I started a writing group at our library where we write to prompts. I call it Writers Huddle. I usually pick simple words and we let go, write until everybody is finished, and then we read what we wrote. In two and a half hours we usually get through three or four prompts. Our first prompt is always Robert Lee Brewer’s Poetic Asides Wednesday prompt. This week’s was “front.”
Here is my poem followed by what I wrote at the library.
In front of all the hard work are our words
They stand, some proud and some tall
Some weak, and some will fall
But they stand up front
Like kids in a choir
Embarrassed in front of all the eyes
Lights shining down
Like those kids who want to cry
Our words stand on the road
Like a soldier off to war
Carrying the load of a nation
Don’t leave them unproud
Don’t give them a reason to hang their heads
Do your patriotic duty
And tell the story
Our words stand our front
A defense of our hearts
Our values dripping off their branches
Our emotions tangled in their serifs, ascenders, and tails
Our words are all they’ll see
Pick the best ones
This is unedited, and of course it has issues. Are our words. Gawd. Anyway, I enjoyed writing this poem this week. I felt into it, and I suspected more from our library session. Here is what I wrote there. I decided to keep it short. I leave it open for people to decide what they want to write. It can be poetry, prose, an essay, a historical note, whatever. It doesn’t matter. We just write.
He hates when fronts blow in, and stay. Rain, fog, the constant stickiness, life’s problems running down your armpits, your back, and into your butt-crack, lost who knows where, just like this story.
I achieved a laugh badge.
There were nine of us last night, and we engaged in some discussion. I won’t get into it, not in detail. What gets written at Writers Huddle stays at Writers Huddle. We discussed purple prose, free indirect speech, trope, and plural and singular versions of to breath and wether we could hear breath or breathing. Really, it was interesting.
I started antibiotics yesterday for an abscessed tooth, and while I waited in the dentist’s office, I felt anticipation, and I saw someone wash their hands with antiseptic soap. Our second prompt was anti_____.
“You’ll be okay, he said, and he wished he could take them back. He knew she wouldn’t be. How could she ever be the same? Mercedes Benz Coupes can be replaced. Diamond jewelry can be replaced. The physical – aspects of a relationship can be replaced. But there is no antidote for a broken heart.
Bah. Two dangling sentences and an incongruent conclusion. Nothing leading into it suggests poison, so does antidote make sense? This was a response to a prompt. I wrote it very quickly. Bah. But I enjoyed writing it. My mind went places I never expected to go. I wrote words I never would have written otherwise. 100% success, eh?
Our final prompt was a little different. The assignment – write around a letter. Then we’ll try to guess which letter you wrote around. Use techniques as you wish – alliteration, consonance, onomatopoeia, or whatever – or include the letter as a subject, somehow.
This was a fun prompt. I described it as trying to ride a tricycle with two wheels. It hauls you off into tangents simply to incorporate letters. I also described this as a brute force approach to lyrical writing – somewhere in there is a good sentence. Extract it and use it.
Standard Oil Company, the red, white, and blue gas station. Patriotic. Overrun with rednecks dodging rattle snakes hissing in the shadows. Strolling into the endless sun to piss six hours of desert driving and a warm cooler of Coors Lights into the sand.
Susan the simpleton watches the day’s excitement from behind the shaded glass, the barred resistance of forced entry. An endless emptiness echoing Shondelles tunes over and over and over until Sammy finally shuts the shit off.
Can you guess the letter I wrote around? Can you see the images? Can you feel the setting? I could. Five minutes of writing around the letter s.
Prompt writing. Get a group together for a couple of hours and write to prompts. Start simple and experiment. Question but don’t judge. This is fast, open, creative writing. It’s not meant to produce quality but to engage your mind. Try it. Run with it. Watch your confidence and attendance grow.