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Day Six: Using a tabloid headline for a prompt. This was a fun exercise, as we were encouraged to try poetry.

Alien Bible Found, They Worship Oprah

Here on planet KNBC we wondered if we were alone.
We sent multiple probes into outer space, searching for extraterrestrial life.
We need search no more,
For we have found proof of intelligent life, in the form of a lone bible, floating in space.
Our scientists and linguists examined the tome and here is what we know:
The inhabitants of planet Earth worship a being named Oprah.
Who can shape-shift from thin to fat.
She gives cars to the poor and wealthy, important people seek an audience with her.
Millions listen to her every day and make pilgrimages to Chicago to see her in person.
They shriek and cry when she touches them. One man jumped up and down on a couch.
If you would like to hear more about this incredible discovery,
Make sure to tune in at 3pm today to The Jesus Show.

Day Seven: More poetry, this time inspired by an amazing poem, “Bringing My Son To The Police Station To Be Fingerprinted,” by Shoshauna Shy. The goal is to write a poem where the title says everything, and the content of the poem seems to be totally unrelated except for one line pointing back to the title.

Being Bulimic

The chewy caramel mixed with crispy rice
And covered in fudge delights my tongue.
I switch to an oatmeal creme pie,
Soft, chewy cookies surrounding
A smooth, sweet layer of pleasure.
I crave more crunch so I begin eating
Wafer bars layered with peanut butter
And smothered with more fudge, of course.
I dislike the dark color
When it comes back up as amorphous sludge
But for now, it’s the icing on my heaven.

Day Eight: “Playing against expectations”: We watched this video and then were asked to write a character based on it.

Smash and stroll

Everyone in Rockport knew of Sylvia James.
The tall, lithesome beauty with cornsilk hair and
Lagoon eyes that would seize young men, who would do
Anything. To. Have. Her.
But she wouldn’t have them. Not for long, anyway.
She’d dote on one, stroke his arm, spend a few weeks at his side,
And right when everyone was thinking how lucky he was
To have attracted such beauty,
She’d drop out of sight, and reappear on the arm of another,
Leaving a trail of broken hearts, lined up at the local watering hole,
Wondering how they’d fallen short. Spilling their souls to the grizzled woman tending bar
Who’d pour another drink for them and think,
“Eat it up, Sylvia. While you can.”

Day Nine: no writing

Day Ten: Animals as inspirations, specifically, “Animals,” by Miller Williams. Think back to when things were different. There was an animal then. Use that animal, perhaps a pet, perhaps not, guide you back in time and shape your free write.

You were always so good with dogs,
because you liked control.
We had two labrador retrievers then.
Labs were your favorite.
You appreciated their devotion and willingness to endlessly
chase after the balls you threw for them.

I began to depend on their unconditional love,
their big brown eyes fixed on mine,
stroking their velvet ears as they listened so intently to what I had to say
when you wouldn’t.

Your dog died first.
Six months later, we had to put mine to sleep, and we chose to do so in our living room.
You held his head in your lap, stroking his soft, grey muzzle as I sheepishly pet his back, dumbfounded in grief and not realizing
you had stolen my last chance to comfort him as we sent him on his final chase.

That was the beginning of our end.