Writing Prompt: A Screaming Stranger

A random character in a busy coffee shop. 
All of a sudden a stranger starts yelling at their face.
Describe the character's reaction within 10 minutes.
Source: Udemy Course "Writing Mastery: Foundations of Fiction" by Jessica Brody

This is the edited version but feel free to give pointers.

A psychotherapist got screamed at by a stranger in a coffee shop

              “Doctor Corin, your next client just called to cancel her appointment. The next one will be at half past three,” Leticia told him as he stepped out of his office. She was in the process of filing and would have gone directly back to it except he continued to stare at her.

              “Leti, you may address me as Gene when it’s just the two of us, ” Dr. Gene Corin reminded her as he tapped his slender fingers at her desk. He looked slightly distracted at the flower arrangement behind her. “I think I will go and check out that newly opened coffee shop on the corner street you mentioned. I will be back before 3.”

              “Very well, Doctor Cor—”


              “Doc– G-Gene. I hope you’ll find it relaxing.”

              He gave her a reassuring smile.


Photo by Elizabeth Tsung on Unsplash

              The coffee shop was buzzing with interminable chatter and lively music as Dr. Corin entered.
His eyes swiftly drilled down the menu before placing his order. He then walked over and leaned at the counter watching the various people around him from the pimply young man frothing milk to the petite young woman skillfully crafting image on the coffee using the frothed milk. There is a group of young ladies gossiping in the corner window seat and another group of young men sitting across from them were giving flirtatious looks and gesture. Several men in tailored suits seated at the counter near the window were either reading the newspaper or looking at their phone. The variety of people in Corner Café are as diverse as the town he works at.

              As his name got called, Mr. Corin heard the door chime ring violently. He smiled at the young woman who handed his coffee and slowly turned to find a frenzied-looking man facing him. The man’s hands were tightly clenched on a knife, his eyes slightly red and scrunched while a vein can be visibly seen throbbing on the side of his wide forehead. Mr. Corin raised his eyebrow.

              “What did you do to my wife?” the man snarled at Mr. Corin who quietly gazed at the man. The busy coffee shop turned into a stand still. Even the young man frothing the milk turned off the machine to look at trouble brewing right in front of them. Many of the customers nearby moved back when they saw the knife.

              “Who are you addressing, young man?” Dr. Corin politely said as he stirred his coffee.

              “You!!!” the man sneered, “You stupid jerk! My wife left me last night after she saw you, taking my boy with her. I paid for that session, Dumbass. All of those sessions with you!” his voice getting louder as he stalked forward.

              Dr. Corin took a sip from his cup and placed it on the tall counter. Placing his feet apart, he took on a boxer’s position and faced the man who is now sweating profusely on his forehead and neck. The man’s gaze traveled from the surrounding people before glancing back at his target.

              “You have no right to drive my wife and kid away from me! You are full of hot air, Doc. D’you know that? You are deep shit, Dumbass!” he screamed. Then he scrunched his body and rushed forward aiming the knife directly at Dr. Corin’s stomach. Several audible gasps seem to spur the man as he gave a maniac laugh.

              Dr. Corin deftly stepped to the side, pushed the hands of his attacker away while easily capturing both with a slight maneuver. He then swiftly encircled his opponent’s neck with his left arm locking him in place while putting pressure on the attacker’s hands to release his weapon. The knife clattered on the floor and slid under a table. The man escaped Dr. Corin’s hold but as he turned to face the doctor he received a direct solid punch on his solar plexus. He slumped down on the marble floor with a thud.

              “I’ve heard of your violence many times, Mr. Flores,” Dr. Corin said as he straightened his jacket into place. He grabbed the knife and deposited in on the counter. He continued, “As a matter of fact, we know you were the one who attacked our female colleagues who were helping your wife. My lawyer will send you a restraining order and I believe with enough people here as witness I can guarantee that you will not be able to harm your young wife, your son of five and any people who are willing to help them.” Mr. Corin slowly uttered looking at the unconscious man lying on his feet.

              Taking a card from his wallet, he handed it to the nearest Barista instructing her to call the police and refer them to his office. Grabbing the cup on the counter, he emptied it quickly and headed to the door. The people in the coffee shop started clapping and cheering as he left.


              “How did you like that new coffee shop, G-Gene? D-did you like the ambiance?” Leticia greeted as he entered the clinic. The glass reflected the slight flush on his face, his eyes were wide and twinkling mischievously, and a small smile has lightened his normally stoic countenance. Leticia looked almost enchanted at him or perhaps a bit perplexed.

              Dr. Corin gave a small laugh. “I think we could renovate our break room into something similar. I rather prefer the coffee you make for me,” he replied with a wink.

              Leticia blushed.

The Writing discipline

Photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash

I want to write. I want to create the world and characters in my imagination and make them come alive in pages. Books don’t get produced on a whim; they were the results of ingenious ideas and edited pieces. Among the chief thrill of writing is the inspiration that surge in me. I have to give chase.

Dear Readers,

Do you know that walking many paths does not take you anywhere? It takes a sincere dedication on following one path that allows you to master it. Even though some may seem to have been walking several paths and succeeding in it, they couldn’t match the time and effort given by a real master.

I’m talking about discipline.

