For example


I haven’t been writing much lately, just dredging for old materials. Overextended, ambivalent about my work, my life direction. Wah wah wah.

To shake myself out of that zombie fog, last night I went to my group in town that uses a free-flow, improvisational 30 minute timed writing format.

Here’s how it works: everyone says a word off the top of their head, randomly, and continues until we collectively decide we’ve had enough. Some nights we perhaps go past that moment, but is is useful to loosen up the weary mind. Then we write for 30 minutes, on any topic at all, using the words we’ve generated or not.

Here are the words generated by five writers on a Thursday night. At the end of the list making business, I suggested that we all use this line from Continuous World, by Jorge Guillen: If love is not the sum of my every day, as the first line in our timed writing practice.

Later today I’ll put in the “finished” piece I wrote after we played the word association game.

Words, 06/07/2007 – thank you Michael Barbara Michelle Ken and me.

Petri dish macaroni and cheese eyelashes mukluks head cheese candlestick cut the cheese professor plum sharp red rose stigmata hole pug bully hydrant lightning curfew sister ape cousin knuckle gnarly loyalty belligerence pound cake sorrow confusion spray paint macaque turban storm spittoon balsamic vinegar roach turbid potable beta male kewpie doll cradle board medication knowledge senility hostility French maids uniform pretentious monolingual monorail transport sharpee mano a mano numchuks venetian blinds gondola clock tower Cinderella heathen gravy boat villain hidden midden mizzenmast dice pendulum lava lamp unction papal palsy crayon confusion battleaxe minions sardines egg sac blissful tomahawk devotional primal scream angst oreos mustache dirty diaper class ring discard telephone railroad spike lobotomy harmonica sugar pedicure sea slug deteriorating meltdown fudge synapse snaps relapse chaps addiction attention soldier maracas lug nut nutella willy wonka electrolysis pain unsightly facial hair bearded lady armpit macadamia tonsillitis aspic academia pyramid cucumber tunnel sex toy ron bell endearment abuse dagmar easter island waterfall Reynolds wrap mimeograph baby huff girdle corset gidget widget gadget dueling banjos string black thong group think laughter verdigris babushka trapped in time babayaga concertina pudding swiss miss semiautomatic weapons luftwasa blanched almonds bleach bleak astigmatism wrong hot flash dirigible oh the humanity lurid tide determined ovaries red rich earth you are not a Chinese worm spitting out your own insides to catch its prey. Sigh flush the blush of the afterlife sea cucumber see cucumber run run cucumber run zaftig bemba kosher skorts incisor

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3 Responses to “For example”


  1. 1 davidbdale July 11, 2007 at 3:47 pm

    Thank you, Teresa. Come back to Very Short Novels and I promise you, within a week, I will have something to share that begins with the words: If love is not the sum of my every day . . . .

  2. 2 Teresa July 11, 2007 at 5:46 pm

    You’re on . . . I will be back to VSN quite soon.

    In the meantime, go see https://mothergoose.wordpress.com/2007/06/08/for-barbara-who-ate-sugar-for-dinner/

    for what became of that line later that very evening.

  3. 3 davidbdale July 13, 2007 at 7:43 pm

    Will do, Teresa! And you can go back to Very Short Novels to read my version, which is titled “The Fixer.” Thank you for the prompt. It worked beautifully.


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