Lightning Rounds 42.

This blog post is a ten-minute timed writing exercise from writers.stackexchange.com.Visit the Writers chat room every Tuesday for new writing exercises.

Topic: scissors

He felt the weight of the scissors slide off his fingers as his hand dropped to his side. The sidewalk stretched at a crazy tilt in front of him, then rushed up to meet his face. He thought the blow would hurt, but the only noticeable effect of impact was the strange sensation of air running out of his lungs.

Hands turned him over. Voices called his name. “Alex!” Muffled shouting made his head feel like a marshmallow. His eyes opened and closed, searching for something he couldn’t place. “Alex!” A glimmer like a golden thread ran up from his face, and his eyes focused on his wife’s hair. She was crying, his hand clutched to her lips. He smiled at her, thinking about how her smile flashed in the sun on the day he had proposed, how her hair had reached back toward him even as she had skipped away through the field of daisies. He felt her running from him now, but he couldn’t reach her this time, couldn’t put his arms around her waist and pull her down to him.

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Lightning Rounds 41a. Ish. Kinda.

Usually we do the writing exercises on Tuesday, but we didn’t this week. Here’s a prompt from Julie for National Poetry Month instead, “I’m just calling from the machine.”

Calling From The Machine

Alan thinks
For quite some time
About the ones and zeroes
In his mind.

One and one
Do not make two;
With this machine,
Only one and zero do.

Well, I feel like there ought to be more on that, but that’s what I wrote in ten minutes.

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Lightning Rounds 41

This blog post is a ten-minute timed writing exercise from writers.stackexchange.com.Visit the Writers chat room every Tuesday for new writing exercises.

Topic: A story that tries to make no sense

I was standing in the portcullis dropped on the tight brick wall. Humpty thought it was scrambled on a Tuesday evening shows: 9pm Red Dawn, 7:45pm Lost Boys, 6am and time for the news. The left hand rose up to fight the long term goal. I was one day today then tomorrow left thinking in the desert sunlight sparkled off the sea with a breathy haze of indigenous digiridoo. Wanda knew that he was traveling in the wake of the new rose dun when the Waldorf salad is made with grapes and sneezed, covering his sleeve in the interim of the long days of darkening night. Whip, whip in the waiting, she laughed large orange hearts up to the tops of the tallest towers. Paused and staring against the blueness of the sky, a slash, a flash, a tiny blast of train-pounding one-united trailblazing firepower. Unique in the foggy dew, a sprouting of legless nearness, a proffered coat of paint for the shining rugged dawn. Who can mirth in the vapid revelry? Who can dice the ricing halls? I know that she said that the thing was that the one time that I thought that had happened it was that she had thought that I had known that that would go on and I didn’t.

So we came into the musty roots, a gaggle of girthy starch and silly empowerful diatribes. Once you said that the cheetahs were typing the westerly, sweet and pale and crisp like a newborn snow. When the lizards slips down to the ankle, it’s important that everyone was standing in a row row row.

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Lightning Rounds 40.

This blog post is a ten-minute timed writing exercise from writers.stackexchange.com.Visit the Writers chat room every Tuesday for new writing exercises.

Topic: This person changed your life

It seems funny to you when you think about how often you took this particular bus, but that today would be the particular today that this person changed your life. I mean, how many times had you stood silently beside this person, staring over their head and watching without seeing as the grey pavement smeared by outside the window? How many days was it since the first day you never noticed this person sitting in the space where they always sat on Tuesdays, clutching a wrinkled paper bag, or later a roped satchel crocheted from recycled cotton yarn? When was it exactly that you stopped not noticing and started quietly observing this person out of the corner of your senses, first of smell, then of sight, and finally subtly, ever so slightly on this day, of touch? You know that the rocking and rolling lulled you, that the strange mix of heated air and icy draft was a sweet perfume of delirious diesel-fueled daydreaming, and so often you might have missed your stop if the people standing farther back had not pushed you aside when it was time to exit. How long had this person been there, in your life, nameless and constant and yet unrecognized? Until today, when on this day, it all changed; this person and you and the bus ride and your entire life, in this one instant after an indefinite period of waiting, suddenly became different.

