Friday’s Gotham Workshop 22 May 2020

Yesterday, my full-time job gave us half day for the upcoming holiday. I could participate in the earlier Gotham Workshop and I was looking forward to my third workshop.

Lara Ewan was my instructor again and for there were a few of the same people as last week. Some newbies joined us, like Beth from Philadelphia, another in the UK, and a few from India. I love how COVID-19 quarantine is bringing us all together, all over the world.

For the first prompt we had to write about a time machine. This was my story I created in the fifteen minutes I was given:

Prompt: Time Machine

“On the count of five, I will flip this switch and you’ll be transported back to 1861, just as the fort was being bombed. You remember the mission right?” Dr. Claw asked.

Penny and Jack shook their heads vehemently.

“Yes, we have to stop the beginning of the American Civil War,” Penny was excited. Jack on the other hand, was not. Jack loved history and while he knew that Penny loved history as well, he wasn’t quite sure if she knew how one change could effect history and life as they knew it. One ripple 159 years ago could change the motion of time.

“Correct! Are you two ready?” Both shook their heads. As Dr. Claw began to count, Jack had a plan. He wasn’t going to change a thing. There was rope next to him, he could tie up Penny. Penny loved making a name for herself, often ethics didn’t matter to her as long as she had her fifteen minutes of fame.

Yet, Jack didn’t feel right tying Penny up and he knew she would put up a fight. What could he do?

“One…” Dr. Claw began.

Knocking her out would be worse.


“Jack, aren’t you excited?” He gulped, he didn’t know what he was going to do.


Jack didn’t have to participate. He also knew they would be outnumbered and there’s not many ways you can stop an explosion in 1861.


The men would stop Penny and Jack, they were unfamiliar…


…unfamiliar and wearing strange clothes. Darkness and sparks of gray surrounded them,

Everyone loved the start of my story, especially how I brought the ethics of time travel into the equation. My workshop liked the descriptions and the character development; they hope I finish it.

For the second prompt, it was “don’t tempt me.” I fictionalized my Brighton Beach trip last year, but I want to rewrite it. Before Laura gave us the prompt, we had a 15 minute back and forth with everyone. She was telling us that since the quarantine, Laura is in Brooklyn, she hasn’t had a cigarette since she doesn’t want to take her mask off outside. She informed us one of her friends made a mask with plastic straws and she quipped, she should make a mask that could hold a cigarette. We all died with laughter, I want to write that story… complete with the smoke wand they used in the 1920s.


I’m growing with this workshop and I really look forward to next Friday’s class. COVID-19 has been wonderful to me and for that I am thankful. I’m going to sign up for a memoir writing class, but I’ll see how much it costs first. Maybe once we get back to “normal,” I’ll take a trip to NYC.

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Creator of the Happiness Box Project Initiative, a project where you write your happiness or gratitude each day, then open the box in the New Year. The Initiative is to teach joy and gratitude, to pass it on to others.

One thought on “Friday’s Gotham Workshop 22 May 2020”

  1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

    Yessum, you certainly are making lemonade, dear friend! Ironically some businesses will actually thrive as a result of the pandemic and its restrictions, and some people, like you, will find themselves making beneficial lifestyle adjustments. The girl who hasn’t smoked is another example. I’m excited that you are having fun participating in the Gotham Workshop. The theme of your story is one that fascinates me. If we could time travel back to a critical moment in history and knew of one thing we could do to intervene and prevent an epic war, tragedy or disaster, would it lead to a better world or have unforeseen consequences that are even worse? That concept has been explored on The Flash and in the limited TV series 11.22.63 starring James Franco as a time traveler who tries to stop the JFK assassination. Mrs. Shady and I recommend it if you can get it.

    Enjoy your Sunday and Memorial Day, dear friend JM!


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