Unique: A Morning Routine

It wasn’t so much that she sought out the routine, it just sometimes happened to settle into her life that way.

Every day Unique woke up twenty minutes before her alarm clock. Not only did she love having the house to herself before The Brothers woke up, but she loved the controlled dream state the first minutes offered her after waking up.

The brothers. Her brothers. They will always be The Brothers as if they meshed into one collective identity. “Unique, go get The Brothers, supper’s ready. Unique, tell The Brothers to put their bikes away.” On most days it appeared as if she existed solely to be the link between The Parents and The Brothers.

This twenty-minute period was split in half between remaining in a dream state and then 10 minutes where she selfishly hogged the bathroom without anybody banging on the door. Her dreams were her favorite part of the day. If she woke up with more time, then any extra minutes were invested in her fantasies. She didn’t picture herself as prom queen. Nor did she imagine herself as student body president. No, what Unique loved most was to create stories – invent characters she would one day meet and befriend. Some were incredible and fascinating people who had travelled the world, and others invented amazing and yet unnamed things.

She loved her daydreams too much to share them with anybody. Anybody at all.

Then it was off to the bathroom as she grabbed her bathrobe along the way off the hook next to her closet. Once behind the closed door she would lock the hook eye latch. She would lean against the door and take three deep breaths. Unique would then pull out her Sweet Lilacs Air Freshener from below the sink and give the room two quick sprays. Psht-Psht. Suddenly the bathroom became a girl’s room. Then, and only then could she finish with her business.

Español: Zapatillas marca Converse frente a un...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Once the door banging began, without a word but not without a smile to the wannabe intruders, Unique returned to her bedroom. She would pick out a pair of Levi’s, a clean t-shirt and her Converse high tops. Her daily uniform, and skip down the stairs to make blueberry pancakes for The Brothers.

She loved making those pancakes, and they loved eating them. When she was in a particularly good mood, she would cut them into shapes: surfboards, roller skates, footballs, clouds and even one time shaping them into Jeep’s. Although it was a mystery to her entire family how she shaped them, nobody ever asked “How did you do this?” They simply assumed fun-shaped blueberry pancakes were a normal part of every family’s daily routine.

On most days, among the two-dozen pancakes she stacked on the scratched purple plate, she would rescue two for herself. Sometimes they left her but one pancake. When all she had was but that one pancake, she liked to imagine herself being an inmate, and that solitary blueberry pancake was given exclusively to her for good behavior. Suddenly it was the best pancake in the world and it easily beat the prison’s standard morning slop.

This is my 3rd installment going towards what hopefully will turn out to be a NaNoWriMo novel. Stick around, I will create a page just for Unique as I start shaping her life. This is going to be fun!


33 thoughts on “Unique: A Morning Routine”

    1. I love her, I truly do. I’m glad I started with her death that way I won’t be weeping for months over her loss! Does that make any sense at all?


    1. Yeah, any teenaged girl who wears a good ol’ pair of Converse is really cool in my opinion (said the girl who wore them everyday in high school)


    1. Nice! Thanks for posting that because after publishing this I was really falling back on my old self doubts and wondering if I wasn’t maybe writing her up to be too old than she really was in reality.

      Your comment really reassures me!


  1. “Everyday Unique woke up …” everyday should be two words here.

    “…the first minutes offered her after waking up.” consider ending after “her.”

    the third paragraph – why italics like that? it’s narration, just like everything else. i see how it’s sort of a flashback kind of thing, but i don’t think it needs to be set off differently. not wrong, just not sure if it’s necessary.

    “…10-minute half dream state and 10 minutes where she selfishly…” consider deleting the second 10 minutes reference. redundant a little.”

    “Her dreams where her favorite …” where = were

    “as prom queen. Nor did …” should be comma after queen, lowercase “nor” but in fiction you are allowed to change the rules a little.

    “… travelled the world and others invented …” comma after “world”

    “…Converse high tops. Her daily uniform. And skipped down …” skipped = skip. also, consider commas after “tops” and “uniform” then lowercase And.

