Monday March 19th, 2012

The exercise:

Let's see what you can do with: tumbling.

Sorry for any confusion yesterday, but the theme week didn't start then. As a matter of fact, it doesn't start today either. It starts tomorrow.

With Two Haiku Tuesday.

Don't worry, if you're not up to starting a story with two haiku I will have a second option. Personally, I think it's a fun challenge - but I've been known to be a little crazy sometimes.

Also: if you're new (or just want to reminisce), I've added a link to previous theme weeks down on the right side, just above the Previous Writing Prompts cloud. Which has become rather large without me noticing.


Once seemingly secure,
Now stumbling, bumbling,
Tumbling  down.

In blackest silence,
No anger, nor screaming, nor tears,
Nary a frown.

Without warning,
Approaching faster than thought,
An unwanted birth.

With fiery thunder,
With burning fury, with scorched lips,
Star kisses Earth.


Greg said...

I admit, I was expecting theme week to start today, but thinking about it, it probably makes sense to start with two-haiku Tuesday since the haiku are often the hardest things to make fit with the theme. I'm looking forward to it!
There's a lot of power in your poem! I'd quite like to hear this performed (well, somewhere other than inside my own head) as I think it would have quite an impact on an audience. The last line is spot on (and would make a pretty good prompt in its own right...), though I think everything's well-chosen.
Great stuff!

INT. CIRCUS SCHOOL, DAYTIME. Eight small children are in a large room being supervised by a clown with a whip. There are black-and-white pictures of miserable clowns on the wall, and a motto is painted is foot-high letters at the end of the room: Bruises are God's kisses.

Faster! Faster, you little brats! Tumbling is easy, even babies can do it. Now, line up, and then tumble from the left.

My arm hurts.

Good. Try to make the other arm hurt as much.

I think it's broken.

Then break the other one! This is tumbling children. All the best tumblers have suffered for their art. When Davidov tumbled from the Empire State Building the crowds cheered for hours –

He died.

(as though she'd not interrupted)
– and when Celine tumbled from the Golden Gate Bridge they stopped the traffic for a week!

She died.

Everyone dies, you depressing little cow.

Everyone here dies.

Cathryn Leigh said...

@Marc – I like your poem and agree with Greg about the last line.
@Greg – *shudder* I do not like your clown.

Anyway, Rachael’s a little miffed (my word not hers, let me tell you) that you weren’t clearer on when this all started. She’s determined to have me continue though, because gosh darn it (again I paraphrase) she’s not going to let two Haiku disrupt her. Though we don’t have any sentient cats to help with them this time. :}

Rachael’s Childhood
Chapter 2: Tumbling

Rachael woke with a start. Something was amiss. She wasn’t quite sure what it was until she realized that she wasn’t exactly on her bed. In fact she seemed to be floating above it.

“MOMMY!” She was both thrilled and terrified. She could hear her brother crying in the next room.

“Sorry folks,” Captain Robert’s voice came over the intercom system. “It seems I didn’t get all the glitches out of the artificial gravity system. We may be weightless for a while.”

Weightless?, Rachael thought. It was a concept she’d been told about, and seen pictures and movies of, but never experienced.

“I told you we should have had the kids practice,” she heard her father as the door whooshed open. He grinned at her. “Move slowly and pretend you’re swimming.”

“Can’t swim,” she pouted.

“Well now’s a good time to learn.”

Rachael tried to pull of her covers only to have herself speeding away from them and into the wall. Arm hooked to something outside the room, her dad caught her as she ricocheted back.

“Small moves,” he told her chuckling.

It wasn’t long before Rachael had it figured out and was doing all sorts of impossible tumbling for her brother’s amusement. She was bummed when the Captain got the gravity unit working, but you can’t cook a meal in zero G.

Krystin Scott said...

