Friday, February 9, 2018

Creating Narratives from Headlines

My first assignment got a really positive response from another participant. It has had 14 reviews. In the past it has been so difficult to put my writing out there. Hence, not saving it at all. So foolish. But,that is where something became stuck.  Writing the assignment "childhood" something unstuck. Now if I can avoid stepping into that hole again, we should advance a little with the writing.

MasterClass lesson 4 , continued with Blume sharing more about her childhood and the surprising ways in which you life can appear in your writing. Blume is candid, open, and gentle, with an honest sensitivity that encourages and allows one to feel safe as return to my actual calling-- my passion to write. In many ways she is truly an inspiration. In some ways evidently I needed to hear what she is saying about writing. Blume was born in 1938. Hard to believe she is eighty when you see her. She has a sweet, youthful innocence about her that is childlike.  Feels like an honor to be in her presence. She has truly brought out my writing self that has been in hiding for many years.

 There was no assignment for this lesson. Lesson 5 was about how to become inspired
and discovering what inspires you.

 After watching the video lesson, I was reminded of another time when I was still writing. Actually,I was probably studying the art of writing when I went to a series of author’s lectures held at a private school in the area. One author talked about creating narratives not from the articles but around headlines. He said the best story ideas can begin that way. He read several of his stories which were just a short clip-- “a moment in time” is what he called these narratives. I remember creating a few of these and it was really fun to juxtapose newspaper headlines with life. I decided since the assignment was about ideas and articles, I’d give it a try again. I wrote down some headlines and created a narrative around them. It’s surprising how much fun it is to see the similarities in the headlines and possible events in people’s lives. I posted this as it truly is a way to conjure up ideas.

Narrative around newspaper headlines:

 She rushes down the stairs into the kitchen and past her husband who is reading the newspaper.
 She sets her briefcase on the chair.

 “I have that important meeting this morning, you will have to drop Polly off at school,” she says, pouring hot tea into her travel cup.

 He nods, barely looking up.

 “I have been asked to give that presentation. Remember?” She says. “And, I need to be focused. No distractions.”(She Won Italians’ Hearts. But Can She Win Their Votes? NY times Feb 9th, 2018)

“By the way,” she says, “My credit card is maxed so I am taking one of yours.”

“Must you?” he says, setting the paper down and reaching for his mug of coffee.

“Yes. I need to put gas in the Volvo,” she says.

“You’re taking my car?” he says.

“Ben, I told you last night. The meeting is in the city remember?” she says. “It’s an hour’s drive. The Corolla is having a problem with the air conditioner and I can’t use the phone, there’s no Bluetooth."

He does not respond but drinks from his mug and turns over the newspaper.

“You might take the car in and get the air looked at while you’re in town,” she says, “You know, we really need to think about a new car. Maybe you could look at the new Honda CRV while you’re there.” (The G.O.P. Is Flirting With Fiscal Disaster, February 9th, 2018, NY Times)

He looks up, sighs and returns to the newspaper. “You know if this presentation goes well I will be up for a promotion.”

“Really,” he says, not looking up. (Door Opens for Women to Run for Office. But Will They Be Allowed In? February 9th NY Times)

She goes over to him and pats the top of his bald head, grabs her briefcase from the chair and dashes out the door.

 He hears the car engine as it leaves the drive way. Neatly folding his newspaper, he calls to his daughter. Standing up, he picks up his mug, walks to the sink where he stands staring out the window beyond the pool to the wide stretch of green grass. (27 Realistic Marriage Vows You Didn’t Think To Make At Your Wedding, Huffintonpost, Feburary 9th, 2018)

You can read Judy Blume's Bio here

Inside Creative Writing
Professor Robert Olen Butler teaches creative writing at Florida State University. He has a series of creative episodes which follow his creative process short story writing from inspiration to completion. He is an awesome teacher and this is truly worth your time if you love to write. I have watched every one of his episodes which are recorded in real time.

Happy Writing!

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