DIY Walk - "then & now" with the voice
This 2.5-mile loop begins and ends at Lighthouse Writers Workshop. Writing-prompt-stops along the way include a mural on the side of the Satire Lounge, the pavilion at Cheesman Park, and the 89 plots of the urban garden at 11th and Elizabeth.
1920 East Colfax | Warm-up: The Satire Lounge was founded by Pete, and is family owned and operated. His legacy began at the Satire in 1962 and expanded from there to six locations. For this exercise describe the mural you see here on the side of the Satire. It's Pete—seen now and fifty years ago. What are the differences you notice? Write them down. If for some reason, this mural isn’t inspiring you, look instead at your hands. Describe them, and try to remember how different they looked, 10, 20, 30, or 40 years ago. Finally, end the passage with a meaningful sentence or line that captures the description's essence.
1077 Race | Second Prompt: Look around you. Make a list of what you see happening in the park today. Activity, animals, people, life. In 1890, this piece of land was a blight on the city, a disgraceful final resting place for the people who lived and worked here. In 1907, the cemetery was turned into a park. Look at any 2015 map of Denver and you’ll notice this reclaimed site sits central to the city like a seed core to a piece of fruit. Your prompt then is to write the physical reclamation of one of two things: Cheesman Park, or some physical space of a story. This story can be something you’ve spent months and months working on, or brand new starting today. You can write about the story’s setting, the main character’s job or jobs through time, perhaps even the physical body of the main character herself.
1050 Elizabeth | Third Prompt: The Community Garden Corner has gone through five major versions since its conception in 1960: Children’s Garden, 1960, 11th and York; second iteration: 1975, Barrett School; third iteration: 1976, Denver Botanic Gardens for teens; fourth iteration: Community Garden Square, 1983-2008, 11th and York; fifth iteration: Community Garden Corner, 2009, 11th and Elizabeth. At Cheesman we discussed the physical, or exteriority of a reclaimed part of the city. Now, we’re going interior. This garden’s designing principle has always been based on accessibility and adaption. Use these concepts to think about a character or two of yours. How have they reclaimed their interiority over time? This can mean emotions, states of mind, personal philosophy, or psychology. How did they feel about life 20 years ago? How do they feel today? Have they reclaimed this interior space over time? If so, describe that experience. If you’re writing a personal essay, or memoir, ask these questions of yourself, or of the subjects in your piece.