Exercise 1.

            Reanna promised to take her granddaughter on a big trip when she turned ten, but that year Reanna’s son, Leanna’s father, lost his mind. Distressed, Reanna developed a raging interest in redoing the Baptist church basement rec room. Years passed without the trip taking place.

            Leanna would never be so forward as to solicit the promised trip, but a rare visit to Leanna’s rehab facility revived the broken promise in Reanna’s mind. Excited at Leanna’s progress, yet dismayed at the sudden realization of time passed, for Leanna was now fifteen and nearly an adult, Reanna asked, “How about that trip I promised you?”

Exercise 2.

            If she looked at the monument at a certain angle and in a certain light, it changed its appearance, transmogrifying into a prow-like profile, with an androgynous face, ample lips pursed, pointed chin thrust forward, blind eyes seeking.

            People gathered and marveled; they watched her sketch on the very pad which her mother had used decades before when she died in childbirth. In direct sunlight, the profile sank into the stone, but she had captured it on her mother’s pad.

Exercise 3.

How to Rectify Errors

            Analyze the errors. Give full attention to how to make the correction without having to reveal the source of the mistake. Make note of your thoughts in a logical and meaningful progression, without wasting time.

Exercise 4.

            I handed exact change to the acne-scarred, teenaged cashier, slung my bags over my shoulder, and trudged outside to the bus stop. Timothy O’Leary sat on the bench, eating a bag of in-the-shell peanuts. I slid onto the seat next to him and stuffed my bags underneath the bench so that no one would trip over them. He offered a peanut, shaking the bag in my direction. Loose shells fell out. I shook my head. He shrugged and slumped against the bench. He belched with foul breath, reminiscent of a rarely cleaned doghouse. I turned my head away.

Exercise 5.

            I saw Hazel for the first time in the grocery store. I was in the vegetable aisle, near a pyramid of cantaloupes; she was reading the nutrition facts off the side of bottled asparagus. She stunned me. She looked like my younger sister, a sister who didn’t exist outside of my imagination, a fairy tale in my mind, something I’d always wanted, needed; a sister to break the loneliness of being an only child in a divorced family.

Instructor Response

COMMENTS

Exercise 1.

Reanna promised to take her granddaughter on a big trip when she turned ten, but that year Reanna’s son, Leanna’s father, lost his mind. Distressed, Reanna developed a raging interest in redoing the Baptist church basement rec room. Years passed without the trip taking place.

Leanna would never be so forward as to solicit the promised trip, but a rare visit to Leanna’s rehab facility revived the broken promise in Reanna’s mind. Excited at Leanna’s progress, yet dismayed at the sudden realization of time passed, for Leanna was now fifteen and nearly an adult, Reanna asked, “How about that trip I promised you?”  Yes. Very good.

Exercise 2.

If she looked at the monument at a certain angle and in a certain light, it changed its appearance, transmogrifying into a prow-like profile, with an androgynous face, ample lips pursed, pointed chin thrust forward, blind eyes seeking.

People gathered and marveled; they watched her sketch on the very pad which her mother had used decades before when she died in childbirth. In direct sunlight, the profile sank into the stone, but she had captured it on her mother’s pad. It’s still hard to read this passage and to really imagine what is going on. I’d try to change or delete some words to make the image more accessible—transmogrifying, prow-like, androgynous, etc. I think this is great idea, yet getting it effectively on paper. . . I’d suggest you might capture what you think the author is trying to say and do it completely in your style—clear, direct—without so much abstract and inexact (certain light, certain angle as examples) prose.

Exercise 3.

How to Rectify Errors

Analyze the errors. Give full attention to how to make the correction without having to reveal the source of the mistake. Make note of your thoughts in a logical and meaningful progression, without wasting time.  Great. Exactly what was needed.

 

Exercise 4.

I handed exact change to the acne-scarred, teenaged cashier, slung my bags over my shoulder, and trudged outside to the bus stop. Timothy O’Leary sat on the bench, eating a bag of in-the-shell peanuts. I slid onto the seat next to him and stuffed my bags underneath the bench so that no one would trip over them. He offered a peanut, shaking the bag in my direction. Loose shells fell out. I shook my head. He shrugged and slumped against the bench. He belched with foul breath, reminiscent of a rarely cleaned doghouse. I turned my head away.  Yes!

 

Exercise 5.

I saw Hazel for the first time in the grocery store. I was in the vegetable aisle, near a pyramid of cantaloupes; she was reading the nutrition facts off the side of bottled asparagus. She stunned me. She looked like my younger sister, a sister who didn’t exist outside of my imagination, a fairy tale in my mind, something I’d always wanted, needed; a sister to break the loneliness of being an only child in a divorced family.  Perfect. You’ve made it flow by getting the ideas straightened out!

Good work. Thanks. WHC

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