Creative Writing Disorder Assignment # 10: Jimmy’s Space Adventure

This is my assignment for this week. In class we read A Wrinkle in Time. We spoke about the themes of Childhood, Fantasy/Reality, and science fiction. Here’s my piece.

Swamp Planet

Jimmy’s space adventure

The Evil Trog trudged through his swampy domain leaving tracks of slime behind him. The only thing that stood in his way was a 6 year old boy named Jimmy. Jimmy chances were slim, he was wounded and down to one piece of ammo in his blaster. He looked down at his wound, on his side. He knew he needed to finish the job or die trying soon. He could hear Trog laughing in the distance. He knew that he wounded Jimmy with the last shot from his Lazer Crossbow. “Just give it up little man, you had a good run, now it is time to rest. I promise to keep you alive long enough for me to devour your planet, and enslave everyone you love.” It was now or never. Jimmy revealed himself from behind the tree. Trog stood in amazement at the child’s bravery. “What’s the plan little man?” Jimmy held up his blaster and intentionally dropped into the murky water. Trog let out a giant belly laugh. But Trog didn’t know about Jimmy’s secret weapon. Jimmy slowly moved his other hand toward his back pocket.

“Jimmy! Jimmy where are you?” It was a woman’s voice from the distance. Jimmy jerked his head up to see where it was coming from. Now he realized where he actually was. The murky backdrop of the swamp was replace by aisle nine in the price chopper. “Jimmy! Come on, it’s time to go.” It was his mom’s voice that jarred him back to reality and away from his mission. It sounded like she had been searching for awhile and sounded upset. Jimmy turned and ran away from the voice as he looked over his shoulder just to see his mom take the corner into his aisle. He swiftly ducked around sprinted back up the next aisle. He did an 180 degree turn into aisle nine right behind his mom.

“Oh there you are Jimmy, I’ve been looking everywhere. Where have you been?”

“Right here mom, I was following you.” At first she looked upset and then decided not to pick a losing battle. “OK lets go, your father is waiting for us for dinner.”

“OK Momma.” He knew exactly what to say to make his mom happy. He grabbed onto the pant leg of his mom and walked to check out. He would have to save the world another day.

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Creative Writing Disorder Assignment # 9: Life is Fine

This week I handed out to the class the poem ‘Life is Fine’ by Langston Hughes. It went over great, and we got some good pieces out of it. Here is my take. Again, I am not looking for a copy of the piece, just for people to be inspired by it.

Here’s my take:

Too soon


Your on a path of destruction.

Lifestyle in the way of your life.

You can’t trust no one,

no loving for a while.


Your on a path of destruction.

Too many endless nights.

They all add up in the end,

until you lose your sight.


You lost focus

on what was important.

You lost focus

on what, life, is.

Your flame is burning

into a powder keg

Your flame is growing

It will end, the, same.


Your on a path of destruction.

No one can stop the train.

You pull up on the reigns,

the outcome is the same.


Your on a path of destruction.

It’s your head on the line.

You’ll follow your father,

who died before his time…

He died before his time.

Creative Writing Disorder Assignment # 8: Wizard of Oz

Hey everyone! This weeks writing is based on The Wizard of Oz. Not necessarily copying the work, but taking parts or style from it. I decided to focus on the colors of the work, and how it goes from a dull grey world to a world filled with color. Hope you enjoy my piece, and I can’t wait to read yours! Remember, you can submit your work via comments on this blog!

 

Red

He looked into the whites of his own eyes.

His pale skin reflected the light.

He rinsed his hands in the burning water.

The porcelain sink steamed up the bathroom.

He rubbed the water on his stubble.

He reached for the razor.

He looked up at the mirror again.

The same old face he had seen for years.

He placed the cold metal to his skin.

All the same.

The same thing everyday.

The white dull walls.

The white dull floor tiles.

The same pale dull face.

Just one small move.

A small stroke.

Would bring some color to this dull world.

His hand tensed up.

The metal dug the skin.

Would he bring the color today?

A beautiful waterfall of red.

A thing of beauty for the world to see.

A special gift just for him.

He thought about how he would love it.

All the tiny details.

The spatter.

The flow.

The color.

The life set free.

The red rust wave would flood the world.

The only way.

The only way to truly express himself.

He looked into the whites of his own eyes.

He had finished shaving.

He put the razor away.

Time to get dressed for another day.

Another day of being silent.

Where no one knows who he really is.

Creative Writing Disorder Assignment #7: Biography

This week’s assignment was to write a biography on someone. Here it is!

 

 

Bird

Once upon a time there was a jazz musician named Charlie Parker. Charlie Parker had a famous nickname “Bird,” short for “Yardbird.” As the story goes, Parker was given the nickname because he was ‘free as a bird.’ This could be heard in his playing of his instrument ‘the saxophone.’ Bird could play the saxophone so well, so differently from anyone who had ever played before, and so creatively that he inspire jazz music for generations to come.

