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You May Forget You’re Reading Now

Here’s another Write Practice exercise played out. It comes from Thursday’s prompt about reasons why writers might seek validation. Frankly, I didn’t identify too much with points two and three, but I did enjoy the prompt:

For the next fifteen minutes, describe the scene when a new reader starts the book you wrote and is instantly sucked in, eyes glued, unable to stop reading.

I thought for a minute about the book that I’m writing, about one of the scenes I hope will suck my readers in and make them forget that they’re reading. Because if I’m honest, one of my goals as a writer is and forever will be to make reader’s forget that they’re reading.

So without further adieu, here’s my 15 minute exercise from Thursday. Cheers.

The air is dense, their legs are fresh, minds and hearts free to take the mid-west like a loaded storm. They have just come from a rejuvenating bus ride. Most noticeably, here in southern Illinois, is the climate. There is greenery like Kansas couldn’t dream of. The trees have sprouted legs and tower like titans. Man-made roads wind and lose their way along their ankle-like roots.

Michael and Louis have been speechless for the last hour. The sound of cranking: over, and over, and over. The wind whisping through their helmets and over their ears is loud and wet. Illinois is alive, Michael thinks. And we are here to experience it.

“I don’t know if I said this to you back at the greyhound station, but…” Louis is pensive. He goes on. “Thanks for keeping watch. I needed that.”

“I think we both did,” Michael says.

“No really, man. I was pretty sick. I needed that rest, on that bench, under the blue fluorescent parking lot lights for those four hours.”

“You bet, man. Happy to be able to do it for you and us. I mean, I fell asleep too.”

“Yeah, but you kept watch. I knew you did. That’s why I fell asleep.”

Michael watches the road roll below him for a while. He feels the wind land on his sweaty skin like mist. It coats him and keeps him cool. A year ago, he would have helped a friend at a moment’s notice. It wouldn’t have taken an ounce of energy. Or thought. Helping someone get to where they needed to go was what he felt he did best.

But today he is different. Sour, hesitant, bitter. Reluctant. His mind begins to turn over like the engine to his aching heart was trying to sneak a jumpstart. Something has stepped ahead of him, or so it seemed. He slows his mind and looks back at Louis, who is peering south toward a grove. Michael can see his pupils. His friend is at ease. What more could he ask for? This is life, he thinks to himself. Just this right now.

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