Surprise! It’s not Lisa. It’s Shellie, Belle Friday. I’ve been given the pleasure of scooting up to Lisa’s day to introduce this week’s conversation. Last week the other belles and I had so much fun playing together on my radio show, ATS LIVE, that we just had to bring the fun to this porch and share it with y’all. But first, a little back story is in order.
It’s been a full year since I premiered a radio segment I call AMERICAN AUTHOR on my talk show. The idea came to me after watching one of the many talent competitions on the tube. It occurred to me that there are plenty of shows where singers and dancers go toe to toe, so to speak, but not a single venue where authors get to do their thing! I’ve always felt like if you see a need, you should meet it. VOILA!
The premise of AMERICAN AUTHOR is simple. A number of authors are supplied with several story starters (time, place, and props.) The challenge is in their mission: they have fifteen minutes to take those prompts, weave a short story on the fly and post it on the All Things Southern Facebook wall during the show when I call “time!”
The participating authors then call in and read their short stories over the air at which point the listening audience casts their vote for their favorite, again using the All Things Southern Facebook Wall.
Last Monday’s contestants were none over than Southern Belleview’s own Lisa Wingate, Rachel Hauck and Julie Cantrell! Let me be honest. I gave them some killer prompts this time. I didn’t mean to, honest I didn’t. It what my phone’s fault.
See, I deliver the prompts via an app on my iPhone. I discovered this app rather accidentally one day and fell in love with it. I can see a ton of other uses for it beyond torturing your writing friends, too! Maybe the other belles will weigh in with some suggestions, but if not, I’ll opine on that when I return to my regularly scheduled spot this coming Friday. (I’m trying not to digress here and it’s a challenge.)
When you shake or swipe the screen of this you get something like this:
Last Monday, my dear darling belles got themselves the following prompts:
Place: An abandoned building
Character: an independent thinker
Object: a hospital gown
Can you imagine? Honestly, I was a tad worried that the prompts were too crazy hard and the belles were going to skin me alive after the show. Oh, radio host of little faith. They just stepped up to the plate and knocked those stories out of the park. Seriously.
But hey, you don’t have to take my word for it. The belles are going to share their stories with y’all right here over the next few days. I’ll be back Friday to tell you who won when the belles went keyboard to keyboard on air. By the way, what I think would be extra fun would be for y’all to try your hand at the game prompts in the comment boxes! But, no pressure…
There were those days when Velda Sue got everything right… when the dewy-peach lipstick and the sunkissed-lime shoes and the sea foam flowered dancing dress she’d bought brand new at Marley Flynne’s department store in downtown Sarasota just plain ol’ worked it as she strolled down the main street of the Passionate Palms Trailer Court. On any given day, she could turn the heads of every fella over sixty, and some even younger… if there were any at the Passionate Palms. Which there weren’t anymore.
Time changes everything, but it hadn’t changed Velda Sue. And maybe that was the problem. Maybe that was the reason today was one of those days even the sea foam dress, with all its billowing layers of fabric floating like froth on ocean waves, couldn’t fix. Sure, the dress had supplied a pretty fair distraction as she’d busted Marley out of the lockup his grandkids had put him in. It’d seemed like a decent plan at the time… putting on the dress and the peppermint perfume and posing as an entertainer, there to give those old folks a performance to pass the long afternoon hours.
It wasn’t until she was pushing Marley through the abandoned building next door, still dressed in his hospital gown that she realized she had no idea what was supposed to come next.
(Lisa’s note: Wow, was this crazy-fun — ten minutes, four elements and a story to write! It’s a great way to get your mind working… or to get several minds working at once. One of the things I love to do is encourage storytelling in families, groups, and schools. Apps like this are excellent for getting storytelling going. Why not try it at the dinner table or in the car? For a more low-tech version, try Rory’s Storytelling Cubes or make a Story Box of your own by cutting elements and words from magazines, pasting them on different colored cards for each category, and having kids pull out one of each color, then combine the elements to write a story. It’s fun, it’s creative, and it reminds me of the good ol’ days when making up let’s-pretend tales was the preferred form of neighborhood entertainment. Happy storytelling y’all!)
P.S. (You probably know that ATS LIVE streams in real time from my website , but did you know you can download the radio station’s app to your iPhone or iPod and join me while you’re on the go? Just type TALK540 in your app store or click the pic here. It’s free!)