Slowly, gently, the woods are becoming animated. Tiny blooms crowd the forest floor. It's the day of leading my Farm Pond Writer's group and I have a writing prompt planned, but once I'm walking, I choose another that comes to mind. Because it's warming up, so quickly and dramatically, I realize we will want to be outdoors, in our host's yard, overlooking the pond. And, that's exactly what we do. We make our circle in view of the pond, under the trees. As we start, a pileated woodpecker makes a racket, a beauty, red crested, showing off. It's pleasantly noisy outdoors with the songbirds and the wind chimes hung from the branch of a tree.
The prompt I offer is three parts. During our customary five minutes of silence, I invite everyone to find a being in spring to embody - a bird, a plant, an animal. . . and to write, in the first person, as if in the voice of this being, a three sentence story. After these three sentence stories are shared by all, I offer part two: Now, identify an opposing force of this being and write a three sentence story from the point of view of the opposing force.
After these are shared, I invite everyone to blend the two stories into one piece of writing, and, now, when these are shared, the stories are poems and more dramatic, more complex, more lively, more interesting. The woodpecker is still nearby. There is a hot breeze blowing the morning toward noon and goodbyes. We are lost in revision in the shade. The blue pond is ruffling and the rhododendron are in bloom.
In my afternoon at home I find an e-mail from a journal I have submitted a hybrid piece to in my inbox. Surprise: it's not a rejection. A hybrid piece I've workshopped and revised for over a year has found a home.