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Lightning Rounds 39

This blog post is a ten-minute timed writing exercise from writers.stackexchange.com.Visit the Writers chat room every Tuesday for new writing exercises.

Topic: Unlucky

Marcia wandered next to the stream, picking idly at the long grass as she slid her water-slippered feet across the pebbles. She spotted a splash of pink across the bubbling stream, aways up on the far bank. It was too early for flowers, and too late for the sunrise. She put her hand to her eyes and squinted. The sun sparkled off the water, making it difficult to tell what she was seeing. A mosquito buzzed in her ear and she swatted it without thinking. Nearby, the rocky bottom of the stream rose up near the surface, and Marcia hiked up her skirts and made her way over the smooth stones. As she approached the far bank, the pink resolved into a sweatshirt, one arm flung down into the stream, the hood fanned across spiky branches of deadfall. Marcia quickened her pace, her feet slipping awkwardly against the slimy bottom. She made her way along the edge of the water, feet still mired in the stream in order to avoid the twisted exposed roots and precarious footing of the embankment. As she reached out toward the sweatshirt, her feet went out from under her, and she landed against the bank, hands scrabbling in the briar, before she was swept into the water.

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Lightning Rounds 38

This blog post is a ten-minute timed writing exercise from writers.stackexchange.com.Visit the Writers chat room every Tuesday for new writing exercises.

Topic: teapot under pressure

The sky had been painted black, although the flowers were bright and charmingly detailed against the white fence in front of the little thatched cottage. A fly nestled quietly against the window sash and the wind chimes gave the illusion of tinkling movement. Miss Sesna leaned in, adjusted her spectacles, and rubbed her chin.

“Ginny, this is beautiful. Your use of color and line to create a dramatic backdrop to an otherwise serene and almost typical landscape is really remarkable. However did you conceive of this scene?” Miss Sesna held the little watercolor painting up for the rest of the class and pointed to the aspects as she named them.

Ginny blushed and ducked her head. She cleared her throat and tucked a stray lock of hair behind her ear. “Well, ma’am,” she began, tracing her finger on her desk without looking up. “I uh…well, I was making some tea when it happened.”

Miss Sesna bobbed her head. “Good, good, lovely. Did you perhaps sit by the window sipping tea as a storm approached?” Her eyes lit up. “Did the wind whip through the screen, teasing the lacy curtains and filling the air with petrichor? You could feel the power of the storm building, crackling electricity along your skin while you waited, sipping and thinking of the beauty of your simple garden?” She smiled, her thoughts far away.

“Uh. No, ma’am. The teapot was hot, too hot, and I spilled it on my painting.” She bit her lip as the other students tittered.

Miss Sesna shook herself, her eyes narrowed slightly and her brow furrowed. “Oh. I see. That would rather explain the color you chose for the sky.”

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Free writing workshop

I attended a free writing workshop this weekend. I got to meet my Facebook friends Julie and Ceil for the first time in real life, which was pretty exciting. Here is the last free write I did, “writing from a place of indifference”, where we each selected a word we thought was boring, wrote boringly about it, and had to use the word five times.

Synergies:

With regard to the upcoming merger, we must add to the agenda a discussion of interdepartmental synergies. As we noted in the previous progress meeting, leveraging synergies is the top priority for our annual development goal. Please come to the meeting prepared to discuss how your department plans to contribute to your partnering department’s synergies in order to break down silos and promote cross-functional teamwork. I will prepare a report, which I plan to distribute prior to the meeting, detailing the modular shelving/vertical filing synergies that we leveraged in my department in coordination with the sysad group that resulted in increased efficiencies for the entire second floor. This report can serve as an example of the engagement of effort we expect for your team when developing and presenting your own plan for synergies. Additionally, Johnson from accounting will present a PowerPoint presentation on municipal bonds.

(“Municipal bonds” was the topic that the workshop presenter had chosen for this exercise. I added it at the end, thinking it seemed like an appropriate thing for accounting to present on.)

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