I’ve been reading a blog called San Diego Momma for the past month or so, and every Tuesday she posts a writing exercise (you know, it always, ALWAYS, takes me three tries to spell that word) and her readers post their efforts.
I’ve been way too cool to try, of course, the same way I was way too cool to talk to the boys who played Dungeons and Dragons in the library at lunchtime, even though I read all the same sci fi that they did.
Well, cool no more.
You’re in a bookstore. You see stacks and stacks of books, but one in particular catches your eye. Something about the title. You’re intrigued. You pick the book up, open it, and read the first paragraph. Now you’re hooked. What is the title of the book and what did the first paragraph say?
My response, written, as directed, in 10 minutes or less:
After finding the Tylenol bottle in the bottom of the sewing basket, Constance’s eyes move through the house in a new way. She feels as if the rooms themselves have betrayed her, and might hold any sort of sin in their corners. By Monday, her skin is crawling with undiscovered secrets and as soon as the twins and the baby are napping, she begins tearing apart the house, room by room.
It’s spring cleaning, she tells herself. Although if Father and Eli were to leave work early and walk through the door, they would think demons had been loosed in the kitchen.
She imagines herself smiling brightly at them, brushing the dust from her skirt. “It always gets worse before it gets better,” she’ll say.
They don’t come in early, of course. They never do. And within an hour she has searched every cranny in the kitchen and living room without finding anything more interesting than an ancient cookbook beneath the fridge and a colony of dust bunnies behind Father’s recliner.
There is only his bedroom left to search.
My added comments:
You might notice that my post has nothing to do with a book or its cover. I was getting to it. Sometime in the next page or two.
There’s a writing rule that reads something like, “get in, get it done, get out.” That is, skip all the mumbo jumbo lead-up description and jump into the action. That rule never worked for me. It’s kind of like trying to spell exercise.