Concrete Detail

Erika Hayes, Author – Write like a reader, read like a writer and edit like a beast!


This world is filled with amazing, stunning beautifully created things.  It also is filled with often unseen mundane things that in themselves hold beauty and interest, yet so often go unnoticed.  I am going to challenge you my reader with exercises in observation.

Exercises in observation are not writing prompts, they are opportunities to hone your observation skills through writing. Learning to observe is important because living a full and productive life requires you are aware of the things happening and not happening around you.  Let’s jump in with our first Exercise in Observation.

May I suggest you get a new fun notebook and take time to observe the world around you, take in each exercise and record it.  Learn from it, if you are a writer these exercises will help you when you are writing because you have taken time to record situations and things you see.  As we develop a keen eye for the world around us we will learn to better appreciate and better experience it.


May 29, 2018 – (Waiting room at XXXXXXX)

He is fighting sixty, still proud of his strong muscular frame. He sits absorbed by the device in his hand.  The thin-framed glasses match is greying hair. His regret over the loss of his hair shows in the style. His skin sun-kissed, the tan is earned from hours out on the course or perhaps a tennis court.  No wedding ring,  his confidence evident in stature yet when he makes eye contact I see a loneliness behind the lenses. White well-worn tennis shoes, comfortable but crisp blue shorts his back straight he scans the room.  A screaming yellow shirt with “MICHIGAN” emblazon in an arch across his chest reveals he is an athlete, born to it.  He is proud of his Alma mater. The purple phone case seems an odd choice, perhaps a gift from his daughter may be a young lover. It doesn’t fit, it is what caught my eye.  He greets the woman he previously spoke with as she returns to the tiny space we occupy waiting for the next phase of our testing.  His ease makes me think they know one another, then he asks about her family disproving my hypothesis.  The nurse announces he ready for the final phase of his test and when he stands to leave he again makes eye contact and offers a smile.  I am sure he is a pleasant enough fellow.  


2 thoughts on “Lessons in Observation

  1. Conculsion or conclusion ma’am. I’m stuck. But I always enjoy reading your writings. X

    1. Opps, TYPO 🙂 I should have caught that.

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