Write on Wednesday: Creating a Buzz

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By Leslie Lindsay

Last night I attended my local writer’s group.  It’s been awhile–but hey–it’s a new year, an I am recommitting myself to be there every month.  Instead of bringing snippets of my novel-in-progress, I brought something entirely new and different: a contest prompt from Writer’s Digest magazine.  The prompt goes something like this: “Write that you go back to your childhood home and it has been condemned.”

“Hummm….I can do something with this,” I thought.  And so I put pen to paper.  Literally.  I actually handwrote my thoughts as I drew upon some images of what that must feel like.  It took all of twenty minutes to jot down about 300 words about  a decriped home.  But the constest allows up to 750 words.  Do, I write more?  Do I just stop because it feels “done?”

Seems my fellow writers had other thoughts:

  • “Go in!”  one person urged.
  • “No!  Don’t go in.  Stay outside.  Don’t go any further than the stairs,”  chimed in another
  • “Why are you there?” wanted to know yet another member of our group.
  • “Wouldn’t you have known the house was in bad shape?  How long have you been away?”
  • “How old is this person, anyway?”
  • “Did something bad happen at the house?”

Wow.  The room was abuzz with thoughts, questions, comments, and I was just a bit taken aback.  But it seems to me that people have a strong connection with the home in which they were raised.  Why?  I don’t really know for sure, but I have some ideas:

  • Life was good and fun and easy.  Mom and dad took care of everything.
  • Strong sense of place, smell, and vivid recollections of childhood paper the walls.
  • You felt safe and secure there…or did you?
  • Perhaps there was some kind of tragedy?
  • You developed and came of age in that home…lots of “firsts,” from learning to walk to going off to prom.

And then just what does it mean when a home is found to be condemned?  Well, I did a little research and here’s what I found…

As for my writing, well I better get on with it or it may become condemned as well. 

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