In-depth Writing Exercise

  1. Characteristics: Please circle up to ten of these:
unstable conscientious rebellious upright
shaken criminal uptight treasonous
hypocritical self-appointed self-centered adventurous
dedicated driven energetic exuberant
intrepid rugged flitty bored
disinterested crippled languid lethargic
charming frank elegant generous
  1. Fill in these:
This person has ___________skin, ___________eyes and _____________hair.
They have a ___________ ________shaped face and _________________eyes.
They are __’ __” and have a _________________ build.
Their clothes are ______________ fashioned and they prefer them to be ___________ coloured.
They often wear __________________________________________________.
A notable feature is_________________________________.(impediment, habit, etc.)

  1. Circle a number:

6 9 12 15 17 21

  1. Create an old world Pub or Shop names: You need a noun and an adjective or two. Ex:

The Bofors Gun And Giblets
The Bull And Politician
The Horse’s Replacement
The Dog’s Breakfast
The King’s Legs

Extra slots here for practice:
  1. Here are the names of some exotic food dishes. Choose one or two and explain what they are:
    a. Kopi luwak
    Casu marzu
  2. Choose one adjective and one location to combine:
Wild Paris
Cloistered (or pastoral) Ghost town
Quarantined Moor
Crime-ridden Quarry
Nefarious Mountain
Ancient Fair grounds
Bustling An Alley
Infested Rainforest
Communal Harbour
Cheerless An oasis
Chilling The Colosseum
  1. Circle weather from below or list your own. One is enough.
Ball lightning Ice storm tornado Cats & dogs
Sand storm Debris Cloud Humidity Blustery
El Nino Flash flood Flotsam and Jetsam earthquake
Greenhouse effect Cumulo nimbus Tsunami Heat wave
  1. Circle 5 nouns:
button circle chin committee
company distribution edge insect
ink flight ground hole
kettle horses morning pancake
mountain sidewalk pencil song
spiders push quicksand scent
writer veil window spy
stove summer stretch crime
  1. Circle 1 item: This will be your McGuffin. — n.) an object or event in a book or a film that serves as the impetus for the plot.
  1. Just a few themes to think about before we write: Circle one:
Bondage/Enslavement Crossroads & Choices Danger
Death Deception Doomsday
Evil Family Freedom
Friendship Health Hope
Turmoil Isolation Knowledge
Loss Love Mystery
Perseverance Pride Purity
Sacrifice Duty Conformity
Greed Betrayal Rebirth

Righty-ho. Now we write:

  1. Take the characteristics from #1 and #2. The circled number at #3 is their age. Choose a gender and name the person.
  1. #4 shows where they are, #5 shows what they are eating.
  1. Write down the location with adjective from #6 and the circled weather from #7
  1. Tag on your 5 nouns from #8, add your MacGuffin from #9 and theme from #10:
  1. You may begin! And you must use as much of the set up as possible.


Christina’s motto is:
“Some people see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say, why not?” (George Bernard Shaw)

In All My Glory

A writing exercise from these prompt words: CAFFEINE, CURLERS, ENCYCLOPEDIA, TIDE, WARDROBE.

I’m late. Did it again. Slept in. But I gotta have my caffeine, time or not. So I frantically flit around in my curlers—yeah–no hot irons or perm solution gonna wreck this head o’ hair. Yeah, so caffeine first, while I check my email.

No, gosh, no! Email #3 says ‘bring notes.’ Brilliant. My notes. The ones I forgot to write. And forgot to research. No winging it. Gah! Where’s the encyclopedia. I yank my curlers out, with a chunk of hair. No time to cry now. I rush to my wardrobe for an encyclopedia then remember I haven’t dressed yet–what the– I don’t keep encyclopedias in my wardrobe, and anyhow the only one I own is on my laptop.

Well I’m here now. I pull on rust capris and a pink tank shirt with tomato on it and cover it with a blue blazer. Good enough. I whip open my laptop again. My coffee’s cold. I glug it anyway and google Britannica online. Tides, tides—neap tides, whatever. I print it off, but the printer cord catches on the mug. Wet rust capris. Nice. Giraffe skin look, well that’s new.