Another side to Charlie Parker was his lifelong addiction to drugs. Charlie Parker struggled with heroin addiction from the early age of 17. Charlie would spend his nights playing in clubs until dawn, then would walk across Manhattan to a morning gig which he would play until noon. The rest of day would consist of scrounging money for his habit, either by pawning his sax or scamming his friends for a quick ‘loan.’ While he was living this chaotic life of drugs, alcohol, and music; he was performing and recording some of the most intricate and interesting jazz ever created, and changing the face of music history. He influenced musicians to come such as Miles Davis and John Coltrane, and turned jazz from a dancing pop music to an art form.

Charlie Parker eventually kicked his heroin habit but turned to drinking at least a quart of whiskey a day. This soon lead to his death on March 12th 1955, one week after his European performance debut. When the corner examined his body, he said that Bird had the body of a 65 year old man…but Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker was only 35 years old when he passed away. Even though he was taken at an early age, Bird’s music lives on forever. For years after his death people spray painted the world “Bird Lives” all over the buildings of Manhattan, symbolizing the style of jazz that he created and inspired in other players to this day.

Creative Writing Disorder Assignment #6: Absent

 

6. Absent. Construct a character who is not present.  You have many options here: people may talk about this character before meeting him, or after meeting her; you might choose to examine what this character owns, how he or she lives, under what conditions; you might use indirect approaches, like letters or documents that attest to the existence but not presence of the person.  How do we know of people?  Examine the ways we build characters in our minds and in our social environments before and after we meet them.

 

 

The Divorce

You’re a sonofabitch!’ Kelly shouted as she jumped up from her chair and went to crawl across the table. Her lawyer grabbed the back of her suit coat.

‘You know I can’t see Brenda on the weekends, I work on the weekends now!’

‘Sorry, but that’s what we agreed to during the divorce.’ Brian said as he smugly sat back in his chair. Brian’s lawyer an attractive blond woman in her late thirties, who was hired by Brian to drive his ex-wife nuts, but if anyone asked him he would deny it.

‘I hope you can restrain your client counselor.’

Kelley’s lawyer pleaded to her.

‘Please sit down’ he then spoke in whisper. ‘If we any shot of seeing your daughter you’ll act smart here.’

‘I know, I know, I’ll calm down.’ Her lawyer then picked up the order in his open brief case.

‘In court your client was told to pay support every month and now he’s 3 months late, if this continues we will take to you to court and we will get full custody.’

‘Bullshit! Your client is the one who cheated…she can’t say anything now. She knew what she was doing, and knew she was jeopardizing her relationship with her daughter.’ The blond controlled the conversation with ease. She was an experienced lawyer of 13 years as a divorce attorney.

‘I’ve cared for Brenda all these years. All the special needs classes. The driving to doctors appointments. She needs these things. Since I’m not in the picture you haven’t been taking her. This is neglect for my little girl that needs me now. I know you can hate me now and I don’t blame you, but don’t take it out on my little girl!’ Kelly broke down and started weeping. The Lawyers were silenced like robots who didn’t have programming to interact with this kind of situation.

‘I hear your concerns Kel.’ Brian now said in a gentler tone. ‘But I warned while we were married about your drinking and going out every night.’ His volume raised. ‘Sure you drove her to appointments, hungover from the night before. While I was at work. You were driving around with her spending my money! Now that your out of the picture she’s in day care and has a ‘non-drunk’ parent to take care of her. If you have a problem of how I do things why didn’t you listen to me a year ago!’

The room went silent. The lawyers looked down at their phones.

The blond lawyer finally broke the silence.

‘We’re done here.’ She snapped her briefcase closed and Brian followed her out of the room without looking back. The glass door slowly closed shut.

Kelly put her head down and wept into her hands. Her lawyer sat and stared into the glow of his phone.

Here’s next week’s assignment!

Write a short 500 word Biography on someone famous, or someone you know! Enjoy!

Ben

Creative Writing Disorder Assignment #5: Body English

5. Body English. Write a “conversation” in which no words are said.  This exercise is meant to challenge you to work with gesture, body language (or, as a baseball announcer I heard once misspeak it, body English), all the things we convey to each other without words.  We often learn more about characters in stories from the things characters do with their hands than from what they say.  It might be best to have some stranger observe this conversation, rather than showing us the thoughts of one of the people involved in the conversation, because the temptation to tell us what the conversation is about is so great from inside the conversation.  “I was doing the opposite of Freud,” Desmond Morris says, of his famous book The Naked Ape that first studied the ways humans speak with their bodies.  “He listened to people and didn’t watch; I watched people and didn’t listen.”  Because of Morris, according to Cassandra Jardine, “when politicians scratch their noses they are now assumed to be lying—and the sight of the Queen [Elizabeth] crossing her legs at the ankles is known to be a signal that her status is too high for her to need to show sexual interest by crossing them further up.”  Autistic children cannot understand human conversation even when they understand individual words because they cannot read facial expressions, which is clear evidence of how important other forms of language are.  600 words.

