Monday, April 28, 2014

line, please

In the writing group session that I have been helping with, we have been toying with muse, in its various forms. I had recently shared a piece of flash fiction that uses conversation only -  a strictly one-sided conversation - to tell the story. I was completely humbled the following week to be told by one of the participants that she had been silently suffering through a panic attack and had considered leaving the room until I read that story. She found it funny and the laughter helped her suppress the panic. 

It is pretty powerful to hear something like that about something that you wrote. Of course I am pretty sure that my story just happened to be in the right place at the right time, but it was still so gratifying to hear.

Most recently, we used a writing prompt that one of the participants, a former teacher, used to unleash upon his class. For ten minutes we scribbled madly, expanding upon the opening line: "I am the one who ..."

Here's mine:

I am the one who walks along these streets at night. When you are gathered with your family watching a late movie, I am passing your house. When you are gazing at the screen in your hand, ignoring the pile of books beside you, I am slowing down to get a closer look. When you are holding court in a room full of well-dressed beautiful people who sip fizzy drinks and nibble canapés, I am stopping on your sidewalk, half-hidden by your well-groomed trees. 

I am the one who fights the urge to make my way up your sidewalk, to turn the handle of your door, to confront you. A startled you, who does not know that I only want to tell you that you would be much happier if you moved your couch over there.  


John Mutford said...

It is a rather provocative prompt, isn't it? And yet it seems to simple on the surface...

Barbara Bruederlin said...

It really launched a wide variety of responses, John. I was surprised by the creativity it generated. Go prompts!