My first 3-pages are such a letter home. In it's original form it was about 6 pages long - and repetitive. In reformatting it, I realized it was amazingly repetitive in imagery and topic. So I trimmed, trimmed, trimmed.
There were a few good places - but overall, the consensus was "Get Out of the Letter"! It was distancing, stilted, and I was throwing too much information all at once to the reader. (Hi, Blue!) I am happy to have this feed back as I like writing in the 3rd person better, but also enjoyed the "bird" section in the first person. I really don't like this part of the story in a letter. When I get the re-write done, I'll share with you.
Yesterday we were asked to bring in a photo from our childhood - a fairly young picture, and this would be used in a different type of "free-write". Eons ago in High School I was asked to put together a photo collage of "my life" for an English class project. I still have the 13 photos, pasted and grouped together on some chipboard papaer. I gabbed them - and headed for the workshop.
Our instructions were to chose a picture (some, not just me, brought more than one), and then spend 5 minutes staring at it. As we looked at it we were to answer the following questions:
I chose a photo from when I was about 12 years old. I wish I had a scanner, so you could see the picture. Hopefully my words will paint it for you.
He came upon her playing in the water. Mittany sat so still, staring into the pool of summer water. Somehow he knew the toy boat was there just to give me permission to daydream.
The way the sun struck the water and filtered through the leafy bower made Dad lay down his fly rod and reach into his creel for the old Pentax camera. Unaware of her father, listening to the music of the stream, Mit sits at ease with her surroundings. The tree stump was a perfect perch - leaning out into the water. One of the reasons she'd stopped at this place was because the trunk reminded her of a rocking chair sitting in a tilted back orientation to the water. The back was suspended above the water and the rockers were anchored in the earth.
Mittany didn't know it then, but this was a shining moment, like a well-polished piece of stone. This image would be a talisman throughout her life. Stream music, gentle shade, comforting nature, nurturing solitude. What she also wouldn't know until years later was the beauty of herself. That young, coltish girl; thin, relaxed, centered, at peace. This image is a place she always returns to in her writing. It is the genesis of it all.
Edified, nurtured, complete. How wise was her father to capture this moment in time and give her this unknowing gift.