Twin Appendage

To protect their privacy I'll call my teen writers Sally, Mike, Lexie, and Amy. The first lesson I wanted to teach my teen writers' was to be able to recognize a story. Where can we find stories? What is a story? The first day I gave them an assignment to write about the "famous" writer and the storm scenario because it was storming outside when they arrived at my house. Here's the prompt: What would happen if you've been given the opportunity to go to a famous writer's house to learn from her/him. You don't really know that person at all, and after you arrive it starts to storm (or something else happens) and you and several other students are trapped at the writer's house. Write about it.

The following Monday, the teen writers dutifully arrived at my house again. Each writer read their story or shared a synopsis. As it turns out Lexie's story was very good. Her scenario: two male skater dudes happen to go to a 'famous' writer's house and after being offered snacks the writer gets up to go to the kitchen and the young boys discover the writer has an undeveloped fetus (or twin) attached to her lower back. Creepy? We were discussing how stories can come from everyday life when Lexie explained that her twin appendage story actually arose from a conversation she'd had the week prior with Sally via a text conversation on their cell phones. Sally and Mike were the first to learn about the writers' group I was starting. Lexie wanted to join so she texted Sally to ask about the group and ask about me. Sally—who already knew me—told Lexie that I was "nice."
"Nice?" Lexie wanted to know. Lexie then added, "Nice could be describing anyone or someone with a weird thing going on like maybe she has a fetus growing out of her butt, or something like that." In other words, they got the lesson: stories arise from real life. However, I did assure them that I wasn't hiding an evil twin appendage.


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