Today I attended my first ever writer’s workshop as an adult. I am high from it…it was a pure release of creativity unlike I’ve felt in years. I surprised myself and wrote from 3 genres….science fiction, autobiographical fiction, and poetry. Everyone laughed at my work and had nice things to say. I’m going to go back….
We did a 7 minute write on 3 words, a 12 minute write on a topic, and a 7 minute write on an animal card.
3 words at random: planet fever darkness
It was a cold day on Mars, but the planet was known to have dust storms that picked up into a feverish quality across the day. Stanley gazed through his helmet out onto the brisk morning….another day of farming. “What on earth does the government expect me to do with these seeds?” he thought to himself, fully recognizing the irony of “on earth.” It had been over 30 years since his days on earth, and at 80, he was still looking towards a likely 30 more years of wiping dust from his bot-like brow. Human life expectancy had dramatically increased with the innovation of the LifeSuit. All of his systems were neatly in check at all times, with his “kidney level full” light coming on at annoying times. Customer feedback to LifeSuit hadn’t yet changed how awkward it was to have bodily functions illuminated in a color coded system amidst daily conversations. One missed the days of simply stepping into another room to quietly pass gas in private.
Stanley looked down at the rough, ochre loam beneath his boot and pondered how to begin his task. Rows? What about a grid? Should he have brought any construction materials build garden boxes?
“Stan, 3 hours to darkness….need any help?” His wife’s voice beaming into his suit.
“No honey, I’ll be fine….” Stanley replied.
12 Minutes on Something BIG
Her emotions were waves, washing over her. When she saw the movie Moana, she couldn’t help but ponder her own Cancer-rising nature. She had been afraid of water since her earliest memories…possibly it was Jeffrey, who sat on her in the swimming lesson where the teacher instructed students to take turns swimming under their classmates splayed legs, or maybe it was that Lake Placid came out during her formative years, but she distinctly remembered the blue abyss beneath the diving board at her very first swim school, when she was too young to have clearly established fears. Why the fear of the unknown? It was Freudian, or maybe Jungian? Or just human…that was the hardest thing for her to establish with her anxiety – the voice of her mental illness seemed to never acknowledge her humanity. All humans are bound to have times of emotional upheaval, she always tried to reassure herself. Her therapist, in fact, all 3 of her therapists had always attempted to help her see her own human nature as that of what every other person might experience from time to time, but she had trouble relaxing into that. Her anger….when she felt slighted, the tightness in the center of her chest was a glowing basket of coals, expanding outwards, smashed with stabbing hammers, until she inevitably exploded with tears or harsh words. Meditation was supposed to help her with this, the self help books all proclaimed. But in the midst of emotional tsunami, it seemed nearly impossible to hold back the tidal wave of destruction. Her therapist’s suggestion that she “just breath” seemed well intentioned, but was it possible?
Her big emotions had gotten her into trouble as a teenager, when her parents accused her of spewing verbal vomit. “Diarrhea of the mouth,” they would say, a phrase that still gave her chills. Why associate your child’s mouth with this? In the years since, she’d committed acts that could only be labeled as repression, given the feedback she’d had as a child. The time she read Exodus and abruptly decided her life WAS like the struggle of the Israelites, and she gave her boyfriend up for lent. It did not produce any sort of emotional release, and instead led her into a lifetime of interpreting pain as the next right move.
7 min Falcon, seeker of feathers
Ever over, under, down and up
Cry of day, cry of life,
Cry majestic, cry of dominance, or despair
Fluffy chicks, eating mouse
Dinner lifted, twerked about, torn to pieces
Still a mommy-dearest
Millenium, and gilded bright
By sun or asteroid in flight
Eye of wonder, eye of night
Eye of golden, burning
Line beneath, or branch
Peregrine, tiny cousin of great patriots
Sharper, forceful, cylindrical
Endless and undying