Writing prompt, February 20th!!! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 23 Old 02-20-2008, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Write about the four seasons as they pertain to the events that have transpired in your life.

Give each season a color as it pertains to each situation in your life (optional)


If you would like to share, please post within this thread

Deadline 2/27 (one week)

Have fun

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#2 of 23 Old 02-20-2008, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Let me make the suggestion that this piece be no longer than 8 paragraphs, no less than 4. It is okay if it is really "bad" writing, it is only an exercise to get the creative juices flowing

It can be as polished as you want, but I caution against too much editing because the whole point is to capture your initial thoughts and perhaps a great piece will be a spin off of as the result of one of the prompts.

If you would like feedback, please be specific in what you are looking for. Check out the stickie on feedback. Above all, have fun!!!

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#3 of 23 Old 02-20-2008, 07:42 PM
 
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Great prompt! Hopefully I can find some time to do it between kids, and school..but I'd really like to work on this one!!
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#4 of 23 Old 02-26-2008, 04:11 PM
 
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I only saw this prompt a couple of days ago and did start an attempt but don't think I'll make the deadline. It is also the first piece of creative writing I've ever attempted apart from school so not sure how I feel about posting it. Even if I don't manage to post what I've written I think the prompts are a great idea. Keep em coming.
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#5 of 23 Old 02-26-2008, 11:51 PM
 
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Ok, I'm going to be brave here and post mine. Now, remember that I really don't have any writing experience, so be somewhat nice about it. This is something I've always wanted to do, but didn't start until last November with NaNoWriMo. So anyway, I would love some feedback, and honestly, I don't really care what kind. I'm pretty tough, I know I'm not good at it yet, but that's why I'm in this forum.

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#6 of 23 Old 02-26-2008, 11:52 PM
 
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Ok, I'm going to be brave here and post mine. Now, remember that I really don't have any writing experience, so be somewhat nice about it. This is something I've always wanted to do, but didn't start until last November with NaNoWriMo. So anyway, I would love some feedback, and honestly, I don't really care what kind. I'm pretty tough, I know I'm not good at it yet, but that's why I'm in this forum.

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#7 of 23 Old 02-27-2008, 12:16 AM
 
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Crap, double posted and still forgot the prompt.


As I sit here and look outside, I can feel the warmth of the sun hitting my face and I long for those hot sultry days of summer. But behind the warm sun's disguise is the gentle reminder from Mother Nature that winter still abounds. When I think of the four seasons, I think of how blessed I am to live in an area that gets to truly enjoy every part of them.

I am really one who could not live without all four seasons. Each season brings the start of something new, something different. But most important to me, is sharing the joy of my own kind of creation with Mother Nature.

The end of summer always brought the greatest surprise of all, the announcement of our "something new". Knowing that in ten short months, God will give us something so wonderful that will change our lives forever. I always feel that these few ending weeks of summer were the most blissful for me.

Fall brings those cool, crisp days that vibrate with color. As much as I love Fall, I have more memories of blessing the porcelain goddess rather than enjoying the muted rainbow of Fall's colors. With Fall ending comes the beginning of winter, and the excitement that soon snow will fall, and we'll be cuddling up next to our warm fireplace sipping a mug of something hot. Most importantly for us, in Winter, is the holidays. There is no better feeling than not only rejoicing Christ's birth, but feeling those tiny kicks of our precious one. Whether it's the first time, or your third, no other feeling can compare with that.

Once Winter's snow whittles away, you can begin to smell the freshness in the air as Spring begins to make it's entrance. Standing outside and inhaling that freshness can instantly transform me back. Back to those days of wondering and waiting who this new being is inside of me. Preparing my nest for God's newest creation, all the while watching the outside world prepare for their new arrivals.

I look back and see how blessed I am to have experienced pregnancy and birth not once, but three times. Those are truly the days I will treasure forever and feel blessed that with each changing of the seasons, I can experience these special times all over again.

