Covid creativity: 23Jun2020

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.]

Fountain Pen, photo by Barbara Lehtiniemi

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 cagac.ca@gmail.com 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.

3 comments

  1. Drama exhibited by the photo followed by whimsical words seeming to flow from its nib…the capture of brilliant contrast…This is talent!…Love it…SandraSent from Samsung tablet

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The photo is extraordinary! Hard to tell if it is a sketch or a photo. I had to look twice. The poem….I love the poem! I live in an old house in the country and am well aware of the noise and wiles of mice. My cats concerned 2 in the house last winter and I had to catch them myself and put them outside in the snow (poor things) rather than find little mouse bodies in my bed, left as “gifts”. I think those poor wee mice would much rather have had the cheese!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This poem is one of the best things I’ve read this year! I love mice – I’ve had many as pets, and many of our favourite children’s books involve them. You have done them justice! And the photo – absolute perfection.

    Liked by 1 person

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