Thursday, November 29, 2012

Writing Exercise Wednesday #44

I can't believe I didn't get the exercise up yesterday!  It's been so busy at work and I've been falling asleep around 8pm. I think this is the first time I've posted a day late.  I can usually get it done that same day.  Anyway...

Here is the second week of poem line prompts.

WEW #44

Prompt: use any of the following lines from amazing poems and poets.

“But dark is a long way,” Dylan Thomas, Poem on His Birthday

“This living hand, now warm and capable,” John Keats, This Living Hand

“And every wave is charmed,” Ralph Waldo Emerson, Terminus


    There was something about the house that didn’t feel right. Everything looked normal; furniture, curtains, yellow kitchen, bedrooms. It was so spotless; it was hard to believe anyone lived there.
    Jonah and Jacqueline had been there before. All they had to do was retrieve a plate of cookies on the kitchen counter. Mrs. Black told them to get it. It was her house. No big deal, right.
    But Jonah and Jacqueline were frozen, looking down the hallway that led to the cookies.
    “You go first.” Jacqueline nudged Jonah.
    Jonah shook his head. “But it’s dark.”
    “Just run.”
    “But dark is a long way,” Jonah whispered.
    “Okay. Let’s hold hands and run together.”
    “Oh-kay.” A quivering Jonah slipped his sweaty hand into hers.
    “On the count of three,” Jacqueline said. “One, two, wait…”
    “Oh, good.”
    “No, do you hear that?”
    “W-what?” Jonah didn’t want ot hear anything.
    “Something’s moving in the kitchen.”
    “But we have to go in there. What if we tell Mrs. Black the cookies were gone?” Jonah asked.
    Jacqueline tightened her grip on Jonah’s hand. “We can do this.”
    Jonah looked at her with wide eyes and gulped.
    The two, stronger together, slipped down the hall as fast as they could. After holding their breath the whole way, they huffed and stopped outside the kitchen door.
    Jacqueline whispered, “One, two, three.”
    They pushed the swinging door.
    “Surprise!” everyone cheered.
    The twins’ jaws dropped; their hearts pounding.
    “Happy birthday, sweethearts,” their mother said, enveloping them in a hug.
    Mrs. Black stood smiling with her hands clasped to her chest.
    Jacqueline and Jonah gawked at their cake. Half was pink with shoes and purses, the other half was green with dinosaurs. “Happy 10th Birthday” it read.
    The twins broke out into grins and hugged each other. “Awesome cake, Mom.”

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Writing Exercise Wednesday #43

This week and next week I'm using line prompts from different poems. You can start the exercise with it or use it within or even just as an idea maker. You never know where it can take you. It's just so much fun!!!! Okay, it's the last day of work before a long weekend so I'm easily excited. I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving, for those celebrating it, and for my Canadian friends, enjoy the parade!

WEW #43

Prompt: use any of the following lines from amazing poems and poets.

“Now I absorb immortality and peace” Walt Whitman, Night on the Prairies

“An ear can break a human heart” Emily Dickinson, The Saddest Noise

“Many have loved me desperately” Thomas Hardy, He Never Expected Much

“Since Truth is seldom friend to any crowd” Rudyard Kipling, The Fabulists


    "An ear can break a human heart," Alicia said.
    "No it can't," her brother Timothy said.
    "Yes it can!"
    "No it can't!"
    They sat on their front step and watched a butterfly float above their heads.
    "A butterfly can change the world," Alicia said.
    "No it can't," Timothy said.
    A cloud wisped and morphed past them in the sky.
    "How can an ear break a heart?" Tim asked.
    Alicia looked at her scuffed shoes.  "Remember when Mom and Dad were fighting?  Dad said a word I'm not allowed to use."
    Tim frowned.  "Mom cried."
    They silently watched a caterpillar inch its way across the cement.
    "A caterpillar can magically turn into a butterfly or a moth," Alicia said.
    "No it can't," Timothy said.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Writing Exercise Wednesday #42

Who said better late than never?  Well, that's what today has become.  Stop by for a quick exercise today or tomorrow or next week - because it's better that we do it sometime than not at all.  Next week I plan to be on time!

WEW #42

Prompt: arrested, forlornly, lavender, perspiration

    Mariposa assumed she would be asked to the dance.  With her golden curls and baby blues, who could resist?  Apparently, everyone.  How could she attend the spring dance unescorted?  It would be scandalous.  The arena would be set with tree nymphs and wood fairies and little twinkling lights and no Mariposa.  Her lavender dress would stay arrested in her closet, never to see the starry lights, feel the motion and sway of Mariposa’s rehearsed dance steps, never feel the damp perspiration on its fabric.
    Unless.  Unless Mariposa made up her date.  He would be a military man; ready to show the world how good she looked next to his uniform.  Then when he, sadly, forlornly, unexpectedly got reassigned, or better yet, shipped out, showing up at the dance alone, she would be accepted and applauded for her courage and bravery while she was separated from her fella.
    She’d have to find a photo online and use it in case anyone was curious enough to ask about him.
    This could work.  Poo on all those high school boys.  Mariposa was about to get herself a real man.  So to speak.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Writing Exercise Wednesday #41

Here's a different way to think about what you're writing. Turning things around or on its head or changing the order you put it together might open up insight to your story or character or setting. It can be surprising what presents itself.

Pick a word. Write a sentence with that word. Then write the sentence before your original sentence. Then write the sentence after your original sentence. And then write the 4th sentence. Put them in order.

Result: My word is bug. My original sentence: There was a bug named Ug.

In a forest, under the trees, past the bushes, beside the grass was a landed called Lotsofun.
And in this land, there was a bug named Ug.
Ug wasn’t just any bug, Ug was a ladybug.
But Ug was just one of many ladybugs in his family of 16.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Book Review: BETA by Rachel Cohn

Beta (Annex, #1) 

When humans bioengineer their own tropical paradise, what could possibly go wrong? In Beta, author Rachel Cohn (Gingerbread; Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist), examines themes of free will, entitlement and justice in a highly readable futuristic fantasy.

Elysia, a newly emerged clone, inhabits the body of a beautiful 16-year-old girl. She is a Beta, a test model, and not yet perfected. She lives on the island of Demesne, constructed to be as perfect as possible--with its super-oxygenated air and soothing violet sea water to pamper its citizens, the world's richest and most privileged people. Demesne's population is served by clones designed to be immune to the euphoria of this island paradise. At first, Elysia is a most desirable clone, "exquisite," respectful and subservient. She follows every order put forth by her imperious human family. But Elysia soon comes to realize that she has Defects, which may prevent her from serving as her humans intended. She can taste her food and feel emotions, which are against the rules for clones. Even worse, Elysia begins to develop her own sense of values. But she must be careful: any clones who exhibit Defective behavior are immediately reprogrammed or "expired."

Teens may well identify with the characterization of clones as second-class citizens without control of their own destinies. A satisfying start to a new series, Beta ties up some necessary story threads, but a powerful cliffhanger will leave readers looking forward to the next installment. 
--Lynn Becker, host of Book Talk, the monthly online discussion of children's books for SCBWI. First appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers, reprinted with permission.

Discover: A tropical paradise for the world's richest people, staffed by clones who increasingly resent their servitude.

Lynn Becker