (note: revised entries will not be judged, so please label clearly your original post and your revisions. Please do not offer critique unless someone asks for it, as per the usual blogging conventions. If you do ask for critique, make sure you ask for it clearly so people know you want it, and please be prepared to receive feedback that may not be 100% glowing. If you are a critiquer, please be tactful and courteous, and remember to provide positives as well as negatives.)

I would very much appreciate critiques, please! =)
The Prompts:

Two people are sitting together under the remains of a concrete bridge. Their backs are against a rusted bridge support. One person’s leg is cut. The other person has wet hair.



  • Write a pitch/logline for a book based on the prompts (less than 100 words) -

No Ordinary Magic  (96 Words)

 Too often, our modern world of technological marvels seem almost magical. And still we demand more, and more. Are we so jaded and numb that we miss the moments of true and simple magic in our own lives?

Come open your soul as we delve into the rare magic in everyday moments such as kicking a ball across a bridge on a bright cold day; artistic play with water and light; the moment just past striving; or an instant of mutual interest.

To the attentive, all of life is sparkling, extraordinary magic!

  • Write a short story/flash fiction piece of less than 200 words based on the prompts.

Facets (191 words)

I wait, and watch, as time grows short. Passersby, all in a hurry, seem not to see me at all.

They won’t allow themselves to slow to the pace of breath, of life, of magic.

A small boy bounces, kicks, and chases his ball across the bridge, snuggled in a jacket this crisp, waning afternoon. Skipping, random rhythm; soft scrape of feet on smooth stone…

A young woman in a suit, posture tense, repeatedly plays a video of a pear conjured of prismatic water droplets. Her expression is flat. She checks her phone, then again.

Little knot of children, shirtless and rumpled and dark in the sun. All squat and stare, their intensity clear and unmoving. Fascination for small simple gifts in a patch of earth….

The laptop shifts to dancing line art. Frantic texting. Lovely patterns, lovely autumn park, met by indifference.

A girl sits beneath the crumbling old bridge with a dripping cut on her leg, a boy with wet hair beside her, his arms uplifted, then, sparkling glittering arc down to her finger. Waterdrop rainbows, joyful embrace, impassioned kiss…

Time grows short.  Enchantment, wisdom  – life…

  • Write a poem with a twist using the prompts as inspiration (in less than 200 words).

Enchanted Vision (  119 words)

Park bench, late afternoon.

Crisp September light.

 Little boy bouncing ball on wide stone bridge.

 Soft scraping of feet,

 Quick, laughing breath.

 Young woman with laptop and cell phone.

 Conjured waterfruit and dancing lines.

 Wonder and beauty on her screen.

 Rapid-tense texts; frustration-sharp sighs.

 Three shirtless children squat studying patch of dirt.

 Motionless, silent, intent on this instant.

 Attending the gift of the earth and life.

 Under the bridge, a pair of young lovers.

 Scratch-broken leg, wet hair clings to scalp

 He scoops the pond, lifts the prize,

 Adorns her finger…..

They melt together as air finally ends

 No one notices my soundless pleading.

 I know the magic of life at last

 In the instant I die.

  • Write a story/poem in five sentences, each sentence based on one of the prompts.

Instants in Time 

Sunlight, shadow, sea, square tiles, and columned railings become the playground of a small boy in a long red coat, following joy in the form of a bouncing ball. A young, dark-haired woman with a bleeding leg sits under the old concrete bridge; a young man sits beside her, hair and clothes dripping unnoticed as he slips the diamond ring upon her shaking finger. Beside me on the bench, my neighbor’s laptop shows the birth and death of a water pear, again and again, and she ignores it, texting frenetically and breathing in short, sharp sighs. Three little children, shirtless and dark and seemingly not bothered by the cooling breezes, explore the patch of dirt between them with motionless attentiveness. As my last breath ends, the hot dog still lodged in my airway, a lovely digital sculpture shifts gracefully across the screen, and, above the sounds of her texting, I hear the woman complaining that her time is up.

  • Write a poem/flash fiction piece (in less than 200 words) about the water pear *without* using the words “pear”, “spoon”, or “droplet”.

Fruit of Life (145 words)

I stare in wonder at the digital legerdemain on the laptop screen. I try to imagine how the conjuring was done; what miracles of science, math, art, and programming were involved in the glorious fruit, seemingly formed of water and delicately, impossibly balanced. Who conceived of such an elegant and lovely mirage, and how? Was it brought to virtual life as an act of personal passion, or with the calculation of a team with a product to hawk?

Then, I am captured by the pure leaping joy of it, the ethereal beauty of the instant when it, as though from nothing, clings to the shape in a shimmering dance of life – life suspended, to end in the next heartbeat, before this breath is expelled….

The form collapsed, in iridescent spray – a wordless lesson in the momentary nature of all life.

***************
I completed the entire challenge, including the increased difficulty option, and, as stated above, I welcome criticism!

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23 thoughts on “Second Challenge – Platform Building Campaign….

  1. Wow, nice work! I really enjoyed the poem!

  2. Wow! And … Yeah!
    Finally someone else besides me who has completed the whole challenge!
    I think, my favourite was “Instants in Time”, although “Fruit of Life” was great, too.