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#8 of 23 Old 02-27-2008, 09:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sydnee, I loved the way you compared the changing of the seasons with your experience of pregnancy and birth. The only feedback I would offer is that when I first read, I was confused and had to read again. I think that is because it was written in present tense, since you were talking about an event in the past, it would've made more sense if it had been past tense. Other than that, I love the concept and it made me want even more details (though that is sometimes hard when we are trying to keep it short)

Thank you for having the courage to post.

Any other brave souls?

You could ask for support only feedback if you want.

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#9 of 23 Old 02-27-2008, 09:39 AM
 
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Yes, when I read it again this morning, I thought the same thing! Thanks for your feedback. I actually see a lot of things I would change, but hey, that's why I'm here!

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#10 of 23 Old 02-27-2008, 01:11 PM
 
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I just saw this today, when it's due! But what a great idea! I've always loved writing but have never really done it with a purpose besides school, but I recently decided to look into doing it 'when I grow up' I will definitely try to get on board with the next prompt, and no matter what it looks like when I get done I will share it!

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#11 of 23 Old 02-27-2008, 02:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Go ahead and try this one if you want, I will be posting another one later today though (maybe tonight) We usually allow about 2 weeks, but you can post it earlier if you want to.




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#12 of 23 Old 02-27-2008, 03:37 PM
 
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I'm going to be brave and post mine. I'd consider it in rough form and not finalized. I'm open to any kind of feedback. Thanks for reading!

Winter. White. Hibernation. Life growing inside, my belly rounder and rounder each passing day. I was born in December, the day of the first snow fall of that year. My mother missed my birth as snowflakes fell through the grey sky and jackhammers echoed through the hospital corridors. They put her under and pulled me into the world with forceps. Silver. Cold. Like the winter herself. Thirty years later, I watch the snow falling through my bedroom window, flakes escaping the tangled branches of empty trees. My hands follow the small kicks of my swimming baby. It’s as if we are playing a game of tag…kick…my hand gently presses…kick…my hand gently presses. Three more months and you’ll be ready to be born little life…into the spring.

Spring. Pink. Warm breezes. Muddy toes…wait…I can’t see my toes! The trees outside my bedroom window are full of soft cherry blossoms. Thick blankets disguise the hard branches. It’s snowing again…yet snowing softness and warmth. I walk through these billows of blossoms, resting my hands on my belly which will soon be deflated, my arms will be full. My breasts ache and are heavy. I turn my face to the spring sun and am instantly warmed to my core. I feel you baby, as you move with one giant swoop, stopping up near my ribcage. A pressure that I’ve come accustomed to…a pain that I’ve accepted…that I’m sure I’ll miss. Any day now, you’ll be here. Warm and pink and all mine.

Summer. Red. Angry. Intense blinding heat dancing along the highway as we drive hours and hours south to our new home. You, six weeks, are strapped into the car seat sleeping as we drive and drive. You wake and start searching for me, getting frustrated and red and angry at your constraints. My breasts start leaking at your cries and my own cheeks become wet with guilt. I call ahead angrily telling my husband to pull off at the next exit so you can nurse. Guilty more now that my anger is spilling over. Your cries are desperate…your face red…my shirt wet with milk. I turn off the car and run to you. Dripping with sweat, your mouth finds my nipple and you suck with vigor. Breath slowing, I shield you from the unforgiving sun as I head for the shade of trees. The heat is inescapable. I long for the inartificial cool air. I want peace from this burning…burning sun, burning breasts, burning scar.

Fall. Mossy. Lovely. Cool mornings welcome us as we open the doors to the deck. The sun is peaking through the colored trees and you sit in front of the open door. You watch the birds flying and turn your head towards the sounds of the geese in the pond. Expertly crawling over the lip of the door frame, you head for the edge of the deck. Pulling up to stand to see more clearly that which your ears have told you. Honk! Honk! The geese run and chase each other. You turn to me and smile as if to say, “Mama, did you see? Mama, did you hear?” I smile back at you my son…amazed at your amazement. Excited at all the opportunities that await you. Stunned by your acceptance of your world with open arms. With a strong breeze, trees release their orange and brown leaves and they travel along before resting on the ground. Winter is soon approaching. And we’ll be hibernating together again to watch the snow fall from the grey sky. Only this time you’ll be in my arms and I’ll be watching your eyes as you spot your first snowflake lazily dancing in the cold winter sky.

