Writing 101: Unlock the Mind

To get started, let’s loosen up. Let’s unlock the mind. Today, take twenty minutes to free write. And don’t think about what you’ll write. Just write.*

And for your first twist? Publish this stream-of-consciousness post on your blog.


Twenty minutes. I’m supposed to free-write for twenty whole minutes without interruption. How am I supposed to do that when there are a thousand things going through my head, 999 of them having exactly nothing to do with writing? Like right this second I’m thinking about how I need to change the band aid on my pinkie finger because I stupidly cut my finger on a pop can this afternoon and needed yet another band aid and then I decided to give my son a badly needed haircut because I read an article in the paper today about head lice and how it’s the beginning of the school year and beware all parents! It’s head lice season! And that just had me all kinds of freaked out because I have 2 kids who spend all day in the company of other kids and the last thing I need is to deal with a case of head lice. I think it’s great that I have 2 boys for the specific reason that if one of them ever catches lice, we can just shave them bald and problem solved. Except it won’t be solved because I’m terrified of catching lice myself. Terrified of having to get a lice treatment that would effectively erase all the good I’ve done keeping my hair properly conditioned, moisturized and comb free these past 18 months or so. Last thing my hair needs is pesticide and a lice comb. So I gave the kid a haircut. And now my band aid needs to be changed. And all this typing is making my finger more sore than it was before, and the shower juice is probably all up in there turning my cut into an infected mess. I really should have changed it before I started the timer on this thing. And I just scratched my head. We don’t even have lice but the thought of them just gives me the heebee jeebees. I’ll have to give my mom a heads up that I cut the boy’s hair myself (and didn’t screw it up thank you very much) and will no longer need the services of her hairdresser who I just found out, by the way, is actually a barber in a barber shop. Which I guess makes sense since she gets her hair cut pretty short these days. Never thought I’d see the day when my mom trusted her hair to the care of a barber rather than a hairdresser, but stranger things have happened I guess. Seriously, my finger hurts. This is the most I’ve written in a long time. I love the idea of just spending 20 minutes to myself every day just writing. I wish I could spend all day, every day just writing. I love writing. I love reading. I love writing and reading. Too bad working gets in the way of all that. My dream job would be to get paid to write. Can you imagine that? Getting paid to put your thoughts on paper for others to read? That would be living the dream. And I guess that’s why I’m taking this writing 101 course. To get into the habit of writing. Because I want to be a writer one day. Well, I am already a writer (ow, sore finger), but it would be really nice if I could actually get paid and make a living at it. I’d be a work at home mom who could walk her kids to and from school every day. Spend my days and nights writing brilliant, no, scratch that… totally brilliant works of fiction that paid the bills and made me just a little famous. Don’t want to be too famous, the world is pretty mean to really famous people. I just want to be locally famous. That would work for me. That would be my dream. Locally famous writer who writes full time from her home. And then my life would be perfect. Well, maybe not perfect but at least I wouldn’t have to do the crazy commute every day. And we’d save a crap-ton of money on after-school care each month. That’s a massive money pit. Yes, the ability to work from home would definitely save us a bunch of money. I can’t get my mind off my finger. I really need to change this band aid before the cut gets infected. I’ve got a few minutes of writing left to go. Maybe this will be the first in a series of brilliant posts that I’ll write through this writing 101 class. I’m definitely going to try to make this whole 20 minutes of uninterrupted writing a thing starting today. As long as the family co-operates that is. Uh oh, I have to pause to hug a kid. Ok, that too about 20 seconds of writing time. That’s ok though, the kid’s pretty cute. And now I have to sneeze. Apparently I’m allergic to my kid’s head. Maybe he was rolling around in the grass today. I’ll have to load up on allergy meds before I go to bed. Can’t spend the whole night sneezing on the poor kid’s head. Ow. My finger.

* I edited for spelling and grammar because I’m me.


The Red Pen

The ink flows smoothly from the pen as her fingers grasp its smooth surface. So far she has only managed to write the date. Her mind has been wandering… wandering a bit too much lately.

Sitting on the park bench she lifts her head up, closes her eyes and breathes deeply of the spring air. A sigh escapes her lips and a young man takes a quick peek at the woman as he jogs by, his attention caught for a moment by the sadness of the woman’s sigh.

The woman turns her face from the warm sun and looks down at the smooth page. She’s been staring at it for long minutes, unable to get the words out. How can she, when she hasn’t even fully comprehended the events of the past few days? She takes another breath, and puts pen to paper.

“Dear Sophie,” she writes, and the words pour forth from her pen as surely as if she were speaking directly to the page. The sound of the pen as it scrapes across the paper is drowned out by the sound of children playing nearby. Before she knows it, she’s written to the bottom of the page. And she signs it, “With Love,…”

She folds the crisp sheet into quarters, and slides it into the addressed envelope she has slid from her purse. With a lick and a sigh, she looks over her shoulder to the mailbox at the other end of the bench. She doesn’t want to mail it, but she has to. She’s already come so far.

With a heavy heart, she stands up, gathers her things, and puts her grandmother’s favourite pen, now her favourite, back into her purse. She takes the letter, and walks to the mailbox. The door opens, the letter falls into the darkness.

Taking one last look at the spring day unfolding around her, she walks back to work. Feeling lighter with every step.


For The Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge.

Prompt: Object