Tell Me A Story Saturday — 25 Words or Less — Writing Challenge



Tell me a story – any story – as long as it’s your own original work. And as long as you tell it in 25 words or less. Post your story on your blog and then hop over here and post the link to it in the “Comments” section of this page. Leave a comment too if you like. And please remember that this blog publishes only material suitable for GP audiences.

Time limit? Let’s say until next Saturday, June 21, at midnight U. S. daylight savings time.

(If you think you just can’t do it in 25 words, try anyway. You just might be surprised, and I promise not to count the words.)

Ready to write?

On your mark …

Get set …






Tell Me A Story Saturday – Writing Challenge – 5/17/14


It’s time for another “Tell Me a Story” Challenge. I always enjoy the 100-word writing challenges very much, and I take part in as many as I can. However, it’s also important to get good practice and exercise in writing short stories that are not “flash fiction” stories, but long enough to allow for the characters and plot to be more fully developed.

That’s why I generally offer a challenge that allows for at least 500 words. This week I am suggesting that the work can be as much as 700 words and still be acceptable.

Your assignment – should you choose to participate – is to “Tell Me A Story” — in prose or poetry either one — that includes the following FOUR things:

1. A Lighthouse



2. Fresh Vegetables



3. A Wooden Indian



4. YOUR CHOICE of a Gun – OR – a Set of Wedding Rings




engage - wedd rings


Be sure and note that you have a choice for the 4th item. Use the gun OR the set of wedding rings, but not both.

Post your story on your own blog and hop over here to leave the link to it in the “Comments” section. Try to come back and check out stories by the other writers as much as you can.

Any length up to 700 words is acceptable, and the challenge will close Saturday, May 24, 2014, at 12:00 Midnight U. S. Central Daylight Savings Time.

Please remember that my blog is G/PG in nature.

Happy Writing!





Story Challenge: A Cow, A Barber, & a Child


Okay, blogging buddies, I’m in the mood for another story challenge this week. Write me a story (or a poem if you prefer) that includes the following:









(Boys or girls, any age)


Word limit: 500 words or less.

Remember that my blog is “G” Rated.

Post your story on your own blog and hop over here and put the link to it in the “Comments” section of this post. Also make any comments you like as well.

Time limit: Challenge will run through next Saturday, May 10, 2014, and will close at 12:00 midnight that night (U.S. Central Daylight Time). But, of course, if you want to post a story any time after the 10th, that’s fine.

Feel free to use any of these pictures with your own story if you’d like to do so.

Happy Writing!






NaPoWriMo – Day 6 – ‘Cutting It Close’



Tongue in cheek, everyone. I know it isn’t quite playing by the rules, but when you’re out of time, you have to ad lib.





If I don’t write a poem today, ’twill be a pity.
But I’m so tired and worn it’s hard to think.
Perhaps if I just hum awhile, I’ll find a ditty.
I feel as though I am right on the brink.

So tra-lala-lala-lala-lala-lala;
Now, just a few more words I need to rhyme.
At last: a poem, just in the nick of time!



NaPoWriMo: Check it out and join the fun.







Writing Challenge: The 25-Word Story



Well, my jolly blogging buddies, I have a new wee challenge for you this morning. Most of us have heard the story that at one point in his career, the writing legend Ernest Hemingway accepted a challenge to write an entire story in just six words. I don’t know that anyone knows the exact details of how that challenge came about, but the 6-word story attributed to him is the following: 

“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

Now, I’m issuing a challenge that is not quite as onerous as the one he met. And, in fact, it’s the same challenge I gave my college-level creative writing students this week: Write a complete story in only 25 words (or less if you prefer). You may choose the subject matter. 

You have one week to accomplish this task. Final post day, April 10 (although I have no objection to your posting a story at any time after that if you feel so inclined). When your story is complete, simply post it on your own blog, then copy and paste a link to it in the “Comments” section of this post.  Leave a comment too if you’d like.

Please be sure to include a link to this post on your own site as well, so that your readers can learn about the challenge and take part too.  And hop over during the week to check out the links to other writers’ stories.

Also, please remember that this site is open to readers of all ages, so it posts absolutely no “R” or “X” rated material. 

