Creative Writing Workshop

Fiction, Poetry

What’s going on here?


o      A man enters a New York City café on a rainy day. He looks around briefly, then sees a figure at a back table. He approaches.

o      A ten-year-old girl sits by a stream. She is holding a box.

o      Two people climb into the attic of a suburban home.


Take any of those prompts and JUST WRITE. Go wherever you want with them. E-mail the results to and/or post here under “comments.” Glad to hear from you. 


7 thoughts on “Creative Writing Workshop

  1. Sounds fascinating. These make for excellent openings. I’m currently posting creative writing articles on my blog.

  2. New York City café:

    Isaac was afraid that she would find him, but he didn’t know where else to go. He only knew his own neighborhood, and he circled the streets in the bitter cold until the rain began to fall. He tried to ignore it at first, but the sidewalks were uneven and puddles formed quickly. His shoes soaked right through. Every car that passed would be her. He knew it. Only it never was. And finally he reached his location. It was 9:15 on the dot. He entered the café without raising his eyes. If he noticed how many people were present, he would get too nervous and possibly chicken out. He took a deep breath and took in the warmth, the smell of freshly roasted coffee and pastries, the dim lighting. Carefully, he looked up. In the back of the café she was standing in a loose sweater and blue jeans, obviously feeling self-conscious. But even while readjusting her clothes with her hair a mess, she was beautiful. He felt the sort of anxiety one feels on a first date, and in a way it was. Their first date in forty years. She looked the same. He walked towards her, a smile slowly spreading across his face. He hadn’t felt this since of giddiness and guilt since he was a child. He was so afraid she would find him.

  3. You are not alone
    by Sharayah

    Pick a number any number
    You’ll have to wait in line
    For each person you see in front
    Each has such miserable lives
    They all are waiting and anticipating
    For he to replenish their pride
    But while you’ll waiting, let us share some lies
    I am perfect, I am clean,
    No one can hurt my vanity nor make me cry
    I have no worries I have no stress because I have no mind
    I’m not human and I know exactly why I feel
    I stand before you knowingly without a hint of fear

    “Why do you hassle me when I have no time,” he said
    “To hear of your misfortunes when mine are in my head,
    You talk and play like it is a game as if you are already dead
    So move along the line young one, what number did you get?”

    I will not deceive you any longer for I cannot lie
    You look towards me for help but see with only eyes
    How can I help you if you have no faith to hear?
    That I have whispered in your head for darn so many years
    Ignoring me you did to come up here instead
    Just as you have told me you have not the time
    Now you must wait in this treacherous line
    Of all who have turned the other cheek when I have been by there side
    And many who will ask forgiveness without the sense to try

  4. Poem by Jill Roderick

    I saw something today, made me cry
    Blacks not doing that thing
    Killing our songs of yester year
    Our songs; they bore that sting
    Kept the fires burning within
    Kept fears at bay
    Carried US thru to a new day
    I saw something, made me wonder
    Why do we not uplift one another?
    As a people why we cannot function as one
    Like the rising and setting of the sun
    Can we not work as one
    To complete our transformation
    Become one nation
    I saw something in the future, makes me smile
    It’s you and I in a better world
    I saw something in the future, makes me smile
    It’s you and I in a better world

