Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, and a third floor bedroom window.

"It all began when someone left the window open . . ."

And so begins an outline, due tomorrow for my daughter's writing class, a narrative--in first person present, thank you--inspired by one photo of a Third Floor Bedroom window, left open. Enter, The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, the children's book by author Chris Van Allsburg.

You may know the story, created by Allsburg; the tale goes along that, one random day, Van Allsburg discovered a stack of pictures lying around his editor's office: fourteen ghostly pictures, drawn by a phantom of a man named Harris Burdick as illustrations to a children's story, Burdick promptly disappearing into thin air. According to the Allsburg's story, Burdick never returned, the pictures never claimed. 

It's a terrific premise, a better plot, and these ethereal illustrations remind me about the power of writing prompts, and how a muse can help form a mental image, and turn words into 
a novel.

She's writing her outline now, my dear little writer, while together we plot and daydream about the paper bird peeling from the wallpaper, and what can happen, if we only have the courage to leave our windows, wide open.

1 comment:

  1. I am ALL OVER the writing prompt. They really work for me! Although in classes where we've had 5 minutes to draft a story with a prompt, I'm agonizingly slow and don't get very far. If given time, though...the prompts always help me with direction.