Writespiration #97 52 Weeks in 52 Words – Week 1

writespiration-2017Welcome back folks. I stopped Writespirations back in November, a few short of 100, and I knew then I couldn’t just leave it 3 short. But the break did me good, and now I am ready to rock and roll with a whole new challenge this year.

This year there will be 52 challenges over 52 weeks and your challenge is to write your story using the theme/prompt and write it in just 52 words…. EXACTLY, no more, no less.

The art of being concise is nothing if not a muscle flexing ‘write’ bicep curling device. But I wanted to add to that challenge which is why, you have to be exact too. Because there are 52 challenges over the year, THAT’s I want you to write your entries in EXACTLY 52 words.

Each week I will give you a prompt of some variety and then you submit your entries and I post them the following week with the new prompt. You’ll have until Sunday to enter each week.

This year, I am trying to cut back the time I spend blogging to make sure I give as much time as I can to writing books. So I wanted to let y’all know, that I will read every single entry, but I may not comment on each one.

So without further ado, the first writespiration of 2017, 52 words exactly and you need to include the phrase…

The timer started

Somewhere in your 52 words.

Good luck.


  1. Beyond Redemption

    In the planet-planning lab, Mogor flicked his forked tail at the analysis-visiscreen. Eons crafting experiments had produced vast plains, teeming with elk, antelope, deer. Neanderthals hunted, mated, made shelters, formed tribes. Beyond the mountains Homo Sapiens learned land-lust, racial prejudice, and territorial intolerance.
    Mogor’s matriculation project: Human War Study. The timer started.


          2. Hi Jane, Thank you for reading! 🙂 Seems we could have been underestimating Neanderthals though. I saw this http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/05/the-astonishing-age-of-a-neanderthal-cave-construction-site/484070/?utm_source=atlfb
            “we now know that Neanderthals made tools, used fire, made art, buried their dead, and perhaps even had language. “The new findings have ushered a transformation of the Neanderthal from a knuckle-dragging savage rightfully defeated in an evolutionary contest, to a distant cousin that holds clues to our identity,”

          3. That was what I had thought too. There’s something about the different types of intelligence between Homo Sapiens who can project themselves forward in time, create and learn new things, and Neanderthal who remembered absolutely everything, did everything as they had always done it and learned new things with difficulty. We have lost that ancestral knowledge in exchange for the creative. It hasn’t always been a good bargain.

  2. I’d wondered how long my Christmas present glass kettle took to boil, and this theme gave me the chance to find out. It was two minutes exactly from when the timer started, giving me two minutes and four words to ponder how to start my story for you. Once upon a time…

      1. It was last Christmas’s actually, and it now has a London lime scale effect. I wonder if that would have dulled the glass slipper too, after a while? But otherwise, yes it’s true! I was very pleased when I found there were four words left!

    1. Love the idea of Cinderella’s slipper clouding wtih limescale over time – what a great metaphor. Flash writing is so good! It gives you a perfectly rounded small story, but also new angles for extra ideas. Using Once upon a time as an ending is, as Sacha says, genius.

      1. Thank you! How nice to get a comment like that out of the blue from a complete stranger. Maybe dreams do come true (limescale notwithstanding)… If you haven’t had enough please do follow my blog!

    1. ooh, that’s a good idea! Might have to try that for next year, I’ve scheduled them all up for this year 😀

  3. We were leaving the park and our autistic son, Isaac started screaming to stay longer. A meltdown was coming, something had to be done.
    Drawing on past experience I looked at him and said “Isaac you have 10 more minutes, the timer has started.”
    Calmness ensued and we had a great day.

  4. I’ll be pinging back tomorrow Sacha… tied your prompt in with Sue’s #writephoto prompt and Linda’s #JusJoJan challenges too!
    But I managed… 52 words exactly!!!
    Why do I do this to myself???!!!

  5. Flight Life
    The timer started at Check-in. By security they held hands, kissing on boarding. Separated at take-off, torture, tears. At 30,000 feeding him pretzels; at a mile, sex in the toilet. First argument in an air-pocket. Engaged on descent, cooling at border-control indifferent by the bags, divorced when she sees his wife.

  6. Blonde Bombshell ?

    “I don’t know!” He struggled against the ropes binding his wrists. “I swear…”

    “Tick, tock,” she examined her nails. “The timer started,” she glanced at the bomb, “six seconds ago.”

    “You have the wrong man!”

    “Aw. Now why’d you do that?” She grabbed his chin. “I. Don’t. Like. Liars.”


    “Too late.”

  7. Sacha, I love the challenge format of 52 words over 52 weeks.

    “Riders are you ready?”

    “Flag’s Up.”

    The judge’s arm dropped and the timer started the clock.

    “Number 9.”

    Three riders on horseback. Thirty head of cattle. One pen. Sort three cows with the same number. Drive them into the in the pen in the least amount of time.


    The clock stops.


  8. Yay! So glad this is back.

    The timer started. I stared at the pile of unrecognizable ingredients in front of me. A dog eared recipe card lay to my right with faded instructions written in a scrolling hand. It might once have been legible, but now could easily pass as another language. Cursive. Can anyone read cursive anymore?

  9. Fun, Sacha. I will make a concerted effort to participate! Just wanted to let you know that your gravatar is sending everyone to your old site. (I think it’s the gravatar – the link in Reader). Now, I have to fly over to your previous post! I missed your book launch! Ack!

    1. You totally have not missed my launch, but that is good to know I’ll fix that now. Launches won’t be till May-ish for non fic, and around Aug/September for the fiction

  10. I’m late to the kick-off party but want join in! 52 words…a challenging constraint!

    The Timer Started by Charli Mills

    The grease-splattered timer on Gramma’s stove ticked faster before the DING! That’s when the belt came out to curb rebelliousness. In school, the wall-clock droned: tick-tick-tick. That sound grabbed my throat every test, paralyzed my hand, stupefied my brain. Job interviews with timers left me unemployable.

    The needle’s plunge stops the ticking.

    1. ooooh wow, that ending! Thank you Charli. What a cracking entry, I am determined to play more with your entries this year. The end of last year I was so focused on just getting books finished I couldn’t see further than Scrivener!

      1. I understand! I’m still trying t figure out an elegant way to schedule writing, platform and social media. I love this 52 word challenge because the spontaneity is different, even from 99 words. Thanks!

  11. You

    I stepped outside, my eyes wandered upward to the beautiful black canvas dotted with glimmering lights. Absolute peace!

    My shoulders slide, relaxing into my body. I stepped back toward the door, my inner child pleading, “just a few more minutes”. Inside, my shoulders already creeping up, I sit down. The timer started.

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