Rowyn (rowyn) wrote,

Writing exercises: from Beetiger & Howard Tayler

beetiger gave me a great writing assignment! ‘Describe an ordinary human activity, like eating breakfast, to an alien.’ <3 So I’m doing it first.


"Hello!" Iklchix said to me as I stepped out of my bedroom. The tiny alien was inside his encounter suit, which looked like a creation of spun yellow glass, hovering under the power of three pairs of thin rapidly beating wings and overlaid with a harness of black straps.

“Good morning, Iklchix.”

“That’s Iklchix.”


“What are you going to do now, Rowyn?”

“Eat breakfast.”

“What’s that?”

“The first meal of the day.”

“What’s a meal?”

This could take a while. “Food?” I went into the kitchen and opened the freezer.

“Ah, sustenance! I must replenish my nutrient bath periodically because the nutrients of Earth’s atmosphere are inappropriate for my species. But this is your homeworld; surely the nutrients in its atmosphere are suitable for you?”

“Um. Suitable, but not sufficient." I debated trying to explain that humans don't consider oxygen a nutrient, and decided it was too early in the morning for that. "I have to eat additional nutrients or I run out of energy.” I opened a box of Toaster Scrambles and slid two onto a plate.

“Eat?” Iklchix hovered over the plate. A green analytical beam washed over it from one of the encounter suit’s translucent tentacle-arms.

“Consume?” I put the plate into the microwave and set it to nuke for 25 seconds.

“You consume frozen solids?”

“Sometimes. I’m going to heat this up first, though. It’s only frozen to preserve it.”

“How do you consume frozen solids?”

“I put them in my mouth and then swallow them. The same way I consume all food, actually.”

“You put it in your mouth? But you use your mouth for talking!”

“Not while I’m eating, I don’t. Anyway, it doesn’t stay in my mouth; that’s the swallowing part.” I took the plate out of the microwave and carried it to the toaster oven.

“You put all of that inside your body? Doesn’t that hurt?” A red analytical beam from a different tentacle arm studied my toaster scrambles before I slid them into the toaster oven and pushed the lever down.

“Um. No? I chew it up first, and my stomach’s designed to digest it. Well, evolved to digest it.”

A burst of staticky noise came from Iklchix. “Warning! Warning! Rowyn, are you aware that the outer covering of mostly plant matter conceals innards composed of bits of flesh and dead embryos?”

“Yes. That’s what I eat. Usually not described like that.”

“And you are going to put this concoction, which has been killed, burned, frozen, subjected to microwaves, and burned again, inside of your own body? Willingly? Using the same mouth that you use to talk?”


“Humans are so gross.”

howard_tayler gave mean difficult exercises, including “write two blurbs”. Blurbs are made of pure evil. But being evil and difficult probably means that trying to do them is good for me, so I tried anyway.

Blurb to agent: Jack may not be a prince, warrior, or mage, but the Goi will learn not to underestimate the powers of an acrobat, piper, and storyteller.

Back-cover blurb: Izi knows her brother would not willingly disappear without word. But she’ll learn that Jack’s more than a storyteller, and maybe he can help ….

PURE EVIL, I tell you.

Those blurbs are for my Nanonovel, which isn't technically my most recent project, but it's the one I've been thinking about the most lately.

howard_tayler's other exercise, ‘write a fight scene between characters who don’t know how to fight’, isn’t nearly as evil, although it came with a bunch of qualifiers that mean I probably failed it anyway. v.v

Callie crouched low to the floor, taking cover in the lee of the loveseat as she watched and waited for her target. Her tail lashed from side to side, and her haunches twitched with the desire for action. Ash, the focus of her concentration, sat just a yard away, underneath an end table and in front of the heater vent. Callie concentrated hard, waiting for the slightest movement.

The heater came back on. Ash’s fur stirred in the gust of warm air.

Callie leaped! She fell short of her prey, the end table cutting off her arc of descent. Ash turned her head in Callie’s general direction as Callie lurched awkwardly the last several inches and bapped a paw against Ash’s face. Ash tilted her head away from the blow, looking annoyed.

Undeterred by her opponent’s retaliatory look, Callie wrapped a foreleg around Ash’s neck and tried to get her into a headlock. Callie’s head dropped, tongue flicking out to groom Ash’s cheek viciously.

Ash fell onto her side. She yowled at Callie and waved a paw in her general direction. Startled, Callie jumped back a few inches, bumping against the side of the sofa. Her tail twitched quickly, and she waved a paw back at Ash. Their paws connected! Ash squirmed to her feet and waved her paw again. “Yowl!”

Taken aback by this display of power and ferocity, Callie backed out from under the end table and away from the other cat. She glanced around for easier prey. Aha -- a hair elastic!


… because when I think of incompetent fighters, I think of my cats.

Anyway, thanks to you both for the prompts! n.n
Tags: writing exercises
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