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The Words That Stayed With Me

As I was organizing my office this week to prepare for the new workshop season, I came across a little spiral notebook full of gems. In any AWA workshop, the practice is to write together in response to a particular prompt, read our work aloud if we wish, and then respond to each writer with positive feedback. I like to keep a little notebook to jot down the words or phrases I especially like as each writer reads her (or his) work aloud, and it was this notebook I found in my office excavation—every page full of evocative words, with slashes to mark the work of each new writer.

The notebook is full now, with no more room for this year’s words. But I couldn’t release it until I had captured for you, and for myself, some of the phrases that have stayed with me over the past year or so. Perhaps you’ll find something here that evokes some writing of your own, which would honor the writers, and the Muse, in a most delightful way.

silken heads

boats like tombstones

slivers of glass

black unfillable holes

splash of vanilla

cocoon of elementary school

fathomless freedom

loon’s lone cry

thousand fur-lined rubber boots

tiny mouths seeking sustenance

God came tapping

internal vacancy

caboose unloosed

sheets bleached and pressed

impossibly small feet

searching our way into the hidden and holy

fluid nature of belief

hula hoop champion

ephemera from a long life

blue pressed glass

stinky spoiled fruit

siren of morning

strings of childhood

skinny, bony man-child

word salad

camelback sofa and velvet chairs

hot wax on a pie plate

two-tone station wagon

angry, stinging people

oceans of turquoise, rivers of clay

unsensible shoes

dirty secret mirror

cool Chardonnay under a canopy

soft petals folded into center

star-headed drill bits

business of secrets

white sulphur springs

rotting from the inside

brown envelopes full of mail

pumpkins on porches

crumbling rock stars

leaving takes practice

wild thyme, salvia, geraniums

storms came at night

accordion of my past

savor the City of Light

strummed my fingers through placid water

white cotton slip

friends with bad memories

chowchow, pickles, strawberry jam

all manner of tools

mother’s heart

expired cottage cheese


books like soldiers

one foot frozen by indecision

ripe for writing

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