2019 Day 1 – Labor Day

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The Prompt

Write a Story featuring workers for labor day

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101 thoughts on “2019 Day 1 – Labor Day”

  1. MJ, a young woman, determined to prove herself in the family business is wrong-footed early on. She has been told that the interwoven arms of the business must never be divulged to her clients (funeral home, real estate company, property demolition and development, relocation company, Senior living complex) nor is she to work with more than one client at a time. She’s one to cut corners and connects with two new widows who live in close proximity. As MJ attempts to get their exclusive listings, telling them that this will be the easiest move they’ve ever made because she knows all the right people to assist, she also takes them together on a tour of a wonderful soon to be built senior complex “just perfect for them” . Later, over drinks, the two widows begin to compare situations and this “too good to be true” offer and realize that they have been targeted, their information most likely procured through interviews with the Funeral Director. They set out to discover if others have been taken in and how to best rectify the situation.

  2. The story I wrote for the second day’s prompt took on a life of its own and became the story I’d been wanting to write with the seed of an idea from years ago: the story evolves around an woman receiving a text message from her younger sister with whom she has a fraught relationship saying “Wish you were here.” With the message is a brief video clip of sunlight seen through water as the person underwater sinks slowly downward. Initially thinking this is the younger sister’s attempt to show how much better and happier her life and marriage is than than her older sister’s, the older sister later learns that at the point she received the message, her sister was already dead from drowning.

    For Day 3’s prompt, the point of view is that of a ghost trying to figure out the best way to communicate with the most recent tenant in the house he occcupies.

  3. Well its technically day 3 but I am working on day 1 right now. I am taking it from the Holiday perspective of a working woman and her thoughts of having to work but still be expected to host a get together. I know I will add more later on as I develop more stories. Just getting a little thought process started on a short story. I am thinking I want to do a short story book

    1. I LOVE putting together short story collections. I find it very motivating!

      Glad you’re thinking and writing!!

  4. Hi everyone,

    I scribbled a ‘Labor Day’ inspired short tale, but as a Brit, I changed it to May Day – the more international celebration, plus folk origins. My protagonist was working on that holiday, digging his victim’s grave prior to the official funeral. Then divine justice struck him down. Lightning end for the guilty gravedigger.

    One day, I will type my shorts up. But, I’ve got a 5k anthology submission to re-edit for Wednesday – in an unfamiliar genre. Plus, there must be a new prompt.

  5. Day 1 prompt made me think hard! I started by describing the setting for the story first. Then I decided to describe the reason this father was motivated to celebrate labor day in the same way each year. His daughter then popped in to my head and off I went on a tale of a teenage labor day weekend romance! This also progressed in to a tradition, to return every ten years! It needs a great deal of work but a start that encourages me.

  6. Since I write longhand before I type/keyboard, I don’t have the Labor Day story ready to upload, but it’s about a desperate young man working two jobs and not quite able to make ends meet when the landlord raises the rent. He agrees to steal a woman’s purse from her for a man who promises to pay him one thousand dollars. What should have been an easy assignment isn’t when the wealthy, little middle-aged woman turns out to be more than energetic, canny, and down-to-earth than he imagined.

  7. WORKERS for Labor Day?
    Oh, well. Mine’s for Labor Day vacation.

    Not sure I want to follow all the prompts. But I went for it today.

    And it’s a work day for me.

    So, just a couple of sketches on the cartoon. But the sketchy first draft of the story? Done enough.

    I hope this isn’t too stereotypical. I am from here.

    Anyway. I’ll tune in tomorrow.

    Labor Day Weekend

    They made it to the lake. Our hero sat in a folding chair before anybody had anything out of the RV or the cars and set up for the campsite. Heck with that. We can get to that in a minute. I’m starting my weekend. Dark hair, white t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops, he had sunglasses on and a beer in the hand and looked out at the water.

    This place is a dump, dude. Why’d you choose this? We should have gone to the mountains or found a resort.

    What are you worried about? You’re making bank enough.


    Two beers in, he got up and stayed coherent enough to get the camp set up. He even brought out the pre-formed logs for the fire later on.

    It was he and four of his buddies from the company where he worked in sales. Half of them went out on the water. They brought down two jet-ski’s from the pick-ups and moved out over the waves.

    By mid-day, our hero sat in a different folding chair, closer to the water, talking with another friend who also started in on a couple of brews.

    Sunlight from the waves reflected on his sunglasses.

    I think I need to break up with Julia, dude, he said.

    How long have you been with her?

    About three months.

    After that, the other three had come in from the water for a while, and they too cracked a couple of bottles of IPA.

