I don’t participate in a lot of writing prompts. Mostly those on mindlovemisery’s menagerie as I have ties to that writing prompt ensemble.

Sometimes I remember other blog writing challenges and then forget them again. My short term memory is getting shorter. The koi in the koi pond have longer memories and attention spans that I do these days.

I might “jump” from blog to blog, following trails and threads. I land on “new to me” writing challenges – some I add to my “writing prompts” internet collections, and then promptly (excuse the pun) forget.

Via pensivity101, I landed on Stine Writing’s Six Minute Challenge. The object is to:

“Set up a timer or sit near a clock so you can keep track of the six minutes you will be writing.

You can either use one of the prompts (photo or written) or you can free-write.

Get ready and write for 6 minutes, that is it! Can you write a complete story? Can you think of a new Sonnet? Can you write 400 words? 400? 500? There are no restrictions on what kind of writing you do, but you should try to be actively writing for six minutes.

After you are done writing, include your word count and then post back to this page #Simply6Minutes or include your link in the comments section. Pingbacks are enabled.

*Feel free to leave your work completely unedited. I believe it is good to see, especially for new writers, that even very seasoned writers don’t write a perfect first draft.*

Have fun, challenge yourself if you’d like, read and respond to others’ posts.

Thank you for participating!”

The prompt picture is a humorous one of a dog wearing several party hats, and a ball in his mouth.

But what caught me eye even more so was Christine’s opening line:

“Welcome to the 6 minute challenge! Today is my birthday so I had to find one to help celebrate!”

Which is what will form the basis of my “semi-free write.” I will, as Christine suggests, only lightly edit what comes out.

Birthday Cake on Skype Emoticons 1.2

In 1982, I shared a house with two other people; our birthdays all fell in the first week of November. We dubbed it “Pagan Week” and spent some silly times celebrating. The activities I remember best are:

We played “Who would you have over for supper.” Create a dinner guest lists of people living or dead, real or fictional we’d have over for supper.  A great mix and match sort of exercise. Like inviting the Marx Brothers and Carl Marx, or Hegel. Alice Cooper and Alice in Wonderland along with the Mad Hatter. I imagine we had splurged on some wine or beer for that occasion.

We had magic mushrooms, preserved in honey. (On the east coast, they were dried and made into a tea.) We ate them as part of a meal – just can’t remember with what. Then, later at the tavern, we tried playing “pong” – remember this is the early ‘80s. Well, we laughed more than any of us managed to return “the serve.”

The tavern was a birthday party sort of affair. There were several in the neighbourhood – this was a bit more upscale than we usually frequented. No fights, no stripper (the strip bars are another whole story), no terry cloth table tops, no bikers playing pool. I know it wasn’t the Kon Tiki bar (and that is another story, too).

It’s also the week that my husband, then one of my housemates, and I confessed that we loved each other. Despite ourselves. And because of ourselves. It was the week we moved in together in the house we already lived in. Pending all of us being kicked out by the landlord who wanted to renovate and then charge higher rent.

Pagan week. Crazy times. Crazy lives.

And, as an aside: A shares her birthday with my paternal grandfather; I share mine with my maternal grandfather; in looking up some “family lore” about my great uncle Earle who was MIA in WW1, I learned that his brother, Grover, who served from 1914 to 1919, was born on my husband’s birthday. Another set of coincidences – like the 3 of us sharing the same birthday?  (word count: 360, paragraph removed: 112)

Birthday Cake on Skype Emoticons 1.2

Another aside: our current landlord (our rental house is on the same property as hers) birthday is in, you guessed it, the first week of November. While she doesn’t share a birthday with my family members, she does have a house in Florida in the same small town as my husband’s mother once had a winter-time trailer . . .

cake image via emojipedia.org

feature image: prettydesigns.com (via search): coffee cake