Germs, Germs…

Go away, Don’t even come another day! One week, two sick kiddos, fortunately Sydney is getting over it and catching up on sleep but then Judah loses his breakfast on the way to school this morning so I guess it’s “Tag, he’s it!” Trying to figure out from where or how these nasty germs invaded our home is futile. But it’s days like this I’m glad I don’t have to worry about calling into the office. Much respect and many blessings to every mom making hard choices and wearing many hats. This mama is tired and will return with a writing prompt next week. Oh but just one writing tidbit…Creative Alliance and CityLit present “Let’s Get It Started In Here”, a workshop with Betsy Boyd being held on four Tuesdays (Feb. 7-28) to help launch your creative writing. Disappointed that I can’t do this one but you can still register!

Back to our regularly scheduled programming…

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.


You’re probably thinking, “Resolutions! Let’s get through Christmas first.” Well this is another kind of resolution. If you’re in the Baltimore area, the Creative Alliance is offering “Writing Resolution,” a workshop of writing exercises given by author Jessica Anya Blau on January 7, go to their site for tickets and have a look around while you’re there. In an ideal world of affordable college educations, I would go back for a masters in Creative Writing but in light of reality I’m constantly on alert for any type of writer educational opportunities. Ironically when I was working on my masters in HR Development, I had two friends majoring in Creative Writing and helped both with assignments, if I knew then what I know now…yes, hindsight is 20/20. On other fronts, I haven’t blogged recently over on Barnabas Blessings and I feel some kind of way about it, not sure. I think the Lord is trying to teach me something about writing as writing and writing as ministry. I strongly believe when you’re putting your writing (or any gift) out there as a kind of ministry or spiritual encouragement, you should be hearing from God, if not then it’s just your own glory show.  Not to say that everything you do shouldn’t give glory to God …thinking…thinking…just thinking.
I’m proud to say that I finally completed a long term goal yesterday…to de-clutter my son’s room. Who knew a 5 year old could accumulate so much stuff! Stuff he lost interest in ages ago and stuff he probably didn’t remember he had. Two little tidbits I took away from that 4 hour job: 1) Need to cut down on the fast food kid meals, those little toys just create more stuff and 2) I can no longer give, in good conscience, those little cheap birthday goodie bag toys b/c they too just create more stuff. He seemed happy, almost relieved when he walked into his new room. I’d like to think that in some sense he’s like his mommy in that he felt better without all of the clutter. So here’s to hoping that we’ve made progress in our quest to teach him it’s better to give than to receive and that life is not about “stuff.”