I have been wanting a creative writing workbook to get my writing juices flowing for, oh, probably a year now. Nothing like a little bit of procrastination now is there? I found this book on Amazon last week and impatiently waited it's arrival. It came yesterday and in true Paula fashion, I said, "I'll start it tomorrow." Today I decided to do both yesterday and today's excercises to catch up. The book is set up to actually start on January 1st, but not wanting to wait, I figured out which lesson was for September 1st so am starting in the last 3/4's of the book instead of the beginning and will work my way around to August 31st. I have decided to post my journey here for my own benefit. Please feel free to follow along and joing in whenever the fancy strikes you.
Lesson 244 ~ September 1st.: Making Headlines
You wake up one morning to the following newspaper story about you. Use this title and write the article:
WRITER STRIKES IT BIG
Local author, Paula N., has recently signed a contract with Penguin Publications for a series of children's books. The four book series will be known as 'The Adventures of Boots'. Boots is a black and white cat with a great big personality who will take young readers from the banks of the Columbia River, through a Gypsy caravan, into the rodeo's of the wild west and finally to the gold rush days of California.
Ms. N. lives in Astoria with her husband and children. This will be her first published book. We met with the new author in her beautiful, secluded garden where the real Boots kept us company, watching the interview through aloof and knowing eyes.
The first book in this delightful series is scheduled to hit the shelves later this year. Beach Books in Astoria will be holding a Meet the Author and book signing event. Be sure to watch this column for further details.
Lesson 245 ~ September 2nd:SEPTember
Use these 7 words in your story. Start with the line: We took separate...
(I'm including the defintions from my old Websters dictionary)
1) SEPTic - to make putrid
2) SEPTuplet - a group of seven, usually of one kind
3) SEPTuagenarion - a person between the ages of 70 and 80
4) SEPTillion - amounting to one septillion in number; a number starting at 1 with twenty four zero's behind it
5) SEPTennial - a period of seven years; happening every seven years
6) SEPTilateral - having seven sides
7) SEPTum - enclosure, hedge
We took separate paths from the tent as we wound our way through the woods to the restrooms provided by the state park. It was pitch black in the trees. The rays of the moon could not penetrate the thick pine braches, yet the acrid smell of the SEPTIC tank helped me find my way to the row of SEPTUPLET forest service green structures. I hurried inside, taking care of business quickly, then sat down on a wooden bench across from the restrooms to wait for Riff so that we could walk back to camp together. As I waited, an older gentleman joined me. By his lined face and watery eyes, I judged him to be a SEPTUAGENARIAN. He pointed his gnarled finger to the heavens and asked me if I had seen his star. Gazing up, a SEPTILLION stars dazzled my eyes. They twinkled before me in a dance centuries old. The old man directed my eyes to a star that seemed to glow red among all the other golden sparkles. He told me that this particular star is SEPTILATERAL with one side being red. Scientists have yet to discover why this is. On this stars SEPTENNIAL the red side faces the earth, giving us this very short glimpse of it on this particular night, if you know where to look. The sight was breathtaking and magical. I thanked him profusely and as Riff and I entered the SEPTum that concealed our tent, I pointed out the sparkling red star to him. In another seven years, we will wait on our deck, eyes turned skyward, in the hopes of one more glimpse.
At the bottom of this lesson page is a small box that reads:
TAKE THE NEXT STEP
Separate six memories form the Septembers of your life and make a note of them. Use these to prompt further writings.
Following are my six September memories ~
1)My little brother was born and I was sent to stay with my Grandma Sannar. I was a mama's girl and hopping mad. I wanted my mom. Grandma and I were at my house for a quick visit after mom and the baby had come home. I remember sitting at the bottom of the stairs, wanting very badly to be left at home with my mom. I dumped out Grandma's purse onto the floor. She promptly picked up the contents of her life, spanked my butt and loaded me into the car, taking me back to her house on Roosevelt drive. I guess being naughty didn't get me my way.
~ 3 years old ~ Ketchikan, Alaska
2)I've started kindergarten at Mrs. Faulks house. Our classroom is in the upstairs of her little yellow house. I'm so excited! My friend, Melissa, is there every day and other kids who I'm just getting to know. We sit on each side of long tables with our coloring pages, crayons in a box in the middle of the table. My mom has an appointment today, so after class Mrs. Faulk takes me to her kitchen table where she makes me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It smells like lemonade in this bright yellow kitchen. Most days I get to walk home by myself, because we live in a tiny little town and home is only two blocks away. I feel so big when I walk home alone!
~4 years old ~ Elgin, Oregon
3)Sept. 1985. It is the first fall after my high school graduation. I have decided to take a year off before starting college. It feels so wierd to not be preparing for school and to be so far away from all of my friends. I catch glimpses of them on every street corner, sometimes even of people that I never much liked. I know that it is just my lonely and homesick mind playing tricks...
~17 years old ~ Redding, California
4)Sept. 1992. I look in the side mirrors of the U-Haul that I'm driving to make sure that the golden colored van is behind me and not flashing her lights to signal another stop. My sister Susan and I are moving with our kids to California from Wyoming. We are both recently divorced and wanting to be closer to our parents. School will already have started by the time we arrive. Brittany and KP will be starting kindergarten. I can hardly believe time has gone by so quickly. It feels so good to be going "home".
~24 years old ~ From the road somewhere between Cody, Wyoming and Redding, California
5)Sept. 1998. I can hardly think or breathe. My mom died suddenly a month ago and I feel as if she has taken my life force with her. The phone rings, I don't want to answer but know that I must. It is my little brother, Joshua, who is only 16. He wants to come and stay. He cannot stand coming home every day after school to that empty house. It is time for me to wake up and carry on. If this is so very hard for me, what is it doing to him?
~30 years old ~ Cody, Wyoming
6)Sept. 2005. Ah, Oregon in the fall. We've moved back to my home state after so many years away. The days are warm and golden, the nights crisp and clean. So many beautiful trees are showing their autumn colors. We walk the dogs down by the middle school and I crunch through the leaves that are lining the streets. Crackle crackle crunch! A big smile spreads across my face.
~37 years old ~ Astoria, Oregon
Tomorrows lesson: First Grade