Friday, March 27, 2009

The Mini Cooper

This one is for Zac, who gave me the prompt, and Holly, who told me that the grass isn't greener on the other side, it's just different grass.

Once upon a time there was a little mini cooper. Her name was Fae and she was a beautiful plum color with dark grey interior. She sat in the lot day after day with all the other cars, watching the road and longing for the day she, too, would be out there with a proud owner. She dreamt often about the amazing sights she would see. She dreamt of the gravel roads of a mountain pass, and the white sand of the beach in her tires, and the starry skies peeking between snowy trees. 

But weeks had passed, and then months, and no one had even so much as taken a look at her. Fae slowly became more and more depressed and her daydreams became much more simple. She began to hate the cars that drove by on the busy road next to the dealership. She had stopped playing and joking with the other cars at night. When a salesman put a sign in her windshield, Fae no longer cared that she could not see the cars passing by on the road any longer. She didn't want to see them.

When people did pull into the dealership, Fae simply sighed. No one could afford her sun roof and her cd player and those who could would leave the dealership with green cars, or smart cars. Fae was neither. Fae was just a little luxury mini cooper that everyone overlooked.

It was just another day when a beat-up grayed impala entered the lot. Its front left bumper had been badly damaged and one of its lights didn't work. It rattled and squealed as it turned in. A man stepped out of it with his wife and baby girl and went immediately to Fae. They talked to the salesman a bit, but Fae wasn't listening. She just sighed and stared.

But, wait, what was that? Her door opened! An excited person had sat inside her! Suddenly all of the dreams rushed through the little car as her engine was turned on. She felt new and alive! She loved the tickle of the baby in the backseat, and the thrill of her oil being checked.

The man stepped out and ran his hand over her hood which made Fae giggle with glee. Was this it? Was this her ticket out of this boring old dealership! The people exchanged paper! Oh, it was! FInally, Fae revved joyfully and danced her way out of the lot and onto the black paved road. It felt so wonderful to be out and about! The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and Fae couldn't be more excited!

She wondered where they were headed to! Someplace exotic, she was sure of it. Oh, she couldn't wait to see the miles of cornfields and giant blue mountains and curvy roads she had dreamt of all her life!

But after only a ten minute ride, Fae found herself making one turn on a straight road. Around her were houses that looked exactly the same, except for different colors, and landscaping placed as a bad attempt for individuality. This is not what Fae had in mind at all!

After less than a mile, Fae turned into the slightly sloped driveway that would be her new home. She drove to the same buildings day after day within the same 15 miles on the same busy roads surrounded by the same ugly concrete buildings. Over time, her beautiful plum color became spotted with tree sap and bird droppings. Her interior was stained with raspberry ice and ketchup and a plethora of baby juices. Her floors were littered with dead leaves, old socks, and paper fast-food bags filled with rotting french fries.

Sinking into the pavement below her, she realized, she wasn't built to go over rugged roads or in sandy beaches. She was a mini cooper, and her home was with this family. As she sat night after night, she wondered about her old friends in the dealership lot. She dreamt about her days when she could daydream about her future, when she was hopeful that she would someday have the smooth pavement under her tires and an exciting road in front of her. But the pavement isn't any smoother outside the lot, it's just different pavement.

-Cynthia Smallwood
March 27th, 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Long Road

A writing exercise from

You are driving away from something or towards something.
Tell me about it creatively.

This road goes on
On and on
And it rumbles 
And it grinds
As I drive over it in this machine I call a car.

Horizons tease
All around
The past behind
The future ahead unclear
And the present disappears with the trees that seem so far.

But the sunlight is shining
It's blinding in the windshield
And I just can't see a thing before my eyes.

I'm following the lines
Drawn out upon the pavement
That tell me where to go and how to drive.

But then
Without a warning
A loud pop!
and a bang!
Next thing I know I'm pulled over on the side of the road.

A flat tire
What bad luck!
Now I'm faced 
With the decision
Of how to get to whereever it is I need to go.

And as I squinted down that long road
I realized I never liked where it was leading
So I turned around with the road to my back

And there were those green trees
So beautiful and inviting
That I decided to just make my own path

Cynthia Smallwood
March 10, 2009


A writing exercise from

People chase love
But love chases its tail
And the best friend you'll ever have 
is loyal without fail.

Love is simple
It's that feeling you find
When you can't imagine life 
without this friend by your side.

It's mutual
Beautiful and it's true
When that very same friend 
feels the same way about you.

Cynthia Smallwood
March 10, 2009

Monday, March 9, 2009

One Sided...

a writing exercise from

The phone is ringing... answer it and tell the story with one side of the conversation.

Um... hello?

No, you've got the wrong number I think.

I have no idea to be honest...

No no, this is a telephone booth.

No - Y-yeah, American.. yeah...

Uh well, lots of grass and some sheep and uh...

-well, we were trying to get to a friend's place so we took a bus and they said this was their last stop...

Yeah, I know... I'm sorry, who is this?


Oh Charlie! You ass!! When did you learn to do such a good accent?! Come get us!!!

