Instead, we are giving you a head-start on January's Challenge! And our January Challenge will be a sort of choose-your-own affair. We had a lot of unused prompts from the previous challenges, so we are going to use them up (or as much as possible).
To claim your prompt, comment to this post, and tell us the number of the prompt you are claiming. We will strike out the ones that have been claimed. If you choose to do a story from the May, August, or September challenges, then simply choose your elements from the list for that month--you don't have to tell us which ones.
And if, by chance, you started a story from one of these previous challenges, then this would be a wonderful chance to finish and post it!
Stories will be due the weekend of January 16th, and will be revealed on Monday January 19th. Please remember to put your story title and your name on the subject line, and to use the header provided on the community profile page. Tag your story "january potluck challenge".
The prompts are behind the cut. Take as many as you think you can write!
TITLES TAKEN FROM SONGS OR POEMS (NOVEMBER)
(Story to include a character singing or reciting a poem. Choose the title of your story from the following list.)
1. An Island Good to Land Upon (JRRT, AoTB)
2. We Will Walk in Bitter Rain (Howard Shore and Fran Walsh)
3. Day is Dying in the West (Mary A. Lathbury)
4. And I Must Follow If I Can (JRRT, LotR)
5. As I Was Out Walking One Morning for Pleasure (anonymous trad.)
6. We Still Remember, We Who Dwell (JRRT, LotR)
7. There is an Old Hoard in a Dark Rock (JRRT, AoTB)
8. Sweet is the Sound of the Falling Rain (JRRT, LotR)
9. Will There Really Be a Morning? (Emily Dickinson)
10. In the Willow-meads of Tasarinon (JRRT, LotR)
11.Farewell We Call to Hearth and Hall (JRRT, LotR)
12.And All I Ask is a Tall Ship and a Star to Steer Her By (John Masefield)
13. I Will Not Say the Day is Done, Nor Bid the Stars Farewell (JRRT, LotR)
14. And There He Dozed and Dreamed of Ale (JRRT, LotR)
15. A Light from the Shadows Shall Spring (JRRT, LotR)
16. Within the Shadows of Her Hair(JRRT, LotR)
17. I Heard a Sea-Bell (JRRT, AoTB)
18. I Sit Beside the Fire and Think (JRRT, LotR)
19. The World was Young, the Mountains Green (JRRT, LotR)
20. In Dwimordene, in Lórien, More Fair than Thoughts of Mortal Men(JRRT, LotR)
21. Where Now the Horse and the Rider?(JRRT, LotR)
22. The Water is Wide, I Cannot Pass O'er (anonymous trad.)
23. Tall Ships and Tall Kings(JRRT, LotR)
24. All Will Be Well When the King Enjoys His Own Again (anonymous trad.)
25. There Was a Merry Passenger (JRRT, AoTB)
SCARY QUOTES (OCTOBER)
(Story to have a Halloween or Harvest theme. Choose one of the following quotes as your element.)
From The Hobbit:
26. “This thing all things devours;Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal’
Slays kings, rules town,
And beats high mountains down.”
27. “There were queer noises too, grunts, scufflings and hurryings in the undergrowth, and among the leaves that lay piled endlessly thick in places on the forest floor; but what made the noises he could not see.”
28. “There he lay, a vast red-golden dragon, fast asleep; a thrumming came from his jaws and nostrils, and wisps of smoke, but his fires were low in slumber. Beneath him, under all his limbs and his huge coiled tail, and about him on all sides stretching away across the unseen floors lay countless piles of precious things…”
From The Lord of the Rings
29. “’There are various queer things living deep in the Forest, and on the far side,’ said Merry, ‘or at least I have heard so; but I have never seen any of them. But something makes paths. Wherever one comes inside one finds open tracks, but they seem to shift and change from time to time in a queer fashion.’”
30. “Round the corner a long arm was groping, walking on its fingers towards Sam, who was lying nearest, and towards the hilt of the sword that lay upon him.”
31. “The stone vanished with a soft slap; but at the same instant there was a swish and a bubble. Great rippling rings formed on the surface out beyond where the stone had fallen, and they moved slowly towards the foot of the cliff.”
32. “The trees were grey and menacing, and a shadow or a mist was about them. The ends of their long sweeping boughs hung down like searching fingers, their roots stood up from the ground the limbs of strange monsters, and dark caverns opened beneath them.”
33. “The light was still grey as they rode, for the sun had not yet climbed over the black ridges of the Haunted Mountains before them. A dread fell on them, even as they passed between the lines of ancient stones and came to the Dimholt.”
34. “Lights went on in house and hamlet as they came, and doors were shut, and folk that were afield cried in terror and ran wild like hunted deer. Ever there rose the same cry in the gathering night: ‘The King of the Dead! The King of the Dead is come upon us!’”
