I Went to a Writing Group - November 13th, 2019

There were four things to think about in this prompt.


Analiese led the group in selecting a noun, a verb, and an adverb or adjective. I threw out "Turtle!" as the first thing, and it was accepted. Next, "shook" was chosen. Then, "quietly." Finally, we were challenged by Analiese to do a gender swap if we could. Since I am a man, that means writing a story from the perspective of a woman, or about a woman as the main character.

My first attempt was pretty straight forward. I thought I might be able to get everything into the first sentence and went with: The mother turtle shook quietly

And then I stopped that nonsense.

I crossed it out and began again.

- - - - - - -

Susan the tortoise gazed at the trees in the distance. Sooo far, they were so far away. A gentle gust of wind blew across the field and the grass shimmered, rising and falling in great organic waves. The leaves on the distant trees shook, and a few quietly fell from their heights to join the forest floor below.

Susan lowered her head and resumed her trudge. Step after step, consistent and steady. Through thick blades of grass slicing against her legs. Across small patches of bare ground with sand that was too soft, and pebbles that were too sharp. Nothing mattered except the next step, the next step across the field, the next step through the grass, the next step towards the treeline.

Her time would be up soon, and then they would come. Her only hope, her only real hope, was that treeline. She couldn't imagine what carnage would happen if she didn't, if she was too slow, if she ran out of time. But the image was in her mind, in a place she tried to keep hidden from herself. And when she couldn't, when the fear overwhelmed her will, it sent shivers through her. Her steady gate faltered, and Susan quietly shook.

- - - - - - -

I didn't realize until the beginning of the third paragraph that I would be writing about a killing field, a killing field where a fox and a coyote had given the tortoise a head start to try to get to the treeline before they would chase her down.

The human mind can relate anything and build it into a story, it's amazing. The mind is made to generate, to absorb, and to live stories.

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Read more of Jeff's thoughts at: http://www.jeffreyalexandermartin.com/

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