A few things I learned from this exercise, brought to the world by Sue Black:
1. Long sentences do not mean writing in stream-of-consciousness. I felt just as compelled to edit, to re-arrange, to trim and hone just as with other work.
2. I originally started out trying to capture my thoughts over the course of a day. What does it say about me that my sentence takes me until 8:00 a.m.?
3. I’ve never really felt that a single sentence ever deserved a title, but if anybody can think of one, post it in my comments.
4. I’m in a rut. Mentally, creatively. I can’t deny it. I’ve got to get out of the motherhood is busy thing. Let’s see if next time I can challenge myself to take on different subject matter.
5. Maybe even fiction.
6. Maybe not. But I can think about trying.
7. Here goes.
The day begins before it really begins, dreaming (if I am lucky) of things beyond reality, of flying or driving a car that turns into a paddleboat before entering a museum and losing my children inside, or (if life is busy) an endless recount of one particular scene from one particular day: one particular math lesson or one particular problem that I must keep explaining over and over to one particular child before waking up, welcoming my soul back to my body from its either fanciful or regular dreams as the to-do list begins ticking: walk the dogs, shower, pack the lunches, wake the boys (but do it right or they’ll be crabby), pack my bags, turn my shirt right side out before anyone notices, make sure everyone is fed and dressed (underwear included), pretend that everybody brushed their teeth, and hope (because a girl can dream) that I don’t yell at anybody as I usher them into coats, out the door and into the car which, because it is wintertime and the ice is a good excuse, has replaced both my feet and my bike as a mode of transportation, the guilt of which weighs down upon my environmentally aware and physically fit parts of my conscience even though people (giving me advice that’s easier to serve that eat) tell me maybe that’s just one ball I can allow to drop, just as long as it’s not the patches I need to get for the Tiger Cubs, nor the violin rental payment, nor the slips that need signing nor the books that need returning; I let the car take me across town and turn itself into the school parking lot, gauging how on-time I am by which row I get to park in, and if I’m really allowing myself to (I’ll know because I will have noticed the sky that day) I will give myself time, just a bit, right after I turn the ignition off, to enjoy the sudden shock of silence, that momentary hush that comes right after the engine quits and I hear nothing, think nothing, feel much before shouldering the ungraded papers, ready (not really ready, but I know how to fake it) to start working.
If you feel compelled, I’m passing the challenge along. Can you craft a single sentence, 250-300 words long (or so)? Post it in the comments section. I’d love to have a read.