~jen
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#13 of 23 Old 02-27-2008, 05:02 PM
 
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Excellent, Jen!!! I loved every part, and love how you use your words, so descriptive, almost like I'm right there with you. Excellent!!!

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#14 of 23 Old 02-27-2008, 05:15 PM
 
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#15 of 23 Old 02-27-2008, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am so happy you all are posting I am on my way out the door, but will read tonight. New prompt by tomorrow.

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#16 of 23 Old 02-27-2008, 07:25 PM
 
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Ok, here it is, I didn't read anyone else's first because I knew I would unconsciously copy ideas! I would like clarification feedback, and any other kind I can get! I have never written with a purpose before except school, so this is my very first attempt at being a writer when I grow up! Thanks for reading!

Winter. Quiet and Still. The earth is resting, the land is taking a break. I look inward, to my soul, searching for answers. What bounty has the year brought to the garden of my soul? Have I loved and laughed enough? Did I tell people how I feel about things? What was the best fruit that my tree bared this year? With the bright sun glistening on the clean pure snow, I find the solace to answer these questions and more.

Spring. Beauty and awakening. The earth is springing forth with new life, things are growing all about. My soul is also awakening, looking forward to a new year. What things will I do? Who will I encounter? Will I remember to be thankful for the richness of my experiences? In what ways will my soul flourish? With the green and the vibrant colors sprouting and reaching up for the golden sun, I find myself reaching up and out for a beautiful new year.

Summer. Tranquil and exhilarating. The earth is bringing forth her matured labors, she is at the peak of her warmth. My soul yearns for good times, to make memories that will bring a smile to my heart when the weather again turns cold. Will my days basking in the sun with friends be as joy filled as they were last year? Will new friends be made at the yearly festivals? What reasons will we think of to have outdoor barbeques and bonfires? Will there be some that have to say goodbye when all the good times have been had? With the fiery sun sparkling across the waters, I feel comforted in it's warmth, and it strikes in me a passion to fulfill my heart's desires.

Fall. Harvest and preparation. The earth has completed her work, and now waits for us to enjoy her labors. My soul is winding down, getting prepared for the winter. What final activities will there be? What did the harvest bring this year? How big will the pile of leaves get before we jump in and scatter them again? Will I remember to enjoy the fading beauty around me before it's gone and the frosts arrive? With the birds migrating across the sun's path, I also migrate, but into myself, for another season of reflection.

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#17 of 23 Old 02-27-2008, 07:52 PM
 
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Sydnee, I understood yours the first time I love the first paragraph, it really captures how I feel on those sunny winter days, it's fun to read something that you can feel in your own heart! Your descriptions were very real, they made it possible to feel like I was there.

Jgm06, I was brought to tears. I really identified with your descriptions, my baby was at the same stages that yours was, so it brought back memories for me I loved your discriptive words, unique and meaningful. I like how you did this, "I want peace from this burning…burning sun, burning breasts, burning scar." whatever that is I like the idea. Also liked how you started it with you being born and ended it with your son.

Puddle, I love how you go through your life with each season, very interesting to see how different things happen in the same season and it makes them a little similar. Also very real, I can feel your descriptions!

I'm glad I didn't read the others before I wrote mine, because I obviously thought about different things mine doesn't seem as meaningful after reading all yours! I guess I will try to go deeper next time! But this was fun! I'm going to go back and write all the ones I missed too, just for practice. I'm so excited I found this place to get ideas and feedback!

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#18 of 23 Old 02-28-2008, 01:14 AM
 
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Posting without reading, I want to get this in before the end of the day but I promise I'll read right after I post

This is an unedited first draft. I don't like writing about myself, I'm much more comfortable with fiction and I feel like this little piece is missing something that would help it make more sense. As always, I'm open to any kind of criticism, be it constructive or deconstructive, and if anyone can tell me what's missing, please do!



