I’m going to try something new. Something we haven’t done around here in a while–not since we did that thing with the haiku. (We had a lot of fun doing that.)
So, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about creativity. Doing it, contemplating it, avoiding it, being scared of it, watching other people do it. All the things we do with (or without) it as artists. Have you heard that thing Tom Waits says? That as a musician, his job is to make jewelry for the insides of people’s minds? Aw man. The very idea is so evocative I want to eat it.
Actually, I’ll put a Fork & Fiction spin on it: I’m going to make cookies for people’s souls. Soul cookies.
And what I want to propose is this: we be brave here and put out some delicious, pretty things to feed the internet. I’ve always been a fan of quick, impromptu art, writing that happens in a flash, with the best you’ve got in any given moment, ego be damned. Scary? Maybe. Fun? Definitely. Worth it? I think so. Not all baking is successful, right? Some recipes fail, some batches fall flat. But is the process worthwhile? Do you want to keep trying? I think you see where I’m going with this.
I’m giving myself a writing prompt, right here, right now, to write a short piece and submit it to Everyone Everywhere, in the hopes that it will spawn others to take up the challenge and try making a little something fun. So here we go. Post a comment, a thought, or if you’re brave, your own piece in whatever form it takes.
**And in case you need a little extra nudge or support to do this kind of thing, please listen to this podcast all about creativity and the ways we stop ourselves from doing it. (It’s episode #12.)**
The Prompt: Write a short note from one person to another that tells a story. Roommate to roommate, husband to wife, daughter to mother, nun to God, kid to Santa Claus…options are endless. Deep breath. Go.
Why is there a puppy in the kitchen? When you finally wake up, please clean the bathroom, there’s dog crap everywhere. You can also buy me a new pair of running shoes. Does this dog have anything to do with the girl you were making out with last night? The one who works at an animal shelter? Okay, the puppy is biting my toes. It just broke the skin. Guess I’ll need to go to the clinic for a tentanus shot. No, wait–you crashed my car last week, didn’t you? Guess I’ll take your bike. By the way, have you paid the rent? The landlord just called for you. I told him you were at work. Great–the dog just puked on the carpet. I’m out of here. And you know what? After the clinic I’m going to the pawn shop to see how much I can get for your bike. I suspect that’s the only way I’ll get those new running shoes.
Whew. That was FUN! What else can we make here?
Thank you for the hoverboard. It’s great. It’s exactly what I put on my list, the one that’s the nicer model than Cael’s. Even though I can only use it at Dad’s and only in the apartment hallway and only with my helmet on. The blue LED panels are so sharp, they even look good against the grey carpet. And I don’t even mind the bruises and sprained wrist that I’ve gotten from falling.
So I don’t want to seem ungrateful. Dad always says, Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. It’s just that it’s been a hard year with the split and I guess I thought that when you packed the box, maybe you could have put some talent in there.
Love it, Claire! I laughed AND cried. You’ve inspired me to write a Santa note myself…
I’d like to start this letter with “long time, no see” but we both know that is wishful thinking on my part. Just yesterday you taunted me from the rafters in the number 2 chicken pen. Your behaviour is unneighbourly, especially since you are eating our chicken’s feed, drinking their water and likely helping yourself to other snacks in the pen that are more pleasing to your palate than mine. At this time, I respectfully request that you cease and desist tearing the calendar off the wall even though it undoubtedly makes comfortable nesting material.
You are a squatter in our facilities and this letter serves as your official notice to vacate the premises. I recommend you seek accommodations in the nearby forest or swamp. I will be forced to take drastic measures if you relocate to my basement.
I have a suspicion your letter is non-fiction, Aimee… How bad is your rat problem??
Awesome note, nonetheless! 🙂
Things are under control except for a couple of especially wily ones! I can’t help but wonder if there is a “Rats of Nimh” situation happening;)
My darling Donald,
They say that you’re encouraging people to bully those who speak out at your rallies. They say that you’re using foul language. They say that you’re racist. That you’re a misogynist. They must be crazy. This is not the boy I raised. I raised my boy up to love himself to the moon and back. I raised a boy with personality to spare. I taught my boy that when things get rough, why then he’d best get tough. And I taught my boy to open his checkbook when he saw a cause worthy of it. I don’t watch TV anymore ever since I lost most of my sight and hearing, but there’s a nurse here named Consuela who tries to keep me up to date. She told me that you want to send her back to Mexico. I told her she must be crazy. “My Donald is a sweetheart. He’d never do such a thing.” Donald, when will you visit me? It’s been years. And the food here stinks. I miss you, my boy. When you come, can you bring me one of your famous steaks?
I just know those are rumours they’re spreading. Only a mother truly knows her son.
So many kinds of great…and also terrible (Trumpible?). Thanks for putting a political spin on the cookies around here, Cynthia! 🙂
Thank you for reading this letter for a favour that I feel uncomfortable asking you. Wait, no. That sucks. Be professional. Here goes. Why do I feel like I’m getting an ulcer? It’s just an email. Okay.
I know we’ve never met before, but I was wondering if you could do me this huge professional favour by helping me out in a job that you would actually be better at than me. Oh my god! So much worse. I am the worst email writer in the world. Now what the “brief glimpse” the email client will show X is “I know we’ve never met before,” which is sounds like a scam to steal your money. I might as well add a couple of typos and the email address of a Nigerian prince. Okay. Another go.
Dear X, I really enjoyed your presentation at Y. Do you remember when I awkwardly introduced myself afterward and asked you a question I thought was good but you looked off into the distance at the clock and answered as though your brain had already left the building? Was it because you were in a hurry to get somewhere, or because the way I ask questions makes people uncomfortable? Wait, don’t answer that. What I’m really hoping to say is…
Well. It’s honest at the very least. But the worst. Definitely the worst. Okay, I think the ulcer is settling down. I might even be able to sleep tonight if I take my sister’s lab for a jog in the park after I send this. The lights will be so pretty glinting off the creek under the little bridge, and I can stomp all my worries into tiny specs of dust. Delete, delete, delete, delete, delete……
Dear X, would you like to be a guest speaker in a new program about Y I’m developing? I think participants would really like to hear from you.
Thanks and take care,
Oh, Z, I feel for you! How many emails like that have I written–I mean, deleted? Thanks, Jamella.