Conceal and Carry – A Confession

Standard

Today, I did it.  I was at school, and it was a Monday.  Part of why I chose today was because I truly felt no one would notice, nor would they even suspect me.  My school doesn’t have any type of metal detectors at the entrances, so I knew I could just ease in and go about my day with it behind my back.  In the mornings, most of the students and teachers walking around are catching up, trying to be somewhat chipper about the unseasonably warm weather.  I, too, was in good spirits because I was carrying into a school as a little experiment.

I’m not angry.  I don’t have much of an agenda, really.  With all the talk lately about conceal-carry—especially on campuses–I thought I owed it to myself, my own children, and the world to conduct a little test, just to see if I could get away with it.

This is, after all, a confessional.

I’ll keep it brief.  I went through my day without making any sort of deal about it.  I followed my normal routine all the way until after the last class had ended and the building virtually emptied.  I strolled down the hall toward the faculty restroom and smiled at my successful experiment.  I had done it.  I had made it the whole day and no one noticed.  No one even cared.  No one felt unsafe, and no one felt insecure.

I was secure.  I knew what was behind my back made me proud to exercise my Constitutional right.

I entered the restroom, closed the door, switched on the light, and sighed.  It took a second to withdraw it from my back.  The size had never felt so right.  My hand just looked right holding it before me.  The test was complete.

I sat down, still clothed.

and read my book…

Advertisements

October Warm-Up (Day 1–“A First”)

Standard

In the spirit of practicing what I preach, here was yesterday’s first warm-up writing.  This, and the 19 to follow, are obviously rough drafts that may or may not find their way down Revision Lane someday…

Day 1 – A first

This was a first that speaks to my nervousness around the opposite sex.  I had to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 11 or 12 at most.  I know I was still in elementary school.  My mom took us to either King’s Island or Cedar Point for a day about once a year.  We have some family in Ohio, and we must have made a weekend out of it–not entirely sure.  Anyway, my older brother was either on his own or with a friend that summer day at the park, so I was left with my mom.  We were in line for a ride I called The Octopus.  That may very well have been its name, but I distinctly recall this multi-legged ride with spinning cars  at each end to be white with red stripes.  

I can remember thinking it would be fun to ride this ride with my brother and not with my mom.  I sensed that she was pretty much over riding rides at this point in the day and her life, so I probably said something like how I didn’t want to ride the stupid Octopus.  Whatever I said was typically ignored or not met with adult conflict.  No.  My mom looks around and sees a girl about my height who is standing alone a few inches behind us.  

“Young lady, would you like to take my place and ride with my son?”

She clearly had not been asked such a question in her life.  Her gaping mouth suggested that no one had even ever referred to her as a young lady.

By this time we were being rushed forward toward the entrance gate to the ride.  The guys operating that day couldn’t have known I’d just met this girl seconds earlier when my mom accosted her in line.  Later, I remember looking down from my vantagepoint and seeing my mom’s cryptic grin–something that, then, made me think she was pleased by seeing her baby grow up.  Nope.  It was definitely because she got me in the end for back-talking her.

The girl was as forgettable as this tiny memoir.  She had long skinny legs and our knees touched once or twice as the motion of the mid-air car swayed us around.  I’m sure I didn’t talk to her.  I told the story several times at school the following year and probably even wrote about it then.  

It’s well over twenty years later, and I can still see those bare skinny knees and my mom’s devilish grin a few dozen yards below me.  

NaNoWriMo Warm-Up 2015!

Standard

Here is the list of prompts I’m giving to the high school creative writing club members.  (For those who only know me from WP, I teach HS English.)  It’s slightly modified from someone I do not know but whom I credit at the top.  Each weekday throughout October, the goal is to get a little writing exercise, or “Writercise!” (I just made that up) in preparation for National Novel Writing Month.  Please note:  I made up the ultra-cheesy “poems” after each week because I’m that guy.

Feel free to modify/borrow, etc., friends!

NaNoWriMo Warm-Ups – OCTOBER 2015

The following have been adapted from Catherine Reid (Warren Wilson College)

These short writing exercises/prompts are meant to loosen up your imagination and flex your writing muscles.  With each one, the goal is to produce a fresh, clear passage that uses specific language, precise nouns and verbs.  The writer should, as always, strive to avoid including cliches and vague terms.   

The prompts are your work.  You are encouraged to mix genres (fiction or non-fiction, poetry, essays, etc.) throughout the month.  Go with what inspires you!

Date Prompt I did it!
10/5 Any “first” – (locker, kiss, driving, lie, roller coaster, etc.)
10/6 Memorable moment and how it felt, but do not name the feeling; express how it felt in your body (damp hands, metallic taste, etc.)
10/7 whole story using only monosyllabic words
10/8 signficant place from two POVs; rooftop and turtle’s eyes
10/9 Explain how to get from your house to a secret/magical place only you know
WEEK ONE IS DONE!

IF YOU WROTE AT LEAST 3 OF THESE,  

YOU DESERVE A WARM GRILLED CHEESE!

10/12 significant person–include as many physical details as possible
10/13 Your name–why you were given it/stories attached to it/meaning; what would you re-name yourself?
10/14 describe a presence in your house (person, pet, furniture, illness, secret, etc.) use all five senses
10/15 recall a memorable photo; tell what happened before/after;
10/16 research Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs and create a story about one photograph
WEEK TWO IS THROUGH!  

IF YOU COMPLETED 4 OR MORE,

GET YOURSELF A DELICIOUS S’MORE!

10/19 tell a story (F/NF) from the POV of a close relative
10/20 describe a daily routine or holiday ritual using PRESENT TENSE only
10/21 witness a crime/moral dilemma (theft/hit-and-run, etc) and explain what you would do/why
10/22 another routine/holiday ritual written in SECOND PERSON POV
10/23 26-sentence short story; each new sentence begins with a different letter of the alphabet (in order/scrambled)
HOO-RAH, HOO-REE!  

WEEK THREE IS COMPLETE!

IT’S TIME, PERCHANCE, TO HAVE A HEALTHY TREAT!

10/26 a still-life that implies a dramatic moment (overturned chair, several balled up papers, torn envelope, single key, etc.)
10/27 make up a story based on a recent crime from a newspaper Police Beat or Classified Ad
10/28 describe the room of: a HS about to drop out/cashier who’s just won a lottery/aging movie star/a paranoid person
10/29 a how-to for something you know how to do well
10/30 monosyllabic list of nouns and verbs; make up a scene using at least ten of each
THE MONTH IS DONE; NOW IT’S TIME TO SPOOK!

TAKE TOMORROW OFF; PERHAPS START A NEW “BOO”K!