Here are more writing prompts from yesterday's writing workshop with author Melanie Rae Thon.
Have you ever been accused of a crime you didn't commit?
I've been accused of being condescending or inattentive or even fake. I've been accused of being too trusting, a blabber-mouth, too selfless, too selfish and even passive aggressive. I suppose at times they are all true. Nobody's perfect. I used to be accused of being gay, but these days I'll admit it. Recently I was accused of plagiarizing a poem, because my iambic pentameter was too spot on. The professor's google search came up with just one hit, a link to my personal blog. She apologized. What I hate most of all is being accused of crimes that I did commit. Oftentimes, this new picture of me is so frightening and so unlike my own self-perception that I immediately deny it. "No, that's not true. I would never do such a thing!" And because our world is composed of language, those words construct a new reality that I buy into. And it's like I never did anything wrong. My world is right-side-up again.
What are the circumstances of your birth?
My mother didn't say she was pregnant with me for a long while, or so I hear. Reason being her sister, my aunt, was already pregnant. My mother didn't want to steal her thunder. Eventually I became obvious, protruding from her stomach larger and larger with each passing day until I was born, screaming and squirming on a hot day in August. My father had been feeding ice cubes to my mother, to distract her from the pain, and his hands were cold and wet when he held me for the first time. My mother held me too, smiling and exhausted, but somewhere far away my aunt secretly wept the loss of my cousin that would never be. Thunder was stolen after all.