Friday, June 19, 2009

Writing Marathon


The Summer 2009 Memoir Class went on a writing marathon in downtown Charleston today. The participants can leave pieces of writing from the marathon on the blog by:

* clicking on the "comment" link below
* typing or copying and pasting text into the editing window
* clicking on "publish"

You can read them by clicking on the "comment" link.

8 comments:

Lilless said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lilless said...

One of my themes for the day was my attraction to water. We started out at Baked and I was drinking water. I also noticed an old friend, "Saratoga Water" from Saratoga Springs, New York, where I attended Skidmore College for two years. One of my colleagues even bought some Saratoga water. I forgot to tell her to save the bottle. After that we went to Waterfront park, where I sat near the fountain with a view of the river. Then to Moon Pie General Store -- cacaphony, many stimuli. I found a relatively quiet spot at the soda fountain and continued to drink my water while I tried to write. We did not try to read there because it was too loud. Instead we went to the court yard behind Black Market Minerals in the market where we again found a fountain. In the building beside the courtyard and opposite from the store is another fountain and many plants and skylights. That might also have been a good place to write because it was air conditioned and had "a view". Finally we went to the Crab Shack where I had "water" mixed with tea and lemon. After class I went to the Creekside pool where I sat in the shade to read "On Writing" by Stephen King and continued to drink water. Needless to say, after all the water I drank, I also eliminated a lot of "water" yesterday.

undergraduate schoolOn my introverted days, I do no like noise

Lilless said...

Sorry for the two lines at the bottom of my post. I forgot to edit them out before I posted and now I don't know how to get rid of them.

Lilless said...

This is my paragraph about On Writing by Stephen King. Haven't figured out how to post it so I'm putting it here.

Started reading Friday afternoon while sitting in the shade at a local pool. I read it years ago with my ears and enjoyed it then. Am now reading it with my eyes, trying to finish it in time for our discussion on Monday. Am on page 166 so I’m more than one-half way through. Although I sometimes wish he would hurry on and make a point about writing, I still am learning things. This book is more memoir than information on writing. However, he does make his viewpoint known. And he also teaches by example. His humor, openness, and honesty are the main things I appreciate so far. I'm not inclined to read his scary books or see his horror movies (except maybe "Misery") but I am glad to have the opportunity to read about his life and his views on writing. Am also looking forward to checking out something by Tabitha King.

Amy Hudock said...

Writing Marathon Selection—June 19, 2009—Grier Gadsden Brown
Happy Juneteenth Everybody

Third Stop—The Moonpie Store

I personally detest the taste, smell, and feel in my mouth of a moopie.
But when Dolores suggested we visit the Moonpie Store, I perked up.

Reason One
Moonpies remind me of my youngest daughter Sally. She had a track coach who loved moonpies and who also had a wicked temper. Sally would botch up her approach to the high jump bar and he’d bark out a blistering “Dammit…I told you to rock four times before takeoff” or “Quit dragging your left foot—pick it up!” He also had a conscience and would apologize as he patted her head post-practice. She loved him, and whenever she felt she had let him down, we’d have to buy him a box of moonpies. He could eat a dozen a day—you’d never know it by his looks: rail-thin legs and arms, bony bald head, pinched-in cheeks and beaky nose. He looked as though he were an anorexic chemo-taking teenager. Not so, he just ran marathons.

Reason Two
Moonpies are made of graham cracker, marshmallow, and chocolate, the same stuff of smores. Sally again—She loves smores. We build backyard fires that require a preliminary trip to the Pig for smores fixings. So last summer for Sally’s 20th birthday, I thought, “Hmmm…smores birthday cake? Why not?”
I took a 9 x 13 baking dish and made a graham cracker crust bottom layer—sugar, fine cracker crumbs, and melted butter pressed down flat and even. I put that in the freezer.
I lay marshmallows in a flat pan and popped them in the toaster oven and watched as the tops turned vanilla-golden brown. I took them out, stirred them around, and hit them with my kitchen blowtorch. It smelled like Girl Scout campfire heaven in my kitchen.
Just then Sally came through and commented suspiciously, “What’s that brown globby stuff in the pan?” “Just part of your birthday surprise,” I say back.
“No way…that looks gross!” she moans. I tell her, “You hush. Go on to work…I promise you’ll love your cake.”
For the next step I take the marshmallow goop and blend it with softened cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, and a little cool whip (cliché—I did not take the calories out). I got the crust out and spread the marshmallow mixture on top. All went back in the freezer to set up for the dinner party that night.
I’m sure everyone’s wondering, “Where’s the chocolate? Gotta have chocolate.” Well, after supper, I cut squares of the marshmallow stuff, plated them, popped a jar of hot fudge in the microwave, and then drizzled the chocolate over the squares.
Was it good? Oh yeah.
Was it sweet? Oh yeah.
Was it too sweet? The verdict is still out on that one.

