Author: ralphcuellar

Ralph Cuellar lives in Oregon, and loves nature and politics, and is usually in conflict over both. He is a writer and has played around with software and hardware a little too much in his life, so he left that world behind after a little dance.

PROMPT: A POEM BY PAULANN PETERSEN

March 25, 2019:  The prompt for Monday’s meeting was a poem titled, Yin, by Paulann Petersen. It was just published by the Carolina Quarterly on their website.

Yin
by Paulann Petersen

You’d think water’s female aspect
would be a pond, a lake — deep,
reflective, still, taking
the sun and moon and clouds
onto its slick-shimmered skin.
Wrong. You would be
dead wrong. Being a woman, I know
at least that much about water.

One high-summer day, I stood
behind a waterfall, in a shallow cave
scooped out of the cliff’s base.
Through the cascade, I looked out and down
at the rolling pool where the water’s
falling came to its end.

Din pummeled my ears. Mist weighted
my hair. The air — smelling of
skunk cabbage, willow and mullien —
tasted fecund and wet. Deafened, mute,
I gazed through that plummet joining
a world on high to the one below,
and I knew.

The man is rock —
still, ever still, afraid to give up
his hard-won place far above the rest.
The woman sweeps right over
his prominence. In sheer free-fall,
she heads down to earth,
hellbent to reach the sea.

 

There are strong images and ideas here. Use whatever direction it takes you as your prompt.

 

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Good old’ Days

The following was submitted by Writers in the Grove member, Patti Bond.

Good old’ Days
by Patti Bond

Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s was so wonderful for many
different reasons.
Being able to play with neighbors- playing tether ball, tag in the
front yard yelling “you’re it”. Neighborhood kids talking to you
through the window screen while you are cleaning your room.
Going over to girlfriend’s house to talk, while they are busy
cleaning the house.

Getting up early to pick strawberries to
earn money for school clothes.

Then after cleaning up, hopping on my
bike and going to the craft house
and then swimming.
Going to grandma and grandpa’s in Baker
to stay and have fun Oh yea
my brother came along.
The sixties and seventies were so special.
My family and I had so much fun- sure there were
hard times but we all had a great time too.

.

PROMPT: A TIP ON DIALOGUE

March 18, 2019. The prompt for Monday’s meeting was taken from the book titled, The Pocket Muse – ideas and inspirations for writing, by Monica Wood.

A Tip on Dialogue

When writing dialogue, every once in a while allow a character to jump to a conclusion. Conversational leaps add momentum to a scene and force you to get to the main conflict between the characters. The following dialogue is fine, but stuck in a holding pattern:

Donny opened the door to the landlord.
“What do you want?”
“I’ve got some items to go over with you,”
Mr. Leadbetter said. “It won’t take a minute.”
“It better not.”
Mr. Leadbetter edged into the kitchen. “To be honest,
I’ve had a few complaints about your habits.”
“My habits? Like what?”
“Like playing music after midnight, things like that.
Leaving trash in the hall. That sort of thing.”
“I don’t do that. That’s all Carter in 4B.”
Mr. Leadbetter glanced at his list. “I’ve also got some
complaints about the parrot you keep on the balcony. It
scares the neighbors.”
“So what? I signed an ironclad lease.”

If you open this same sequence by having Donny jump to a conclusion, in this case a correct one, the scene opens with a little moire spark:

Donny opened the door to the landlord.
“What do you want?”
“I’ve got some items to go over with you,” Mr.
Leadbetter said. “It won’t take a minute.”
“If this is about Junie-Bell’s screaming,
you can just forget it. There isn’t a word in my lease
about parrots scaring the neighbors.”

 

PROMPT: UH-OH…

March 4, 2019.  The prompt for Monday’s meeting was taken from the book titled, UH-OH Some Observations from Both Sides of the Refrigerator Door, by Robert Fulghum.

“UH-OH” is not in any dictionary or thesaurus, and is seldom seen in written form. Yet most of us utter that sound everyday. And have used it all our lives.

“UH-oh” is one of the first expressions a baby learns.

“UH-oh,” or something like it, has been used as long as people have existed. And it may be the first thing Adam said to Eve after he bit into the apple. She knew exactly what he meant, too.

 

Write about a “Uh-Oh” moment, real or imagined.

 

February 18, 2019. MONDAY MEETING WILL BE HELD AT THE FOREST GROVE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

Feb. 18, 2019 – Due to the The Senior Center being closed for the Presidents Day holiday, the Monday morning meeting of Writers in the Grove will be held at the Forest Grove United Methodist Church in the library room, starting at the regular 9am time.

The church is located on the corner of 17th and Cedar in Forest Grove.

We very much appreciate the generosity of the church in letting the group meet there.

 

PROMPT: A TIP ON STYLE

Feb. 4, 2019.  The prompt for Monday’s meeting was taken from the book titled, The Pocket Muse – ideas and inspirations for writing, by Monica Wood.

A Tip on Style

Colors can be delivered as similes that
suggest something about the character’s
inner life. Your reader will receive a
character in a red shirt a little differently
if that shirt is described as the color of
spilled wine or fresh liver or SpaghettiOs.
A person’s skin can be the color of dead
leaves or dust or mud or newborn mice or
cocoa or cantaloupe or cream or plums or maize …

Write a character description using colors to imply or suggest internal aspects of the character as a way to lead the reader in developing a more rounded picture of who the character is.

 

JANUARY 21,2018: MONDAY MEETING WILL BE HELD AT THE HOME OF PARKS AND PAULA ADAMS

The Forest Grove Senior Center will be closed for observance of Martin Luther King holiday on Monday, January 21st, so the weekly meeting will be hosted by Parks and Paula Adams at their home in Forest Grove at the regular time of 9am.

Afterwards there will be a short pot-luck gathering. Most people bring a small snack or some food or drink item to share. Hope to see you there!