Friday, November 5, 2010

A person's room speaks volumes

Jacqui Banaszynski's intermediate writing class wrote the feature package in this week's Vox issue, which proves how a person's room (bedroom, workroom, closet, kitchen, man cave, etc.) reflects so much about his or her identity and character.

The story idea itself is pretty intriguing, and the specific details nestled in each vignette will draw you in.

My favorites include:
  • "Memory Cues," about the nursing home room of a woman with dementia: "The view from her bed falls on a patchwork of photos of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The names of the youngest are written carefully in Magic Marker on white slips of paper tacked above their pictures: Jacob, Connor, Addie, Ryann and Caiden."
  • "Room of Dreams," about the bedroom of an imaginative 3-year-old: "It is miles high, vibrantly green and covered in beans — the magic kind, of course. 'It's a beanstalk!' the boy says with a smile as bright as the sun. He grips the vines tightly and begins to climb. Is he Jack? 'No, shh,' he whispers just loud enough to hear. 'I'm not Jack. We're pretending.'
  • "On the Inside Looking Out," about a pastor's office where she writes sermons: "On the other side of the window is the real world: a dumpster, a parking lot, a playground and a stretch of Locust Street. The window shows her kids playing, students walking by and a homeless man crawling around in the dumpster."
More than anything, though, this package has inspired me to ask more questions about a subject's surroundings; ask to see the rooms that hold importance for a subject; and spend more time reflecting on how a person's space can add another dimension to the stories I write.

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