At the Internet Writing Workshop there’s a writing practice list that I used to belong to. The last time I participated was about two years ago and, well, I just got too busy to continue. I remember the assignments were fun and because I need some inspiration, I thought why not give it a whirl and see what comes out of me that might lead possibly to a longer story.
Today’s assignment was the following:
Exercise: Use the seven-line guide below to write a short “poem.” Then, in 400
words or less, turn the sensory images in the poem into a short scene that
shows a character experiencing the emotion you chose. Include both the poem and
the scene in your submission.
Directions: Use the template below to write a “poem.” It will force you to
focus on the sensory manifestations of a particular emotion.
Line One: A one-word title which is an emotion
Line Two: A line that tells what that emotion looks like visually
Line Three: A line that tells what that emotion sounds like
Line Four: A line that tells what that emotion smells like
Line Five: A line that tells what that emotion feels like tactily
Line Six: A line that tells what that emotion tastes like
Line Seven: A one word emotional synonym for the title
Next, take the lines from the “poem” and incorporate them into a scene that
shows the physical actions and responses of a character who experiences the
emotion. Try to include at least four of the five senses in your scene.
So here’s my take on the assignment:
Eyes fixed on pillow plush red lips
Blood rushes in crashing waves
Pheromones and judgment clash
Fingertips graze smooth, cool cheek
Tongues dance to the sweet tune of
Hal was nervous. Corinne Sand was to meet him at his apartment instead of Chez Panisse’s cafe. At first when he jokingly said that they should hold their meetings at the restaurant to discuss her dissertation, Hal thought she would have insisted in keeping them at his office at Berkeley, but she agreed and for the past four months, three times a week they met, drank expensive espressos and ate pastries while arguing over the writings of Raya Dunayevskaya.
Their relationship of advisor and graduate student had evolved into a friendship with Hal teasing her with playful innuendos. Corinne never seemed offended by his verbal overtures and took the comments in stride. He was, however, taken by surprise, when she suggested they meet at his apartment instead of the café. When he asked why she replied in her typically practical manner, “It’s cheaper to brew your own coffee, buy pastries at the bakery; and we can spread out all my folders without having to worry about spilling anything on them.” He had agreed, but wondered if there was more to it–was she calling his bluff and testing how far he would go?
Corinne was unlike any of his students. Her fervor for Marx was infectious; he loved dissecting with her the Theory of Labor Alienation. Sitting next to her, translating together the German text, the blood would rush to his head in crashing waves, driving him crazy to keep his needs in control.
The doorbell rang. He swallowed hard, battling to contain the forbidden lust. He opened the door, and there she was: looking deliciously fit and youthful. Dressed in a tight white t-shirt and black yoga pants, her book bag was slung over her shoulder, a folder peeked out from beneath the canvas flap. She held a white box tied with red and white twine.
“A dozen cannolis, as requested,” Corinne said and smiled. Hal’s eyes skimmed the box then rested on her lips. The pastries’ aroma lingered between them, but was it really Corinne fragrance? He fought the urge to touch her and reached for the pastries, but his hand took a detour to her face. His long fingers grazed her pale cheek. Corinne stepped forward and lifted her face to his, parted her lips to speak, but Hal had no use for words, just the sweetness of her tongue and endless kiss.
Yes, it’s rough, but I am bit out if practice. Did I succeed in following the rules. Is it believable? Do you want to know what happens next? Would love to hear from you all.