Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Fifth Prompt

NOTE: As stated in the previous prompt post, I need an alarm, or a calendar or something. I have been writing nearly every day and yet still have not been active on this blog. It's not a good thing. This exercise is meant to start the creative juices flowing before work you begin work for the day, and I've neglected it (and, sadly, it shows). I'll try to do better. For now ... here we go.

It has been suggested to me that, as an exercise to warm up the creative juices, each day before I sit down to work in my current work in progress I should spend fifteen minutes writing in a "stream of consciousness" manner on a given prompt.

What this means is ... find a writing prompt, set a timer, write whatever comes to mind based on that writing prompt within the time allotted. Don't worry about editing and you go. Don't worry about grammar, punctuation, or spelling. Just write it and allow your creativity to flow.

(I should mention, this type of "by the seat of my pants" writing is the complete opposite from how I normally work. I am a very strict and rigid outliner.)

So ... this is my plan for the winter of 2016-2017. Each day before I go to work on my work in progress, I will select a prompt at random and write whatever comes to mind. I won't edit, I won't worry about typos, grammar or punctuation. I'll just write.

Then I'll post what I write here.

It promises to be an interesting exercise. So without further ado, here is today's prompt:

As humanity sends its first manned expedition beyond the orbit of earth, it discovers that humans are actually immortal, but "Mother Earth" is actually a living organism that has been consuming their life force to survive.

The space cruiser Tyson hurdled through space.

"Wait," Captain Campbell said. "Can a space cruiser 'hurdle' through space?"

"What do you mean?" Major Bell asked.

"I mean. Can anything hurdle through space? Hurdling connotes jumping. Right? We're not 'jumping' through space. There is nothing to jump over in space. It's space."

"It doesn't matter," Bell said.

"It does too. Generations of people are going to listen to that log. They're going to analyze it. Dissect it. Try to understand every minute occurrence and criticize every decision. We haven't even made it to Mars yet and already you're filling their heads with visual inaccuracies."

"Fine. What would you have me say instead."

"I don't know, but not hurdle. What about ..." Campbell paused. Shot his glance around the flight deck. Tapped several instrument panels. Read-outs.

"Everything okay?" Bell asked.

"Did you feel that?" Campbell's voice shook.

Bell glanced sidelong at Campbell. "You feeling okay, Captain?"

"It's just ... I swear my ears popped and it felt like a string wrapped around my spine was pulling me backward. Taut. Then it snapped."

"I didn't feel anything," Bell said, but his hand reached behind him, rubbed the small of his back in the same spot Campbell felt the tension in his own body.

"You're sure?" Campbell asked. He switched the monitor to broadcast ship-wide. "Jones. Martinez. You getting anything strange back there?"

"Ears popped for a second, Cap," Jones's voice echoed over the speaker. "You thinking hull problems already?"

"I'm not sure. Better check it out just in case. Get back to me."

Bell was still rubbing his back, his forehead creased, "I might be feeling something now," he said. Then his entire body jerked forward in his seat, his head smacked the control panel.

"You alright?" Campbell asked, leaning forward, putting his finger to Bell's neck, checking for pulse.

"Fine," Bell said. "Fine. I don't know. It was like you said, like a rubber band snapping."

"We've got it now, Cap," Jones's voice echoed over the speaker once more. "Like we were breaking loose of something. What do you think it is?"

"No idea," Campbell said. "Finish your sweep of the ship. Let me know if you find any anomalies."

"Roger, Cap."

Campbell turned to Bell. "You okay?"

"Yeah," Bell said. "I feel ... fine." Bell rubbed his hands over his face. Twisted a finger in each ear. Said, "Better than fine, actually. I'd been feeling a little apprehensive of being this far from home, but ... I don't know. Somehow, it's like all that's gone away."

Okay. 16 minutes (I went a little over to finish the thought). 425 words. That's only 26.5 words per minute, but not bad considering it's not dictation or transcribing.