7 minute free write based on a prompt

The following was a 7 minute free write based on a prompt from one of the guerilla writers. Very minimally tweaked, so it’s pretty much as it was when I shared it. It was fun and relaxed and the words just happened. While the prompt was something else entirely, I wanted to share an image to go along with this piece as we found mushrooms growing in our garden. Sprung up at the base of one of our baby hedge. It was an exciting discovery. They’re still there, by the way.

Falling down to the ground, the earth subsuming the body, taking the all that is me and I am taken down into the roots, into the deep, into the soft, mushy loam where the body, like compost becomes food and home for growing things, for mushroom and mold, for creeping and crawling things and all that earth needs in order to grow. 

Here, in the hollow of my chest, grow you, fungi. Spread through my veins, the springing out lines and roots of you, spreading and flowing from fingers where flesh melts away to soft mush, to become part and parcel of the network.

Burrowing in the hollows and the crevices of my skull, peek through the sockets where eye flesh once was. See and know the world as seen and known by you who creep and crawl about beneath the roots of trees and grasses and the world above.

I sink beneath to where there is no partition between you and I, where the border between my flesh and earth’s flesh is no more.

I become, mulch and fertilizer, part of the network, one with the spores floating and flying on the air, blown about to various places where there are other bodies too. Simply waiting to be found, to be called, to be summoned.

Come.

I join my voice to the voice of the spores, to the summoning of the moldy leaves and the comforting chill of earth.

Come, we say.

Be with us. Be down under the roots. Be food for earth, for trees, for plants for fungi, for mold, for all that creeps and crawls. In surrendering to decay, be life.

a fun update

I’m in the throes of writing again. I don’t think I’ve ever really stopped. I might have taken pauses in between, but as one great writer said to me: even when you’re not at your desk, you’re never not writing. I think this is true, because sometimes my work follows me into the dream world and I wake up trying to grab hold of words and images before they get chased away by the busy round that comes with being the mom of a high school kid and one college aged young man.

I am feeling joyful about my boys these days. I mean, there was a time when I wondered if we would ever be all right again and here we are–it’s 2021. We went through a pandemic and my boys are noisy and cheerful and active when we get together. I suppose it’s to be expected. I have one ADHD child and one ADD child on the spectrum, but together they can get pretty rambunctious. Add one ADHD mom into the mix, and well…you can imagine what dinnertime can be like. Anyway, both of my sons are inveterate gamers (when not studying) and I find myself turning into the pestering parent who tells her sons to: ‘please read this book I lent you, it’s really good.’

One of my conversation staples is: ‘did you read the book I lent you?’

If they tell me they’ve read a few chapters, that makes me happy.

Recently, I started leading a writing workshop for youngsters 14-21 years old. It was one of those accidental moments where you propose a thing, one thing leads to another and before you know it, you’re on discord doing voice chat workshops. I sort of dragged my boys into participating and it’s turning out to be a really fun ride. I’ve been given permission to share eldest son’s piece from one of the exercises we did which was set in a shared world setting where humans and nonhumans are experiencing the effects of being exposed to toxic waste.

The Assignment: Write a short piece from the perspective of an animal in this world that’s been affected by toxic waste

Boss! Boss nice! Nice boss. I like boss.

“Go on, fetch boy.”

Toy fly! Wow wow wow! Catch toy. Catch toy!

“Git it boy! Git it!”

Toy land. Get toy get toy.

Smell. Smell? Weird smell. Must get smell.

Weird thing. Taste thing? Weird taste. Not nice.

“Where you at, boy?”

Not nice. Angry. Hungry.

“What’s wrong, boy?”

Not angry. Wait. Angry. Very angry. Not happy. Must eat food.

“Where you goin’, boy?”

Need eat, must eat. Where food?

Field has food. Eat food.

“Stop boy! Farmer Johnson’ll put you down if you dig up his crops!”

Stop drag. Boss. Need food. Boss stop. Bite boss.

“Augh! What the hell, boy!”

Boss angry, not happy. Boss not nice. Bite boss more.

“HEY! HEY! Stop that BOY!”

Hungry. Must bite. Crop food? Food? Crop. . . Boss?

-published with permission, J.J. Loenen, 2021-