Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Writer's Book of Days

Once again this year, I've made the commitment to write daily. Last year I had tried to do this but fell way short after January had breezed by. I'm more determined this year to practice all forms of art as I feel it leads to a richer imagination and a more organic way of creating. :)
I'm working from A Writer's Book of Days: A Spirited Companion and Lively Muse for the Writing Life. Prompts are given daily and without thinking about it, you are to write the first thing that pops into your mind. No editing or re-reading aloud until you are finished. This is challenging for a perfectionist control freak. The first two prompts led to parts of the same story. Whether or not future prompts will fill in more of this tale remains to be seen. Heck, who knows if I'll even manage to complete all the prompts! But, at least here is something for you all to read today!

Ritual

Prompt: Things that enter by way of silence
The fog rolled across the landscape in silence, riding on ancient air, a thousand years old, allowing those who have left this realm to walk unnoticed between the wooded glens. Brother Theodore lit his candle, so small a wick that it took several tries before the flame threw shadows across the stone walls of his damp room. He sat about his morning duties, without thought or care, five years of repetitive routine had erased any spontaneity life once held. Five long years they seemed to him. He had joined the order to forget, but nothing had left his thoughts. Every moment was still with him, haunting the very depths of his mind, his heart, his soul. The murder. The woman who once loved him. The home he could never return to. The loneliness was crushing, like the boulders that hung cliff-side until their turn came to fall below, splintering the sea into a hundred tears.

Prompt: Write about ashes
The bronze vessel only showed hints of the original color, now tinted by a century of use. Ornamented with floral vines and topped by a crude carving of what Theo determined to be some sort of bird. The burner had come by way of Syria, making a long passage from Islamic life to Christian ritual. The top was cut with eighteen holes, huddled in groups of three. It swung open on a rusted hinge, revealing a deep bowl. Theo handled the charcoal delicately as not to stain his fingers which where already colored by the inks he scribed with daily. As with the candle wick, lighting the black substance proved difficult but the brotherhood had taught him patience, something that was unknown to him before arriving at the Monastery. Sparks shoot up as the flame catches and Theo drops in a mixture of rose, copal, lemon balm and frankincense from the Holy Land. The response is a sudden chorus of cackling, cracking and popping. Thick, white smoke escapes through the holes, swirling and swaying until it disappears into the upper darkness. He sits mesmerized, entranced by the dance of smoke. His space is filled with the scent of wood, earthy, sweet and warm. A feeling of lightness uplifts his spirit. By the end of the day, however, he knows that feeling will be much like the residue left in the bronze vessel. Cold, grey, lifeless ash.



5 comments:

Alex said...

You have been truly dedicated to "art" in all forms this new year. I am impressed and inspired!

Luke A. Bunker said...

I second with Alex! Love your writing - you have a knack, as they say! - and I think I might have to get that book. :) Good luck with your goal!

Laura said...

Thanks so much! Luke, you would love the book!

Jenny Wall said...

These were so great! I feel inspired to write again! You are so descriptive its really wonderful!

Laura said...

Thanks Jenny! YOU should be writing! I love reading your words! You've got a great sense of style and humor!