for the Bookworms, for the Writers

Writing Like Rain

Haven’t had a writer’s prompt from “A Year of Writing Dangerously” in awhile (you can check out the other two here and here.)

1. What is your own metaphor for fear of writing that first line?

Here’s my answer:

Writing is like the rain: you can admire from afar, but to truly experience it you must allow yourself to look a little unprepared and very silly.

Do you agree or disagree with mine? Why? And what’s your metaphor for fear of writing? I’d love to hear some others, so please share!

for the Bookworms, for the Writers, Stories

Flash Fiction: Freedom Freddie

[Say that blogpost title five times fast.]

Writing Prompt: Childhood Pet

While we’re all talking about independence, here’s my morbid memory of one of my family’s first pets. I wrote this for the Writer’s Prompt in A Year of Writing Dangerously that asks to write about a childhood pet.



Freedom Freddie

Freedom Freddie. A duckling full of hopes and dreams for the future.

He was skittish, worrisome. Who was this doting family who squeezed and coddled him, never a minute alone? His confident waddle assured the kids though that the shredded lettuce they showered upon him was reason enough to overlook the stifling attention.

And Freddie was happy. Freedom was a little subjective, but he enjoyed his cage for now and his heart fluttered when he would see the pouty lips and puppy eyes as the parents cautioned the kids that Freddie would one day be an independent duckie, released to a pond where he can splash and play and make his own home.

The kids liked to think that this manmade structure was Freddie’s home. But stories of the pond – how glorious it sounded. His mother and siblings must be there, awaiting his presence. The pounding rain, the hard concrete, the screech of tires, and the cold bare skin – those first memories would be washed away by the splashing and quacking. New stories, new memories recollected of a mother who did not abandon him, but lost him in a tragic mishap he would one day learn the details of.

This temporary family, they could not understand his expectations of this certain future, when all they said was, “Ducks were made for a pond, not for a bedroom.” And yet, perhaps this future was not so certain.

A mother lost forever. Siblings frozen on other obscure roads. Or this nurturing home his death sentence. His heart pounded and his feathers refused to warm him – now he was freezing as well – and Freddie squawked his pain to no avail.

One lone child held him close as his harsh screams filled the otherwise silent home. Offerings of more packaged lettuce, the gentle strokes of comfort, a warm towel – nothing could stop the pain, the chill of reality.

Finally, his body would not allow him to cower against the child’s middle. With unstoppable force, his body began to stretch out, straighter and straighter – “Not like a duckling,” he thought. “Too human.” All at once, his squawks were silenced, his shivers relinquished, and his eyes refused to blink as he lay in the warm towel, still and straight as a funeral corpse.

“It was the lettuce,” the parents would say. “We discovered that packaged lettuce has chemicals that are poisonous to ducklings.” And with those words, Freedom Freddie‘s need for sustenance wrenched the dreams of independence from his webbing.


What Say You?

What’s one of your memories of a childhood pet?

for the Creatives, for the Writers

Why I Do What I Do

I thought it fitting that I start this blog with an explanation. The book A Year of Writing Dangerously is full of inspiration for writers and ends with a list of 52 writer’s prompts – one for each week of the year. Number 12 asks to write about why we want to write.

My Response:

I want to write because I want to create. I want control. I want to be okay with losing control.

I want to write because I want to escape. I want to explore. I want to imagine.

I want to write because I want to have deep relationship without risk. I want to know and be known, even if I have to fake it through characters.

I want to write because I want to be heard. I want to write because I want you to see me. I want to write because I don’t want to be me.

I want to write because I want to read. I want to understand Washington Irving, Edgar Allan Poe, Gertrude Stein, and Neil Gaiman. I want to write because I want to learn. I want to be a lifelong student, no really.

I want to write because I want to teach. I want to write because I want to think. I want to write because I want to feel.

I want to write because I want to be a part of something bigger. I want to be someone of lasting significance, if only to one person.

I want to write because I have a story. I want to write because I have many stories no one else will have, and all must be told. I want to write because I want to work with words and talking doesn’t work so well.

I want to write because I want an explanation for my quirks. I want to write because I want to have a reason for the pain. I want to write because I want to say, “I told you so.”

I want to write because I hate routine. I want to write because I want to live.

Your Response:

If you’re a writer, why do you write? If you’re a reader, why do you read? If you’re neither, why do you do what you do? Comment below to join the conversation.