Words @ Play: Kids, flex your writing muscles!

Welcome to Words @ Play! Let's jump in!

I'm Jennifer J. Stewart, the Library's Writer in Residence, or as it has turned out the Library's Writer in Non-Residence. Plans I'd had for this summer, including meeting you in person during my library office hours, got scrapped. A bunch of things have probably changed in your life, too, but we can still have fun together!

Let's flex our writing muscles with an exercise. Oscar Wilde wrote:

I am a ship without a rudder in a night without a star.

What's Oscar saying? Simply, he is lost. But, he does it without using that word. He fancies it up by using a metaphor instead. A metaphor is a creative way to compare two things, often with exaggeration. Oscar isn't just lost. He's comparing himself to a ship which can't be steered because it's missing a rudder, plus it's completely dark with not a single star to navigate by—a double whammy.

A metaphor is handy to have in your writer's toolbox. Now you try. First off, pick a strong feeling. Then turn it into a sentence: I am __________.

Like this: "I am angry."

But, can you say your are angry in a more poetic, more writerly way? Can you fancy it up?

I am a volcano erupting with red hot words. Danger! Come too close and they will burn you. 

Your pen is a magic wand. Yes, this is also a metaphor! But, writing IS magical

Now you try. Pick an emotion and go off and do your creative thing. When you're done, please email what you wrote to writerinres@pima.gov (that's me!). Like the PCPL Haiku Challenge this spring, your writing might be featured on the Library's Facebook and Instagram pages. If you just want to show me, but you don't want your work published, please say so.

I look forward to reading what you've written!

-Jennifer J.

P.S. If you want more writing exercises, Neon Words by Marge Pellegrino and Kay Sather is filled with them. 

Neon Words

P.P.S. Don't miss my workshop, Story Writing Playshop for Children and Teens, on Saturday, July 25 from 10 to 11:30. This workshop will be conducted online via Zoom. Participants must register in advance.

More Writer in Residence posts by Jennifer J. Stewart: