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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Writing Prompt - It's Contagious!

By Amy Robinson

Writing Pad has filled the calendar with amazing new classes to help get you through the winter doldrums. Join us for sweet treats and workshops to spark that hibernating writer in you. Call 323-333-2954 or email Spaces are filling up fast, so give us a call during a shopping break!

There is something in the air! Make a list of 5 things that you think are "contagious." It can be mob madness at Walmart on Black Friday, it can be a yawn or a snappy tune (Gloria Estefan was right about the rhythm getting you.) I seem to pick up every cold or flu that surfs around the winter air. Pick one of the contagious items off of your list, add a sensory detail to it (smell, taste, sound, touch, sight), and write for 10 minutes. Then post the results in the comments of this blog for the chance to win a free class (and for free likes and remembers)!

For example. Here's my write: "Cold, gloppy and stinging all the dry cracks in my cuticles, hand sanitizer eases my whirring mind. This little bottle of gooey alcohol is my only comfort after grabbing the sticky plastic handrail on the mall escalator. Thousands of germs wriggling their imaginary way from my palms into my blood system, creeping into my sinuses until I'm miserable."

Comment on this blog! What comes to mind when I say the word, "contagious?" Post your 10 minute write in the comments, and you could win a free class!


Anna P. said...


At just 15 years of age, when my daughter first got sick there were those who began to stay away from her as they feared she was contagious. She was devastated. After the first week or two home from school, alone and trying to recover, we could never have imagined this stretching out into an interminable period of four years. Friends came for a while to visit when the doctors failed to find a contagious condition, but as the weeks went by people stopped coming. She became more and more isolated grieving many losses. At her high school there was a gaping hole in her classroom. One day after a few months had passed, her entire class boarded a bus and came screaming through our front door surprising her with hugs. They brought a book with each of the pages handmade by a classmate, and served ice cream to make the hour visit a happy one. My daughter had been by herself at home in a draught of social contact, so this visit was intensely beautiful and heartwarming. In the backyard, one of the boys pretended to slip, joyously plunging into the swimming pool accomplishing something not on the schedule. My daughter sat on couch in contrast to this playfulness, in pain, fatigued and wondering when she would be able to return to her class, her dancing and her life.

Writing Pad said...

Anna P - Thank you for sharing this amazing story. I love the description of the daughter and the journey she takes during the illness. I love description of the classmates screaming through the front door with hugs. The ending is very touching.

Thank you for sharing this with us!


Robert Ripley said...

In the spring of 1998, the brothers of Kappa Delta Epsilon learned the hard way that crabs are indeed contagious. They also learned that those little itchy bugs could, under the perfect storm of circumstances, become a highly localized and deeply inconvenient epidemic.

While pubic lice weren’t unique to the K-Deps (as they were affectionately known across campus) and flourished at college campuses across the country where a semi-drunken romp in the hay with a stranger was as common as fast food, what was unique was the subsequent infestation of all sixty five members of the Tau Alpha Beta sorority, the Tabs, who would become not-so-affectionately referred to as the Tab Crabs.

The brothers were never able to discern who exactly it was that brought them into the house, though by the time 78 out of 79 of the fraternity brothers had made a trip to the campus clinic for what seemed to be an unending supply of that special shampoo and little combs to get rid of those nasty little suckers, a wave of panic had crashed on the shores of the Tabs and it the origins no longer really mattered.

What did matter was the ensuing expose that reported in great detail about the annual K-Dep / Tab “Night of Bacchanale” event which, in recent years, had slid from a slightly titillating toga party to a drunken evening of sexual debauchery that would have made the Marquis de Sade blush like a schoolgirl. It was this breaking story that, ironically, would sweep across the country, creating a contagion of investigations that would eventually bring down both the K-Deps, The Tabs, three U.S. Senators, and a talk show host that wound up having an affair the former president of the K-Deps after interviewing the young man on her show.