"Waking up, the first day after my partner died." (Certainly conjures a mood)
"Miraculously not being charged an overdraft fee by the bank when I had clearly overdrafted." (I love this one)
"Deciding to quit my job, and literally one hour before I was going to quit, being fired." (How would you feel?)
The students write down these events that elicit a specific mood-response, emotional response, then fold the paper, hand it to another student, but they do not look at the event on the slip of paper. These examples are from the adult education creative writing course, not the college. That's important to note, because what we do next is head to a bar.
At the bar, I tell everyone to get a drink, if they like, find a place to sit, get out a notebook, and then open up the slip of paper to find out what has just happened to them -- so, you're at the bar, and today you were not charged an overdraft fee when you had clearly overdrafted. Now, look around the room and describe everything you see -- the bar customers, what they are saying to each other, the bartender, the servers, the floor, the crap on the walls, the smell in the air, the beer on your tongue, the music from the jukebox, the displays on the megatouch game, and on and on. But don't mention what happened to you.continue reading