Exercise 1 part 2: A strong emotion

The last week has been so weighted, so heavy with sorrow and yet growing with hope too. With current events still in the front of my mind, I’ve tried to resume some artistic activities. So, a day late, but here it is – the next writing exercise from Steering the Craft.

Background: I’ve been working through Ursula K. Le Guin’s excellent Steering the Craft: A 21st-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story. Always glad for feedback or comments! (And if you feel inspired to join in – even better!!)

From Chapter 1: The Sound of Your Writing
Part 2: In a paragraph or so, describe an action or a person feeling a strong emotion – joy, fear, grief. Try to make the rhythm and movement of the sentences embody or represent the physical reality you’re writing about. ” -Steering the Craft, Page 9.

This one definitely didn’t come from personal experience – no lotto jackpots here!

“As the fourth number matched, Madge’s ears began to ring and the background sounds of the room, of the house, receded. It’s not real, not happening, not possible – and yet, now the placid female voice of the lotto announcer was saying the fifth number. 37. How could the lotto people have known that Madge chose that number for the number of years she’d been married? For 37 years of a difficult marriage – not abusive or anything like that – but Carsten was a stubborn, insensitive man and a trying partner. Her hands were numb and she felt faint. The last number was called: 57. It was exactly how old Madge was two days ago when she bought the ticket. She had stood at the parti-color flashing lotto machine and debated: is it bad luck to put her age now even though she would turn 58 tomorrow?

She rose from her chair, mouth a lifesaver O, eyes wide with the realization of the finality of the change her life was about to undergo. Eyes dilated discs like the damned, the condemned, the saved, or like someone who had just won $400 million dollars.”

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