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I’m sorry…I’m a little grumpy this morning. It’s a been a short and busy week, it’s freaking cold outside, and I’d really like to wear my pjs and stay in all day. It’s also Friday and I’d like to post something clever or humourous, but I think my funny bone is in desperate need of caffeine.

Earlier this week I tried to give myself a writing challenge and I thought I had found a fun way to do it. I called it “1-2-3-4-5”! Here’s how it was supposed to work:

Grab the 1st book on the top shelf of my living room.
Open it to the 2nd chapter.
Count down to the 3rd paragraph.
Find the 4th sentence.
Write about something related to the 5th word.

It seemed so simple, but it turned into a challenge! The 1st book on the shelf was “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare”. I went to the 2nd chapter/play, “Two Gentlemen of Verona”. Then I went to the 3rd page, 4th line, and 5th word: “a”! Is “a” technically a word?

So I approached it a bit differently…

5th book from the other end of the shelf – “Sense and Sensibility” by Jane Austen, 4th chapter, 3rd paragraph, 2nd sentence, 1st word: “yet”…not very meaty, is it?

So I tried variations with a couple of Jane Austen books (the 2nd and 3rd books on the shelf)…then random chapters but 3rd paragraph, 2nd sentence, first word…So uninspiring!

Finally, I closed my eyes and pointed to a random book on the shelf: “Daniel Deronda” by Dostoyevsky…chapter 3, paragraph 2, 1st sentence…Nope. Then I tried not so random books: chapter 1, paragraph 2, 3rd sentence? third chapter from the end, paragraph 2…well, you get the idea!

After wasting close to an hour, and making multiple trips from the couch to the book shelf and back again, I found one that worked…”Letters of a Diplomat’s Wife 1883-1900″ by Mary King Waddington (genre: non-fiction, biography). It is a faded olive green book with gold letters. The pages have yellowed with age, particularly around the edges and it smells really musty. And on the front page, someone has scribed in ink, “The dear Mater. August 31st 1903”. (kind of pre-dates Tow Mater from Disney’s Cars…) Here we go: 2nd page, 3rd paragraph 2, third paragraph, 4th sentence, 5th word: “from”. But…same book, Part II “Ten Years in England”, third paragraph, fourth sentence, fifth word: “dance“!

Dance? Isn’t that what I had been doing for the last hour? Think about it – my knees were bending, my feet were shuffling, I was raising my arms while spinning on one foot as I moved across the floor…my body was starting to get tired and I had broken out in a sweat (for the first time this year that wasn’t hormone-related…although there was that one snowstorm when I shovelled…but I digress)! Writing challenge achieved…sort of! Could it be better? Absolutely. I’ll try harder next week – I promise!

Happy Weekend!

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