If you’re interested in participating but do not have a personal blog, feel free to post your story on your Facebook page or your LinkedIn page. (It’s short enough to go into the update window.) Then copy and paste the link in the “Comments” here.

When I write my own story, I’ll give it a separate post and paste a link here on this page with the rest of yours. 

Are you ready?  Let’s write!








Blog-Festivus 2013 – Day 1 – Ebenezer the Suitor



The creator and host of this challenge is Blogdramedy. Here’s what she has to say about taking part in the challenge:

“Here is it, the start of the Christmas holiday season. This means it must be time forBlogFestivus.

For 2013, we’re going with a Christmas classic. Just to see how far from traditional you bloggers can roam without totally losing the thread of this year’s theme.

Are we ready? Then here are the details.

1. It’s a short challenge. Just 5 stories over 5 days. From December 16 to December 20.

2. You don’t need to come up with a lot of words. Only 200 for each story.

3. This year, we’ll be writing to “A Christmas Carol“ and you can make it a serial story or each piece can stand alone.

Day One: Ebenezer Scrooge
Day Two: Ghost of Christmas Past
Day Three: Ghost of Christmas Present
Day Four: Ghost of Christmas Future
Day Five: Tiny Tim

To mix it up a little, we’ll set the scene in 2013. Your stories can be naughty or nice. Based in reality or totally out there. You decide. It’s your blog. Video and audio posts count.”


So for Day # 1, Here is my Ebeneezer Scrooge story:


Ebenezer had never felt his heart stop beating before. Was that what was happening, or was he just forgetting to breathe? He wasn’t sure, but He did know he was looking at the most beautiful creature he’d ever seen, and he was glad he’d worn the new suit.

“Ebenezer, meet my cousin, Marilee Cratchit,” said Bob.

Marilee extended her hand, and Scrooge took it, becoming submerged in the magical cloud of her cologne. He’d been nervous about attending this party, but since his regeneration on Christmas day last year, he was welcomed everywhere. Right now he felt ten feet off the ground. It seemed being a kind, generous man really was the most important thing in life.

“Ebeneezer, I’ve been dying to meet you,” Marilee cooed. “Come sit with me and talk.”

His heart danced. He was actually going to get another chance at real love.

“What shall we talk about?” he asked her, contemplating ways to express his renewed heart to her.

“Why, your money, of course!” she said. “They say you’re the richest man in this town!”

Disappointed at her words, he answered: “Uh … I don’t know. Is it important?”

“Well it is to me! I’m looking for a rich husband.”

“Marilee,” he said, “let me read you a story by Charles Dickens.”


Here are the other bloggers who are participating in the “Christmas Carol” challenge this year. Check them out:

Amy penning at Fix it or Deal
Tom over at Shouts from the Abyss
Steve from Stevil
Maria-Christina blogging at MCWhispers
Dylan of Treatment of Visions
Sarah from Parent Your Business
Dawn blogging at Lingering  Visions
K8edid from k8edid
Dave bringing it at 1pointperspective
Eileen from Not The Sword But The Pen
Lindsey at RewindRevise
Kandy of Kandy Talk
Natalie from So I Went Undercover
Jen at Blog It or Lose It
Amelie from In the Barberry
Cee Cee blogging at Cee Cee’s Blog
Ashley from LittleWonder2
BD writing Blogdramedy 




Poet on the Loose – 12/8/13 – anything goes

Welcome to the second installment of “Poet On The Loose” poetry writing challenge. This time around, anything goes: You can write a poem with meter and rhyme, a poem with rhyme but no meter, a poem with meter but no rhyme, or free verse. Take your pick – or try all of the forms.

Basics Rules:
Write a poem based on the picture below. Post your poem on your own blog and then post the link to it in the “Comments” section on this page. We’ll let the challenge run until next Sunday, December 15.

I’ll try to come up with one of my own, but to get us started, I decided to post a poem my mother wrote many years ago. It has always been one of my favorites, and it fits this photo very well. It’s below the picture. This particular photo is not mine, but is from a purchased collection. I’ve always found it charming, especially the way the sunlight warms the whole scene.

Here’s your prompt. Have fun.

CAT # 1

Now I’m safe high up in this tree
Or could he be fooling me?
He’s gone away far too soon;
Hardly ever leaves ’til noon.

