Writing 101 – Stream of Consciousness

(Added after the fact, so I can include a link: this is for Day 1 of WordPress’s new Writing 101 series.)

Okay, twenty minutes. I can do this. Well, I can do it if my left hand holds out.

Dumpster wrist, is what a friend of mine calls it. You develop it after too many days of lugging trash out of a house you’re clearing out and putting it in a dumpster or out at the curb for regular trash pickup. I’ve spent a LOT of this summer doing exactly that. And now my go-to hand is sore and undependable. Some mornings I can’t trust myself to pick up the coffee pot with it.

(The assignment for today is to write whatever goes through our minds for the next twenty minutes, and it occurs to me that this may sound like a pre-planned beginning. Really, it isn’t. It’s just that if you spend some of your time, as I do, thinking about how to tell stories, you get in the habit of filling in background information when you know you’re writing / thinking / talking for an audience.)

Of course, if you’re talking, you’d better have an audience. Even if it’s only the goldfish.

No, I don’t have a goldfish. But I suppose it’s acceptable to talk to one if you have it. I should ask my son if he talks to his accidental goldfish. Probably not, but who knows?

Anyhow, I hope I can get through this project without resorting to hunt and peck typing. That’s hard. Especially when you were forced through a year of learning to touch type back in high school. I don’t think anybody loved that class – maybe the aspiring secretaries – but it has been useful. Kind of like being tormented by the math teacher who insisted that we all practice adding up columns of numbers by blurting out what each new sum was without taking time to think about it. You make mistakes when you think about basic arithmetic. I suppose that’s why computers are so much better at it than humans.

Well, that certainly rambled a good distance from the original topic – not that there’s anything wrong with rambling stream of consciousness. I probably wouldn’t have remembered where I started if my little finger and ring finger weren’t getting so sore.

At least we’re finally making a visible dent in the mess in my mother’s house. With any luck, we’ll get the attic emptied this week, and also the sewing room and maybe the bedrooms – they’re mainly empty anyhow, except for stuff that came down from the attic a few weeks ago. After that, check the kitchen and dining room and living room, and drag a few things up from the basement. Then we should be ready to clean the whole place thoroughly, and after that talk to a possible buyer and an estate auctioneer. I really hope we don’t have to spend the winter travelling back and forth halfway across Pennsylvania to keep checking on it. We’ll see.

And after that project is finished, it will be time to clear out this house. I’ve spent way too much time listening to my parents’ horror of throwing out anything that could theoretically be put to use. Finding everything that somebody else could certainly have used if only it had been given away twenty years ago, thirty years ago, forty years ago, and that’s now junk, will definitely clear that notion out of your head.

It’s harder to get rid of your own useless treasures, though. But it needs to be done, so that I don’t wind up ninety years old and surrounded by stuff that I don’t even know where to start looking for. Better to have less and be able to find it. But which “less” to keep?

Well, start by locating and dumping things that I don’t need and don’t want and will be perfectly happy without. Then I can start triage on whatever else is left. Not fun fun fun. Hopefully my stupid hand will have recovered by that time. This is frustrating. It does seem to be better than it was last week; I need to remember to take a wrist brace to my mom’s this time so it doesn’t

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8 responses to “Writing 101 – Stream of Consciousness

  1. I’m so glad you’re doing this too! I’m with you on the clearing out as well, I’ve made small starts and I’m also buying very little these days 🙂

    • Thanks, Gilly! Actually, seeing your post was what inspired me to tackle this series. I’m still thinking about what to use as “my place” for the second assignment.

      As for clearing out – I really, really don’t want my sons to be saddled with a job like this eventually! And it’s a nuisance living in a cluttered house.

  2. Good for you, Sharon! I thought about doing this but didn’t pull the trigger. Maybe another assignment one of these days. Going to be doing some traveling again, though, which makes it more difficult. Visiting a friend tomorrow-Saturday and then heading back to my s-i-l’s in France at the end of the month.

    janet

    • Thanks, Janet. I suspect I won’t keep up with this every day either – what I might do is skip days when I have something else to post, or when we’re going to work on my mom’s house, or when I’m exhausted after one of those house-clearing trips. I’ll fall farther and farther behind on the prompts, but work on them in sequence as I can get to them. (It’s only a twenty-day series as it is. So far – that is, two days in – it seems like an interesting set of writing exercises.)

    • Also, enjoy your travels 🙂

  3. Good writing on a hard task, but yes when you have finished with mum’s house you can then start on your own and take it more slowly.

    • Glad you like it! We don’t exactly have a deadline on my mother’s house, but if this winter is as snowy as last year’s, I cringe at the idea of those long slippery drives back and forth.

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