Writing Challenge #21

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

Greetings audience, readers and people of all walks of life who might find this quizzical and all together odd work with words on their computer screen. This week is National Appreciation for Writing Week, and though it has nothing to do with this particular post, I thought it would be a good thing to mention. Writing is an important pastime and, attending a gathering for writers this afternoon, I found out that we all have our own individual reasons to write. Whether it is because we felt our voices lost in the mass, or that our overactive brains froth over with so much information that we have to put it down on paper, the thing we all have in common is that we write.

The reason I mention the gathering at all is because it inspired my topics for today. While listening to everyone I was amazed at the kind of writing my peers create. As ever, and with no insult intended, I also thought of the many different ways I would recreate their ideas. The prompts, I think, help me as a writer find that singular perspective that each writer develops in order to create their own work, or methodically tamper and revamp another’s. This is shown in the first prompt, where I have to trick myself into writing something that I had no intention of writing before. The underlined words are the beginning of every line in “my list.” For the second prompt, I figured I would do something a fellow editor suggested, “When you have to write something, there is no reason you shouldn’t have fun with it.” So to make “my fear” more enjoyable for both, me the writer and the audience, I wrote about one of my more ludicrous fears that is regularly depicted in cartoons, “Talking furniture.” Enjoy!

Prompt # 41

Task: Write to trick yourself into writing. Use one of these words as an inspiration: fence; road; boil; fall. Use one of them to make a list, for each line is a word, then write in fillers. My Word: Fall.

Duration: 15 min.

Leaves fall and flutter across the lawn like children’s bodies they tumble along the grassy hill side as the trees stand guard over their game of tag. Clouds clutter and disperse in odd shapes as the water trickles down the ends of leaf tips. Raindrops make pitter patter sounds on the canopy
where the circle of trees stand, towering over the children’s heads. Cardboard cylinders are held by tiny hands up to tiny eyes as they look at the sky’s tears as they fall all around them in a seasonal sunshower. They get chills from water trickling down into the necks of their jackets they air is filled with shrieks and giggles.

Prompt # 42

Task: Write a list of your fears, then describe one of them.

Duration: 15 min.

I fear talking furniture. The idea that a chair could start telling me that I, “weight too much, and that I should really consider working out more often, since the treadmill called yesterday with a critique on my running form. She found my attendance lacking, and performance worsening as a side-effect.” It would be a nightmare, a full blown catastrophy, to have my bed wake me up with a, “psst, you were talking to the pillow again. You know I think talking in your sleep is a virus. I was just talking to a mattress down the street about it…” because they have tea every week, a continuance of my nightmare, gossipers.

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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