My primary resolution for 2011 is to write daily. To that end, I am using C. M. Mayo’s daily writing exercises to sharpen my skills. I thought I’d use this blog as a way to catalogue my work, because I completed a few from the past year that turned out to be usable as a component for a short story, or the opening of a novel. If you want to join me, here is a link to her website Giant Golden Buddha from which the writing exercises are borrowed.
I’m starting off with the last of the December exercises. To know what the rule for today’s writing assignment was, click on her link. Perhaps you will be inspired, too.
It was new year’s eve. Bob flopped in the only remaining spot on his sofa that was unoccupied by debris, prepared to welcome 2009 with an order from the China Garden. He speed-dialed for wonton soup, vegetable lo mein, crab rangoon, and sesame chicken. After swallowing the last of a six-pack, he chucked the bottle on the floor. It landed in a pile of litter from meals past: empty pizza boxes, cardboard buckets of chicken bones, and greasy paper plates.
As the bottled rolled off the pile and across the floor, the doorbell rang. He belched as he raised himself to his feet and waded through ankle deep stacks of old newspapers and TV guides. Through the spy hole on his apartment door he saw his old girlfriend, Laura. The Laura who broke his heart. The reason he drinks too much.
He turned and looked around his filthy surroundings. Although he was drunk, he wasn’t too far gone to recognize that he could never let her see what had become of him since she left. He looked into the mirror by the door and a fat man in a stained t-shirt stared back.
That night he lay in bed, unable to sleep. He thought about who he had been and who he had become. He didn’t love Laura anymore; too many years had passed. It was hard to remember why he also stopped caring about himself
In the morning, he took out the unopened bar of sandwood soap that had been left in the medicine cabinet by the previous tenant. He stood under the hot water for a very long time, allowing the fragrance to penetrate his consciousness. Then he shaved, dressed, and started cleaning.
He filled 22 garbage bags with refuse from the corner of every room. He was dying for a beer, but he drank water instead. At the end of the day he had a sofa he could lie down on, and felt human again for the first time in three years.