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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Writing Prompt: Fireworks

By Marilyn Friedman

It's almost the 4th of July! When you're done overloading on BBQ and return from your Independence Day getaways, we have some fantastic classes to make your summer the best it can be. On July 9 and 10, Taffy Brodesser-Akner's teaching her So You Want To Be A Freelancer class on the Westside (she's already helped 16 students get published and paid for their writing--you're next!). On July 13, Jenna Britton will help any of you who are overwhelmed by social media in her Facebook and Twitter 101 class.

Plus on July 15, don't forget to enroll in our Adult Summer Camp with award-winning novelist and short story writer Maureen McHugh and Emmy-award nominated screenwriters Victor Levin and Michael Saltzman!  Reserve your spot before our camp and other classes are full by clicking on the links below or emailing

*Classes with an asterix will be held at our Westside location in Culver City!

Classes Starting The Week of July 8th
So You Want To Be A Freelancer*
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Writing Pad Summer Camp (Fiction/Memoir Track)
A Novel Approach: Tackling The Long Format Writing Project
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Get Your Book Published*
How To Hook An Agent 

Writing Pad Summer Camp (Screenwriting Track)
Punch It Up
How I Met Your Sitcom: Crafting An Ensemble Comedy Show

Writing Prompt: Make a list of your 5 things that come to mind when I say the word, "fireworks!" For instance, you could write down events that you attended that included fireworks (e.g. your friend's 4th of July party where you met that cute guy from Indiana), times when you felt fireworks between you and a special someone, or story ideas that could include fireworks exploding in the background of a scene. Pick one. Add a sensory detail to it (e.g. smell, taste, sound, touch). Now write for 10 minutes and post the results in the comments of this blog to be entered into the contest for a free class at Writing Pad!

Write about whatever comes to mind when I say "fireworks." Post your 10 minute write in the comments of this blog, and you could win a free class!


Jesse N. said...

I don’t know who invited us to that party on the east side in the 40s near the river. As I remember it, the afternoon began with a tuna melt at South Street Seaport and a ride on the bus going uptown with a chatty driver. And I remember it was hot. New York hot like swimming through hot honey, but dirty hot honey where when you sneeze soot comes out of your nose onto the toilet paper. I remember I was wearing a long white skirt and a striped t-shirt; my thighs stuck together and the cloth under my armpits was soaked through. I kept pulling the cloth away from my armpits, trying to get it to dry and sticking my skirt between my legs to turn them into pants as the bus heaved through the hot air on Broadway.

The party was on the roof of a tall building filled with identical apartments, the type my father lived in when I was growing up. Floors made of cheap fake wood stained dark, little bathrooms with fans that went on when the lights went on, small kitchens with short refrigerators and the air always smelling like slightly turned tomato sauce, balconies with one butterfly chair and a dead plant and possible a bicycle. Closets with doors that fanned open and shut.

We went straight to the roof after someone you know buzzed us in. It was packed with friends of friends and acquaintances I don’t remember. Someone handed us both Coronas that must have started out cold because they were still sweating, but they were lukewarm by the time they got to us, with sad little limes floating in the fizz at the top of the bottle. The sun was setting and you were talking to a boy and I was watching you talk to a boy and trying to figure out if I knew anyone here.

And then the fireworks began: the first was an explosion of red, white, and blue sparkles that shone against the newly dark sky. Then a smiley face that defied the laws of anything I had ever heard of, and a white one that faded out in curliques but seemed to remain longer than the seconds it was alive.

The people on the roof cheered, and you grabbed my hand and squeezed. “Don’t you just die for New York in the summertime?” you asked me. And since the sun had set, I had to concede and agree.

Ethel said...

Fireworks –

It was a job like any other, answering phones and greeting anyone who had a reason to venture into the place. It was a small tool company. Machine tools. Making tools that other companies attached to their machines to create whatever they manufactured – drill bits, findings, I never did understand all of it.

The shop was grimy with a fine steel dust and filled with grimy men – toolmakers, finishers, each one dressed in overalls and aprons dulled by the ever-present dust and oil stained beyond whatever help the latest and greatest detergent could bring to the task of cleanup.

Almost weekly, though, the fireworks exploded in the office. The president, a large affable man with a booming voice and equally booming demeanor, and his brother, the vice president in charge of the shop, equally large and generally less booming found a place of disagreement.

Words became louder and filled the office spaces. Then, louder still, it seemed they would shake even the heavy dust loose from its grimy hide-y holes and hurl it into the space all around us. Just as quickly, quiet. It was over. All was well again. Peace reigned. Until next time.

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