Part II: Punctuation?!

Hey everyone!

It’s time for another “Catapult Class Writing Prompt”!

I’ve been spending this Saturday reading Love and Olives, which I’ve been enjoying very much after reading Love and Gelato. My anxiety has been high for the last week or so, and my current fixation is “books that take place in Greece”. I also read My Mamma Mia Summer. So, if you’re looking for something lighthearted and fun, I highly suggest these two titles. They’ve really helped me get out of my head for a little while.

What I really should be doing instead of reading is writing my flash fiction piece for NYC Midnight. But I still have another 24+ hours before that’s due right? *insert sly smile emoji*

So, this week’s writing prompt with Catapult had to do with punctuation. Now, before I give the prompt, I want to give fair warning – even though I was an English teacher for 13 years…I am not good with grammar conventions or punctuation.

It was always funny when I would tell people what I did for a living and their response would be, “I need to watch how I speak so you don’t judge my grammar!”

To which I’d smile politely and think, “If they only knew that I have no idea how to use a semicolon.”

I say all this to say: don’t come for my lack of punctuational understanding. Let’s just be friends, comma splices and all.

And, as always, feel free to use the prompt if it moves you and leave comments to tell me about your own writing journey!

This week’s class prompt was: Choose a single form of punctuation that’s not a period or comma. Then write a story where that’s THE ONLY punctuation you use for the entire story.

This is what I wrote.

Summer – she sits at the plastic table covered in a seashell print table cloth – relics of a sea she hasn’t seen in years – is it years – was it last year – when she went down the shore in November with an old friend she can still remember meeting for the first time – they played games on the empty boardwalk and ate slices of pizza the size of blue whales and sat in the sand on a turquoise sheet she’d brought from home – it was November – the end was only an imaginary game – health insurance – what will you do to make up your salary – I’ll find a way – she sits in the backyard watching the leaves shiver in a heatwave breeze dappled in sunlight and it doesn’t feel the way she thought it would – to be free but not – to have summer time – to have summer time but no sea – will she just have to wait for fall to feel the relief she’s still waiting for –

Until next week friends! May your week be filled with words and everything that gives you joy.

Published by Robyn Neilsen

I am a writer and educator based out of New Jersey. My creative nonfiction essays and flash fiction stories have been published by Thought Catalog, Vocal Media, and On Mogul. As a lifelong learner, I enjoy honing my craft through writing workshops with LA Writers Group, Gotham Writers, and The Moth. I am currently querying my first novel and am actively working on my second.

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