I was born at the end of the summer, when the green leaves on the trees were filing their last wills and testaments, preparing for the fall. In the waning season I flourished – a rogue ray of sunlight smuggled through before the sky went cold for the autumn.

I was a ripe little thing by the autumn of my kindergarten year. Dressed up in a corduroy jumper with a red velvet apple sewn onto the pocket, I marched my hearty self into the classroom and grabbed the books off the shelf like they were mine, munching the fruits of knowledge with glee.

My enthusiasm faded as the chilling winds of what was expected of me frosted my eager brain. My hungry mind starved. It swallowed formulas, conjugations, and longitude and latitude, then spat them back out through a number two pencil without a moment's savor of the taste. This winter seemed eternal, stretching from my childhood through my late teens. The tender seeds of what I could be lay dormant.

But then a spring came. New life emerged from me, punching through the icy shell that had held me for long. Young tendrils of new thought burst through the thaw and started to grow, deep rooted and audacious, striving for the sun.
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#19 of 23 Old 02-28-2008, 03:28 AM
 
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wow, there is some real beauty in this thread

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Originally Posted by Sydnee View Post
Once Winter's snow whittles away, you can begin to smell the freshness in the air as Spring begins to make it's entrance. Standing outside and inhaling that freshness can instantly transform me back. Back to those days of wondering and waiting who this new being is inside of me. Preparing my nest for God's newest creation, all the while watching the outside world prepare for their new arrivals.
Sydnee, this was my favorite part of your piece. I love how you described spring by smell, that's how I start to recognize it too.

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Originally Posted by jgm06 View Post

Summer. Red. Angry. Intense blinding heat dancing along the highway as we drive hours and hours south to our new home. You, six weeks, are strapped into the car seat sleeping as we drive and drive. You wake and start searching for me, getting frustrated and red and angry at your constraints. My breasts start leaking at your cries and my own cheeks become wet with guilt. I call ahead angrily telling my husband to pull off at the next exit so you can nurse. Guilty more now that my anger is spilling over. Your cries are desperate…your face red…my shirt wet with milk. I turn off the car and run to you. Dripping with sweat, your mouth finds my nipple and you suck with vigor. Breath slowing, I shield you from the unforgiving sun as I head for the shade of trees. The heat is inescapable. I long for the inartificial cool air. I want peace from this burning…burning sun, burning breasts, burning scar.
~jen
Jen, this part of your piece is so vivid, it conjured up similar memories for me and I was very much *there*. Nice work!

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Originally Posted by puddle View Post
Winter. The world seems gray and slow. It is a time of rest. As the cool days finally settle in, I look each year to Christmas. The magic of gathering with family and eating piles of sugary treats in quantities usually forbidden. The brightly wrapped packages nestled under the sparkling tree, each one marked with my name promising me a chance to dream. As I grow older, my focus slowly shifts to the packages that I have brought for others. I wait anxiously to see if I have fulfilled any of their dreams with my gift. The coldness of the season has always brought me to life. I love the feeling of winter tasting my nose while the rest of me is bundled up under thick coats and scarves and hats. One winter I crunch along in the snow, feeling very alive and very alone. I sing softly to myself as my thick, wide boots keep my feet steady on the ice beneath me. I have made my decision. This will be my last winter here. I spend the next winter warm and at home. The following year, on a cold January evening, I marry my best friend, the pretty boy that I met six years before. We spend half a decade of winters together, and then we are no longer alone. My daughter moves inside me and I feel it. By the next winter she is calling me by name. My Christmas present.
What a beautiful picture of Christmas, puddle! I liked the non-linear fluidity of time in your piece.

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Originally Posted by jenni22 View Post
With the birds migrating across the sun's path, I also migrate, but into myself, for another season of reflection.
I loved this last line, it summed up your piece so perfectly. I liked the questions and the way you showed the constant flow of thoughts in your mind.

