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Monday, July 1, 2013

Writing Prompt: Summer Tradition

By Marilyn Friedman

Fourth of July is almost here! My last class for a whole week is tomorrow night, and I can't wait to have a little unfettered free time to write. I hope that you enjoy your holiday, and when you are done with the BBQ's, weekends away, and fireworks, don't forget that we have lots of exciting classes to make your July productive and inspiring. And in this sweltering heat, the refreshing air conditioning of Writing Pad East and West our homemade iced tea will keep your muse cool and comfortable.

Scroll down for your writing prompt and to check out our list of upcoming summer classes. Hope to see you soon!

Classes Starting July 9-14
Memorable Memoir Bootcamp: Make Your True Tales Thrilling

Writing Pad Events
Writers With Drinks
A Sexy Summer Night At Writing Pad

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Personal Essay Punch Up 
Hello World, Welcome To My Blog
What Do You Think? Writing the Op-Ed or Cultural Essay
You've Been Featured: Writing The Mini-Feature or Interview
From Cheng Du to Timbuktu: A Travel Writing Workshop 
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Mini Novel Writing Bootcamp
Micro Short Stories: The Art of Flash Fiction
A Novel Approach: Mastering The Long Form Story
It's Story Time: Storytelling For Kids
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Short Story Reboot: Rescuing Your Crashed Creation
Addictive Fiction: Writing The Knock Out Novel

Writing For Actors
Storytelling Bootcamp

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Work The Room: Mastering The Power of The Cocktail Party Pitch
SNL Dossier: Your Ticket To The Big Leagues
Writing A Pilot That Can Fly (Weekend Intensive)

Writing Prompt: I don't know about you, but my family had certain things we'd do ever summer. For instance, we'd often go to Wisconsin Dells, and my father and I would go paddle boating. Sometimes, we'd go to Lehigh Acres, Florida and we always saw fireworks on 4th of July. Back at home, we'd pick fresh cucumbers off their vines in our garden, wash them with a hose, and eat them whole. What were your summer family traditions?

Make a list of 3 summer traditions you had with your family (e.g. activities, vacation spots, foods). Pick one. Add a sensory detail (smell, taste, sound, touch). Now, write for 10 minutes about this summer tradition. Make sure to include the sensory detail and post your story in the comments of this blog to be entered into the July/August comment contest for a free class!

What were your summer traditions? Write about a summer tradition for 10 minutes, and you could win a free class!


Lorinda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lorinda said...

Maria and I were sitting on the patio when Grandma came outside carrying a plate heaped with watermelon slices.
“Hungry?” she said.
Maria and I looked up gratefully, our hands already reaching for the rose-colored fruit, each triangle dripping with juice and crusted with the vulnerable white and bright green of the rind. I bit into mine zealously, my hands and wrists instantly wet and sticky.
“You girls think you can spit a watermelon seed as far as I can?” Grandma said, her mouth still full around the juicy pulp. Then, she puckered her lips and a black seed shot out of her mouth and into the sparse grass of the backyard.
“I wanna try,” Maria said. She’d been delicately spitting them into her palm, but now, she drew her lips together and puffed out her cheeks, as if to blow a great gust of wind from her pre-teen lungs. A black seed dribbled half-heartedly down her chin, and I burst into laughter as Maria made a frustrated face and then laughed, too. I held a seed in my mouth, determined to do better than she had. But as I sucked in my breath, the seed flew backward against the roof of my mouth and slid down my throat, leaving me choking and spitting while Maria and Grandma burst into laughter.

Lorinda said...

Sorry, I had formatting problems the first time I did it. Also, I forgot to mention that this is fictional, from the perspective of my character for the prompt.

Frankie Foster said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Frankie Foster said...

My dad Vinnie loved the Fourth of July. I think it’s because he was a sergeant in the US Army, which made him a very patriotic man. He certainly loved his country. Vinnie retired at 62, so he basically stayed home and made my teenager life at home a delight. Vinnie really did spoil me. He liked to do all the shopping, cooking and cleaning. For the Fourth of July, we would always barbeque my favorite kielbasa, hamburgers and corn on the cob. Vinnie would make his famous mayo/white vinegar potato salad with finely chopped pieces of celery and onion-Yummy. He’d enjoy sunning himself in our 25 x 25 feet city fenced backyard. Vinnie put fresh cut cucumber slices on his eyes. He said this keeps your eyes from getting sunburn red and puffy. Now, how’s that for a beauty tip from Dad? And trust me, it did work.

At night the local Queens streets became a spectacular homegrown fireworks show. Everyone bought fireworks even though they were illegal in New York. Vinnie would start at dusk asking me to help him bring his phonograph outside from the living room to the front stoop. It was a wood veneer box with the record player inside. It actually looked like a bureau with a secret compartment. Then I’d get the green extension cord. Vinnie’s WWII American flag would be waving right outside our front door to commemorate the day. I felt honored to help.

He picked his favorite patriotic marching song, Stars and Stripes Forever! by John Philip Sousa. It’s pretty well known song. When the fireworks started, Vinnie blasted this record so loud on our front stoop--the whole neighborhood could hear it blocks away. With crashing cymbals, bombastic brass and chirping piccolos, it got our neighbors on their feet, clapping and cheering. God bless America! Made us all very proud to be an American and he made our special holiday so much fun; I loved that about my Dad Vinnie. He made us all feel our American freedom!