I am one of those people who have two left feet. Not the kind that say it out of modesty, mind you – I am absolutely, utterly, horrendously incapable of dancing. To add to that, I’m decidedly overweight as well, making it less cute if I blunder around, tires bulging, than if, say, Cameron Diaz or Enrique Iglesias did.
I associate dancing with passion, sexuality and whirling around in the sheer excitement of living; at least, that’s what it looks like to me when others dance. I would give just about anything to be able to dance, yet unfortunately my sense of pride keeps me from making an absolute fool of myself. Funnily enough, I believe that it’s not so much a general sense of pride holding me back as much as shame: shame for my appearance and my stark lack of ability.
I believe that if I lost weight, or if I (privately) attained a certain minimum level of proficiency in any dance form, I would gain the confidence required to dance in public.
A “meet-cute” is a charming first interaction between two characters who will become romantically involved. (Think the tangled dog leashes in 101 Dalmatians.) Write a meet-cute between two characters.
Headphones clamped around her ears, vacuum-sealed, she couldn’t hear the argument raging just four feet away; couldn’t hear the net café customer yell himself hoarse about having lost his seat to some “random girl off the road”; didn’t see the owner apologetically but firmly shrug a diplomatic “no”; didn’t notice the disgruntled visitor throw himself down on the chair next, sighing audibly. She was lost, fighting far off people from far off lands…and she won. Again. She only noticed when the angry fist-on-table near her shook the table. She looked up, as did he. More than the table shook.
There are so many cities in the world, and a nearly infinite number of fictional towns in addition. Pick an intangible noun (think “hope,” “friendship,” “fear,” “loathing,”) and write a short scene set in a town with that name.
Ethan walked past Contraption Row on his way home from school, dragging his feet. He’d just managed to skip Creative Theory 101. What was so great about uniqueness anyway? Or even creativity? Why not just do whatever you want to, without bothering about the result? Why care about differentiating it from everything else? He kicked a rock in frustration. His eyes followed it as it rebounded off the signpost for Originality Lane and rolled to a stop near a broken mirror fragment, diffusing the reflecting sunlight. Thinking back to Haiku 101, he scribbled,
I was walking out on the porch with my mother today as she caught me up on several months’ worth of news, and I her. Nine o’clock at night and the breeze was deliciously electrifying, and the dark perfect for confidences. I prattled on about my life for a while before letting her take over; I got to hear about everything from housing developers, deception and lawsuits to the Koreans who’d moved in next door. Looking out at the purplish-maroon, almost-starless sky, it hit me that this was life – there was always someone to catch up with, someone who wanted to share news and some time with you. You hop from setting to setting in life, always with different groups of people; first you’re with the one, then you switch partners, almost like a lifelong dance.
It struck me earlier in the day that this was what liberation and adulthood meant – learning that everything is transient – and not being bothered by it; reveling in it almost, reveling at your capability for adaptation and enjoyment and understanding of life and people, and their need for space and change; and appreciation and acceptance of yourself as an individual, not dependent on anyone but yourself; the ability to look optimistically at life and take advantage of every situation you’re vaulted into with a leap.