    Our hero had just come back from behind the RV and was telling tales of douchebags on the other end of the sales line who didn’t seem to understand equity.

    I just saw a bird back there, dude.


    A bird. Behind the truck.

    He looked over at the bushes.

    I’m going to find that dang bird.

    He got up.

    There’s no bird. Sit down.

    I’m gonna find that frickin’ bird. It was a yellow bird.

    Sit down, idiot.

    He stumbled toward the woods. He started on a path out of the campground.

    Sure enough, there was a yellow flutter in some bushes. It made for some higher branches. He followed it. Seemed to lose it several times.

    It would take him on verging pathways, some almost overgrown, some now well-worn, such as the one he travelled now. It was bordered by scrubby-looking trees, through which the yellow would flit.

    He almost caught up with it a few times. He even came close enough to see it sitting a few feet up on a branch. It was almost entirely yellow with a palpitating lie of feathers. It shifted its wings and looked around with the quick movement of a smaller bird, taking in the world with a dark eye. But it shifted its wings again and was in the air, fluttering off to some obscure set of branches.

    He followed along between trees and brush that scraped. Hazy blue mountains seemed to appear above the leaves and in breaks between trees and sightings of bright yellow. He heard more of his feet scuffing on the dusty trail.

    He reached a drop in the trail created by a root across the path. He crouched to step down, grabbed hold of the root to turn around, lost his grip and tumbled into the brush.

    The brush was open on that side, and he fell through it, first colliding with a tree trunk against a shoulder, thudding on the steep bank and wrenching a wrist on another tree trunk and falling out of the brush and into the open.

    He made a six to seven foot drop and landed awkwardly by twisting a foot and falling fully on the dry gravel of a streambed.

    He lay for nearly half a minute.

    Good work, he said.

    He got up and looked around. A small amount of water flowed in the middle of the gravel bed. Trees stood on either side here as well.

    He hauled himself up. The foot was like shards.

    He hopped over to the edge of the steep bank and held onto another root. He stood breathing for nearly five minutes. Then he started following the water.

    An hour later, having worn out his good leg, he found a break the trees, through which he saw the lake below. It was some three hundred feet down.

    Another trail showed through the branches below.

    Three hours later, he was back at the campsite, limping in from the road.

    Give me a beer.

    Where the hell were you?

    He cracked the brown bottle, which made a slight mist from the top. He drank it down.

    Give me your phone, he said.

    Where’s yours?

    He tapped in a number.

    I’m calling Julia, he said. I can’t drive.

  8. I’m back for story A Day September. Story A Day May kind of kick started my commitment to spend time writing, but life got in the way and by August, I wasn’t writing much anymore. And though I want to write, I was starting to doubt again whether I should even focus on it. Then I did the 40 minute story webinar and I decided, I’m going for it again. I have to try. I did learn a lot in May and I hope to learn more this time. This morning I wrote another chapter for the novel I started in June. I may try to write something for the prompt later too. Looking forward to sharing in this experience with everyone.

      1. My story took me away from the direction of the prompt – a pregnant woman in heavy labour on Labour Day, and an interesting request 20 years later on Labour Day.

    1. It’s like May Day in the rest of the world. Sort of… It’s a big holiday that also marks the end of summer.

  9. September is awful because I’m teaching an online writing course (scientific writing) and have to expend lots of energy fixing other people’s writing. But there are always excuses for not writing. I have to stop making excuses.
    My goal for the month is to spend 40 minutes every day writing something — writing anything — just getting it done. For three days in a row I’ve used Julie’s 40-minute storywriting template and finished a draft each time. (Feels good, guys!)
    I’ll let the daily prompts guide me but won’t worry if I diverge.
    Caveat: I’m in a time zone far east of the US and work best in the evening so I’ll probably be a day behind everyone else.

  10. Hi,
    My ideas for this month could be a little ambitiously out of hand.
    It was an average 400-word short story, each day no less, and make a live video where I put together a rudimentary, stick-figure comic book or cartoon from it.
    Every day.
    I have no idea how I would do that.
    I don’t even have a sketchbook.
    And it’s day one already. I’m not real sure about following the prompts so much. But I have been planning on following the idea of a story a day.
    I’ll let you know.

  11. I began with prompt 1 on day 4 because I cannot imagine letting myself down so badly, again! And I looked at the prompt and began to write on autopilot and voila, the story appeared! This was a massive relief and awesome fun. I’m really excited!

  12. I wrote, but I technically wrote Day one on Day two, and I think I will be a day behind this whole time.

  13. I ‘wasted ‘ a fair bit of time yesterday getting the hang of the prompt but as a result I’ve progressed! Late last night I made a story plan & I’m pleased with it.

