Creating a Meaningful Life: Creative Writing Classes

Creative Writing Assignment #1 Our first assignment was to describe our current room or apartment in 500 words or less. We had to set the mood with specific details and describe it enough that the reader would feel as if they were in the space.

“Put your weight into it,” he says. She leans harder and it stubbornly opens with a moan. I follow them in, my nosy and curious self excited to see their new home.  

First impression: lived in but not messy. Except they just littered the futon with coats and scarves covering a pillow that reads: “Home is wherever I’m with you”. The shoes stuffed under the futon next to the door suggest a no shoes policy. I take off my shoes and realize I can see almost every corner of their apartment from where I stand. Upon closer inspection I notice there are odds and ends stuffed everywhere. An attempt at ensuring everything has a home, even if that “home” is a cardboard box precariously stacked on top of the kitchen cabinets.

There is a smell coming from somewhere that makes my nose wrinkle in disgust. But as quickly as I smell it, it is overpowered by the sweet smell of vanilla candles that are scattered about. To my left is a dresser decorated with a photograph, perfumes, and jewelry. The dresser is lodged under a set of stairs that lead somewhere above me. These stairs also double as their closet with brightly colored hangers hanging under the stairs, straining from the weight of the clothes.

I walk across the bright, floral rug that warms the hardwood floors, and around the lucite coffee table/desk/dining table that is currently home to the latest celebrity gossip magazine, and another candle smelling of sweet oranges. A few steps later I am at the other end of the narrow apartment. In front of me is the tall, open window with books balancing on the sill. I hear the sound of cooing pigeons from outside, and watch them cuddle together bracing themselves against the cold. My attention is drawn back inside as the radiator wheezes to life, hissing and sputtering. Books, games, framed vows, a fruit bowl, various wines and boxes holding mysterious odds and ends fill the shelves next to the radiator.

I get a wave of that nose-wrinkling smell again and finally put my finger on what it is--rotten fish. I follow the scent behind me, and come face to face with the kitchenette. On the far right is the stove with three working burners, and an oven doubling as pan storage. A bowl and two plates sit in the sink, which is all it takes to completely fill the basin. The rest of the counter space is occupied by a wooden drying rack full of various clean dishes leaving about a 6x12” space to prepare meals.

My eyes wander to the end of the counter and up the stairs. Tucked in between the bars of an iron fence are crisp white sheets and an aquamarine and grey duvet cover. I look up further and find myself bathed in sunlight. Next to the skylight, a large white pendant light is on and giving off an orange glow reminiscent of the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean.

I’m snapped from my trance by their laughter, and before joining them for dinner on the teal and burgundy floor pillows, I take it all in one more time. It’s cozy, small, open, bright and smelly. Their home. At least for the next six weeks.