My Weekly Writing Challenge

You have plenty of time to take up my latest challenge. I’m off on my hols for a couple of weeks or so; this means you have until 3rd September to post your entry. And why not have a go at my latest flash fiction competition too? There are cash prizes so it’s certainly worth a go. You can read the previous winning entries to get an idea.

Now onto the latest weekly challenge. As it’s got to last you three weeks, there are three challenges. Have a go at one, two or all three!

Challenge one: Write a limerick.

Traditional limericks have five lines, where the first, second and fifth lines rhyme, with seven to ten syllables in each line. The third and fourth lines rhyme with each other and these lines have five to seven syllables in each line.

Challenge two: Write a ten-word story using the following words:

  • Fuddy-duddy
  • Yipee
  • Cummerbund
  • Oblong
  • Fairy

Challenge three: Write a story or poem about autumn.

I look forward to reading them when I’m back 🙂


For last week’s challenge, I gave you two choices:

Option A: I gave you a story opening and the challenge was to continue the story from that point.

Option B: For this choice, I had a story ending for you and your challenge was to write a story up to the ending.

Here was your opening and your ending:

Option A:

I look around at my colleagues with envy.

“Are you ok,?” Shirley asks, stopping her filing for a moment and looking straight at me.

I nod my head. Blink a tear away. Force a smile. Shirley starts filing again. How can I tell her? How can I find the words to say how I really feel?

Option B:

I was wrong. I thought finding a ghost would be exciting and fun. At the very least I thought it would be scary. But it was more than that. So much more.

All three entries chose the first option:

Keith Channing wrote a story which keeps you wondering how it’s going to end:

An error of judgement

I look around at my colleagues with envy.

“Are you ok?” Shirley asks, stopping her filing for a moment and looking straight at me.

I nod my head. Blink a tear away. Force a smile. Shirley starts filing again. How can I tell her? How can I find the words to tell her how I really feel?

Looking around, no-one else gives any sign that they have noticed. No sense of outrage at the fact that of the eighteen people who make up the complement of this office, only seventeen are present and productive. Seventeen men and women working; heads down, eyes focussed on computer monitors, beavering away like the well-ordered, single-minded corporate drones they are. I envy their uncomplicated little lives, even as I secretly despise them for that very condition.

I turn my gaze back to Shirley. Still filing as though it were all she lived for; absolute dedication.

What Shirley and I did last night was wrong. Not legally, not even morally in the accepted sense of the word, but wrong nonetheless. It represented an extreme error of judgement on both our parts. For goodness’ sake, we are mature, responsible adults; at least we are supposed to be. We are both married. To other people. What ever possessed us to do what we did is beyond me. But do it we did, the inevitable; the one thing that could go wrong; did, and now we have to live with the consequences.

I suppose, in our defence, it was almost inevitable. We spend a lot of time together, and we have become quite close. The mistake was probably not so much what we did, as making the initial decision to visit a bar and down a few drinks on the way home from work. We should have known that it wouldn’t stop there. We should have anticipated that we would do something stupid.

How stupid? How does driving a dodgem car in the local fairground sound? Not bad? Add in alcohol, and the car becomes a lethal weapon. After a heavy impact, I ended up in hospital with a splinter of something in my eye. At least that sobered me up, but it was supremely awkward to explain to my wife why I was brought home from work four hours late, and by a woman she didn’t know.

“Yes, Shirley, I’m fine, thanks,” I say, “but I’d prefer if you stop filing your nails and get on with some work!”

Geoff Le Pard is just brilliant:

I look around at my colleagues with envy.

“Are you ok,?” Shirley asks, stopping her filing for a moment and looking straight at me.

I nod my head. Blink a tear away. Force a smile. Shirley starts filing again. How can I tell her? How can I find the words to say how I really feel?

‘Are you sure there’s nothing wrong?’

I’ve tried to be brave but I can’t go on. Somehow I manage to say, ‘Could you ease the filing drawer open, Shirley; Somehow you’ve snagged my testicles inside.’

Jane Basil can’t stop her dark side coming out. Thank goodness she can’t!