I roll my eyes. Tides, wet keyboard. Some irony here. Now I’ve got tigers and tiles and tridents on my search page. Gah! I pull at my fake curls and melt as my monitor fades to black and there’s me reflected in all my slept-in glory.

Another day, another dollar. Actually not. I’m calling in sick.120722041610-woman-laptop-curlers-coffee-story-top

Christina’s motto is:
“Some people see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say, why not?” (George Bernard Shaw)

Private Matters

From a Writing Prompt: Write about someone who tells other private things as if they were close friends:


The bus slogged on and on in the soupy traffic. Stop, start, stop, start. Bore, bore, bore.

Until she got on. I’d seen her before. Can’t forget that face; crooked mouth, leaning teeth, and eyes that looked in different directions. I quickly turned my own eyes downward to my book.

“May I sit down?” said a reedy voice and I looked up to see Ms. Cross-eyes. She didn’t wait for an answer but plunked a billion bags down around her, toppling onto my lap, and sighed. I’d heard of rabbit breath before. Or was it rabid breath. Either way, her’s wafted across my nose and was worse than either of those.

“Ooh, my bunions! Been walking so much I’ve got to give them some air. Oh it’s alright, they’ll not smell, deary,” she said to me. “I use Jonson’s foot powder. Helps with the athletes foot you know.” The shoes came off, then the socks, which she laid in her lap and I discovered she lied. The foot powder didn’t work. I delivered a stare out the window.

She did not take the hint, and carried on, poking my arm for my attention. My mother taught me to be polite always, so I turned back to Ms. Cross-eyes when she sighed again. I stopped breathing for a moment.bilde

“Walking too long is tough, what with 3 ingrown toenails and all. But the problem with sitting is my tailbone’s too long, see. Broke it once. Healed wrong. Now if I don’t sit crooked it digs into my–well–you know.” She leaned my way and grinned, hiding her mouth with one hand, whispering. The bus rattled on through a huge puddle and mud water sloshed on my window.

“Then I get constipation. Terrible you know, you don’t go for days and then your stomach explodes with pain when those logs finally start moving down their track. Doc says ‘remember eat lots of fiber and to use your donut cushion or one day you’ll rupture something.’” She leaned yet more my way.

Her foul breath she didn’t have to tell me about, I could smell that myself.

“So how are you this fine day? Isn’t it a treat out there today after that storm yesterday?”

I muttered a “I’m fine.” Well I was until she started her health tirade.

“Me too, me too. I do despise those cloudy days, makes me cough. And all that humidity, makes for a lot, I mean a lot, of phlegm. My throat just clogs up and I gotta clear it all the time, and that makes me vomit. You know, the pressure combined with all the new food allergies I develop constantly. I’ve such a big house, but since I got my late brother’s dog, I don’t worry about making it to a bathroom in time. Did you know dog’s love vomit? Thank goodness they do. It’s not easy at my age to get down on your hands and knees to clean. Well,” Ms. Cross-eyes giggled here, “Actually it’s easy getting down, but not getting up again. Oh the times I pulled my ligaments or tensions or what-you call them, the doctor was threatening to remove my kneecaps! I ask you, does that make sense?”

I shook my head, but said nothing. I’m only 19 what am I supposed to know? Ms. Cross-eyes sighed and sunk her head into the headrest. I did the same, in relief. then her packages tumbled as the bus flew over a bump.

Ms. Cross-eyes straightened them, looked at me, and when she was sure I was only faking sleep, began again, whispering this time. “Have you ever had an oozing green infection in—”

I stood, pulled the bus string, excused myself and got off, tripping over half a million of those bags of hers. I had no idea where I was, but hey, there’s only so much phlegm and ear wax one can take, after all. I’ll walk home.

Christina’s motto is:
“Some people see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say, why not?” (George Bernard Shaw)

His Sister’s Soul

Another of my free-write exercises:


The corridor, all checkered tiles and lichen-eaten, crumbling brick walls, was overhung by mist and fog and darkness.

