Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Thank you everyone out there who let me know that Friday's writing prompt made you really think about hands. One person told me about scars, another said that when she looked at her hands she saw her grandmother's, and that made me think about grandmothers. Normally, when we think about our grandmothers, we have warm loving feelings about someone who is generous with her love and forgiving of our faults. My grandmother was like that; her name was Clara and she's the one who named me. I love my name! But grandmothers are also someone we have special names for. We called ours, Gramma--a nice soft name, a name filled with affection.
So I started thinking about my grandmother's name, and then I thought suppose she'd had a different name. Suppose her name was Ruby or Priscilla or Helga. Well, they are perfectly good names, but would one of those names make her a different sort of grandmother?
Hattie meets her only grandmother for the first time in Hill Hawk Hattie. Her grandmother's name is Hortensia Holmes Greymoor, which Hattie thinks makes a windy hollow sound in her mouth. No surprise that Hortensia insists (in a frosty tone, a chilling voice) that Hattie call her, "Grandmother", enunciating all the syllables in a very formal way.
But lots of grandmothers are called by other names. Would Ruby want to be called Granny? Helga would definitely want to be called Grandmutter. One of my favorite and surprising names for a grandmother is in the book Midnight Blue by Pauline Fisk. You know what sort of grandmother she is as soon as her granddaughter refers to her as "Grandbag". I love that name. It makes me laugh every time I read it--the name not the grandmother.
So here's your writing prompt:
Part A: Come up with a delicious list of 5 first names and then decide what would be the appropriate Grandmother name for that person.
Part B: Okay now you have your list. Pick one or two of the names and write a paragraph describing what that grandmother is like--notice her hands, too. Don't forget to use your senses, use at least four--touch, sound, sight, and smell. We often associate smell with grandmothers--camphor or moth balls or peppermint or the smell of cookies baking, maybe your very favorite kind because you are going to see her. To all of that add a good dose of love and whimsy!
Stay tuned for the very important BOOK REVIEW on Friday. Happy writing!