Ice Cube Writing

Write a 5-minute story while sucking on an ice cube.

Write a 5-minute story while sucking on an ice cube.

Early on this chilly March morning, I’m sitting in front of my computer with an ice cube in my mouth.

It’s 25 degrees, windy and bleak outside, and the heat hasn’t kicked in, but I’m moving the large cube, more like a rectangle now, from one side of my mouth to the other.

Yesterday I thought, “okay, time to do the ice exercise – this will be easy.” But yesterday it was a balmy 39 degrees and sunny. The buds on the trees looked hopeful, as if they truly believed they would have a chance to warm up, pop out, and live once again.

March, New England,

Hidden March Buds.

This morning, though, is another thing entirely. The wind is blowing frightfully, and the trees are closed up tightly, like a woman who first thinks she’s going to give herself to a man, but then he says something really stupid, and she closes up, physically as well as emotionally.

Yep, there’s March for you in a nutshell. It teases, it flirts, and then it slams the door on your face, the door that would lead to sunshine and warmth, blessings and life, light and love. KaBlam.

I used to hate March. It’s my birth month, so when I was a child, and even a young adult, I thought that March should be what I most love – a month full of warmth and laughter and sunshine. Year after year in New Jersey I lived through a March that offered cold, damp, unappealing weather.

I finally gave up wanting what I couldn’t have. I guess that’s what’s called “maturing.”

Then again, look at this. The ice has almost melted. It is now just a tiny sliver in my mouth, shrinking rapidly. The heat from my mouth has diminished it, changed its shape and its sting.

I’m the winner now. I suck it down like a cool glass of water and gloat.

crocus, March, New England springOkay, March, bring all you want to me. Just go ahead. ‘Cause you know what? I’m going to win in the end anyway. Spring is just around the corner, and when the crocuses sneak out of the snow and the hyacinth starts to smell like a patch of heaven on earth, winter will be a long distant memory.

My ice is gone. Cold air is still blowing outside, but I know what’s nearby.

Sure, maybe I’ve matured, but I’ve also decided that even if I shouldn’t want something that I can’t have,  I ought to appreciate everything that I CAN have.

Like a March full of love and laughter, anticipation and melted ice.

Every year.

daffodils, spring, New England spring

March – Between a Rock and a Hard Place


(Ice thanks to Google Images. Other photos by Pamela S. Wight)

55 thoughts on “Ice Cube Writing

  1. ‘March’ is an action word isn’t it? It gives me a hope that we will march into spring. It is strange that even when we know that Spring is coming, it is still so hard to patiently wait, and we do miss the wonders of today.


    • Well, when you put it that way. Yes, I’m looking at the ice sparkle on the roofs and the snow glitter across the landscape. It IS beautiful.

      But it was more beautiful in December. Now? give me a touch of the green, please.


  2. Write a story in five minutes with an ice cube in my mouth? Talk about things I cannot have. For me, it’s more a pull something together over a cup of hot coffee with an official overtime policy of another cup of hot coffee and…

    Lovely story, Pamela. Flowers popping up through the spring ground are always a boost and juice for hope.


    • Juice for hope – what a lovely phrase.
      This ice cube exercise is one I give to my creative writing students. Great way to help us ‘not think’ and just ‘go for it!’ in our writing.

      But I like the way you have an ‘official overtime policy’ over a cup of coffee.


  3. I guess it would lose its effect, but I’d like to try the writing exercise with a large scoop of maple walnut ice cream instead. My guess is it would result in more inches on the waist line and less words on the page, but it would be fun 😉

    I have been sucked into the black hole of wanting something I can’t have – like the crisp fall weather of my former home in Pennsylvania and New Jersey – but, there certainly is always something to be appreciative for where we are right now in this very minute. Presently, I am happy that that there is a hot cup of coffee sitting beside me 🙂

    As they say – whoever “they” are – if March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb. May the spring blossoms arrive on your doorsteps soon 😉


    • Always greener on the other side, as “they” also say. I grew up with NJ and PA autumns and didn’t appreciate them until I moved to CA. But I bet you don’t miss the month of March in either of those states!

      Sucking on a scoop of ice cream would be too luscious – I think the writing exercise would be diminished as the writer just swooned in appreciation of the creamy concoction.

      Then again, what’s wrong with an ‘ode to ice cream’????

      Liked by 1 person

    • Well, now you’ve made me switch my grouchiness into a love of constant change. And it’s true, living in this FOUR SEASON STATE (and I use caps because NE is surely tops in delivering four seasons), I agree. I need to swim into the constancy and creativity of change.


  4. March is my birth month too. Growing up in the Canadian prairies you never knew what weather you would get in March. Some years we had a picnic for my birthday and others a blizzard. In Spain I should have sunshine tomorrow. 🙂


  5. I’ve never been a fan of March. It’s long and drawn out, and just when we think spring is here, another dumping of snow hits us. But as you allude to, we always get the last laugh because eventually spring does come!


