Monday, March 8, 2010

Just a Couch (?)

Our assignment from the Inspiration Workshop at BlissDom:

"In her amazing book, What It Is! writer/artist Lynda Barry shares (among other flashes of genius!) a simple exercise she learned from her college professor and mentor Marilyn Frasca. It's one I use all the time to get my mind in gear.

Here's how it goes: With pen and paper, make a list of ten couches you've known in your lifetime. (This also works with other words, but couches are my favorite because they are central to many moments in your memory.)

When you've made your list, take a deep relaxing breath and find the couch that has the most powerful emotional charge for you. Then begin writing about it...

Keep writing for three minutes until you've reached the end of the vignette. Keep the pen moving. Three minutes will seem like a long time. But don't stop. If you run out of words, doodle a little till they come again.

Don't edit! Keep the memory and emotion there in all its raw glory!"

There's really only one couch to write about.

One couch that matters.

That represents an entire chapter of my life.

It was covered in duct tape and chewed on by puppies.

It was sticky and gross and falling apart.

It was over my head and everywhere.

It was dirty.

It was a conversation piece.

It was important because it was ours. And it was sad when it was (finally) gone.

It was our

badge of honor.

It proclaimed to all the world that we were poor, sad college students getting useless degrees and we had this shitty couch to prove it, god damn it.


I wrote that down in three minutes.

(I don't write very fast, so it's not very long. Also? Three minutes isn't that much time.)

When I came to post it I edited certain things (even though the rules say not to) because I could make them sound better here (and because I'm a hard core bad ass who doesn't listen to rules)

.... then I went back and took the edits out, and wrote what I wrote on paper with pen.

Word for word.

(It was really hard to do.)


When they first told us about this assignment I laughed to myself.

The first post I ever wrote was about that same stupid couch.

Come play this game yourself here, or on your own, and let me know if you do...