Well Shoot! Today's response is kind of a bust, I tried a shaped poem, the shape was a service "rank". Which kind of looks like > but it's not showing up very well. managed to throw the prompt in there somewhere and added to yesterdays just for fun.


In academy she was set apart
Colonel Chloe Rayne is very smart
She has a strong and devoted heart
And displays authority from the start
To think her weak would be a mistake
For surely your arms she’d break
Her combat skills are the best
She has beaten all the rest

But on this particular morning
Her face carried a distinct warning
The boots on her feet were not yet tied
Adding a stomping type noise to her stride
Her bun was loose, blond curls sent tumbling
And about the frigid cold she was mumbling
Laughing aloud most would not advise
Irritating an officer is not often wise

Krystin Scott said...

The shape came out better on my blog If you care to see what I was trying to do.....

Watermark said...

@Marc: I love your poem! Very deep!

@Greg: yikes! I'd be leaving when that circus comes to town!

@Cathryn: that made me smile :)

@Krystin: ah a tender and human moment to a rough exterior :)

Here's mine which I must admit was quite lazy of me but those were the 4 lines that kept coming to me and I know it's quite brief but words are just not forthcoming! Looking forward to Haiku Tuesday though :)


A series of emotions
Leaves me fumbling for more
Tumbling through memories
Hitting right to the core.

Anonymous said...


The prompt was entitled Tumbling.
I didn't know what to write. It didn't gel with me. Nothing triggered, like it usually did.
I had zip, nada, diddly.
I slept on it and still nothing.
I felt like Elaine on that Seinfeld episode where she had writer's block about the Himalayan Walking Shoe. Maybe I should be writing up that "Blocked" prompt right now, 'cause that was me - blocked. 

Then a new day dawned.
I went walking along the sea shore. It was wild and angry waves came in, rumbling, tumbling, seeking passage to shore, each one vying for position among the rocks. 
The wind was cleansing, flushing out the early morning cobwebs in my brain, but it wasn't cold.
Oh no, it was balmy and I know it, along with my aching hips and the growing cloud cover, confirms a truth for me - it is going to rain mightily.
I stopped and typed up my notes en-route; thank goodness for my iPhone.

I walked home to the tune of the Beatles singing "Here Come the Sun". Such optimism!

Krystin Scott said...

@ writebite - awesome and inspirational. Makes me want to go to the shore but its to far to walk so I settle for gardening with seagulls flying overhead.

@ watermark - poems need not be long to have great meaning to the right reader. Happy to have you join us.

@ cathryn - what story is rachael from? I need to read the phoenix sometimes i feel like im being left out.

@greg - as if clowns didnt freak me out before, now im down right paranoid. Your take on the prompts is always so unique. Im glad you're one of the first to post, well except for the continuations prompts. i think for the next one of them ill get up at 3 am :)

Marc- when I wake on wednesday it will be time for your tuesday haiku. Im feeling a bit excited as the anticipation of the challenge builds.

Aaron said...

Hello Marc! It's good to be back writing again. I wondered why there didn't seem to be a theme and also why Greg opted out of the theme, it's because he's smart:P I really liked your poem today. I continued the story, it's kind of an experiment in first person POV.

