Writing & Weirdness: July Writing Prompt

This summer I’m working with teaching artists at Badgerdog Creative Writing Camp through the Austin Library Foundation. This means stocking supplies—markers, glitter, cool calendars, stickers, more markers, gluesticks, crayons, oh my!—and in the midst of toting boxes, I found this weird little friend on the sidewalk. I'll be honest. I have no idea where he came from.

Here's my question: do we get less weird as we get older? Do we lose some ability to truly write in the moment, harnessing whatever weirdness comes our way?

SO. WHAT IS THIS LITTLE GUY? The subject of a fun writing activity, that’s what! Kids all over Austin are writing about the wackiest things this summer at camp; why should they have all the fun?

Ready to write?

  • Imagine finding the little creature in the pic. You've just scooped him off the sidewalk. What do you notice?

  • Pause before reading further and write: describe everything you can about this creature--what is it made of? How does it smell? Does it make any noise? Stretch your muscles a bit. Write for four minutes. GO.

  • Now....come back for Step 2. Ready? Okay.

  • Imagine you've just scooped up your new treasure, and someone comes running toward you saying, "You found it!"

  • Pause before reading further and describe this person for six minutes. What are they wearing? How do they move? How do they sound?

  • Return for Step 3. Your final prompt? Nowwwwwww, go! What does this object mean to this person? Write a scene in which you discover the truth behind this treasure by having a conversation with its owner. Write for 12 minutes. Set a timer to push yourself. GO FOR IT.

  • Want to share a discovery from writing this story? A weird, amazing, surprising turn of phrase? Reach out to me on Twitter.