35. “Upon it sat a shape, black-mantled, huge and threatening. A crown of steel he bore, but between rim and robe, naught was there to see, save only a deadly gleam of eyes: the Lord of the Nazgû l.”
From The Silmarillion
36. “There came wolves, and wolf riders, and there came Balrogs, and dragons, and Glaurung, father of dragons.”
37. “…the bat-fell of Thurengwethil. She was the messenger of Sauron, and was wont to fly in vampire’s form to Angband; and her great fingered wings were barbed at each joint’s end with an iron claw.”
38. “…their wise men laboured unceasingly to discover if they might the secret of recalling life, or at the least the prolonging of Men’s days. Yet they achieved only the art of preserving incorrupt the dead flesh of Men, and they filled all the land with silent tombs in which the thought of death was enshrined in the darkness.”
39. “Thereafter the fire and smoke went up without ceasing; for the power of Sauron daily increased, and in that temple, with the spilling of blood and great torment an great wickedness, men made sacrifices to Melkor…”
40. “…a darkness crept slowly through the wood from the southward, and fear walked the shadowy glades; fell beasts came hunting, and cruel and evil creatures laid down their snares.”
From The Children of Hurin
41. “Therefore he journeyed on through Dimbar, and up to the Pass of Anach in Ered Gorgoroth, the Mountains of Terror, and so the highlands of Taur-nu-Fuin, the Forest under Night, a region of dread and dark enchantment, of wandering and despair.”
42. “And there right before her was the great head of Glaurung, who had even then crept up from the other side, and before she was aware her eyes had looked in the fell spirit of his eyes, and they were terrible, being filled with the fell spirit of his Master.”
43. “The waters of Teiglin flowed on, but Cabed-en-Aras was no more: Cabed Naeramarth, the Leap of Dreadful Doom, thereafter it was named by men; for no deer would ever leap there again, and all living things shunned it, and no man would walk upon its shore.”
(Story to have at least two characters, one old and one young, interacting. Choose three adjectives from the list to use.)
adorable gleaming gorgeous graceful grotesque handsome homely light long magnificent misty motionless muddy old-fashioned plain poised precious quaint shiny smoggy sparkling spotless stormy strange ugly ugliest unsightly unusual wide-eyed glamorous gleaming gorgeous graceful grotesque handsome homely light long magnificent misty motionless muddy old-fashioned plain poised precious quaint shiny smoggy sparkling spotless stormy strange ugly ugliest unsightly unusual wide-eyed odd open outstanding poor powerful prickly puzzled real rich shy sleepy stupid super talented tame tender tough
(Write a story using a Point-of-View character that you have seldom or never used before. Include a color, a number and a shape from the following list.)
Colors: white, black, grey, red, yellow, blue, green, purple, orange, brown, silver, gold
Numbers: one, three, seven, nine, four, ten, a dozen, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, seventy-five, one-hundred
Shape: circle, square, triangle, oblong, oval, sphere, cylinder, cube
(Story to have a “Summertime” theme. Choose one of the following story-starters as a sentence to use in your story. It does not *have* to be the first sentence, but should be used somewhere in the story.)
44. The stars glittered against the indigo sky, not a cloud to be seen, nor a sliver of moon. 45. Rain would be a very welcome thing right now. 46. ______ could not stop sneezing; his eyes burned, and his throat was itchy. 47. The river flowed like a ribbon of gold, sparkling beneath the noonday sun. 48. It had seemed like a good idea at the time, but now ______ wasn’t so sure about that. 49. He never would have believed it if he hadn’t seen it for himself!
50. “Someone’s coming! Quick! Hide!
51. “Well, if you really must know, ______.“
52. Lost and hungry, he kept on walking.
53. The melodic notes of a flute drifted in through the open window, and ______ got up to see who was playing it.
54. The door of the tavern swung open and everyone stared when ______ sauntered across the floor.
55. “I didn’t think you’d mind if I borrowed your _______ without asking.“
56. The waters of the River flowed swiftly, carrying the small boat quickly downstream.
57. “No, my mind is made up and you’ll not be talking me out of it!“
58. The branches were bending low, heavy with summer fruit.
59. The water was cool and refreshing, and beckoned in the summer heat.
60. The sound of the waves, the cry of the gulls and the salt smell seemed familiar, no matter that he had never encountered them before.
FATHER’S DAY (JUNE)
(Write a story with a theme of “Father”. Use one of the following quotations, either in the story or as inspiration.)