Walking, walking, walking. The controls of everything must be on the other side of the world. One foot, other foot, one, two, one two. The swish of my shorts and the echo of my footsteps has become a lullaby. Walk-a-by baby in the endless hall, at least you're not dreaming again of the fall. This is insane, I'm done. I am not going to keep following "Robes" until I die of sleep deprivation. But I can't stop, not yet. He said my every wish would come true and in a way that is my wish. I always wish for a wish. My life is not what I thought it would be. I thought after college, things would be different. They aren't. If last names were given based on emotion mine would be Lonely. I guess I should be grateful it's just Huckabee, Jonah Huckabee. My feet can't do this much longer. I need a break. My dreams are a few feet away. One foot, two foot, black foot, blue foot. But my head is drifting around my shoulders like day dreams. Dreams. That's my first wish to never fall in any dreams ever again. I'll wish I can fly. Yeah. One zoom, two zoom, all the way to the moon zoom. When did I close my eyes? I jerk my head up, eyes open. Robes is gone. When? I start to run and my legs cry no, but my heart yells proceed! There are no doors, no turns, basically no hope of escape. Only forward. He has to be just a little further. My legs aren't working. I have to stop running. I am so tired. I'll just rest for a second, then I'll run again. I lean into the wall, it's the first time I've touched anything besides the floor. Nothing is there, I try to move backwards but it's too late and I'm too dull. Suddenly, I'm falling just like in my dreams. Tumbling ass over face. Down into darkness and nothing. I guess I'll finally see what's at the bottom. Strange, without a bottom to look down on, falling feels just like flying.
"Welcome, Jonah, welcome to the controls."

Anonymous said...

@Greg - It is clear you understand clowns and cut right to the chase. Very nice.

As to the prompt I take no responsibilty for this. I saw the word and this image leapt into my mind. After the fact I realized that yesterday's prompt (which I missed) had jumped in their of it's own volition. Some days the mind is a mysterious place.


Well. This surely isn't how I had hoped things would turn out I can tell you that for certain. At least I'm not feeling nauseous which tells me the new implant is working properly but what a heck of a way to test it out. doesn't look like controls are responding at all which suggests that they must have hit something vital and right when it looked like I was going to nail that little bugger to boot.

It's funny but the stars certainly don't seem to be nearly as interesting when you can't get a good fix on them because your spinning and twirling and tumbling around like some kind of giant deranged dodecahedron.

You know what strikes me as a really good idea at this point? Putting an astromech droid in these bloody things so that they could maybe take up the slack when something goes haywire. I'm sure that if I mention it to the emperor he'll be happy to implement it as soon as they rework the repair bays on the Death St---Oh crap. Well, never mind that idea. it would seem that the whole 'grabby movey' force power
that good old Sidious taught me is a matter of relativity because with nothing to compare it to I'm not having any luck 'grabbing' my ship and stopping it from all this tumbling and spinning and...oh stomach is starting to feel funny.

This is not going to end well.

Anonymous said...

A note: That apostrophe that jumped into the 'its' up in my preamble is a thing of evil. It lurks in my hindbrain from time to time and occasionally leaps out into real space just to drive gammarians crazy (and make me wonder why/how/when it got into my head in the first place). On second thought maybe I'm like one of those really big dinosaurs that had advanced nerve bundles in their joints to take the load off their tiny brains and I've got two living in my wrists that occasionally seize control of my fingers and try their hand at typing even though *they* don't know grammar. Sigh.

Aaron said...

Greg I really liked your sketch. It made me chuckle:)
Cathryn- you have a whimsical soul that is as cute as your writing.
Kristyn- what a bad ass
writebite- i miss the ocean thanks for the poetic trip.
Grondzilla- lol I think you're awesome!

Marc said...

Greg - thanks very much, I was quite happy with how it came together.

That's quite the school. Somehow I suspect that Whip-Clown won't be the only instructor we're introduced to :)

Cathryn - I would love to learn to swim in Zero G! The removal of the ability to drown would do wonders for me...

Krystin - I think that works as a great introduction to your character :)

Watermark - thanks!

Sometimes four lines are all you need. I think this is one of those times.

Writebite - love it. Makes me want to take a walk along the beach and let the waves inspire me too :)

Krystin (again) - I'm so pleased you're looking forward to it!

Aaron - ha, no worries. I should have been clearer, but I was trying to avoid giving away that the fun begins on Tuesday... lesson learned!

Brilliant stuff. Love the stream of consciousness and the rhyming you slipped in there.

GZ - most days my mind is a mysterious place :D

Haha, fun piece. The 'grabby movey' bit cracked me right up.

Also: haha, I can relate to that :D