Voice Week 2011: Friday

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Ah…the end of an incredible week. The project turned out better than I possibly could have expected. I think we’ve all learned a lot, had a lot of fun–and written some amazing stuff.

And as I write this now, there are still a few un-posted pieces to look forward to! Keep reading up on everyone’s fantastic work here. And tune in Monday for a recap of the entire week–plus the drawing (announcement) of our first prize winner!


I struggled for a bit with this one, but finally got into it when I decided it should be a first-day-of-school homework assignment.

See what you think:

What did you do this summer?

This summer I tried one of mommy’s drinks. I wanted to see what it tasted like because she drinks it all the time and I thought it would be o.k. if I had just a taste but she was mad. It tasted bad. Worse than medicine. It burnt my throat and I felt sick. I asked her why she drank that bad stuff. Then she threw it and it hit the wall and almost hit me but I moved. Sometimes it scares me when she gets mad, but it’s o.k. because when she’s done being mad she’s nice and sometimes we go out for Snickers bars.

From the prompt “alcoholic mother.” Read the other versions: Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4

Who does the character feel like to you? How old, what gender? Where did you think the voice was strong or weak? Let me know!

About Stephanie Orges

Stephanie is an award-winning copywriter, aspiring novelist, and barely passable ukulele player. Here, she offers writing prompts, tips, and moderate-to-deep philosophical discussions. You can also find her on and Pinterest.

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  1. Pingback: Voice Week 2011: Friday « BeKindRewrite « Voice Week HQ

  2. I’m not sure if this is a boy or girl. Age sounds pre-teen. Only a child bounces back from something so quickly, which I think you captured perfectly. I love the details of medicine and the narrator’s throat burning — which as a child is one of the nastiest things you experience! — and the specific detail of Snickers bars. It made the scene more real; I could taste them.

  3. I really love the idea of “What did you do this summer”! Of all of the possibilities from three months off, this child chooses something that – if her/his mother were a ‘normal’ drinker – would have been quickly forgotten. But alcohol is obvious a big issue in the home. Children emulate their parents…and you’ve really captured that, and the rage the mother feels when she realizes the effect she’s having. 🙂 This was great~!

    Thank you SO much for putting on Voice Week! I’m a ‘newbie’ to the writing blog community – having hung out primarily in more spiritual and womens issues blog tribes since starting the Wild Pomegranate back in 2008. It’s been so much fun to be a part of this.

  4. I was very puzzled by what was expected for this challenge…
    and I have started reading the posts … this one first…from Monday to Friday.

    It is a very interesting prompt objective. Thank you for your thoughts and interesting prompts. I could relate to some, others, I knew people that could have been there,
    seen that.

    The process interests me…thank you for something new to learn about.

    <a href="http://www.melissacamarawilkins.com

  5. Oh, that was original! Brilliant idea to put it into first-day-of-school homework assignment. It really ups the stakes – what does the teacher do both legally and morally upon reading this piece?
    The writer’s gender is hard to place. Preteen. Innocent, naive to the world and its ways. A good-natured child. My heart weeps for what is to come in their life.

    • Good point with the teacher! As with all my pieces this week, I didn’t think it through that far (*gives sheepish look*). Which is particularly bad of me, since I’ve done some writing for a local child advocacy group.

      Glad so see it inspired more deeper thought in you, though. Makes me look smarter. ; )

  6. A great end to the week.
    Very clever the way you used a school homework assignment as the vehicle of this voice. I see this as a young boy probably 6 or 7 years old. There is still that innocence and naievty – he is telling the story of life at home not for any sympathy or comeback purely just as it is. In fact he doesn’t appreciate the dilemna he’s put his teacher in (As Scribbla mentioned above) nor of the consequences that will follow – if he had been older he would already have learned not to talk about home in this kind of way.

    Many thanks for organising such a fantastic week. I have great fun, read some wonderful stories and learnt so much. I’m looking forward to your next challenge for us!

  7. I agree with Mike. Boy, pretty young, at most 8. LOVE the creativity of how you portrayed the piece.

  8. Broke my heart.

    “we go out” so much better than “she gives me”

    She’s driving drunk, picking up more liquor and all the child sees is a Snickers.

    Fabulous writing. Robin

  9. This child is much younger than all the other perhaps even as young as 7 or 8. The “what I did over the summer assignment” response is quite true of what a child that age would write and has captured their easy going attitude towards things in that they easily were swayed with snickers. Great job and a great week! Thank you again.

  10. Heart-breaking conclusion to the week.

    Definitely a child, and though I’m not sure of the gender (leaning towards a boy…) the naivety and innocence comes through strongly. You can imagine the feelings of the teacher who would read this later.

    Great stuff, all week, with very different and powerful voices throughout.

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