I'm in the editing phase for my first book, and it's quite painful work. I procrastinate and spend most of the day looking for ways to not address my poor use of commas and purple prose. I got a fun little gift for Christmas called the Writer's Toolbox, which seems a perfect distraction that I can justify as "writing." It has creative games to get the writing juices flowing. I thought I would try a few out here and see how they work. Today I'll test drive the first activity in the toolbox.
The directions instructed me to select a stick labeled FS. This is my first sentence. I am to write for 3-6 minutes, there is a handy little sand timer included. I like this feature. After my 6 minutes are up, I am to select a stick with NS non sequitur. This is apparently to help me get my story moving. Write for 3-6 minutes then select LS last straw. This last stick is meant to help create conflict and fuel emotion. No time limit is assigned, so I'm going to stick with 3-6 minutes.
Right, so here are my prompts. Feel free, try them out, and drop your story in the comments below.
FS-On Tuesday, Margaret told me she liked the little oranges with the seeds better than the ones I bought. I hated her for that.
NS- "You could make a living doing that kind of thing." I suppose I could, but I had never thought about it until then.
LS- the way she made tea
My process was to write for 18 minutes, then I went back over it with Grammarly once and did a line and copy edit. The whole thing took about half an hour, and I feel that this is an excellent activity to practice my craft. I was surprised where the story went. Have a look.
On Tuesday, Margaret told me she liked the little oranges with seeds better than the ones I bought. I hated her for that. In fact, come to think of it I hate most things about her. The way she nitpicks the way I do my hair and how she complains when we watch something on telly that I want to and not exactly what she wants. I can't remember the last time Margaret actually said something interesting or nice. If you count her pointing out that my beef casole was not as bad as the one before a compliment, then it was yesterday when she was last nice. But let's be honest; she's a real pain in the ass. Maybe that's why I killed her. If she had kept her opinion to herself, I wouldn't have had to kill her. But Margaret wasn't the type to keep anything to herself, which is why she isn't with us now.
It wouldn't do to have her smelling up the kitchen. I drug her to the garden. Dug a hole in the northeast corner and dumped her in it. I covered her up with the pile of dug earth. I washed my hands and put the soiled clothes in the wash and went to watch my own show on telly.
The following spring, the most beautiful flowers grew on Margaret's patch of the garden. My neighbor commented, "my what lovely peonies Mary. Whatever is your secret?"
Well, I thought about it, and the truth was that the compost was quite unique for this type of garden. I said as much, adding that it's the night mulch that really does the trick.
"Well, I do say. You could make a living doing that kind of thing."
I suppose I could, but I never had thought about it until then.
That evening I sat in the kitchen looking out the window at the peonies. I imagined Margaret wrapped snugly in the roots of the flowers. She had a sour look on her face. She didn't like the way they wrapped around her so tightly. Oh, Margaret. She was never content. Even in death, she complains about everything. Well, I thought as I sipped my tea, at least I don't have to listen to her winge about how I make tea. Milk in first, of course.