creative writing: alphabet jumble exercise

I am one week into NaBloPoMo and it’s starting to get tricky to write every day. What I’ve learned so far is:

  1. I do have more time to write than I thought. Though I do need to be considerate about when in order to avoid too late nights and ignoring my children/husband at key times of the day.
  2. I do have more to write about than I thought.
  3. Writing fast doesn’t necessarily produce bad writing.

Today however, I must confess I was feeling at a loss as to what to write. None of the daily prompts on another blog inspired me. There was just…nothing.

I flicked through my notebook to see if there was anything worth posting and did come across something that makes me smile every time I read it. I drew a Creative Writing Course book out of the library a couple of months ago and have been picking my way through, reading bits I fancy and doing the odd exercise. One exercise required me to write down all the letters of the alphabet in a mixed-up order and then write a piece of prose or poetry using those letters as the first letter of each word, in the order I had written them down.

Here was my alphabet jumble:


The day I did this exercise I was somewhat hormonal and feeling perplexed at the tornado of emotions that hits us ladies at various times of the month, not just the main one. I didn’t overthink this exercise but what came out was an expression of that and it makes me smile because I find it funny. But also, I love the way this exercise forced me to write something so quirky and with such a variety of words. It doesn’t exactly make sense but it didn’t need to. Using X was a challenge I can tell you. It is difficult to relate Zebra’s or Zoo’s to certain things as well…

Here it is:

Can only women get lost querying xylene-added dynamite, massive zigzagging kaleidoscope? Raging, yes, blind feeling in varying jolts.

Periods send everyone nuts; undue hateful tension.

If you fancy having a go at the exercise yourself post yours in the comments! Don’t overthink it, just see what comes out.

N.B. Xylene is flammable but of modest acute toxicity. The main effect of inhaling xylene vapor is depression of the central nervous system (CNS), with symptoms such as headache, dizziness, nausea and vomiting. At an exposure of 100ppm, one may experience nausea or a headache. At an exposure between 200-500ppm, symptoms can include feeling “high,” dizziness, weakness, irritability, vomiting, slowed reaction time.

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