Day 22 – Grant Faulkner is Playful

Welcome to Week 4 of StoryADay! Can you believe you’ve made it this far?

I can tell you from past experience that if you have made it this far, you’re going all the way!

You’ve already spent Week 1 on the “Write” part of the WRITER Code, and Week 2 on “Refine”, concentrating on what was working and what you could let go of in yoru writing and your writing practice.

Last week was all about “Improve”, as you tackled different parts of the story writing craft.

This week’s theme is: “Triumph!”.

This week I want you to make a conscious effort to put a tiny celebration in place whenever you do something that furthers your journey as an author.

  • Got to your desk? Punch the air and say “yeah!”.
  • Finished your story? Give yourself a gold star (literally! Put one in your journal!).
  • Read the prompt and spent the day noodling on story ideas? Take one hand and pat yourself on the back with it.
  • Didn’t get your story written and decided to let it go, but come back tomorrow? Do a little dance, celebrating your ability to overcome disappointments.

There is some serious behavioral science research behind these silly tactics.

When you celebrate, you feel good, and when you feel good, you want to do more of the thing that makes you feel good.

That’s why some of the things we’ll never be, at StoryADay, are somber, judgmental or unrealistic about the challenges of living this writing life!

The Prompt

Be playful.

Playfulness can open up an expanse in confinement.

So… write a story in 26 sentences, with each sentence beginning with a sequential letter of the alphabet, starting with “A.”

The Author

Grant Faulkner is the Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and the co-founder of 100 Word Story. He has published two books on writing, Pep Talks for Writers: 52 Insights and Actions to Boost Your Creative Mojo, and Brave the Page, a teen writing guide. He’s also published a collection of 100-word stories, Fissures, and Nothing Short of 100: Selected Tales from 100 Word Story. He’s also the co-host of the podcast Write-minded. His next collection of short stories, All the Comfort Sin Can Provide is forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press in July 2021.

Read A Book, Support An Indie

Reads & Company Logo

This year’s StoryADay May official bookseller is Reads & Company, a privately-owned indie bookseller in Pennsylvania. Any purchase from the site this month supports Reads & Co.

Grant Faulkner,


Leave a comment and let us know how you got on and how you’re celebrating every success this week!

6 thoughts on “Day 22 – Grant Faulkner is Playful”

  1. This one was fun, and I was amazed how fast it went. It’s a stretch from my comfort zone to write dialog without quotes, though. Posting here is pretty brave of me too.

    A stranger came to the door.
    Baseballs for sale, he said.
    Can’t you see yourself owning one?
    Don’t know if I’d ever imagine it; baseball’s not my game.
    Everyone’s good at something, he said.
    Forget it.
    Gonna have to learn a skill someday, son.
    How about giving it a try?
    I don’t think so; I’m only worse at one thing more than baseball.
    Knowing that I have such a poor skill set sets me on edge.
    Leaves me feeling low.
    Mighty low.
    Now I’m depressed.
    Order me a root beer so I can drown my sorrows.
    Put it on your tab since it’s your fault I feel this way.
    Quite the unexpected sales call, huh?
    Ready to make what you thought was an easy sale.
    Sorry I lack the one motivation to buy a baseball.
    Unless the baseball fairy sprinkles me with it, I ain’t got any.
    Visit me in the stands, though.
    Where I watch the game.
    ‘xactly where I enjoy it most.
    Yelling at the players and eating hot dogs and popcorn.
    Zeroing in on fame that’s all in my head.

  2. I love this prompt and once again I had great fun with it. As last time I can see it turning into another children’s book for my grandchildren. The eldest grandchild is now 20 but she still gets excited when I do another one. It’s very gratifying.

  3. I loved doing this. It was lighthearted and fun. Just what I needed. On completion I realised, with a few tweaks, I could turn it in to a children’s story, maybe an illustrated book. This is exciting!!
    True triumph and time to punch the air and get a gold star!
    I’ve written and desktop published little books for my 5 grandchildren in the past. It is a love of mine. I taught under eleven year olds for 40 years after all!
    Thank you for lighting this spark once more.

  4. My attempt.
    “A gardener?”
    “But, of course I’m a gardener, what else would you expect?”
    “Competent stalwart secretary, of course.”
    Dead silence.
    “Even if you grow things, get dirt under your nails, move creepy-crawlies?”
    “For Pete’s sake – I supply flowers to the Queen!”
    “I’m trying to understand!”
    “Just believe me when I say, I love what I do, okay?”
    “Look. You love knitting.”
    “Mm. That’s true.”
    “Now, I don’t get knitting at all. I’m all thumbs.”
    “Oh, my dear, I’ve tried and tried and tried to teach you!”
    “Patience was never my virtue.”
    “Quit it!”
    “Right. We’ve established I’m a gardener?”
    “Silly.” Sighs. “Sure.”
    “Tough for you to understand, it seems.”
    “Understandable, don’t you think? No money in it.”
    “Xeriscaping! That’s my business!”
    “You know what? You’re nuts!”
    “Zero. Zero understanding. Zilch.”

  5. That was a really interesting prompt! I don’t usually post what I write, but here’s my ABC piece

    Awaiting the time it’ll happen.
    Big Ben’s bells will start to ring.
    Chimes will fill the air.
    Days I have waited.
    Eager to hear them.
    Familiar sounds that I have missed.
    Great big bongs.
    Harking the hour that has struck.
    Intimidating if close, yet comforting.
    Just the way it’s always been.
    Knowing that I’ll never forget the hour.
    Lately, things have left me all adrift.
    My life has been turned upside down.
    Nothing seems the same.
    Only my reflection, yet even that is gaunt.
    People walk on by as if nothing is different, but everything is.
    Queues for food.
    Rations on toilet paper
    Stay home, alert and safe.
    That’s what the advice is, anyway.
    Unfortunately, not everyone listens.
    VE Day parties held, some safe, some not.
    Why won’t people listen?
    Xenophobes on high alert, in case that ‘coloured’ person infects.
    Yes, the time has come for things to change.
    Zoned out for too long, need to reconnect with the world.

    Hope you like!

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