Lunch Posts

So I’ve done better this week, in that at least I’ve posted an entry.

This weeks challenge was ‘Lunch Posts’. My posting is a pure work of fiction and is in no way based on actual events. Or something like that…

At my desk, drinking my slim-fast shake,
Listening to a colleague, moaning about mistakes others make
The rain rattling against our office tin roof
Looking at another creative proof
The data is ready for another rushed send
QC, what QC, oh, let’s just pretend
After a hectic morning, not much to show
Sitting here guessing which colleague will be next to go.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts

Having utterly failed last week with the Hunter S. Thompson challenge, this weeks should be achievable.  I’m blaming being on holiday anyway for last week, not a lack of creativity, honest guv!

This weeks challenge.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/weekly-writing-challenge-lunch-posts/

***

Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts

by Erica on January 20, 2014

As a teenager, my first job was in a food court on the Ocean City, New Jersey boardwalk. The mornings were slow and spent prepping for the inevitable lunch rush. During those quiet moments, I often found myself watching our customers. The married couple who were clearly fighting and sitting at separate tables. The family with the sullen teenager sulking over a slice of pizza. The joyful students just visiting for a day to work on their tans. People watching, even when on the job, is excellent fodder for writing. 

A LITERARY SIDE DISH

During my breaks, I’d often grab one of the notebooks I took orders on and would scribble down a few words. Years later, I came across the poet Frank O’Hara and his Lunch PoemsIn 1959, O’Hara wrote in Adieu to Norman, Bonjour to Joan and Jean-Paul:

It is 12:10 in New York and I am wondering
if I will finish this in time to meet Norman for lunch
ah lunch! I think I am going crazy
what with my terrible hangover and the weekend coming up

In just a few lines, O’Hara captures the nervousness and frenzy of daily life in New York City, balancing social plans and the desire to catch a break over a meal with friends. Over the course of roughly 10 years, from 1953 to 1964, O’Hara scribbled down these daily observations in Lunch Poems. Most of his pieces were about New York City, his life and friends, pop cultural references of the time, and many of these poems were written during his lunch hour. It’s been said that O’Hara arguably took a more casual and informal approach to the fine craft of writing, writing down his observational pieces when the mood struck him.

There’s an element of freedom that comes with eschewing expectations and letting the words come to you when you have a free moment, whether that be five or 50 minutes of your own, personal time. A snippet of a paragraph here, a short poem there, until the work builds upon itself and you have a brief remembrance of the moment in time you etched down in your own words.

TAKE A BITE OUT OF THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE

For this week’s writing challenge, take a cue from O’Hara and write a short(er) post during your lunch hour. During this limited period of time, take a look at your surroundings and document what you see.

  • Are your coworkers dancing around the office, rushing to and fro with purpose?
  • Are you waiting in line for your food, when the family in front of you offers some endearing gesture to their little ones?
  • Or are you at home with your own children, and can’t help but notice the way the afternoon light glimmers on your son or daughter’s face while eating their lunch?

If you’re feeling ambitious, aim to write additional posts during your break, up to every day if you’re on a roll. For our champion lunch-time writers who post every day this week, we’d love to hear your reflections on the experience.

Of course, it doesn’t necessarily have to be on your lunch break either. Try jotting down your momentary observations just before bed, while on the train home from work, or during any of those lost hours where we stare off into space instead of centering ourselves and reflecting on what’s going on around us.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Three Ways to Go Gonzo

This weeks writing challenge is going to be a bit different… Have a vague idea what i’ll do, but quite tricky but with a lot of scope..

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/13/gonzo-writing-challenge/

LET’S GO GONZO (WITHOUT THE LSD)

by Krista on January 13, 2014

Hunter S. Thomspon, father of Gonzo journalism.

Hunter S. Thomspon, father of Gonzo journalism.

Hunter S. Thompson was an American author and writer. (He was also a drug enthusiast, among other things, but that’s another story for another day.) His infamous, detail-dense, first-person narrative, The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved, spawned a genre of reporting called Gonzo journalism. Gonzo journalism differs from typical reporting in that Gonzo journalists renounce claims of objectivity, often place themselves in the story as a first-person narrator, and include verbatim dialogue to capture and convey their first-hand experiences. The work can often have a “stream-of-consciousness” feel to it.

onsider this passage from the opening of The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved:

In the air-conditioned lounge I met a man from Houston who said his name was something or other — “but just call me Jimbo” — and he was here to get it on. “I’m ready for anything, by God! Anything at all. Yeah, what are you drinkin?” I ordered a Margarita with ice, but he wouldn’t hear of it: “Naw, naw…what the hell kind of drink is that for Kentucky Derby time? What’s wrong with you, boy?” He grinned and winked at the bartender. “Goddam, we gotta educate this boy. Get him some good whiskey

“Say,” he said, “you look like you might be in the horse business…am I right?”

“No,” I said. “I’m a photographer.”

“Oh yeah?” He eyed my ragged leather bag with new interest. “Is that what you got there — cameras? Who you work for?”

