by Barbara Lehtiniemi
In late March, amidst the swirl of societal changes and negative news, I decided to lighten up my Facebook feed with a pop-up Note-a-Day project. Note-a-Day entails recruiting volunteers to provide a title each day, to which I draft up some sort of composition: a work of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or a photo essay. I’ve done Note-a-Day before, and it really stirs up my creative juices. This time, I just hoped it would distract me.
From March 22 to 31, friends on Facebook provided me with one title per day. For almost 24 hours of each day, I had something to think about other than “the news.” Then I sat at my desk and spent an hour drafting up something to go with the provided title.
The project helped me escape overwhelming reality for a bit, and it provided my followers with some lighter reading than the news of the day. This impromptu Note-a-Day was also a much-needed creativity boost, and I kept the momentum going by working on some long-neglected writing projects in the following months. [A sample follows.]
March 27: The Mousetrap
Every night I hear them
as they scurry ’round the house
Yet through the day it’s quiet
I don’t see a single mouse.
I laid some traps around
and laced them all with cheese
In the mornings they’re all empty
every one of them picked clean.
I bought some fancy gadgets
Guaranteed to trap
But I haven’t caught a single mouse
I want my money back.
All the winter long
this futile contest played
but despite my valiant efforts
in my house they stayed.
Enough of this I finally had
and gave up in despair
I ceased to lay out any bait
and left the traps all bare.
One night I felt a gentle nudge
and from deep sleep I woke
A mouse was sitting on my chest
—and then the mouse, it spoke!
The mouse looked sadly at me
and pleaded, “mister, please
We’re getting pretty hungry
Can you fill the traps with cheese?”
© Barbara Lehtiniemi, March 27, 2020. Inspired by a title provided by Anne Simmons
Collectif members, send an image of your very recent work to firstname.lastname@example.org with up to 100 words describing what you did, materials used, inspiration, etc. Maybe share how you’re feeling & how creativity helps. We’d like an informative, inspiring show & tell.
Writers, send us poetry, lyrics, a short piece or excerpt.