A Writing Lesson

May 15, 2011

You probably never thought to wonder about how writers practice their craft. Last week I attended a writers’ conference. A few hundred of us chose from more than 190 classes offered during the week on everything from writing fiction to effective marketing. Since my primary objective involved the non-fiction writing (mostly short articles) I do for The Seed Company, I looked for classes about that genre.

One of our homework assignments said: “Choose something you care about, something that’s important to you. Then write about it half a page or so, using words of only one syllable.” Exceptions included names, multi-syllable words of 5 letters or fewer (into, over, area, etc), and contractions. I thought I’d share mine with you  You might like to give this a try. It will stretch your vocabulary and wake up your creativity. Enjoy!

Sketch of a Friend

I met Monet when she was two weeks old. Her long white, black, brown and burnt-red fur caught my eye. I’d not seen such a fun face on a cat, like she smiled all the time! Her pert black nose, round, mint eyes, tiny white toes…a fluff-ball of color. And on her back, she wore a stark, white patch, like an art pad. What a joy—a soft, sweet pile of purr in the palm of my hand.

Now, at nine, she still makes me laugh. She sleeps a lot in the day, but oh how she sleeps! On her side, foot on face, like “leave me be!” On her belly, paws curled, eyes tight. And she snores—slight squeaks and grunts. Her ears turn at small sounds, and those eyes, half- mast, find mine.

My best beast-friend, she’s proved quite smart. She talks at me each night when I ask her if she’ll go to bed. She runs to the door, pulls it open with her paw and—with a dash down the hall—dives into the den to wait for her treats. I get a good rub on the leg, and one of those cute smiles of which I’m so fond. Then I say good night, and close the door. And she starts her night hunt for toy mice, string snakes and cloth balls. They keep her busy while I sleep.