Tuesday, July 29, 2008

One Man's Trash is Another Man's... Trash

I used to lead a writer's workshop at a local bookstore. I know, you aren't surprised because of my dazzling writing skillz... actually I'm not a fantastic writer, but I AM a pretty good writing cheerleader, and a really good editor. I guess being around books so much and dealing with publishers and being former editor of my high school and college newspapers made me OK at it.

Anyhoo, so I had this group of writers and we met once a month and had critique sessions (scary) and writing exercises (fun) and readings (scary-fun). It was my job to organize the meetings, plan the itinerary, communicate with the members, and facilitate the meetings. I loved finding fun writing exercises to do and this one was my favorite.

BookMamma's junk drawer
BookMamma's Junk Drawer. Er... one of many.

Look into your junk drawer and list 10 things that are in it:
1. birthday candles from Finn's 2 year birthday
2. an ice scraper for the car's windshield
3. a bronze colored key to God knows what
4. friend's wedding invitation from last Fall
5. a baby chick Pez dispenser from Easter
6. a used-up iTunes gift card
7. a pack of multi-colored Sharpies
8. a pumpkin spice scented tea candle
9. bottle of Purell hand sanitizer, 1/4 full
10. two mini-cans of Play-Dough

Now - we were usually in a round-table type setting, so then everyone would pass their list two places over and each writer would then create a character sketch about who the drawer belongs to.

I loved stuff like this because I am a nerd (Sindarin Elvish, anyone?) and I have pages and pages of "would-be-book-maybe-some-day-when-I'm-not-so-busy" writing material.

Maybe in another life I could be a writer, but not this one. My writer's discipline stinks


pajama momma said...

I don't really think it's ok that you're in my house taking photos of my junk drawer.

katarinas mama said...

Great excercise! And yes, we have the same candles in our junk drawer...which go unused year-to-year because I buy new ones having completely forgotten about the old ones waiting to be counted, lit and wished-upon...So good that you are in a writers group...gotta check out something like that in my neck of the woods...

Artist Unplugged said...

Too many junk drawers to choose from. Here's my challenge: the junk closet! I know there is a book in you, just a matter of time before it is born. Hey, you never responded to my children's book I sent you quite awhile ago. Remember, it was based on Fat Bastard? I assumed it was just that bad. (Head drops, looking at ground, walking slowly and silently away, hurt to the bone.....)

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