Day 10 – Julie Duffy Celebrates the Number 10

The Prompt

This is — stop me if you’ve heard me say this before — the 10th Anniversary of StoryADay May!

Today I challenge you to write a story that centers around the number 10.

It could be someone’s age, it could be a year, it could be the number of times something has happened (or has to happen).

Surprise me!

In other news, I hope to put together an anthology of stories later this year, celebrating StoryADay’s anniversary and it’s theme will be….10. So get your thinking caps on now!

The Author

Julie Duffy is the founder and host of StoryADay. Her mission is to save the world by saving writers. She helps creative people become more productive, more prolific and more fulfilled through the StoryADay challenges, her Superstars group, the StoryADay podcast, courses and workshops, as well as her guest articles in publications like Writer’s Digest and Writer Unboxed. She is the author of several creativity guides for writers and writes short stories and novels for fun.

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Leave a comment to let us know what you wrote about today, and how it went!

12 thoughts on “Day 10 – Julie Duffy Celebrates the Number 10”

  1. My story grew out of a nursery school teacher teaching her class a song about ten little ducks. They were due to perform it, in costume, for their parents at an Easter concert. It seemed such a good idea. How could it go so wrong. I wrote 600 words but can write more. My experience as a primary school teacher gave me lots of first hand experience to draw upon! What fun I can have developing this one.

  2. Happy Anniversary, Julie!

    I’ve 385 words thus far. Not quite sure where I’m going with it, so will work on it later. The gist is: It’s the tenth anniversary of a yearly neighbourhood celebration held at June’s house. “In light of this auspicious occasion, I’ve made a ten tiered cake and ten dozen cupcakes in ten different flavours!” This brings rousing applause and much ooh’ing and aah’ing. Everyone loves June’s parties – her cakes in particular. As well as the obligatory treasure hunt, this year, June’s added a tongue-twister. Guests are to say, “Rubber baby buggy bumpers” as fast as they can, ten times. Whoever says it perfectly wins a prize. She knows the kids will flop, so runner-up prizes are ready.
    (Not sure why I picked a tongue-twister, or that one in particular.)

  3. And then this happened when I thought about your prompt, Julie. Than you.

    There is Something different about turning 10

    Like every other family in the neighborhood, Moxie’s received a thick mail order catalogue in advance of the coming season. Families took sides in this quarterly publication of twin cornucopias of dresses, dining sets, dungarees, strollers, shovels, stoves, whatever you wanted or needed or dreamt about: Montgomery Ward or Sears. Of course, the rich families got Spiegels, but that was all women’s clothes.

    Moxie only paid attention to Montgomery Ward’s catalogue two times a year. Christmas, of course, actually just around All Saints Day at the start of November, when that treasury of toys page after page gaily decorated with red, golden, green Christmas tree bulbs landed heavily in the porch mailbox. And the summer catalogue in July brought the prospect of birthday gifts. Moxie turns 10 on September 10 this year.

    This is a big birthday he thinks. “Gonna be 10, no more little kids 9, 8, 7 ages…uh uh, gonna be 10 and going to the 5th grade in the downtown school,” he tells Stevie, his 8-year-old buddy next door. “This birthday my father brought home that catalogue from his bosses office at the shop. It has all kinds of toys at the front that I’ve never seen. Page 10, the whole page has a set of construction equipment, just one set on the page. They are all orange, just like the State Highway crew. A grader, a dump truck, a pick up truck, a flat bed truck, a bulldozer and a steam shovel, 10 pieces. I’m getting it for my birthday.”

    Stevie thinks, ‘I like being 8. My sister is 11. Eight is better.’

    Moxie and Stevie are sitting in the sand pile at the top of the driveway at 10 Hubbard Lane. A fleet of toy trucks and tractors are scattered in the sand, a small road is in use as the boys move their equipment. It’s July, school is out and every kid who comes by that summer to play in Moxie’s sand pile hears the same story every time they come over. It’s almost all Moxie talks about.

    August comes and Moxie’s Mom takes his little sister to Boston to the children’s hospital for some tests. Little Rose has a tough time learning stuff and she has to go to special class. Mom and Dad look scared the day Moxie and Dad helped them onto the Vermont Transit bus that stops at Rexall downtown. Dad and Moxie spend the 10 days and nights and the weekend at home, where Moxie talks about the construction set and Dad says he’ll see if he can order it. Mrs. Arnett across the street brings a key lime pie over one night and it has a graham cracker crust, which they never have at Moxie’s house, only real pie crust.

