Quill | Writing Prompt Passage

Poetry

WRITING PROMPT #70

Write a poem or story in eleven lines or less. Write it as if you were writing a photograph. You can make the moment personal or choose to write from fiction. What was that moment like, the second your firstborn child came from his mother? Describe the moment you heard terrible news. Or Goldilocks, when she first woke to find herself surrounded by three grizzlies. Let images take the place of feeling. Let the atmosphere set the tone. I know I say that a lot, but I mean it EVERY TIME.


 

She ran the quill’s feather through her fingers, with each stroke an old thought arrived and vanished. These thoughts fluttered around in her head, like a million different birds all singing different tunes to tell things to one another in secret codes. How was she to decipher their songs? A neatly bound book fell under her gaze; it had been placed at an angle on the left side of her father’s desk. Her fingers abandoned the quill and reached for the volume. And so, with a new play-thing in her hands arrived a new thought — should she be doing this? Perhaps her father was right, women were not suited for the life of a novelist. Thinking this, she opened the front cover of the novel, and inside read: ‘Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen’. This, she thought, is whom I aspire to be. She immediately relinquished the songs of the birds, and instead listened to the quiet, dipping back into her mind and her quill into her ink, writing fervently.

 


This was written as part of National Novel Writing Month 2017, [Day 6, Writing Prompt #70]

Faces | Writing Prompt Passage

Poetry

WRITING PROMPT #74


“Why are we not permitted to show our faces in the picture , Mama?,” Charlotte asked, staring down at the photograph in her hands. The whole prospect of one picture alone to represent three young ladies in the newspaper seemed so obscure to the girl, that she had initially refused to be part of it at all; but her Mama had insisted, and so she did.

“Men shall often find one’s body more agreeable than one’s face,” Mama answered sharply, “can you not see that is why I have dressed you in the finest silk dresses you own?”.

With her nose held high in the air, so as to maintain decorum, Mama sauntered over to her grand mirror, her favourite part of her bedroom. It had been bought for her as a gift by her husband, as had the house her and her daughters now lived in. Many hours had passed in front of its golden frame, preparing herself for her husband or local balls. Time had withered her patience and she prepared as such for no one but herself anymore, and her three daughters. Now, in her corset and petticoat, she placed the photo on the bed beside her and began adorning her face with powder.

Her youngest daughter, grabbed it and exclaimed, “No rouge, no curls! No man shall ever send us prospects of marriage.”

She turned to her mother.
“Mama! What were you thinking?”

“Hush now, Anne! Your father payed a large amount of money to get that photograph taken, and we shall be rewarded for our efforts, I guarantee.”

A book snapped shut to Mama’s left.

“Then perhaps a woman shall send us a marriage proposal,” Emily began, “and I shall be so very pleased if that were to happen instead.”

 


This poem was written during National Novel Writing Month 2017 [Day 3]