Gorgeous stuff, mamas! I'm looking forward to the next prompt.
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#20 of 23 Old 02-28-2008, 12:42 PM
 
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VernaBloom, these were my favorite lines, I love how you compare yourself to the things that happen in the seasons!
"I was a ripe little thing by the autumn of my kindergarten year.
The tender seeds of what I could be lay dormant.
Young tendrils of new thought burst through the thaw and started to grow, deep rooted and audacious, striving for the sun."
I didn't think anything was missing, I thought it was beautiful!

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#21 of 23 Old 02-28-2008, 03:26 PM
 
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I enjoyed reading everyone's interpretation of the writing prompt. Thank you all for the feedback!

Sydnee...I really like this line in your story...how a smell can instantly bring us back to certain moments in our life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sydnee View Post
Standing outside and inhaling that freshness can instantly transform me back. Back to those days of wondering and waiting who this new being is inside of me.
Puddle...I like how you compared past to present in each season. I liked the "summer" paragraph, especially this...

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Originally Posted by puddle View Post
As I get older, the summers grow shorter each year until they nearly disappear. For a time, they no longer mean the same thing--my break from the school year has been replaced with a slight break in traffic as I spend the hot summer days at my desk.
jenni22...I liked how you used each season as a point of reflection...I found myself wanting to know some of the answers to your questions. Maybe sometime you could go back and reflect more about the questions you are asking yourself. I liked how you described your migration...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jenni22 View Post
With the birds migrating across the sun's path, I also migrate, but into myself, for another season of reflection.
Vernabloom...I love your first two sentences. I was really grabbed by this part...

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Originally Posted by VernaBloom View Post
This winter seemed eternal, stretching from my childhood through my late teens. The tender seeds of what I could be lay dormant.

But then a spring came. New life emerged from me, punching through the icy shell that had held me for long. Young tendrils of new thought burst through the thaw and started to grow, deep rooted and audacious, striving for the sun.
...and I want to know what happens next!

Thanks for sharing everyone!

~jen
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#22 of 23 Old 02-28-2008, 03:48 PM
 
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[QUOTE=jgm06;10642081]
Winter. White. Hibernation. Life growing inside, my belly rounder and rounder each passing day. I was born in December, the day of the first snow fall of that year. My mother missed my birth as snowflakes fell through the grey sky and jackhammers echoed through the hospital corridors. They put her under and pulled me into the world with forceps. Silver. Cold. Like the winter herself. Thirty years later, I watch the snow falling through my bedroom window, flakes escaping the tangled branches of empty trees. My hands follow the small kicks of my swimming baby. It’s as if we are playing a game of tag…kick…my hand gently presses…kick…my hand gently presses. Three more months and you’ll be ready to be born little life…into the spring.

I love this paragraph, how neat to bring in your own birth with the impending birth of your child, LOVE that!

[QUOTE=puddle;10643071]
I wait anxiously to see if I have fulfilled any of their dreams with my gift. The coldness of the season has always brought me to life. I love the feeling of winter tasting my nose while the rest of me is bundled up under thick coats and scarves and hats.

I love this part, because I feel the exact same way! I may not love have below zero temps, but being outside in the calm, stillness in winter is so invigorating for me.

[QUOTE=jenni22;10644363]
What bounty has the year brought to the garden of my soul?

I really enjoyed your whole piece, but this one stuck out the most for me. In fact, I wrote this quote down in my journal, because I feel it is a great thing to think about all year round. Not only what have I done for others, but what have I done for myself. Love that!

[QUOTE=VernaBloom;10647241]

I was a ripe little thing by the autumn of my kindergarten year. Dressed up in a corduroy jumper with a red velvet apple sewn onto the pocket, I marched my hearty self into the classroom and grabbed the books off the shelf like they were mine, munching the fruits of knowledge with glee.

I love this, I too had a red velvet jumper in Kindergarten that my mom had made. You really make a person feel like they are right there.
[QUOTE]

I honestly was really impressed by everyone's writing styles! I thought everyone had such a way with their words, a way to make me visualize what they were writing, and I love that. Great job everyone!!

