Since I started What Naomi Wrote the posts have mainly been reviews, but I always planned to implement some of my own creative writing into this blog. Then, I came across this 30 day creative writing challenge on Down The Rabbit Hole.
In lectures and workshops at university, lecturers would send us away with trigger exercises for creative writing. This 30 day creative writing challenge is essentially a list of thirty trigger exercises for creative writing - and I have to do one a day. I think it will be a fun and challenging journey back to creative writing, after four months without it.
Here is the first - one I wrote today. No one else has read it, checked it, and I have edited it only twice. Bearing all that in mind, I hope you like it.
A Place That You Love
It’s where I wake up, and fall asleep, most mornings and nights. The routine, the repetition, the familiarity is what makes it feel safe and good. I know where everything is, or where most things are – because there are still things I don’t know, like what is in the attic, exactly? I have never been up there. I’ve only been able to look up at it while passing my dad boxes on the ladder, or holding it so it doesn’t wobble and he falls down. And there are hundreds - maybe thousands of photographs I have never looked at, and hidden letters and cards that are not mine to read. It is not just my home. Does anyone’s home belong to just them?
It is only home when it’s occupied. When it’s empty – if there are people at work or on holiday – it is like a shoebox with no shoes, or a fridge with no milk or the sweet cupboard with no creme eggs.
It is very quiet here. We don’t live on a main road anymore. I have called this home for eight years. But home is really only where the ones you love are, not necessarily all at the same time, but it’s best if they are.
My bedroom is the centre of my home. Everything I do in the rest of the house can be done in my room, and yet more can be done in my room than the rest of the house. Like sleep, and dress, and take my make up off, and brush my teeth – because I am lucky enough to have my own bathroom.
I can watch films and tv on my laptop in my room and I can go shopping on the internet and read books all night long if I really want to. I always fall asleep though. I can have naps and paint my nails and talk on the phone about things I wouldn’t say in any other room in the house.
There are secrets, despite each of us being able to describe what it all looks like, and finding our way around in the dark.
No one can break in here. There are no curtains on the kitchen French doors, but I’m not scared of the whatever is staring at me when I’m making myself a cup of tea at night. I can stand and eat my cookies at the door and stare into the black garden and see something move in the streetlight and not be afraid. No one can break in here.
I fall asleep fine. It’s the staying asleep that I have trouble with. I think I’m probably quite an anxious person, but it’s hard to compare myself to anyone else when I’ve only ever been myself. I remember most of my dreams. They’re usually inexplicably odd and change and disappear as the day goes on and other, more important things occupy my mind. Yet just the look in someone’s eye or the sound of an egg frying or the colour of the sky will take me back. And yet some I remember from years and years ago. From when I was a child, as if they were real events – I actually did fly down the stairs once, you know.
We tell each other lots of things:
Have a nice day.
See you tonight. Oh, what’s for tea?
Are you getting up today?
Did you have a nice day?
What are you doing tomorrow?
Those are the things I remember anyway.
There aren’t many arguments now that I’m grown up. Just bickering which is forgotten in minutes, seconds, sometimes.
We look after each other. Breakfast in bed on Boxing Day and Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
Can you make me a cup of tea please?
Or coffee. The coffee pot is never clean.
I like to bake things that no one needs to eat but everyone likes. Cookies and brownies and biscuits and cakes. My cakes are getting worse as I get older.
I can go to bed whenever I want. I can get out of bed whenever I want. That is how home should be. Piping hot evening meals and an array of cereals on the table for breakfast. Coco pops on Birthdays and Nutella whenever I go food shopping. Croissants when guests come to stay. Three different sized coffee pots and a whole shelf of different teabags in the cupboard. Getting into my onesie as soon as I get in from town or church or school or work. I’d try to do that even in the summertime. I like being cold.
All the best things are at home. Christmas, Birthdays, bed, food. All my stuff. Memories and events and daily things like breakfast, lunch and tea. It’s where children want to go when they’ve fallen over or don’t feel well. We don’t change that much.