Scraptacular Variation: Samples from the Inbox

I share some of the interesting links I find in my weekly Scraptacular posts, but some of my best non-blogging buddies send me fun stuff the old-fashioned way – remember e-mail? – and sometimes I like to circulate those items over here too.

You Got That Write
This came via e-mail from my uncle. It’s one of those things that cites a source, but the citation is so vague – in this case, a “professor at the University of Phoenix” – that it’s meaningless, so let’s just assume it’s fiction. I thought it was a pretty amusing fiction, though, so it gets to become a blog post. (Edited for language that I wouldn’t normally use here)

Here’s a prime example of ‘Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus’
offered by an English professor from the University of Phoenix:

The professor told his class one day: ‘Today we will experiment with a new form called the tandem story. The process is simple. Each person will pair off with the person sitting to his or her immediate right. As homework tonight, one of you will write the first paragraph of a short story. You will e-mail your partner that paragraph and send another copy to me. The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story and send it back, also sending another copy to me. The first person will then add a third paragraph, and so on back-and-forth.

Remember to re-read what has been written each time in order to keep the story coherent. There is to be absolutely NO talking outside of the e-mails and anything you wish to say must be written in the e-mail. The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached.’

The following was actually turned in by two of his English students, Rebecca and Gary.


(first paragraph by Rebecca)

At first, Laurie couldn’t decide which kind of tea she wanted. The chamomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings at home, now reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he liked chamomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mind off Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about
him too much her asthma started acting up again. So chamomile was out of the question.

(second paragraph by Gary)

Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadron now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about than the neuroses of an air-headed asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago. ‘A.S. Harris to Geostation 17,’ he said into his transgalactic communicator. ‘Polar orbit established. No sign of resistance so far…’ But before he could sign off a bluish particle beam flashed out of nowhere and blasted a hole through his ship’s cargo bay. The jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out of his seat and across the cockpit.


He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but not before he felt one last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one woman who had ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4. ‘Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel,’ Laurie read in her newspaper one morning. The news simultaneously excited her and bored her. She stared out the window, dreaming of her youth, when the days had passed unhurriedly and carefree, with no newspaper to read, no television to distract her from her sense of
innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her. ‘Why must one lose one’s innocence to become a woman?’ she pondered wistfully.


Little did she know, but she had less than 10 seconds to live. Thousands of miles above the city, the Anu’udrian mothership launched the first of its lithium fusion missiles. The dimwitted wimpy peaceniks who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace disarmament Treaty through the congress had left Earth a defenseless target for the hostile alien empires who were determined to destroy the human race. Within two hours after the passage of the treaty the Anu’udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower to pulverize the entire planet. With no one to stop them, they swiftly initiated their diabolical plan. The lithium fusion missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his
top-secret mobile submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off the coast of Guam, felt the inconceivably massive explosion, which vaporized poor, stupid Laurie.


This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic semi-literate adolescent.


Yeah? Well, my writing partner is a self-centered tedious neurotic whose attempts at writing are the literary equivalent of Valium. ‘Oh, shall I have chamomile tea? Or shall I have some other sort of F–KING TEA??? Oh no, what am I to do? I’m such an air headed bimbo who reads too many Danielle Steele novels!’








Go drink some tea – whore.


A+ – I really liked this one.

Thanks to my non-blogging friend Roxane for e-mailing me the following story…perhaps it happened, but it doesn’t really matter whether it’s true or not, because it’s funny anyway.

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  1. That is hilarious, Florinda! I told my husband he had to read it too. 🙂 I’m still laughing over it.

    When I was more actively involved in pen paling, I tried my hand at tandem writing via letters. There were four of us involved and we would each write a section to a story. Our stories were only four pages long, each person getting a chance to rotate the pages we wrote, from beginning to middle to end. It was an interesting exercise. Sometimes the results were quite amusing. I learned quickly not to get invested in my beginning because it would never turn out the way I was hoping it might go. There was one woman who could be counted on for adding a romance into any story.

  2. Literary Feline – I’ve never tried that, Wendy. I bet it would be fun and interesting – kind of like the “telephone” game. But I can imagine that it would be a good idea not to get too invested, since once the story leaves your hands, you have no control over where it goes next.