“if you have troubles” by Julia on the reading chair


Thursday August 17, 2017
11:02pm
5 minutes
from an e-flyer

“If you have troubles, I know a guy,” Elvira called over, “but he’s out of the country until Monday.”
The window shut behind her and the lights went out. Elvira seemed to sleep easily and often. I supposed if I could I would too. I took off my tank top and threw on Vic’s t-shirt. I liked the way it made my nipples look. I took out my notepad and wrote down “Elvira” and “knows a guy” in two separate bullet points. I wanted to be able to tell Vic she didn’t have to worry. It would have been a nice moment.

“regular procedures” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday April 5, 2017
12:53pm
5 minutes
From the thesis formatting guidelines

I am sitting across from you
you are either editing your novel
(YOUR FUCKING NOVEL!!)
or worrying about being ripped off
Even when you’re busy you look up when it’s time
mouth 1234 to me and smile
wait for me to stop what I’m doing
so I don’t miss it
so I don’t forget to believe in magic

I am sitting across from you
you are either playing a new riff on your guitar
or researching guitars that have headphone jacks
this is a very nice gift for me
even though it comes at a cost for you

I am sitting across from you
I am either telling the world about you
or trying to sell my clothes online
our feet are touching
it’s nice

you told your contract job that your girlfriend
isn’t too happy about you working from home
because she has now gained an office mate
but no other office mate
has let me rest my feet on his before

“free health care to” By Julia on her couch


Monday February 6, 2017
10:40pm
5 minutes
from a #goodnews tweet

I wish I would have gotten sick more when I had free healthcare. It never works out that way does it? No one ever says, “Life! It’s just so convenient, isn’t it?” People seem to talk a whole lot more about Murphy’s law than they talk about serendipity.
“Hindsight is always 20/20” is another one! And it’s true. I don’t know why we need to wait until hindsight for us to learn a lesson. Why can’t the opportunity to make a decision be the lesson? Why can’t the 20/20 vision kick in during sight not after? Why can’t life be as convenient as it isn’t?

VANCOUVER WRITER’S WORKOUT!


Vancouver get ready!
Another writer’s workout is coming your way!
Check it out, share, and get your write on.

feb19-t5mwritersworkoutfeb19-t5mwritersworkout2

“improve life for their families.” By Sasha at her desk


Wednesday January 4, 2017
2:10pm
5 minutes
From a Kiva.org card

Kevin starts blowing glass in his sleep. Tom isn’t sure whether he should chain him to the bed or let him, which is a greater risk. At breakfast Kevin wonders how he has burns on his fingers. Tom pours more orange juice and kisses him before putting on his jacket and going outside to warm up the car.

“I’m not sure moving the studio into the house was the best idea,” Kevin minces garlic later that day, before dinner. Tom opens a bottle of Merlot. “Why’s that?” he asks. “I keep dreaming about work,” Kevin glugs olive oil into the cast iron pan. “It’s like I can’t escape… And then when I do go into the studio, during the day, my stuff is shit. Really. Total shit.”

“two or more writers” by Julia on Bec’s bed


Tuesday January 3, 2017
10:59pm
5 minutes
bcartscouncil.ca

Two or more writers gathered at the table
Nobody inside yet
Nobody hungry
Two or more writers sit together after more than a year of not sitting together being writers at the same place
Sit together now and laugh about old times and give each other hope
Two or more writers or was it two or less writers not knowing how to define themselves
Even if either one would have given the same title to the other
Two or less writers sit together wondering how it is that before two or more writers were more than just writers and more than not writers
Two or more writers gathered at the table
Eggs and toast eaten
Tea and coffee finished

Happy Birthday To Us!

Today these five minutes is celebrating 5 YEARS of dipping, 5-minute writes, process over product, and of course, a daily writing practice that strengthens us and keeps us showing up.
Thank you for reading and sharing and writing alongside us. We are grateful for this community.
To many, many more!