    Mom and Rose came home. Dad and Mom are whispering a lot in the kitchen these days and tell Moxie to go outside to play in the sand pile, a lot, which is where he is with Stevie on his birthday, waiting for Dad to get home to see him hoist a big cardboard box out of the trunk. Moxie can almost picture all the kids gathered around as he opens the box and removes all 10 toys, one by one.

    Someone is crying. It’s coming from the street. Moxie and the guys run into the front and it’s Mom. She is walking home from the doctor and swingin her arms and crying a lot, screaming, “Like hell, like hell you will,” Mom wails. Stevie’s mother is running in the street and Mrs. Sullivan is wearing her apron and she hugs Mom and Stevie’s mom is hugging both of them and Mrs. Abrams walks off her porch and follows them all into Mrs. Sullivan’s house. “No,no they will not take her, I won’t put her away like that. No, no!” Moxie hears from outside to the spot 10 feet away from Sullivan’s kitchen window.

    Mom stays in there a long time. Moxie and Stevie sit on the large granite step in front of Moxie’s house, trying not to listen to lessening sobs. Dad drives-up in front of the house, jumps out but runs away from the car to Sullivans. He didn’t even look at the trunk. Dad runs fast like the crosscountry star in the old high school pictures he keeps in his nightstand drawer. “Hey Dad, Dad, open the trunk. It’s my birthday, my present.”

    Dad stops in the Sullivan’s yard, looks at Moxie. “Not now, Moxie. Gotta see Mom…”

    “But it’s my birthday, I want my present first!”

    “They sold out, didn’t have anymore,” Dad says, almost sounding angry. “There are things more important than turning 10, Moxie. Don’t you know that?”

  4. I instantly thought, in this present world pandemic, Number 10 Downing Street. If you are not British you may not know this is the residence of our Prime Minister. Ideas have been jotted down and now I have seen Day 11 prompt!
    I am thinking I would like to combine the two challenges. An exciting project during which our dear Boris will, no doubt, keep delivering twists and turns.
    Happy Anniversary Julie. I’m late to the party as this is only my second visit to StoryADayMay( also did a September one). I love these daily prompts and all the encouragement. Thank you Julie x

  5. Happy tenth anniversary, Julie. I wrote just over 350 words yesterday in a VE Day prompt story which I enjoyed writing.
    I’ll do a Ten prompt story in the next day or two, I love the idea of making them into an anthology.

    Today’s prompt from Therese Walsh fits in well with the short story I’m currently writing (2,700 words and counting), a story about love during the lockdown. I’ll be able to use some of her suggestions to add in a little more spice and conflict.

  6. Hi everyone! And a Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there (and all the guys who deserve the title).

    I’ve been a bit hit and miss the last few days, but I AM trying to at least jot down ideas for what I would do with the prompt (my personal goal is 4-6 actual stories, plus ideas and outlines for another 7-9).

    Anyway … I had 2 ideas for this prompt: in the first, one person wants revenge on another and uses a David Letterman-style “countdown” of increasingly terrifying acts, leading to the final act of murder; and the second is an ex-con committing 10 crimes in 24 hours to win a “dare”-type bet. I like both!

    Happy 10th anniversary, Julia! Well done!

  7. Got to admit, I am having a really hard time with this one. The possibilities are unlimited, so it might take me another 10 hours or 10 days or 10 weeks to come up with a story to celebrate 10 years of StoryADay! Maybe something will come in the morning with fresh light…or maybe I’ll find a way to connect it to a scene in the story I’m currently working on.

    Happy anniversary, Julie!

  8. Happy 10th Anniversary, Julie! I wrote about how this Story A Day challenge has helped me recommit to my 2020 New Year’s Resolution to write (mostly fiction) every day. I had started out writing 5 minutes every day in January, then “graduated” to 10 minutes in February and early March…and then the world collapsed. I’ve still been writing my 10 minutes every day, but it morphed into a Pandemic Journal and I kind of left the fiction behind. When the reminder came along about this challenge, I knew it would be the “push” I needed to refocus on fiction–and it has been a welcome respite from the world! So thank you again!

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