Happy Tuesday! So “Free Flow Friday” was pre-empted by “It’s a celebration!” We celebrated our baby girl Sydney’s 1st birthday on Saturday and this mommy was consumed with all things party last week. It wasn’t even a big party, but I tend to be anal with details and so I become an obsessive thinker and planner with 50 million lists. Anyway it was a great time with family and friends.
And do you know what else was a great time? The writing workshop with Jessica Anya Blau at the Creative Alliance. She was a great facilitator, engaging and humorous; I can imagine there aren’t many dull moments in her classes at Hopkins and Goucher. The other writers in the workshop were friendly and gracious, a very pleasant group. At different points during the 2 hour session we were encouraged to share what we’d written and I thought to myself more than once “wow he/she is good, I would read their book.” We stretched, walked backwards, drew portraits, acted, ate chocolate and of course WROTE. We must have done ten or more writing exercises and my creative synapses were firing away, it was so exciting. There were many good points made throughout the workshop but two that stuck out were; 1)Write from your heart, not for money, not for a particular person or audience. 2) One of our writing exercises could be the start of a great novel or short story if we would only take the time to develop and follow it through. If this workshop is any indication , I would highly recommend any writing class or workshop offered by Creative Alliance.
So for today’s writing prompt, I’m going to slightly modify one of the exercises from the workshop:
Choose a person near you or a picture of a person. Study their face, their expression, their posture, etc. Now write about that person’s sin or crime. (During the workshop we had 3 min for this exercise. I imagined that the woman I chose had witnessed a hate crime in the sixties and refused to report it due to her own prejudice)
She stood at her window, peeking through the slit in the curtains. Her living room lights turned off, as not to attract attention to the house. The street was quiet now but she had heard the old man scream, his cries for help echoing in her ears. She had reached the window just in time to see one of the boys land a punch to the old man’s head, knocking him to sidewalk. His screams ceased as the boys kicked his small feeble body, he only attempted to shield himself from the blows. When his crumpled bloody body became still one of the boys seemed alarmed, commanding the others to stop. With one final kick ,the boys scattered up the street into the night. She knew the boys by name, could easily give an account to the police but she continued to stand at the window. She thought the old man surely must have known he would be inviting trouble by coming to this neighborhood. She waited for someone else to call the police…
Just a last thought, I know the importance of punctuation but sometimes it seems when I write I just want to throw punctuation to the wind. Somehow it feels like my progress is impeded when I have to decide between comma or no comma. But someone pointed out that in this publishing environment a misplaced comma or run-on sentence can be the difference between a yes or no to your work. I really need to brush up on my punctuation do’s and don’ts.