Playboy,” I said.

He laughed. “Well goddam! What are you gonna take pictures of — nekkid horses? Haw! I guess you’ll be workin’ pretty hard when they run the Kentucky Oaks. That’s a race jut for fillies.” He was laughing wildly. “Hell yes! And they’ll all be nekkid too!”

In this scenario, Thompson reports on meeting a stranger headed to the Kentucky Derby. Examine the passage closely. What impression do you get of “Jimbo,” based on Thompson’s account? Consider Jimbo’s language. He drops the letter “g” from “working.” He uses profanity. He doesn’t say, “naked horses,” he says “nekkid horses.”

If you pay attention to the details, a compelling picture of the Kentucky Derby begins to emerge — one that doesn’t necessarily match the decorum we typically associate with a prestigious horse race. You can read the entire piece if you like.

In summary, the basic hallmarks of Gonzo journalism are:

AND NOW FOR THE CHALLENGE PART

Gonzo, yes, but not a journalist.

Gonzo, yes, but not a journalist.

There are three different ways to participate in today’s challenge. The goal is to stretch your writing style by experimenting with and emulating a new form. As always, the goal of any writing challenge is to get you writing. You’re welcome to adapt the challenge to your needs as you see fit. For example, you may choose to include only one, two, or all three hallmarks of Gonzo journalism listed above in your post.

  • Report on one event/gathering/happening from your week in Gonzo journalism style. The event can be anything from your life: a slice of your weekly drawing class, the conversation between the butcher and the man buying stewing beef at the meat counter in your local grocery store, or what you observe and hear while you’re at the gas station filling up. Cram as many details in as you can. Record any dialogue as accurately as possible: include pauses, slang, stumbles, inflection, etc. Your post needs to be a minimum of three paragraphs long.
  • Write at least three paragraphs reporting on a scenario that you imagine in Gonzo journalism style.
  • Choose one of the following three scenarios. Imagine the scenario taking place in as great a detail as your brain will allow. Write at least three paragraphs reporting on the scenario in Gonzo journalism style.Scenarios:
    1. You’re standing on a busy street corner. A car runs a red light, hitting a cyclist crossing the intersection.
    2. You’re waiting at gate 23 at John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport’s Terminal 7 to board an Air Canada flight to Vancouver. The flight has been delayed two hours so far. The gate agent announces a further three-hour delay before take off. To your right sits an elderly couple. She’s in a wheelchair. To the left, a family of four, with a boy, aged five and a newborn infant girl.
    3. You’re in a street-side café in San Diego, California. The couple seated at the next table is breaking up.

First writing challenge – Indigo Gym

“Oh my goodness, that feels amazing. Don’t stop. Yes, there, that’s it, push back a little, more, harder, ouch, ow that smarts, OW, OOOWW!!!. JESSIE, THAT HURTS!!! ”

“Sorry Violet, for some reason I was getting distracted … ooo, ouch, ahhh, that’s nice, faster, harder, that’s the spot, yes yes yes yessssssssss.… you know you were making sex noises right…”

Cramp

“I was not, I wasn’t, ooooohhhh god, I was…wasn’t I, am I turning red, I am aren’t I, I’m buring up, I bet I look like a bloody wino, blotchy and ..and burgundy”.

“Weeeellllll – have to say sweetie, it’s certainly an usual response to cramp, but who is there to be embraced by…lil old me? You know I like making you squeal, right! Ooo hard, more, push it, oooo oooo“

“Well my legs fine now, you can stop the Chinese ballet coach’s stretching routine now. Seriously they should get you over to CUBA, you’d be a hit with the guards at Gitmo.. the cramps gone, but Jesus Jessie, that hurt.. and also…stop the other stuff too”

“Ah baby girl, am I making you blue?…are you sad that little ol Jessie won’t walk the talk with you?”

“Stop it!. I’m not kidding, it’s not funny. You know how green he gets. If he walks in and sees you like this, cooing all over me, he’ll, well you know him, he wont like it Okay.”

“Whatever!   ***Sigh***          Up you get then, no rest for the wicked, your cramp’s gone, we’ll do some weights, get rid of those bingo wings and all, wouldn’t want you getting all flabby on his ass now would we. He wouldn’t like THAT!”

“STOP. IT!”

“God you confuse me, but you make me laugh when you’re mad. Why him

Weight Machine

Violet? You can do so much better. Jeee, you could almost turn me…and the way he treats you….anyway….not my business… over to the bench press, lets see if we can put some weights on the bar today…”

***

Sitting alone, Daren starred at the wall. He was wearing orange trousers, white trainers, a tight fitting white and pale blue stripped shirt, top three buttons undone, as ever. His hair, wet-look, gleaming. Tears stream down his face. “I. DO. NOT. UNDERSTAND” he pants. Bored, Paul gets up, strolls over to him, grabs his unbuttoned shirt, and pulls him to his feet.

“Cmon, let’s go for a pint, you can’t let her keep doing this”