30-Day Writing Challenge: DAY THREE. Random Page Jump Start.

Today’s weather is much like yesterday’s: cloudy, cool, and windless. There’s grey, heavy storm clouds hanging above the valley, but a drop of rain has yet to fall. Despite the gloomy weather, though, there’s no denying that spring is afoot.

Admittedly, it was a bit difficult to get the creative juices flowing today. I was out way too late last night with some friends, and got up later than I would have liked this morning. I didn’t have time to go to the gym, something that normally jump starts my brain for the rest of the day, so by the time I went to temple at 2:00 this afternoon I was feeling particularly sluggish. I was tempted to go home and nap rather than force myself to sit down and write.

On the way back home, I decided to stop by my favorite Chinese restaurant, the Bamboo Inn. It’s one of those little hole-in-the-wall kind of places in downtown LA that my family’s been going to since the late 1970s. My grandmother was the first one to discover it back in 1973 I think, when, recently arrived from El Salvador, she was seeking a respite from the heat. Almost forty years later, it’s still my family’s favorite restaurant in LA. (On a side note, I plan on writing a short article about it for Being Latino. I mean, where else can you order Chinese food in Spanish and have your egg foo young with Tapatio?)

While I was waiting for my food, I decided to write in my notepad. Today’s exercise was challenging, but fun. I had three books with me, neither of which I’ve read before. I picked one up  — Joyce Carol Oates’s latest collection of short stories, Give Me Your Heart — and turned to any random page. The first sentence I read — in this case, “No one heard it the first time.” — became my prompt, and I was to use this as the first line of that day’s writing exercise.

Admittedly, it was difficult, and I wasn’t wholly satisfied with the result, but oh well. The point was to write, and from my standpoint, mission accomplished. On to the next day.

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