Monday, April 20, 2009

Dark, Stormy Night

It was a dark, stormy night. The ominous clouds hung low as dogs howled at the moon in the deepening sky. Rain, dropping noiselessly from shining leaves, landed lightly on the forest floor while thunder growled with a vengeance that threatened to disturb the dead.  In the distance the castle sat alone, dark, but for a single flickering light glowing warmly in the tower.

Are you hooked?  Didn't think so.  I'm sitting here on my bed wondering what on earth to say and write when I realized the commotion going on outside.  It was beautiful.  Thunder rumbling and rolling.....moving out of town, and trying to be quiet in the process.  It's been raining peacefully all day and it wasn't until after dark that the grumbling began...creating an eerily romantic mood in the house.  So, being the nerd that I am, googled "dark stormy night" and was thrilled to see the pictures it produced.  I dragged six or seven to my desktop 'just because' then pondered how awesome they would have been when I taught Creative Writing years back. 

There was one activity I loved to use with the high school kids because it generally made for entertaining and descriptive writing.  I had collected about forty thought-provoking photos and would pass one to each of the kids in the class.  They would write about their photo for two-three minutes then pass it to the student behind them.  You had to incorporate each new photo into your story as it was passed to you in a way that made sense (more or less).  We would do this about six times..depending on how many kids were in each row.  Anyway, this activity usually produced a one-two page story that the kids would then share with the class.  As each student read aloud, a classmate from their row would raise the picture up so the class could see when and how it made it's appearance in the story.  It was fun to observe how each row of kids came up with such strikingly different ideas, though they each used the same six photos.   

I miss teaching school.  Just last week I got an announcement from one of my students who is graduating from law school.  I couldn't believe it! I was her fifth grade English teacher and it warmed my heart that she thought to send me one.  It did make me feel mighty old though.

Memories.  It's funny what triggers them.


Mrs. Organic said...

What a great idea. I should try that with my kids and see what they come up with.

VEGAS VIC said...

I wish I had been there for the storm. Liked the photos too.

Jayne Layne said...

I was getting hooked, you should have kept going.

Jek said...

That creative writing assignment would have given me an ulcer right there in the middle of class.

jill said...

You grabbed me with the beginnings of your story...What a great idea, I loved Creative Writing and I never knew you taught it.

Suzanne said...

Creative Writing? Ohhh, I miss writing like that. Haven't done anything fun since collage. Now I know why you are such a great writer! Great post and great pics! -Suzanne

Ann Marie said...

Why not do posts like that?
Find a picture and then tell people to post their thoughts without reading the previous ones until after we publish our comment.. It would be kind cool.

You are a talented chic..
I love it when you write..

Thanks for all of your kind words, comments and e-mails. XO ~ Ann