  14. No writing on this done yesterday — I was outlining a novel — but I’m hoping to have time today and tomorrow to do a little “double up” and have at least the formula part filled in, if not a full-blown story, by the end of the day tomorrow!

  15. Hello! I finally got over to writing a cute little story on the second day. It might not be 100% legible, but the important thing is that I did it.

    1. Absolutely. Definitely. Done is better than perfect. (Though ‘legible’ might be helpful at some point…)

  16. My goal for this challenge is to get words on the page every day . I struggle to get blocks of time to write uninterrupted so I just want to find a way to do it. Reading all your posts makes me determined to overcome my situation and carve out a system to steal time for “me’. I will not be thwarted!

    1. Excellent! It might not work out perfectly every day, but don’t give up. Gather that data and move on. (Maybe keep a running list of stuff you tried and what got in your way).

      It has taken me a long time to get to the point where I can view “failure” as information I can use to make to improve the overall journey….

  17. Wrote a story of about 500 words longhand that concerns a Christmas Eve among the many succulents and sole remaining snooty orchid on the shelves of Walmart. The succulents dread being noticed by the late Christmas Eve shoppers, while the orchid is ruthlessly determined to find a home for Christmas. What the orchid and one of the succulents get is not what they imagined.

    1. I’m so impressed with people who come into StoryADay May fresh off Camp Nano or the A-Z Blog challenge of Poetry Month. What great habits you’re creating!

  18. I did it, 20 minutes before midnight, but I wrote a flash fiction short story piece (does that count?). My main goal in this was just to write something anything, and I’m happy that I did!

    1. Well done! I always count my “day” as “from when I woke up to when I went to sleep”. MY story today was 100 words. Short is absolutely fine. Well done!

  19. I didn’t write a story today because I traveled all day. Tomorrow I will write my first story and my goal is to catch up on the weekend. I want 31 stories at the end of the month.

    1. Good luck! Love that ambition.
      This is the kind of thing where personal preference is so important. If the idea of the 31 stories is going to motivate you, go for it. If you fall more than one story behind, I recommend letting it go, rather than trying to catch up, but you’ll know your own mind better than I do. Maybe you CAN binge four stories over a weekend if you need to 😉

    1. Welcome! If you post your story (or an excerpt) anywhere online, post a link here, and anyone who has time can take a look and give you some feedback. (You can even use a Google Document or Dropbox file if you don’t keep a blog)

  20. I did it! Wrote a quick and dirty story (heavy on the dirty… definitely not pretty). My focus for this challenge is to embrace the dirt instead of being so precious… which causes paralysis… which equals nothing written. I’ve already learned a little about myself and what could possibly work better for my writing practice in the future (such as when/where to write, my mindset going into it, paper/pen vs digital, etc.) Going to keep an eye on things and see if I start to see patterns that I can use in my favor.

    As for my monthly goal, if I am able to keep this up for two weeks I’ll be thrilled. Of course I hope to do the whole month but my drop-off tends to be after a week whenever I try implementing new daily habits so two weeks would definitely be considered a win!

    1. Ah, you are definitely speaking my language. Learning what works for you is so useful.

      I have the same kind of drop off pattern. I encourage you to keep posting here, and keep checking in, past that two week line. I find that if people keep turning up past day 15 they’ll still have here at the end of the month (however imperfectly)

  21. I’m just coming off doing a 20,000 word month for April, so while there was another story trying to come out tonight, it was going to take more time and energy than I had to devote to it tonight. Maybe this weekend.

    So, 100 word story it was, then.


  22. I wrote today. With the challenge starting today, my adrenaline was flowing leading up to my 8 pm appointment. I can’t remember the last time that happened for a writing session. I used a story spark (great suggestion!) that involved writing from a song that suggested a couple vague scenes. 1,300 words and feeling pretty good.

  23. I’m still getting my creative writing legs back under me and can only type with my right hand; the left is encased in an immobilizer after rotator cuff surgery 5 weeks ago. I signed on this year even though the writing will be ultra short. I didn’t write today but there’s still 6 hours left. My goal is to create 10-sentence stories: brief tales on a variety of subjects.

    1. I love that idea. I like a theme. Ten-sentence stories can be a theme!
      And…ouch. Sorry to hear about the shoulder. Hope the surgery was a resounding success.
      And don’t forget you can always dictate your stories. It’s a different kind of “writing”, and can have interesting results.

      1. Thanks for the dictating suggestion. I’m experimenting with Microsoft Word. It is a different form of “writing”. I’ll let you know how it works out.
        Surgery went well. I’ll know more after next week’s 6-week follow up.

