27 Mar Slice of Life: The Creativity Project Inspired Me to Play with Fiction #SOL18
Yesterday, we sliced about a new book – The Creativity Project, edited by Colby Sharp. Today, I decided to use one of the prompts from this book to inspire my slice of life. I found the process of using these prompts fascinating as a writer. This something I have never done before to inspire ideas – I always look to life for my topics. These prompts pushed me to sketch which I never do. These prompts pushed me to think about writing fiction which I rarely do. They pushed me to think about topics I had forgotten. One prompt invited me to reopen an idea I had been playing with a couple of years ago. Here is the prompt:
Here is my response – the beginning of a short fictional piece:
“One more minute!” I yell.
“Michael, dinner is getting cold!” my mom’s voice lets me know she means business. “Now….”
I try to make my way out of the tire fort without taking my eyes off my book. I need to find out if the aliens are going to invade the school before I go to dinner. Just when the aliens are about to transform themselves into students so they can invade the school my foot catches the edge of a rock and I face plant into a huge puddle.
“Oh man!” I hurriedly shake the water off the pages, wipe the mud off and read the final paragraph in my book. Whoa, that was a good ending. I didn’t see that coming at all. I pause to replay the ending in my mind.
“What are you doing now?” my mother pleads as she watches me head to over to the mudroom.
“Can we go to the library now?” I ask, knowing I am pressing my luck.
“Are you kidding me? Dinner. Right. NOW!” Mom insists trying to hide her smile.
“Wash your hands,” she reminds me.
I wipe my hands on my pants hoping she doesn’t notice and head over to the dinner table. “Why can’t we go to the library tonight? I have to get the next book in the series and find out what happens when the aliens invade the school.”
“For starters, the library is closed for the night… and we are eating dinner.”
“Can we go tomorrow?” I persist.
She nods her head yes and reminds me, “Don’t talk with your mouth full, Michael.”
The next morning, I wake up early, race through my chores, grab my book and head out to the car. The library opens in fifteen minutes. I want to get there when it opens so I can get the next book in the series. Where is she? “Mom. Are you ready to go? I’m ready!”
“Michael, I love your excitement for reading but there are other things that need to get done around this house.”
“I will help when we get home. I proooooomise.”
Mom gets in the car. Finally, we are on our way.
We enter the parking lot and I can practically feel the next book in my hand. I unclip my seatbelt, open the door and make my way to the front door before my mom has the car in park.
“Wait up. I have your library card with me,” Mom yells running to catch up.
I can’t believe my eyes. “WHAT???!!! NO way! How can they do this? Is this legal? We should call the police?” I shout.
Mom only catches the word police and worry immediately sinks in. “What’s wrong? Did you say police? Why do we need police?”
“Look!” I point to the sign posted on the front door.
“What am I going to do now? I need to find out what happens with the aliens. TODAY!!! Can we go to another library? Can we go to the bookstore?”
“Not today Michael. We don’t know if the other libraries are closed or if the bookstore even has the book you are looking for.”
“But you promised me!” I plead.
“I promised I would take you to the library and I did. You can get the next book in the series tomorrow at school. You have other books you can read at home.”
“Tomorrow?” She doesn’t understand that tomorrow is an eternity when you are ready for the next book in the series you are reading.
I can barely contain myself when I get to school the next day. I need to find the book and I need to find out what is going on with the library. I put my things away, sign up for lunch and make my way to the meeting area. Morning meeting is just starting. I know I shouldn’t interrupt but this is too important to wait. My teacher would want to know.
“Did you hear about the library?” I interject.
“Michael, I want to hear about the library. We will have time for sharing news at the end of meeting.” my teacher explains.
“This can’t wait! It needs to be on the agenda! Someone stole the library.”
A rush of energy surges through the group assembled on the rug. Questions abound and my classmates break into conversation. Ms. Sue knows there is no getting this train back in the station so she decides to go with it.
“The library is shut down. Closed. No longer open for business. This means YOU!! We cannot get books.” I look each classmate directly in the eye to ensure they understand this is about them.
No one says a thing. This is not the response I am expecting.
“Can you hear me? NO BOOKS! Summer is just around the corner. No school. No library. NO BOOKS! Do you get what I’m saying?”
<To Be Continued>
The Creativity Project truly has so many opportunities waiting for you in its pages. (If you want to know more about it, check out this post.) You will see first-hand the prompts beloved authors created and how they responded to the prompts of fellow writers. It is a wonderful example of collaboration and community for the pure joy of reading, writing, and response. Linda Urban sums it up best in her author’s note, “The project isn’t called the Perfection Project or the Judgment Project or the Published Authors Can Do No Wrong Project. It is the Creativity Project. I stretched my creativity a little here, to try to finish a short story. I’m going to call that a success. Now, how about you?” (p. 181)
Now, how about YOU? Give it a go, create, you won’t regret it! Thank you, Colby Sharp for envisioning this space for all of us to remember the power of playing and connecting through creativity.