    “…they loved eating her pancakes.” consider “them” instead of “her pancakes.”

    “…particularly good mood she would …” comma after “mood”

    “Although was a mystery…” forgot “it”

    “…among the 2-dozen pancakes…” 2 should be two in this use

    “…but that one pancake she liked …” comma after “pancake”

    “Suddenly it was the best pancake in the world and easily beat the prison’s standard morning slop.” this is a dramatic sentence, and it needs a pause to stress that. needs something in the middle. consider something like “…in the world, and it easily beat…”

    she’s got a great positive attitude. she’s developing as a clear person. all of this is written in past-perfect, which is what we use for telling recollections. that means you have two choices – either progress as a recollection, a story within a story, in which someone is telling us about Unique, or you’re setting up something, but in order to tell us what you’re going to eventually tell us, you need to first set up what we need to know about Unique. neither way is right or wrong, better or worse, they’re just two different ways of telling stories.


    1. Oh my! Thanks for the in-depth analysis. Not sure about the past perfect tense. You know me (well not really) but this is a snippet. Not sure how I will structure all these pieces together, but I will have pieces as they happen, and this was intended as a summary of a typical day – I felt forced into this tense. But trust me – by the time I was halfway through I hated the tense, verbs felt very repetitive! It started sounding like the “how much wood could a wood chuck” thing.

      The italics in that paragraph – I like to make certain parts stand out by using the “quote” format. I’ll see if I can take away the italics…

      Need to go run around today but I’ll look into your edits later and work them in. Have I thanked you?


          1. got it. extra dose of unicorn glitter. close your eyes when you gobble the berries so you don’t sneeze it all out.

            this madness needs to end! I’ve not written anything today other than reply to all the comments I’ve gotten! This heat. How does anybody ever accomplish anything with all this heat?


    1. I am loving her more and more. She is becoming who I wished I could have been. Or maybe she is me, somehow, hmm… “Hello Freud? Gotta question for you!”


    1. Do you know him? Have you ever read his stuff? He’s amazing! Basically here’s the gist – if you read and comment and help him then he’ll return the favor! It’s a win-win because you get to read really really good content, amazing content and send him a link or two and he’ll give you some tips! Sweet hunh?

      p.s. I think he wants pancakes for his efforts though, not sure.


        1. Oh really? No, I’m actually thrilled I found someone who can help me out as he has. I know my writing is rough since I really never really took full english grammar classes, they were always pretty much just creative writing… His feedback is so constructive where he points out the weaknesses but leaves me feeling like the story is solid.

          I think it’s a shame that among bloggers we don’t dare point out the spots that need improvement!


    1. Oh Jen, you have no idea what your comment means to me. Thank you thank you thank you – in my opinion YOU are the talented one ObiOne… 😉


  2. FUN! I’ve never had the balls to post my fiction on my blogs. At least not my novel stuff. It was quite underwhelming when I “won” NaNoWriMo only to discover that 50,000 words didn’t come close to finishing my novel. Now it’s in pieces with an added prologue, side stories that don’t fit anywhere, extra characters who’ve inserted themselves here and there and I have no idea where they came from. You really have some talent, you know.


    1. Bleh. I have no idea where the heck I’m going with this.

      I’m a fan of all Quentin Tarantino movies and I think as I develop this story my admiration may start to show. His flicks move back and forth through the timeline. He has anecdotes and side stories that I love. I wish I could cue in different jingles to show the mood change or change of time frame…

      Anyways – if YOU think I have talent then WOW it means a lot to me because you are a truly gifted writer. I have stories in my head but lack the tools to adequately express them. And by tools I mean knowledge of the english grammar. That dude who mentioned the past perfect tense? I nodded sagely pretending to know but in reality I was all like “What is that and what does it compare to in French or Spanish” and then I’d laugh thinking “What would it change? Would it REALLY make me understand if I knew what tense it was in French?”

      So… I have a notebook for Unique. I think its the one she would have chosen had she been with me at the store picking it out.

      She’s alive you know!


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