To celebrate, these five minutes will be hosting their first Vancouver writer’s workout this Saturday, November 5, 2016. Details below! A few spots still available! 


love,
Sasha and Julia

“RESET BALANCE” by Julia on the airplane


Sunday October 30, 2016
6:04am
5 minutes
from a Freshii sign at the airport

Things are slowing down
Down
We are finding our breath and our hurt and we are letting them kiss
I know how to find centre
I know now I know now I know now

Yesterday’s self portrait is unrecognizable to me today. The shapes are the same but the lines are different. Different good, different wise. I think in the last few hours I have grown new lines or old ones have morphed into something that holds my skin in place better now. I greet the mirror with the kind of warmth reserved for reunion; homecoming to the eyes of my mother.

I’m ecstatic to announce” by Sasha on her couch


Friday September 30, 2016
11:24am
5 minutes
A Facebook post

Holds her tongue when she wants to speak when she wants to yell
REBEL! REBEL! REBEL!
Holds her hands tight
lips
tight fingers around the truth
She was raised to be
QUIET
Speaking when spoken
Taking when token
She was raised to be
SMALL
Sink and shrink and skimp and
chew with your mouth closed
Don’t
talk with your mouth open
OPEN
CLOSED
OPEN
open
open up and let him in
Holds her tongue when she
is
FEAR
near
tear
bear
bare
here

“in a less than forgiving city” by Sasha at the table on Monkland


Wednesday September 28, 2016
10:12pm
5 minutes
vancouveractorsguide.com

In a less than forgiving city
where wind catcalls
and frost bites
we pull hoods around ears
so we can’t hear the whining
We trudge passed post apocalyptic nativities
We motor across bridges rife with dead fish
A salamander tries to get your attention
en route to capitalism
en route to mortgages
A salamander calls to you and asks for your heart

“within the high-rise’s stairway” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday June 7, 2016
11:01pm
5 minutes
Flushed
David Delisca


Ellen told Brody she wouldn’t be joining him on the hike this year but she didn’t give him much notice. She had been holding off on saying anything until she knew for sure if she could or not. Brody didn’t think to ask if there was a reason. He focused on the fact that Ellen bailed on him so last minute and he had already put his money down. Brody sent a lot of passive aggressive messages telling Ellen that he wished he could “find a way to make some much needed cash asap–life is so unexpected, you know?” Ellen didn’t have the heart to tell him what was really going on in case he decided not to go all together. The last thing she needed was her best friend giving up something he had looked forward to every year just to stay at home and offer some unwanted pity. Ellen toggled between telling him the whole truth, and avoiding anything but.

“Are you sure about that?” by Sasha on the 16


Wednesday February 3, 2016
5:15pm
5 minutes
Right Hand Man
Stacey Kaser


I sleep with a book under my pillow. It started when I was five and my parents were fighting and the dissonance of that lullaby needed to be somehow interrupted.

When lovers find the book (Anita Rau Badami or Miriam Toews or Saleema Nawaz or Madeleine Thien or Ann-Marie MacDonald Esi Edugyan or Michael Ondaatje or Joy Kogawa), dripping in sleep, they curl eyebrows into question marks. Some understand, a small smile spreading. Most don’t.

If I wake up and my mind starts talking too loud, too fast, the usual, I take the book, such easy access and I fall in.

“a new relationship to the vagina” by Julia on the subway going west


Wednesday March 25, 2015
5:28pm
5 minutes
Vagina
Naomi Wolf


Yesterday I glanced down and I was surprised. Surprised that after all these years (31 if you’re wondering), I actually liked what I saw. Yeah get over it I’m talking about my vagina. Why can’t I? Don’t answer that, I don’t give a shit. I’m allowed to talk about whatever I want, especially when it’s something I love. You hear that, I don’t just like my vagina. I love her. With a thousand deeply regretted shitty comments I’ve uttered about myself, I take a stand today, mirror in between my legs, and facing the setting sun. I see who I am all over. Soft. Capable. Hungry. Open. Closed. Both. Alive. Strong. Resilient. Self-preserved. Willing to house others.
My vagina is my spirit animal.
I am she and she is me.

