Urban Writers Bootcamp –
Odds & Ends.
As part of the Urban Writers Bootcamp I’ve been doing daily exercises in free-writing. This means I’ve been given 5 minute or 10 minute topics to write about, no editing or planning, just writing for the hell of it. It’s actually been a load of fun, I’ve not done anything like this before and it’s actually been really inspirational to just write without thinking and just see where the words take me.
I’ve just completed week one, and thought I may as well share the material on here. Normality will resume on Monday I promise! I’m hoping to run a blog on how to make lovely fruit-packed ice lollies with my youngest at the start of the week. We’ve been spending a fortune on ice-lollies from the shop and I think it’s about time I did the domestic goddess thingy and made my own.
Anyway, creative writing exercises. (I’m actually being quite brave posting these on here, it’s a confidence maker or breaker probably) The first exercises I had to write for just 5 minutes, the last couple were 10 minutes so they’re a bit longer. I think the last one is my favourite, even if you don’t read them all, please read the last one about the gremlin bunny! ;O)
Pls excuse the dodgy formatting, my HTML is having a funny fit this evening and I can’t get this goddam doc to do the right spacing. I am a techno idiot. Sorry.
My first topic was a bit random, I was supposed to write about a topic that I’d been given, but I forgot and I wrote about comping and a bizarre win instead by accident. Typical!
Dave, just sit down will you? Ok, but I’m not very good at deckchairs, and this is all bit wierd he chuckled and gulped another mouthful of Pimms.
It was all a bit bizarre though, Rose had won a Wimbledon in your very own garden comp; and sure enough they’d arrived, turfed over the gravel and the weeds, had installed a big screen, and there was some bloke in a suit stood there who shouted out the scores as they were announced on the screen. Rose thought it was hilarious and tucked into the ice-cream and strawberries, Dave was a bit baffled with it all, and gulped more Pimms. I mean, I just can’t get over the outfits! Dave and Rose had been decked out in bright white tennis outfits and had already had their photos taken holding rackets and tennis balls galore.
Second topic was: ‘A Man in the Doorway’
Who are you?
I’ve just bobbed round to drop this off for you, hope you don’t mind. I found it under a flower pot at the bottom of your garden and thought that it was a good idea for you to keep hold of it.
That’s very nice of you, but why were you looking under flowerpots in my garden? I’m a little unnerved I have to say.
Snails? What do you mean snails?
They hide under plant pots.
I’ll just go now.
Ok then, see you later.
Jane turned and headed back into the house shaking her head slightly and wondering what else to expect from her new neibour.
He seemed harmless enough, but it wasn’t so nice to think that he’d been rooting around her garden path, and that he’d found a key. At least he’d handed it over!
The evening twilight streamed through her windows, and she drew them bringing cool and privacy to the room.
Kettle on, slippers on, cup of tea nestled in hand – jane decided to throw these thoughts out of her mind for the moment, whilst contemplating buying a really huge alsation with a really big wuff
3rd Topic was: Describe Freedom (we were told to describe an abstract word in terms of the senses – ie, what colour is love?
Freedom is blue as the sky, as high as the hills and as deep as the sea. It smells of dew fallen overnight, and drifts over summer fields after thunderstorms. To hold freedom in your hand would be like holding a wriggling puppy bundled in your arms, nuzzling and pushing its wet nose in your face and scrabbling to be let down so it can run, and run and run.
The sound of freedom is the wind in the trees at midnight, roaring in a gale, rattling leaves and bending twigs so they bang and rustle against the dark blue / black sky. The taste of freedom….a huge bowl of steaming hot apple pie, with custard, and cream and no guilt or calories attached – with a second portion waiting in the still scalding hot earthenware pot on the kitchen side.
Freedom is the whoosh in my spirit when my adrenaline flows and I know I’m off and out there and no-one can stop me or stall me. I’m on a roll, I’m fast, I’m flying, I’m probably going to drop like a stone, but for the moment I’m just enjoying the wind lifting my wings.
