Thursday, December 29, 2016

First Drafts: A Literary Social- 13 December 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 free writing prompt.

Journaling Prompt: List five wishes that you have. Continue the exercise by writing about the fulfillment of each wish.




Five Wishes & How They’ll Come to Fruition
by Becca Resner

  1. I wish to become a published author.
  2. I wish to fall in love and get married.
  3. I wish to have children.
  4. I wish to live in Europe.
  5. I wish to have a positive impact on the world- to change it for the better.

These five wishes go hand-in-hand. Once I become a published author, I will have my world change. Men will flock to me once they realize my skill and beauty and experience my wit and magnetic personality. So I will meet my the man of my dreams, fall in love, and marry. We’ll settle somewhere in the UK or mainland Europe. Then we’ll have children, which will satisfy my five wishes.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

First Drafts: A Literary Social- 6 December 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 free writing prompt.

Using the following as a starting point, write for 20 minutes without self-editing:
"Collapsing under a canopy of green..."


Green Canopy of Dreams
By Lindsey Bartlett
Collapsing under a canopy of green, we pretend that we are acrobats swinging from the vines. Together we join hands as we imagine flying high above a crowd of astonished guest. Young children clap excited, “Look, mommy! Look!” They shout. When the acrobats have safely put their feet on solid ground, out comes the elephants, wearing fancy blankets of red and gold on their backs, their trunks balancing brightly colored balls. The crowd roars with appreciation, as the big grey animals march around the tent followed by several clowns. Clowns with big feet, and painted faces containing big grins, and bright yellow suits. They juggle water balloons, letting them fall to the ground with a SPLOOSH! When the clowns run out of the tent there are tigers performing tricks, and big brown bears.
        We can almost smell the popcorn, and feel the stickiness of candy the young children gorge themselves on. Our imagination pans outside as the circus-goers stream from the tent after an evening of amazing acts and gluttony. The tent’s white and red stripes shine under the lights, like a beacon welcoming everyone of all ages to the greatest show on Earth. There is a cacophony of children’s voices, talking excited about their favorite acts:
“Dad, did you see what the elephant did?”
“Mom the acrobat was hanging by his feet!”
“Did you see? Did you see?”
        Then the daydream fades to black. We find ourselves lying hand-in-hand on mossy ground, grinning at the delights we have witnessed. Together, we stand, brush off the smattering of leaves and dirt, and leave our canopy of green to head home for dinner. When our backs are turned, we don’t notice the animals – bears, tigers, and elephants emerging from their hiding places to watch us leave. The acrobats and clowns wave a farewell until the next time we meet again.







By Becca Resner

Under a canopy of green they ruled the kingdom: A group of raggle-taggle children, who lived on the same street and firmly believed that summer is a barefoot occasion. Sprinklers belong under the trampoline to cool the children in their impossible acrobatic stunts.
Under a canopy of green she positioned herself and picked mulberries to her heart’s content. Purple fingers plucked the choicest of berries. And a bird dropped a purple poop on the stomach of her t-shirt.
Under a canopy of stars the neighborhood children joined in midnight hide-n-seek games. Always best to wear dark clothes and shy away from the streetlamps. After the first time, the little girl always kept her hands in front of her when running to the designated “Base” tree, so she didn’t smack into it again.
Under the canopy of disguise, she sneaked into her parents’ bedroom and carefully stole enough for ice cream truck money, while making sure that her mom wouldn’t notice. She did, but her trick was not letting on to the little girl that her tactics were futile.


Thursday, December 1, 2016

First Drafts: A Literary Social- 22 November 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 creative prompt


Write a poem with the title “Stuffed”.


Stuffed
    V. to fill (a receptacle or space)
         tightly with something

I attempt to mend the wound you left
by stuffing it full of empty promises to myself.

I write a letter stuffed with tiny fragments.
A visual reminder of my own shattered thoughts.

I put your stuff into boxes and hide
them away in an attic to collect dust.

I am weighed down by the stuff we
shared. Now only broken pieces remain.

One day I will fill my life with leftover
dreams. The stuff that I cling to now that you
have gone.
By Lindsey Bartlett



Stuffed
By Lindsey Bartlett

We put love notes in books before
placing them back on the shelves,
In an attempt to fill the empty
spaces where loved ones have hurt us.

You remind me not to mourn all
the things I cannot change, rather
bring hope to those who don’t know
they are looking for it.

I replace my tears with the
words you wrote in the book
you left on a shelf. And I
stuffed my insecurities away

for just a little while.



Stuffed by Becca Resner Sometimes I eat too much: Breakfast, supper lunch. A nap is always semi-mandatory after such occasions. I’m lucky that I’m not fatter, because I love to eat; It’s one of my favorite pastimes. And there’s nothing so satisfying as sleepy contentment in my tummy.

First Drafts: A Literary Social- 15 November 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 journaling prompt.

Journaling Prompt: 
What new tidbits of personality, relationship, or gossip have you learned at recent family gatherings?




Deep Thoughts: Family Edition
By Becca Resner

Quite recently, my family has decided to upgrade, by purchasing various houses. Firstly, so you understand, “my family” includes siblings and cousins. We’re not collectors or landlords either. My aunt, bless her, has taken her upon herself to initiate a running commentary of the new dwellings.
Her oldest son has a huge house now, a “doctor house” as she claims. He’s a doctor after all, so why not? Her middle son also purchased a house. Not to be outdone, so did her youngest son… At least, I think he did.
In comparison, my brother and his wife bought a new house recently. It is bigger than the old one and in a better area of the city; I’ve only seen pictures so far. My sister also bought a house (hers is the most recent purchase). She did it out of economy though: her in-laws are going to be living with her and her family.

My other brother, not to be outdone, has a new son. That has nothing to do with houses or buying houses. But, in my book, the baby wins.

The Faraway Nearby by Rebecca Solnit- A Review


The Faraway Nearby by Rebecca Solnit
A review by Lindsey Bartlett

At the heart of it, Rebecca Solnit’s, The Faraway Nearby is not just about Solnit’s life. The Faraway Nearby is so much more than just a memoir; entwined with aspects of Solnit’s own life from her mother’s disintegrating memory to her own bout with illness, Solnit takes us into the lives of others both real and imaginary to help us better understand our own plights.
We are introduced to cast of characters from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to an artic cannibal and a young Che Guevara. Along the way, Solnit teaches her readers about kindness, imagination, and empathy. Solnit travels to Iceland where she lives in the Library of Water – formerly a library of books which is located on a hill that overlooks a harbor where each night she slept under these glaciers of frozen water.
Readers are treated to Solnit’s famous lyrical prose full of beautiful passages on her reading, her own life, her family, and on story, art, and history. Solnit’s memoir is not a story about just herself, but rather a story which opens into other stories in a way that is both compelling as well as profound. It is through the weaving together of all these threads that Solnit shows how all of our stories are interconnected, and why we create art and literature.
I leave you with a quote from the opening pages of The Faraway Nearby:
“We think we tell stories, but stories often tell us, tell us how to love, or to hate, to see or to be blind. Often, too often, stories saddle us, ride us, whip us onward, tell us what to do, and we do it without questioning. The task of learning to be free requires learning to hear them, to question them, to pause and hear silence, to name them and then to become the storyteller.”