Tuesday is the National Day on Writing. Do you have a sentence or two to contribute?
If so, the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning wants to hear from you. To celebrate this day, the center is putting together what it calls the "longest short story ever written."
The center is seeking contributions from average folks and from established local authors, including Ed McClanahan and Bobbie Ann Mason. First lady Jane Beshear plans to finish the story during an event at 5:30 p.m. at the Carnegie Center in Gratz Park.
The idea is to put together a snapshot of Lexington and what's going on in people's lives this day, said Neil Chethik, the Carnegie Center's writer-in-residence.
People can add their contributions by stopping by the Carnegie Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or at the following places and times: Starbucks in Chevy Chase, 7-9 a.m.; Starbucks downtown, Third Street Stuff or the Eagle Creek Library, 9-11 a.m.; Joseph Beth Booksellers or Barnes & Noble, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; The Morris Book Shop, Waldenbooks or Northside Library, 1-3 p.m.; or the Village Branch and Central libraries or Common Grounds Coffee, 3-5 p.m.
McClanahan has started the story with these two sentences: "I found her sitting on a bench in Woodland Park. She looked up when my shadow fell on the letter she was writing."
McClanahan, whose books include The Natural Man, said he doesn't know what will come from this community story.
"It will generate some interest among people (in writing), I'm sure," McClanahan said.
He said writing is a useful exercise for anyone. "It is an opportunity to examine one's life and experiences and thinking processes. It's a way of looking at yourself and what's going on in the world."
This community story will be written on butcher paper, the pieces of which will be taped together into a big scroll. Excerpts will be published online, including on www.galleryofwriting.org, the Web site of the National Council of Teachers of English, which sponsors the National Day on Writing.