I went back a few days later and wrote up the other side... Enjoy.

'Ello govna! Is this Scotland Yaad?

Well, where am I cawlin' then?

Is this your home telly?

You've got quite an accent, love! You arn't from 'ere are ye? You sound loik yer from America!

Well, if yer nawt Scotland Yaad and yer not on yer home telly, where in bloody blazes am I callin?

Blimey, love, yer in the middle of nowhere! How did you get there?

Oy, ya must nawt be thinkin' too kindly on good ol' England roit now, are ye? Wasn't very noice of him to drop you off loik that.


I'm sorry, Lil, I can't keep that up...

::laughing:: Alright alright, I'm at a pub right down the road. I tipped off the bus driver to drop you off a stop early. I'll see you in a few!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Lament of a Centurion

(WARNING: Possibly disturbing image below)

A writing exercise from


Lament of a Centurion

The whip-crack sounds and the horses rear
To battle we march throughout the night
Dawn is coming, the front is near
Our shoes are worn, our breath is tight
For on these shores many men will fall
And victory for them will not be in sight
But for our Emperor we will give our all
Whether we believe the cause is wrong or right...

Cynthia Smallwood
March 4, 2009

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


A writing exercise from

Consider the light and dark of this striking image,
consider the idea of shadows and include shadows in your writing today...
literally or figuratively.

Some prefer shadows
Others prefer light
The victorious decide
Which is wrong and which is right
How would you know it is daytime
If there was never any night?
After all, history is written
by the ones who win the fight...

Cynthia Smallwood
March 3rd, 2009

Just a Theory

I've been labeled as elitist for this, but I never said that this was true nor that it is what I really believe in. But, here goes...

Remember when your parents told you the world didn't revolve around you...? What if it did?

As far as you truly know, and I mean really personally know, did the past really happen? All the things you learn in history about the Ancient Romans, or the Renaissance, or the Civil War or the Holocaust... did those things really happen? How do you know?

As far as I'm concerned, I don't know. All I know is what has happened since the moment I was born. All that is real to me is the right here and now. The past is just as obtainable as the future - only through daydreams.

The history that we learn was written by someone else. That someone had to have a perspective. It is not a belief, but a fact that a lot of people thought Hitler was awesome. Someone had to think so. Not just someone, but a lot of someones because he became so powerful. People thought he was the best thing for them. Who's to say they weren't right? If Germany won the war, wouldn't life be different?

I often wonder how World War II is taught in Japan. Do they look at America the same way the Jewish look at Germany? If not, then why? America supposedly put the Japanese in camps and exterminated them like pests the same way the Germans did to the Jews and Cripples and Gays. Is it because history is written by the victorious? Or is it because history was only written for you? Does it really mean something on a personal level?

When I say that, I return to the theory that nothing existed before you were born. With your birth, came this new dimension in which you are the only real thing. Everything is what you make it. If you do not know that something exists, does it? For people who are born colorblind, is there such a thing as red or green? How do they know?

If this is the case, then am I suggesting that you can do whatever you wish? If you wanted to fly, you could. If you wanted to breathe under water, survive a fatal crash, or move things with your mind, you could. If you believe whole heartedly and with every single tiny little fiber of your being, you could. Have you ever heard someone say 'you make our own luck'?

But then why can't people fly? Why can't you breathe under water? Because you don't believe you can. Somewhere along in your life, someone told you that you can't. You saw someone on tv or heard about someone who failed at one of these amazing feats or that they cheated to give the illusion that they had accomplished something like this. That one time is in your memory bank somewhere and creates just enough doubt for you to fail.

If we were to experiment on this, we could take a baby the second it's born. Put it somewhere secluded from the rest of humanity. Show it only movies where people can fly. Tell that child that people can fly.. and that the only way they can see their parents is to fly to them, do you think they could? I do... and if they didn't, it would be because that baby is only another part of this dimension created for me, by me. That child's failure to fly would be caused by my disbelief that he or she could do so.

So there is no way to prove this theory, just like there is no way to prove Christianity. You just don't know...

When I was a child, I did not believe in Heaven or Hell. My friends would ask "what do you believe then?" It just never occurred to me that one belief system could be right and all others wrong. I would tell them that I believed that whatever you believe happens when you die, that's what happens. Christians go to Heaven or Hell, Buddhists are reincarnated, and so on and so forth.

Why not? This is your world. This is your dimension. Everything put here is specifically for you and only you to form your personality, beliefs, past, and future. These monks that can become weightless or smash through concrete are here to make you believe that you can do anything. These people who die in wars and plane crashes and amusing stories on the news are here to make you believe that you can't. I am here to tell you this to make you think. In the moments before you die, you will feel an overwhelming feeling of contentment, even if only for a brief moment. Perhaps, in this moment, you will realize that you CAN do anything. Perhaps that is what Heaven really is, or Enlightenment. You can do anything.

The fact is we really just don't know. I do not whole heartedly believe that this theory is true. But I do believe that it could be.

Kind of cool, isn't it?