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The Other Mother

Let's talk about the "other mother." And yes, that's a reference to Coraline. If you haven't seen the movie, you should, it's one of my favorites. Spoiler alert! Coraline is a child who moves into the Pink Palace and is stalked by an evil monster who likes to kill children. The evil monster pretends to be Coraline's "other mother" and lures her in by treating her with love and gives her amazing gifts. In the beginning, Other Mother is a delight to be around: giving, caring, and attentive. As time goes on, Coraline stops cooperating, and Other Mother turns into Coraline's worst nightmare. I would say "Other Mother" or the "Beldam" as the ghost children call her, is the mother of polar opposites. ​


This writing prompt is about our mothers/mother figures. We are going to embellish their good/positive traits so much; they will be entirely over the top. We will then create a polar opposite character. Example: A good trait would be, mom loves a clean house. I would take that trait and create an over the top embellishment like, maybe she spends her days washing people's feet as they come into the house. To her, it's standard procedure. To others, it's weird but oddly enjoyable. Maybe she's using tweezers and scissors to trim the carpet, making sure it's perfect. The polar opposite of that would be, she lets the house become disheveled. This house may be on its way to being condemned because maggots are performing circus acts in the fridge, and there's a weird smell coming from under the floorboards which are ready to give out. Here we go.

  1. Create a list of all the good or positive traits your mother/mother figure has.

  2. Choose one of those good traits to embellish upon.

  3. Create a trait that is the polar opposite of the good traits.

  4. Write a short story on how each of your five senses (sight, touch, smell, hearing, and taste) are affected by the good trait, weaving in dialogue where you're telling your mother/mother figure that you don't agree with what is going on and why.

  5. Write a short story on how each of your five senses, sight, touch, smell, hearing, and taste, are affected by the opposite trait. Weave in some dialogue that depicts your dislike of what's going on and why.

Extra Credit: Research the word Beldam and create a short story around your findings. ​ Happy Writing! ​Dusty

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