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Writers’ Dash Prompt: Constable

Published on Friday, August 24, 2012 by

Today’s morning prompt is constable. Come join us in Second Life® or work from home at 6am PST for 15 minutes of writing inspired by the word.

Please feel free to add your dash piece to the comments section of this blog post below.


I found #dailydash/#writersdash on Twitter, what is it?

The Writers’ Dash (#writersdash or #dailydash on Twitter) is a 15-minute free writing exercise held on Twitter, Facebook and Second Life® every weekday. At 5:30am & 5:30pm PDT we share the word prompt on our social media channels; the live event begins in Second Life® at 6am & 6pm PDT. Write whatever comes to you. Don’t fixate too heavily on what you are writing and disengage your inner editor – the key is for you to get the words on the page first; you can worry about editing later. If you are attending the live event in Second Life® there will be an opportunity for you to show your work to the other participants after the 15 minutes are up. If you are unable to attend the live event you can share your work on our blog. Just look out for the prompt post and leave your dash piece as a comment.

Do I have to do the Writers’ Dash in Second Life®?

No, you can do it at home, if you prefer. We share the prompt word at 5:30am & 5:30pm PDT on Twitter and Facebook and start the timer in Second Life® at 6am/6pm PDT every weekday.

How do I join the live event in Second Life®?

You will first need to join Second Life® through the Second Life® website. Go to http://www.secondlife.com to start the process. It’s free to join.

Click on the JOIN NOW button and this will take you to the Registration screen. Here you simply fill in your personal details and choose a name and look for your avatar. Don’t worry too much about your avatar’s appearance as there will be plenty of opportunity to tweak it once you are inworld.

Once you have completed your Registration, you’ll be asked to download and install the Second Life® viewer to your computer. You will then be taken to a screen that allows you to choose which community gateway to enter. This is important as we want you to go through as smooth a transition as possible. Please choose the Caledon (Victorian Steampunk) Community Gateway. Once you have chosen the gateway you will find yourself appearing inworld at the University of Oxbridge in Caledon. Now begins your brief induction.

Follow the signs and read the information boards as you come to them. There is also a brief Second Life® tutorial provided on screen. Try and absorb as much information as possible but be mindful that you can always return to Caledon at a later date if there is something you feel you missed. At the very least try and understand the most important concepts such as how to move, how to talk and your camera controls.

Once you have completed the Orientation Tutorial you will need to find your way to Milk Wood. This is the sim that is home to  Virtual Writers, Inc. At the bottom of your screen you will see a search tab. Click on this and look for Milk Wood. Now the teleporting fun begins. Click on ‘Teleport’ and you will be moved from your present location to our welcome area. Make sure you save the landmark so that you can easily return there.

We look forward to meeting you at one of our various daily writing events. Don’t forget to click on one of the group joiners  so you can stay abreast of happenings in the writing community. You can also join Virtual Writers, Inc. through the search facility. Simply put Virtual Writers, Inc. under group search, click on the group name to bring up the profile screen. Then click ‘View Full Profile’ followed by ‘Join’.

About Virtual Writers, Inc.

Virtual Writers, Inc. is a free online writers’ community first established in 2007 and committed to showcasing established and emerging writers in a range of interactive and immersive environments. Here we learn to experiment with digital, social and virtual world platforms to push the creative envelope and develop a strong, unique voice.

We provide a wealth of opportunities for writers to meet other writers, share resources, access new markets, attend online writing events, workshops and interactive readings, and discover the best writers’ conferences, competitions, colonies and literary organisations.

If you want to become involved in an active writing community then visit us on Second Life® , our writers’ network, or our social media channels (Twitter, Facebook and Google+) and get interactive. To learn more about our services please contact us through our online contact form.

Whether you are dashing in Second Life®, on Twitter or Facebook we welcome your dashes in the comments section below.

4 Responses
      Sir…um Officer…uhhh Constable,
      what was the driving mistake I made?
      But I did signal before making the turn.
      Oh, pointing isn’t an acceptable signal?
      and I didn’t have my arm out the window long enough?
      But there wasn’t any traffic coming down that street.
      Not a single car.
      And there were no cars behind me at all.
      By the way, Sir…um Constable,
      Where were you when I made the turn?
      My Driver’s License, yes I have it.
      I have both Licenses with me–for Europe and the US.
      Thank you, Constable, for taking the time to explain
      the fine points of signaling to make a turn.
      I’ll be more careful during the rest of my visit.
      Franja Russell 8-24-2012

