Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Writing Exercises, Part 1

Since I only ever have time to do one kind of writing, and its usually blogging…this neglects my attempts to do stories, or limbering up/keeping fit writing exercises.  In an effort to stop this, you lot are going to be subjected to all my writing exercises, hence forth (unless they come out alarmingly cack, of course!).  So here is yesterday’s work, bitty and all over the place – and just for you!!  Even Alias Dreamer may like some of this – its similar to my small paragraph exercise-stories I have done for you all before.  These are all exercises taken from one of my favourite stand-by books – The 5 Minute Writer by Margret Geraghty.  Five minutes will never seem like not long enough again – even if you are me, and struggle with time ad infinitum…

Invisibility and Other Superpowers

I have 5 mins to describe how my day would go if I was invisible.  What would I look at, where would I go?  Or a different superpower.

If I woke up today, this morning, and was invisible…I would likely waste some time freaking out.  So let’s assume I knew this was going to happen, and that it would only last 24 hours, or some very finite time.

I think the first thing I would do, is goggle about in front of the mirror, at the sensation that I can see through myself – the knowledge that I am there, without the evidence.  I would probably end up feeling a bit sick.  I would get dressed, as I assume I’d still be able to feel the cold?  (And I’m assuming my clothes then go invisible also?)

Then I would probably have immense fun shoplifting for a while, whatever I could get away with.  The things I touch wouldn’t become invisible though, so I would probably give cause to a few religious conversions and a few nervous breakdowns, as I went about this business. (Which begs the point about my clothes going invisible, eh?)

Then it’s likely I would immediately go and spy on people.  Who would I go to first?  Alias Octa is the obvious one, because I’m not allowed to see him.  Can I walk through walls too – am I like a ghost, if I choose?  If so, I would really spy on him.  I would also see what Stanley gets up to when I’m not here.  And I would revel in going into loads of people’s houses and just looking around; observing them and their worlds.  I firmly believe you can learn loads about people through looking at their stuff, and what they keep around them.

I would probably start to feel lonely quite quickly, I think.  And a bit freaked out. 

I would go to the cinema, to concerts, to anywhere it looked like I couldn’t usually go, and just observe and see what really happens – in police stations, for example.  Lawyer’s offices.  Ohhhhh – I would go to parliament; sit in executives meetings.  I would go to clubs and see how people really act.  What they do in toilets.  How they are when they think no one is there.  I wonder how I would feel with this information?  Would I feel disgusted, or empowered with a world of secret knowledge?

I’m sure I’m supposed to be doing something far more important than this – but I suspect it would all be nosiness and info-gathering – unless there was something very specific bothering me and I needed info on it, some environmental issue or something, in which case I would be more focussed.

Sensations – never forget them!

Exercise: Make a list of sensations, things that make you happy – things that can be felt and experienced as sensation:

Happy Sensations list

Ø      Scrambled eggs and twirls of smoked salmon on top – the smell, the look of it, sitting quietly, steaming, waiting for me to eat
Ø      Going on a walk on a good spring day down a quiet street with trees – listening to the silence in the middle of the city, feeling the movement of my legs
Ø      Seeing window boxes full of many colours, that bursting feeling of them all trying to get out
Ø      Smell of peppermint tea, strong sharp taste of it
Ø      A bath with rose petals in – for decadence, and nurturing care – sensation of quiet happiness, peace
Ø      Waking up with Stanley still curled around me from one of our rare naps in the afternoon, the safeness, the warmth, the love all quiet and soft – quiet happiness, peace
Ø      When Fry was small, the way he used to sleep next to me, and wouldn’t sleep without me, and I used to curl my arm over him and he felt all safe and cherished; now Fluffhead does something very similar – quiet happiness, peace
Ø      Mushrooms and eggs when hung over, and tomatoes and toast, orange juice – knowing these steaming foods and their strong smells are going to fix me – smell and taste
Ø      Curled up at home reading a book, and looking out the window at a sunny day that’s quiet – quiet happiness, peace
Ø      Going for a walk in the countryside with Saint Mum or Stanley – the sounds, the sense of spaciousness, the no rush, the warmth, the feeling of moving, the beauty everywhere to be seen
Ø      Back when I was working - knowing its hometime – or Friday hometime: a sensation of freedom about to happen; waking up on Saturday and Sunday morning, and knowing I can sleep more, followed by doing the things I need to do = personal imperatives.

One Minute, one Sentence – For when 5 Minutes is too much!

Don’t worry if the sentence doesn’t make a lot of sense – just make it not boring! ONE sentence is doable.

A sentence about:
An Animal
If I had to invent an animal it would be a unicorn that was tiny and chased mice away from houses; or a cat that could be carried in the pocket and lived to happily curl around hands and warm them on winter days.

An inanimate object
The wardrobe creaked and hissed the metal hangers along, trying to make more breathing space; it felt fat and was tired of all the clothes inside that were never worn.

How I’m feeling right now
In the never-ending world, of never ending days, and in my round of never-ending obligations, I feel remarkably finite in capability; and at the same time straining against possible limitlessness.

A dull sentence
I am bored.

About sex
First the first time ever, when he reaches over my thigh and asks if I want tickling, I say no, and mean it.

Beginning with a name
Annabel, in her mind, was the heroine from The Devil Wears Prada; whereas in reality, she was the heroine of her own life – and a far earthier and more creative spirit.

About the weather
The spring sprung, as Mistress K would say; and BJ expected her blues to go away.

A silly sentence
One day I will rule the world, and will make Mondays an obligatory pyjama day; and everyone will take a course in kayaking (especially if they annoy me).

About a place
The enclosed courtyard that adjoined the church caught mellow light, at about 2 in the afternoon – that’s when I used to sit there and eat my lunch, watching the blossoms swell on the trees, and fall softly to earth. (I like this one, and want to do more of it.)

About a habit
Whenever I get stressed I scrape my front teeth across my inside lip, curled in, and try to sharply nip out pieces of it: it’s incredibly satisfying to mutilate myself this way.

About myself
I am getting a headache, more or less as usual.

Beginning with an expletive
Fuck, I’m getting a headache again!

About water
Sometimes, when I run the tap, I just can’t stop looking at it – its beautiful, swirling, a hundred different shades of light, white, and sparkle.

About love
Weirdly enduring, weirdly easy to break and weirdly capable of giving you an upset stomach and a headache: love.

Beginning ‘how’…
How can it be that I have only just had the idea to go and search for unicorns as a quest??

About a season
People always say they like spring, but I find it an annoying season: I mean, its great that the cold has stopped being so excessive, and the little flowers are coming out…but its still not warm enough and the tendency to sudden rain is only really picturesque if you aren’t in your silly work trousers that get soaked so easily, as Stanley says.

About death
When dad died, I tried to hold his hand one last time, but rigor had already set in – I looked at the shape of his fingers and understood I would never see them again.  Except in my mind, and only until I forget what they look like.

About fountains
The fountain that day a thousand years ago when my eyes were turned up, and it was like a brilliant fall of diamonds, or a wingflight of a thousand tiny hummingbirds.  There’s only so much wing span you can get in a drop but they were there, many and feathery, glinty and clear. 
I started cheating toward the end there, and doing more than one sentence!

I have more for you, patient people…Probably for Friday, if I carry on burbling to no good particular end but a pleasant burble nonetheless.

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