Rise Above

Image: Proofreader and editor Miranda K. Lloyd flying a plane.

I really didn’t want to write a coronavirus post. I just wanted to carry on with business as usual and ignore it until it passed by. My hands are chapped from all the extra washing and I just want Covid-19 to GO AWAY.

But I guess your hands are chapped from all the washing too. In spite of all my hopes, this virus is definitely serious and here to stay for quite some time. So all we can do is rise above it, carry on as usual and find ways of making this whole sorry mess a little more fun.

So here’s a little writing exercise to keep everyone entertained for half an hour this weekend. It’s great for kids too.

  • Pick a sentence. Any random sentence.
  • Use each word in your chosen sentence to start a new sentence.
  • Keep writing until you have a paragraph and see what you come up with. Bonus points if it makes sense.

Who knows, it could be the inspiration for a new novel, or the start of a short story, or even the seed of an idea for a new avenue of research.

Let’s try it together on that last sentence.

Who do you think I should ask about these bagels?” said Win, holding up the bag and peering inside.

Knows about bagels, does Claris,” said Win’s friend Arthur, nodding wisely.

It could be worth a try,” agreed Win as they moved down the street away from the market stall.

Could be,” added Arthur.

Be happy in life, thought Win as she mused over the bagels. The daily acquisition of freshly baked bread was an essential part of happiness for Win. Inspiration came from creativity, and what was baking if not creativity?

For to bake was to create something wholesome and good. A chilling thought struck her: bagels had not been made in Bagelthorpe for a hundred years, and yet here she was with some seemingly fresh bagels. Novel idea indeed. Or merely some wizard’s deception?

The idea terrified her. Start to think like that and you’ll go crazy, Win thought. Of these fearful thoughts Claris knew nothing. A few short minutes would change this.Short strides towards a life changing conversation. Story Time at the library would be over by now and Claris would be in, settling down with a cup of tea. Or would she? Even Claris deviated from routine sometimes. The routine of 50 years could be thrown over in an instant, and Win might never get to speak to her again. Seed of fear fast growing in her mind, Win hurried to Claris’ front door and knocked. Of bagels she must speak, and speak now!

An aggravating pause and then Claris was suddenly at the door.

Idea forming on her lips, Win thrust out the bag as she spoke. For minutes she couldn’t get the words out.

A moment please,” Win whispered as Arthur drew up beside her, puffing. “New bagels in the market, is that odd?” she finally gasped.

Avenue Z, where Claris lived, was suddenly eerily quiet.

Of these new bread products I have not heard,” admitted Claris, peering out into the street. “Research will be required. I’ll put the kettle on and fire up the toaster,” she said.


This story isn’t perfect. I didn’t plan it. But I did edit it. And I decided to add the last sentence to round it off.

What do you think?

Let me know in the comments if you try this exercise. In the meantime, happy writing and stay safe and well.

(For the story behind the photo at the top of this post, watch the feature about 19 minutes into this episode of Inside Out South).