    The words of the pitch were very well written, but it just didn’t sound like a book-pitch to me. Not that I know how to write one … it just sounded more like a little piece on its own, not the promise of something bigger.

    In “Facets” you showed us exactly that, facets of life and the moment we witness through your story. However, it seems rather unconnected, which is not the case in “Instants in Time”, I think, which is why I like that one better. Well, it was probably meant that way, but I just wanted to let you know which expression I got.

    To the poem I can only say that I like them better when they rhyme a bit more, but as far as I know that’s not a necessity, right?

    I like how you paint so wonderful pictures with words in “Fruit of Life”. It’s a bit like magic itself.

    I’m #82, if you’d like to read and critique mine.

    • shanjeniah says:

      Nicole –

      I will be back to really give your wonderful critique the attention it deserves, and to critique yours.

      At the moment, I am finishing up a challenge, and have other catching up to do as a result of my husband being in a serious accident.

      For now, I wanted to say how much I appreciate all the effort you put into your post.

      Thank you so much!

  3. siv maria says:

    Wonderfully descriptive and enjoyable to read. You get a thumbs up from me!

  4. C.M. Brown says:

    You have been busy! Every piece is very poetic. I would like to know why was she dying?

    • shanjeniah says:

      C.M. –

      Death by hot dog….she chokes to death there in the park,because no one is paying enough attention to notice her need……I think my revision will need to be clearer on that part of whats’ going on…..

      Thank you for taking the time to comment!

  5. All your pieces were quite poetic and lovely and I enjoyed them. Especially for the word limit provided and coming within if not lower. I enjoyed all!

    In ‘Instants in Time’ my main suggestion would be to note the pain of the narrator in snippets along with these visuals as the hot dog lodged in the throat comes as quite a surprise. Not saying I’d want to know that immediately just that if there were raspy breaths or pain in the middle of these images the narrator is seeing it would come as a revelation to the reader at the end that the reason everything seemed so specific was because these were final images taken in before dying. But I really enjoyed how everything came together in that piece and it stands out for me for sure.

    Good luck this round!

    Take care,
    Jenn (2nd challenge entry #84)

    • shanjeniah says:

      Jenn – Thank you for your kind words! I loved writing these, and the challenge of tying them together around a central theme….

      Your comment would have made me thrilled to have asked for criticism, even if no one else had offered any.

      Your suggestion for “Instants in Time” is brilliant – it feels like exactly what this piece needs.

      Honestly, I didn’t know the narrator was dying until about halfway through, and the hot dog was a feasible and fairly quiet way to go, so no one notices…

      Adding some foreshadowing and tension between the outer life and the inner death will transform the whole story – and I will be playing around with that within the next few days!

      Thanks for stopping by, and for the awesome criticism!

  6. Wow! Your ability to play with words is truly astounding! I enjoyed every bit of this! Great job! :-)

  7. […] posted my Second Challenge  for the Platform Building Campaign.  It was a challenge, for sure, but also a great deal of […]

  8. Nick Wilford says:

    Kudos for managing to do them all. Some beautiful writing here. Facets also felt very poetic to me, but that’s not a bad thing. Nice job!

    • shanjeniah says:

      Thanks, Nick! It became a playground, and a challenge I really enjoyed.

      I think I will definitely be revisiting Facets, and exploring it as a poem, although I also feel strongly about it as written.

      It feels good to be writing things that feel poetic again, even if I hadn’t intended it. Haven’t written poetry since before I had children….

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  9. clarbojahn says:

    You did a good job with pulling the theme along on all the prompts. I am so impressed that you did them all. Good job!

  10. Nick Wilford says:

    Kudos for doing it all. There’s some beautiful writing here. I also found Facets very poetic, but that’s not a bad thing. Very nice, and different from the other entries!

  11. showard76 says:

    wow some much content in one post! Love it, I will have to do the PBC once I’m back on my feet properly!! :D

    • shanjeniah says:

      Thank you, Sharon…it seems tailor made for a busy person like you! =D

      Me, I can write a LOT when the spirit moves me – if the spirit isn’t there, I don’t bother (after 40, I started valuing my time more!).

      Now, I’m off to go add some words to Chameleon’s Dish while the spirit says it wants me to……

  12. Kary says:

    I’m very impressed that you got it all done. :)
    I enjoyed them, and I’ll comment on two things:
    They all seemed about the same things, or the same people doing the same things. I guess it makes sense since they were the same prompts, but I thought i’d mention it.
    I also read Facets as a poem, and wanted to insert line breaks in it. To me it just read as a poem and not as paragraphs.
    I really like them! :)

    • shanjeniah says:

      Kary –

      I was exploring and playing with the narrator, the theme, and what she experienced. More or less a multiple universe, string theory sort of thing, or a study.

      I also wrote them all between Thursday and Friday nights, so they were close in conception and birth as well as context.

      I tend to look at the world around me as endlessly faceted. Just a little shift, and new details, thoughts, and emotions are revealed.

      These bits just bubbled up, and I went with them…..I am an intuitive writer, and I live that way, too….

      I’ve noticed that some of my flash fiction reads like poetry. It surprises me; I hadn’t written poetry in years, until very recently.

      I may give them another go in a few days, and see what distance, life, and input do to them!

      Thanks for taking the time to share your impressions!

  13. Wow! You did it all. I really liked each of your interpretations. They are very creative.

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