Monday, January 20, 2014

Writer's Camp--Day 4

The last day! (For you guys, anyway. I sort of lumped things from different days together, so all of my favorites combined make up of four blogging days). ;)

We went to the local park with our notebooks to write a short story or poem from the point of view of an inanimate object. I did mine from the point of view of a plastic frog toy. It would look something like this.

I don't know how old I am. Each of my parts is a different age. My springs might be fifty years old while my paint is only two.

I'm a plastic frog. And I have always lived at the playground.

The playground's a fairly large place. There's the long green slide that everyone rides while squealing with glee. There's the swing set that allows kids to fulfill their dreams of flying through the air, even if it's only for a moment before they come crashing back down to the ground. There are monkey bars that many a child has fallen off, but no one has cried when that happens. That's the amazing thing about kids; they're always ready to get right back on.

But the favorite at the playground has always seemed to be me. Many people have ridden me from time to time: toddlers, women with babies, teenagers, laughing with ice cream cones in hand. I've watched toddlers grow taller, I've seen them beam as they're finally able to reach the monkey bars on their own, I've felt their weight grow heavier as my springs creaked and groaned.

Some kids have talked to me, confided with me their secrets, hopes, and dreams. Some have pet me like a dog and told me that I was beautiful. Others have merely glanced my way and smiled.

Emily was special. I seemed to be her first confidant, her special guardian, her best friend. When she was five and she scraped her knee, she ran to me, her tears streaking my frozen expression. When she was thirteen, and her "friends" didn't let her sit with them at lunch, I let her ride on my back, no matter how much my parts groaned in protest. When she was sixteen, and her boyfriend broke her heart, I was the first one she told.

And when she was twenty-five, and her three-year-old daughter stumbled off me, dizy and giggling, Emily said, "Say goodbye to the frog. You won't seem him again after we move."

Her daughter, Cece, said, "Bye, Froggy!" and patted my head.

Emily turned to me, tears in her eyes.

"Thank you," she whispered.

She stroked my back and walked away.

If I were a human, I would've burst into tears. I would've wrapped my human arms around her and told her with my human lips that she was my favorite person in the whole world. I would've used my human hands to try and drag her back, to make her stay.

But I wasn't. And I never will be. So I settled for a silent goodbye, a creak of my spring, and a hope that Emily wouldn't forget me. Because I certainly would never forget her.
***

We worked on our final project after that, the piece that we'd share with the other students and their parents. I'd done a sort of poem, except that it wasn't in the form of a poem. But it wasn't a story, either. It was more like a poetic narrative. I'll show you the before and after. The "Before" was my rough draft, and the "After" was my final draft, the one that the different teachers helped me to edit.

Before

The Golden Gate of Promises

The archway was mystical, completely made of pine, prickly, but sweet-smelling. It was curved at the top, like a wave that never hits the ocean floor, frozen in time. It stood amidst a garden of trees, bushes, and flowers. It hummed with energy sounding like a hive of bees, although it only hummed for me. I was the only one who stopped to listen.

This archway was the Gate of Promises.

The sun seemed to shine brighter as I approached the archway. The humming grew louder. The bees were singing for me, for I was their queen.

Behind me laid a field of dreams, fragile and glittering like glass stained with red. I had trodden on them with my bare feet. The red blood that trailed behind me was my misery and despair. It stopped right before the archway. I took a deep breath and let the bees surround me.

And I stepped through the Gate of Promises.

After

The Golden Gate of Promises

The archway was completely made of pine, prickly, but sweet-smelling. It was arched at the top, like a wave that never hits the ocean floor. It stood amidst a garden of towering oak trees, sweet berry bushes, and yellow tulips, drinking in the sun. It hummed with energy, sounding like a hive of bees, although it only hummed for me. I was the only one who stopped to listen.

The archway was the Gate of Promises.

As I approached the archway, the sun shone brighter, the humming grew louder--no longer a hum, but a buzz, a drone. The bees were a choir, singing only for me, for I was their queen.

Behind me, a field of dreams, fragile and glittering like glass stained with red. I had trodden on them with my bare feet. The red blood that trailed behind me stopped abruptly before the archway as if an invisible dome protected it from such terrors. These horrors were not allowed beyond the gate.

I took a deep breath and let the bees surround me.

And I stepped forward.

6 People Made Me Happy By Commenting! :D:

Layla said...

Wait, I just saw the most hilarious thing- "0 people made me happy by commenting" Wow ;)
Great post, I love your writing!

Dr. Mark said...

I really like both of these pieces. It was especially fun to see the original essay and how it changed. I'm impressed!

Boquinha said...

So fun to read all of these. And the one about the frog? I got choked up. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing. I love it.

The Magic Violinist said...

@Layla Ba ha ha! XD
Thank you!

@Dr. Mark Thanks! :)

@Boquinha Aww, glad you liked it! :)

Dave Johnson said...

Okay, I can't believe I got teary eyed over the story of a plastic playground frog. Geez. Is there anything you CAN'T write about. I would like to be all encouraging and supportive but I'm actually really jealous and would like you to grace me with your magic writing powers. I can pay.

The Magic Violinist said...

@Dave Thank you! :) I owe most of the edits I made on that piece to my critique partners from Figment. It took lots of editing on my part!