February Word Challenge, Day 17

(If you’re wondering what this is about, read this.)

My five random words for today’s exercise are tax, balance sheet, test, mutton, attack.

Chosen word for free association: mutton
sheep, greasy, MLT, Navajo

Exercise:
Mother Begay wrapped her shawl tighter, shielding her body from the cold northern New Mexico wind. The heat from the dried juniper campfire was enough to boil the water for mutton stew, but not useful for much beyond that. Tsé Bitʼaʼí loomed, silhouetted, in the November moonlight, a silent reminder of the journey her ancestors had taken to this world on the back of a great bird.

As she stirred strips of squash into the atoo’, she wondered; would the boys be home for the Night Chant this year?

Would they ever again?

February Word Challenge, Day 15

(If you’re wondering what this is about, read this.)

My five random words for today’s exercise are board, tornado, faint, pile, prophet.

Chosen word for free association: prophet
leader, seer, visionary, profit,

Exercise:
“Prophecy is a tough business, kid.” The seer lit a stogie, pulling the flame into the cigar as he drew in a breath. “First of all, there’s no money in it,” he said, shaking the match to put it out. “If you’re going to be a prophet, you’d better be financially independent. Or on food stamps.”

“But what about fortune tellers?” asked the young man. “They make money.”

The seer looked at him and rolled his eyes. “Boy, you are green. There’s a big difference between fortune telling and prophecy. Fortune tellers deal with individuals; prophets deal with civilizations. And believe me, the people only want to listen when you’re foretelling something that they think is good for them. Prophecies of doom only attract weirdos, and even though they may be the only ones prepared when the shit goes down, having them around can be kind of a liability. So I generally keep the small stuff to myself if it’s not going to kill too many people. It’s too much trouble otherwise.”

 

February Word Challenge, Day 14

(If you’re wondering what this is about, read this.)

My five random words for today’s exercise are kennel, denim, genius, creeper, pocket.

Chosen word for free association: creeper
unsavory dude, mechanic’s dolly

Exercise:
To Harold, “Creeper” was never an insult. It was just a nickname he got because he spent so much time under cars on his mechanic’s dolly. He even made a trucker hat that said “CREEPER” across the top. He never understood what all the chuckles were about; he just thought he made people happy whenever he came around.

When the authorities showed up at his garage to charge him with harassment, it was a complete surprise.

February Word Challenge, Day 11 (with poem)

(If you’re wondering what this is about, read this.)

My five random words for today’s exercise are sand, napkin, ski, insult, race.

Chosen word for free association: sand
Wyoming, wind, Ed, cats, Wheatland, Wyoming Sun, Wyoming son, Landshark

Exercise (haiku):

“Wyoming Son”
for Ed

Wheatland winter
Winds moan, mourning the loss of
Their Wyoming son.

— Stace Johnson, 2017

Title page of Wyoming Sun, inscribed to me by Ed Bryant

Title page of Wyoming Sun, inscribed to me by Ed Bryant

February Word Challenge, Day 10

There will be no February 10 entry for the February Word Challenge, because that’s the day Ed Bryant died.

There are no words.