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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Writing Prompt: Collections

By Marilyn Friedman
Happy New Year! Writing Pad has plenty of fantastic classes to make 2012 even more memorable than 2011.  Check them out along with your first free writing prompt of the year below!

Footprints Screening

Book Publishing 
Get Your Book Published
How To Hook An Agent

Children's Writing and YA
Bullies, Werewolves, and Monsters: Creating Characters For Children’s Books and YA Fiction
Write A Book That Sell Itself: Crafting A Killer Premise
From Bedtime Stories To Tales of Teenage Woe: Writing For Kids and Young Adults Pt I
From Bedtime Stories To Tales of Teenage Woe: Writing For Kids and Young Adults Pt III

Creative Writing/Multi Genre
The Found Story: Finding Your Story In The Street
So You Want To Be A Writer?
Finishing School

Fiction, Memoir, Romance
The Found Story: Finding Your Story In The Street
Write A Book That Sells Itself: Crafting A Killer Premise
From Aphrodite To Zeus: Myth Fueled Stories
Storytelling at Light Speed: The Art of Flash Fiction
I Love You Silly: Crafting The Perfect Romance Novel

Journalism, Personal Essay and Web Writing
So You Want To Be A Freelancer?
Blogger's Paradise: Creating Irresistible Content
Personal Essay II: The Advanced Class
Literary Feast: Writing A Culinary Masterpiece
You in 1200 Words: Writing and Publishing The Personal Essay

Playwriting and Writing For Actors
Ex’s, Bosses, and Crazy Relatives: Creating Characters For The Stage
It's All About You: A One-Person Show Workshop
From The Page To The Stage: Finish That One-Person Show

Get Your Foot In The Door: Develop Your Dream Script
Lights, Camera, Action: Screenwriting Boot Camp
Meet Me Now, Squeeze Me Later: Crafting the Studio Romantic Comedy
Work The Room: Mastering The Power of The Pitch

Writing Prompt: Make a list of 3 things that you collected as a child (or your fictional character collected).  Pick one and add a sensory detail to it (smell, taste, sound, touch) and write for 10 minutes about it.  Then, post your writing in the comments of this blog for the chance to win a free writing class.  I collected seashells so that's what I will write about!

What did you (or your character) collect as a kid?  Post your 10 minute write in the comments of this blog, and you could win a free class!


Writing Pad said...

When we went on vacation together to Ft. Lauderdale, my mother and I got up early—7 a.m. before the sun got too hot, we’d walk the beach together and collect seashells. There is something peaceful about that time of day. The only people that are awake are senior citizens (like my mother) and surfers. We’d pick up shells that weren’t broken, mini conch shells with insides so pink, they looked like tongues, tiny fan shaped shells striped with brown, half moon shells that looked like white and gray fingernails. We’d roll up our pants to our knees, and the water would splash against our feet and legs. We would fill up the bag, looking for the best gems for my collection, as the ocean sounded like it was taking giant inhales and exhales.

I liked the vacation version of my mother best—she was more relaxed, less likely to slap or snap at me. She liked to play dominoes on the beach and go out for fried fish and French fries. She liked to take walks with me and talk about the time she won a free vacation at a Black Sea beach resort as a young woman for being the best singer in her town. Once she showed me black and white pictures of this vacation—her chestnut hair was curly and down to her shoulders, her eyes were starry, she was thin and curvy and sat next to other young women with similar hairstyles. I had a hard time believing that she was the same woman who walked next to me—the one with the bowl cut flecked with gray hairs and the straight leg with the shattered kneecap and criss crosses of thick blue and purple veins.

When we had walked the entire length of the beach from our hotel till the cluster of rocks, we made our way back to our hotel with a clear plastic sack filled with shells. Our feet would get breaded like trout in the hot beige sand, and then we’d have to wash them off in the foot shower next to the pool. We’d scrub them with a hard brush dipped in turpentine to get the bits of tar off from the soles.

When I got home from vacation, my older sister would show me how to make turtles and necklaces out of these seashells by painting them with clear nail polish and using crazy glue. She was 14 years older than me and had her own apartment in downtown Skokie. She’d invite me to stay over on Friday nights once a month, and we’d order Dominoes mushroom pizza and do arts and crafts like making animals out of seashells or creating a doll in a bed out of an old sea cracker container, pillow stuffing and fabric. I loved those weekends away. We’d watch PG movies on HBO and she’d show me how to French braid my hair. I felt so grown up, so important.


Kasey B. said...

When I was younger, it wasn’t hard to recognize that my father – a manly, Southern cop who I always associate with that post-hunting-trip sweaty smell of Wild Turkey and gamey pond fish – didn’t have the first idea of what to do with a little girl. Before my brother was born, I was outfitted with baseball bats, fishing rods, rugged sneakers, and all the words to the Texas Aggies’ fight song on the extended run of Mondays we spent going on beer runs and exploring all the area lakes. My dad was that guy that always had a boat; It was his duty as a Texan to catch all the fish in all the lakes in all the land. All he ever wanted was a little, equally fishy fisherman to help him back the boat off the ramp and to achieve this goal.

A fisherMAN I wasn’t, but undeterred, he’d tried to make me into quite a fisherlady. He bought me a plastic orange rod-and-reel that sported an outdoorsy picture of Snoopy (Him: “You like Charlie Brown, right? He likes fishing!” Me: “That’s ‘noopy, dad! Duh.”), and a matching tackle box for all the lures and hooks and rubber worms we would buy to trick all the bass into our boats. In theory, the idea of out-fishing my dad appealed to me. At four years into my life, we were already butting our similarly stubborn heads. In practice, however, it all ended for me the second we went into the sporting goods store and I caught the jewel-like glow coming off the sundrenched display of all those sparkly rubber worms. An entire wall of the store was dedicated to multi-packs of these magical creatures that looked as edible as a package of Life Savers, and as shiny as the ruby and diamond ring my great aunt Judy found on a bus in Denver. I knew as soon as I was told that I could pick out 6 different oil-treated packages of these babies, that there was no way in hell any smelly, slimy old fish was gonna wrap its lips around my treasures.

Every fishing trip with dad, 6 more packages went into the safe confines of my Snoopy tackle box, to be admired only in private, laid out on my bed only for the eyes my Aggies teddy bear, Buddy Bell Texas Rangers baseball card, and a couple of incontinent dolls. They would disappear from sight in the store’s parking lot, amidst some eye rolling from my dad, who would then present some far uglier bait for use as a functional substitute. Because like it or not, even with the sneakers, the fishing rod, the baseball bat and the Aggies’ fight song lyrics, I was still a girl, and I still liked shiny pretty things. And I could even find those things in a sporting goods store in Quinlan, Texas next to a display of live bait worms, because while my dad was teaching me to be a tomboy, my mom was teaching me how see the beauty in everything.

And guess what? Even with the ugly bait, I still out-fished my dad about 5-1.