The Picture Game: A Sample Entry

I thought I would start giving you more samples of my writing. To be honest, I wrote for 10 and edited/added for 20 minutes. Here’s an example of what I write when I’m playing the picture game.


The Picture Game is a daily writing exercise for anyone who wants to participate. The rules are easy.

1 Pick a picture posted on the page.
2 Set a timer for 10 minutes.
3 Take no more than 30 seconds to just look at the picture.
4 In a notebook or new word processing document, write something inspired by the picture until the timer runs out.
5 Share what you wrote in the comments. You can also repost on your own blog or Tumblr or on your own G+ page.
6 If you do that, tag it #PictureGame.
7 Repeat!

She made the pendant herself. It was a tiny glass globe with a neck; the shape of an old lightbulb, but the size was just right for the hand of a porcelain baby doll. Within it, she suspended another glass cylinder. The cylinder she filled with clear glass seed beads, to represent the sands of time, but to make sure that she would always be able to see through them, and know when she was.

Around the beads, which gave a muted clinking noise as the talisman was turned end over top, she placed old gears from the pocket watches of three grandfathers. Only one of her forefathers had owned an antique watch with springs and gears and cogs that kept time flowing, meetings happening, captains of industry accumulating.

The second she found in a closet, deep in the master bedroom of the old Clark mansion. When the mayor got the little seaside palace donated to the city, and before the Clark family lawyers ripped it apart, she’d snuck in, looking for something that had the time magic.

So many things in the grand building did, but she needed something small. Something as yet un-inventoried. The box she found had four gold watches in it. All engraved, each one larger and more ornate. She took the simplest one, knowing time magic doesn’t cling to aesthetics. It pools more deeply when devices are used constantly, for decades.

Rich old Mr. Clark’s daughters both died childless, but she could tell from how heavy with years the simple watch felt that it must have come to him from his father. A grandfather. So it would do.

When she opened it, on top of the ironing board workbench, the faint scent of coal–a steam engine–was released. The copper magnate must have used it last to oversee stretching the railroad. By force of will and wealth, he made trains run from his New York castle, to the smaller mansion he built for his child-like wife and daughters, on a plateau, at the very edge the west coast.

Bit by bit she detached the innards of the watch, each loosened piece resting inside the curved lid of the watch case. Soon the small pile was thrumming with released time. Each second that each gear had tick-tocked-over, then minutes, and years, and soon decades was free of the watch’s containment, and she could pour all that magic carefully, with a miniature funnel, from the cupping top of the pocket watch into her talisman. Not a drop of time spilled on the clean white cotton sheet.


What do you think?