Saturday, October 9, 2010

writing class

I attended my first ever writing class last week. I liked the writing instructor right away. She was straightforward and had a wry smile and long silver hair. I was the second youngest person there. Everyone present was some sort of working professional, mostly women. There were a few pretentious personalities, but I won't get into those unnecessary details.

I think it will be a tough class, only because it's forcing me to write more and weave together adjectives and think about characters and employ those long-unused neurons in my head that have forgotten how to be creative.

We wrote various in-class exercises. Our instructor gave us a few noun prompts and we pieced together unfinished stories based on these prompts.* I thought about whipping up a story based on vignettes that I had already written in the past, but I want everything that comes from this class to be raw, unwritten, and completely spontaneous. So I wrote the following, which I am neither proud nor ashamed of:

"She blamed it on the chocolate. The man in the stetson hat, while coaxing her into a date, had dropped off a small box of chocolate, which she had promptly razed. The chocolates tasted dusty. She woke up the next morning and found a rash smiling from one end of her torso to the other. The rash looked wet and slick and careless, as though someone had painted it on her body in the dark and had left in a hurry, before she could discover the intruder. She felt her way into the bathroom and fished her first aid kid out of an antique wire basket and that is how everything looked when the paramedics arrived and saw her with her arm spilling into the wire basket and clutching the first aid kit and the rest of her laying in a heap.

Unbeknownst to the paramedics, termites had overtaken a wing of the hospital so that the building looked as though it were crippled, too.

The man in the stetson hat took his hat off for work, which was appropriate when her body arrived for an autopsy. He signed and swallowed hard when he saw her still body. He folded back her breast, neatly, like a pancake, and sliced into her chest."

*Noun prompts in bold.

I wrote it in a feverish hurry. I don't know where the "smiling" rash came from but I liked it. I read those paragraphs to the class in a shaky voice and it was met with a strange silence and the instructor commented that it was very "minimalistic". In any case, it felt really good to put myself out there. I feel like I'm on my way.

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