In the wake of the Writers Festival, it’s apparent that one of the reasons for my ongoing creative despair has been the lack of creation. For a long time, I’ve not being writing anything new, simply stirring the embers of words already committed, thoughts already created and let loose.

Thankfully, as always, Luscious not only has the answer but is living it.

For a couple of weeks now she’s been challenging herself to a different writing exercise a day, not with an expectation of creating a glowing, new, complete work to loose upon the world but simply as a way of rediscovering the habit of writing, the self-given gift of sitting down to write and creating something new.

So, yesterday, with no expectation of anything other than filling a page and remembering how to put one word in front of the other, we sat down on either side of the kitchen table, and performed the following exercise. It’s yours to play with, too, should you so desire.

It’s simply this: take the last line of a story, and make it the first line of a new story.

The book, randomly chosen from our nearest bookshelf, was The Locus Awards, edited by Jonathan Strahan and Charles. N Brown. The story we chose, by virtue of picking a number between 1 and 18, was The Persistence of Vision by John Varley. And the line: We live in the lovely quiet and dark.

You, of course, may choose whatever book you like 🙂

With no great expectation, we gave ourselves ten minutes. 450 words later, The Lovely Quiet became a thing.

Another 300 words tonight, and it remains a thing, and a thing I’ll be prodding at every night until it’s finished. I’m setting no word goals, and no time limits. I’m simply writing for the rediscovery of it, putting one word in front of the other to see what happens. But it’s a story, and that’s all I care about. 

We live in the lovely quiet and dark. Mother curls around us, keeping us warm, keeping us safe. Soon it will be time to hatch, time to feed, time to crawl up through the ooze and muck and cloying dirt into the light, to chase and catch and bite and feed. But not just yet. Not now. Now we rest, and suckle, and draw fat and warmth into ourselves. Mother surround us, fills our mouths and our stomachs. She is our shelter, our protector, our food. Mother is the world.