Category Archives: writing

Writing Exercise: Visiting a Painting in the Art Institute of Chicago

“The room is quiet, and it seems quiet even when compared to a library. You hear the soft padding and occasional squeaking of rubber soles on parquet floors, a pencil shading grey-and-black trees on a sketchpad, and the moving air in the HVAC ductwork high overhead.” Continue reading

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Writing Exercise: “Autumn in a Pittsburgh Suburb” (Sense of Place)

“… [H]e could start up his coal business again. He’d heard someone call it “black gold” – or maybe that was oil? The hill was chock full of it, anyhow. That was it. He would dig for coal.” Continue reading

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Exercise: Begin a Story – “Strange Lands”

“It’s time to go, and I get up to find my bag. The people in the rows around me are muddling along just as I am. Despite this, I am obsessed with the idea that I’m not moving fast enough, and that they all hate me for my incompetence as an international traveler.” Continue reading

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Writing Exercise: Escalator – “Bear ISO Human Friend”

“Bensworth now closed the distance further on the new potential human friend, and he worried that he wouldn’t succeed in convincing this one of his amicable intentions.” Continue reading

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Writing Exercise: Routine in the Second Person

At first approach to setting your SOP [Standard Operating Procedure], you thought about a few things in combination. Your first concern was for her, of course, and your second concern was for what would work best. “Best” here was a determination met by calculating your sub-optimal options given the constraints presented by (1) caring about another person’s comfort and (2) living as a human with limited cognitive abilities. Continue reading

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