From Diana Pavlac Glyer: Evidence of creative breakthrough is found in unlikely places: a quick note, an offhand remark, a journal entry, or a formal letter. We gather the scraps and piece them together as best we can.
Like yourself, I love a bit of writing. I’ve dabbled in short stories but have largely done spoken word poetry. But I used to run a regular writing group which ended last year. During lockdown I’ve done little writing but have picked up older hobbies.
Actually, I’ve started a Masters in Screenwriting this month and am hoping to pursue that. So that plus rereading LotR again drew me back to these boards after a long break. And the prompts were a pleasant surprise.
Firstly, can I please recommend Tim Clare’s Death of 1000 Cuts writing podcast. Especially his Couch to 80k series of episodes.
Anyway, I took a prompt and used one of the old exercises from our writing group and did a ten minute freewrite without pausing. This is what I came up with after minimal editing.
Very Good Dogs
The dogs were good. The dogs were very good. Disgustingly so. And it wound Nigel up no end. It didn’t matter how many times he shot them knowing looks, snarled at them as they passed the bottom of his front garden, how many times he turned on the sprinkles moments before their arrival or lay an elaborate obstacle course of bacon-laced beartraps across the street, much to the chagrin and manglement of the neighbours; the dogs continued to be very, infuriatingly good. And so it was time to take things into his own hands. Rather literally as things would have it. That very morning Nigel had been to the big B&Q off the bypass and purchased a length of hose, three large nails (the type he didn’t already have in one of the many zip-locked, labelled bags in the tool kit he kept in the shed) a mallet, two doorknobs, a length of gutter, several LED bulbs and one pair of thick industrial rubber gloves. Yes, Nigel thought, by this afternoon those dogs were going to be a darn sight less good. And Erica was going to thank him for it. Well, not at first obviously, he had to remind himself, as he sipped tea from his Southampton Football Club mug and stares out between the barely cracked nicotine stained curtains. First, she would be very unhappy indeed. He smiled to himself before drawing a long slurping sip of tea. The drink was too hot to ingest without wincing but he preferred it that way. A little heat, a little sting on the lips, a little wake-up call first thing of the day never did him anything wrong. Frankly, he’d only just managed to perfect his brew. He’d made himself tea before of course; he was an Englishman after all. He knew this because he enjoyed watching his neighbours through a crack in the curtains, spending a Friday morning pursuing the local hardware store and entertaining rather salaciously delightful thoughts about the somewhat younger dog owner three doors down. Particular on the days she wore the pink cardigan that did not quite fit no matter how much she tugged at it. But his tea making days had belonged to a much younger man, one with more on top and less round the middle. No, refining the process as of late had been a pursuit of high on a year. Maude had always made tea for the both of them. Since last November however, only the stained Southampton FC mug had been getting any real usage but at last was getting the drink it deserved. Nigel glanced once more at his watch. The second hand crept ever closer to three eighteen. Soon, the noses of two very well behaved basset hounds would appear between the bars of the gate at the end of his front path and following them would be dear sweet Erica. He hoped the hose, the bulbs and all the rest would do the trick. And, if all went to plan, Nigel would be there to rescue her. He slurped the last of his tea. The pain was easy to ignore in light of the pleasure he imagined that might follow. He pulled on the rubber gloves.