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Friday, January 29, 2010

Writing Class~week 1 (updated)

Hi. I've enjoyed a semi-quiet night on our couch last evening with my required reading for the writing class I'm taking. The book is called, "Bird by Bird" by Anne Lamott. I really enjoy her way of connecting with her reader. I feel like she's my friend and I'm only on page 39.

I've decided to go back to week 1 and put down some of my short writings that I was too *worried* to put down earlier. What will people think about what I write? Yada-yada-I'm-in-sixth-grade-again. I've been thinking lately that my blog isn't really for you, as much as I appreciate and am humbled that you would take a few minutes of your day or month or year to read my words.

This blog is for posterity's sake.
This blog is for my sanity.
This blog is for me.

And just because I'm curious, if you're reading this and have a blog, why do YOU blog? I'd love to hear.

And if you happen to be encouraged or humored or inspired along the way then that is awesome too. I'm saving $$ in an envelope called "Print Blog". I'd like to print the posts from my blog each year, but with the amount of posts I've been having that book will; 1.) cost some pretty pennies, 2.) not be thin and 3.) bring me great joy to have my words on paper.

Our one assignment from week one was to take five minutes and write about a happy moment in childhood:

"I could barely wait for the school bus to stop. Already I was out of my seat and to the front of the bus, toes on the revered yellow line, before the screeching brakes brought me to a halt. I ran inside my home, changed into my old clothing and out the door again ~ faster then yesterday. September came and stole my June and I wasn't ready to say goodbye. My playhouse under the pines awaited my arrival."

Next, we were to take 5 minutes and write about a painful moment in childhood:

"He lay lifeless in the ladies arms, brown fur coated in red.
We lived on a corner and my dog didn't know it.
I visited his burial site more then twice a day
and poured water on top of the fresh dirt,
just in case he was thirsty."

And lastly, we were to take that same memory and write it in 3rd person, (someone else's perspective):

"I was late, my mind was cluttered with my to-do list; rent was due, there was nothing to eat for dinner, appointments, demands. Suddenly my body reacts to the unfamiliar and heart dropping THUD of life under tires. I carefully pulled over and see to my left the lovely dog, someones dog, lying lifeless on the warm pavement. I burst into tears knowing that my day has just become worse then I had time to digest. I pulled death into my arms and walked toward the little white house. Blood dripping."


every day is a gift... said...

janelle, you've got a lot of potential to become a writer...a wonderful way of describing a scene in such a way i'm there as well!

Shawn Smucker said...

Thanks for sharing Janelle. I love it, especially the image of water poured on fresh dirt.

I would love to see what this short piece would look like in expanded form, with each of your current sentences being the first sentence of an entire paragraph? I think lengthening it just that much would make that last image even more powerful.

Great work! Thanks for being part of our class!

Anonymous said...

i agree with shawn. i am left wanting more, expand upon it all.

: )


Michelle said...

I love the "This blog is for me" part ;) And I also love your writing entries. Can't wait to read more!

Shar said...

You are good girl...and I would wait in line to buy anything you write! So awesome to see you getting so much from the class...although I do think that the perfect ending to a Tuesday night would be you coming for some holla after! Love you lady...

Jena said...

I am already enjoying seeing your growth!

Jessica Sue said...

So, I might be pregnant, but the last paragraph you wrote in someone else's perspective made me cry... you are so talented. I've always thought that, ever since I was young. And I still admire you so much today! Keep writing because like Shar said I would wait in line too to buy whatever you write! :)