Friendly Advice for #StaD May; Day Five

Hello there, and welcome to my Story a Day May “Show My Work” post! This is where I give you a sneak peek into how I’m creating two (very short, and very different) stories, every day this May. Yep, that’s right; less than 24 hours from my first reading of the prompt to a committed story, even if I’m not quite that fast at posting them!

Ready to read?

Well then, what are we waiting for?

Story A Day May 5 prompt,  by writer Phil Guinta:

You walk into your office and see a new message written on your whiteboard: “Whatever happens, don’t die. See you Monday.”

The note is not signed and you’re not certain who wrote it…

Main Project Premise:

  • Ophelia walks into her “office” – a tiny alcove in her studio apartment – to find the message scrawled in dripping letters on her whiteboard.

Fleshing Out the Premise:

  • With Marilyn in a rehab program, Ophelia goes for a run, looking forward to a day of solitude and rest. But, when she gets back to her tiny studio apartment, planning to call her mother to touch base, she’s greeted by a message scrawled in dripping maroon letters – and, then she sees the huddled and bloodied form on her bed.

Favorite Bit of “Don’t Die”:

There is a sudden sound from further into the apartment – from the corner where she had her daybed, screened by mosquito netting, to remind her of home. She clutches the keys, wriggling them so they poke out between her fingers like weapons, and peers around the corner in the direction of her bed.

Standard disclaimer. I don’t own them, I don’t profit from them, but they insist on telling me their stories, so I’m sharing them with you.

Side Project Premise:

  • TPol enters the laboratory she’s been assigned in Yellowstone Global Park, to find words she doesn’t understand written on a display board above her work station.

Word List:

  • constitution

  • manslaughter

  • strange

  • toothbrush

  • folly

  • dungeon

  • slime

  • tentacle (or plural)

  • succubus

  • alchemy

  • radioactive

  • defenestrate

Fleshing Out the Premise:

T’Pol enters her laboratory space to find something written on her work surface. Since she doesn’t read any human languages, she doesn’t know what it says until another scientist visits. – and then they itemize all the ways in which she might die. T’Pol hasn’t considered any of these during her studies of the potential dangers. Then the visitor explains that they meant this communication as a “joke” – a form of interaction she doesn’t understand.

Favorite Bit of “I’m Just Joking”:  

“But what about radioactive slime on your toothbrush? Or if I defenestrate you, or throw you in a dungeon? Strange tentacles created by alchemy? Or attack by succubus zombies? Hey, why are you staring at me like that? I’m only joking – I’m not prone to manslaughter.”

To see this story in full, as it posts, visit my page

And, if you’d like to learn more about Julie Duffy and Story A Day May,  click the links and learn away!


  1. A story a day sounds like a great way for a writer to get the creative juices flowing. I don’t write fiction, but I do love reading it! <a href=>Girl Who Reads</a>

    • I love this challenge! I’ve used it to develop novels, short stories, and characters – not to mention having a lot of fun in the process.
      I hope you’ll come back to read more. Popping by to visit you now. =)

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