Monday, November 14, 2011

Onion inspired writing

Though many may think that a 4 person turnout isn't much to be excited about in a program, I was thrilled last Wednesday to have that many show up for Huron Street's first writing club. They were all in middle school so it was easy to target the exercises for about the same age group. We open up with a game of "Death By" which basically is an association/word vomit game to help get things verbalized. It begins with everyone writing a noun on a scrap of paper (or maybe several nouns on separate slips of paper) and putting it in a bowl. Then each kid is responsible for saying the first thing that pops into their head. If they hesitate or falter then we draw a paper out of the bowl and say that they experienced "death by....." It is perfect for the tween crowd and I kept it a secret until someone actually experienced "death by" what the slips of paper were for. Then someone was appointed to describe how this death happened and as we were eating cookies through the game it turned out that the funniest inspiration was "Death By Cookie Monster". That ended up be a recurring theme in everyone's writing that day. Great fun. Below is what I typed up as fast as I could of their associations in the game.

Let’s go ride some ponies. Okay I love some ponies. I love tacos. I want to play some tacos. Wow.Awesome. I heart doors. Flying tacos. Cool. Awesome. Unicorns. Let’s go eat a car. Let’s go to mcdonalds. I’m loving it. Halloween crunch. Candy food. Hungrayu. Braces hearts. You’re mean. Awesome cool. I’m loving it. Think outside barn. Hearts. I love me. Cookies. Heartache. Chocolate. Crunch. Trash can. Banana. Fun? Bag. Tree. Omg pickle carroyt. Banaa. Picking my nose. Ew yummy. Hairthings. Anybody have chocolate. Sorry. Capri sun. I hate it. I love it. Trains fire drill. Duh I hate that orad. Suitcase. Trees. Traintrack. Life. Popcorn. Chair. White board. I do complete sentences everyday. Alexis is a weirdo. \I love roads. I hit my head with a door. I hurt my finger. Ow my ankle. My tooth is missing. Who hates braces. I do. I love cups. I love chocolate. I love eating. Braces. 

My favorite bit: I love eating. Braces. Sums up what I remember about middle school in 2 sentences:)


After the warm-up, we moved onto writing fake newspaper headlines and accompanying stories. Though a lot their ideas involved talking toilets (probably the biggest hit of the day) and other like-minded prompts, I have to say that I was utterly impressed with their tireless sense of inspiration. At one point I even tried to touch on the notion of "writer's block" and most of them let me know that they simply never get it. They always know what to write about. Impressive - right?


I participated in the exercise to be a good sport and although my article didn't get nearly as many laughs as the talking toilet one, I was glad I did it. Here's what I had time to put down in the 10 minutes we had:


Scientist realizes that he is a nerd.
After years of working at the top of his field, noble prize winning scientist John Malgrem realizes that he has nerdy tendencies. Suspicions arose after his interest in the Lord of the Rings trilogy grew into an obsession. “It all happened so quickly. One minute I was a fan of the books and the next minute I started critiquing how well Peter Jackson movie adaption was.” Things quickly started adding up after that. His bad haircut, thick glasses, high rise pants, and his love of jokes that usually included the periodic table as the punch line. 
So yeah. It was a good kick off for our monthly Huron Street Writer's Club. It warmed my library heart when, on the way out, one of the wee writers let me know, "This was great! I can't wait until next time. I always want to read things that I am writing for other people but my teachers never give me the chance to do it..." Of course he didn't at all realize it but he just validated the role of my profession in his community, in his life:)

2 comments:

Rachel. said...

I find myself a. wanting to comment on every post (as I catch myself up), and b. wanting to comment "yay." on every post. so I will write it here: "yay."

Rachel. said...

I find myself a. wanting to comment on every post (as I catch myself up), and b. wanting to comment "yay." on every post. so I will write it here: "yay."