Tag Archives: Trifecta Writing Challenge

Saying Goodbye to a Friend (with the help of Classic TV)


I would be remiss if I didn’t take a minute today to say goodbye to a friend. An entity really. If you’ve been reading ODNT for a while, you might remember the Trifecta writing challenges I used to participate in pretty regularly. Long story short, Trifecta is an obsessed-with-all-things-in-threes website run by a handful of literary aficionados in the hopes of inspiring ambitious, fledgling writers.

And inspire it did.

I’ve never seen a writing link-up with a larger, more constant and fiercely loyal following. There, I was introduced to scores of great people including (yep, you guessed it) my friend and frequent writing partner, Mel at AccordingToMags.com. Additionally, Trifecta also prompted me to write several slices of flash fiction of which I’m especially proud. Among them …


Oh, and if you’re looking for a new link-up…

Check out KetchupWithUs!

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Hosted by fellow Trifectan Mel and myself on the 1st and 15th of every month, KetchupWithUs is always flexible and always fun. Stop by when you can. One of our link-ups might just be live right now.


So thanks for the inspiration and the great company, Trifecta. I wish you guys good luck in whatever your future endeavors may be. And now, while you ride off into the sunset, I’m going to play you out with one of the biggest closing themes of all time. In the (36, so close to your beloved 33) words of Carol Burnett …

I’m so glad we had this time together
Just to have a laugh, or sing a song
Seems we just get started and before you know it
Comes the time we have to say “So long”

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The 7 Things I Envy About My Mother


Athleticism. We all know I have none. I’ve never scored a home run or a turkey or anything like that in my life. But she has. I guess that’s where Vivien gets it from.

Self-discipline. She eats anything she wants, always in moderation, and manages to stay slim. I’ve watched her break a Nutter Butter in half and wrap up the remaining portion for later. While I slug back five. With chocolate milk. And extra peanut butter slathered on top.

Talent. Alright, fine. I have some of my own. But I’m talking about piano here. Like her own mother and grandmother, she plays circles around me. And always will.

Spirituality. Yes, I have my beliefs. But I’m just not as firmly rooted in them as she is. And sometimes I think that blind faith would offer a pretty amazing comfort in my life.

Career. Even after becoming a mother, she never stopped working. I chose to quit. No regrets. But I have so much respect for the fact that she did everything I’ve done all these years while also holding down a job at the same time.

Drive. Whatever she wants to do, she does it. Even if she can only take a baby step each day to get there. She will always reach her finish line. Always.

Mentorship. She’s been a teacher her whole life. For everything from English, Literature, French, Fine Arts and Music. I’ve even seen her teach Latin to my son, although she never actually took the class herself. Some people just have that innate ability. And she is one of them.

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I love you, Mom

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This post was written in response to two writing prompts. (Go, me.) The first is from MamaKat who asks us to list 7 qualities your mother has that you wish you had, too. And the second is from TrifectaWriting who asks us to write something in 333 words or less using the following word & definition : turkey – three successive strikes in bowling.

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Of Pomp, Of Circumstance and Of Dean


He … has all the nerve.

He … stands firm on the ground underneath him.

I … am reticent.

I … am scared, needy.

How will I ever make it through?

It is quite the paradigm shift.

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My boy and me on his 7th grade trip to D.C. last February. With Lincoln, with Washington & with the very residence where I’ll be visiting him about 40 years.

He’ll be the nicest one we’ve ever had.

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Congratulations, Dean. Class of 2013.

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This weekend’s Trifecta assignment? “We are asking for exactly 33 words, 30 of your own and three of the following: topple paradigm underneath nerve honey loop”

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An Ode to 1983


Here’s my goofy, little entry for this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge. I often go with the first idea that pops into my head.  This was one of those times.

