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Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Writer's Club

Write on the Edge -Yuma, a local writer's group, meets every Tuesday afternoon at the Yuma Foothills branch library, which is near my home. I don't really consider myself a writer, I think of myself more as a storyteller. Is there a difference? I don't know, but I attend almost every Tuesday. The group is made up of various writers, some published, some still working on their "Great American Novel." Most write fiction, from Biblical Stories to Murder Mysteries to Paranormal Romances and everything in between, and a few write non-fiction, but not autobiographical like my stories. 

I am fascinated by their creativity and dedication to writing. Some write thousands of words a day, others are still editing stuff they wrote years ago. I only write when something happens that I find funny. Most of them are avid readers as well, which I am not. I grew up reading the Reader's Digest at breakfast and lunch and if I can't finish a story by the time my cereal bowl is empty, it's too long for me. I don't have the patience to read a book that will take me four days to finish, besides, I don't know where they find the time? I barely get done what I need to get done in a day.

YumaBev's book
I was looking for help in turning these stories into book form, and for that, they were invaluable. I enjoy their company and talking about something other than Parkinson's disease, so I keep coming back. When asked if I am going to write another book, I don't know what to say, since I try to add eight or nine stories to this blog every month. Plus I am trying to market, promote and sell the book I already wrote.

We usually do what is called a prompt each week. The idea is to write a story, in ten minutes, from a given starting line or idea. I use a laptop to write my stories, since even I cannot read my own scribble. Every story I write is humorous, I'm not sure I know how to do serious. I usually manage to finish my prompt in the ten minutes (I think it's the Reader's Digest thing again). Here are some of our prompts and the stories I composed for each.

Prompt 1. Write a story using the phrase "When I turned the corner"

When I turned the corner I was completely surprised by what I saw. Standing there, blocking my driveway, was a huge bull elk. He just stood there looking at my little Geo Storm, like it was a errant calf. He wasn't about to budge and I needed to get past. What was I to do? I know, I'll honk the horn. BEEP. Didn't faze him one bit. BEEP BEEP  Still nothing, so I inched closer. Nope, he wasn't moving. I got out of the car and waved my arms at him, shouting "shoo,"  but nothing, he wasn't budging. Then my cell phone rang, playing a loud rock song and he cocked his head for a minute and then took off running. Well, that's ironic I thought. Why? The song was Running Wild. I guess he was just waiting for some motivation. I went into the driveway, put the groceries away and thought how lucky I was to be spending the winter in Colorado. It's not everyday you go to a rock concert with an elk. Well, not a four legged one, anyways. 

Prompt 2. Write a story about waking up with magical powers

When I woke up at 5 am, I knew something was different. I didn't know what it was until I looked at the dull brown chair and thought, I really need to re-cover it. A nice floral print would be nice and poof the chair was now a pretty yellow floral print. I blinked my eyes and it really had changed. So, I looked around and thought about what else I would change. I didn't like the coffee table, and pictured a more modern style, but only the color changed, it was still old fashioned looking. Hmm, this could be interesting. I went into the bathroom and tried all different hair colors, but blonde looked best, red was fun but just made my face look redder. Then I redecorated the whole house; wouldn't hubby be surprised when he woke up. Those old green dishes, were now bright red. My car: zebra striped. I was having a great time. I changed the gray gravel yard to ocean blue, and made the desert sand bright white, then I painted big  puffy clouds in the sky. I now had ocean front property in Arizona. 

Prompt 3. Write a story using these words: ring, garden, magnifying glass and priest 

It was the morning of my wedding and things were hectic. The groom was late and I was panicking. Finally, the phone in the rectory rang and the priest appeared moments later with a smile on his face. He said, "Don't worry dear, your new husband is on the way. He was out in the garden at his Mother's house picking a fresh flower for a boutonniere when he sneezed and as he grabbed his handkerchief out of his pocket, he dropped your wedding ring. So there they were, the groom and his mother, crawling around on their knees with a magnifying glass looking for the ring. Well, they found it, got cleaned up and are on their way here."

As you can see, my stories generally tend toward humor, but what really amazes me is the completely different stories we compose using the same prompts. I guess we "writer's" all have very active imaginations.

Clicking on the colored words will open a new window and take you to a different story or link.

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