You’re Killing Me With Typography You’re Killing Me With Typography | Shades of Crimson

You’re Killing Me With Typography

by Davina on August 11, 2010

Writing Challenge #1

In my last post I invited readers to try their hand at creative writing by writing a short story of no more than 100 words and incorporating the following 9 words:

Fly, Magnitude, Timothy, Typography, Death, Closet, Swell, Rena, Jerome.

A couple of hours later I’d already received the first submission from Allison Day. She just couldn’t resist. Allison is a woman of many talents: a website coder, a dancer and from what I’ve heard, a fantastic cook. She also writes stories on her blog entitled Mariko.

Allison shared what this writing challenge was like for her:

For me, this process was a challenge that I couldn’t resist. I stubbornly didn’t want to use all of the names you had provided, so I looked up alternate definitions of the names to see what else I could come up with. And when I first read the nine words, the obvious story was grim – but I didn’t want to do obvious, and the alternate definition for “timothy” provided my story for me.  After that… the story practically wrote itself, although I did have to wrestle with “typography” to get it to fit nicely in there.  ;)

I think you’ll enjoy what she cooked up with those 9 words. :-)

You’re killing me with typography

“Rena?  Marina!”

Stubbornly ignoring the screaming voice, she sat down hard in the field of timothy grass and angrily swatted at a fly. She’d rather catch her death out here than go back.

She had tried hiding in the closet, but her brother had found her and threatened to tell mom where she was. Stupid Jerome always had been a tattletale.

“Rena! Get back here right this second!”

Well, that’s just swell. Her mother’s voice was increasing in magnitude.

Stupid, boring typography. So what if it had always been the family business? With fancy printers these days, why bother anymore?


To date, 6 submissions have been received that I will be posting over the next few weeks. I love how creative everyone has been with these 9 words. Each submission is SO different!

There is still time if you want to submit some writing; the deadline is Sunday, August 15th. Please note that there are 5 things to be considered for a submission to be accepted. To be fair to the rest of the participants, I reserve the right to refuse submissions that do not follow the guidelines.

You can find out all the details about this creative writing challenge here.

And not only that: In the comment section of that post, Hilary from Positive Letters composed a murder mystery with the 9 words and “G” from The Daily G wrote a poem.

Photo credit: Phu Son Nguyen

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vered August 11, 2010 at 10:12 am

“She’d rather catch her death out here than go back.”

What a fabulous sentence.

Barbara Swafford August 11, 2010 at 11:51 am

Hi Davina,

You’re right!

Allison, you did a fabulous job with the nine words. I like the part, “…in the field of timothy grass…” Ingenious.
.-= Barbara Swafford´s last blog ..My Fave Five =-.

Tony Single August 11, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Hey, Allison! Your fine submission gave me a big, wide grin. Fabulous!
And I can’t wait to see what everyone else has come up with too! :)

Actually, I would’ve been all over this writing challenge like a fly on doodie… if it weren’t for the fact that I’ve already set myself a personal writing challenge. It’s taken up a lot of my time which is why I haven’t been around as often. :P

Alien Ghost August 11, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Hi Davina,

I love how Allison describe an entire situation without needing to move anything…and all in less than 100 words! Genius! :)

.-= Alien Ghost´s last blog ..Role Reversal Guest Post =-.

Davina August 11, 2010 at 3:59 pm

I know! This is just great. Or should I say, “swell” :-)

This really put a smile on my face when I first read it. It’s so playful and rebellious. I love it :)

Another smile. Not surprised. Ohhh, I wanna know what you’re up to. Sounds exciting!

I know. She did a fantastic job at describing the situation and setting the mood. That little bit of attitude shines through in few words; these words pack a punch :)

Davina August 11, 2010 at 4:00 pm

I have to put a word of thanks in to Allison’s boyfriend Phu Son Nguyen, too. He took the photograph of the fly. I’ve never seen a more ATTRACTIVE looking fly. Have you?

Patricia August 11, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Oh this is marvelous and I love Allison’s story…I too thought of timothy grass…Oh I can identify with those feelings.

I am now excited about reading the other entries. I wish I had had time to try my hand – too many trips to the airport – slowly with all the road construction.

Hilary August 12, 2010 at 1:53 am

Hi Davina .. no worries .. the detective is working away underground at the moment resolving the mystery .. it’ll be sent to you soon ..

