Thursday, November 10, 2016

First Drafts: A Literary Social- 25 October 2016

Ellen Plumb's prides itself in showcasing local writers and spreading literacy throughout our wonderful community. Each week we create prompts to engage the community in different forms of writing, allowing writers to practice their skills in a fun, encouraging environment. Here are our submissions for this week's memoir prompt.

Make a list of your favorite stuffed animals, starting from when you were a child up to the present. Make a note of who gave you which ones, if you remember, or how they came into your life. Include pictures if you have them. Did you give them away? Do you still have them?

The Brief History of My Stuffed Animals
by Becca Resner

The first stuffed animal I remember was named Teddy Turtle. He was a white bear with a hard brown, ever postured in a sitting position- I think I got him for my fifth birthday. I was obsessed with ninja turtles. At my request, Mom made me a Michaelangelo cake, his orange wrappings contrasting against green skin. Anyway, that’s a rough history of his name. I took him most places and his white quickly became off-white. He developed a permanent Kool-Aid stain on his upper lip, because I tried to feed him orange Kool-Aid. He was my buddy, and being the youngest of four is mildly lonely at times. Especially if I was sent to my room. I often sought comfort in his stained embrace.
My next stuffed animal that I really remember was Fred. He was a gift from my two older brothers when I was in CHildren’s Mercy Hospital. I stayed there for a while after a pretty life-altering traffic accident. Like Teddy Turtle, Fred was an ever-present companion. I dressed him up in our old baby clothes and loved him like a son. He was my comforter after my first eye surgery. It was also at Children’s Mercy and the surgeons were great. I think it was a nurse though, who gave him a matching T-shirt to the one they gave me: a white shirt with a nurse bear on the front that reads: My operation was “bear-able” at Children’s Mercy.
Another bear, Charlie, came from my dear friend Gerri Curss. He’s small and brown, wrapped with a red bow-tie around his neck. He was also a buddy and took place next to Fred in importance.
Lastly, Charles Wallace. I made him, stuffed him and dressed him in a Build-a-Bear store in Orlando, when I lived there. He’s the only one I’ve still got. My roommates and I made our bears together. We even had a designated “Build-a-Bear DAy” at Magic Kingdom, where we toted our three bears all over with us. We put them in aplastic stroller and even got a picture of the six of us in front of Cinderella’s Castle.

Stuffed Animal Prompt
by Lindsey Bartlett

Over the course of my life from childhood until now I have had too many stuffed animals to list here. It would take forever, and I doubt I could remember them all. Most of them I have gotten rid of as I got older, but there are still a few that remain and a few I remember well.
Currently on top of my headboard reside some of my more recent stuffed animal acquisitions:
There is the stuffed Husky dog, that I bought at FAO Schwartz in Atlanta, GA when I was in high school, because it reminded me of our then Alaskan Malamute, Skyler. Skyler would pass away four years later when I was a junior in college at around the age of 16.
Next, there is Thor the Tower Raven from my trip to England with Dr. Storm in 2009, and in addition to Thor there is the unnamed Lemur that I bought at the London Zoo. I have a small obsession with Lemurs. (Like I went to Tanganyika Wildlife Park in Wichita so I could pet a Lemur, but they changed the rules so you cannot pet them anymore. My life is still in a state of crisis over this.)
Residing as my fellow bedmate, is Ivy the pink stuffed seal that Amy bought me as a thank you gift for dog sitting for her last November. She bought the seal, because its smushed face reminded her of her dog’s (Ivy a Pit Bull Terrier) face. Ivy the seal is a much calmer bedmate than Ivy the Pit Bull, because the seal doesn’t think three a.m. is a great time to cuddle up next to you and lick whatever appendage is within reach, but I digress…
Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of the one stuffed animal I remember being really attached to as a small child. This was a brown and white cat, that I believe wore a little pink hat over its ears, and it somehow had acquired the name Henrietta (I don’t remember how or why). I do remember absolutely loving this stupid stuffed cat. My mom would use my love of this stuffed animal against me. I had to get up crazy early for school as a kid, because we lived in the country and I had an hour bus ride. In an attempt to entice to me to get up at O’dark-thirty, my mom would anthropomorphize Henrietta, giving her a voice and having the stuffed cat “wake me up.” I’m not sure how well it worked (I have never been much of a morning person).
On another occasion, I had taken Henrietta with us into one of the various bigger towns where we would buy groceries and such. I don’t remember where we had stopped, but I wanted to take Henrietta inside with me. Mom told me that I could not take my stuffed cat friend inside. This was just appalling to my little kid self, and I vaguely remember throwing something of a tantrum by the car while my mother argued with me to leave Henrietta in the car. I think I finally did give up, and leave the silly cat in the vehicle, but it wasn’t because I wanted to.

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