  24. I’m sitting this out as April burnt me out – I did 31 posts that included a 19,000 word story. Even wrote a post today so exhausted and I’m just getting started. Good luck everyone.

  25. Despite my husband, daughter and myself being sick, I managed to get a story written. This is my first time doing Story A Day May. I didn’t follow the prompt, because another story was pushing its way out due to my stress levels with illness and my daughter’s seizures starting up again. Writing has been mostly therapy for me for the last 15 years. I’m just now starting to explore writing for other people again and decided to challenge myself with Story A Day.

    1. Ugh, sorry to hear everyone’s sick. Double points for you, for writing anyway.

      I hope StoryADay proves fruitful for you. Do keep turning up and commenting. The accountability is powerful!

  26. I work 12 hour shifts so often there’s not much time. At the very least, i am going to commit to a very short piece every day in May . Excited to see where this goes. Will work on today’s prompt overnight. Added the podcast to my phone & will listen to it on my ride to work.

    1. Oof! Tough hours. But if you can write a little bit, through that, you can manage anything!

  27. Hello! I stayed up far too late and was so tired and overthinking the challenge. But I got a very simple story written about 3 year old Noah discovering he is getting a new baby brother and having none of it. He tries to distract his parents and wish the new baby away. Then on his birthday his parents disappear and later he gets a very different visitor in his ‘ark.’ A first mate to his captain, after lots of reassurance.

    It’s about 870 words and finished after 9.30pm here. Phew.

    I turn 30 in a month and a half and writing is my passion. I so want to do this!

    1. Sorry about that late night!

      Well done on getting that story written. Sounds like a fun one!

      1. Haha no! I was glad to get a few tips. I just wish I didn’t miss your accent story 🙂 Scottish I detect! We must get a little chat some time. Thank you for all your wise words Julie.

        1. Yup, I’m Scottish, relocated to Pennsylvania. In fact, when I saw your name pop up, I thought my Evil Big Sister had turned up to troll me (we’re McC’s as well, originally!)

          1. Amazing 😂 I’m in Ireland, the north bit. But I love Scotland ! I technically am the Evil big sister of plenty (there are 8 of us!) Ooh that has to be a good story. Would like to hear it a different time 🙂

          2. It’s the old story: girl meets boy; boy flees to another continent; girl follows boy; boy submits to the inevitable; “a year or two abroad” turns into 24…

            (“Evil Big Sister” is her self-appointee title.)

  28. Despite being totally zonked after such a short night, I got a story drafted. It was the quiet kind that mainly reveals character. It’s all in longhand so I haven’t a clue about the word count. =(
    I see many flaws, but I consider it positive that I can see them without getting hamstrung. I also see potential. Best of all, I had a couple pleasant surprises. F’rinstance a passage of description that voluntarily stepped up out of nowhere to show how self-absorbed the main character is. Magic!

    1. Oh yes, that is DEFINITELY a positive! Being able to write, flaws and all, and see the potential without getting discouraged? Definite win!

  29. It’s Game of Thrones season and I’m a big fan. So my story has a dragon and some slaughtering involved. I haven’t named the story yet and still need to expand the story since I took the prompt literally and had just filled in the blanks! Haha
    But it’s the end of my day here in India, so I’m going to continue the story tomorrow morning😊

    1. Peach, I think your story would appeal to me. Thank you for your help. I am going to have to put some work in today to keep up!

  30. I writ my story but it was really short! Anymore guidance about how to use that prompt please? I took it too literally I think! 🥴

    1. Hi Wendy,

      I did the same thing initially! Took it too literally and simply filled in the blanks! Haha .. until I read the other stories that were published. So now I’m working on expanding the original story idea. 😊

      1. I think it’s fine to take it literally today. Keep it in mind on other days if you feel like your story is getting away from you, or not going any where. Basically, it’s a tool you can use if your story’s in trouble. 😉
        And remember, you have the rest of the year (of your life!) to revise these drafts. Just keep moving this month.
        And well done!

    2. I think it’s fine to take it literally today. Keep it in mind on other days if you feel like your story is getting away from you, or not going any where. Basically, it’s a tool you can use if your story’s in trouble. 😉
      And remember, you have the rest of the year (of your life!) to revise these drafts. Just keep moving this month.
      And well done!

    1. Slack is just for the Superstars group.

      Everyone else can share comments and story links (like you just did) here.

      Of course, you don’t have to share links to your stories. Just write ’em the come back and report in your progress here.

    2. Also: yay! You wrote your story already. Well done, Marian. You are always an inspiration.

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