To be a writer, one must write. To be an author, one must produce his or her written works to the world. This is the path faced by writers and authors.  I have several friends who write well about tons of topics and I join them in their quest to share their knowledge and ideas even though there are so many books out there to read.  I do like novels and even though I don’t give raving reviews on all of them, I truly appreciate them for bringing me to different worlds and introducing me to such wonderful characters.

Perhaps that is why I’m forlornly looking at the NaNoWriMo website. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and it started the first of November. You have 30 days to finish writing 50,000 words. Of course, the preparation starts in October or even earlier. Reading through the many testimonials and seeing the many participants all over the world made me wonder about the writing discipline. As of now, you dear readers are reading roughly over 200 words. Of course, 50,000 words would mean several chapters but to finish all that in 30 days requires one to be self-controlled, regulated and organized.

I heard that confessing is a good practice, well here is mine: I rarely finish work that I started at a short length of time. I drag things, I productinate (see its meaning at Urban Dictionary), and I have a tendency to neglect or pass it along. It is such a bad behavior that I get upset looking at the piled-up tasks on my Journal or my desk. If I really want to accomplish it, what is stopping me?

I want to be a disciplined author. During a live-chat with Jerry B. Jenkins, I asked what he would do when an idea hits him hard while currently working on a novel and his response was to simply jot it down and “focus” on the novel at hand. His answer hit me hard right where it should: my lack of discipline.

To truly change, one has to work with your whole being. Do you think it’s easy to immediately be disciplined? I recall my military training (yes, I did have that back in high school) and the first thing we got drilled on is physical training.

Did you just slack off there, soldier? Well, give me another 50 push-ups.

You can’t do that, soldier? Well, your buddy here won’t share your load and neither will I so move it!

It put tremendous stress physically and mentally but it did put you in a certain tune: Obedience. The body does just what you tell it to, pushing itself to the limit and with obedience your mind becomes more focused. Once you’re leading your own squad you know you have to pass on the same kind of discipline because you are teaching them to make their mind and body obey.

One of the very first things that I had to do when I moved here in Germany is to set a schedule or routine for myself because once I’ve uprooted myself from Chicago, everything was unfamiliar. In retrospect, I should have done many things in the beginning. I should have created a schedule, a routine and disciplined myself to do something productive right away. Instead I allowed my confidence and dream to deteriorate.

My French friend, AC, has been such a good influence on me lately and helped me think of my future. She even allowed me to assist her on the project she’s working on. This took me out of the rut I’m digging myself in. Previously, I would often speak with family members and friends on what I should do, what I can focus on, and my various (winning) skills. At the same time, I would often tell my husband how lost I felt because there are so many paths before me. In the end, when AC asked me what I really want to do it became crystal clear: I really want to write. That means I need to have a (published) writer’s discipline. So, I aim to do just that by continually blogging about my pursuit.  It is not going to be easy and there will be times I would fail but I hope to have the same discipline during my military training days.

If you’re still reading at this point, I am especially grateful because that means you allowed me to exhibit a glimpse of my life and almost at 900 words you’ve been patient with what I shared  Please look forward for more updates and I would enjoy hearing from you

Do you approve? Still go and live your life!

Dear readers,

Do you approve of me?” is a question that were never voiced when we talk to our parents, siblings, other family members, and friends regarding our dreams. We seek approval and acceptance but we can’t seem to ask that question directly, perhaps since it will make us sound so destitute for affirmation in the end.

Photo by Jenna Anderson on Unsplash

I have spoken with my family and several friends about pursuing my dreams. They, in turn, have numerous questions of their own:

“Is that what you really want to do?”

“How are you going to go after it?”

“Have you mapped out what path to take?”

“What are your plans to succeed in it?”

“Do you have a plan B to achieve your goal?”

Many of them have a realistic view on how I could fulfill it or how the dream might fail; this perspective is based on the environment they grew up in and their experiences.  Any which way they answered my question, my instinct is to check if they have answered the covert question–the question I dare not ask up front:

“Do you accept me and my dreams?”

This is a bizarre situation I placed myself in because I am setting myself up for rejection and even double rejection. Whatever their answer is to the main question, I will always look for meaning and clarity on the concealed question.

As a whole, many have been supportive in my pursuit as long as I always evaluate and re-evaluate the path I need to take to get there—I have to stay focused.  There were also many who pushed me to “try things out” because in the end regret for not trying is the real failure.  Most of all, there were many who unconsciously answered that they do approve of me and better yet they believe and have faith in me. That at last made me realize that my goal in achieving this dream is truly not to please other people.

Pleasing people is similar to opening a valve that drains you. Depending on who you are trying to please, it could feel seemingly small and totally unnoticeable or a constant overflow from a dam. Perhaps it started as a trickle and now you’re dealing with a downpour. This is still an ongoing battle in my life but it feels wonderful to tell myself that it is not my goal and I could definitely take it off of my goal list. Right now my goal is to maximize my skills to produce wonderful stories and books that would reach out to people, so I should focus on that.

Readers, the main lesson I am learning here is to take responsibility for my life.

I can’t turn to anyone and blame them for leading or pushing me to pursue things nor could I sulk and wait around for life to hand me bags of gold and opportunities. Neither should you.  So, this is what it means to move forward:

  • Find your dreams and exclusively pursue it
  • Undertake it without pleasing other people
  • Lastly, it is your responsibility to live your life to the fullest.