Monday Morning Warm-Up:
Think of someone you love or have loved (or detested, that can be fun too!) and make a list poem like the one above, describing all of the traits that made that person special, unique, memorable, frightening (you get the picture). Try to avoid clichés. Instead, give us specific tidbits that show how the person's eyes sparkled rather than say they did--don't fail at it like me! :-) Once you have your list, circle your favorites. Think about why you like those the best. Now try to use similar ones to describe the characters in your works in progress. Give them their own particularities that might reveal something deeper about their personalities. But mostly, as I said last week, try to have FUN!
My Grandma Ungemach
She loved to spoil us with all kinds of treats
even though my parents had asked her not to.
Because she had six living children
she had nineteen grandchildren
but each one was special to her.
She worried about me if I was pale
because once I had to be taken to the emergency room from her house,
I had stopped breathing because I had severe bronchitis.
She brought me a little red fur doll when she visited the hospital that I treasured for years.
She would like to sneak us a piece of Wrigley spearmint gum during the offering in church from her vast and bottomless purse.
She had a comfortable matronly figure and always kept a handkerchief in the opening of her dress for needed times.
She lived in a large rambling old house down by Lake Michigan,
so the house had musty smell I still think of today if I catch a whiff somewhere.
She was a Gold star mother because her son disappeared during a bombing raid during WW II.
She never got over his death but the benefits she rec’d allowed her to live comfortably for the first time in her married life.
Grandma was a German American farm girl from Freistadt, Wisconsin.
She came to the city with her sisters to work as a nanny for a wealthy family.
She met my grandpa at church and they were sweethearts while he fought in WW I.
He gave her a beautiful ruby ring before he left and we have love letters that she wrote to him then in her spidery handwriting.
When he returned they married and had seven children, losing one to spinal bifida.
Her life was difficult with my grandpa because he drank too much beer like so many others of his generation, but her love for him never wavered.
Her son, my father, said of her in his old age, “She was the most wonderful woman that ever lived.” (Which is quite a tribute because he (and his brothers) are somewhat curmudgeonly.)
Her children went so many different directions, some successful, some dysfunctional but she loved and supported them all through everything.
The week before she died we went on a picnic at Petrified Springs and she talked of her life and I was so mesmerized that I forgot to go play on the playground.
She entered the hospital for a non-life threatening issue but made my aunt take her purse because she knew she wasn’t coming home.
After her funeral the family gathered for a meal and began to celebrate her life, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t understand how they could laugh and go on with their lives with her gone.
I had her in my life for 12 blessed years, and I have lived with her memory in my heart for 42 more years.