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Friday 500: One Prompt, Two Writers

During the second hour group activity of the July 13th Friday 500 participating writers paired up. They introduced themselves and their projects to one another. Then one writer from the pair chose at random a writing prompt from the prompt basket, shared it with his or her partner, and both wrote for half an hour from the same prompt–neither one knowing what the other was writing.

After 30 minutes, those writers who wanted to share did. One member from each pair told the larger group the prompt that each had written from and then the two writers read their pieces. One writer pair was comprised of a poet and a novelist, another pair a poet and a short story writer, another still a memoirist and a novelist, and so on.

It’s one of the reasons that makes Friday 500 good. The conversations we have include writers from all genres. The perspective of poets have helped me numerous times. Nabokov said, “A writer should have the precision of a poet and the imagination of a scientist.” I’m a novelist and having the poets around always reminds me of the wisdom of that quote.

The Friday 500 was entertaining and fun. Listening to how different all the writings were despite having the same entry point made for a good time.

Here’s an example of what I mean. The following was written by 500ers Steve Deming, Lyn Carr, and Susan Burnett: [You’ll notice that there are 3 writers here and not 2. That’s because there was a duplicate of the same prompt that 2 pairs of writers picked from the basket. Weird, I know. One of the four writers didn’t want to share her piece…]

Prompt: It was the worst meal she’d ever had.

Steve Deming wrote:

It was the worst meal she’d ever had.
And she’d munched a thing or two you might call bad.
Reflecting upon it, she felt sad.

It was the worst meal she’d ever had.
Reflecting upon it, she knew she’d been had.
But all things must pass, including bile and gas.

It was the worst meal she’d ever had.
And she’d munched a thing or two you might call bad.

Lyn Carr wrote:

Margarita Pizza

Indian cuisine made of curry
Made her wish to withdraw and scurry
away to her home
and pick from the loam
Fresh basil, oregano with no worry.

She’d start with a Pillsbury crust
Thin pizza rolled out without fuss
The meal she’d be bolting
From people revolting
And curry she’d leave in the dust.

She skittered into her kitchen
Sliced romas and garlic so bitchin’
She grated the cheese
Spread it quick as you please
For company she’d not soon be ditchin’.

A meal made a little bit hasty
Was not spicy like curry or pasty
She enjoyed all the rushing
Made sweeter by fussing
Glad she’d Googled the recipe so tasty.

Susan Burnett wrote:

The dinner was elegant. She was certain the measure of a host could be taken by his attention to detail. Pairings of wine and food were thoughtful, and at times interestingly surprising. She wondered if the chef had been brought in for the occasion or if he (or, possibly, she), provided these types of delectable delights on a daily basis. She would have to ask for her own future use. She glanced down the table at her husband, engaged in deep conversation with a stunning blond woman, classically coiffed, her hair drawn up and back into a twist held with a clasp sparkling of real diamonds. The woman’s dress was classic too, black, with tiny cap sleeves that accentuated tanned, perfectly slender arms. The understatement was arresting, allowing the woman’s natural beauty to emerge without effort. She didn’t have to push it, holding David’s gaze as they spoke, not just listening, but responding in kind.

David’s affairs were no secret, but he had always kept them apart from her. That was the agreement. Was this how they started? Worse, did he already know this woman and was flaunting her? Had the rules of the game changed? She unconsciously smoothed the folds on the lap of her green satin dress and turned away to speak with the man by her side.

**Friday 500 takes place every 2nd and 4th Friday of the month from 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM. The next 500 will be on August 24. Members are welcome and non-members can attend once to check out the scene before joining. Cookies, coffee, community, and time are provided for the writer during Friday 500.

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This entry was posted on August 15, 2012 by in Cool Events, Writing.

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