Reading & Writing

Writing Exercise: Beginning with the End

Last night, I was watching A Christmas Story with my kids when bedtime hit. Right as I had to turn off the TV to start the bedtime routine, the narrator (adult Ralphie) uttered one of my favorite lines: “From then on, things were different between me and my mother.” At first, I thought this would… Continue reading Writing Exercise: Beginning with the End

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Reading & Writing

Writing Exercise: I’d Like to Make a Toast

Have you ever made a toast? I mean, a real one–not just “to us!” but a long, thought-out, possibly memorized speech. It’s an embarrassing prospect, especially for those who fear public speaking, but it’s also a nice idea, isn’t it? So I thought this year, though I won’t be standing up in my dining room… Continue reading Writing Exercise: I’d Like to Make a Toast

Reading & Writing

Writing Exercise: Flamingo

Do you ever get words stuck in your head? I’ve heard it’s a symptom of OCD (though if you look up a full list of OCD symptoms you’ll probably un-diagnose yourself). There was a time in my life when these words plagued me. I’d read the name of a chemical on a shampoo bottle in… Continue reading Writing Exercise: Flamingo

Reading & Writing

Writing Exercise: By the Numbers

Our lives are so full of numbers. Dates, identification, expenditures–and yet I find, in my writing, I almost never number anything. Part of this is a fear that I’ll get the number wrong–I don’t want to say that something cost $1.69 in case it ought to cost $3.50–but also because that kind of information seems… Continue reading Writing Exercise: By the Numbers

Reading & Writing

Writing Exercise: The End is the Beginning

One of the most popular writing prompts I’ve posted here on The Sensitive, Bookish Type is also my favorite: The Opening Line. Today, we’re doing basically the same thing but instead of working with a novel’s first line, we’re working with the novel’s last line. At random, I reached onto my shelf and grabbed Babbitt… Continue reading Writing Exercise: The End is the Beginning

Cooking & Eating, Reading & Writing

Writing Exercise: Pie and Whiskey

I’ve been reading Pie and Whiskey, a collection of short stories, essays, poems, and recipes. (The pie crust recipe is spot on, by the way; Kate Lebo knows her stuff.) The creative work in the book comes from a wide variety of authors and covers a wide variety of subjects, but one thing strings them… Continue reading Writing Exercise: Pie and Whiskey

Reading & Writing

Writing Exercise: Two Minutes Out of Control

I am a controlled writer. I have often thought out the words before they hit the page–the first dozen, at least–and they unspool from there in a fairly metered way. I don’t suffer typos (a peeve my smartphone is trying to cure me of through exposure therapy) and I sometimes spend too long deliberating my… Continue reading Writing Exercise: Two Minutes Out of Control

Reading & Writing

Writing Exercise: Write Drunk, Edit Sober

Do you ever follow Hemingway’s famous advice, “Write drunk, edit sober?” I’ve never had great luck writing drunk. Alcohol used to make me write these crazy, horrible poems–the kind of stuff you might’ve written in seventh grade–and then email them to an old friend who found them highly amusing. Only once have I written anything… Continue reading Writing Exercise: Write Drunk, Edit Sober