Writing Exercises (Or, three women and a camel walk into a donut shop)

The writerly brain is just like every other part of a person. The more you use it, the better it functions. With that in mind, I’m challenging myself and the rest of you as well, to do one writing exercise per week for a year.

Writing exercises don’t have to be elaborate to be effective. Myself, I’m a fan of the ones that limit the amount of time to fifteen minutes. That way, I know going in that I’m not committing to a major block of time.


I’ll post the results of my writing exercises here. And invite y’all to do the same. I’d love to read what you come up with because the fun part of these quick, little writing sprints is that the variations are endless. We all may start with the same information, but guaranteed we’ll all write something different.

For today’s writing prompt, I’m writing for fifteen minutes with “Three Women and a camel walk into a donut shop” as inspiration.

Results are below the cut!writing-and-music

“All I want is a goddamned bismarck. You’d think I’d be able to get a good, cream filled donut no matter where I am in the world. What kind of God forsaken place doesn’t have bismarcks?”

Angie rolled her eyes and took a small step to the left. The locals didn’t look pleased about her mom’s description of them as God forsaken and Angie would prefer to make it through this stage of their trip without losing her head.

“Ma, come on. Just pick something else.” Angie pointed to something that looked a lot like a cake donut. Her mom liked to dunk those in coffee. “What about one of those.”

“I suppose, but seriously, Angela, what’s so wrong about wanting a proper donut?”

When her mom acted like this in Brooklyn, Angie didn’t even notice. But here, in what she thought might be a pastry shop in the middle of Dubai, it just wasn’t safe.

“Do you need some help?” The woman behind Angie gave her mother a gentle smile that suggested it might be best for her to shut up any time now.

“I think we’re okay.” Angie returned the smile, but was sure it looked more like a grimace. There was a camel tied to a post outside. Periodically, it stuck its head in the window and snuck sugar packets from the dish on the table. Everything about this place was foreign to them, and her mom finally lost it over a donut.

“I had a bismarck once. It was delicious. But your mother will not find one in this city.” The woman spoke with such earnestness that Angie smiled for real.

“Yeah, I tried to convince her that she’d have more fun on a European tour, but my dad’s boss took his wife to Dubai, so…”

“Ah. Well, perhaps it’s not too late to change her mind.”

Angie was dangerously close to slipping some Benadryl into her mom’s drink so she would sleep through the rest of the trip. “I’m hoping a nice nap will help.”




2 thoughts on “Writing Exercises (Or, three women and a camel walk into a donut shop)

  1. I sign up to the Florida State University Southeast Review writing challenge every few month. They are doing one in December. Daily exercises, quotes and a ‘riff word’ where you just write whatever it triggers…. I enjoy it even if I don’t do every single day….


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