4th Topic was: Sillhouetted in the morning sun
She stood, at the bottom of the garden, sillhouetted in the morning sun. The rain pattered down on her umberella. He stood by the bedroom curtain looking out at her, wondering what was she thinking, what was she doing? He noticed she was still wearing her slippers, although she’d slung on a pair of jeans and her ragged favourite green wooly jumper. She stood motionless, staring off towards the distant hills. Maybe she was looking for a rainbow, maybe she was on one of her mad hedgehog hunting missions, although the standing still wasn’t her usual hunting beasties approach. Some days he just didn’t understand and could only wonder at what on earth went through his wife’s mind. 5am, sunrise, slippers, in light drizzle. At what point should he worry?
5th Topic was: ‘You’re late!’
What do you think I am, the goddam rabbit from Alice in Wonderland? I’m trying my level best here! Jean shoved shoes, multi-coloured underpants, trackie bottoms, drinks, nappy wipes, and other toddler paraphenalia into the bulging nappy bag.
‘I was only saying that I think you’re a little behind’
‘I’m a small bum am I? Jean snapped back. ‘I try my best you know, I do’
She turned towards her sister, hands on hips, and did the head slightly cocked, ‘I’m a diva’ head wiggle – looking inadvertantly ridiculous in the process.
Roger the little trouble bubble, had seized his opportunity to empty the bag whilst her back was turned. His intrepid searches for raisins were legendary. Wherever there are raisins in a cellophane packet, there Roger is!
Stuffing everything back into the bag yet again, Jean and tutting sister grabbed Roger and headed to the car.
It was raining, the only umbrellas Jean could find were one small bright green one with googly eyes, and a blue one with Goofy all over it.
‘Well, I suppose it’s better than getting wet…..’ although I suspect I’ll look a tit.
Sis raised her eyebrows at her, checked Roger was securely in his car seat and then they were off!
This was meant to be a birthday shopping trip, a special one, without kiddikins for company – but the babysitting had screwed up and not to be beaten – Jean was going to shop till she dropped, no matter what. Even if she had to wander around town with a frog umbrella to keep her new birthday hair do intact. Sometimes a mum’s gotta do what a mum’s gotta do.
It wasn’t a long journey, although it could have been an easier one. Roger saw an ambulance and shouted ‘Der, Der, der, dere- DER DER DER’ for what seemed like hours and wet himself ten minutes into the journey. Jane took a deep breath and told herself it didn’t matter, she’d change him on her knees in the back of the car. It’d be right! Then Roger started looking a little queasy inbetween further rousing choruses of ‘DER-DER-der-der-der-, and said ‘Mummy sick’.
6th Topic was: She was a thin unfurnished woman
I’d rung earlier to arrange collection of the rabbit, and had bunged both kids in the car and raced out to make sure I was there at the allotted time. ‘6 o’clock on the dot’ she’d said and she’d sounded very keen to get rid of the poor soon-to-be-rehomed bunny, so I put my foot down. I got to Roundhouse Road, scoured the streets for number 17 (LO was a great help and kept shouting numbers at random), and then parked up. A quick rap on the door and there she was, a thin unfurnished woman dressed in worn blue jeans and a jumper that looked like it had been a cat blanket in a former life.
‘So it’s you then’ she muttered and turned her back on me to go back into the house. ‘Yep, it is!’ I said with puzzled cheerfulness. Social graces were obviously not her strongpoint, but i wasn’t going to be beaten by a sour face. Peering into the darkness of her living room I saw her scoop up the black and white rabbit and put it in a cardboard box where it was obviously not happy. I held out my arms and held onto the box which lurched form side to side as the poor terriffied rabbit richoched from one side of the box to the other.
‘I don’t want it’ she said ‘You have it’ and then quite literally slammed the door in my face. In all my years I don’t think I’ve come across anyone quite that rude, and I’ve been a Freecycler for a millennia. The rain was starting to seep down the back of my neck, the kids were pressed up against the car windows like little sticky geckos, and I thought ‘Well, this is it! Our first cute, cuddly pet!’ whilst listening to scrabbling from the box within and thinking at the same time ‘It sounds like a biter’.
Carefully I edged towards the car, just as I put the box down to open the boot, number 17s door creaked open. ‘Hi?’ I said and looked back. ‘Don’t feed it after midnight!!!’ she screamed at me and slammed the door for the second time. The rabbit made a very unrabbit like hissing noise and I began to wonder what we’d adopted……