Worthers scanned both directions with eyes wide and wary. He never assumed anything. It was midnight. It was Saturday. It was summer. But that didn’t mean the abandoned, derelict school was empty. Still he looked again and, everything quiet, began to drag the fellow lying at his feet across the corridor. Worthers was a small man and the fellow on the floor much taller, though still a boy.

Worthers reached his knuckly fingers under the boy’s armpits, the fake leather jacket slipping beneath his grip, but by bumps and lurches he pulled the limp form over the rough tiles, white then black, white, then black. Stopping halfway to catch his breath, he looked again each direction, then continued. His goal, the dumpster behind the gym.

On the dusty surface, the boy’s dragging hair and body swept the hall clear but at last Worthers had him in through the intended gym doorway and all else that was left to show their journey was a thinning streak of blood. And a fallen shoe by the door. Worthers picked it up. He gave the corridor a last sweeping glance and saw, through the fog a gliding figure, eyes closed, black hair, white dress. Worthers’ heart leapt and he fled.

The boy’s ghost was—a girl.rec 35 51068


Christina’s motto is:
“Some people see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say, why not?” (George Bernard Shaw)

Family Blistery HIstory

Hi. Christina here. I’m the one who posts the Imagine it! Prompts. Just to show  reluctant should-be writing exercise participants, I am going to occasionally post my own scribbles done completely free of editing. Free writes can really set the imagination loose once you get used to doing them and It’s a great way to discover your writer’s Voice. 

hfhhfg I was chosen–name picked from a hat–to write our family history.

No idea why—who’d want to read it? When any of us Ellis’s plug up the road into town, everyone scurries into the nearest house, bush or outhouse and bang, click clank, lock themselves in.

So where should I start?

With Earl? Yeah heck, why not?
Earl the squirrel. Always wears glasses thicker than his earlobes. He climbs up peoples’ windows like a tree frog and peers in for hours. Can’t peel him off. The local draper’s shop makes a fortune.

His twin Earlwina. Big buck teeth used to cut wood for the winter. Faster than a chainsaw. But a sweet kid, when she doesn’t have slivers infecting her gums.

Aunt Letitia. Peroxide blonde, picks her razor sharp nose, swears like a steam engine at top speed when she grocery shops. The grocer now wears industrial earmuffs and pressure washes everything she touches and doesn’t buy.

Uncle Mulligan. Only half a brain. Literally. Had one half removed due to earwig infestation. The smart half. Now he walks about patting people on the head with a spatula dripping grease.

Aunt Millicent the millipede. Well she isn’t exactly but she does have one extra leg. And her daughter Harmoni with her extra fingers is a whiz with a needle and thread, so there’s never a problem for Milli getting pants to fit. Harmoni also shells peanuts for the elephants at the zoo. Gets them done five and a quarter times faster than the elephant keeper with those wild and speedy spare fingers of hers.rtyrtyrty

I’m not very keen on Uncle Alfred Alfredo. He’s the one who came back from a war in Turkostnia with someone else’s arms. He says his own were blasted off and they caught the fellow who did it, amputated his arms and gave them to Alf-Alf. Only they sewed the left arm on the right side and right on left and he does shady deals behind his back now.

Even the goat in the yard isn’t your average cud chewing, head butt-er. No she lives in the pond and makes Easter baskets out of the reeds. Then she lays eggs in them and eats the pine cones that hatch there from.

Great grandpa Keith always looks embarrassed by them all. But he’s the worst one–he eats fruit flies on mustard bagels and picks his 3 remaining teeth with fish bones from the cats dish. He invites dignitaries to dinner and shows them the 6 foot dollhouse he’s been building for fifty years using everyone else’s fallen out teeth. I caught him trying to pull mine out one night, because he was short 7 small teeth for the chimney pot.

Don’t know how I turned out so well, cause there’re more of these relatives, lots. These are just the ones in my household. We’ve got the whole lane full of them. I ask you—who’d want to read a whole history? Besides, I don’t have time for this, I’m late for my weekly dinner dance with the bats in the belfry.eddie dickens

(Images by David Roberts)

Christina’s motto is:
“Some people see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say, why not?” (George Bernard Shaw)
%d bloggers like this: