Is cheating an ender for a relationship? State your actual view in the first sentence, limit 20 words, and then spend 500 words defending the opposite view.

I define “cheating” as doing something outside of the negotiated intimacy of your relationship. Could be movies, could be penis.

Alternate view:

When you love someone, you want whatever makes them happy.  If they need to stay up to date on that show you guys normally watch together while you finish the dishes, big deal!  They probably aren’t watching it without you just to be mean, right?

That same open-handed giving relationship should cover all of their needs and wants.  If you never declare something off-limits, they can’t really be counted as cheaters, can they?  Of course not!  Think about whatever they do on a case-by-case basis to avoid bias.  You don’t want to be judgmental or mean.  So, maybe they get a blow job in the bathroom at the club.  They have needs, right?  And you weren’t there to perform, were you?  No, you were in the other bathroom, unable to deliver.

If you have no limitations on your relationship, if you have no agreements or expectations to start with, you can’t cheat!

What are your most attractive qualities? Describe them as a separate character, limit 500 words.

She wasn’t classically beautiful, but she had a kind of pretty that came from smiling too much and laughing too loud.  Someone once said that her eyes were always sad, no matter how gleeful the rest of her was.  Perhaps that was true, but it wasn’t something that she had any intention of changing – she’d earned her tears, fair and square.  She was short, a little on the thin side, and she would sit for hours, listening to other people – but only when they weren’t looking.  When she had your attention, she would spin tales and tell stories, seeking to entertain and justify every moment you spent with her.

She always made room at the table, no matter how little she started with.  “There’s always ways to stretch it, if you’re hungry.”  She was the kind of lady that put off replacing a worn-out pair of jeans so that she could buy a new monitor for her son’s friend, since he didn’t have a computer at all.  She made every excuse in the book to not get mad at someone, to understand their perspective, because it made her feel tired to be angry all the time.

And when she found something or someone that quieted her mind, that kept her from thinking of a thousand things at once, she held onto it and defended it with her life.

Pretend you are a grumpy old codger. Write a letter to the newspaper about something trivial that irritates you.

To the Editor:

Kids these days, they don’t know the value of things.  They have this self-entitled attitude, going to the Starbucks for the wifis that they get for free, thinking that they have a right to all the wifis everywhere.  It’s a disgrace to those of us who put our hard-earned pensions into personal infrastructures.

Who do these punks think they are?  They’re trying to save weevils or make widget businesses or overthrow governments on free wifi, where’s the self-respect in that?  You know who really likes free wifi?  HACKERISTS.  Those dirty nasty virus makers always use the free wifis to send out their death threats to all the nuclear power plants and desalination stations.  How do we know all these punk kids aren’t doing the same thing.

Businesses should shut down the free wifis or start charging for them, level the playing field with those of us actually pay for our internets.  They think they’re so special, getting their 5mips down.  Back in my day, we had to download our porn on a 14.4k baud modem, sweating for hours while it loaded, praying our parents didn’t come in and see the half-rendered naked booty.  These kids can’t appreciate the stress that we went through to earn our internets.


A Codgey Old Grump

What do you want to be if you grow up? Describe your best-case career scenario in three paragraphs, each covering a concurrent year.

By this time next year, I want to have a publishing deal and have at least two books out – “Middle of Nowhere” and “Shooting Blanks”.  Hell, I’ll probably be half-way through writing the third, if not completely done because when I sit down to write, when the muse is here, shit gets done FAST.

In two years, I want to have enough books released that my convention tables look like a shop.  I’m thinking about “field guides” as an adjunct to the regular novels, and someone (several someones) even said that they could see that first series working well as comics.  (Y’all know how much I love comics.)

In three years, I’m seeing a nice level of success, and I have to turn the internet off consciously every night for want of trying to reply to everyone.  I have a robust convention/tour schedule, and people think my hair is great.

(I like to dream big.)

Think about the kind of person you are attracted to. Write a three-paragraph story from their perspective as they meet you for the first time. (Assume they like you.)

NOTE: You know it’s a really good writing prompt when the person writing it has to seriously struggle.  Like, damn, girl, what the hell was I thinking…  Still, I’m a bit of a masochist, so let’s get to it.

ALSO NOTE: I’m not using my husband as the perspective because that’s kind of cheating on the assignment.  Instead, I am making up a fictitious person who may or may not bear a striking similarity to my husband.

Heeeey, what’s this?  A girl who likes making things?  What’s in this photo…?  Holy crap, that’s engine oil.  On her hands.  Under her nails.  She didn’t actually work on that… *reads through the post*  Wow.  She did.  Knows her way around an engine… and apparently around a lot of other types of tools as well!  Hehehe… I said “tools”…

Let’s see… she likes punk and jazz, and a wide range of movies… wow, a really wide range of movies.  And books.  Solid authors to follow, good deal… Ooh, she’s got a blog, this is probably where it all falls apart… *reads the blog* … wait… she’s advocating for equal rights and threatening to burn down the patriarchy for the sake of the men in her life?  She couldn’t possibly know what that’s… *reads further* … damn.  She does.

But these have to be staged photos, right?  No?  That’s definitely her in the corner booth over there.  Hair’s different, though.  Pretty sure that color is not part of Mother Nature’s original palette, but it looks okay.  Nice eyes!  Nice smile, too… like I’m the only one she’s looking at… I am the only one she’s looking at.  Niiiiice.