After the TSA foreplay, but before I line my tray table with mini bottles of Bacardi and settle in to watch Sense and Sensibility for the millionth time on my iPad, here’s something to think about:

Alcohol is dehydrating and has been known to cause pregnancy.

Let me not to the marriage of true minds…

Okay, I’ve patiently waited to break the staycation habit and now the sky’s the limit! I just need to remember that once I’ve chatted up every stranger within ear shot, re-read the 172 pages of Summoning The Strength, surfed inflight infomercials, Jean-Claude Van Damme classics, easy listening channels and taken a nap we’ll still have four hours of flying time. What am I going to do while streaking across the sky, breathing a lean mixture of oxygen, jet fuel, and farts?

I could try this:

1) Pose a question beginning with who, what, when, where, why or how

example: What if I…

2) Create a list of verbs that would complete the question. One word for each letter of the alphabet, excluding the letter X because unless you’ve got some kind of MacGyver/ninja warrior/word genie mad skills, there are no verbs I know of that begin with freakin’ X.

example: Reveal Pretend Hope Zoom Accept Search Break Vanish Yield Forgive Leave Question Expect Measure Keep Illuminate Understand Joke Treasure Decide Offer Grab Need Create Wait

3) Use as many of the words as I can to develop a coherent thought in one sentence. All punctuation is acceptable. Verbs can turn into nouns or other parts of speech, but must stay in their original form/tense.

examples: What if I…

Pretend to understand the purpose of this life, wait before I decide to offer the first thing I create and yield to alternative ideas because I need to know there is hope that others won’t think my writing is a joke or question what they can expect from me as I reveal my search for a way to keep my sanity, learn to forgive and grab a measure of satisfaction before I leave the planet and zoom toward the light to accept my treasure or vanish, take a break and illuminate the earth from the heavens?

Here’s another one: What if I…

Expect nothing, question everything and break down the barriers others create because they need to pretend they aren’t vulnerable while they decide whether to accept me and reveal themselves or yield to the temptation to make a joke and keep moving so I don’t vanish with their dignity, making it so they measure every relationship against the one that managed to zoom away with their heart, refuse to wait for, search for, leave room in their life for, ever treasure another relationship again or understand why they can’t forgive themselves for allowing the offer of hope that they would ever illuminate another soul grab them by the balls?

And a third: What if I

Understand it is a treasure to be able to pretend, create and joke in order not to vanish completely into the mundane minutia of life while we search for a project that can grab our attention or wait for an offer to reveal itself and illuminate our journey to what’s next or, at least we can hope, to keep us busy until that big break we expect to come along…

You get the idea. Creating different sentences using the same word list can strengthen your writing chops or make you lose your mind. I’ll let you know what happens. 🙂

Peace to you, friends! 

12 thoughts on “Friends With Words

  1. Wyrd Smythe says:

    Neat!! You might like the Impossible Words blog. She hasn’t posted since July 9, but the last few posts present writing challenges that boggle my mind! In her last post, she writes a little tale where the rule is, “No three-letter words.” I was especially impressed with her penultimate post: using a number in every sentence!

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      Thanks, I’ll check it out.

  2. changeforbetterme says:

    I think I would need those little bottles and lots of them before my brain could do your exercises. 😉 but they might not make any sense then. Hmmm decisions, decisions.

  3. artsifrtsy says:

    I like this. I’m a big advocate of practicing your craft. A professor told me once that if I was not willing to devote time every day to drawing that I would never really see the potential I might have – he likened it to practicing the piano every day. I shoot everyday. I like the idea of exercises that strengthen the creative muscles.

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      You are so right. I just hope all this over-thinking doesn’t turn me into a muscle head! 🙂

      1. artsifrtsy says:

        Haha! I think you’ll be OK. BTW, I’m no writer so I’m probably using the wrong term, but I really like the cadence of your writing.

        1. Honie Briggs says:

          Cadence is the perfect word and such a wonderful compliment.

  4. segmation says:

    Awesome words and blog! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      Thank you very much!

  5. Brigitte says:

    I think you should just drink the bottles of Bicardi and relax. (TSA foreplay — you cray-cray, funny lady). Enjoy and check in when you land in the land of the wonderful. :).

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