Sunday, 16 October 2011

Bring me a cup of sunshine...

Write On Wednesdays Exercise 19 - Sunshine in a cup. Write the words of Emily Dickinson: "Bring me sunshine in a cup" at the top of your page. Set a timer for 5 minutes. Write the first words that come into your head after the prompt. Don't take you pen off the page (or fingers off the keyboard). Stop only when the buzzer rings! Do this exercise over and over if you wish. Write beyond 5 minutes if you like, you can link it up as an extra post.

This is the first time I've really tried to stick to the time, to let the thoughts flow rather than concentrate on structure and grammar.

She runs on soft tippy toes through the grass.
‘Mummy, come and play with me!”
Bounding into her playhouse she giggles at a private internal joke.

“Come and play, come and play!”

I watch her sunstreaked hair, shiny, her cut still ruined by her last week’s effort with her scissors. Full of life, full of energy, full of ideas, they tumble out of her as rapidly as the speech from her mouth.

“Mummy come play, I’ll make you a picnic”
"What shall we eat my sweet?", I say
“Sandwiches of course, my mummy”
“What will we drink?”
She holds out pudgy hands and tips her buttercup face to me “for you, a cup of sunshine”


  1. that made me feel all sunny inside matches our weather too, being able to get outside and hang around - love this (now just have to find 3 seconds to do one myself)

  2. How much did this remind me of my daughter when she was little?

    So much so that it actually got me a bit emotional!

    Just lovely :)

  3. Yeah Sarah M, my daughter , now 15, says "is this me Mum?" Well yeah , so glad I could write this for her! Thankyou WoW!!

  4. That was adorable! The last line completely cinched the entire piece together, and the style was a perfect fit with the little girl. The only tiny thing that I saw was the "private internal joke." For some reason it sounded a little bit awkward, the two adjectives didn't really mesh. I think maybe if you took out one it would flow a little easier, and match better with the rest. Of course, you may have a different view...That's just how I saw it. Overall, wonderful!

  5. Thanks Claire, I had issues with that line too, will look at this as a rewrite maybe thankyou for your brave critique! More please! Xkate

  6. I have a little one just like that. beautiful.

  7. This is so sweet and happy. Great job!

  8. Adorable. I couldn't help but smile.

  9. What a cute ending. I like reading things that make me smile at the end :)

    The only thing I would have edited is the line "I watch her sunstreaked hair, shiny, her cut still ruined by her last week’s effort with her scissors."

    maybe something like "I watch her sunstreaked hair, shiny, her cut still ruined by last week’s effort with the scissors"

    thanks for making me smile xxx

  10. How gorgeous.
    Agree with the internal bit - redundant.
    Agree with the scissors bit - know what you want to say but read awkwardly.
    Instead of they tumble out - maybe energy eminates or something? But agree - words tumble.
    Love the visuals

  11. Oh so sweet! I love those intimate moments.

    My daughter always used to make me eat Sausage Soup :))

  12. That brought a little sunshine to my world.. what an adorable piece!

  13. Here I was, thinking most little kids had a horribly difficult time getting to my heart, and the one in your story just did that in the single minute it took to read your post. Amazing. =)

    Beautiful writing, too. The imagery is strong enough to make readers feel like they're there, watching the kid and her mother talk and play in the grass. Excellent!

    / Rain

  14. oh, thankyou all, I'm a little overwhelmed by the emotional reaction you all had. My (15 year old) daughter read it " oh, is that me Mum?" A special moment with a teen...thanks WoW

  15. This is so sweet! Absolutely adorable! I cannot relate to posts about parenting and kids, and they are all over the place, but they are touching nonetheless. I felt I was watching this moment as a real treasurable memory unfolded in front of me.

  16. Loved it. It made me smile the whole way through. I could hear the voices and a little girl's giggle in the background.

    --Feisty Cat

  17. That really captured the energy and relationship of a young child and her mother.
    I agree with the 'private internal joke' & Eloise's suggestion about the haircut line.
    Otherwise, it's a lovely vignette that weaves the prompt in seamlessly at the end.

  18. Kate, this is fresh, real, and warm! I don't have kids, but the effortless, joyous exchange in your story is a wonderful snapshot of having them.

    I must admit I also stumbled on the haircut line. Perhaps:
    'I watch her sunstreaked hair, shiny, the cut still ruined by last week's effort with her scissors.' I know it's ambiguous as to who's effort, but people tend to be familiar with the use of this phrase, and it tones down the repeat of 'her'.
    Or maybe try something new altogether without saying 'cut', or repeating 'hair': 'I watch her sunstreaked hair, the strands shining to their hacked ends, still ruined by her effort from last week.'
    {or last week's effort/the scissors etc]
    I hope this isn't going too far, and obviously you can ignore my NQR choice of words - just a quick example of a different way around it. :)

  19. Nice and fresh!

    Seems like you have lots of advice about the hair cut line, so I won't go there....

    I liked that you portrayed the urgency that the little girl wanted to play with her mummy. Lovely. This reminds me of my little Miss Z who gets up in the morning and the first thing she does is pop on a tiara, she plays picnics all day long. What a lovely picture you have painted!

  20. I loved to see that your daughter read this and recognised herself - funny how these moments arise when we least expect them. Kate, you absolutely nailed the exercise in regards to simply letting yourself write, ignoring grammar and flow for the sake of exploring creativity. I see a few suggestions were made in the comments and this is great but I think you have the makings of a gorgeous but simple little picture book here. The last paragraph with the dialogue felt like a children's story to me. It captures real life magic.

  21. This made me smile! I've had a few conversations with children that played out just like this! I enjoyed the description of her zest for life. Well done!

  22. Thanks all, for your help with this and Gill, I do find it difficult to find the balance between posting a timed piece, and wanting to spend more time editing to make it "perfect" . Not sure that it really matters though, it's all writing and if I'd fiddled with it prior to posting, I wouldn't have received useful ideas from everyone.
    Definitely worth getting my act together and posting early in the week!

  23. This is just beautiful. I love how you have captured the innocence of a child. My piece this week was based on my daughter too.


Please leave me comments so I can develop my writing!