First Five Fragments for Friday

1. Waking sounds for today: cheery music with Spanish words bouncing out the window of a truck parked in front of our house at 7:30 a.m. Slam of a truck door. Growl of heavy machinery in the driveway across the street. Men talking.

2. Morning rituals: brush teeth. Wash face. Pick Japanese beetles off raspberry bushes, drop them into soapy water. Make coffee.

3. Today’s break: having the windows open without feeling like that’s the equivalent of standing in front of a blast furnace.

4. First surprise of the day: baby slept through sounds of trucks, machinery, voices.

5. Current working conditions: dining room table with a squishy plastic frog, two dogs, and a baby staring at me.

And your fragments are….?

All right. Go watch the Olympics.


  1. #2 – shouldn't coffee come before beetles?? 🙂
    #3 – I think you guys have it worse, at least we don't have the humidity to go along with the heat.

    I watched the Olympic opening ceremonies last night. Spectacular. Glad I wasn't in charge. Now on to the events!


  2. I always read these posts and marvel. How do you process these things upon waking up? I never can share my first five fragments because, by the time I think to do it, I am too far into my morning to remember the first five. So seriously, how do you do this? I am curious.


  3. First of all, I have an alarm on my phone so I don't forget to do this on Fridays. Second, I've had practice with this idea because of The Artist's Way and its morning pages method (hand writing three pages without editing first thing in the morning). A little notebook beside my bed for scribbling stuff is something I've been doing for a long time. Once you get into the habit, it just sort of happens. I do have a backup plan for emergencies, but that's one of my own trade secrets 🙂 And, these are the first five usable fragments. Usable. That's a distinction I'm making for myself. When my first thought is something like, “kill me now, it's too damn early”, I tend not to include that!


  4. Oh thank you. I love our confession that these are the “usable” fragments. My first thought this morning was, “Oy, puppy nose in my face.” I do morning pages, or a variation of them, but every time I try to keep a notepad beside my bed, I never use it. It's still dark when I get up and, in order to write, I'd have to turn on a light, something I don't think Rob would appreciate. 🙂


  5. I do have one other little rule that I follow for these fragments: I must get them done in the first hour. And that gives me a lot of leeway, I think. The biggest thing I try to remember is that I'm offering a technique for people to take or leave, but if it's so rigid it can't fit into anyone's normal life, then it isn't going to work. I'm very big on balance, blending a life that fits together most of the time. So, “first thoughts” is simply a time of day, first five usable things, and a willingness to put something out there that isn't perfect. These are springboards.


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