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Exercise Wednesday: Indian Lake

January 7, 2015

When I was a kid, we would often spend at least part of the summer in Indian Lake, NY–a village in the Adirondacks of upstate New York. When the song said that Indian Lake is the scene you should make with your little ones, my parents listened.

We’d stay at the house my grandmother grew up in, on Route 30. As roads go in the Adirondacks, it was a major one, with lots of traffic. At Indian Lake time seemed to move differently. The afternoons went on forever–and most of my time was spent outside where you could hear the thrumm of a lawnmower over the sound of the cars on the road. And you could smell the heavenly scent of grass cut by someone else.

This morning when I went running, I passed someone mowing a lawn as the traffic moved on the road about 30 yards behind me, and I could smell that heavenly scent. And just for an instant, I was transported back to Indian Lake and those endless summer afternoons.

Today’s exercise is to take your character through a moment like that. It doesn’t have to be a summertime moment, or even a pleasant moment. It should be a time when the sounds and smells evoke a powerful memory and take them back.

Time limit: 30 minutes

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