Week 9 Assignment

I hope you enjoy my assignment submission for the end of Week 9 of the Berkleemusic.com course, ‘Creative Writing: Finding Your Voice.’ This class, especially in this week, has been a boon to my writing in conjunction with a technical editing course. I hope you enjoy this piece.

Week 9 Assignment Requirements

  • Choose one of your collisions: Summer -> Carefree -> Children
  • Choose your own point of view: First person narrative (I, we)
  • Choose your own tense movement:  Present, Future
  • Expand in into 300–500 words and focus with your senses.

Summer  -> Carefree -> Children

Children: kids, young, run, jump, play, potential, growth, education, love, chubby cheeks, sweet, fingers, learning, alphabet, reading, crayons, daycare, happy, play games, hopscotch, jump rope, dodge ball, horseback riding, pool, beach, volleyball, softball, baseball, naps, day camp, campers

Summer jumps into the season, giggling and laughing. Passing sun showers hopscotch over our heads. Summer stamps her hot feet through spring’s last puddles. Water fountains splash us playfully. Rainbows draw their colors on the paper-blue sky. Sunrays tag our faces with rosy love. The summer solstice stretches her potential length to maximum. The last days of school peel off in white flakes. A warm breeze rouses us from our homework chains. Freedom becomes our new fresh skin.

Excited Atlantic waves bounce the ferry S.S. Happy Campers on its knees. We wear orange lifejackets, lean over the ships’ bow, and heave in the salty sea air. After we arrive, we burst down the pier. Shoulder to shoulder as we run, we muscle each other out of the way, yelling and stomping our feet. Yes! I win! Fist pumps greet groans in friendly camaraderie. Next stop? Mad Martha’s Ice Cream! We eat our vanilla sugar cones and dig our feet into burning sand. Beach balls hop back and forth over nets. Sand castles rise. Moats overflow. Turrets tumble into the sea. We dig deep, and find joy under pink seashells. For lunch, we unzip sandwich bags with sandy fingers. Coca Cola pops open in wide smiles. Oreo cookies loosely crumble out of our mouths onto damp bathing suits. We nap on cotton towels under a blue umbrella. Comforting sea breezes caress us while we sleep. Splash! Water on our faces! We noisily chase after seagulls with our hands in the air.

Sunset sneaks up on us. Tag, we’re it!  Fluorescent Crayola colors wrap the sky in brief swathes. Dark hues cool our sandy party. What will we play tomorrow? Will we rent three-speed bicycles in Vineyard Haven and meander down-island to Oak Bluffs? Before bedtime tonight, we will imagine putting on plays about our indigenous island ancestors; victory will be ours. Our parents will tell us to go to sleep, but we will read under bed sheets with flashlights until late. Crickets will sing us to sleep. Peepers will peep. We will dream.

Week 9-Day 5-Storm

This is my writing for Week 9, Day 5, of my Berkleemusic.com online course, ‘Creative Writing: Finding Your Voice.’  This week’s writing illuminated for me the power of doing writing on a consistent basis, learning effective tools for creating sense-bound stories, and gaining confidence in what I’m doing. Without further ado, here it is:

Day 5

Find a linking quality for

Prompt: Storm

What quality does my idea have? _________________

Now, using your linking quality, find two target ideas and write your paragraphs exploring each metaphor.

  1. Storm–>Linking Quality: __Depresses___ –> Target Idea: –>__Alcohol_____.
  2. Storm–>Linking Quality: __Turbulent____ –> Target Idea: –>__Plane Rides____.

Storm -> Depresses -> Alcohol

Alcohol: slow, loosening, bad, judgment, social, alienation, drinking, alone, alcoholism, dizzy, nausea, vomiting, hang over, whiskey, rye, gin, vodka, wine, beer, shaky, swallows, gulps, mixer, cocktail

The storm hangs over the Gulf coast, shaking its clouds lethargically. A few euphoric souls weave along the lethargic shoreline. Birds fly heavily between palm trees. The weak stormy cocktail swirls to a halt. Condensation drips down. People ache and groan. Clouds pass out.

Storm -> Turbulent -> Airplane Ride

Airplane Ride: airplane, tarmac, wind, turbulence, bumpy, shaking, sudden, drops, sweating, heart racing, hands, palms, gripping, praying, pilot, scream, vomit, plastic baggie, anticipation, fear, anxiety, mind racing, visualizing

The storm bumped about its contents roughly in the sky.  Thunder and lightning slammed into each other, screaming. Children cried. Parents prayed. Turbulent winds rattled windows. Trees shivered in anticipation. Rodents hid and curled into balls. Fatal visions raced in my mind while the storm bounced around. A sudden boom jolts me away. My stomach drops away. Dizzily, I sway.

