Exercise 1: Circle Game One
Circle (bold in this case) the one word that most appeals to you:
Alabama * Banister * Carousel * Diesel * Exorcist
Circle another word that appeals to you:
Flatulence * Garage * Harried * Insensitive * Jambalaya
Circle yet another word that you find appealing:
Keepsake * Lamb * Massage * Nonsense * Oriole
Use these three words in a story.
Start with: Sometimes I feel just like a gerbil, running around and around on his wheel!
Sometimes I feel just like a gerbil, running around and around on his wheel! Everyday I wake up just a few minutes too late to be comfortable. I can never find my keys or wallet or shoes, depending on what is most important at that moment. When I do finally get dressed and groomed enough to enter the general population, I have to make like a bat out of hell to maintain my schedule. Going down the stairs is always a gamble, as I have to half slide-half fall down the banister because I'm too preoccupied to watch where my feet are stepping. Grabbing a poptart or nutrition bar for a so-called breakfast, I bolt out the door and hope I haven't left anything flammable on upstairs. Choking down the dry, barely nutritious meal, I hop into my car and try to secure my belongings. I feel so harried by my trappings, honestly. Always a bag strap to choke me, always a piece of expensive electronics to fall. I can never go anywhere without a menagerie of irreplaceable and regrettably necessary possessions slowing me down. I back out of my driveway with admittedly little concern for the rules of the road, though I always manage to wave and smile at the neighborhood children. My one bit of solace being up at a time that in college I didn't know existed is that I get to see those kids playing. But then, after I leave my cozy and boring little suburban crèche, I am out in that big, bad concrete jungle. Bumper to bumper action the whole way to my job. Hot weather rises with the sun and tempers, making me sweat in my suit. One of these days I'll learn to leave just a BIT earlier to avoid this traffic, but for now I have to deal with this nonsense. After an extra thirty minutes onto my commute thanks to triple-delayed construction, I arrive at work...to finally remember that it's a federal holiday. I guess all that hoopla was for naught. Great, a whole morning shot. I could've slept in, I could be at home watching trashy talk shows. Now I'm stuck out on this side of town. It'll take at least an hour to get back home. This is definitely not how I wanted to spend my holiday. Oh, but what's that? A used bookstore, a little rundown storefront I never noticed before. Maybe it isn't so bad to be out, after all. What an amazing holiday this will be...
TAKE THE NEXT STEP
In terms of writing practice, what type of gerbil are you?
- Running round and round on a wheel
- Avoiding the wheel
- Fearful of leaving the wheel
- Running freely without need of a wheel
If writing practice were an airplane instead of a gerbil's wheel, what would you do differently?
I'd take that sucker of autopilot and test my wings. I know I want to start with barrel-rolls and barnstorming, but I need to learn how to fly first. Go the distance, maintain and endure. The hardest trick for me to learn, it seems, is the fundamentals of writing.