Finally! After two false starts I have a beginning I really like for The Girls Nobody Wanted to Date. One chapter done and a little on another.
1,497 / 60,000
Today was interesting in my creative writing class. I came up with this idea to shock the kids into paying attention and really absorbing what I was saying about getting in touch with your emotions for writing. I have these ideas all the time, but seldom act on them because … well, they often involve acting and I get all self conscious and end up not doing it. The chance about slipped away today, but I waited and when the opportunity came, I went with it. One of my really good students who I’ve had in class before gave me the opening, so I began with, “I have anger issues! I bet you didn’t know that.” I went on to describe how the anger starts like a pebble in my shoe, then spreads until it explodes in a white light when some cow at Wal-Mart is blocking the whole shampoo isle. I described snapping her neck in vivid detail, then explained how I can’t afford therapy for my anger issues, so I write. They had eyes like saucers. “You can’t half-ass the emotions,” I said. “Nobody wants to read a story where you’re holding out on them.” And, by God, they got the point. They had to write about anger and most of them dug deep and did really well. This could turn out to be a great class.
In science fiction we read Terry Bisson’s “They’re Made Out of Meat.” The kids liked it. Then we read Damon Knight’s “Not with a Bang” and it wasn’t quite as well received, though I could see lights come on as we discussed what was happening with the ending. That’s the last period and the class (31 kids) has several freshmen in it, so it gets a bit rowdy. Gotta keep them engaged every minute.
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