While I was up in Detroit last week, I also participated in another NYC Midnight Writing Challenge.
This was my challenge.
I got it at midnight on Friday night.
Let me paint the picture for you:
Me and my long lost twin are sitting in front of the TV, watching Coachella performances.
Michigan is a legal state… so we’re high.
And we both have medical cards… so we are VERY high.
Now, normally, when I do these writing challenges I think about them a LOT beforehand. I count down the seconds until I get my prompt and get started immediately.
This time, I wanted to do it differently.
Ok, okay, I was forced to do it differently because of travellng, but I convinced my brain to make it a novelty instead of a hinderance.
So there we were, bopping along to whoever was on stage at the time and just babbling about whatever.
(I wish I knew who we were watching at the time, but that’s not important. I will say that we really high-enjoyed The Hu’s performance, but I have not yet gone back to see if I really like them or if I had just high-convinced myself that I did.)
At about 12:10am, I checked my email and was greeted with this prompt:
Action: Roasting a Marshmallow
Ok, so here’s how this particular challenge works.
I get a prompt and then have 24 hours to write it. It has to match the genre, feature the action at some point and definitely include the word.
And I only had 100 words to do this.
That’s not very many.
I immediately knew how I wanted to tackle this.
The Roast of Marshall Mallow
Now, I didn’t start writing immediately. IN fact, once I had decided I wanted to personify the mallow, I stopped thinking about it altogether.
Then I woke up and got on a plane home.
I turned this concept over and over in my head as I flew (please note that I was also listening to The Leftovers soundtrack, reading The Every and peepin’ my fellow passengers at the same time.)
At first, the whole story was just gonna be a comedy set during the roast of the personified marshmallow but I thought that would be too obtuse for the judges.
So I knew I had to work in the actual roasting of an actual marshmallow somehow.
What if I made the roaster a really weird comic who made roasting a marshmallow a part of his comedy set?
That didn’t feel right either.
So I stopped thinking about it again.
Before I knew it I was home and had, like, six hours to write this story.
But not real plan.
So I kept thinking and came up with a twist that kind of worked, wrote 100 words and then stepped away.
Then after about an hour, I re-read it.
And realized I forgot to use the word “vague” completely.
So I had to rework things.
It wasn’t easy with a 100-word story.
Here’s what I turned in (after reading ti aloud at Mickey and asking D to read it to make sure it wasn’t idiotic):
The Roast Of Marshall Mallow
“A lighter’s enough, right?” Comedian Bo Cannon thought, “It’s one marshmallow…and this joint.
“And by the time this thing is done, I’ll write one last joke for this damn roast.
“I mean, his name is Marshall Mallow! There’s tons to work with there!”
Bo lights the marshmallow.
“Hmm. Marshall’s life was a rocky road. Ugh, no.
“Marshall was conceived in the middle of a s’morgy…?
“Whoops, this thing is really on fire now.
“Marshall only ever got to see his peeps at Easter.
The marshmallow is crispy and gooey.
“Marshall’s favorite hobby? Gettin’ toasted.”
Just like Bo.
(end of story)
p.s. the name “Bo Cannon” has meaning too. Not personal meaning, but directly related to this story. I will gid with excitement if you can guess it. I overthink a lot, so good luck.