Today I tried typing my 10 minute write directly in to the browser. Not too bad an experience. This is a free write assignment on creating memorable characters. Its interesting what I find out about my protagonist the more I just do these random writing exercises for 10 minutes at a time. One day I’ll print them all out and I’ll see what I have. I’ve been hearing a lot about different ways writers attack their first draft which has been really exciting and really just so stress relieving. The best one I heard was from one of my favorite authors, Ernessa T. Carter, who says that she just speeds through writing her first draft and that it doesn’t even make sense until she goes through it a second time. Jennifer Egan once said that she writes her first draft by hand and that the story doesn’t even resemble its original self by the time she gets to the final draft. These statements are both exciting (I don’t have to be perfect the first time around) and a little jaw dropping (what do you mean it won’t be perfect the first time around?!) Enough about me. Here is my piece:
An instant chill hit me as I entered Mr. Lim’s market. It was so cold that I appreciated the long sleeves that caused me to sweat when I was out in the August sun. Pulling the sleeves over my scarred hands, I wrapped my arms around myself as I squeezed through the small aisles. Bags of chips, off brand peanut butter and jelly in the same jar, slim loaves of white bread next to boxes of breakfast candies passing themselves off as cereal. Mr. Lim’s kept the children of the neighborhood filled with sugar and the dentists’s driveways filled with luxury vehicles. I ran my tongue over my front teeth, my tongue massaging the gap btween the two as I sucked in air.
“Once there was a frog that swallowed a horse,” I whispered to myself. “Horny toads are poisonous. There are fifteen different types of frogs on the small island of…” The name of the island slipped my mind and was instantly replaced by images of me emptying a packet of gummy bears into my mouth. My body rushes with blood responding to sugar and chemicals that are not even there. Shitake mushrooms. Can you even have a diabetic coma if you don’t have diabetes and haven’t eaten today? I shook off the thought. “Panama. Some island in Panama.”
The freezer aisle lined the back of the store. White cartons of milk grew in size as they fluctuated in milk fat content. Ice cream containers also grew, changing in brand quality from top to bottom. The highest quality brands are the most expensive, but it’s the lower quality brands that come in larger cartons for less money. Besides the twins will never notice and they’ll think I’m the best, I think but don’t dare to open the case. My stomach growls as my eyes fix on the gold and red symbol of pint sized decadence. A chunk of chocolate and a mint leaf lean seductively against a carafe of milk on the label. You know you want me, it teases.