Recently a friend directed me to a story on Medium.com. (I publish there once in a while too.) My friend’s friend had posted a little writing exercise that I just adored.
An ABECEDARIAN is a 26 sentence story, with each sentence beginning with each sequential letter of the alphabet.
It’s a fun exercise that really gets those creative juices flowing. Although I admit I am being lazy using a cliche like ‘creative juices flowing.’ How about this: the structure both confines you and opens you. How creative can you be and still stick to the rules?
Go ahead and give it a try. You may surprise yourself .
Here’s the link to the story by Amy Selwyn that inspired me: Amy’s Abecedarian story. It’s marvelous – I hope you will go over to medium.com and give it a read.
And here is my crazy little exercise. (with additional thanks – and perhaps apologies – to my Kentucky librarian friend.)
THE LIBRARIAN’S SECRET
A librarian in Kentucky had a secret.
Brainy (is there any other kind of librarian?), Laurie pursued art history and medieval icons.
Cathedrals had been visited.
Dostoyevsky had been read.
Every one of her co-workers knew that Laurie’s brain was better than Google.
For arcane trivia or political significance, they knew who to ask.
“Go to Laurie,” they advised all the students looking to pad their research papers.
However ridiculous the request, Laurie smiled and answered.
“I don’t mind,” Laurie said, aware that the other librarians had nothing much to do.
“Just as long as I have Sundays off.”
Keeping secrets, thought the staff.
Laurie hoped she had kept her secrets well.
Many had tried to discover Laurie’s mysterious Sundays.
No one had succeeded.
One day, however, Laurie made a mistake.
Perhaps she was just tired of the secrecy.
Quite possibly, she was proud of her hobby.
Really though, Laurie just momentarily forgot her reputation for being esoteric and sophisticated.
“Star Trek,” she said one day, when a student asked her for the definitive reference for space exploration.
“That old TV show?” the student asked, and the other librarians suddenly got very interested.
“Unequivocally,” Laurie said, as she unbuttoned her smock to reveal the Star Trek uniform underneath.
“Vice President,” Laurie explained, pointing to the flyer pinned to the bulletin board, which advertised the Sunday Star Trek fan club.
“Wow,” the kid said.
“Xenophobia,” Laurie whispered to the kid, nodding towards her co-workers.
“You don’t know how hard it is to be an alien, until you live in Kentucky,” she added conspiratorially.
“Zany,” said all her co-workers, and Laurie was happy they were right.