  5. “Stones Know” – by Gary Picard

    The child was sitting on a flat stone just big enough for a ten year old. It was early afternoon and she liked how it was warmed by the sun. This had been their favorite spot by the stream. Across on the other side was a large weeping willow, and an old rusty wire fence than ran as far as the next farm. A robin sat on a wooden fence post. Tall grass grew close to the fence where the tractor couldn’t reach, and the air smelled of damp earth and new grass.
    When the child came down from the house she was carrying her pail filled with gardening tools. They now lay scattered about. She was busy daydreaming, staring up into a blue sky wondering how far up those wispy clouds were. A cool breeze picked up. She reached into the pocket of her sundress and pulled out a ribbon and tied her hair up in a ponytail.
    She let her mind drift over the course of the last few days. There had been a lot of comings and goings on at the house. People speaking quietly, crying. Many of them she never met before, but they all seemed to know her. And her father was sad. That troubled the child. But, she was a “Big Girl” and had a promise to keep.
    The child reached for the spade then crouched down and began to dig. It didn’t need to be a big hole, just big enough. The soil was damp and clung under her newly painted nails but she didn’t care. After a few minutes time the hole was dug. She got up, dusted her knees off then walked over to where she put the box. Carefully picking it up she walked back and sat on her stone.
    The small box was perched on her knees. She untied her hair ribbon, lifted the lid and gently placed it inside, next to the other, larger ribbon. Bringing the box up to her lips, she whispered something inside and blew a kiss. Quickly she put the lid back on.

    Then Emma started to cry.

  6. Reverie – by Monique Rioux

    Reverie of leaving looking backward
    The wisp of hair across her face
    And that sweet sweet boy pedaling after fast as he could
    Pulling away, a finger traces a heart in the frost of the rear window
    Leaving looking backward
    Flecked reflections of light as dewy necklaces drape
    In strands upon long green rows of trimmed grapevines
    Cinch their gnarled and twisted finger roots deep down
    Long green rows slope into the valley below
    And whisper an old name to you
    Reverie of leaving looking sideways
    Makes slow motion clips
    Each snapshot blurs the still
    The conductor whistles the signal from the quai, two pairs of eyes
    Resigned to circumstance
    The ground slips underneath
    Pushing distance and a dull ache
    Into the space between
    Reverie of leaving looking forward
    Dare or don’t dare to turn around
    There are no replay buttons, no sound loops
    Memories project Van Gogh colors
    Upon a once darkened wall;
    They slice the space with muted liquid landscapes and faces
    Keep walking
    Hopes dry faster into the wind.

  7. Suburban Attic:


    As a girl, Jeff’s mother collected porcelain dolls. She told Lisa about this when she first started going over Jeff’s house, when she was in the second grade. Lisa had a little doll made of fabric. The doll’s clothes were shabby and her face was plain and ugly. She envied the thought of the porcelain dolls, ornate and almost lifelike, with sparkles in their eyes. She never saw any evidence of the collection until this day. Carefully, with her back bent and her head down, she followed Jeff’s dirty sneakers over the rackety wooden beams until they reached a clear spot. There was a filthy window through which light shone sparsely. About half of the attic could be seen thanks to this one bit of light. Jeff’s face, expectant and soft, was less than a foot from hers. Beyond his face was the infamous collection of porcelain dolls, covered over with dust. On their faces was abuse and shame. Lisa felt a twinge of fear in her stomach.
    “Look at this,” Jeff said quietly, as if his mother were already home. His eyes fell. In the spot where they stood lay a blanket and a candy wrapper. It became apparent that Jeff’s mother used to come up here herself, to hide.
    “Looks like your mom found this spot before we did,” Lisa said. “She hasn’t been up here in a while, though. Everything’s so neglected.” By everything she meant the dolls. She felt an unexplainable amount of guilt whenever she looked at them, but she didn’t know why.
    Jeff looked at her for a moment and said, “Well, we’re here now. We’ll fix it up.” This settled Lisa’s nerves a bit. Again he was her friend. They were going on another adventure. They had discovered an abandoned house, full of curiously placed objects and toys. Using these things, they would discover who the previous inhabitants were and why they left. They would assume their names, and no one would ever find them. “Lisa,” Jeff said, as he placed his cold hands on her bare shoulders. “I want to see you.” Nervously, she began to unbutton her shirt. Her blood boiled and she felt hot, even though the attic was cold. She threw her tank top on the floor. His fingers began to unbutton her pants, and she could still see the dolls eyes, watching. Alarmed, they stared at her through their fog of dust. A moment later, just as Jeff was sliding down her jeans, a car pulled into the driveway. “Shit, Lisa! It’s my mom!” She scrambled to get dressed, knowing that his mother already knew what was going on. Knowing that there was nowhere to hide.

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