Urban Writers Bootcamp – Writing Exercises Part 2
Charlie from Urban Writers suggested that I write today’s exercise whilst sitting straight up and smiling. I think the idea is that it will make me feel positive about what I’m doing. I tried, I really did!
Dutifully, I sat bolt upright, pushed the corners of my mouth towards my ears and typed. This was all whilst being accompanied by the dulcit tones of my youngest screaming from his bedroom ‘Muuuummmy!!! Come here now!!! I need a wee-wee and a poo-poo!!!*wails* Turn the tv off! Pick me up!!! Waaaah!’ (he didn’t need to go to the loo, he just screams the first thing that comes into his
head when he’s stropping). My dearest, darling little demon isn’t very good at going to bed at the moment, so we’re having to leave him to calm down on his own after we’ve put him down for the night. I’m not a mean mum honest. It just wasn’t very relaxing and I wanted to get the writing exercises out of the way, so I wasn’t going to allow the yelling to distract me from the task at hand. He’s not the only one who’s determined as hell in this house.
Anyway, the point I’m making is that I am fighting to find the time to
do this, but I’m going to do it anyway. Youngest has been a little
terror, his sister has been bouncing off the walls too, I’m tired, I’ve probably taken too much on, but I’m still here – on the course. So there! I have no idea who I’m aiming exclamation marks at, I think I just feel a bit shouty.
So, I’ve done today’s exercise whilst smiling like
a loon, somehow I don’t think the circumstances made me feel very
positive. I think my overstuffed locket exercise is negative as hell
in fact. Sorry. I shall try and be more relaxed next time, and maybe
the smiling technique will help matters then. I think it’s a great idea in
Here’s what I’ve come up with. I know I don’t need to share, but I
feel like after having jumped through fiery parenting hoops I’ve
worked hard to produce this twaddle so I may as well post it.
*giggles half hysterically and falls asleep in chair*
(The idea is to type on the chosen topic for 10 minutes, without editing – I cheated v slightly and have amended a word or two so it makes sense)
It smelled like a get-rich-quick scheme
But maybe it could work…maybe it might…maybe, just maybe it
would. She dreamed of foreign holidays spent dragging her toes
through golden sand and blue sea. Surely it couldn’t work, could it?
All her life she’d been waiting for that one idea that would be ‘The
One’. Other people dreamed of romantic ‘The One’s’ – she simply
dreamed of the One Perfect Plan, the forged lottery ticket they had to
accept, the thousand year old coin that the governemnt had to buy from
her. But up until now, nothing had cropped up and she’d begun to
wonder if it ever would. But now this. She smiled, she hoped and she
tapped her foot impatiently on the floor. How long until she could
ring them and ask for further details and if she did would the call be
traced. It was a risk worth taking. A life spent in the mud,
dreaming of the stars – how could she possibly not make that call,
even if it meant risking everything. It smelled like a get-rich-quick
scheme so she didn’t want to tell anyone else about it, just in case
they laughed and broke her hopefulness. If she was going to do this,
she was going to do it alone – and now, this minute she had to decide
how to go about it. Hand shaking, she picked up her mobile, dialled
the numbers that were written on the back of the concert ticket, and
waited while the line connected, click, click, click. It rang, she
held her breath, it rang some more and she realised she was sweating
and swearing over and over in her head, inwardly. Was this it. Would
tomorrow be different to today?
Jul 13 Task 9
A locket sits on a table in a tiny, overstuffed apartment
The walls are insulated with egg boxes, and there are huge speakers
installed in all four corners of the room. A single chair sits in the
middle of a sea of cardboard boxes, some open and empty, some taped
shut with wide brown sticky tape. The windows are spiderwebbed, and
the view is of the blank white / grey wall of the building next door,
about a foot away. It is cramped, it is suffocating, the bumpy walls
insulate noise so that no noise gets out or gets in, even if I shout
at the locked door or try to peer out of the window to wave at
someone below. There’s no-one there to shout to. Quietly I sink to
my knees, shoving boxes out of the way so I can find room. I notice a table almost completely buried beneath yet more boxes and push my way over to it, as if swimming through the boxes. It is a locket on the table, in this tiny, overstuffed apartment filled with nothing and everything the locket is completely out of place and seems out of time. Why is it there? I hold it in my hand, and feel the
weight of it, clicking the tiny catch, it opens and lies like two gold
shells in my palm. There is a single sillhouette of a woman stood in
a room, with boxes at her feet.