Bad Writing's Born in the Back Seat

Butterfly Bush

You know that when I say bad writing, I mean writing with heart and style— as opposed to 'acceptable' good writing, which often has great power... to bore us.

How is 'bad' writing born?

At our house, where school is not defined by certain days of the week, hours of the day, and rooms of the house or world, 'bad' writing is often born in the back seat. Or over italian food at our favorite restaurant. Or on a walk while the moon peeks out and a warm breeze tickles the night.

It usually starts with my Littlest (now 10!!), who initiates a word game. One of her recent favorites is to play with alliteration in singles or pairs. She'll pick one or two consonants and before we know it, we've been lassoed into another round of playing with words. Here's a little evidence I found of an alliterative free-for-all she and her sister had on their way to get ice cream with Grandpa.

Apparently, all the phrases were code ways to say "We're going for ice cream." Believe me, I wouldn't have guessed it without being told. I took some poetic license and arranged the phrases to my liking. So, in the end, we collaborated on this poetic trip.

"Going for Ice Cream"

We're on our way to
the flower shop, to pick
up a tremendous kettle
of fish, some ticklish
bears, temporary

basalt, a terrible burglar
trapped in a basket, toxic
butter. When we get to the
tippity top of the mountain
there'll be tragic biscuits

terrible barrels of trash
bags, titanic ruins and
(not to be left out of
the excursion), a band
of terrified bathing suits.

— by Sara and Sonia

Butterfly Bush photo by L.L. Barkat.

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Blogger Joelle said...

Sara and Sonia--I love anticipated-icecream on your literary tastebuds!!!! You are mahvelus artists! You might enjoy a buyable game (though no need to spend money with imaginations like yours). Grammar Punk has a terrific Twelve Tall Tales non-board game that is absolutely non-boring, requiring writing and creativity. If nothing else, you might like reading its description and getting more ideas.... http://www.grammarpunk.com/12-tall-tales.php

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yea for ice cream! and for grandpas! and for terribly clever moms and daughters!

9:51 PM  

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