Writing Challenge #14

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Editor’s Note: This post has been written by Linda K. Strahl, an editor-in-training at the Jet Fuel Review. Her full bio can be found at the end of this post.

This week has been a challenge for me as a blogger. I apologize to the audience for the last couple of posts. My Wednesday post involved a technical issue. This post, “Writing Challenge,” usually a part of Thursday’s scheduled post, was hard for me because of time constraints, which I hope to solve by next week. The prompts for this week’s challenge are difficult. I felt I should warn those who follow the prompts I gather from Bonni Goldberg’s, “Room to Write,” that details were stressed in these two free writes.

Details in one object was not enough in the first prompt I performed because the minute I thought of one object I had to describe the surroundings this object would be found in. I seem to have concentrated on the imagination aspect of the prompt rather than balancing it with the intuition and instinct that is called for in the prompt’s introduction. The question is, “What does this tell me about my writing?” The prompt illustrates for me that I, as a writer, have to improve the foundations of my writing, concentrating on describing instinctual and intuitive thinking.

As with the first writing prompt my mind could not settle on one thing to describe without seeing. “I don’t see,” was first solely looking at a man through my own perspective. This didn’t seem genuine, almost detached, so I instead used something that cannot be seen. Wind cannot be seen, we can see the effects it has on objects but we cannot see it. Wind became a way for me to illustrate multiple ways with only one action. Once I found the idea, it took on its own life very quickly. I suggest to those working through this book, to try look at a larger thing first.

Here are the posts. I hope they jump-start your own imagination.

Prompt 27

Task: Describe something using the three ways- instinct, intuition and imagination

Duration: 15 min

I sit with a rock. The smooth side rests in my hand as the heat from the morning sun seeps into the palm. The sun had baked it for hours during the hot sticky summer morning. Too hot to touch with my barefoot I sit in a pile of chipped and charring rocks as they burn through my thick fabric shorts. The broken edges stutter over my finger tip as I breathe in the moss thick air. It clutters in my lungs as the grains of pulverized rock bite in-between my toenails and scratches patches of dead skin. The cold black sand slithers as the clay encompasses my toes. Transferring temperature I sit and feel the cold seep into my feet as the heated rocks scorch through the fabric and the smooth side of a jagged shard warms my hand.

Prompt 28

Task: Write about the absence of sight. Start with the words, “I don’t see” and just write.

Duration: 15 min

I don’t see the wind as it whips my hair. Like a hand it fingers through each strand and tosses it away like a lover being rough. It tightens its grip on my clothes making them billow sideways as the fabric clings to my side. I don’t see the wind as it careens me into a wall, like an attacker pinning my body to the coarse brick. Throwing leaves and dirt at my eyes, like a bully in an uncontrolled, unprovoked, unjustified rage. I do not see the hand that pulls me to shelter. I do not see him as the dark sticks to him like clothing. I feel his hand, his breath and the heat of his body close to mine. I feel the wind whip a few strands of my hair with a breeze as the wall blocks its violence.

             -By Linda K. Strahl

Editor’s Note: Linda K Strahl is a transfer student from University of Wisconsin- La Crosse, where she was studying Archaeology and minoring in Creative Writing. She came to Lewis University in Fall of 2010 to major in Creative Writing. After participating in the production of two plays at Phillip Lynch Theater she has become an enthusiastic dramaturg, and is contemplating a career as a researcher and playwriter.

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