Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.

"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Elevator Inspiration

Elevators are flights of fancy, right? Everybody has an elevator fantasy, don't they? Well, let me tell you one of mine . . .

I have found "the one", and now I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. Obviously, it's not just any boring, hum-drum (but clean) elevator like the one we have in our apartment building. I became acquainted with this tiny cubicle last Friday night when I reached the Center for Fiction in preparation for the Girls Write Now reading. I was to meet Meg and some other mentor/mentee pairs on the sixth floor.

The elevator doors opened, and I was completely unprepared for my reaction to what I saw. The small space was entirely découpaged with pages and pages taken from works of literature. I had such a short ride and was so overtaken with a sense of STORY, that I am ashamed to be unable to report to you what books indeed, those pages were from.

It immediately made me think of The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde, an amazingly inventive book where a detective, Thursday Next, follows a mastermind criminal through the world of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. What book would I get lost in? In this elevator, it was easy to extrapolate and imagine how that could happen - instead of the phone booth time machine in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, it would be a literary elevator, taking you into whatever book world you wanted to go to.

What a great writing exercise! Meg fortunately, felt the same way. "Let's use this elevator as a prompt for our next meeting!" I said gleefully.

And fortunately for me, that meeting was today. When I started writing, it was in the first person in the guise of a 30-something fop in a bowler hat named Jeremiah Funicle (where did he come from? This is why I LOVE writing!) who had never read Moby Dick (and neither have I), and was stuck in an elevator with the pages of said novel stuck to to it . . . when I passed my page onto Meg, she stuck with Jeremiah's "voice" and ended with . . . "sea salt smacked me in my face . . ."

Meg started with a girl in the third person, with the elevator taking her through a rip in the space/time continuum. I had the girl wake up on a grassy hill under a tree, only to discover that she was dressed as a fairy princess, and only had the company of one of Cinderella's talking birds who had developed Tourette's syndrome.

I think we'll continue these stories next time we meet!


  1. Wonderful. I love your blog page and what you've written here.

  2. Thank you so much Jeanne! I hope that you keep reading and enjoying . . . it's a strange world, this blogosphere!

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