[A cookie I made a few months ago that bears no relation to anything that follows.]
Today I’m going to make five categories, then set a timer for two minutes and write as many awesome things relating to each category as I can before time runs out. It’s like a mêlée of free-association. But! There’s a catch! The challenge is that every thing has to start with the last letter of the thing before it. I made this up based on a game Japanese people play call しりとり(“shiritori”) which goes like this:
THIS GUY: ラブ (rabu = “love”)
THAT GUY: ぶた (buta = “pig”)
THIS GUY: たまご (tamago = “egg”)
THAT GUY: ごはん (gohan = “rice/meal”)
Dun dun DUN. THAT GUY has lost because he used a word ending with ん (/n). Now he has to go win a Pokémon tournament or the Japanese government will transform him into food for Tokyo Sky Tree. Things that actually
don’t might happen in Japan.
Usually you play shiritori with another person, but I already asked myself if I’d play and I said yes. (…I’m not procrastinating on my book, I’m letting the plot marinate. Shush.) The other thing that’ll be different about my version is that I’m going to be writing more than one word for some of the things I list.
Okie doke, so! Today’s categories are!
LOVE, JAPAN, SMALL MOMENTS, THE JOYS OF PETS, and BOOKS.
All right, timer on! First category:
– SMALL MOMENTS –
Starting letter: A
A word of gratitude
Sinking below the surface of a bubble bath and blowing the bubbles like a bubble cannon
Not noticing the rain on your window yet feeling the sense of calm from it
Tiptoeing around sneakily when you don’t have to
FINAL COUNT: 5
Well now! I’m sure I can do better than that. Next category!
– THE JOYS OF PETS –
Starting Letter: O
Opening your front door and they’re there
Entering a room as they follow you
Under the blanket thinking you can’t see them
Meowing back at you when you meow at them
FINAL COUNT: 4
That one was more fun, but smaller final count. I guess I could accept quality over quantity but I’d rather take both. Mwahaha. NEXT!
– BOOKS –
Starting Letter: N
New book smell
Lying on the sofa reading a book while it’s raining outside
Ending a book with a smile
Entering a book shop
Paper under your fingertips
Searching for your favorite part
Tracing a well-creased spine
Errant bookmarks in old books
FINAL COUNT: 8
Whoo! Not thinking really helps move that number up. Becomes a lot more free-association-like, too. The last one might need explaining. Like when you’re looking through old books you’ve either reread or not and you find bookmarks stuck inside and you read a little and you either don’t remember or you do and it takes you back to that time when you were reading it last. I read “Memoirs of a Geisha” in college and then I started to reread it after I spent the summer “studying” abroad in Japan (I studied Osaka and how to get tickets to concerts). Recently I went back home and I found the book and I brought it back to Japan with me intending to reread it here. When I opened it, I found it bookmarked a third into the book and suddenly I remembered standing on the curb at JFK in winter reading while I waited in line for a taxi. I hadn’t picked up after that for some reason (I had a habit in college of living in Barnes & Noble and taking half the store home with me when I had to leave).
– LOVE –
Starting Letter: S
Sending someone off with a kiss that goes on for longer than ten seconds
Envelopes holding handwritten letters
Showing flaws without fear
Roaming new cities together
Regular moments made special
FINAL COUNT: 6
Intriguing indeed! I like the fifth one best. Because traveling is the best thing. Better than cheese.
– JAPAN –
Starting Letter: E
Exploring old cities
Shrines with freshly-lit incense
Evenings lit by temple lanterns
Traveling by shinkansen
Kissing in rare snowfall
FINAL COUNT: 8
Hmmm! Pretty good for a first round, if I do say so myself. I’ll have to challenge me to a rematch someday.
The plot has marinated long enough! Back to the pages.
Good afternoon, citizens of joy!