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#23 of 23 Old 02-28-2008, 07:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sydnee View Post
But most important to me, is sharing the joy of my own kind of creation with Mother Nature.

The end of summer always brought the greatest surprise of all, the announcement of our "something new". Knowing that in ten short months, God will give us something so wonderful that will change our lives forever. I always feel that these few ending weeks of summer were the most blissful for me.

Once Winter's snow whittles away, you can begin to smell the freshness in the air as Spring begins to make it's entrance. Standing outside and inhaling that freshness can instantly transform me back. Back to those days of wondering and waiting who this new being is inside of me. Preparing my nest for God's newest creation, all the while watching the outside world prepare for their new arrivals.
Those were my favorite parts. I like how you related your pregnancies to the creation we find in the changing seasons. I think it would be interesting for you to develop this more and write about the changes in your body along with the seasons too. I do have to say, when I read the part about getting a baby in ten short months, I read it as if it were 10 months from when you found out--and it sounds like you carried those babies FOREVER. I really like the way you worked in the sense of smell too. It's such an important trigger for memories and it's so easily overlooked.... Off topic, but if I couldn't possibly have related my morning sickness to the seasons since it lasted until I was 38 weeks pregnant! You get bonus points for being the brave first poster.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jgm06 View Post
Winter. White. Hibernation. Life growing inside, my belly rounder and rounder each passing day. I was born in December, the day of the first snow fall of that year. My mother missed my birth as snowflakes fell through the grey sky and jackhammers echoed through the hospital corridors. They put her under and pulled me into the world with forceps. Silver. Cold. Like the winter herself. Thirty years later, I watch the snow falling through my bedroom window, flakes escaping the tangled branches of empty trees. My hands follow the small kicks of my swimming baby. It’s as if we are playing a game of tag…kick…my hand gently presses…kick…my hand gently presses. Three more months and you’ll be ready to be born little life…into the spring.
This whole piece was absolutely beautiful. Your writing is so personal and vulnerable. It makes me a little teary every time I read it--thank you for sharing. This paragraph is my favorite. I love the reflection on your mother's experience--the contrast to your own experience of the pregnancy is striking. I really think you should work with this piece and develop it into something. If you ever do--please share it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jenni22 View Post
With the bright sun glistening on the clean pure snow, I find the solace to answer these questions and more.

With the green and the vibrant colors sprouting and reaching up for the golden sun, I find myself reaching up and out for a beautiful new year.

With the fiery sun sparkling across the waters, I feel comforted in it's warmth, and it strikes in me a passion to fulfill my heart's desires.

With the birds migrating across the sun's path, I also migrate, but into myself, for another season of reflection.
These last sentences are my favorite parts. I like the way you turned the seasons inward into your own reflection instead of focusing on outward experiences. This was a unique and interesting take on the prompt. My one suggestion is to vary the sentence type a bit. The strings of questions lose their impact for me after the first couple. If you break those up a bit, I think you'll have a stronger piece. I really enjoyed reading this--thanks for sharing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VernaBloom View Post
I was a ripe little thing by the autumn of my kindergarten year. Dressed up in a corduroy jumper with a red velvet apple sewn onto the pocket, I marched my hearty self into the classroom and grabbed the books off the shelf like they were mine, munching the fruits of knowledge with glee.
This was my favorite paragraph. I like how it's chatty and casual. What was your nanowrimo novel excerpt about? I think I may have read it? I totally related to the winter thing. Mine happened in about 7th grade. I really like your writing style. Maybe you would be more comfortable writing about yourself if you thought of yourself as a character? Get inside your head the way you get inside the head of your characters. I like the illustrations you use in this paragraph and the winter one. Maybe you could find something similar for summer and spring? Especially for spring... I want to know what kinds of new thoughts and how this was manifested. Moremoremore--I'm a greedy reader.


I really enjoyed reading everyone's writings--thank you for sharing!! I like the way that we all interpreted the prompt so differently.
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