NaNoPreWrite #1 (Oct. 24)

Outside, it is getting colder. The air is crisp, breakable on my skin, and it’s almost as though my clothes grow stiffer with cold. The leaves on the sidewalk are red and brittle, and they shatter under my feet. I collect the remains in my hands and plan to later separate them from the fibers of my jacket pockets.

I spend part of my afternoon licking sea salt from a cup of Wendy’s french fries until my chapped lips are numb with cold and the all-too-familiar burning sensation of salt. I feed the fries to birds, collect loose feathers, take pictures of gray and brown birds against a background of dull green grass and decomposing leaves.

Today after school, I left everything in my locker—including my backpack and spare gloves—everything except my notebook. When the main door opened, the muddy-yellow walls and tiled floor became bright, and then it was as if the whole world had wandered out into the open…

I later found myself in a park. There was salt on my hands.

Earlier today, my English teacher introduced a new unit: an exploration of the unfamiliar genre, she said; presenting ideas without writing anything down, she taunted. Apparently this is the project for the rest of the year: finding ways of writing or “visually presenting” (as she is fond of saying) our ideas without using “academic writing” (whatever that REALLY means). Without giving into the Canon, she said. Maybe my teacher’s a little bit of a rebel after all. Heh. A rebel teaching rebels. Imagine that.


About mckenzielynntozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives and writes in Indiana, where she works as a virtual assistant, editor, and freelance writer via her self-started business, MLT Creative. She received her MFA in Poetry from Western Michigan University, where she worked as the Layout and Design Editor for New Issues Poetry and Prose and as an Assistant Poetry Editor for Third Coast. She previously completed her B.S. in Secondary English Education and B.A. in English, with a Concentration in Writing, at Indiana University South Bend, where she worked as the Managing Editor for 42 Miles Press. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Emerge Literary Journal, Encore Magazine, Thank You for Swallowing, The Spooklet, Sleet Magazine, and Analecta, among others; and her book reviews and essays have appeared on The Rumpus and Motherly. When not writing, she enjoys art and music, and the simple mathematics of being a wife of one, a mama of two, and a cat-mom of three. For more, visit View all posts by mckenzielynntozan

2 responses to “NaNoPreWrite #1 (Oct. 24)

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