Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Photo from Peanuts - Charles Schultz

Mike asked me to fill in for him. He has been exploring the concept of time, so in keeping with his vision...

Answer these:
The time of day, a make and model of car, your favorite food, a city anywhere in the world, the guadiest color, an exotic women's name, and a strange occupation. Now look out your window. Whatever the weather is, reverse it (if it's sunny, make it rain, snow, whatever...).

Using all these variables, write a mystery piece beginning with Snoopy's famous opening line, "It was a dark and stormy night..."


  1. Hi Walt, this was fun, thank you. Here is the list:

    6am mini austin7 curry London chartreuse Aja

    It was a dark and stormy night.
    I saw the first shape, a very distinct rat shape followed by another and another. Aja screamed first. Someone reached for the flashlight, turned it on and we instantly saw why it isn’t a good idea to sleep in abandoned churches; even if we were contemplating buying one and turning it into a B&B. We jumped up, pulled on our clothes and ran outside, but we seemed to have left the keys to one of the cars somewhere in the church. No one was going back till daylight. We all five of us piled into my chartreuse Austin 7 and drove away as fast as we could. What’s open and warm in London in the middle of a Saturday night? Most places won’t open till 6am. There we are; Masala Zone. Curry in the middle of the night? Well, in the spirit of adventure, why not?

    1. Dear Veronica,
      Thank you so much for your writing. It means so much to me! I love Divergent and Insurgent so much, and you have taught me many things along with your writing. I do not know how you do it. It is amazing. You gave me hope to write my own book even though I am "way too young" Thanks again! :)
      Abi age 12 Erudite

  2. Love it Veronica! Spirit of adventure and all!


    It was a dark and stormy night; that made Shreya sit up in bed. Every time she woke up in the middle of the night she expected to see daylight. This holiday was making her head spin. Shreya had won a chunk of cash playing the lottery last month, and now she was doing all the things that she saw other people doing on TV. Eating, drinking, buying, travelling ...

    The first thing she did was buy a car. She’d always wanted a car, and she didn’t really care which one or what colour because she couldn’t drive. She bought her brother’s old Austin Metro that was a rusty peanut butter colour. The engine wouldn’t start, and the tyres were flat, so she just left it in her brother’s driveway -- at least she could say that she owned an earthy colour car with magenta faux leather seats.

    Shortly after buying herself wheels, she bought herself a lobster dinner and a whole peach pie for afters. It was so delicious that she had to remind herself to chew. Shreya thought most probably that it was the combination of peaches and the large fizzy orange drink that made her sick. Mental note, she told herself, Never mix your fruits. Grandpa had a similar problem mixing grains.

    Next, she quit her job on the assembly line, Monday through Saturday gluing hundreds of brown plastic handles on to the right-hand side of cardboard, strawberry barrels. Her friend, Carole, had stood next to her for 5-years gluing on the left-hand side brown plastic handles. When Shreya won the lottery, she had no hesitation in leaving Carole standing alone, holding both handles. But that was last week, back in Skagatoon, and this was now, in Sydney Australia, where everything was pineapple cake upside-down, backwards like Uncle Jimbo and/or just plain screwy.

    Actually everything was wonky-donky here, she’d discovered. It was snowing stop-you-in-your-tracks blizzards back home right now, but here in Sydney it was hotter than her friend Mia in her Cat Woman costume. Here it was summer; in Skagatoon, it was deep, dark winter. When it was daytime here, it was night-time back home. Here a person first looked to their right before crossing a street; back home everyone knew that if you looked right first that you’d get smooshed across the pavement by a car. Or possibly, Shreya giggled to herself, an Austin Metro, if luck would have it, because that’d mean my brother got my car working and pumped up the tyres.

    And then there was the sun thing. Here everyone slathered all up with SPF200 suncream and wore wide-brimmed hats with swinging corks on them; back home we took vitamin D tablets, and on those rare days when the sun did shine, we sure weren’t going to wear swinging corks, no way – we were aiming our faces for sunburn. Oh yah, and the cold faucets are on the wrong side, and the water swirls down the sink in the wrong direction. She was surprised that the hands on her watch didn’t twirl around the wrong direction, too. And the language here, although they claimed it was English, sounded all foreign and impossible to understand. Half of what was on TV here she didn’t understand. Sometimes she thought she’d signed on for a Mystery Holiday.

    So Shreya felt comfortably attuned and edging toward glee when the TV washed away sleep with the Kiddie Cartoon Hour blaring full tilt, and ... Snoopy on his dog house writing the start of “A dark and stormy night ... with an accent she understood. She wondered what Snoopy’s next line might be ... and then she wondered who’d turned on the TV.