Posts Tagged ‘write around portland’

You can’t tell by looking

that her weathered face has seen harsh times.

You can’t tell by looking

that her heart bears many fractures.

You can’t tell by looking

that healing has taken much more than time.

You can’t tell by looking that this woman is strong;

that this woman is determined.

You can’t tell by looking that this woman has survived.

She will survive—always.  That’s who she is.

You can’t tell by looking.

Note:  This was the result of a picture prompt at a recent workshop.  The picture showed a small, older woman in an elevator with a young couple standing behind her and smirking at her.  The prompt we were given was “you can’t tell by looking.”

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Note: This is a short piece I wrote at a recent writing workshop.  The prompt was to write either about “Saturday mornings” or “On my way here”.  It was a seven minute write.  Here’s what happened:

On my way here I thought about Saturdays and Saturday mornings and how the day has changed or what I do on this day has changed from year to year.

Growing up I remember not liking Saturdays because there was no school on Saturday and I loved school.  Later on I looked forward to Saturday evenings because I would get to do things—fun things—with my sisters.  We might go to a school sponsored event or we might go to the drive-in, or to a dance.

As a mom, I looked forward to Saturday morning because it was a day to sleep in and spend lots of time with my kids.  I remember waking up and hearing the slight sound of Saturday morning cartoons playing on the TV in the den, next to the master bedroom.  The kids would get up and turn on the cartoons for themselves, turning the volume down low and letting Mom and Dad sleep in—at least sleep in until they could not agree on which cartoon to watch.  That’s when they would come running in to Mom and Dad to settle the dispute.

When the kids were older, in high school, there were always places they had to go to meet with school mates for homework or to see some specific place for background info for school.  Sometimes it meant taking a carload of their friends some place for some school activity for extra credit.  I also remember taking them to cultural events like a cinco de mayo carnival or a dies y seis de septiembre festival.  Saturday nights were for drive-in movies if they had nothing to do for school.

Then they were gone and all there is left is quiet as I wake up to an empty house with only me on Saturday mornings.

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When I first moved here in August of 2008, one of the first things I did was try to find some writing workshops or a writing group.  I didn’t find much.  Everything was too pricey and/or too far away from, while some met at times that were difficult for me to meet.

While looking, I did find one organization called Write Around Portland that looked like a group I would want to be involved with.  They do excellent work.  Write Around Portland provides writing workshops for the underserved populations of Portland, including youth, victims of violent crime, victims of domestic abuse, chronically ill, senior citizens, and others.  All of the workshops they provide for these groups are free of charge.  They even furnish a notebook and ink pen for each participant and if participants need a bus ticket to get to the workshop, they provide that, too.  In addition, Write Around Portland also provides pay workshops once a month at a couple of businesses in town.  Payment for these workshops is on a sliding scale.   There are also ten week classes which are a little too pricey for me to attend but perhaps one day.

It took a while for me to participate in any of Write Around Portland’s workshops but finally, this past week I found one I could attend.  It was on Saturday, in the middle of the day, about a twenty minute drive from me.

Although it was a positive experience, the setting wasn’t exactly ideal.  It was at a coffee shop that caters to young children and their parents so on the first Saturday with decent weather in many, many weeks, the place was overrun by very loud toddlers and their parents.  However, I did get to practice some writing and I got some immediate feedback for it, too.  I also met at least one woman who was very interesting.

Another day I will post the writing pieces that came from the Saturday Write with Write Around Portland.  For now, I can’t wait for another Write Around Portland event!

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