You want to write better. You want to write more.

Ann Linquist I’m Ann Linquist, freelance writer and online writing instructor.  Whether you’re interested in writing fiction, creative nonfiction, or effective business documents, I invite you to explore this site and find out how to reach your writing goals.

Grocery Store

It’s part of your routine, I suspect, those frequent trips to the grocery store.  But though routine, only you visit the grocery store in your own unique way.  It’s a story; it’s a poem; it’s a tragedy; it’s a memoir; it’s a comic riff on life these days.  I’ll post one of my trips to the grocery store to get you started, but I’m sure you have your own grocery story to share.

Grocery Store

My favorite reality check is

when I leave the grocery store,

pushing my cart with its many brown bags.

The automatic doors open

and the sky greets me.

The blacktop of the parking lot meets my feet.

I like to check in at that moment,

noting if my hands are tight on the bar of the cart

so I won’t scream or perhaps melt into the pavement.

Other days, my heart leaps to the beauty of the clouds.

Sometimes I am drawn to the sight of other shoppers

whose lives I do not have to live.

That woman so heavy her gait is a struggle

That man with the loosened tie who hawks and spits

That gray-haired, firm-jawed man with pain visible in each uneven step

That mother herding children who are whining about what they want

Then I’m back inside myself—my own legs moving, cart rolling, my car in sight, another day I’m in.

And I’m alive today, each step, this one at the grocery store,


That Old Hat

That old hat turned up on the bus driver’s head on the same day he slammed his fist into the fat lady’s briefcase.  I’ve seen that hat before, I thought.

Survival Tactics

You live in a five by eight foot concrete block room with a locked door, one small window above head-height. Meals and clothing are provided for you. You have a cot, commode, sink, a tiny desk, and one metal chair. You get one hour outside per day, with others of your gender, but the guards do not allow you to talk. You will be released in 2030. You can have five personal items. How do you survive?

Can You Write Seven Sentences that Make NO Sense?

It’s hard.  Themes want to emerge.  Humans have an urge toward meaning.  Trees want to be guardians.  The moon is a sister.  Peanut butter turns out to be a memory of childhood.  Even the damn cracked concrete driveway suggests a journey.

But perhaps we can stimulate our creativity backwards by adding the pressure of resisting meaning, of not bowing to the urge to let those associations and connections come.

Here are mine.  Complete sentences only!   Let me ponder yours.    I would like that.

Bark is blood.

Rebecca hands down rubber band wraps.

Brilliant, dried up sandwich meat drives off.

Oxen sunshine wins the pickle.

Father Betty put gloves on stools.

Falling face powder signals a new peace.

Add up all the mouse trap do-overs.

Can you do this?

To Do List Fiction

Your mission, if you choose to accept, is to create a To Do list that, when read, tells us a story. Keep in mind that To Do lists can have multiple parts or sections, that they do change from day to day, with things often crossed out, and that they are typically something we use but don’t share and therefore tend to be not only personal, but often secret. Good exercise in subtext and “showing, not telling.” Dive in!

You Can Tell the Future

We’re writers, and we make things up.  I think we can predict the future too, if we put our minds to it.  Pick one or more of the futures on this list and let us know how you see the future.

  • The future of bowling alleys
  • The future of carpools
  • The future of BBQ
  • The future of carnivals
  • The future of the courts
  • The future of pets
  • The future of magic.

More Galumphing for You

The Undergod

The round and round

A phobia

Stubbed toe