RULES: All entries must be between 33 and 333 words and need to include the following word using its third definition:

clean (adjective)

1: free from dirt or pollution
2: unadulterated, pure
3 a : free from moral corruption or sinister connections of any kind <a candidate with a clean record>

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A year in the life of my childhood

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The year was 1983

The times? They were so simple

Cabbage patch dolls everywhere

So hideously-dimpled

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Reagan was the president

And Swatch entered the scene

As did jellies, Rubik’s cubes,

And McNuggets as cuisine

*

My fashion was inspired by

Madonna, Flashdance, Lauper

‘Cause MTV was everywhere

So I looked like a pauper

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The music was my favorite

Boom box on every shoulder

From Dexy, Prince or Men at Work

(It so sucks getting older)

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For film, we had The Outsiders,

Big Chill and Valley Girl

And Vacation with Chevy Chase

Gave the Griswolds to the world

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But I was still a little girl

My parents weren’t mean

They just wanted to be sure

What I saw and heard was clean

*

Enter Mr. Cosby

And his one-man show ‘Himself’

I must have pulled it fifty times

Off our VHS tape shelf

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The jokes, they were all perfect

The dentist chair he faked

I won’t forget the joke about

“Dad gave us chocolate cake!”

*

Thank you for the memories

Of this, a lifetime chapter

But most of all I thank you, Bill

For all my family’s laughter

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My Trifecta for Trifecta – it’s the last one this weekend, I promise!


I had one more idea that I really couldn’t resist putting to paper (or screen … as it were) for this weekend’s Trifextra Challenge. This organization is all about threes anyway, so why not write a third (and final?) entry?  Let’s review the rules: The submission needs to be 33 words exactly and it should best demonstrate (of all entries) the proper use for an exclamation point

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Trifextra Entry #3 – The Audition

Jack: You can’t handle the truth?

Director: Good.  That’s very good, Mr. Nicholson.  But do you think you could try it again?  Only this time … you’re furious.

Jack: YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!

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And now, just for fun, let’s take a look at that memorable scene. That’s good stuff …

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And now for a harder writing assignment … Hunger Games – The Prequel


The Trifecta Weekly Challenge is a lot more complicated (for ME anyway) than the abbreviated weekend version we played a few days ago.  The difference is that I have more time and more words with which to work. The rules are pretty simple: All entries must be between 33 and 333 words. In addition, they must include the following word as defined by its third definition:

vulgar (adj) \ˈvəl-gər\ 

1: generally used, applied, or accepted

2: vernacular <the vulgar name of a plant>

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I opted to write a prequel to the book I’m reading right now. Actually, that’s a lie … because I’m not reading Hunger Games anymore.  I just finished that book and have now begun reading its sequel, the second in the trilogy, entitled Catching Fire. The following passage (which I struggled to edit to 332 words) is intended to serve as a prequel to the entire trilogy.  I tried to write it to appease both the Hunger Games expert as well as the newbie.  Who knows?  Maybe I’ll even score some new readers to the series for author Suzanne Collins.  You’re welcome, Ms. Collins.  Your books have enveloped me.

Hunger Games – The Prequel

I entered the square with my mother and sister, Prim.  She was only 7 and, thanks to a mine explosion that claimed the lives of many, she would now grow up with little memory of the honorable man I knew as our father. The three of us stood there, paralyzed alongside the other families who had also lost a loved one.

I’ve never seen so many people at the Justice Building for anything other than the reaping.  Now eleven, I shuddered, realizing that next year I would be eligible for this barbaric annual ritual.  It was the Capitol’s way of keeping us, the inhabitants of Panem’s 12 districts, in our places since the bloody, failed attempt at an uprising seventy years earlier.

I swallowed hard, tasting bile in my throat.  I knew my name would be in that glass bowl, along with all other 12 to 18 year olds in District 12.  We would file in, be herded by age and wait, breathlessly, as a girl’s then a boy’s name was selected, sentencing them to an almost certain death at the hands of another child.

Effie Trinket was the Capitol’s representative for District 12.  As long as I can remember, I’ve watched her bony hand pluck name after name out of that infamous bowl.  But today she was here for a different reason.  Today, she was here, along with a paltry showing of other heartless Capitol representatives, to bid farewell to the victims.

I could feel her staring me down, searching for any sign of weakness at my father’s death.  Those from the Capitol have always been fascinated by our emotions, as they were reprogrammed years ago to have them deleted from their consciousness. As such, they perceived our displays as common, vulgar even, and found it mesmerizing whenever this imperfection was exhibited publicly.

But I wouldn’t give Effie the satisfaction today.  I stared at her with the same steely eyes that I knew she would reflect back at me if my name was ever pulled from that bowl.

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Wanna read a PREQUEL to the prequel? Click here.

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