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40 Responses to My Weekly Writing Challenge

  1. Sherri says:

    Briliant stories! Enjoy your hols Esther, look forward to catching up when you return 🙂 xx

    • esthernewton says:

      Thanks, Sherri. Hope all’s going well with you. Catch up with you again soon 🙂 xx

    • esthernewton says:

      Hi Sherri, just got back from my hols. Thanks for your message. I had a wonderful time – I didn’t want to come back!! I hope you’ve been enjoying the summer 🙂 xx

      • Sherri says:

        Hi Esther! So glad you had such a wonderful time on your hols and welcome back (even though you wanted to stay there, lol 😀 ) A good summer thanks, and now it’s my turn to disappear. Off with my family for a holiday and taking a writing break as I am desperate to finish my book. So you return and I say au revoir…but I will be back and see you soon! Take care and happy writing 🙂 xx

      • esthernewton says:

        Thanks, Sherri. You have a wonderful, wonderful time. And enjoy finishing your book. Do let me know how you get on 🙂 xx

      • Sherri says:

        Thank you so much Esther, I certainly will! See you soon! 🙂 xx

  2. Steve says:

    I hope you can manage not posting on the blog for two entire weeks! Enjoy you time away, we’ll miss you.

  3. When Esther goes to FLA
    To a wedding, or so she did say
    She left challenges three
    But between you and me
    When the cat’s away, the mice will play

    Have a great time, Esther.

  4. teachezwell says:

    Those entries are amazing! Perhaps since I have three weeks, I can give at least one of your challenges a shot!

  5. And my story submission is called Forever Autumn. I hope you like it.

  6. Steve says:

    Here is my limerick. I will post it on Simplicity Lane after September 3rd, so I can add a link to your compilation of submissions. Hope you are having a great holiday.

    “Popcorn at the Beach”

    Beach popcorn can be such fun
    A bucket for the shade or sun
    Add some salt and butter
    Peanuts to feel nuttier
    When the pail is empty, home we run
    (Popcorn at the Beach limerick © Steven S. Walsky, August 2015.)

  7. Ouch, Geoff’s made me wince and I’m female! Have a fun holiday Esther. 🙂

  8. Hi Esther. Challenge 1 caught me in a negative mood, so it doesn’t contain the standard limericky giggle. I decided to post it anyway.

    I’m writing this tuneless song
    in an effort to right a wrong
    it’s a meaningless rite
    I’m too weak to fight
    but I’m aimlessly rambling on

    Challenge 2 is better:

    Fuddy-duddy cummerbund,
    Oblong box.
    …Satin-sheeted bed.

    A poem for challenge 3 hasn’t emerged yet…

    • esthernewton says:

      I look forward to reading it. Love these two. Thank you. Good to see a limerick that’s a little different 🙂

      • My rose-coloured spectacles got splashed with mud. I wrote four more, attempting to be funny. The subjects were cross-dressing, food poisoning, tearing a page from a borrowed book and this:

        there lives a young lady nearby
        with a winkily wonkily eye
        her mouth is a flubber
        of rubbery dubber
        and her hair points up at the sky

        ‘Nuf said…

      • esthernewton says:

        Love, love, love it! Sooo funny 🙂

      • Thank you.. but let’s face it, it’s not literary genius. Though, on the other hand, my hero, Spike Milligan, was a genius, and he wrote stuff a bit like this when the mood hit him.

  9. Challenge 3. Autumn. I enjoyed this one.

  10. JasonMoody77 says:

    Here’s my homework. Sorry it’s late!

    Hope you had a great holiday. We’re off on ours soon. Eek!

    Sunbathing is history, the Suns glare not as strong
    And it’s early to bed, for the days aren’t as long

    It won’t be long now, our thoughts turn to Yule
    But before all that circus, get the kids back to school

    Pack away the-shirts, and banish the shades
    Remember the warmth? It’s gone, it’s afraid!

    The trees lose their leaves, they’ll carpet the floor
    They’ll squelch underfoot, and dirty dogs paws

    The ocean of green will fade in time
    Replaced by an explosion, fiery and sublime

    Red and gold the trees are aflame
    The cold is coming, things won’t be the same

    The third of the seasons, this year is quite old
    Cheerio summer, hello Autumn and cold

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