“This is a highly competitive, adjudicated process” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday March 30, 2015
2:13pm
5 minutes
The BC Arts Council website

Ladies and gentlemen, theys and theirs, it is of the utmost importance that you understand that this is a highly competitive, adjudicated process. Not everyone will succeed. In fact, look around you, look at the over-plucked or unkempt eyebrows and the chapped lips and the waxy moustaches… Only a handful of these toenailed toes will make it onwards. This is not to dissuade you. This is to INSPIRE YOU! This is to set you FREE! Competition is the fire in your loins or loinettes! It’s the rumble in your belly (and not from burrito night!) It’s setting your mind to something with the whole-hearted belief that YOU CANNOT FAIL! (But you can. And you most likely will. Always allow that littttttle voice in the back of your head that says you’re a loser to taunt you and judge you and keep you in check.)

“a new relationship to the vagina” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday March 25, 2015
9:41am
5 minutes
Vagina
Naomi Wolf


She mentions the book over pottery mugs of Earl Grey tea, cupped in our open palms. We’re perched in chairs that used to live in her parents house, smaller versions of their armchair grownup selves. She tells me that it’s changed her life, this book, and I trust her, this woman, and I promise myself that when I see it, I will buy it. I want a new relationship with my vagina, too.

The timer is running out of time because I’ve paused a bunch while writing this, feeling nervous, not wanting to overshare, but wanting to be very honest.

If you haven’t read Vagina by Naomi Wolf, please find someone to borrow it from, or buy it, or order it from the library. If you are a woman, this is for you. If you are a man, this is for you. If you are neither, this is also for you. No matter who you love or why you love them or what you have or what you don’t have, this book is for you.

It took me a long time to recognize the politics of my body. I want to understand them and I can’t simply from reading The Globe and Mail.

“Confronted issues of racism, identity and social tension” by Julia on the 47 going South


Sunday February 8, 2015
8:14pm
5 minutes
http://www.ago.net/basquiat

We were at this line, standing on a cliff looking out into the entire world. We could see all the sadness, because of all the possibility. We could feel the stars shedding their light for us to soak up if we had enough space left inside after all the room we made for darkness. Deep down we had a fixed price for what we’d pay for happiness. We were told that we needed to buy it. We were told we needed to hide it. And at the same time we could hear all the first laughs of every perfect infant. We could paint courage and intimacy with a brush so soft we could swear it didn’t even leave a mark… And that’s why we stood there. On the edge of everything– and not knowing one single thing to do.

“make myself solid in this transitory world” by Julia at Source Centre for Health and Wellness


Tuesday February 3, 2015 at Source Centre for Health and Wellness
9:04pm
5 minutes
A Time Of No Place
Natalie Goldberg


If Regis (that’s the dog that I’m watching) licks my left ankle one more time, I’ll take it as a sign from the sky gods (that’s a term my friend Birdie told me about recently. Her real name is Roberta, but what fun is that?)that I’m connecting with something magical. Mirabell (that’s Regis’ long lost love) died two years ago today and he never fully recovered. Now he licks ankles but I don’t think those things are related. Tiger-Blossom (That’s my spirit animal. He’s a she and sometimes she’s a monster) says that when it’s really cold at night we must let our lives live without the halves we think they need.

“Each person comes into this world” by Julia on the 501 heading east


Saturday January 31, 2015
4:37pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Osho

And boom boom can we get the drums a banging
cause the moon moon has all these people clanging
We
Join
Life
From the wombs wombs meeting memories in this world
to the tombs tombs where our bones lay stripped and curled
We
Leave
Strife
And boom boom we celebrate the hearts a thudding
with the moon moon keeping far the doors that need shutting

“to firm up” by Julia on the 506 heading west


Friday January 30, 2015
8:08pm
5 minutes
Ani’s Raw Food Desserts
Ani Phyo


Someone’s been spying on me. I tell them. I tell them in my eyes. No more of that, I say. No more. And I ask them not to bother. I ask them. They don’t listen. They never listen. I can feel it now in my belly button. It tingles and it’s in crying. It’s making a hurt feel. I want to say nice loud Please Stop, Please Stop Now Now, but I don’t know how that is. How that is? And I don’t like having big windows. And I don’t like being big windows. Birds flying hurting into big widows. It isn’t me. It isn’t the real me. But I get big when I have to. I get very high if I need to stand. And no more sand for my feet to live.

