This week at Wednesday Afternoon Writers, we used a prompt idea from one of the amazing demonstrations I had the honor of being a part of this summer at the Denver Writing Project. As a matter of fact, for the past few weeks at WAW, we’ve been using prompts or activities I gleaned from the DWP. These prompts have given a new spark to our writing.
For this week, I prepared three small bags each containing a poem cut into strips, written by a poet found on the Poetry Foundation’s web site. (By the way, if you haven’t visited their site and you love poetry, you need to go there: poetryfoundation.org. It is an amazing resource and you can find works by virtually any “famous” poet under the sun, past and present.)
We each chose one strip from each bag and attempted to use them in any way we deemed in our writing. We wrote for ½ hour and shared.
So here are the three poems we used.
Bath from Spring Day by Amy Lowell
Talking Blues by Calvin Forbes
Girl Riding A Horse in a Filed of Sunflowers by David Allen Evans
Below in my writing I have printed the words of the above poets in bold. In my story they are ordered: Lowell, Forbes and Evans.
EMMA by Lexanne Leonard
Sitting perfectly upright, contented and pensive on a tree stump, Emma pulled the stuffed raccoon closer to her. The soft fur tickled her chin. Emma’s tiny giggle twinkled in the cold morning air, making the darkening forest path a less foreboding walk. She knew she wasn’t supposed to be on the path alone. Emma left her grandmother’s cottage while she could still hear her grandmother’s snoring rising up to her room through the shared fireplace chimney. But she needed to escape and this was her best chance.
“Some people claim, raccoon, that you are too mean to be a good friend,” said Emma staring into the eyes of her quiet companion. “But that’s exactly what I need right now, a good friend who is mean. The forest is a dangerous place and you are my friend. I know you will protect me, you pretty little friend. Swear raccoon, tame like a kitty now. But raccoon bites you if you get too close,” she laughed. “I know this to be true.”
Standing up, gathering her courage and her best friend, Emma started down the path. She came to the inevitable fork in the road. But this time there was actually a fork in the road holding three signs, one on each tine.
The first tine pointed to the left, “Enter At Your Own Risk, Seriously.”
The middle tined announced, “Straight Ahead The Boring Way For Those Of You With NO Imagination.”
The third sign stated, “ Green-White Water This Way” and had an arrow pointing to the right.
Emma wasn’t there to do what she always did. And, after all, she had a great imagination. So she wouldn’t even entertain the idea of traveling down the boring, middle road.
Also, she was escaping from seriously risky business. She wasn’t about to add to her troubles by going to the left.
Green-White Water sounded like a welcoming place. She loved to swim and always wanted to visit the ocean. Emma decided this was the “right” path to follow.
With a skip to the right and laugh, “And let the green-white water way be before us!” she declared their mission. And down the right lane, Arthur the Raccoon and Emma the Girl From Her Sleeping Grandmother’s Cottage chose their poison and headed for the Green-White Water.
It is important to stop here for you to learn a bit about Emma herself. Emma seemed like a very sweet girl who loved her silly, stuffed raccoon. To the outside world, this is who she was. But she was left at her grandmother’s cottage by her parents because this was not who Emma really was.
The evening before Emma left her grandmother’s cottage, she was sure to pour a sleeping draft into her grandmother’s milk to make her grandmother’s deep sleep and snore alarm. Her grandmother would be sleeping for days, so Emma had plenty of time to do as she pleased.
And secondly, Emma’s parents and neighbors wouldn’t suspect a thing. Emma sent notes, written in her grandmother’s hand as the clever opening to her clever spell. The notes announced to the neighbors and Emma’s parents a trip the two of them were taking to visit a distant acquaintance, for a week or so. The neighbors and Emma’s parents were instructed not to worry, as Emma and her grandmother would inform them of their return immediately upon their arrival back at her grandmother’s cottage. This also bought Emma more time for more adventuring, if she so pleased.