Father’s Day Quotations
61. “ ‘And Thrain your father went away on the twenty-first of April, a hundred years ago last Thursday, and has never been seen by you since--’
"True, true,’ said Thorin.‘Well, your father gave me this to give you; and if I have chosen my own time and way for handing it over, you can hardly blame me, considering the trouble Had to find you. Your father could not remember his own name when he gave me the paper, and he never told me yours, so on the whole I think I ought to be praised and thanked!’” (The Hobbit, Ch. I, “An Unexpected Party”)
62. “But my memory reaches back even to the Elder Days. Eärendil was my sire, who was born in Gondolin before its fall; and my mother was Elwing, daughter of Dior, son of Lúthien of Dorath. I have seen three ages in the West of the world, and many defeats and many fruitless victories.” (FotR, Bk. II, Ch. II Ch. 2, “The Council of Elrond”)
63. “But few marked what Isildur did. He alone stood by his father in that last mortal contest…” (FotR, Bk. II, Ch. II, “The Council of Elrond”)
64. “ ‘He is Aragorn son of Arathorn,’ said Elrond; ‘and he is descended through many fathers from Isildur Elendil’s son of Minas Ithil.’” (FotR, Bk. II, Ch. II, “The Council of Elrond”)
65. “ ‘Welcome, my lords, to Isengard!’ he said. ‘We are the door wardens. Meriadoc, son of Saradoc is my name; and my companion, who alas! is overcome by weariness’--here he gave the other a dig with his foot-- ‘is Peregrin, son of Paladin, of the House of Took.’” (TT, Bk. III, Ch. VII, “The Road to Isengard”)
66. “Gandalf it was who spoke to Faramir ere he rode east. ‘Do not throw your life away rashly or in bitterness,’ he said. ‘You will be needed here, for other things than war. Your father loves you and will remember it ere the end. Farewell!’” (RotK, Bk. V, Ch. IV, “The Siege of Gondor”)
67. “ ‘Éomer, my son! You lead the first éored.’ said Théoden; ‘and it shall be behind the king’s banner in the centre…’”(RotK, Bk. V, Ch. V, “The Ride of the Rohirrim”)
68. “… ‘You see, your dad, Mr. Peregrin, he’s never had much truck with this Lotho, not from the beginning: said that if anyone was going to play the Chief at this time of day, it would be the right Thain of the Shire, and no upstart.’” (RotK, Bk. VI, Ch. VIII, “The Scouring of the Shire”)
69. “Denethor II was a proud man, tall, valiant, and more kingly than any man that had appeared in Gondor for many lives of men; and he was wise also, and far-sighted and learned in lore. Indeed he was as like to Thorongil as to one of nearest kin, and yet was ever placed second to the stranger in the hearts of men and the esteem of his father.” (RotK, Appendix A)
70. “Then Aragorn, being now the Heir of Isildur, was taken with his mother to dwell in the house of Elrond, and Elrond took the place of his father and came to love him as a son of his own.” (RotK, Appendix A)
71. “Meriadoc was then old (102) but still hale. He took counsel with his friend the Thain, and soon after they handed over their goods and offices to their sons and rode away over Sarn Ford, and they were not seen again in the Shire.” (RotK, Appendix B)
72. “ ‘Do you then scorn your father’s gift?’ said Morwen; and Túrin answered: ‘No; but I love Sador, and I am sorry for him’ Then Húrin said: ‘All three gifts were your own to give, Túrin: love, pity, and the knife the least.’
(The Children of Húrin, Chapter I, “The Childhood of Túrin”)
73. “Then Fëanor rose, and lifting up his hand before Manwë he cursed Melkor, naming him Morgoth, the Black Foe of the World, and by that name only was he known to the Eldar ever after. And he cursed also the summons of Manwë and the hour in which he came to Taniquetil, thinking in the madness of his rage that had he been at Formenos his strength would have availed more than to be slain also, as Melkor had purposed. Then Fëanor ran from the Ring of Doom, and fled into the night; for his father was dearer to him than the Light of Valinor or the peerless works of his hands: and who among sons, of Elves or of Men, have held their fathers of greater worth?” (The Silmarillion, Chapter IX, “Of the Flight of the Noldor”)
74. “…and Finarfin was set to rule the remnant of the Noldor in the Blessed Realm. But his sons were not with him, for they would not forsake the sons of Fingolfin…” (The Silmarillion, Chapter IX, “Of the Flight of the Noldor”)
75. “30 April 1944 (FS 20)My dearest:
I have decided to send you another air letter, not an airgraph, in the hope that I may so cheer you up a little more…I do miss you so, and I do find all this mighty hard to bear on my own account and on yours. The utter stupid waste of war, not only material but moral and spiritual is staggering to those who have to endure it.”
(Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter #64, to his son Christopher during WWII)
MAY (CORONATION CHALLENGE)
(Write a story set at the time of the Coronation of Elessar, and choose three elements from the following list.)
A necklace; an old book; a bottle of wine; A cloak; an oliphaunt; soup; A helmet; a flower bed; a jar of preserves; A pair of socks; an open door; mushrooms; An undergarment; a stone wall; cakes; Hats; a letter; fish; A shield; a proclamation; strawberries; A surcoat; a dance; herbs; A scarf; a key; pepper