Spooky Noise in the Dark Bathroom

Jeff Salter~ By Jeff Salter

We writers tend to have vivid imaginations… especially when it’s night time and we’re alone in the house. This is a true story from May of 2014. See if you can figure out the actual solution to this mystery. OR… how would you WRITE the solution?

Tap...clack-click. Tap...clack-click.

My ears are more finely tuned to spooky unknown sounds at night when my wife is out of town.

I had just gotten into bed, around midnight, when I heard this repeated eerie sound, Tap...clack-click. It seemed to be coming from the bathroom, the door of which I had just closed (as I always do before retiring).

Tap...clack-click.

It wasn't King Sipper (our cat), because he was up on the bed beside me.

dark doorwayTap...clack-click.

It was not a distant train.

Tap...clack-click.

Turned off my 'white noise' machine and listened closely.

Tap...clack-click.

It was definitely coming from the bathroom, and apparently from the other side of the door my face was presently pressed against. I don't know Morse, but I knew this was no S-O-S. But what was it?

Tap...clack-click.

 — —

 Here are some of the suggested solutions to my mystery that I’ve already received. Add yours to the mix and I’ll return later tonight (or tomorrow morning) to tell y’all the REAL solution.

* walls cooling down

* tap dancing cockroach

* dripping faucet

* battery operated grandkid’s toy

* branch tapping against a window

* Poe’s story, "The Tell-Tale Heart," come to life

* And my favorite of the suggested solutions: attempted communication from aliens who use the old-fashioned “tap....clack-click” language.

Add your possible solution in the comments section and I’ll return later tonight (or tomorrow morning) to tell y’all the REAL solution.

As we authors are composing scenes, let’s not be too quick to end them prematurely. Sometimes the characters can take us in a totally different direction.

Jeff Salter, who has written 12 novels and five novellas, already has 14 fiction titles released with three royalty publishers. His most recent is “The Duchess of Earl” released in mid-July by Clean Reads. Two more titles are due out this year and he has several works in progress.

Friday Writing Prompt – With Help from Penny and Leonard

Penny Happy Friday! To kick off the weekend, we’ve got a writing prompt. This week, your protagonist slips up and unexpectedly reveals some true feelings. Yes, it sounds like a cliche, but we dare you to put your own spin on this tried and true trope. Don’t be shy. Dive in and give this a shot. It’ll get you warmed up for a weekend of writing, and prompts are a great exercise in learning about your voice. It’s also, um, kind of stolen borrowed from this episode of The Big Bang Theory.

The Scene

Your hero does something stupid and upsets your heroine. While your heroine is ranting and hurling insults, she lets out an unexpected "I love you." He's told her he loves her, but she's never said it back. Your task: What happens next? Does the mood become awkward or romantic? Do they keep arguing or jump into each other's arms? Is your heroine embarassed? How does your hero act?  Feel free to reverse the roles of the hero and heroine. 
Leave your scene in the comments! Stuck? This should help. (Or at least keep you entertained.) If you’ve got a favorite The Big Bang Theory moment (or Friends moment, Seinfeld moment, or moment from any TV show moment you love) that would make a good writing prompt, let me know! Find more writing prompts. . . 

Friday Prompt – With Help From Bridget Jones!

~ Prompt Provided By A.M. Willard To kick off the weekend, we've got a writing prompt direct from the last scene in the 2001 Bridget Jones's Diary. Bridget Jones
Imagine you've been courting that special someone, but in the mix of it all - he drives you insane¦ Like any respectable lady, you keep a well thought out diary. It includes your fears, accomplishments, hopes, dreams, and even the people you despise. It just so happens that the one your heart yearns for is the one that it loves to hate at the same time. On a cold night, during a blizzard, he shows up at your doorstep to confess his undying love for you. You, on the other hand, have been lounging in your cupcake pajamas and fuzzy socks, eating your favorite snack. Excusing yourself to your room to change and freshen up, you forget that your diary is out on the end table for the world to read your deepest darkest secrets. Upon reentering, not only has the man you love vanished, but the last entry that you wrote about him is open. Now:
  • Did he get cold feet and run off?
  • Did he read your private thoughts, and decided to run away?
  • Do you take the time to change and search for him?
  • Do you run around mad in the cold with nothing but your undies and tank covering your body?
  • Do you plop down and sulk in your nonexistent love life?
Now you tell us how you'd write this scene? Leave your scene in the comments below. Need inspiration? This should help. Good luck! :-) A.M. WillardInternational Bestselling Author, A.M. Willard is a true believer of soul mates, and happy ever afters. She enjoys reading, sailing, and of course writing contemporary romance, and romantic comedy with some saucy scenes. Releasing her first novella of the One Night Series on April 12, 2014, has sent her on a new journey in life.  A.M.'s passion for writing started at a young age, but with the love and support from her husband of nineteen years pushed her to follow her dreams. Once she hit that first publish button, she hasn't looked back. Publications available from A.M. Willard include the Chances Series, Love on the Screen, Fading Memories, Hearts in Florence, and A Taste of Love Series. She's also had an article published in the Writer's Monthly Review Magazine and accepted into the Romance Writers of America organization in May of 2015.  A.M. Willard was born and raised in the Panhandle of Florida, but resides in Savannah GA with her husband, son, two cats, one rotten dog, two goats and her six chickens. Yes, we said chickens and goats...

