Today is the same exercise as yesterday, except that whilst you will again be given a list of nouns to choose from, the choice of verb is completely up to you. Find an interesting collision as your prompt, and then write for ten minutes staying close to your senses.
The dozing kettle is rudely awakened, ordered straight to arduous work from a cool night of rest. She groans at the magnitude of the task, stirring energy into lifeless water that has become so peacefully settled. The kettle groans as the water begins to swirl. The soaring screech of steam begins to deepen to a bass-filled rumble that shakes the surface as it approaches escape velocity. It receives a final push of fervent fire before being overcome by simple silence. Work is done.
Hephaestus pulls his hand from the forge, the white-blue heat escaping the furnace and coalescing into a red-orange orb. The sun reaches down and finds a lonely, withered woman shivering in the early evening with her familiar furry foraging friend. with a mound of putrid trash and brush, the sun teaches her the ways of fire. Greedily, she hoards the fire, delighting in its glow, click-clack gyration of ancient hips and knees popping with the warmth. Outside, children die in their mothers’ arms, both are now buried by the widowers. She glances at swollen-empty bellies, she hears their incessant whining of numb fingers and toes. She, with her luminous intangible treasure, sits idly by, comfortable for the moment. Folks gather around her clumsy shelter, drawn by a thin grew ghost exhaled from the center of the roof. This thick mist enters their nose, they can taste it briefly before uncontrollable coughing pounds at their chest and throat. Her pet possum takes note of the suffering and its heart is heavy. As she sleeps restlessly by her fire, he ignites his tail, the burning stings and tingles, but he is cozy in the thought of providing others relief. He scurries amongst the fallen dried leaves, each has a distinctive crinkling. He tirelessly brings fire to each family in the village, at the end of the night, his tail is singed and bare, and his progeny will pay for his valiant effort. Winter transforms to spring and with it the villagers energy regains. Spring makes way to summer, the people now full strength and vengeful. Summer governs here, thinking is clear, judgment is due. Summer decides that that she, for her gluttonous caching, must pay. Live by fire, die by fire. Summer sits high on its throne, knowing that he is emperor, and only he can right the wrongs.
I like the contrast here, that the kettle is personified and has to work hard before having her first hit of caffeine! The sounds and visuals are really effective. The fervent fire allows us to feel the heat on our face as the steam rises. Good job! And again, a great example of why I should be way more concise! You pack a lot into a small amount.
You’ve traversed some interesting scenes here, and drawn upon some great visceral words, set in nice short sentences, sprinkled with nice effects such as the “familiar furry foraging friend alliteration”. Whilst it is all good, I agree you might be able to make it even stronger by condensing it down. I am sure you have read how the creative process consists of the generative phase and then the destructive phase, the latter being where you can really compress the carbon into diamonds etc - In fact I think I might start a post in the songwriting meta about this topic at some point.
Absent spotlight and muted microphones, the waiter performs. Cramped ballet, swiftly flowing between tables of drudgery as morning rush hour grows weary. Fake smiles and hollow greetings reverberate in mouth hoping for a larger tip. Each agreeable nod another skewer piercing the veil of her already demoralised soul. Conversations blending together in a audible soup of static white noise continually interrupted by the percussive hits of cutlery and empty coffee mugs. Shallow breaths keep the strong smell of perfume and cigarettes from making her lungs their new home for the day.
I think that would be good. That is my issue with these types of exercises, I just basically write for the allotted time, or until the thoughts quit. I try (purposefully) to not go back and revise for exercises like this. It is just all stream of consciousness. But, maybe I should try to reduce the time (write for like two or three minutes, then use the other seven focusing on what I have already). That might be a good way for me to split it up.
I love that first sentence creating the scene through lack of imagery (no spotlight or microphones), it opens such a wide array of options. The used of “cramped” to describe “ballet” is especially neat, because it plays on our notion of grace and free movements in dance, and eradicated it! The “audible soup of static white noise” is another really cool image, playing on the food/waitress connection in an interesting way. This is really, really good!
I think with yours maybe give yourself a 5 minute time limit, and even do afew 90 second speed rounds. I found that the mornings when I do a 10 minute, 5 minute, and 90 second excersice I am forced to only put down what is needed to convey what the object is. You’re unreal at prose writing for sure! But I agree the diamonds are in there.
I like the idea of after the grueling task is complete the kettle goes back to simple silence, like the kettle is an introvert or something rudely called upon to work
I really like the metaphor to start with, and how you have accessed some of the language relating to acting and performing. It would be interesting to extend this further by gathering a whole load of performance terms and seeing how many of them can be mapped onto the waitress. Very sensory based with the sounds and scents so I’d say this is a good job!
Rich fog rises early in preparation for the day, hovering patiently. The expectant sun wakes next, stretching out her luminous rays over sleepy earth. One by one, elements of creation rustle to life, eager for their moment. The waters bubble up, letting us know they’re refreshingly tepid and ready for splashing. The leaves and plants shake, demonstrating their rubbery, chlorophyll rich leaves. Plump peaches deeply saturated in red orange call out, ready to drench chins with sticky sweet juice. Next, the breeze arrives, giddy and twirling, displaying her comforting warmth and fragrance. Last, but not least, the Warbler confidently takes the stage, clearing his throat, ready to serenade the anticipated day.
Lovely! Some really nice lines in here
The personification of the sun is great, especially as female as most of the time the sun is male the moon is female so i really like the gentleness you give the sun.
The other line I like is about the breeze being a playful spirit.
Choices aren’t always made or created. We can’t choose when the sun rises or sets, but we can choose whether or not we get up in the morning. Every morning, water slaps her face, reminding her not all choices were made for her. Black on black on blue, her uniform, gripping the laces of her apron, not bound to the 9 to 5, but locked out from a distant past. Peanut oil and browned hash sting the air, a heavy smell, comforting but wistful, wondering if there’s more. Hair tied back as door rings, the first customer, aftershave and a hurried look. She chooses to smile and the show begins.
The internal sense of non-control is strong. The black-on-black-on-blue is a specific image that allows us to see her. Being locked out of her distant past hopes while she pulls on her apron is great. The aroma stinging the air is another neat mash up of noun and verb. Her choice to smile is a good closing. Well done. There are some missed opportunities to delve deeper into some of the senses, but overall a really sense-heavy piece.
Thank you for the feedback! I really appreciate how I get consistent feedback from y’all. I haven’t given a lot to other folks since I’ve joined a few months late but I appreciate what y’all have done for me!
Prompt: Crossbow Disappears
Time’s scratches and fading touch were all that sat on the void where my crossbow sat just moments ago. My tendons drew as tight as a bow as fear shot through the air. Crickets sounded a silent alarm which slowly stalked the cabin’s perimeter. Primal waves of power pumped through me with each drumbeat of my heart. I tiptoed over whining wood through the fire’s crackling towards my last hope. The silver clasp beckoned me, a flickering beacon in the firelight. Relief shot through me as my fingertips cooled on the black gun box. The well-oiled hinges glided open, and vomit nearly filled the empty box.
This is one of your best yet in my opinion! The opening imagery and the silent alarm of crickets “stalking the cabin’s perimeter” is Hitchcok-esq in its build up of tension - we can really feel that heartbeat. I have noticed how powerful it is in songwriting to blend these visceral and sensory words with more abstract concepts, like “time scratching”, or how you tiptoe toward hope.