Monday, March 26, 2007

Focus on Details

Alice C. Linsley

One challenge facing every writer is learning to focus on something long enough to notice the finer details. Students who aren't able to focus on details produce flat writing. They need to practice being observant and putting their observations in writing. This is the objective of focused writing assignments, such as this work by Danny Trent of Kentucky, grade 10.

Hard Boiled Egg (Jan. 17, 2004)

I've been asked to focus on and write a description of a single simple object and I selected a hard boiled egg. I'm sitting at the dining room table with the hard boiled egg in front of me. It is resting in an Easter egg cup. This egg cup is one of my Mom's that she uses to serve soft boiled eggs on Easter morning. The egg cup has a sky blue zigzag pattern with pink dots. This pattern runs horizontally around the cup. I will focus on the egg and relate it to the cup, but the cup is not the focus of my writing. I'm focusing on the hard boiled egg.

The egg is from a box that is labeled "medium" so it is a medium size egg according to the USDA labeling standards. The egg is white. If I squint and look at the egg it appears to have a halo of blue around it. The color of the blue is darker than the blue on the egg cup. It is more like the blue of a storm darkened sky.

The egg is smooth to the touch. Looking at it under my Dad's magnifying lens, I see that there are some small blemishes on the surface. I can't feel these when I rub my finger over the surface, but they can be seen under magnification.

The surface also has some cracks were the egg bounced around in the boiling water. There are three cracks. Through the cracks I can see the smooth white flesh of the egg. Looking at it makes me want to break the egg open, pour salt on it and eat it. If this were an Easter egg, it would be dyed a pastel color, maybe like the colors on the egg cup. I hate eggs that are dyed pastel colors! Give me a plain hard or soft boiled egg any day, but hold the dye.


Ellie said...

It is amazing how much you learn about his family through his discription of the egg. I have such a strong visual of his mother in an apron in the kitchen who dyes eggs and uses egg cups and his father walking around like Sherlock Holmes with his magnifying glass. Very good!

Alice C. Linsley said...

He is a creative young man and cut rather of the cloth of Sherlock Holmes, only Holmes at age 16.