Last night Mr. Savory woke me talking in his sleep. I was up for a while once I listened to his non-discernible chatter, thinking about everything from what shoes I need for my fall wardrobe, to what to make for dinner tonight, to eventually wondering what I was going to write about today.
I decided I would start some of the writing exercises from a memoir writing book Mr. Savory gave me for my birthday. I thought I would share the first ones with you.
One: A designated space. I am lucky; I already have such a place. As I have mentioned before, it's the kitchen table. The pumpkin and flowers above are my view this morning.
Two: A designated time to read. The authors provide a great list, some of the selections I already have and read years ago. They suggest setting aside enough time to get through one book a week. I decided to make it easy and economical for myself, so I went upstairs and grabbed the first memoir I found from the list. Tender At The Bone was facing out, waiting for me. Easy.
Three: A writing circle. I don't have one yet. However, I do have a writing partner, or let's just say an editor: Mr. Savory. I have yet to reciprocate.
Four: A writing schedule. I do have one. I cheat sometimes, but for the most part it is two hours a day, Monday to Friday. If I work ahead, I get a morning off to do something else. If I fall behind, such as a day spent at jury duty, I have to make up the time. Blogging counts, as does journal writing. Uploading a photo or two works as a warm-up and is a good way to get a story started.
Five: First lines. I love this one, and I once wrote about my all-time favorite. This is two-part: compile a list of twenty or thirty first lines that grab you; then, make a list from your own work. I'll leave you today with the first line from Tender At The Bone, just because it is here in front of me.
"This is a true story."
Ms. Reichl warns us. And recalling some of the stories she has to tell, I can see why she did.