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Friday Writing Prompt — The Bank Robber

jeff salter ~ By Jeff Salter Happy Friday. :-) Today, to kick off the weekend, we’ve got a writing prompt. Thank you to Jeff Salter for coming up with it! Don’t be shy. Dive in and give this a shot. It’ll get you warmed up for a weekend of writing, and prompts are a great exercise in learning about your voice. Have fun! SITUATION: In NYC, you’ve just been taken hostage by a notorious bank robber from the 1930s. Describe the robber. He didn’t start out to involve you, but you were innocently standing behind his getaway car --- so he improvised and pushed you into the rumble seat before speeding away. pexels-photo-90601-largeWhat are you wearing? The robber – let’s call him “Mike” – now has multiple offenses on his record (besides the theft itself). Now he’s also guilty of kidnapping and violation of the Mann Act… since he’s driving you all the way into Connecticut. After a full hour’s ride in what’s basically a padded trunk (and even though he has not yet reached Connecticut), Mike finally stops to let you stretch your legs. What’s the first thing you say to Mike? Mike’s NOT really a bad guy. Now that the police are far behind, he takes the time to chat with you. He didn’t want to rob the bank, but when they foreclosed on his only property, he had nothing left… and no hope. During this stop (and after conversing with you), he has decided to keep going but is willing to let you go. Before you go, he has one question. What is Mike’s question? Leave your scene in the comments! Find more writing prompts here. Jeff Salter, who has written 12 novels and five novellas, already has 12 titles released with three royalty publishers. Three more titles are due out this year. He has several works in progress.

Friday Writing Prompt – With Inspiration from Gilmore Girls

Luke and Lorelai Happy Friday! To kick off the weekend, we’ve got a writing prompt. This week, your protagonist has just broken up with her fiance and she learns a very important lesson. This prompt is a little cheesier than usual, but oh well. Don’t be shy. Dive in and give this a shot. It’ll get you warmed up for a weekend of writing, and prompts are a great exercise in learning about your voice. It’s also, um, kind of stolen borrowed from an episode of Gilmore Girls.

The Scene

Though your protagonist is carrying on with life as usual, she's had a lot on her mind since breaking up with her fiance. In particular, she's starting to think about the people in her life, and who she'll always be able to count on. One night, during a conversation with a guy who's always been "just a friend," she decides to have a conversation that goes something like this: Protagonist: I don’t have very many people in my life who are in my life permanently forever. They will always be there for me. I will always be there for them, you know? There’s [she lists a few people] and . . . you. I mean, at least I think I’ve got —“ "Friend:" You do. Protagonist: Good. Just checking.  Your task: Contine the conversation. Do they keep talking about how they feel or do they change the subject? Are things awkward or do things feel strangely right? 
Leave your scene in the comments! Stuck? This should help. (Or at least keep you entertained.) If you’ve got a favorite Gilmore Girls moment (or Friends moment, Seinfeld moment, or moment from any TV show moment you love) that would make a good writing prompt, let me know! Find more writing prompts. . . 

Friday Writing Prompt – Inspired by Luke and Lorelai

luke_lorelai_cards Happy Friday! To kick off the weekend, we’ve got a writing prompt. This week, your protagonist is going on a date and ends up hanging out with someone unexpected. But the "someone" is "just a friend." Right? Don’t be shy. Dive in and give this a shot. It’ll get you warmed up for a weekend of writing, and prompts are a great exercise in learning about your voice. It’s also, um, kind of stolen borrowed from an episode of Gilmore Girls.

The Scene:

Your best friend is nervous about her first date with her long-time crush. After much debate, she has finally convinced you to make it a double date by tagging along with her date's cousin. Turns out, this cousin the rudest, most whiny man you have ever met. At the restaurant, he does nothing but embarrass you by making immature comments to the waiter about the food. After dinner, you suggest going somewhere more casual for dessert and coffee, and end up at a diner, where you run into a guy that's "just a friend." Your date, annoyed that the group isn't doing what he wants to do, leaves. So as not to intrude on your friend's date, you sit with your "just a friend." He knows exactly what to order for you. He teases you in a kind, affectionate way. He finds a deck of cards and lets you win every game you play by letting you bend the rules. Meanwhile, you watch your friend, jealous at the site of the beginnings of a relationship.
Leave your scene in the comments! Stuck? This should help. (Or at least keep you entertained.) The scene this prompt is based on begins at 1:47. \ If you’ve got a favorite Gilmore Girls moment (or Friends moment, Seinfeld moment, or moment from any TV show moment you love) that would make a good writing prompt, let me know! Find more writing prompts. . . 

Friday Writing Prompt: No Longer a Crazy Ex Girlfriend!