Oh, to bark or snarl or chase
Would take that grin off of his face.
Or if I were a bumble bee,
Bet that cat would be afraid of me!

One little wren don’t have a chance
When that arched back starts to prance.
But I will figure how, some day,
To make him prance the other way.

Oh, for two horns – like a bull;
I’d show him just who had pull.
Or if I were a bumble bee,
Bet that cat would be afraid of me!

Just like a snake in the grass,
Lie and wait for him to pass.
Or to buzz around his ears
Would show up some of his cat fears.

Oh, to sting him on the nose
Sure would keep him on his toes.
Yes, if I were a bumble bee,
That darn cat would be afraid of me!

© Vera Faye Pavloff




Wishin’ — My Take on the ‘Poet On The Loose’ Poetry Challenge

Here’s my first attempt at meeting my own poetry challenge. Hopefully, before the week is up, I can come up with something a little more substantial. But, if not, at least I made sure it has meter and rhyme.



Just sittin’ here awishin’
That I could go fishin’;
That way I’d be missin’
Doin’ all this here work.

But iffen’ I was fishin’,
There’d be no commission;
Room and board I’d be missin’;
So this work I can’t shirk.

Check out the post with the rules for this challenge here:


Poet On The Loose: Poetry Challenge 11/14/13

Hey, I’m in the mood for some fun today, so I’m issuing a new poetry challenge. The picture below is of a stained glass creation by a very dear friend of mine, Dorothy Mercer, who is now 92 years old.

She has led a most interesting and happy life, traveling the world and serving her hometown community in many beneficial roles. Making stained glass ornaments was a favorite hobby of hers for many years, and she has made pounds of it for family and friends. This piece is very dear to me, and I thought to capture it in a photo the other day as it hung on my kitchen wall.


But today, because I’m in a playful mood, I’ve decided to work at creating a poem about this piece. With that decision came this thought: why not invite everyone else to come over and play as well? So I’m inviting all my readers to jump in and have some fun with me.

Here’s the challenge:

Write a rhyming, metered poem based on this stained glass ornament. It can be about the piece itself or about some idea, dream, memory, or event that it brings to your mind. You may use any meter and rhyme scheme that you wish – but – IT MUST HAVE BOTH A DEFINITE METER AND RHYME.  No blank verse allowed.

Once you’ve written your poem and posted it on your blog, hop over here and leave your link in the comments section — along with any comments you want to make. I’ll share them all with Dorothy next time I get to visit her.

Feel free to download the picture and use it with your poem on your own site.

This challenge will close on November 28th.

(Now that I’ve issued this challenge, I hope I can come up with a poem. When I do, I’ll give it its own post and come back here and put the link in the comments section with the rest of them.)

I’m looking forward to some good poetry reading.



Tell Me A Story – Writing Challenge – Week 2

It’s time for the second week of the new writing challenge: “Tell Me A Story.”

Rules are simple:

1.  Tell a story inspired by this photo.

2.  Tell it in 50-500 words.

3.  Make sure it’s fitting for this “G” rated blog.

4.  Be sure to post the link to your story in my “Comments” section below.

5. This week’s challenge will run through Friday, September 27.



Tell Me A Story – New Writing Challenge

Okay, my dear readers, it’s time for a new challenge to your imagination and creativity! “Tell Me A Story” is my new writing challenge for all of you talented people, and it has only 3 rules:

  1. Tell me a story inspired by the picture below. You can use anywhere between 50 and 500 words.
  2. Make sure your story is appropriate for this “G” rated blog.
  3. If you use the photo with your story, be sure and link to Bob Mielke’s blog“Northwest Photographer” – because he is the terrific photographer who gave me permission to use his photo.

I’ll post a new challenge next Saturday, so try to get your story in by next Friday. And DON’T FORGET TO LEAVE the LINK TO YOUR STORY in my “Comments” section.

Have fun.


June Writing Challenge: More Graphic Art From Terry

Terry Valley had such a great time reading all of your stories from the last writing challenge based on his graphic art that he has sent me another picture – the result of further graphic art work by him. But he wants me to make it clear that he did not actually draw this picture. Rather, he took portions of other works and put them together to create this composite picture. One of his favorite artists is Gustave Dore, whose work is now in public domain in the U. S., and the main characters in this picture come from Dore’s work.

