My Editor from A Worded Life just released a NEW “Writing Kickstart- 30 Days of Writing Prompts” which I of course didn’t think I particularly needed with our new book contract signed and five+ books in editing stage almost ready to submit to publisher for consideration. I’m glad I let all that go to commit just 10 mins to a prompt… which then led to me getting a little hooked and committing 20 more minutes to doing another two!
I’m pretty excited to share my super rough but rather surprising attempt. I was so surprised to see what transformed on the key board in front of me! It was so not my usual style, topic or anything I actually have much experience of… and yet there it was.
His fingers were sore from years of repetitive typing slouched over his typewriter. His manuscripts sat piled on the bookshelf by his desk. He had always been too anxious to ever send one off to be ripped apart and dissected by a publishing house. And still he was drawn to write more. Addicted to the metallic click of the keys. Stories flowing from his fingers needing to be told. Sometimes, late at night he would find himself staring at the pages before him and wondering who had written them- the words felt foreign; powerful and beautiful.
In his day job he laboured as a grounds keeper at a local hospital. He watched the patients go in. Some days he watched them come out. Some days he didn’t; instead families with tear streaked faces carrying bundles of earthly possessions. He took pride in his job. He chose each new flower carefully and personally. Manicuring the grass so that it was at its most comfortable to cushion the weary bones that would lay upon it. The hospital grounds spoke to people in a way that words never could- offering the vibrant colours of life, the miniature cycle of life played out to those who sat staring into the leaf litter, the mouldy rocks that had been there long before the city and that would be there long after these battles with illness had played out.
Tonight he wrote of the love he never found; the words he never got to whisper in her ear as they fell asleep together in each other’s arms. The children he never had and bedtime stories never told. The grandchildren that never sat on his lap listening to his stories of the olden days. He looked over again at his bookshelf; a sacrifice. Lastly, as pain shot through his frail body, he wrote instructions.
He woke in a small white room, overlooking a manicured and vibrant garden. The regular beeping of the machine keeping time with his tired heart. A nurse that he recognised came in to check his signs- clicking her tongue in frustration she lamented how he should have seen a doctor years ago. She asked if he was comfortable and if there was anything she could do. He handed her the small sheet of paper from his clothes folded on the chair by the bed. His stories would find freedom as his soul did.
The nurse looked back from the doorway tears welling in her eyes, a gentle wave goodbye. He was secretly glad that tonight someone would leave with tear streaked cheeks for him.
A Worded Life –Writing Prompt Day 1 – Free Association
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I’d love to see your response to the prompt above too! Share your ten minute responses to “Day 1- Free Association” below.