Today, try telling your story out loud. Speak into a recording device (there may
be one on your cell phone). Then play back what you said and write it down.
You can revise and edit later if you want. Do the words flow more easily when
you are talking instead of writing? If you don’t have a recording device, do this
exercise anyway, but stop after a few minutes to write down what you’ve just
I would have included the actual audio file but it would not let me attach it. But that is ok, because I have been assured it does not sound like me. 🙂 The items in parenthesis are things I changed from the original recording.
I am really not sure I will get tomorrow’s on time 😦 I’ve got to get down to Fayetteville by 6 or so because the University does a guest lecturer every year (free to the public!). One year was Jane Goodall, and another was the Dali Lama and this year is Bill Nye! I’m absurdly excited about that. I do not know if I will get home and get a story written before midnight. It is my goal NOT to fail, so we will see 🙂
This was Adrian’s favorite room. Of all the rooms in the whole wide world, this may be his absolute favorite. But to call it a room may be a bit too much. The outside looked like nothing more than a very large dead tree, but at age five, Adrian could still slip in between the branches and find what was inside.
The inside looked something like a farm house mixed with a fun house that he had once seen on the internet when his brother had been looking at pictures. The stairs were old and didn’t look very safe. None of the angles matched, (nothing in the room matched) there was tile, there was plaster, and there was wood. All colors, textures, shapes, sizes, everything (contained) in this one room. (If he had been older and able to understand the concept, he would have realized this was all rooms and no room, but he was much too young for that.)
He had never been up the stairs. He had never been brave enough to try it. He had once stepped on the very bottom step, but the loud creaking and groaning had frightened him and he had left.
If his mother (had known) he was in here, she would have an absolute fit. She often said that he wasn’t supposed to be going (in stranger’s houses). Of course she knew where he was, he was in the forest. He hadn’t gone anywhere; he hadn’t gone in anyone’s house. He’d never even left their yard. Technically this was their property, so technically this was his house, right? (He loved the word technically, he learned it from his brother’s older sister just last week and it opened up a whole new world of wiggle room that he never knew existed.)
He sat and watched the window. There were windows, but you couldn’t see them from the outside, he had looked. He’d even peaked under the bark. He wondered how it worked. How were there windows on the inside, but not on the outside?
Dirty green sunlight filtered in from (high above at what he assumed must be the top of the twisty tilty stairs.) He would stand at the very bottom, wedged between the banister and the (tiled) wall with his head tilted back and he neck (extended as far as it would go), and stare all the way up. It seemed to go on forever, and the tree was very tall, so he wondered (sometimes) if it didn’t go on forever. At five, that was still a possibility.
Maybe today would be the day he would go up the stairs. He tied his shoes tighter, and hitched his pants up higher, took a deep breath and placed his foot on the bottom step again. He knew to expect the groaning and creaking, so this time it wouldn’t (scare) him. Just as he was about to shift his weight to the step he heard something. It wasn’t the creaking of the steps; it was his mother calling (for him). He (considered) for a second and realized it probably was time for snacks, and snack meant cookies and Kool-aide. Maybe it was time to go home after all.
Without another thought he slipped out what looked like a door on the inside and a crack in the tree trunk from the outside and made his way back to (his) house.
From the top of the stairs, after the sound of (Adrian’s) footsteps had faded away and the crunch of the leaves was long gone the watcher peered over the edge and thought, maybe next time.30