"What" Writing - Bathroom Mirror

The tactile imagery of the temperature of the water is great, precise but general. The luffa scraping is a nice contrast, because “scraping” is kind of a violent word, while a luffa is supposed to be kind of refreshing. The steam filling your lungs is also really powerful because it has that relaxing (e.g., sauna) type of feel, while also kind of alarming (drowning) type of feel. Freeing the q-tip in your ear is also very specific and draws us in (for me, it also adds a sense of danger, like being very careful not to go too far). I am not sure what t-zones are, so I am not sure how to respond to that. One thing you could add is olfactory sense (what scent of soap, is there a mildew smell, etc…?). Another thing, and this is not bad, but the mirror provided a jumping off point for you, and afterwards, you primarily focused on the experience of the shower. You could have relayed some of this back to the mirror (splotched skin from friction burns of overambitious luffa-ing, etc…). Great job!

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Fog from the heat and steam of the now ended cleansing ritual of showering. I gaze into the mirror my reflection unfamiliar in its heaviness. Tired sacks for eyes. Bones melting downward from gravity. Lead body and face in the fog. A deadened me looking back becoming unstuck as the fog lifts . As the heat leftover penetrates relaxing me into a new state of better. Not good but better.

The first sentence is a little awkward for me. You have “fog” from the “steam”, that kind of seems redundant. The addition of heat is a nice sensory element. The idea of bones melting is interesting. That is the strongest sentence (to me) of the piece. The “becoming unstuck” is another great image. We have all had that weird suction thing in the tub and can identify it as a sense. Great job!

i see striations in my skin newly formed crevices by my mouth when i grin cheek to cheek and stretch muscles often dormant. the dimly lit gas station bathroom has a small metal lock on the door that lost its polish like the scratched up mirror with pen scribbles and prose in red lipstick. a humming ac vent creaks like weight shifted in a wooden boat that fills slowly, the wood grain is wet and foamy. ice cold water to my neck shallow breaths flailing arms and quiet gasps for air in vain. im still sitting on the tile floor while a parked car burns midnight oil in the lot. petrol fumes mingle with cigarette smoke, a lady sitting on the curb picking at the skin on her face and twirling a pocket knife that reflects the beams of fluorescent light from the storefront canopy. my seat rumbles under me waiting and jangling keys in my right hand. dewy windshield wiper prints dry and cold met— (timer end)

Really nice imagery in there @k_o! And great to see how you are just following where your mind takes you and stopping diligently once the timer goes off. Hopefully you find these exercises good practice :slight_smile:

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thanks for the site ! love reading others’ work here its inspiring

The steam falls on the pool of glass, the side of my friendly fist rubs away the fog. Hair and flesh in all the wrong places flash. The moving pictures burn the closer I get. A high pitched silence creeps into focus with my eyes. It grows until I shatter, and the door closes behind me. That is who I am, the me that no one sees, with all my imperfect charms, and yet the mirror punishes me. The mirror rubs my nose in it, threatening tomorrows wrinkles. But as I step away, this body escapes me once again, and today I am an action of love the mirror cannot capture.

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presidential suite at the don cesar. pink marble bathroom, scrape of razor blade on tarnished silver tray, the gulf’s somewhere not far away, all i hear is ice cubes clinking on crystal. reach into my glass, flesh contracts, i breathe in, my sinus burns. money offshore, maddona/whore, i’m sitting before a big vanity. i think it belonged to some first lady. i’m looking at my own eyes. the reflection of the failing sun suddenly winks at me. i feel nothing. are you looking at or through? gazing at me. i feel nothing. are you looking on or in? gazing at nothing at all.

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Something I could not bear to look at for most of my life. The face of an alien was always waiting to see me. Through this mirror I could see an alternate reality, the reality I should have escaped from. A surface that is smooth to the touch, but illustrates an image that is textured and bumpy, rough and imperfect. A fool’s finger traces his face - the wrong face. A surface that will shatter when dropped has shattered the fool who has fallen so many times before without a dent. A clear vision that leaves the fool rubbing his eyes in confusion, disillusion. If it were a puddle I’d have had the same problem, but it would have taken me longer to realize. A puddle cannot be double-sided.

Limping to the shiny silver screen I stare. Two wrinkled, red eyes stare back. Tired and hopeless. Stinging from the duties of the day. Only one left. Stiff bristles graze the gums harshly and soon the cold menthol scalds the teeth and tongue. For two minutes all tiredness is forgotten about. The toothpaste splats onto the bottom of the sink. Another day done. The bed awaits.

First time doing this, please give me some advice haha - creative writing has never been my strong point…


Hey Carl and well done on this first post!

  • Limping is a strong verb to start with, verbs are the most powerful types of words in writing so this is a good start
  • Tired and hopeless is telling us something rather than showing, and as such you can feel it doesn’t have as much of an impact as your more descriptive words.
  • As you start brushing your teeth this is really good descriptive stuff. I think as an exercise you could go even more to town on this. I really felt the stiff bristles and could taste the menthol on the tongue so this is great stuff!
  • Again, the toothpaste on the sink sets up a strong, familiar image, and splat is a good verb.
  • The final two sentences are telling rather than showing so don’t have a sensory impact. That being said it can be nice to end a piece with a simple line like that to tie it off.

Hope that helps, but the main thing is practice practice practice!

Thanks for your feedback Jamie, much appreciated

in the bathroom mirror i see my face aglow like a light in a fog glowing bright and blue. warm humidity smells like a morning dew and clears my sinuses. sniffing and plucking small hairs dug into my eyebrows and burrowed under the skin. scattered and greying. my dry mouth smacks open and my jaw hangs in concentration. my mouth agape i squint and feel the pinching metal jaws on my thin skin like a zipper. the showerhead dripping remnants of the scolding shower that fall as lukewarm as tears running down a cheek. salty when it meets the corner of the lip and runny nose wet. the wind rattling the vents like a caged prisoner shaking cold metal bars