Thursday, March 3, 2011

Highlights from Wednesday's Meeting

Wednesday's meeting was a very productive one. After several minutes of catching up, I put out paper and Hello Kitty pencils and we all worked for five minutes on a writing prompt. The inspiration was the cover of America's Art, and the idea was to tell a bit of the painting's story using sensory details. I call that sort of writing 'being in the body.'
Just to show you what kind of talent we have in the group, writers have graciously allowed me to show their completely unedited, raw five minutes of uninterrupted work. Since the whole thing was my idea, I'll put mine out there first, and please  respect the fact that this work is the sole property of the writer.
Natural Philosophy by Jessica
The books are sliding again, and my hands are too sweaty to hold them. If not for the wind pushing against me, helping me avoid the scolding from father, they'd be in the dust. At least the air takes the smell of the robes away. They've been in storage the long winter, becoming more pungent, more uncanny with the blood of the dog we experimented on last autumn.
I felt every last breath of travel through its exposed trachea. I ached and gasped as it did. Father was unhappy. He makes me carry now, because his back is no longer straight. One day I'll be as bent and red eyed from the airs of the laboratory, from the weight of my robes, and the air.

Eloise Alone in Gray by Karen
Windblown - hair streaming back like ocean spray, dry & brittle from too much ocean wind, too much being out in the harshness of moor and woods, too much of everything. She is windblown in fact and also in feeling - her heart as dry and lifeless as the straw-texture of her hair.
Too many lonely days, too many empty nights. Too many hours filled with weeping and walking, tear tracks dried on her cheeks, too many heartaches dried up inside her until her heart is a lifeless as her brittle hair.
She asks the gray emptiness of dreary days - why? No answer returns on the wind, but she cannot stop asking - how else could she fill those bleak and barren days that creep by so slow she feels one day, soon, she will explode into dry fragments and blow away on the ocean spray.

Untitled by Jack
Windswept. It's hard to start anywhere else. She was indeed windswept - facing into a wind, staring down the wind. Defiant or determined? Steadfast, perhaps. Not struggling against holding her ground. Perhaps that is enough. Perhaps it is all we can expect or ask. Her boots hold firm to the ground. She resists, she clings.

Untitled by Angela
No rain yet, but the wind is fierce. She clutches the precious volumes to her chest. Even the heavy fabric of her cloak is whipping in the frantic air. No use to put on the bonnet - it would just blow off. Cold, she thinks, I am cold, but at least not wet. At least...
And she waits. She waits, her fingers numb, refusing to hide her hands and the books she carries. Will he come, or will her day be wasted even as her skin chills in the approaching storm? Will she leave at last with nothing but her books and the two pieces of jewelry she possesses, or must she turn back?

As you can see there are a few mistakes here and there, but as I said at the beginning, I wasn't going to edit anyone's work. Yay, us. We write, and sometimes we make mistakes, and then we write some more. I'm putting a gold star at the top of all these writing assignments, for the bravery it takes to share work like this.

The second part of the meeting involved sharing previously written work. Karen shared two short pieces that she is working on for submission, Angela read a short story on the theme of 'bugs' that one of her daughters had written, and the group was nice enough to listen to some pencil/paper writing that I've been doing at night that had two brief mentions of gnats in it.
All in all it was a fantastic meeting. Our next meeting is Wednesday, March 16th at noon. I hope to see you there!

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