People Watching — “28 to Make”

28 to make is a creativity challenge from CreativeLive. Participants create and share a quick sketch every day for 28 days. I’m doing the same but with words.

Each day in February, I’ll set a timer for 20 minutes and write a “sketch” inspired by the prompt for the day.

Day 13: People Watching

Once again, the prompt is to go out and people watch. What follows is a list of 35 things I saw today. This is an exercise I picked up in a writing class in college. It’s good for getting the words out and helping you get over the feeling that words have to be mind-blowing before they’re worth jotting down. Just write what you saw today. I find whenever I do this, I start to notice when I’m full of shit, trying to sound cool or to have seen the “right” things.

Here’s what I saw today.

  1. Whitecaps out at sea.
  2. A teabag on the counter.
  3. The wastebasket, full to the brim, in the bathroom.
  4. The flash from my own camera in my eyes taking a selfie that came out blurry.
  5. My index finger putting in contacts.
  6. Spilled ice water.
  7. A rusty chair.
  8. Foam washing up on the beach.
  9. Sand blowing in a near gale.
  10. Candles.
  11. The owners manual for a malfunctioning washer-dryer.
  12. My parents' portraits on the screen on the back of my new camera.
  13. A cluttered storage unit.
  14. A gecko.
  15. Speed traps on the state highway.
  16. A vintage Rolex Submariner.
  17. Positivity on Reddit.
  18. A recipe for overnight oats.
  19. A picture of Jimmy Breslin smoking a cigar.
  20. The owner of a new restaurant checking in on his customers.
  21. A badly disguised rat trap.
  22. A lady in a pink visor walking with a man in a bucket hat.
  23. A bumper sticker of the silhouette of a handgun shaped like the state of Florida.
  24. A cut from shaving
  25. The blinking cursor.
  26. Seagrass bending in the wind.
  27. Lint.
  28. Laundry I forgot to throw in the wash.
  29. Some damn convincing clickbait. They got me.
  30. A horse and carriage tour with some cold-looking passengers.
  31. Pellegrino bottles.
  32. The check engine light. It went off eventually.
  33. Palm trees.
  34. Orange streetlights.
  35. A green smoothie.
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Ghostwriter of Make Peace or Die: a Life of Service, Leadership, and Nightmares (my dad’s memoir) featured on Jocko Podcast.

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