a group writing project

a group writing project

hey friends,

last month, I was walking around Hollywood and saw something unusual. now that in itself isn’t that unusual because I see odd things all the time. but it’s not often you see an eyeless orange stuffed lion…


I posted the picture on facebook and encouraged my friends to help write the story with me. two people responded – Vanessa [V] and Lola [Lo]. below is our story, plus some pictures that Vanessa found. as usual, I’m [LG].

anyone want to continue the story here in the comments?


[LG] The Lonely Lion sat down on the curb and leaned against the street lamp. As the sun began to set on Hollywood he thought about the events that lead him here. It wasn’t long ago that…

[V]‎ ….it wasn’t so long ago that he was a featured performer in the Des Moines Circus, eight shows a week for Iowans of all ages.

[Lo] ‎…he had fallen deeply in love with the aerialist and elephant trainer, Miss Moines, a bonnie lass. But there love affair quickly fell apart when suddenly the shame of their interspecies relations came down upon her and she left him for a slack-jawed clown of mediocre talents. His heart burned for her but he threw himself into his work…

Miss Moines

[LG] which by and large had to do with letting various things be put into his mouth. sometimes he was to bite, sometimes not. occasionally there was a balancing act that involved a very cantankerous seal named Abernathy – but that is a tale for another day. so the Lonely Lion poured his heart and and soul into not biting people’s heads. and all was well, the crowds would roar* for him and it became his reason for living. then one day the Circus Master, Cyrus B. McGillicuty decided to take the troupe on the road…

[V] ….McGillicuty assembled the troupe inside the tent to announce his plans. The performers sat where their audiences had sat for the past four years, on bales of hay with peanut shells at their feet. Miss Moines’s heart leapt at the news — she’d been working on an edgier act and longed to perform in a bigger city. She held her breath waiting for MCgillicuty to say “Chicago,” and sighed dejectedly when he announced they would instead head southwest to Topeka. Slacky the Clown loosened his bow tie and cleared his throat, imagining all the extra work that would be required of a traveling troupe — running about honking his nose, tumbling out of a prop car with 18 other clowns PLUS breaking down and setting up the tent in each different town? Wooing Miss Moines had already taken so much energy. As the performers dispersed to pack their things, Lion stood behind Dainty the elephant’s leg and watched Miss Moines move slowly back to her trailer, and he wished she was still his to comfort….

[Lo] Topeka seemed a cruel city when they arrived in the fall of 1924. The Iowan cheers turned to jeers of unsatisfied revelers, drunk on bath gin, and bootlegged bottles of booze. No act seemed spectacular enough for the crowds. Leo Tanner “the Lonely Lion”‘s act was the exception, the blood thirsty crowds went wild for him. And one day Leo attracted the attention of a slight, hairless and serious fellow, who said to him “Hello Leo, I’m Sam, Sam Goldvyn, I vant you to come with me to Hollyvood, I vant you to be my lion.”

[LG] Leo was conflicted… would he take Mr. Goldvyn’s offer and travel to Tinseltown finding fame but abandoning the object of his adoration? Quickly he bounded to Miss Moines tent – he must consult with her! But when, upon throwing open the door he saw his Beloved in the midst of a “carnal embrace” with the Slack Jawed Clown…he knew what he must do. His roar equal parts pain and fury said one thing clearer than all – “Yes Mister Goldvyn…I will be your lion.” Soon he was on the train to Los Angeles (first Class of course). As they steamed across the plains, Leo sat in the dining car – lapping at a saucer of milk. It was just then the door to the dining car opened and…

[V] in wafted the scent of Chanel No. 5 over the Beef Bourguignon and Pall Malls. Every man and most women in the dining car stopped with their forks in midair and eyed the woman who’d not only appeared in the doorway, but seemed to have taken ownership of it. She rested there a few moments, coolly roving her eyes up and down the aisles as if she had allllll the time in the world. Several men dining alone sat up taller and straightened their ties, but her look of recognition was not for them. When she finally saw who she’d been looking for, a smile lifted one corner of her mouth and she sauntered over to Leo. “Is this seat taken?” she asked in a half-whisper, indicating the spot opposite him. Leo blinked, milk in his whiskers. “No,” he sputtered, “No.” He swiveled around and saw that yes, there were plenty of other empty seats available. The woman slid cozily into the seat and introduced herself. “I’m Jezebel. Sammy — I mean, Mr. Goldwyn — asked me to check in on you.”



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