 

Stuck

I looked to my right at my father. He didn’t make eye contact with me. His mouth was twitching but no words were coming out. Actually he wasn’t my father. He was playing my father, and I was playing the part of his son Chris. I just had delivered my line. It was a good line read, and actually I don’t think I ever said it correctly before. The line read: ‘One of these days those kids are going to come over here and beat your brains in.’ It was an odd line the way it fit in the conversation, one of those weird Arthur Miller lines that never really sits right for some reason, maybe it was me reading it wrong and just not letting it flow with the rest of the dialogue…nonetheless I had said it and here we were. No matter what had happened to the man playing my father he was stuck. He was standing down stage left and looking off to house right. I was up of him and looking towards the back of his head. I needed to act fast or we would be stuck here forever. I caught a glimpse of the audience in my right peripheral vision. ‘Did they know what was going on?’ It was just me and Joe on stage so no one else could help us out. It wasn’t his fault that he dropped lines, he had a ton of them, but he took the part and he should’ve known what he could and couldn’t take on. Now 5 seconds of silence had passed. To an actor in this situation it seems like an eternity. I could hear the audience shift in their seats and couple of them cough. I almost turned my head to face them directly to see them, but somehow I resisted by some ingrown training I have in my bones from school. I weighed my options: I could jump to the next line, and skip a couple of his lines and therefor the audience could miss some important information about the play, or I could improvise a little and clue him in to his next line, but if I misspoke I could sound like an idiot and give it all away. ‘Why did this have to happen on opening night of all nights!’

Here’s next week’s assignment!

6. Absent. Construct a character who is not present.  You have many options here: people may talk about this character before meeting him, or after meeting her; you might choose to examine what this character owns, how he or she lives, under what conditions; you might use indirect approaches, like letters or documents that attest to the existence but not presence of the person.  How do we know of people?  Examine the ways we build characters in our minds and in our social environments before and after we meet them.

Creative Writing Disorder Assignment #4: Home

Ralph-Bunche-Home-1Hey everyone! I hope you enjoyed March Madness! Here’s the new post followed by next week’s assignment!

Home “Some women marry houses,” says the poet Anne Sexton, meaning presumably that these women marry not men but the ideal of house and home.  The different etymologies of these two words are instructive.  Home originally referred to village or hometown. House has in its earlier meanings the notion of hiding, of enclosing oneself.  Now house indicates any house, and home is the place that is central to our notions of ourselves.  Use a home in a story fragment (500 words).  Think about the power of rooms (kitchens, basements, unfinished attics, walk-in closets) on psychology and conversation.  In this fragment, make the house a unique participant (though a passive one) in the unfolding events.  The room need not be in a typical house.  Think about all the other rooms we become familiar with—classrooms, office cubicles, public toilets.  What are their personalities?  How do the more public spaces we inhabit affect our behaviors?  You might consider keeping several characters permanently stuck in different rooms in a house, communicating by shouts, cell phones, intercoms, Dixie cups, or telepathy.

Perfect

One Perfect little lady
and a perfect little man.
Sitting home together,
holding each others hands.

No one could split them,
or break them apart.
They were in love
from the very start.

Could anyone be so perfect?
Could anyone be so pure?
When I look in their eyes,
I know I’m sure.

No one matters anymore.
Now that they’re here.
We’ll watch them age
from year to year.

No one can tell me different.
No one really can.
About this perfect little lady
and this perfect little man.

Here’s the next assignment!

Body English. Write a “conversation” in which no words are said.  This exercise is meant to challenge you to work with gesture, body language (or, as a baseball announcer I heard once misspeak it, body English), all the things we convey to each other without words.  We often learn more about characters in stories from the things characters do with their hands than from what they say.  It might be best to have some stranger observe this conversation, rather than showing us the thoughts of one of the people involved in the conversation, because the temptation to tell us what the conversation is about is so great from inside the conversation.  “I was doing the opposite of Freud,” Desmond Morris says, of his famous book The Naked Ape that first studied the ways humans speak with their bodies.  “He listened to people and didn’t watch; I watched people and didn’t listen.”  Because of Morris, according to Cassandra Jardine, “when politicians scratch their noses they are now assumed to be lying—and the sight of the Queen [Elizabeth] crossing her legs at the ankles is known to be a signal that her status is too high for her to need to show sexual interest by crossing them further up.”  Autistic children cannot understand human conversation even when they understand individual words because they cannot read facial expressions, which is clear evidence of how important other forms of language are.  600 words.