“I’ll try and take it off” by Julia at Mina’s Fabric


Thursday January 29, 2015 at Minas Fabric
4:33pm
5 minutes
overheard at Mina’s Fabric

I’ll try and take it off-the layer of whatever it is I’ve been hiding behind.
I used to be such a pretty girl. Such a pretty pretty girl. And he’d sing to me from the top of the stairs, “I see you and I see you because you make it so hard not to.” And I’d feel like I belonged to something perfect on this earth even if his love didn’t last and his opinion of me changed.
I had to consciously say that out loud to the next one once–that I’d try and take it off—because he looked at me with such kind eyes, but in a confused way as if he desperately wished he could see through the wall and share a moment in my soul–just swimming around, testing the water.
I have to say it out loud so I can remind myself that sometimes it’s more for me than for anyone else: that it’s hard to see clearly just as it is to be seen clearly.
I think of that searching look he gave me when I need to stop myself from fading…

“Sell it to me! I want to fix it!” by Julia on the 63 going North


Wednesday January 28, 2015
1:12am
5 minutes
Sasha’s notebook

Well I went through a phase in my life where all I wanted to do was sell bracelets made out of human teeth. It was a longer phase than maybe I’d like to/should admit. I thought it would be really sweet to market to mothers–you know, Never Forget How Precious Your Child Once Was…
It was a strange endeavour, I know that it was, because you’d have to wait a couple years to get enough good teeth for a bracelet, but you’d have to have permission first and the whole thing. So I sold one or two bracelets. I knew there would be some people interested. And by some I mean…just the two. I don’t know if they bought them out of admiration for the craft or out of fear that if they didn’t I would cast some witchy voodoo curse on them, because honest to God, who collects and then sells human teeth?

“Sell it to me! I want to fix it!” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday January 28, 2015
9:19pm
5 minutes
Sasha’s notebook

Sell me your shit! I wanna make it cool! I wanna fix it! Sell it to me cheap! I can do better than you, but I’m to laz-yyyyy! Gimme dat blanket – Imma make it a pillow. BANG! Gimme dat dreamcatcher! Imma catch some real randy dreams! Sell me your shit! I’m jonesin’ for a nice hit of… STUFF! Your stuff. Your old, used, wet, wilted, sticky, sexy, slimy, gross, gorgeous stuff. Imma make a soup outta it and let that shit simmer simmer simmer. Have a garage sale, biatch, and I’ll be the only muthafuckah there!

“2 hours or longer” by Julia on the plane


Tuesday January 27, 2015
12:30pm
5 minutes
the Air Canada cafe booklet

Saw him standing by the vending machine. He was biting the inside of his top lip again. There’s a little flap of skin that he likes to chew when he’s focused. His fingers were in his pockets fiddling with a twist-tie or a beer cap. I didn’t see in his pockets but that’s the stuff that’s usually in there. I was already late to meet him but I stood where I was, watching him from my hiding place,and wondering if this was the real him. Alone. Unknowingly being spied on. I could have stood there for 2 hours or longer, just making assumptions and being deeply curious about this human. It made me question if anyone really knows anyone at all. If everyone has a secret self that even we don’t know about..

“Man vs. Wolves” by Julia on her couch


Monday January 26, 2015
12:08am
5 minutes
from Outside Magazine

It takes a pack of them to keep me down. A pack of them, all fired up and caged for too long. Otherwise I’m like they are, clawing my way through hearts…and the flesh that was born to protect them. I see the moon and I transform into a nightmare. Into a bloody, toothy, shit eating grin. I’m the face that the dark stays dark for. And it’s not anger. It’s not rage. It’s torment and pain and obsession and truth. It’s raw like the wild and dangerous like the wind.

“Isn’t that the same thing?” By Julia on her couch


Saturday January 24, 2015
6:29pm
5 minutes
The Green-ish pilot

Ari told me to ask the Universe for what I wanted in life and make it very specific. She said, “what’s the harm in asking?” And I didn’t have an answer so I told her I didn’t know and that I would try it this weekend. I realized she wanted me to do it in that very moment while she was there so she could share it with me, but I’ve never been very good at asking for help and I didn’t want her to catch me in the middle of my ineptitude. It would shine brightly, stick out like a sore thumb, and remind everyone that I don’t have a clue. So I thought of Ari as I walked home in the most perfect light and Canadian snow, and wondered for the first time if asking was actually easy..Once you strip it bare of its shame and crippling vulnerability…
I remembered once asking my dad if he could lend me $1100.00. Some might argue that asking him or the universe was actually the same thing..