Week 9-Day 4-Mountain Stream

Mountain Stream -> Roars -> Lion

Lion: pride, hunter, golden, fur, menacing, slinky, slink, big cat, big game, cat, teeth, fangs, sharp, white, antelope, zebra, prey, shouting, stalk, kill, carnivore, reign, king, steppes, grasslands

The mountain stream tilts back its head and roars out its animalistic call to the wild. Trees shake in terror at the stream’s growling burbles. Slinking its way menacingly over cowed stones, the mountain stream prides itself on its white fanged foam. Waves hunt unsuspecting chipmunks, birds, and rabbits. The stream’s reign flows from time immemorial and into the back of the mountainside, feasting on granite prey.


Mountain Stream -> Trickles -> Hourglass sand

Hourglass sand: hourglass, sand, white, trickle, countdown, finite, infinity, test, contest, falls, falling, desk, pen, timer, timed, timing, life, regret, triste, wistful

The remaining granules of a once-burbling mountain stream trickle slowly through a narrow opening in its path. One droplet at a time, the stream’s wistfully watches its essence pass out of time. Regret and sadness tinge its blue into grey. The mountain stream cries sand. It mourns. Only the quiet hills attend its funeral.

Week 9-Finding Essential and Linking Qualities

This week in my BerkleeMusic course, Creative Writing: Finding Your Voice, we’re doing work related to last week. Last week, we were given a noun and an essential linking quality; our assignment was to find another word that has the same essential linking quality and write about this. This week, we are still given the first word; but we are to decide on both the linking quality and the other word that has the same essential linking quality. In my writings below, I’ve also included the words I associated with the second word I chose.

Debt — > Expands — > Hot Air Balloon

Hot Air Balloon: Rises, heat, gets bigger, enlarges, balloons out, vista, view, awesome, awe-inspiring, floating above clouds, helium, wicker basket, adventurers, rainbow, streamers, nylon, cluster of people, blue skies, light breeze, experience, once-in-a-lifetime experience

Your fluent signature breezes upward above the dotted line on the last page of your thirty-page mortgage documents. You rise quickly and float out of the lawyer’s office. Your chest fills pleasantly with hot summer air as you begin your home-owning adventure. Awe-inspiring images of wicker basket hampers and rainbow nylon sashes fill your mind. Backyard flowers dot your vision in colorful swathes as you survey the vista from your second-story bedroom window. The high from your once-in-a-lifetime purchase will bring you slowly down over the next 45 days; your first bill will bring you back down to earth. For now, you will enjoy the scenic panorama of your future.

Debt — > Contracts — > Muscle

Muscle: Working out, contract, the gym, holding pattern, squeeze, squeezing, muscle men, muscling, competition, hard skin, ripples, abs, chest, repetition, reps, holding breath, stress ball

Bills come in hard with a repetitive force. Day after day, you are in a holding pattern of piling up the unopened bills you cannot pay, making phone calls to doctors’ offices to arrange payment plans, and avoiding the hard-skinned telephone calls of hostile collection agencies. Muscle men came to your door one day; their arms rippled menacingly. You held your breath, curled into a ball, and waited for them to leave. Your debts squeeze you like a stress ball, their fingers pressing into your trachea ever so slowly.

Debt — > Deceives — > Mirage

Mirage: eyes, sight, shimmering, heat, desert, sand, blue sky, haze, approach, disappear, thirst, hunger, shade, crave, aloneness, alienation, dehydration, starvation, crawling, hot, sweating, brow, heavy breathing, slow moving, barefeet

From across the room, you squint from into the glare of a shimmering pile of white envelopes stacked haphazardly on your desk. Sweat appears on your brow. Your dehydrated mouth cannot salivate. You fall to your knees and crawl; your palms and knees sting as they grate against a gritty floor. Blue skies fill your vision as you slowly make your way to the table. You grab the table’s edge and pull yourself up. You put one elbow down, then another. You push. Your gaze rises as you do. Vanilla soft serve with chocolate sprinkles in a sugar cone fills your vision. You reach for it. The alienating sound of plastic crinkles wakes you from your hazy reverie.