Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Writing Game, by J.C. Kavanagh

Best Young Adult Book, P&E Readers' Award, The Twisted Climb

There are times when I sit in front of the computer impatiently waiting for the words to appear, my fingers hanging precariously over the keyboard. It's when the story and the characters get hung-up on, well - something - I guess it's - indecisiveness. Yes, it is. It's when the 'swings' in the playground of my mind move back and forth, back and forth, without rhythm and without harmony. Slowing..... stalling.

That's when I have to regroup and play 'The Writing Game.' Ever heard of it? Ever try it? My South Simcoe Writers' group plays it on a regular basis and this is how you play: Pick three things - a place, an action and a job title.

Then - write.

It's like lacing your fingers together and then cracking your knuckles before playing the piano. Except that you're bending the filaments of your imagination. Craaack.

Here's an example: hurricane; taxi; Private Detective.

My resulting story:

by J.C. Kavanagh
The air crackled around her, charged with the residue of the lingering storm. Streaks and ragged arrows of lightning flared in the sky, illuminating the 'Off Duty' sign on the roof of the taxi and giving the interior of the vehicle a ghostly glow.
This is going to be a long night, she thought, adjusting her position behind the wheel. Reaching upward, she angled the rear-view mirror and examined her face closely. The checkered cap was jauntily in place and the starched shirt collar completed the deception. Her pale face, devoid of makeup, was unremarkable. Even her mousey brown hair was bland.
I'm perfect.
She exhaled slowly, shifting the monster-lensed camera in her lap. Large droplets of rain fell on the windshield, heralding the onset of the Category 4 hurricane.
Her target should be arriving soon.
The trees surrounding the hotel began to bend in unison, as if bowing to the greater powers of the storm. The swinging neon sign hanging beside the front doors squealed in revolt and the "Welcome NASA" display blinked in a repetitive three-second pattern.
Nonetheless, the taxi driver kept her attention focused on the gaudy orange bus parked 50 metres ahead as it idled quietly in the rage of the storm, waiting for conference attendees to board. It seemed silently insolent, its painted orange glare a shiny bruise in front of the murderous blue storm clouds.
She raised the camera and focused the enormous telephoto lens on the door of the bus, preparing to shoot.
She jolted in surprise and quickly lowered the camera. The rear passenger door opened and a man slid in, holding a wet, folded newspaper above his head.
"This cab is out of service," she said curtly, glancing in the rear-view mirror.
"Not anymore," he replied.
She looked behind and gasped. It was him, her target.
He pulled a gun out from the fold of the newspaper and pointed it at her head.


A Kavanagh-clan castle, circa 1100 AD.

In last month's blog, I wrote a wee bit about my Irish ancestry - the Kings of Leinster. I'm still going through reams of information on this fascinating family that I call my own (without the crown of course. Or the castles.) More to come in future blogs.

Have a wonderful and peaceful Easter weekend!

J.C. Kavanagh
The Twisted Climb
BEST Young Adult Book 2016, P&E Readers' Poll
A novel for teens, young adults and adults young at heart.
Twitter @JCKavanagh1 (Author J.C. Kavanagh)