The word of the week is:

Nook

noun
a corner or recess, especially one offering seclusion or security

synonyms
corner, cubbyhole, alcove, byplace, cavity, cranny, crevice, den, hideout, hole, inglenook, niche, opening, quoin, recess, retreat

The hidden beauty by Vinoth Chandar

The hidden beauty by Vinoth Chandar

Here is an excerpt from Sixty Days and Counting by Kim Stanley Robinson

Once again everything else fell away, and he was lost in the little world they made together, completely inside the wave. There was no sexier space than the overhead mattress of a VW van. And something about it, some quality – the presence of ordinary sheets and pillows, the fact that she had come out of hiding to reassure him, their complete nakedness, which had never before been true – the comfort and warmth of this little nook – even the fact that Diane was with Phil now and Frank entirely committed, no confusion, mind clear, all there, all one, undamaged and whole – the look in her eye – all these things made it the sweetest time yet. The calmest and deepest and most in love.

PRACTICE

Enter your writing nook and practice for five minutes using nook often.

When you’re fin­ished, post your prac­tice in the com­ments section.Also, extra credit if you use the word of the week in your daily practice!

My Practice

My hiding place, the place where no one can find me, is deep in the bamboo jungle in the back field. Nim would shout for me to come out and play but I stayed, hunkered down in the talking nook.

Bamboo talks to me, it’s voice is crisp and crunchy like when I eat celery sticks on Saturday afternoons at Blue’s house. It speaks to the elephant grass in the next field, they sing together, rustling their leaves in the harmony provided by the east wind. The wind never gets as far as me, the bamboo protects; a womb built of sticks, a fortress of spears.

Nim doesn’t understand, but he’s a boy. They know fighting and guns, they think one thing at a time. He wants me to play war or cops and robbers, I need to breathe.

I am at home in my little damp nook more than anywhere else. Nana Brik has a lovely house with smells of baking permeating all day and most of the night, warm and inviting, Nim likes her house best. Blue, our other grandmother, is a nomadic weatherbeaten woman, often on extended trips to fight an eco battle someplace. She tells us about the earth whilst feeding us food “that is good for you.” Nim squirms in her house as uncomfortable as fish out of water.

Our house was clean, neat and tidy. We spent our mornings cleaning already clean surfaces, looking in spotless nooks and crannies to find the ultimate piece of dirt. As we grew, physically and in wisdom, we began to understand that our ‘normal’ was not ordinary. Ma was different, Nana Brik took Ma to the hospital four days a week, she spent most of her day in a bed barely able to lift her head as evening came. Nim was taller than me by two inches, he would climb onto her bed and read his lessons to her and she would smile wanly and say ‘good boy.’

I sat away from her, an abyss between us. In my head I imagined climbing onto her bed and caressing her head, maybe brushing her hair, but when the time came to enter Ma’s room, I reverted to type and snuck into the rocking chair at the foot of her bed. The girl that sits happily in her nook in the bamboo is not present in the sickroom, I felt like the germs we tried so hard to keep away from Ma, that even breathing would kill her.

In time Nim began school, I stayed home. I cleaned the house on my own urging myself on till I could escape to my hiding place. With each sun rising and falling we knew more and after many of these days Ma died. Nim went to live with Nana Brik and I was given to Blue.

A man bought our house and razed my bamboo jungle, ploughed the field with elephant grass. I no longer had a hiding place but in time I discovered the need for one was gone.

Joe Bunting
Joe Bunting
Joe Bunting is a writer and entrepreneur. He is the author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller Let's Write a Short Story! and the co-founder of Story Cartel. You can follow him on Twitter (@joebunting).