Over the weekend at The Writer’s Workshop we held the second Saturday Sampler, a meeting long enough to provide time for many more exercises than the average weekly group meeting. A Sampler doesn’t have a manuscript response session, so it’s more than five hours of writing and reading.

Oh, and there’s brunch and lunch, too.

On Saturday we had time to dip into our basket of found objects, items like ancient measurement rulers, Dr. Pepper original bottles and chalkboard erasers. A single matchbox from a New Orleans hotel, the St. Ann, unlocked a little scene for me of two newlywed characters from Viral Times. The scene was post-Katrina, in a New New Orleans trying to make it back to destination status.

Objects led all of us to good, surprising writing. It’s like having a focal point to study while you practice a balance pose in yoga. Your conscious mind is given an object to build writing around, and you roll up your windowshades to let the imagination spill out of you.

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