Amy Hudock said...

Marathon writing

Walking into Black Market Minerals makes me think of sex. The incense evokes far away places, exotic and dimly lit and full of secrets. The tactile experience of running my hands through vats of polished stones tingles my skin, like a gentle massage. My hips sway to the reggae music, moving outside of the linear motion of purposeful walking and into a meander. I pick up a quartz crystal and it's coolness slows my heartbeat. I hold a necklace I would not normally wear to my throat as I glance in a mirror, and for a minute, I don't look like me. I look like someone who is wilder, freer, less responsible and driven. I want to buy this necklace and the incense and the vat of stones. I love Black Market Minerals because I remember I have a body, and that it feels good to use it.

knowbeans said...

Excelerator
By Delores Schweitzer
527 words

I thought I was safe in my cavern of blue cracked paint, stainless steel, plastic and porcelain. We always think we are alone in these moments, for who, in fact, wants to have company? Well, I suppose there are those people who startle us with their “Hi! How are you?” from the next stall, not concerned that the person on the other end of the call can, in fact, here the flushing in the background. But I am not one of them. Don’t talk to me, don’t rush me, and definitely don’t touch me.

And so, I admit I jumped when I heard the jet engine. Long banners and individual squares of tissue immediately took to flight. I had taken the scattered paper as a sign of careless attendants and patrons. Little did I know that the disarray was due in part to “the machine.” My body convulsed again as one of the longer streamer made its way into my stall, rising and falling like a dragon in a Chinese New Year parade, intent to embrace my ankles with its bacterial fire.

It was time to go, in more ways than one. I snatched at the end of the paper roll, extracting three sheets before it tore. The paper was thin, and I needed more, so I tried again, adjusting the angle of my pull downward. Again, three sheets and snap. One more try and I had enough to take care of business. Then, I was dropping the tissue, straightening my skirt, flushing, and sliding the sticky bolt to herald my escape.

There was an eerie silence in the room, especially since I knew other patrons were attending to their own business. It was almost as if “the machine” demanded it. I cast a hesitant glance at it, and looked away, not daring to stare. I approached the dingy basins. No mirrors were provided to primp – no vanity permitted here. Just twin soap dispensers above a water-splattered countertop. I scrubbed and rinsed, watching the press-operated faucet rise to its top resting position. And then I turned, knowing the time for encounter had come at last.

No shiny buttons or designs invited me to come closer. Nothing to adjust the air flow or promise that it was a short-term blow with an automatic shut-off. Just a solid white metal mass, bolted to the wall, the word Xlerator embossed on the top in italics. I tentatively reached out my hand, feeling much like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday, not sure if this was the mouth of truth or some other unnamed virtue.

A mighty blast of air poured forth, pushing the flesh on the back of my hand around like a helicopter hovering over a swimming pool. Neither hot nor cold, it dried my skin in a few seconds and yet I stayed, watching, oblivious to the noise, fascinated now by the flexibility of the skin on my palm which I never considered flabby until I saw it move in ripples and waves. In this unseen force, loud and unbidden, the lines I thought were my destiny disappeared, becoming a blank slate on which something new might be written.

Amy Hudock said...

Marathon writing by Teri

Candles call me from their perch on the store shelf, each wanting a place in my home: Bergamot Tobacco, Pink Grapefruit, Bamboo Teak, Pineapple Ginger, Mango Tangerine, and Pomegranate Citrus. Some smell stong; some smell mild.

Pomegranate Citrus reminds me of the sepia photo that sits on my mother's dresser. My great-grandparents appear stoic beside their little girl, later to become my grandmother. They chose to stand in front of the pomegranate tree in the backyard. My eighty-two year old mother and her brother still laugh about eating that tart fruit and spitting the seeds in the lake as they crossed the bridge on their way to school. They could never decide which was worse, the pomegranate or school. Perhaps I will buy Pomegranate Citrus.

Bamboo Teak takes me back to the glow and aroma of teak polish as I prepared the cabin of the 27' Tartan class sailboat for the arrival of dinner guests. Perhaps I will buy Bamboo Teak.

I remember the status of my bank account and decide to leave the decision of which candle to buy for another day.