Monday, May 24, 2010

7 Day Writing Challenge - Day 1

If you haven't already, you can read about the challenge here.

1. The tiny asian boy, who can't be more than two, standing in my line at the Intermarche supermarket, is chewing on the crusty end of a baguette broken off by his older brother whose arms are filled with bread.

2. Outside the cafe/boulangerie at L'Ilette a woman quickly slides the skinny strap of her red t-shirt back up onto her pale shoulder.

3. The fresh, emerald green growth at the tips of the young leylandai curl over, too slight to bear their own weight yet.


Helen said...

1. An upraised rash of rawness on my neck from using paper-cheap face cream. A lesson in not settling and not scratching every itch (Doing so may strip me of valuable layers)

2. The pink snow of blossom from the trees outside my back fence. My daughter wetting them with a paintbrush, sealing them to the path.

3. The vinegary crunch of crisps, perfectly complementing the sweetness of a peanut butter sandwich.

Lynne Rees said...

I'm always a sucker for food items, Helen. Salt & Vinegar crisps with a peanut butter sandwich is on my list now : )

Glenn Buttkus said...


A tall glass spiraled vase holding 18
peach roses interspersed with ferns,
baby's breath, and dried shoots of
unknown origin, sitting on a ceramic
coaster decorated with a Dutch design,
tulips and windmills, midships on our
hand polished oak table that my wife
searched out within the wilds of Amish woodworking sheds on the
prairie in Pennsylvania, orange-yellow
petals undulating ever so slowly as the
sun shards wiggle through the lace
curtains and dance on their happy faces.

What happens to your visual system
when you segue from an old RCA 28"
television that had served you well
for just electronically shy of a decade,
to the digital wonders of a 37" Sanyo
LCD HD flat screen TV where even the
less developed clarity of a VHS tape
takes on a new life, and while watching
the last two episodes of the HBO
Steven Spielberg/Tom Hanks
collaboration mini-series THE PACIFIC,
I could see ever so wonderfully the
leather on holsters, the blood on blades,
the several blues overlapping in the
South Pacific, the wheat dancing in the
fields of America's heartland as the
armed services Messengers drove up to
those farm houses in their dress
blues, handing out perfectly folded
flags to the weeping families,
and the red-white-and blue on
our nation's emblem stood out like
whirling barber poles, blood on the
sun as chicken fried and old men
cried behind the sheds, in barns,
and in the backs of Buicks.

The new landscaping red and tan
brick wall, only a foot tall, each brick
looking like three individual
slices of rainbow shale, capped with
a matching flat stone cover, running
the 60 feet across the front of our
property, parallel to the sidewalks of
Sumner, on the south side
of the residential street where the sun
hangs out longer, drawing one's eye
first to the burst of color on the
natural slate we covered the
front porch with, beautiful but
slippery in this Spring's plethora of
showers, and then to the stunning
brick work on the house itself;
punctuated with the blushing
presence of of dozens of swatches
of planted perennial flowers
and well trimmed bushes my wife
takes such pride in, with black
well-hoed soil puffed up
around them like the flakes on
delicious pastry.

Glenn Buttkus said...


Our old tabby-tom, Keezie Moto,
lying long on his tartan blanket
folded neatly over
the back of the blue recliner, facing
the big living room picture window,
his thick bobbed tail twitching as
he peered through yellow cat slits
at crows and starlings frolicking in
the fat dew bubbles lacing the
verdant blades of front lawn,
seemingly supervised by one
chattering gray squirrel, just as
a brilliant rainbow kissed a corner
of the yard, produced by a rogue
Spring sun ray that had passionately
pierced the dark fast-moving cloud
cover-turning all heads for a
joyous moment.

Two burly Hispanic landscapers who
appeared suddenly in my back yard
early this morning, sleeves rolled up,
green ball caps pulled low over their
dark eyes, carrying an armful of rakes,
shovels, scythes, and hoes, soon
piled quietly midst the moss and
clover, as their twin chainsaws roared
voraciously to life and attacked the
three small trees my wife wanted gone;
a huge white truck barely fitting across
the concrete parking strip in front of
my salmon-colored garage, with it's
thick steel tailgate down, looking like
a great metal tongue, eager to consume
dozens of the thick tree rounds and
broken branches of yesterday.

The seemingly endless rows of movies,
loaded on DVD and VHS, that greet me
daily in my home office, tucked on
oak shelves, permanent, rolling, and
free-standing, covering every available
inch of subterranean sanctuary--it's
all there surrounding me with the
complete history of cinema, over a
hundred years of it, from BIRTH OF A
NATION to AVATAR, 30,000 strong.
It would take a determined man
eight years, ten hours a day, seven
days a week just to watch all of them.
Soon I will be that man.

Glenn Buttkus May 2010

martin cordrey said...

1/ Instructions to gain keypad entry to this north London building site are written in ten ‘laminated’ languages.

2/ The lady in full Muslim headdress hugs her friend in skinny shorts and pumps ‘blocking’ the entrance to the hospital.

3/ Our small patch of bluebells has listed ten degrees below the weight of French Riviera sunshine ‘lost’ over England.

Lynne Rees said...

@ Glen - love the DVD/determined man one!

@ Martin - the sunshine wasn't 'lost', I sent it that way : )

Erin Lee Ware said...

1) A black bird flying low, its beak full of twigs and dried grass.
2) A woman eating a microwavable meal, scraping the last bit of cheese sauce with a plastic fork.
3) As a cloud passes over the sun, the hallway darkens.

Lu said...

1. An old woman pulling the weeds in the garden bends her upper body to reach the soil as her legs stiff as bamboo stand straight.

2. Two workers, barebacked, installing energy saving windows in the sun, ask for cold water in foreign accent English.

3. Avon booklet laying open on the kitchen table, firm face cream is on sale, $2.99 only. A young lady on the ad gives an alluring smile.

Helen said...

TUESDAY (this is such a lovely exercise :))

1. Summer necklace against a honeyed neck. Huge dark wooden beads painted with pink flowers. She says, "I am here, it’s morning, anything is possible".

2. Observing the mind’s slow adjustment from wonder to uneasy acceptance over a failed friendship.

3. My 20-month-old daughter’s book of colours. A green frog in a bad mood, followed by a blue sky empty of clouds.

Lynne Rees said...

@ Erin - this one:
As a cloud passes over the sun, the hallway darkens.
I can definitely see ending up in poem.

@ Lu - your 'Avon' one could be the opening of a short story!

@ Helen - this is wonderful:
"I am here, it’s morning, anything is possible".
It has the feel of a really strong poetic closure - focussed but open.

Thanks, everyone, for taking part. I always feel energised by this kind of exercise too.

martin cordrey said...

1/ first thing; bats droppings on our office key boards on the mezzanine floor, no sign of the buggers

2/ small grey terrier chasing a large black cat across the road out of the farm yard

3/ the sound of an unseen nearby bird mingles with that of a distant jet plane