  6. What a “new pair of glasses” will do for us! Your ending lines ring so true, particularly “anticipation and melted ice.” That took me back to my childhood when I couldn’t wait for the ice to melt on some of my favorite lakes so I could go trout fishing in my rubber raft. The anticipation would drive me into a frenzy of activities; making sure my line was new, the reels were oiled and cleaned; and that I had the latest lures. Anticipation was a drug that focused my being into single-mindedness. It engulfed me ….. and then I’d hear that such and such a lake was fishable again and the rush I got with that news was greater than the rush I got when I got my first bite of the new year. I now know what I was experiencing was passion. I still get that childlike focus when I go fishing for the first time each year.

    “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”

    Oprah Winfrey


    • You are so lucky to have such passion, and to have experienced it even as a child. Those who have never found a passion? Well, they have missed out on the greatest part of being alive. The description of your anticipation of fishing is captivating. Looking back to my childhood, the only thing I can think of was my desire to ‘hook’ more books. I felt like you did, waiting to get to the melted lake, in which I waited to get a ride (or later, be allowed to ride my bike) to the library, and ‘catch’ a new book.
      Your Oprah quote is perfect. Thank you!


  7. I’ve not heard of exercising with an ice cube in your mouth but it sounds good. 🙂 I like your marvelous photos of the flowers. Very nice and I hope you don’t have to wait too much longer for spring.


  8. With a winter like this, you may return to us. Always hopeful! Spring will make this freeze all worth it when the azaleas and dogwoods bloom. Will they?


    • Dogwoods don’t do well this far north (better down in New Jersey, and even better, D.C. and Virginia). But the azaleas should be magnificent, once cleared of the tons of snow weighing them down. But we still have two months to wait for them, at least. Jeannette – enjoy your abundance of March flowers. I miss the Lupines!!


  9. What a beautiful post! Lovely to meet you. I often find myself wanting what I can’t have since my condition took away my independence, and even though that wanting is futile I still find myself tangled up in days of pointless wishing. But at the moment I am enjoying every tiny sign of spring I witness, particularly the slightly furry buds on the magnolia. They excite me! 😄



    • Those furry buds are like an infant’s new skin, aren’t they? You are seeing the beginning life much sooner in your part of the world than mine. Enjoy every single bud, and inhale the upcoming fragrance. So nice to connect.


  10. Happy Birthday month! It is one where two of my grandchildren, my oldest daughter and my grandniece all celebrate in! I like that you ‘changed your tune’ over time and also, through the words you chose to share this post with. We see the resilience in the flowers, buds, birds and nature’s wonders and may be in awe of March. I am still more of a summer lover, although my birthday comes in November! Smiles!


    • See? We need to/can find a reason to celebrate each month. November is a dark gray month here, yet it brings on two wonderful holidays. March is another gray month, yet it brings on the revival of the Earth. All that said, I’m with you – I love summer!!


  11. Oh, I don’t know if you get notices but I wrote a comment about “I’m NOT so happy about this. . .” post. Just so you know. I found out that I enjoy people going back to other posts but don’t always find out in a timely manner and so this is why I mentioned this. It says I did this in July, 2014, but that doesn’t sound possible. I believe it was withing February. It was an honest post with a great thought-provoking comment to get people conversing together.


      • I sometimes let a little too much of my feelings out on my blogs, but appreciated your post. It was also a way to get to know you better, too. Funny, but it is nice to know it is gloomy in November your direction, too. Misery loves company, but as you pointed out, both have some fun in their activities, St. Patrick’s day is in your birthday month, sometimes Easter. I get to eat delicious foods and celebrate with family for Thanksgiving. It is all in our perspective, isn’t it?

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I like your writing. This is a most interesting post and the ice cube assignment is one I’m going to steal to use with my students.
    Today was lovely here in the mountains of NC with sunshine and high 60s. I had to buy some plants to put on my deck. Pansies and violas for now.


    • Thank you! I enjoyed finding your blog and discovering that you teach writing and write beautiful poems. I’ve used this ice cube exercise amidst many moans with many students, but they all love the final gulp and the resultant stories they create. Your state of NC is gorgeous; I’m closing my eyes and imagining your pansies and violas. (When I was a little girl, I told everyone my name was Pansy – my favorite flower.) 🙂


  13. The things we want & can’t have. The things we can’t have & want. And then there’s that “maturity” or whatever it is that finally gets through (sometimes) and allows us to accept what’s in front of our faces. Because maybe we need what we don’t want. Maybe Life needs it. It’s appearing, anyway. Some famous spiritual person said: If you argue with reality you lose. Only 100% of the time. (So why DO we argue with reality? grin.)


Always a pleasure to read your thoughts.

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