Monday, June 18, 2012

Thursday's Quick Switch

Thursday Quick Write from Kate Messner's Teachers Writer Camp


Kate's Goal for us:

"This prompt aims to help you draw rich details from familiar settings into your fiction, and to also see how they can be altered to be something entirely different for your stories. Think of it as taking a favorite pair of pants to the tailor and coming home with a pencil skirt!"

Kate's Prompt 1:
"Think of the place that is home for you. It might be where you live today, or perhaps where you grew up. Wherever you choose, be sure to pick a place that you know well. Take one minute to write down every detail about this place that you can think of."

lilac branches lightly tapping the top of the bench swing
don't need the top — the lilac bush and the tall sycamore, stretching to the sun and protecting over the entire yard with its loving arms, provide plenty of shade
but it does keep the little things that fall from trees from dropping into my computer, my book, my manuscript, my tea

soft green cushions
gently sway with the tap tap tap tap of my fingers

curled up beside me
a tabby cat purrs
by my feet
a white lab snores and twitches, dreaming of the rabbit he almost caught ten years ago

chickadees chirp
wrens rill
finches sing

I close my eyes to listen as the gentle breeze adds to the coolness of the soft shade, filtered with sunny spots like giant puzzle pieces thrown onto the lawn

this is pleasant
this is peace

Prompt 2:
"Done with the first part? Now we’re going to twist it around. Take the rest of your time to write about three changes that would make this place utterly altered for you–changes that would mean it was no longer home. --

What sort of changes? That’s entirely up to you. Perhaps you’ll change how home looks, or smells, or  where it’s located. Or maybe it’s the people there who make it home."

I slide the back door open to step outside, but close it again immediately.

The heat hits me like opening a hot oven.

I look up and shade my eyes with my hand. The sun beats down on the browned grass, sucking up any water left from attempting to green it back up. 102°

Brown and desolate, devoid of every beauty. No songbirds. No butterflies. No respite. Just angry heat, bright enough to blind you from the ground.

We'd long ago sold the patio furniture. The stump of the sycamore blends into the burnt grass like a crumbled castle.

I reach down and scratch the head of Pooka, her tongue hanging out, panting.

I pour three glasses of water: one for the dog's bowl, one for the fig tree, and one for me.

Summer is not pleasant anymore.

What place did you choose? How did your place change from prompt one to two? How does this help you create "place" in your own writing?

Link to your prompt response in the comments.