« Saturday, July 10, 2010: The Further Writing of Bacon and Eggs | Main | Friday, July 2, 2010: (Lisa Beamer Quote: The "Stuff" of Life »

Thursday, July 8, 2010: Writing exercises

          I’ve been playing with a writing exercise suggested by Brooks Landon, Ph.D. [see here for Course]. He had suggested taking a single-step or kernel sentence and then generating three more single-step or kernel sentences that add information to your original sentence.   Join these four kernel sentences in as many ways possible.

          The example he gave: Breakfast is my favorite meal. Additions—I like hot food for breakfast. I prefer eggs and bacon to oatmeal. A good breakfast always sets my day off right.

           I took the concept and began playing with it, probably in ways he hadn’t intended.  Sentences became longer and more convoluted than the style in which I would normally write. The challenge remained to combine the basic four predicative sentences into one.  I’d love to see what other people come up with.


         Since childhood, breakfast had been my favorite meal, and if Ma would make a hot breakfast, not sticky oatmeal but something substantial, like bacon and eggs, why then I knew it would be the start of a marvelous day.

        As a child, I believed there was only one way to start the day properly and that was with a hot breakfast (bacon and eggs being my favorite), and to this day, breakfast remains my favorite meal.

         First, I had to make myself a substantial breakfast, which was always hot, the bacon lean and crispy, the eggs cooked in an egg ring so that their yolks sat up golden in a neat circle of white, and I’d sit down to the table and let my eyes take in the feast, feeling sorry for people who start the day with nothing but cold cereal or oatmeal, and I would not rise until my plate was scraped clean and my stomach signaled it was properly prepared to tackle the day’s work.

         When the hunger comes and will not leave me in peace, then it's not fancy dinners or even hearty sandwiches that I remember, but rather, my fondest memories center around the first meal of day on the open trail, the aroma of bacon and eggs coming off the hot campfire skillet while the morning chill hangs in the air, and the feeling of a hot breakfast in the belly (which to this day, conjures up the promise of a good day).

          I was set in the notion that everyone needed a hot breakfast, not just oatmeal but a real hot breakfast, with bacon and eggs, hash browns and jellied toast, coffee and juice, and that if a body just had a decent breakfast to put the day right, why . . .  everyone would realize like I do, that breakfast was the best meal of the day. 

          I made it clear this time that in the morning I expected a substantial hot breakfast, not some glop of runny oatmeal like the day before, but two strips of bacon, a soft-boiled egg, and a single slice of lightly-buttered wheat toast on the side, and I emphasized that breakfast was not just my favorite meal of the day, but the meal that set the rest of the day in motion, for better or worse.

          Bacon and eggs for breakfast is my favorite meal of all time, because it represents the kind of hot, sit-down breakfast that starts out the day right, and because it is exactly the opposite of the tiny boxes of cold cereal, the sugar-glazed Danish, stale bagels, or caked-over pans of lumpy oatmeal that are commonly served at cheap hotels under the guise of a complimentary breakfast.

         How I would love to start each day with breakfast in bed, to be presented with a white-washed tray while I remained partly buried by ruffled comforters, and to have that tray arranged each day with some new variation of fresh flowers, a neatly-pressed linen napkin and properly arranged silverware, a gold-etched china plate filled with two perfectly cooked strips of maple-cured bacon, an lightly seasoned egg-white omelet, and fresh fruit, for that would convince me I was cherished enough for such treatment and, therefore, it was worth the effort of getting up and facing the day.

          I had entered the room in my usual morning rush, eager to open the blinds and let in the morning sun, and when by habit I glanced over to see how the patient had fared the night, I not only caught my breath at the vision of her eyes beginning to glaze over and her skin now hanging loose on the bones, but I fell in such a panic that I could think of nothing else than to push the poor woman to have breakfast, going on and on about it being the most important meal of the day, and how I was sure a good hot breakfast of eggs and bacon would put some color back in her cheeks, for didn’t a good breakfast like this always set my day off right, and surely the nourishment would lift her spirit. 

          What I loved most was sharing the first meal of the day with him, while he would sit reading the morning newspaper, the early sun highlighting tousled curls in his golden hair, and the way he pretended not to notice if I reached across to snitch a piece of bacon from his plate, but would gently lower the paper when I offered up a forkful of my scrambled eggs, for it seemed in these moments that we both were in love with the idea of having an entire day before us.  

          “Feed me a GOOD breakfast, Mummy,” I yelled, pounding my spoon on the table and muttering “stupid oatmeal” as I gave the bowl a push, watching for only a moment as it slid off the table and splattered its contents on the kitchen floor before I returned to my deep and soulful whining that it was my birthday and she had to fix my favorite breakfast of bacon and eggs, because without it, the rest of the day---my Birth Day---would be ruined.

Posted on Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 09:32AM by Registered CommenterThe Skeptical Mystic | Comments1 Comment

Reader Comments (1)

At first, I thought this would be an easy exercise, but it's proving to be challenging. I loved the way you took it up and ran with it.
July 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermaria

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.