    • Standing
      on this sharp ledge,
      razor between life and dead
      anxiously looking forward
      time pushes me only further
      don’t dare to look back
      don’t want to be confronted
      with the knowledge the finiteness of my comfortable life
      with the knowledge of the irreversible loss of memories
      with the knowledge the deadline is set
      refused medicine against the icy tentacles of this malicious tumour
      uncontrollably growing
      refused medicine that numb the burning grip, gnawing teeth of hells internal pain
      I want to live it all, till my last nanosecond
      feel it through waves of terror an anxiousness
      see it through a haze of dreams and reality

      feeling the waves of life fading now
      I know the end of the road is near
      and I physically sense
      the following sequence of events
      that will determine my life
      one single malicious cell
      few tenths of microns small
      will leak
      highly toxic chemical hazardous waste
      into a tiny tired artery
      puking into always larger veins
      in vain
      in seconds
      pushed to my friendly loyal heart
      into out
      binding to an innocent meningeal receptor
      skinny-dipping through this mighty barrier
      flirting with hormones
      masking its ultimate goal
      stalling biting binding suffocating synapses
      that fire my heart, vividly contracting in gratitude …
      last call
      last beat
      lungs stall, deflate
      in a cough
      ever faster
      oxygen runs low
      massive energy demand
      reflexes to inhale, convulsions
      eyes wide
      tremendous panic
      synapses shooting wild
      senses badly confused
      red becomes a humming hymn
      green feels glowing warm
      sugar taste turns white sparkling light
      pain gulfs into a lake of rest
      your holding hand, sheltering blanket for my cooling body

      and through this anarchist fireworks of mixed emotions
      overwhelmingly intense
      crashing in this cosmic sea of senses
      not knowing
      I will leave this light-weight incident in stellar evolution
      called life


    • “He went down the tunnel, sir.”
      “Are you sure?” asked the young constable. The tunnel looked a bit too dark. He didn’t feel like going in.
      The crowd nodded in unison.
      He gathered up his courage and walked inside.
      The crowd waited, and waited and waited. It was close to dawn and dinner was waiting. Most of the people went back home and forgot about the constable, the tunnel and the strange being who went inside the tunnel.
      Two stayed behind, a little boy and his friend, a shepherd dog. He just waited, sitting on the floor beside his dog. The little boy didn’t know the constable. He hadn’t seen the strange being either. He just thought the constable would like to be welcomed by someone when he got back.
      It was close to midnight when the constable finally returned. He was holding something.
      “Hey. What are you doing here? It’s late. Your mother must be worried.”
      “No, she is working. What is that?”
      The constable sat down in front of the boy and the dog.
      “This is his coat,” he replied while holding a coat that seemed to be made of a very strange fabric, a mixture of plastic and snake skin. “He managed to escape.”
      “Did you see it?”
      “What was it?” the boy asked eagerly.
      “It was a man; well, a being from another planet, another place, somewhere in the universe. It looked like a man, but his skin was different and he changed his shape to fit into very narrow places.”
      “Oh,” said the boy, eyes wide open.
      “But promise me you won’t tell anyone about this.”
      “We don’t want people to start a hunt for the alien. We’ll find him, discreetly.”
      The boy agreed and the pact was signed with a handshake. They never did find the alien.
      Many years later, when the boy was no longer a boy but a grown man, his shepherd dog fell very ill. He was now an old dog, but the boy inside the grown man didn’t want to lose his lifelong companion. The vets couldn’t do anything so he took his dog home to die where he had lived, right next to his human best friend.
      Suddenly, a strange sound came from the kitchen. It was the door to the back yard. The man stood up and turned around. The strange being was standing in his living room. He walked towards the dog and touched his nose, much to the horror of the man. The dog opened his eyes, stood up and slowly turned into a puppy again. The man couldn’t believe his eyes.
      “Many years ago you made a pact that saved my life. Now I am saving yours.” And as quickly as he had appeared, he was gone.
      The puppy jumped of joy. The man smiled.
      Several years later, when the puppy was already a full grown dog, the man felt a pain in his chest and collapsed. The dog tried to make him move without success. So he ran to town and walked up to the constable and nuzzled his hand. The constable recognized the dog and followed him; the man was taken to hospital.
      The alien had saved two lives, or was it really only one? Well, the boy and the dog did share one soul.
      ©2012 Lizzie Gudkov

    • The tattered gentleman drew himself to his full height plus a stovepipe taller. “I see sir,” said he, “that you are an officer of the law, a member of the constabulary, a keeper of the peace, sir.”

      “That I am,” the officer answered shortly, “Step aside smart now and we’ll see what you’ve got in the wagon.”

      As he complied, he held the officer’s eye, not so much stepping but circling aside, his hands weaving theatrically, his voice taking on a snake-oily smoothness and charm, and the officer’s eye followed.

      The constable could not report, later, what precisely the man said, but only that he “talked a blue streak, he did,” nor would the distracted officer know to report, that while his back was turned and his eye distracted, swift and silent the five lads removed several crates from the cart, concealing them in the nearby shrubbery.

      All he could report was that a thorough search beneath its load of hay revealed nothing in the cart but a sixth lad and a very pretty young lady looking disheveled and mightily embarrassed, sending the flustered constable blustering back-stepping all red in the face.

      “The suspected arsenal,” he reported to his chief, “was not found, sir.”

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