First Line

The first line of the book is always hardest to write. That’s what my dad said anyway. Me? Every. Damn. One. Every word is agony, and every sentence a series of self-flagellations that I never really recover from. It’s okay though. I’m not bad at it. After 20 years I can crap out about a book a year that makes enough money to buy a whole lot of good wine. Makes it easier.

Sitting in my apartment, hours on end, staring at a page for 6, 7 hours a day. Not my cup of tea. But it’s a job, keeps the lights on. Feeds my other habits. Wine, a bit of smoke, listening to vinyl LP’s and blowing away 12 year olds online in Call of Duty. Now that I can do for hours on end. Headphones on, microphone down, shouting at kids who haven’t hit puberty yet. That’s living the dream, man. I don’t know how people got through the day without Call of Duty. I’m not sure how I did it. I recall drinking a lot more wine, though. Probably smoked a lot more, but shit, I was in my 20’s then. Dad was still alive. Call of Duty is the writer’s new gin and tonic. It’s expressive, empowering. Hell, after a good game, writing for an hour or two doesn’t seem that bad.

Sometimes I go for walks. Usually late at night, when the loneliness gets too much to sleep. Go for walks, the doctor says. Get some exercise. I don’t know why he couldn’t just give me a couply xanys. Seems to work for everyone else. Shit, worked for mom. But walk, he says. So I walk.

Not that it doesn’t work. It does. Especially on the warm summer nights. Making my way through the suburbs, walking by people’s houses in the dark. I pretend I’m a spy, creeping about leaving dead drops in somebody’s rhododendrons. Kinda connects you to the neighborhood.   

This is the first of a new series I’m working called Creative Mine. It’s mostly an outlet for the ideas and projects I want to do. Something I can update daily, and keep my creative energy going. Today’s piece is a writing exercise based on the prompt “The first line…” and I wrote for ten minutes. Make your own exercises using the prompt and put it in the comments! I’d love to see what you guys have to write.  

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