Monday, April 14, 2014

FINDING WORDS TO WRITE ABOUT LOSS...


The first pet I owned as an adult, a small cockatiel named Felicity, flew away when I was cleaning her cage. One minute she was there, and the next—my pet bird was gone. I searched the neighborhood for days, but she never returned. Though I’ll never know for certain, I hope that Felicity found a home with someone who fed her grapes that she loved to eat, or that she flew south and is now chirping amongst the palms on a tropical island. I still miss her, as anyone who has lost a beloved pet can understand.

The loss of a pet can inspire novelists and Cynthia Chapman Willis an author inspiration of mine, shares the struggle of loss and longing in her powerful middle grade novels, Buck Fever, and in particular, Dog Gone where a young girl named Dill, with family problems, searches for her missing dog named Dead End.

In my young adult novel, Twigs, the title character loses her phone and people are lost or missing in her life, too. She’s not sure where her dad has gone and there’s a mystery about her brother in the Army, too. Twigs experiences feelings of frustration, anger, and sadness in dealing with these various losses.

Finding words to write about loss: Writing Prompt:
Have you ever lost something important to you? A favorite piece of clothing, a special toy, or a beloved stuffed animal? Or something important you need for school like a signed permission slip for a field trip? Write about your experience when you’ve lost something important.
• Where did you look?
• How long did you search?
• Did you ask others for help?
• Did you feel a particular way because of losing this item?
• Did you find what was lost?

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