“Isn’t that the same thing?” By Sasha in the Green Room at the Vancouver Playhouse


Saturday January 24, 2015
6:32pm
5 minutes
The Green-ish pilot

Every time I set out to write something sexy, I end up writing about oatmeal or the ocean or someone yelling. Or moving, I write about moving a lot, too. You know when you read something and you’re like, “GODDAMNIT I SHOULDA WRITTEN THAT! THAT SHOULDA BEEN MINE!” Or that moment when you read about a play opening on Broadway that’s about pretty much the exact same thing you’ve been been writing for oh, four years? That moment is really cute. For me, it usually means a knot in my stomach and a bowl of popcorn. Maybe an episode of Nashville. What about the times when you write something that’s so brilliant you know it’s going to not only change your own life, but change other people’s lives too? Then, the big resounding questions is –

how are you going to spread your words like honey across the earth?

“friends to build your community” by Sasha on the couch in Mississauga


Monday December 22, 2014
9:12am
5 minutes
from grooveshark.com

I want to tell you something small. And massive. And yellow. I want to tell you about moving across ice, fawn legged, and reaching up to catch a tired branch and missing. I want to tell you about the shame in my hips, tight and sepia toned, how she hums when the nights are cold, how she moans when the fire has turned to embers. I want to tell you how I see the tired in your smile, how I see the memories of before and the forgetting of now. I want to tell you to stop reading the Tabloids, that slow drip of mediocrity, and I want to tell you that I won’t judge you if you don’t stop, but I will keep shoving books of poetry under your bed in hopes that you’ll find them when you’re most filled with longing.

“not long before you get there with us.” By Sasha at The Arts Club


Saturday November 8, 2014 at The Arts Club
7:41pm
5 minutes
From serialpodcast.org

His eyes are sand
Swirling golden turmeric honey
His eyes are searching
Sky reach twisting to cloud
His eyes tell me how
Why and when and where
His eyes are the reason I come back
Come back and come back and come back
“I want to write a book” he says
I don’t believe it
I shudder and I bite my nail
“I want to write a book about my mother” he says
I stand up and open the window
Even though it’s below zero

“going from being very quiet to being very loud” by Sasha on her couch


Monday, September 8, 2014
10:09pm
5 minutes
an interview with Passenger on www.billboard.com

Ella reads aloud.

An old man
He turned ninety eight
He won the lottery
And he died the next day


I don’t want to be mean about it but… this is pretty blatant plagiarism. I want to be supportive of your work, Ramona, but… Look, you’re a talented writer, you really are. You have a voice, a distinct voice and… what happened here? If you were around in 1995, you know the lyrics to this song!

Ramona is quiet. Eventually she says,

I’m exploring puberty. I’m exploring what it’s like to go through fucking hairy puberty.

They are both looking at their shoes – Ella’s are Australian Boots and Ramona’s are rubber boots from Canadian Tire.

“One way I teach” by Julia at Saving Gigi


Friday, October 12, 2012 at Saving Gigi
4:50pm
5 minutes
Daring Greatly
Brené Brown


Dancing is a way of life. That was what my grade 12 English teacher said, and god knows she never danced a day in her life. She was a giant woman. Four hundred pounds, and sadly, counting. She had a gap in between her front teeth and she was incredibly beautiful. She had a way of making people feel great and bad at the same time. I still can’t figure out what the intention of combining those two feelings would be, but she was a master at it. She knew she was overweight. I mean, how could she not. She was as big as the entire classroom when she was sitting down. I dare say she taught us mostly from the chair at her desk in the front. Which is fine. Not one person in the class made fun of her. Not one. And maybe that was because we knew it wouldn’t hurt her. She was brave. She was strong. And she wasn’t stupid. We didn’t have to prove anything in her class. The only thing she wanted was for us to come outside of our comfort zone, and be bold. She preached about dancing, and singing, and blindly painting words of truth on the walls of our bedrooms. I wanted to be bold. I wanted to be bigger than she was. Bigger than a spirit that filled not only a classroom, but our minds.