Throwback Thursday!

Here is an older post by me that I like! I am gearing up for a new writing workshop, so I thought I would re-read the last post about my last writing workshop!


The workshop at the Rogers Free Library was led by Susan Tacent. This workshop happened to be based upon Kurt Vonnegut since the local university is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his novel Slaughterhouse Five with special programs for the community. What a treat for us!

The workshop ran a little over two hours. We started out with Vonnegut’s rules for writers. We reviewed them out of order, which was interesting.

Shortly after, the instructor asked us to throw out some ideas. We started with the gender of the character, her location, wants, needs etc. It was fun to watch this character form in front of us, but only piece by piece.

After that we were given time to write a story using these ideas. No one read their stories aloud, but some shared a summary of the plot. It was interesting that everyone’s story was different. It seemed some were dark stories, with violence or tension.

Mine was a bit more dark than I anticipated but that is ok. It is something I probably wouldn’t write on my own so nothing lost here. Since she is so stoic I figured a loud inner monologue would be interesting. Obviously I did not have time to finish, but below is what I wrote.

I had sex once. It was with a guy. It was repulsive. There was no chemistry or affection like I see in the movies. It was just like someone trying to press the wrong sides of magnets together. It was fast, sloppy, awkward. I never shed a tear through the whole thing.

And now I am laying here, wearing a filthy diaper, while my newborn baby wails in my arms. I could scream just as loud right now because I really wanted my first time to be with a girl. And not just any girl, but his sister. She is straight though. He reminded me so much of her. I thought it would be good to get it over with….To get over her…

My family is poor and now I will be poor too. Someday this child will ask me for a pony and I will remind her we can’t even afford a stuffed animal and she will of course be disappointed and despise me.

Someday her college essay will be all about her terrible childhood as a product of a single, unwed mother. Some college will offer her a full scholarship to their prestigious school then she will have the life I never had. Then she will make a stupid decision like I did. She will make stupid decisions over and over. Why? Because I didn’t tell her anything. I didn’t tell her to talk about her feelings. That was how my parents taught (or didn’t teach) me. Maybe if they told me, I could have told that guy to get his sloppy, smelly body off me. I could have said NO. Instead, I look down at her, and her crying ceases. I start to talk to her like an adult. I say “I want you to be free. I want you to love the person you want to love.”


Thank you so much Susan, the participants and of course the library for making this workshop possible!

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