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Monday, May 7, 2012

Writing Prompt: Motherly Talents

By Marilyn Friedman

How is it May already? Don't let Spring pass you by without treating yourself to a class at Writing Pad! Starting this Saturday, I am teaching a new round of So You Want To Be A Writer and Finishing School with all new writing exercises.  Let me help you get your writing practice on track. I'll motivate you to finish a chunk of that literary masterpiece you've been dreaming about. You'll learn many new things about writing craft while having fun! It's a great class with a lot of bells and whistles designed to keep your fingers tapping on that keyboard or scribbling in that notebook.

Email or click on the "Buy Now" links on my website to sign up before these classes are full.

Writing The Happening Scene
Fiction Bootcamp: Mastering The Art of The Tall Tale


Children's and Young Adult Writing
From Bedtime Stories To Tales of Teenage Woe: Kids and YA Writing Pt I
From Bedtime Stories To Tales of Teenage Woe: Kids and YA Writing Pt II

Creative Writing/Multi Genre
Get It On The Page: A Creative Writing Workshop
So You Want To Be A Writer/Finishing School
The Odd Couple: Creating Characters That Write Themselves*

Journalism, Personal Essay and Web Writing
On The Record: Mastering The Reported Essay
Me.Com: A Copywriting Ninja Skills Workshop
You In 1200 Words: Writing and Publishing The Personal Essay*
What's On Your Mind? Building Your Brand Through Social Media* 

Do It Yourself: Get Your eBook Published

Writing For Actors
It's All About You: A One-Person Show Workshop

Pet Project: Writing Your Dream Screenplay

Writing Prompt: This writing prompt is in honor of Mother's Day. Make a list of 3 specific things that your Mom (or your fictional character's Mom) can do better than anyone else (e.g. make the fluffiest pancakes, pick fights with your significant other about politics, raise your blood pressure with questions about when you are getting married, get stains out of tablecloths, rock a beehive hairdo). Pick one and jot down one sensory detail that you associate with your mother (e.g. smell, taste, sound, touch). Now write for 10 minutes about that one thing your Mom does well. Make sure to include the sensory detail. Then post the results in the comments of this blog. My Mom has a strange talent for tying the tightest knots with plastic bags so that's what I'll write about.

What does your Mom do better than anyone else? Post your 10 minute write in the comments of this blog, and you could win a free class!


Ethel said...

My Mother's Hands

I remember the exact moment when I noticed that I had my mother's hands. We were in 9th grade assembly; a girl told me she liked my pants -- they were black, like most of the clothes I wore. Tradition demanded it -- at least for a while. "Where did you get them?"
"The outlet."
"The Outlet? In Providence?"
"No, in Coventry."
She looked puzzled until another girl explained that I was talking about one of the many factory outlets that dotted our landscape. That was at the time Rhode Island still had a thriving textile manufacturing business, when my uncle still had a job, when all was right with the world, and only mine was shattered to pieces.

It was still winter and the chilly emptiness filled me to the core. She was gone and there was no way to get her back. I stared down at the black and saw contrasted there my mother's hands. They were the stame hands she had worn. The hands that cooked and cleaned, and crocheted.

She had taught me how to croched just a few years earlier. It was arduous and demanded intense concentration. Slipping the hook through loops and pulling it back to make endless chains, wrapping the thread around, slip, pull, single crochet, double crochet, skp, pull. I also learned to curse that summer. My mother never cursed. She whined instead. And bit her nails.

She had plenty to whine about. I don't remember many times whe she wasn't full with a new baby on the way. And, while she waited, she cooked, and cleaned, and crocheted. She made enormous, fanciful doilies and stiffened them with a sugar water solution. Gifts for friends, escape from worry, love pulled into every loop.

I was a nail biter, too. How could I not be.

To this day, my hands are almost always busy. Sewing, crocheting, creating -- they were her gift to me -- my mother's hands.

Jesse N. said...

You move quickly, which can be crazy-making. But it also means you sort through the junk faster than most humans.

Like when you want to get to an answer to “what time is dinner?” or “when is your next doctor’s appointment?” or “when are you going to marry that man?”, you get your answers immediately. You make us all move faster just to keep up.

And at the flea markets: Long Beach 3rd Sunday (where the real people are), Santa Monica Airport 4th Sunday (where the rich people are), Pasadena 2nd Sunday (where it’s hot) and Melrose every Sunday (but only good for some things), you’re always done before I’m past the 2nd aisle of junk. You move quickly, your gait short but fast. “Can I have that for $20? Come on, you can give it to me for $20. No? Ok, next.” You know when the 50s dishes are authentic and when they’re knock-offs or cracked. You move quickly past the tea towels from the 20s (“you can do better”). You decide with seeming immediacy that this junk dealer is better than that junk dealer because he’s easier to push around with a little mild flirtation. I can tell you I need some art for the future baby’s room and you dash that off your list by scanning the booths with your dark-flecked hazel eyes, back and forth twice until you come up with a gem.

Dinners where we could have lingered longer, museums where you saw the gift shop but I’m not sure you stopped long enough to admire the art, weddings we left before the cake was cut. I’m not sure where you are always running to, but it certainly can be fun to try to keep up.