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Writing Prompt The Fifth

If you had only one day left to see/listen/touch/taste/smell, what would you see/hear/touch/taste/smell? Pick ONE sense, and use lots of sensory detail.

. . .

I HATE JulNoWriMo.

Writing Prompt The Fourth

At least I think it's the fourth. Yes, yes,  I could check but I don' feel like it, okay?

Moving along!

I thought I was going to be great and really take my time with this and do a good job. But instead, I'm going to be lame and throw something together so I can move on. Because this writing prompt isn't prompting me to do much of anything except half-ass it.  ("Such honesty in her work!"  they'll all rave someday.)

So, a character that I got excited about and wanted to run away with (ugh, what a phrase!) . . .

I suppose since I'm going for completion here as opposed to skill and talent, I would have to say Lesje from Life Before Man by Margaret Atwood. Anyone who knows me knows that Marg and I have a Thing but this character was particularly of interest to me. She was a first generation woman trying to make her way in the larger culture while still satisfying her traditional parents, and also she loved dinosaurs. So, what's so great about that, you ask? Good question. You get a gold star for being so inquistive! As well as a dirty look.

"What's so great about that" is that Lesje has a particular talent of really just not quite getting it. She isn't terribly beautiful, she's terribly put out by social events, and she's not very put together. I can relate to that, but moreover, I can dig that in someone else. She prefers being alone with the skeletal remains of extinct creatures, which she knows everything about. She's got a boyfriend that sucks, she starts an affair with someone on accident, and she flops at parties. Still, there's something about her. She's simple, she's easy, but crack open that massive brain of hers and you find that she probably has more thoughts and contingency plans than the Greater Cincinnati area put together. She's internal. She's the sort of person you'd meet for coffee and would startle to realize the sun is coming up behind after you've talked all night. She wouldn't get your jokes at first. You'd have to be upfront and direct about your intentions, and even then she might misunderstand what you're doing there with her. I see my old self in her.

As a side note, I thought about picking Zaphod Beeblebrox for a second but then I realized he's kind of an ass and would be unbearable if he somehow escaped the confines of the written word.

Where Could I Be?

So, here's the thing: I haven't been around lately. And I actually have kind of a good reason, especially on this venue. I've been dividing my time between frantically studying the subjonctif en francais and working on a new story for real life Writer's Group. Yes, yes, believe it or not, we actually met last week.
And I'm really glad because I got some good feedback and now I can improve on my original concept and actually come up with something decent maybe. Or at least more polished. Also, I'm getting my cable TV disconnected today so that will afford me a lot more time for finishing the prompts I've started posting and preparing for JulNoWriMo, which I'd almost forgotten about.
And that's all there is to write about all there is I'm writing.

Shut It Down.

A la Dark City.
But seriously, I've subscribed to Writers Guild on Livejournal and it's well, flourishing in a way that Writers' Grope can only dream of. And it's more than the fact that it has more than a single poster who is also the admin. These people are actually interested in writing! They . . . well, WRITE! It's almost surreal.
Anyhow, what they write is a plethora of short stories, submitted for the approval or disgust of everyone else. And everyone is quick to say when the writer has deviated from the mark even a little, which is anal retentive and uptight and great. I love that. But the reason I write here, now, is that I've begun to notice something in the work of these other writers that I need to improve. That is, I've got the style of an 18th century ettiquette author.
By that I mean that I have this terrible tendency to pretty everything up. A doughnut isn't a doughnut, it's a circle of sweet yeast. A swing set isn't a swing set, it's a rusted iron teleport into weightlessness and sky. A suicidal lady living out her last day isn't a suicidal lady living out her last day, she's a plethora of compacted thought whose mediocre mental ramblings are something a reader gives a hoot about. None of these descriptions are something anyone wants to read.
So as my sister says, I need to show, not tell. And I can tell you, it's going to be an uphill battle.

Writing Prompt, The Fourth

So the last prompt I finished was short. So short in fact I didn't count the words. And that was basically because I hated it, and the very idea of finishing it sent me into a rage coma. But I made a commitment to follow through with all these prompts, so I did it. I did it, alright?! So lay off!
Anyway, I still don't have any brilliant ideas for a novel yet. Ellie sent me a link to a story about a funeral director who was up to some funny business in his business to inspire me but I haven't even looked at it yet. I need to get on the ball! But until then, here's the next prompt.

Think of a character from any piece of literature that got you extremely excited to read about him or her, like, you wanted to run away with said character and be his or her best friend forever. What things caused you to like this character so much? Strengths? Flaws?