I too like Timothy Grass – and looking at Wiki .. it’s got a lot of attributes – even if it was an unintended import from us here in the UK in the late 1600s/1700s ..

That was clever of Alison to find that connection … and her story .. with the questioning end line – why bother any more?!

The fly picture is incredible .. beautiful .. thanks for the credit to Phu Son too ..

Great the post is turning out to be so interesting .. Hilary
.-= Hilary´s last blog ..Painted Ladies of the World who stop trains A year later! =-.

Davina August 13, 2010 at 3:46 pm

I love it too. You can do a lot with just 100 words. The next post will be published this Sunday; stay tuned. Ugh… road construction — maybe you can come up with something while sitting in traffic. That has to inspire something that would encourage the use of “magnitude, swell and fly” :)

I can’t wait. My mind keeps revisiting this and I’m curious. Who is that mystery character? Leave it to you to research Timothy Grass on Wiki :-)

Allison Day August 13, 2010 at 11:00 pm

Oh goodness, you all are making me blush. Thank you so much for the kind words, everybody, it was lots of fun to write. :)

Belinda Munoz + The Halfway Point August 14, 2010 at 12:09 am

You’re such a creative spirit, Davina!

And Allison, I loved your story.

As an aside, this whole post and the mere mention of typography makes me cringe at all the mistakes I’ve caught on my posts after hitting publish. Not just typos but also bad grammar that wouldn’t happen in spoken conversation. This reminds me how vulnerable and open to criticism we are as writers. The world isn’t ever going to be kinder; we just need to be thicker-skinned (and either get better at self-editing or hire an editor) if we want to continue being writers.

Joy August 14, 2010 at 11:16 am

Hi Davina,
HI Allison,
Awe-some and delightful to read! Such a flow to it all, and so very creative…I *love* it! Thank you!

Rose August 14, 2010 at 11:20 am

Allison, wonderful job. You rose to the challenge.

Looking forward to reading other entries.

Sorry Davina, I have not had time to write anything.
.-= Rose´s last blog ..A shihtzu 1st birthday =-.

Davina August 14, 2010 at 11:32 pm

I smile when I remember your comment on FB after I announced this; “Ack, you’re killing me with typography!” :-) Well done.

I hear you. Writing and any other art form for that matter is personal and most artists, from what I’ve seen, are sensitive. Being able to just write that first draft without worrying about those details… I suspect that if editing is something you don’t feel comfortable with, you would speed through your draft without stopping.

Not every writer is necessarily an editor. In fact, it’s difficult to edit your own work because it *is* such a personal thing and you are close to it. Try reading your posts aloud to yourself as if you were speaking them. I bet that will help.

It did flow well, didn’t it? Allison reminded me of times I hid in closets when I was little. :-)

You can still do this even just as an exercise for yourself — ‘Rose’ to the challenge. ;-)

Jim August 17, 2010 at 6:58 pm

I loved your story Allison.
Great picture also.
Your writing challenge is a great idea, Davina.

Davina August 17, 2010 at 9:34 pm

I liked the part about hiding in the closet and Jerome being a tattletale. :)

Jannie Funster August 22, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Oh gosh this was good! reminds me of all the times I spent hiding from Mom’s many many demands to do dishes. Beautifully done! I waws right there in that field of hay too!

.-= Jannie Funster´s last blog ..10 Great Mysteries of The Universe- 3 =-.

Davina August 22, 2010 at 6:34 pm

You’re such a loyal reader. I see you’ve commented on every one of the posts in this series today. Big virtual hug coming your way :-)

Julie Walraven | Resume Services August 28, 2010 at 11:21 am

Sometimes, Davina, I think I am too serious about what I will try in writing. You and your writing colleagues continue to amaze me with your creativity… between this and the muses which honestly is almost over my head, I just see you in a whole different world than how I develop most of my thoughts. Maybe I should take you up on the next challenge you conjure up… it would probably be good for me.
.-= Julie Walraven | Resume Services´s last blog ..Let’s Ketchup! =-.

Davina August 29, 2010 at 10:09 am

Hi Julie,
Thanks. Everyone *is* having fun with this. That’s true, folk can get a little too serious about their writing. It’s nice to let loose and do something different. You write a professional blog so I can see your perspective, though. I’ve seen you take some different approaches to some of your posts; you know how to mix it up. Maybe… you’re looking for something else :-) Go ahead and try this… you could post your results on your blog. I’d love to read what you come up with.

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