Saturday, February 25, 2012

#AtoZchallenge Fiction and Call for Writing Prompts

 All A to Z participants have  some or the other plan for how they're going to meet the challenge. Like last year, I'll be doing fiction, based on prompts left by commenters.
Since this year I'll have hosting duties, I hope to pre-schedule at least some of the posts. 
So I'm requesting you, our blogging audience, to challenge me with an interesting picture that you would like me to write on, and drop me story starters, each sentence/phrase beginning with a different letter (i.e. the first word of the starter must start with a different letter from A to Z).  Last year this brought me to A to Z Stories of Life and Death. I hope I write enough stories this year to do another collection.
You can drop me the prompts in the comments on this post. Of course, when I post each prompt during April, I'll link to you and explain why I chose it. You may also mail me the pictures and story prompts at atozstories at gmail dot com.You need not be participating in the A to Z Challenge to challenge me with either a story starter, or a picture, or both. The more the merrier! Last year I had asked for word prompts, and I got loads to choose from! This year, I'm taking it a step further.

As a sort of warm-up and illustration of what I hope to do, I'm pasting below a picture, a story starter( both randomly chosen) and the resulting story.

Story starter: I can no longer... 



I can no longer fit in small corner spaces. 

My body lurches as I run up the stairs, my joints have not been oiled in years, and my feet make thumping noises in tune with my overwrought heart. My breath wheezes, and I'm sure you can hear it from downstairs, where you count up to hundred, your face to the wall. I try hiding behind a cupboard, but my belly and my behind jiggle this way and that, and I know you would spot one or the other. I try hiding under the bed, but can only go in as far as my shoulder. I sneak behind the curtains, but they billow around me, calling to you. 

In the end, I stand amongst the clothes hanging in the changing room. As I hear the patter of your feet, your squealed warnings, and whispered threats, I squeeze my eyes tight shut and breathe the paint on the wall, rubbing the softness of my old cotton dress between my thumbs.

I think of yesterday, when you could have fit anywhere at all, but instead chose to hide your face against the wall. 'How can you see me Granny,' you said when I got you, your pigtails flying, your eyes trembling with unshed tears, 'when I can see nothing at all?'

I'll let you teach me, I decide, as I relax my grip on my dress. You walk past me in my search. 

Between you and me there's only the cloak of a few years, a hundred wrinkles, and a few dozen pounds. Wearing these, I hide from you in plain sight, and as it turns out, from my self.

By Damyanti Biswas, co-host #atozchallenge


Arlee Bird said...

Wow! Damyanti, you are an amazing teller of stories. This is beyond beautiful. I think you will give your readers another amazing ride this year during the A to Z Challenge.

An A to Z Co-Host
Tossing It Out
Twitter: @AprilA2Z

Jessica Salyer said...

Can't wait to see where this takes you. Wonderfully written.

Christine Rains said...

I loved that! It was beautifully written.

Here's a story starter that was inspired something my toddler said the other day: The moon was broken.

MISH said...

A heart-warming piece.
Here's a story starter: Words were bubbles of love pierced by the needles of scorn...

I mailed some pictures to you. Enjoy!
Countdown continues... 35 days to go...

Tina said...

WOW. We've all been running hell-bent for leather (never did understand the expression, but I think this is a situation where it fits) and I sorta forgot that most of us are writers. This piece amazed me. I just was drawn in immediately. I don't know how you managed to put so many layers in such a short piece. Amazing talent. I'm looking forward to reading your challenge stories. And of course, now I need a copy of the book that resulted from last year's stories. You rock, girlfriend.
Tina @ Life is Good

Co-Host of the April 2012 Blogging from A to Z Challenge


Shannon Lawrence said...

Wonderful piece! So bittersweet, so much wrapped up in a short piece.

A starter my son uttered a few minutes ago: "How will we ever get out of here?"

Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

T. Powell Coltrin said...

A great piece and a great plan for A-Z!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You are the master of this, Damy!

Rick said...

Nice work!

Unknown said...

Wow D. I'm speechless. This is fantastic and I'm so forty I missed your blog at last year's challenge.I'll send something too.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the kind words, everyone. Special thanks to all of you who have left me a prompt, be it a phrase or pictures.

I need phrases with each letter, and I'm hoping folks would help me with story-starters with letters like X and Z. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Damyanti .. well done - you've captured the spirit of life - and I love the reviews on Amazon .. I'll be thinking about XYZ for you .. cheers Hilary

sjp said...

An amazing and unique portrayal of the age old game of hide and seek, brilliant twist to something so simple.

Lauren said...

I would love to read a story that was prompted by this picture:

It's been haunting me for a while, and I'd like to hear your take on it!