Writing Prompt, The Third

If you’ve ever smelled the first spring breeze or felt the caress of a new sprung blossom tickling your skin, you know pink. It’s soft. It’s a touch instead of a blow. It’s as smooth and fresh as a newborn and light like a sheet that you use when sleeping in the full blush of summer with the windows open, carrying the stars into your room to sweep across your closed eyelids.
Pink has a smell sweet like honeysuckle and frothy as foam. The scent of it is lingering. It wafts without landing, swirling around as though the air itself was stirred into a frenzy and it simply floats on top. Creamy and smooth on your tongue, pink settles in your stomach like ice cream. Delicious, but it’s a treat that can turn heavy when you get too much.

Writing Prompt, The Third

The great thing about this wide empty expanse of space that I somehow subdue laughter enough to call a "community", is that since no one else is paying attention, I can do whatever I dang well please with it. Like post a new writing prompt immediately after completing the last one. YESSS!!! No comeuppance . . . EVAH!

Pick a colour, and write about how you would describe this colour to a person who has never seen anything in his or her entire life.

Aw, man, I hate this type of prompt. But it isn't for fun I guess, but rather for skill. Also, I notice that for colour, the writer has used the British spelling. Maybe this is a European write-o-rama? In which case? Wow, I am even cooler than I thought.

Writing Prompt, The Second

So I've finished my second assignment. At first,  I was thinking about writing a letter to Sarah, but that seemed like a cheat, so I did the next best thing. I exposed all my deeply personal feelings to my high school crush. Enjoy!

Letter to someone who wrote in high school yearbook        906 words

Dear Keith,
    It’s been more than ten years since the last time I saw you. I’m a grown up now. I’m a woman. I have my own place, I pay my own bills, I set my own course. My hair is longer and my posture straight. All those things I just sensed something wrong with are defined now and strong, ready to stand up for themselves as I never used to.
    You told me once that you’d already seen your future. You’d had a vision. You were speaking in front of the congregation at your church and behind you was a blond woman that you recognized in the dream as being your wife, and I thought about dying my hair. I retorted that that was fine for you but I was never getting married and you said I was crazy. You were such a traditional thinker. You said a woman isn’t female if she doesn’t have a man; I said you had got to be kidding me. You bet me that I would be wed by the time I was twenty five (Incidentally, you owe me two hundred bucks.)
     But despite your difficulty with predictions, at least where I was concerned, you were one lucky boy. It seemed a contagious disease amongst the group of us to crush on Keith. First Beth fell, then me, then Sarah, then Erin. One by one we toppled over like a long string of dominos. And why? You weren’t particularly handsome. You had a big nose, gelled, half-shaved off hair, and braces. I can picture you now with your two toned nineties collared shirt and wonder what I was thinking. It’s almost funny.         In all fairness, what I excuse in myself as being a result of being young and stupid and not knowing what to do, I suppose I have to excuse in everyone. I can remember myself as I was as clearly as I can remember anyone else. It’s true that I was strange and quiet. And I did draw pictures along the margins of my notebook paper and write poems in my journal at lunchtime. I was shy, I was torn, I was absent from school at least twice a week. The reason maybe for all of it is simple: I was living in chaos. My parents were divorcing, my father was abusive and addicted to prescription drugs, my mother was working two jobs to keep us in shoes and white bread and wasn’t around to make sure my dad drove my sister and I to school. But of course, no one knew that then. They weren’t allowed to. It was an exercise in If No One Says It, It Must Not Be True. An old favorite in my family.
    You called one night when my dad had overdosed on Valium. My mom and I were holding him up and trying to move him out to the car because he had passed out. You wanted me to convince Elizabeth to come to some party you were having at your place, and that, there, in that moment, the divergence of our lives just seemed so stark. I was afraid my dad might die, you were afraid Beth might shun you. Maybe I wanted a piece of that peace. Maybe I wanted to be someone whose biggest problem was a guest list.
    I liked how you listened to me. I liked how you would ask me questions, and how I felt that if I could have put it into words, I really could have told you everything. You seemed to be tender with me. You seemed somehow genuinely interested. And that was why it hurt me so much when, after you’d moved, you just stopped talking to me. I couldn’t figure out what I’d done, and then after three months you got back to me and told me you were sorry to hurt my feelings, you just didn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea. Erin told you that she thought you liked me and you had to prove it wasn’t true. You hoped I didn’t mind? Oh, and you’d met a girl you wanted to date named Stacy. I assume she was blonde.
    You were the first friend I had who was a boy, and all of the sudden we weren’t friends anymore. Really, it was small. Things have since happened that make something as little as your asking someone else to dance seem too trivial to mention. I have been more blessed and more pained than I could have dreamed of when I knew you, and I’m beginning to really understand that the way things happen are the way they’re supposed to be. I have broken my own heart and God has sealed it back again, and I believe him when he says that his will is perfect.
    I hope that things have turned out as you would’ve liked. I hope that God has chosen you to be his vessel and you have submitted to him entirely. I hope that you do get to stand  in front of a congregation with a lovely blonde wife seated behind you with her ankles crossed. I hope that you prosper in faith and grow in humility and that you fulfill his purpose for you. I hope these things, and they are the greatest hopes I could have for anyone.
                                Sincerely,
                                Marianne


