Sunday, April 17, 2011

Writing Exercise #43

Today is better than yesterday. This has to be true. Thank you for the kind notes, friends. Now, onto some writing.


1. List an animal/insect that you were frightened of when you were a child. To this day, snakes terrify me. So do wasps. I was stung more than fifty times when I was a kid, thanks to my rock-throwing brother. I hate how their hind legs hang as they fly around, like these paralyzed limbs that just drag along. UGH. Okay. Enough about that.

2. Three questions you are afraid to ask.

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Let this poem be its own wild thing. Let the animal or insect or whatever you feared as a child be a life-sized version of its self. Consider what a creature like this would wear. How it would talk. A physical trait it might have. Get comfortable enough to ask it your three questions. It might actually know the answer. It might lie to you. Perhaps this creature has followed you throughout your life. Perhaps it has come to make amends. Or knows a secret of yours. Wants you to know of someone else's good news. It's okay keep quiet. It's okay to watch it tear your house apart from the other side of the window. It's okay if you don't want to look at it, if you ignore it as it goes about its business. But make sure the reader knows it is there. Make sure we know you know it's there.


(This exercise was inspired by a nightmare I had last night about a suit of snakes.)