Monday, September 29, 2014

The air is delicious

My new townhouse is located directly behind both an Italian restaurant and a trendy cafe that, together, make my the air smell like a delicious mix of bread-y comfort foods, sugars and spices. My mouth waters every time I go outside. When I was a kid, our house was near a Wonder Bread factory, and every morning as I sat at the bus stop, I closed my eyes and inhaled the rich, soft air. No matter what I went through when I was younger, that smell was like a hug.

This brings me to a new prompt, inspired by the olfactory effect on our memories and sense of self. Have fun with it:

Character X is in an argument with Character Y. Character X is just about to take the argument too far when a smell overcomes both characters. It can be a horrible smell, the burning of plastic or fresh spray of a skunk. Or, it can be a comforting smell, someone barbecuing or a perfume that calls to mind someone now gone. The two characters assign different memories and emotions to the same smell. In the time it takes for them to pause, their worlds are shaken. They return to the argument, but everything has changed.

Have a great week! I'll be posting again soon. In the meantime, I think I'll get something to eat.    

Friday, September 12, 2014

In a hundred years

I'm enamored with Margaret Atwood and always have been. One of my favorite books, Robber Bride, makes my ultra-short list of regular rereads. It is not her most popular book, but the complex story she delivers in a digestible and often-humorous form strikes a cord with this reader. Her work appeals to a sense of living, both in life and beyond it, so it warmed my heart to hear of her participation in the Future Library Project. If you haven't read about it, check it out here. Atwood's future-thinking work is the perfect addition to a library of content that will be unavailable until 2114. To me, this is what writing is about--it's about transcending our experience and exploring it.

As for my own work, here's a new short story. It's on transference and what it means to let go of those you look to for definition, especially when those people are family. Read it at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or Kobo. I'm moving this weekend, so I'll keep it short (Take my advice: Never move. Never, never!).

Here's your new writing prompt. I came up with this one after a strange incident in my old neighborhood. Have fun with it.

Write a story about a character who is doing something routine (e.g., taking a walk, taking out the trash) when a dog begins to chase him/her. The character runs off-course and continues to run until s/he is in an area of town never before explored. It could be as surreal or normal a place as you'd like, but tell the story of running into something new after running away... Go!

Enjoy your week!

xo Jen


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