Terry also shared his original intent for the picture and explained what it means to him, but I have posted that well below the picture itself. That way, any of you who want to try your hand at responding to the writing challenge can be free to process what the picture inspires in you and write your story before you read Terry’s purpose and meaning behind it. Or – feel free to read his explanation first.

 If you’d like to accept the challenge and write a story, just post it on your blog, come over here, and post your link in the “Comments” section below.

Word Limit is 100-500 words.

No time limit: Write when you feel inspired.

Take your liberty with ideas, but please remember this is a “G” rated blog, so all stories must adhere to that rating. I hope we have a lot of response, and I’m eager to read all the stories. Also, I guess I’d better try to write one as well.

Here’s Terry’s artwork:



Terry’s Explanation of What the Picture Means to Him:

“The picture is meant to portray the seriousness of our existence. We are not our own, despite the human pride that says otherwise. We belong to God who created us. If we do not realize this in this life, it will become terrifyingly clear to us at death. The scene shows a human being after his death at the portal to his eternal destiny, represented by a gate set in the unbounded vastness of eternity.

He is on his knees, hands raised in desperate terror, pleading with the giant spiritual being before him who guards the gate to eternity and is pointing at the formerly complacent human being who now realizes – too late –that his complacency has doomed him to eternal fire – which is perilously close and licks all around him and the Angel of the Gate, the Death Angel.

To make the man’s grief and predicament all the worse, in the far distance, behind him, can be seen a single bright star, which represents the glorious and joyous destiny that could have been his. The star is behind him, as is his life on earth; he turned his back on the glorious future that could have been his, if he had not wasted his life on himself instead of living for the One — Jesus — who created him for Himself.

This is the moment of moments in his entire life, the one, last moment that decides his destiny for all eternity. But in truth, that destiny was decided long before, while he was still alive on earth. Now it is too late. Judgment has been set – and it cannot be changed.

That may sound like a lot to see in a single picture, but that is why it was created and what I hope it portrays and communicates.”


Experimental Writing Challenge

Okay, I just can’t resist this. I love writing challenges, even though I don’t get to keep up with all of them.  A couple weeks ago, I began thinking about one particular piece of graphic art done by a friend that should spark several good ideas for stories. But, of course, no one else is going to use that photo for a challenge, so I decided I might as well do it myself.

Now, many of my blogging friends are involved in so many of these kinds of activities, they may not have time to add another — and that’s okay. Believe me, I do understand. However, for any of you out there who are looking for one more little adventure in the world of cyberspace writing, I’m going to offer this challenge.

For this time around, I’m suggesting you post your story on your own blog and then come to my comments section and post the link to it — with any other comments you want to make. If this should develop into something regular with a lot of people taking part, and it starts to get too crowded, I’ll FORCE myself to get more sophisticated and sign up for the “inlinkz” system or something similar. But for now, if you want to share your story, just post the link in the ‘Comments’ section below the challenge post.

Now for rules:  Uhhggg!

Only two rules:
1. Write a story inspired by the picture — 100-500 words in length.
2. I host a “G” rated blog, so please be sure your story is clean and wholesome enough to be read by any audience — in other words — Rated G.

And if it should transpire that no one is eager to take up this challenge, there’s no harm done. I’m just feeling a little whimsical this evening, and this is the result. Come to think of it, that’s the way I felt when I posted the “Thursday’s Windows” challenge originally — and look where that led!  If we do have a good turnout of stories, perhaps I’ll post a new challenge each month, but I’ll wait and see how this one goes.

Now for the picture: Some of you will recognize this work from a previous post on this site. It is by Terry Valley, a professional photographer and graphic artist friend in the U. S.  It clearly lends itself to a science fiction theme, but please don’t feel constrained to stick with that. I don’t doubt that many will be inspired to go a different route all together.

TERRY'S GREEN PLANET 2 - resized, credits

Of course, I guess this means I’ll have to write a story inspired by the picture as well. Hmmm. I don’t have any ideas yet, but I’ll work on it, and when I get one, I’ll post my link on here as well.

No time limit. If you’re inclined to take part, take your time and have fun.