Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Long Time Ago

When I first started writing seriously, I committed to performing daily writing exercises so that I could learn to write at will and not be subjects to the whims of the muse. I called these Limbo Exercises. Essentially, I would pre-determine a time and would sit at my typewriter till I'd filled a page of prose. The goal was filling the page, not writing articles or even significant things necessarily, but learning how to prime the pump and tap the stream.

A lot of those pages were rubbish, but even in the rubbish there were interesting gems that could be re-configured or be used here or there in various places. One such piece was included in my story "The Unfinished Stories of Richard Allen Garston." (Newmanesque, N&L Publishing, 2011)

I came across a folder with some of these exercises recently and thought they might make fodder for a blog entry. They didn't have titles, so that has been added. I'll call this one A Long Time Ago.

A Long Time Ago

Of course he only said it because he was obligated to speak.
He didn’t like it any more than they did.

But what was he to do?


With best wishes... This time he understood.

Wherever there were answers there must be questions.

If only he could figure it out.

But then, adults were like that.
You can never figure them out.


The safe thing was not the best thing, but it was O.K.

At least for the time being.


The ideas introduced themselves and he pondered their value.

When he finished the exercise he found new ways to explain it.

The potential was enormous.

Why had he taken so long to recognize what was plainly evident to all?

Surely it was his youth, his lack of experience.

The rigorous training would eventually pay off.

He was certain of this.


In the meantime, he would wait. Counting days.

It would happen as planned or it would be broken up.

There were no other paths.

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