Writing Challenge # 22

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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.

The prompts from Bonni Goldberg’s “Room to Write,” are difficult in the respect that they challenge my writing on a more personal level than others. I never admit to myself that I have shields and protections I use in my daily social interactions because that is the point — protections are things that we build and then ignore. I had to think about the things I do when there is just something so surprising I have to pause to assess the situation. It turns out that I smile, breathe, think, and then react. So, I thought of a break-up scene, and how the character just smiles as though the smile is stuck, and it lacks the breath and thought, and even reaction. That makes for a different kind of scene, which you can find in Prompt # 43.

The second prompt of the week had to do with flying. I thought of the possibilities for flight. I ended up thinking of the worst flight, rather than a better one. It is entertaining because the prompt is to write about flying of any kind. I hope the twist is more entertaining than any other possible version. I also hope it’s not a generic twist either. That would mean that my first stages of writing are generic. Like any other writer I would prefer to have original ideas, but alas, too many have written before us. Those that have written, plant the seeds of their original ideas into our own writing. Maybe that explains all the superhero, vampire, and wizard sensations in the world? A question to think on, as you read my versions of the prompts! Enjoy!

Prompt # 43

Task: Writing about a protection you use in life, and develop what protection your characters’ might use. Use one to effect an interaction between characters.

Duration: 15 min.

She smiles. There was nothing entertaining about how she felt, as her heart was being ripped out of her chest, but she smiled through it. There was nothing entertaining about her hopes being crushed by the weight of his hand, as he grasps the door handle, but she smiles. There was nothing entertaining about her gut twisting as he twists open the door handle, but she smiles. There was nothing entertaining as she sees his foot take its first step outside the door way, but she smiles. There was nothing entertaining as he turned, there was nothing funny as he sighed, there was nothing laughable, as he shifted his weight, there was nothing amusing as he pulled shut the door, and ended their relationship. There was nothing left, and still she smiles, as the tears well and trickle down her face.

Prompt #44

Task: Write about flying, any type, as it does not require wings.

Duration: 15 min.

My breath, lifts through my lungs as it seeps into my blood stream. As the drug haze splays over my eyelids. My lips feel numb as I lick them with water, while my pulse slows to a deep sonic, boom.  Tape sticks to the counter, and my fingers, in their drunken stupor, start to pick at the edges. I feel the tongue that does not seem my own trip over itself, as it chews on words. I register the floor that tilts in accompaniment to my inebriated pace. I see the faces on distorted bodies which look like portable funhouse mirrors. I am flying through the hallway as reality hits me while I ricochet off the door frame and vomit on the sidewalk.

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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