Tag Archives: college

Writer’s Block #7: A Special Routine

6 Nov

November 6, 2013

Well, here I am again. Me vs. the page. Me vs. the blank screen. Me vs. writer’s block. Have I wasted enough time? Yep, once again I need to turn to our nation’s colleges and universities (I must be desperate) and look to the list of bizarre college essays for inspiration.

I didn’t find any, but here we go: Please describe a daily routine or tradition of yours that may seem ordinary to others but holds special meaning for you. Why is this practice significant to you? (Barnard, 2009)

Well, I don’t; really like to talk about this, but I guess maybe it will help me to unburden myself. Maybe it will help me to sleep at night.

One night, years ago, when I was young, my family was leaving the movie theater, capping off a great evening in which we had dinner at a fancy restaurant and saw the opening night of the Mark of Zorro. The city wasn’t as crime ridden as it is now, but even then there were some places you avoided.

It wasn’t too late, the alley not too dark, and our car was parked just across the street. We were happy and probably not paying too much attention or maybe we would never have gone down that alley, seen that man.

He stopped us.
Had a gun.
Demanded mom’s jewelry.
Dad took a step towards him.
The gun blazed.
And I was an orphan.

I swore on their graves that their deaths would not go unavenged.  And every day I pass that alley and leave flowers amongst the cans of garbage and broken bottles and detritus of urban life.

What? Shit, sorry, that’s Batman’s story. I thought it sounded familiar. But seriously, that is a much better story than mine. You don’t want to hear it, it wouldn’t interest you.

What? Really, you do? It probably isn’t half as interesting as you think.

Ok, you asked for it. My special routine?

Every morning I get up early and read a book on the can. That’s it. It’s quiet and no one bothers me.

Hey, I’m no Batman.




Writer’s Block #2

14 Aug

August 14

I have writer’s block.

What? The pair of reruns this week didn’t give you a clue? Sheesh, take a brain cell out of petty cash, ok?

Anyway, I have writer’s block, and if you doubted it before that lousy brain cell zinger should be all the proof you need. So I went back to the list of odd writing prompts I found online and picked one at random.

Are we alone? (Tufts, 2009)

And for that Tufts charges about a bazillion dollars admission. Anyway, here we go.

Are We Alone?

Are we alone? How should I know? I have no idea who you are or where you are or what you’re doing or even if you are doing it without pants. If you have a secret to tell me and you don’t want anyone around to know it, just back off. I’m not interested.

I hate that question. “Are we alone?” It conjures up images of creepy uncles I won’t talk to any more, strange old men with lotion on their palms, restraining orders, and other memories I work hard to suppress every single day of my life, thank you very much. “Are we alone?” I sure as hell hope we are not.

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