Continuing with my daily Creative Writing Prompts. I seem to have fallen into a pattern that works for me. I use the five-minute/one-word prompt as a journal entry for my own pleasure to get warmed up. The second (“Midday”) prompt I write full out as intended. The third (“Dinner”) prompt becomes a poem, at the moment a limerick. I’ll share some of the limericks at some point. Meanwhile, here’s today’s midday prompt:
Create a holiday! Describe its history, how to celebrate it, etc. Word it as an essay about the holiday, as if completing a boring school assignment.
The silliness continues.
So you want to hear about Writers’ Day? Fine.
Some group of angry fiction writers got tired of being pushed around by editors and disregarded by the general public as being “unimportant.” It was big writers, like Stephen King and J.K. Rowling and some reporters from old-style newspapers (made on actual paper!), TV shows, and magazines and websites.
They stopped producing new stuff, stopped their words in progress, and even put a stop to projects that were being made out of their work, like movies and TV shows. Even so-called scabs held off, taking jobs as anything but writers. This went on for years, apparently!There were a lot of funny moments at the time, like TV anchors having to type their own words in the teleprompters and stumbling like they didn’t know what to say.
It really started getting scary for governments when the technical and institutional writers went on strike. Reports and manuals were written by people who hadn’t taken English classes in 30 years or who just hated to write. It wasn’t that nobodycould or would write. There were millions of blogs out there, but a lot of those shut down, too. It was just that the people who got extra training in it or really lovedwriting just plain stopped.
TV got dumber or went into reruns. New stuff like news had to improv all the time and a lot of news readers quit because they had to use their own words and didn’t like that. Governments couldn’t writer nasty letters or emails to each other. They had to say what they meant or lie out loud to other people’s faces, and the diplomats didn’t like that, either.
The way we got Writer’s Day was one of the writers who was working as a hotel front desk clerk finally issued a manifesto, which amounted to, “We’ve been writing about how to make the world a better place or how to make it less bad, and nobody pays attention. So take a day and READ!”Then the (former) writer posted a list of books, fiction and nonfiction, containing the important stuff: how to be kind to others, how to use science and technology to fix the environment, how to govern in ways that didn’t cause the people or other countries to hate the government, how to stop the wars we were in at the time.
The President at that time—Arnold Schwarzenegger? Julia Roberts? I couldn’t find out who, exactly, because every politician wanted to take credit for it after the fact—but a non-writer with authority finally got together with the U.N. Secretary General and a half dozen leaders in other countries and declared World Reading Day, which is what the holiday was originally called. They held public readings of old speeches, from Obama all the way back to Aristotle. All the schools held reading days.
Actors and actresses came out of the woodwork for the chance to read something publicly again. Newspapers had whole issues dedicated to the owners’ favorite books or whatever. Anyhow, the writers got the message, came out of the woodwork, and started writing again, some of them for the first time in decades. Now we do it every year: just take the day off and read. Seems like a little overkill to me, but I guess the idea of nuclear war scared a bunch of people, so they keep doing it as a reminder.
There are worse ways to spend a day off.