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My Half-Hour Game of Trust

            wave 1) She took the ring off her finger and threw it into the sea. The diamond sparkled in the sun for a brief moment, and then disappeared into a heavy wave. Her heart felt as though it were free falling at first… and then, suddenly, she felt enormous relief.

            2) “The best is yet to come,” they told her. But she knew they were lying. They always lied on Fridays. Friday was empirelying day and everyone knew it.  It was a good way to end the week.

            3) She watched as the ten-foot boulder fell from the top of the building. Four men were sitting on it having their lunch. She screamed, but her cries were unheard as the bolder crashed onto the sidewalk, making a sound one hundred thousand times louder than hers. 

Above are three sentences that just came to mind. Didn’t try to think of them, just let them pour out and appear on the computer screen in front of me. This is a game I play with myself. It helps me trust that even though I might not have something to write, in fact, I always do.

Now, I consider which one I’ll continue with: the first, the second or the third? Which one appeals to me the most? Makes my juices flow. I think it’s the third.

           3) She watched as the ten-foot boulder fell from the top of the building. Four men were sitting on it having their lunch. She screamed, but her cries were unheard as the bolder crashed onto the sidewalk making a sound one hundred thousand times louder than hers. She had just turned eighteen, and this was her first trip to New York City. She had one suitcase, a purse, and wore a bright red beret.  She had no one to turn to because she had come alone.

All right, now that I have that much, I can really go on forever. I can give her a name, a background, a reason for being there. Or I can just skip to the next moment and see what she does. Or…I could do both.

            3) She watched as the ten-foot boulder fell from the top of the building. Four men were sitting on it having their lunch. She screamed, but her cries were unheard as the bolder crashed onto the sidewalk making a sound one hundred thousand times louder than hers. She had just turned eighteen, and this was her first trip to New York City. She had one suitcase, a purse, and wore a bright red beret.  She had no one to turn to because she had come alone.

            Crowds pushed in around her. They came out of buildings, from up and down the streets, around the corners. Possibly because she had been the first on the scene, no one shoved her aside or struggled to get in front of her. So she was left where she had been standing when the boulder fell, which was on the pavement across the street from Grand Central Station.  She had never seen so many people in one place. Where she came from, just the dozen people on her left would have filled her small parish.  

            Looking down, she noticed a half-eaten ham and cheese sandwich on the sidewalk next to her feet. Her instinct was to pick it up and save it for the wife who had girlheadstudiesmade it for her husband that morning, before he had gone off to work. When she leaned down to gather it up, she noticed yellow mustard had splattered onto the leg of her pants. Without any warning, she threw up.

So that’s my half-hour game of trust, which I attempt to play every day. I just keep writing, without stopping to think. The minutes tick away and at the end I have an entirely new acquaintance that I didn’t have thirty minutes before.  I save the ones I like, add to them, revise them, play around with them a little later, and then, sometimes, I introduce one to another. Right now, I have a novella that I have put together over the last year. Maybe I will do something with it, maybe I won’t. It doesn’t matter. That’s not the point. The point for me is purely one thing: courageously jumping in, and trusting myself to write, without hemming and hawing or censuring myself.  It’s kind of like swimming naked in a cold mountain stream after being in the confines of a swimming pool, wearing a suit.

tongue pot lake district sized

-Julie

           

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