When we moved to Illinois last summer, one of the first things I did was start hunting for a new critique group. My old one back in Atlanta had been invaluable to me as a writer and I missed them terribly.
I found a weekday group, close by, with a meeting time that worked with my kids’ school schedule, so I jumped in. We have an interesting mix of genres from thriller to romance to Shakespearian-style poetry, and I’m so glad I found them. Bringing weekly pages keeps me on track and of course one can’t write a novel in a vacuum. It’s great to have regular feedback again.
Anyway, as the newbie I’m learning their traditions. One is that on the last day of each “session” everyone brings an anonymous piece they’ve written in a style and/or voice that’s totally different from their norm, and then everyone has to guess who wrote what.
I decided to write a sonnet because I like things that rhyme – and I know rhyming is out of favor right now but maybe a classic format would make it more interesting? I probably should have realized I was off to an auspicious start when I found myself needing to google iambic pentameter. 🙂
I ended up with something silly but also kind of fun. And of course it features my favorite subject matter.
The group was about 50/50 on guessing correctly!
I gazed at you, and you right back at me
O’er a heap of malodorous trash sacks.
How I could well see that I ought to flee
But I found myself frozen in my tracks.
The gleam, as on glass, from the moon o’erhead
On your dark eyes, their only giveaway.
Like black marbles into black fur they bled.
Did you blink just then? Oh, ne’er could I say.
Your bottle-brush tail, white-striped and aloft
Twitched wicked as if wont to imperil.
And then I twitched, too, in fear of your waft.
I shook as if staring down a barrel.
In a flash it was over, off you slunk
And e’er since I boast defeat of the skunk!