« I Dedicate This Next Song to Myself | Main | Readers! Show Yourselves! »

Five-Minute Writing Exercise

Or ten-minute, in this instance. The writer C.M. Mayo publishes a daily writing exercise, which I recently discovered. I attempted my first exercise today, from this assignment:

Random 2 + 10
From any book or magazine, take 2 lines and 10 other words, all randomly chosen. Using this as your raw material, rearranging in any way, what can you write in 5 minutes?

From Joe Meno's short story "Happiness Will Be Yours", I randomly selected the following:

There are powdered sugar footprints everywhere in their place and always a few dozen miniature glazed donuts sitting in a bowl on the fridge.

Our dream is the thing that haunts me.

broken glasses
scrawny
situation
photo
counter
night
laughs
deep down
job
breath

And here's what I came up with:

DREAM

There are powdered sugar footprints everywhere in their place and always a few dozen miniature glazed donuts sitting in a bowl on the fridge. Ray and Marilyn are always making donuts at home, furiously baking and frying all night long and rarely pausing to take a breath, during those rare moments when they weren't at the bakery. For they spend most of their hours at the bakery, fighting for its survival in what had become an increasingly dire situation.

They are always struggling to find unique new recipes, anything that might help them compete with the ruthless assembly-line efficiency of the Dubious Donuts franchise just down the block. Deep down, they both believe they can succeed, despite all evidence to the contrary, that evidence illustrated most blatantly by the scrawny balance in their bank account, along with Ray's broken glasses--crudely duct-taped back into place--which they couldn't afford to replace. They had sacrificed good-paying jobs to pursue their dream, and now all they had to show for it were trays of sumptuous but unsold pastries underneath the counter, and photos on the back wall of all the well-wishers from the grand opening, three long years ago.

"Our dream is the thing that haunts me," Marilyn always says, and Ray always laughs with her.

November 11, 2005 in Fiction | Permalink

Comments