Vicki Pinkerton offered a group on May 14.

Author and writing facilitator Vicki Pinkerton has been interested in writing since she wrote, illustrated and self-published her own book at the age of nine (it had a press run of one copy). The Life Coach and AWA-trained facilitator believes that writing has long ranging effects on the writer. You can learn more about her workshops on her website. The prompt that she shared with these writers was a collection of words: milk  cloud  storm  book  hammer  fuel  needle  road  bomb  strike.

We thank Vicki for her leadership and these writers for sharing their work with us!

by Mary Ann Mckenzie

Her milk must have run freely then. Though bombs rained from the sky. At any moment they might strike again, falling from the clouds, from a darkened sky. It was impossible to guess the next assault. She cradled her baby closer, into the crook of her arm, against her warm and waiting breasts.  Placed the nipple just so as to simplify the task of sucking for the restless infant. It would be a long road that her husband was travelling, past shadowy elms and dogs on alert for miniscule motions in the dark. A wrong move: a rustle of leaves, the crunch of gravel, a clumsy trip over knotted roots. A keen eye the difference between life and death. Skillfully he dodged the strategically placed sentries.  He remained obscure in the dark, focused on the urgency of it all. At any moment then, he could be needled by some hidden soldier of the occupying forces, demanding he explain his whereabouts. In the breast pocket of his sturdy gabardine coat he felt for his identification booklet that stated his name and address as was required by law. He patted his chest and felt secure in knowing it was there. He’d say that a nearby farm had provided him with some butter, milk and a small piece of cheese. He would appear calm, steadying his breathing, look directly into the eyes. A useful trick he’d learned. Do not attract attention. Nonchalance could win. Over eagerness could prove a danger, could alter the course of their lives. Even death or transport to the camps. Buchenwald, an image of hollowed out men and skeletons clutching barbed wire.  It hammered at his brain. The very possibility fuelled him. Faster and faster, surefooted, towards home, to his waiting wife and their tiny helpless child.

by Gail Thompson


When she thinks about a needle, she sees the eye. Whatever goes in one side is supposed to come out the

other. But it doesn’t always happen that way. If the eye doesn’t see, is it still an eye? What if whatever goes

through one side doesn’t come out the other side, or doesn’t come out any side? That’s the needle that sticks.

Why do they feel compelled to needle her? Those remarks. If only they went in and then somehow came out

again, but they stay and grow and swell. It makes her afraid to mend. What if the needle goes in and then

never comes out? What if those garments house all the remarks – those made to her, but, even worse, those

she made or thought of making, or even wanted to make, to others? If only they could emerge from the eye of

the needle and somehow disappear.


How do you reteach something, or someone, who can’t, or won’t, hear what you are teaching? You have to

find another way. How can you show it? How can you make it believed? Is it in your voice, your laughter? When

that laughter is heard for what it is, will the unlovely somehow feel lovely? Will the lonely somehow feel

included? Will that feeling last, or will you have to do it again and again and again until somehow it lands

where you want it to? Will it stay, or will it last only until the next subway stop?

Thank you for joining us to Write Around the World!

For the rest of the summer, watch our blog! We are sharing writing from AWA’s yearly marathon fundraiser, which happened this year all-online throughout the month of May.

We offer this series in appreciation for the incredible community of writers and workshop leaders that sustain us. If you’re inspired and would like to be part of the fundraiser, please donate!