CrazyEx-Ep16-RebeccaGregBarHappy Friday! To kick off the weekend, we’ve got a writing prompt. This week, your protagonist will be letting go of the past and moving on. Easier said than done, right? Don’t be shy. Dive in and give this a shot. It’ll get you warmed up for a weekend of writing, and prompts are a great exercise in learning about your voice. It’s also, um, kind of stolen borrowed from the latest episode of Crazy Ex Girlfriend. Have fun! :-)
Your poor protagonist. The man she's been dreaming of for almost half of her life finally kissed her. For a brief moment, everything was right with her world.  But then, a few days later, she realizes things aren't as great as they'd seemed.  So, the next time he stops by her house, she kicks him out.  Then, feeling triumphant, she gets rid of everything in her apartment that reminds her of him. Suddenly, her mind is more clear than it's been in years. She leaves her apartment, in search of. . .  Write the scene that follows. Who, or what, is she looking for?
Leave your scene in the comments! If you've been watching Crazy Ex Girlfriend, take our poll and let us know what you think:
Who does Rebecca Bunch belong with?
Josh
Greg
Neither
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If you’ve got a favorite Crazy Ex Girlfriend (or Jane the Virgin, or Seinfeld moment, or any TV show moment you love) that would make a good writing prompt, let me know! Find more writing prompts. . . 

Friday Writing Prompt – With Help from Jane the Virgin!

Happy Friday! To kick off the weekend, we’ve got a writing prompt. This week, we're dealing with love triangles, friends and family. Not exactly un-complicated. Don’t be shy. Dive in and give this a shot. It’ll get you warmed up for a weekend of writing, and prompts are a great exercise in learning about your voice. It’s also, um, kind of stolen borrowed from the latest episode of Jane the Virgin. Have fun! :-)
Lately, your protagonist has been angry with her ex boyfriend and her ex fiance. On top of that, her most recent crush didn't turn out to be the guy she thought he was. Her family and friends are so over the love triangles, and are urging your protagonist to make some decisions.  After making amends with all three men, her ex fiance shows up at her door with news. Suddenly, your protagonist's insecurities and issues with her ex fiance are put to rest, and she knows it's him that she wants.  But not all of her problems are solved. She still has her family and friends to deal with.  How is she going to share the news of the reunion with them? How will they react? Is she nervous?  Bonus: How does she break the news to her current boyfriend? 
Leave your scene in the comments! Stuck? This should help. (Or at least keep you entertained.) If you’ve got a favorite Jane the Virgin moment (or Seinfeld moment, or any TV show moment you love) that would make a good writing prompt, let me know! Find more writing prompts. . . 

faFriday Writing Prompt!

Happy Friday. :-) It’s Melissa here (aka Melina). To kick off the weekend, we’ve got a writing prompt. In many parts of the world, it'll be snowing. So, bundle up, get writing, and send your characters on a ski trip. Don’t be shy. Dive in and give this a shot. It’ll get you warmed up for a weekend of writing, and prompts are a great exercise in learning about your voice. It’s also, um, kind of stolen borrowed from a famous episode of Friends. Only, we're going to flip it on its head and reverse roles. Have fun!  
Write a scene in which your protagonist is stuck, alone, on home on a snowy weekend. Which isn't as cozy as it sounds, because her friends, including her ex-boyfriend (the one she broke up with only a week ago), are on a ski trip that she helped plan. And now, obviously, she's not going. She gets a call from one of her friends that their car is stuck in the middle of nowhere. What does your protagonist do? Does she get in her car and go searching for her friends on a dark, snowy night? Or does she order a pizza and binge watch something on Netflix? Bonus questions: If she chooses to rescue her friends, what happens when she sees her ex? And why is SHE the only one that can rescue them (as apposed to AAA or another friend). 
  Leave your scene in the comments! Stuck? This should help. (Or at least keep you entertained.) If you’ve got a favorite Friends moment (or Seinfeld moment, or any TV show moment you love) that would make a good writing prompt, let me know! Find more writing prompts. . . 

Thanksgiving Writing Prompt – With a Little Help from “Friends”

thanksgiving-23 Happy Monday. :-) It’s Melissa here (aka Melina). To kick off this holiday week, we’ve got a writing prompt. Don’t be shy. Dive in and give this a shot. It'll help keep your brain in writing mode even during what may be busy times, and prompts are a great exercise in learning about your voice. Not only that, today’s prompt is also an exercise in character building. It’s also, um, kind of stolen borrowed from a famous episode of Friends.   Have fun!
Write a scene in which your protagonist is looking forward to a festive meal. Maybe she's spent days cooking. Maybe she hasn't had a home cooked meal in ages and has traveled miles for some family cooking. Either way, she's excited, and possibly trying to impress somebody and / or prove something. But then, something happens that ruins the food. Does she try to salvage the situation and make the most of it? Or does she throw a fit? How does she interact with those around her? Does any good come of the situation?
Leave your scene in the comments! Stuck? These should help. (Or at least keep you entertained.) If you’ve got a favorite Friends moment (or Seinfeld moment, or any TV show moment you love) that would make a good writing prompt, let me know.