Writing Prompt, The Second

After such overwhelming interest in the last writing prompt I posted, I decided to go ahead and torture-err, I mean, treat-y'all with another one. :::muffled noise::: (If you're wondering, that was me shouting "Hooray!" but being drowned out by the sound of masses of tumbleweed blowing by.

So here's the second prompt from JulNoWriMo's website.

If you could write a letter to one person who signed your high school year book to tell them what they have meant to you, what would you write? If you are still in high school, write a letter to that friend where you think they will be in ten years.

Extra credit if you actually send it!


Writing Prompt, The First

Writing prompt successful. Writing complete.


First Kiss     814 words

The television was on, sending spasms of bright colors out of its face to bathe my dorm room in graduated shades of bluish light. Across from it, the bunked beds stood awkward and heavy, with my blanket falling over the edge of the top bunk to form a sort of quilted canopy. And lying half reclined on my roommate’s futon were two people who barely knew one another, who had just met two mornings ago when one of them was lost on the way to Oscar Ritchie Hall and stopped to ask the other for directions.
His name was Chad Breese and I would find out later he had both a girlfriend and a drinking problem, but at that moment, he was just a boy I liked partly because he was older and taller than me and mostly because he’d invited himself over to watch TV that night. We lounged, only half watching; me because I wasn’t used to almost laying next to a boy and he because he wanted me to get used to it and quickly. Casually, he laid his hand on my leg. I gulped. And then, the inevitable happened: a boy staring at the side of my face, purposefully, for what felt like minutes as I stared straight ahead and pretended not to feel his breath warm on my cheek. I ventured a glance at him. He smiled, then looked at my mouth. I looked back at the TV like a deer caught in headlights. Then, I jumped up and turned on the lights.
He started. I sat down across from him and took a deep breath. “I . . . have to tell you something.”
“What?” He looked panicked.
“I mean, it’s nothing really. It’s just that . . . well . . .”
“Well . . . ?”
“I’ve . . . never been kissed before.”
The silence was like shattering glass. I smiled awkwardly. His face was frozen in an expression I can only categorize as half terror and half horror, with maybe a pinch of abject fear.
“Are you serious?” he asked.
“Um, yeah. Pretty serious,” I nodded.
He stood and started pacing the room, talking half to me and half to himself. “I can’t believe this. You mean you mean you’ve never been kissed? Seriously?”
I nodded.
He paced some more, rubbing his head with his hands as though he‘d just been told to disarm a nuclear device. “Wow. This is like wow. This is like, you know, like a really big deal. This is like, wow, this is like more than even like taking a girl’s virginity, I mean, your first kiss? I mean, I’ve never, you know, given a girl her first kiss before. This is like, wow, you know? Wow.”
Suddenly he turned to me, “You sure you want to do this? I mean, are you sure you want me to do it?”
“I guess,” I shrugged. He paced for another minute, shaking his head slightly as though configuring something in his mind. Then he sat down heavily right across from me. “First,” he said turning the television off, “Enough of that. I need to concentrate.”
“Okay,” he said, “Okay. Okay, here’s what we’re going to do. You’re going to close your eyes and tilt your head a little, like this? And then I’m going to, you know, kiss you. And then, you’re just going be like really light with your lips and it’s just going to be like you’re kind of tasting something that’s really soft and sweet, like a . . . peach or something. Just like a really soft fruit, okay?”
“O . . . kay,” I said, wondering what I’d gotten myself into. He took a deep breath and then leaned in and put his mouth against mine.
I was kissing! This was the most wonderful thing in the world! And so easy! Just catch his bottom lip between mine and then press it a little and then let go. Just over and over like that, and that was it! That was kissing.
Suddenly, I was not kissing. I opened my eyes. He had pulled back and was nodding his approval. “Okay, that was good. That was really good. Now you’re just going to keep doing that only like a little slower, okay?”
We kissed some more, slower this time. I sighed dreamily. Finally, what seemed like hours later, he realized it was late and he needed to go home. I walked him to the elevator and rode to the first floor with him to walk him out. “Congratulations,” he said, putting his arms around me. “I’m glad I could be of service.” He kissed me goodbye.
I wafted upstairs to my room in a daze. I giggled to myself. Then I turned off the lights, closed my eyes, and wondered at all the kisses yet to come.