Just Like Brand New

Dear Writers,

At the monthly writing practice I attend, we blindly draw prompts written by each other as we arrive, with the option to follow the prompt or not. This time I decided to try to weave each prompt into the same piece.

It meant that what started out as a true memory took a turn into fiction and then back into true memory.

shoe aisleIt was an interesting serial exercise to try for myself, especially as the prompts were so fun and surprising, accidentally seeming to relate to one another and then coming out of left field.

I found it funny that the prompt that pushed my piece toward fiction was actually the prompt I wrote, which was a quote from something someone said right before practice started. BTW, the pre-practice conversation I overheard about astrology and yes, potentially female centaurs, was story-worthy itself.

Here’s the prompts:

I remember . . .

I don’t remember . . .

If the centaur is female, then I take it in a different way . . . .

What was the question? . . .

Here’s what I wrote:

I remember getting in the car, where I always got the front sick on account of getting sick a lot, which meant my older sister would lean in between the bucket seats and talk a little louder to be heard. We never wore seatbelts in those days. I don’t know if our old cars even had them. So big sissy would stick most of herself into the front of the car and carry on a conversation with my mom that I wasn’t a part of because I was never happy about where we were going.

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 Dear Writers:
Work Left To Do

Work Left To Do ~ Bruneau ID, where I grew up, and a place I write about under the working heading “Gracie and Them.” I took this pic last summer.

I’ve rarely given my students writing prompts, so it’s been interesting for me to attend a writing practice where prompts are routinely used. When I receive prompts, often I get practical and bend them into a project I’m already working on.

One of the prompts was “blissful.” Since my stories tend to be darker, this time I decided to just play. Below is what I wrote, reinforcing for myself what I by this time know. Even if I don’t intend to, I find that all of my stories readily fall into a few categories: a) struggles of the working class, b) stories about small-town life, and c) men, or rather, all the men I never.

(If you clicked on that last link, yes, that’s me in the wedding dress. I still have that dress, which no longer fits sixteen years later, but neither did the groom and I grew out of him first.)

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