What Joe & Kathryn do for fun

I know you’ve been wondering.  (By the way, I worked a lot last week at my old job and we went out of town this three-day weekend.  Hence the quiet blog.)

Here’s what we did for fun tonight.  We made up a game.

photo credit

S t o r y t e l l i n g    G a m e.

1.  We’re given the same character’s name, age, job as well as a setting and time period.  We just split who came up with what.
         In modern day Cheyenne, Wyoming, Terry Handspurn is a 32-year-old circus acrobat.

2.  We each write three sentences (one per paper scrap) to use as prompts.  These are kept a secret, folded and placed in a hat.

  • He turned out his pockets: out dropped a shiny silver nut.
  • She turned to face him; screaming she dropped her shovel.
  • A truck stop had never looked better than it did right now.


  • If only the green fog would lift!
  • Without a potato gun, the situation seemed hopeless.
  • If only eggs grew on trees!

3.  We draw a prompt from the hat and read it aloud.  We start a timer for 5 minutes – we have to write the first part of a story (about the given character) and have it end with the prompt.

4.  We repeat – drawing another prompt and making the story work to end the next section with the prompt in 5 minutes.  You can’t go back to other sections and change anything!

5.  We draw a final prompt (all three can’t be from the same person).  We have 5 minutes to finish the story and have to include the prompt somewhere in this writing section (instead of ending the whole story with the prompt).

6.  We read our stories aloud to each other and laugh. :)  It’s VERY hard with the 5 minute limit and random prompts!!!

Do you have any fun made-up games that inspire creativity?  Please share your ideas!

Want to laugh with us?  Here are the stories we ended up telling.  Unedited.  Please remember, it’s much harder than it sounds. :)  The prompts we drew are in bold.

J o e ‘s    s t o r y :

Terry Handspurn walked in the summer heat down the shoulder of the interstate.  On his back was a small backpack with his personal belongings.  Eight miles behind was what was left of his motorcycle.

Just the day before he’d been up on the high wire, dazzling the audience.  But his manager wasn’t so dazzled.  There hadn’t been trust in weeks, not since the big tent fire.

Terry fingered the lighter in his pocket.

His feet ached.  He wasn’t used to this much walking.  Sure, he was in peak physical condition.  But he didn’t have walking shoes on.

In the distance, he saw a sign.  A truck stop had never looked better than it did right now.

From the crest of the hill to the next it was probably a mile and a half.  In a mile and a half he could get a cold drink, and maybe some bandaids.  Hell, he might even try to find a place to down a couple of beers.

At the bottom of the little valley, a dirt road broke off to the right.  Curiously, there were balloons at the entrance by the highway, and dozens of cars parked in the grass fifty feet from the road.  Even more curiously, he didn’t hear anything that sounded like a party.

He wanted to investigate and appease his curiosity.  He made his way down the dirt road towards the large metal building – was it a garage of sorts?  Once to the building, he made his way around to the back.

What he saw was strangest of all: about two dozen people stood facing him in a semi-circle.  Facing them, with her back to him, was a woman holding a shovel high above her head.  Some of the people saw Terry approach.  The woman appeared to notice that someone was coming.  She turned to face him; screaming, she dropped her shovel.

Terry started running the other way, back to the interstate.  He didn’t know what he’d come upon, and didn’t want to stick around to find out!

He glanced behind him.  The whole group had rounded the building, and two men were sprinting towards him.  Terry patted his body, hoping to find something in his pockets to help.  As he ran, he remembered the egg wars he would have with his little brother, and how he could nail him between the eyes from 20 feet away.  If only eggs grew on trees!

He managed another quick glance backward – one of the guys was gaining on him.

Terry had reached the interstate by now, but he wouldn’t make the uphill sprint to the truck stop.  He reached a piece of blown-out tire, picked it up and turned to face his pursuer.

The man didn’t slow down, but pulled a knife from his pocket.  Behind the man, Terry saw a state trooper cresting the hill.  Terry laid down where he was.  The man stopped, bewildered.  As the state trooper pulled up to the odd scene, Terry realized the irony of it all: the father who’d walked out the door twenty years ago would now be his rescuer.

K a t h r y n ‘s   s t o r y :

Terry told Matty she did great and reminded her to dust the chalk off her hands.  The last thing a newbie needs around this crowd is a handprint showing how you picked a wedgie – they’re already trying to come up with a good nickname.  Matty was going to be fine.  And so was Terry.  Even a few days not wearing spandex would do wonders for her.

Terry craved a chocolate pie.  Not a slice, mind, you, a whole chocolate pie.  With meringe a foot high.  Another perk to not wearing spandex for a few months.  And she knew just where to get it.  A truck stop had never looked better than it did right now.

Once a pie, okay two, had found a new home, Terry went to find hers.  Her uncle had agreed to let her use his tiny travel trailer in exchange for a picture with one of the white tigers.

It wasn’t too bad.  Yellow plaid curtains and shag carpet were coming back in style.  But first things first, she was ready to hit the road.

Almost all the way through side two of her Dolly Parton’s greatest hits tape, Terry hit something.  She didn’t know what.  Or who.  No, let’s stick with what.  But it was big.  She pulled over fast.

Thank God, it was just a coyote.  Someone would thank her for it.  She went to the back to get something to move it out of the road.

That’s when she heard him.  Or it.  No, too big, him. She turned to face him; screaming, she dropped her shovel.  She couldn’t believe Brad Pitt had stopped to see if she needed help!

Or maybe it was Brad Pitt’s older brother.  Or grandpa.  With no front teeth.

Either way, she quickly dismissed him and got back on the road.  If only it had been Brad Pitt.  If only she knew where to find the man with the Eiffel Tower tattoo.  If only she knew how to shoot the gun she bought.  If only eggs grew on trees.  Things would be clean and easy.  Oh well, here’s to dirty and hard.


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