Category Archives: Challenges and Writing Prompts

Anne of Bickling Hall in Norfolk

Her saturated garments sucked moisture from the misty gray air and clung to her skin. Damp strands of auburn hair hid her ashen face. Her hands and feet were bound in chains.

She rocked slowly from side to side in cadence with the yeoman’s oars, silent. The smell of rot and sewage wafted from the dark river, assaulting her senses as onlookers spit their disdain, “Whore!” “Witch!” “Traitor!” The gruesome severed heads of previous passengers along this bloody way dangled from the trusses of the bridge as they passed through.

Soon they would arrive at the tower. Her splendid tower where she once resided in oppulance when he still loved her deeply. This day she would enter from its bowels through the traitor’s gate.

Such was the final voyage of this wretched woman, once queen. She languished for weeks in the tower confessing her innocence to the very end.

On that horrible day in May she climbed the scaffolding in the Tower Green to meet her fate. To the one who had once declared that he had been “struck by the dart of love” appealing to her to “give herself body and heart to him”, she gave her head.

(200 Words)

A dramatization of the last weeks of Anne Boleyn, charged, found guilty and executed for numerous crimes at the behest of her husband, King Henry VIII who had arranged for annulment to gain clearance to marry his mistress Jane Seymour. They were betrothed the day after Anne’s execution and married ten days later.

For Al’s Sunday Photo Fiction Challenge inspired by his photograph of the Traitor’s Gate at the London Tower on the River Thames



wide eyes and windows
offer onlookers glimpses
of what lies within


For Haiku Horizon’s weekly challenge based on the prompt word, “Window”.

Backronym – Friday’s Word of the Day Haiku


I LOVE today’s word of the day on! Backronym. Not to be confused with its cousin, the acronym, a word formed by using the first letters of a phrase, a backronym is a phrase generated using the letters of existing word or name. The word “Backronym” is itself a portmanteau (Remember that word of the day? A word formed by combining the elements of two words?) Backronym, the word, is formed by combining the word “backward” with “acronym”.

Some of the more common backronyms that you may be familiar with are: AMBER (America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response) Alert, SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), ZIP (Zone Improvement Plan) Code, and my personal favorite, SPAM (Something Posing As Meat). creating backronyms can be fun, inspirational as in the Alcoholics Anonymous words, SLIP (Sobriety Losing Its Priority) and DENIAL (Don’t Even Notice I Am Lying), and functional, as illustrated by the military’s extensive use of backronyms for various operations: CAT (Crisis Action Team), WASP (World War II’s Women Airforce Service Pilots), the US military’s personnel and benefits database, DEERS (Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System), and WOMBAT (Worldwide Observatory of Malicious Behaviours and Attack Threats) project. The military is a prolific promoter of backronyms. I am reminded of my own days as a young Marine taunted by my male counterparts’  cat-calls, “BAM” (Broad Ass Marine). Yes, the possibilities are endless!

My research into this word revealed an online Backronym Maker and a helpful site that gave the history of words assumed to be acronyms that are actually backronyms. The word was coined by Washington Post reader Meredith Williams of Potomac, Maryland who entered and won the paper’s monthly Neologism Contest in November 1983. She defined it as “the same as an acroynym, except that the words were chosen to fit the letters”. And the rest, as they say, is history! Since it is a relatively new word, it’s worth noting that there are opposing views as to whether a word is a true acronym or if it is, in fact, a backronym. It’s a “chicken or the egg” dilemma, but I think it is safe to assume that if a phrase is formed from an existing word, it might be a backronym.

And then, there are “initialisms”, also called abecedisms  (isn’t that an interesting word!) which is a term formed from the initial letter or letters of several words or parts of words, but which is itself pronounced letter by letter. Examples include ABC (American Broadcasting Company), DVD (Digital Versatile Disc), HTML (HyperText Markup Language), IBM (International Business Machines Corporation), and ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) A bit off-topic, I know, but aren’t you glad to know about initialisms too! I know I am! 😉

Here’s a Haiku to put this one to rest. Rather than use the actual word, I decided to create an example of today’s word of the day from the word “HAIKU) Have a great weekend.


Heady Artistic
Inspirations, oft’ Kitschy,
though Understated


Miracles for Fools

fools seek miracles
to save them from calamities
of their own making

For Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge, prompt words: Miracle & Save.


Photo by TJ Paris

blue sky speckled black
conspirators cackling
ravens on the wing


For TJ’s Household Haiku Challenge based on this photo by his photo and the prompt Words: Melody (Cackle) and Blue.

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