As promised, here’s my first excerpt from my Monday Denver Writes Creative Writing Club writings. It only seems fair that since I post their writing on the Denver Writes site, instagram, facebook, etc… and I’m doing the exact same writing prompts and exercises.. I should post my stuff as well. I think I might come up with a more unified theme name for these posts, but as of right now, something topically and thematically related seems okay. I like the guy, I worked with this week, I’ve been very blessed at the quality of the regular writers, but this week the writer, like me, really wanted to write about people on or around trains.
The first piece is from our writing warm up. When we have a smaller group, I often start with a brainstorming free for all where we just throw out any ideas and build bigger (ie a park bench, in a park, in new york city, in may at 2:33 pm) or build smaller (ie there’s a couple on the park bench) and once we have enough ideas to jump into writing. I believe our location ideas were a Canadian train station and a someone waiting at a coffee shop. I went with a train at the station:
I couldn’t see it happen from where I was. I did feel the jolt of the sudden stop from my passenger car followed by the deafening screech of metal wheels scraping against track frantically breaking. The sound after was worse, I had never imagined what the sound of a train derailing would be, but this, this noise, this horrid noise, was exactly it. The sound of a train, not on a track, but on its side on the ground… and the screams…
I looked at my watch, it had only been two minutes since I last looked. I flipped open my phone, I needed to let the person I was meeting know I was going to be late.
Since we were still in the free write warm up stage, the next step was for us to take our prose piece and try and see if we could make it work as a poem:
I didn’t see it.
My body shook from the sudden
against metal track
and then against
the horrifying crash
I looked at my watch.
We followed this up with our “main” writing for the day. On his suggestion we went back to that train station, and we as someone sitting on a bench waiting had to describe another person waiting:
I neatly folded the paper and placed it on the seat next to me and looked up at the train to see if I could somehow determine how close it was to leaving by the crowd around it. There wasn’t. A lone figure paced by the soot covered engine car. Even at this distance, even without seeing her face, I could tell she was beautiful. Beyond that, she was striking. She wore a hat, not like the fashion of today. Big. Summery. Classic looking. You don’t see that normally. Blonde waves cascaded out tickling her bare shoulders and back. Her summer dress coordinated perfectly with both. It was the way the light pink and flowers gathered and twirled around her legs that concerned me. My gaze followed her, up and down the length of the track. Her pace was fast, like something was wrong. I couldn’t tell exactly. Impatience? Anger? Fear? All I knew was that something about the way she was moving was unnerving, unsettling. My eyes made contact with hers. Green, emerald green, beyond striking. She started walking to me.
My challenge to him, was to then take that character and write a reverse piece, the point of view of initial narrator from the point of view of our new creation:
Why did I let mother talk me into wearing this hat? It’s far too big, too cumbersome, too hot. I feel sweat pooling under it. So gross. Don’t think about it. But, I need to think about something. Something besides why I’m here. I sighed. How did this happen again? How did I end up here alone, wearing this… hat… waiting for a man I don’t know.
“Wear the pink one with flowers,” mother had said, “He likes pink.” I shuddred at the thought of somehow making myself look…appealing…to this strange man, whoever he was. The money she gave me sat tightly wrapped in my purse. I looked around as I walked the length of the station, five, maybe six times. Is this him? This man on the bench? Does he know where my sister is? He looks younger than I imagined. He’s wearing a suit, casually, not tight, teal colored shirt, no tie. Our eyes connected, and he smiled, warmly? I started to walk towards him.
I didn’t know he wasn’t the man I was looking for, but he was the man who would help me find my sister.
We discussed what we’d do with our stories if we planned on continuing them. He was very keen on me continuing my story, we had an impromptu brainstorm to see where our stories might go.. This might pick up again. Perhaps.
I have another week of writing, with the same writer, ready to go.. maybe Monday. This set features penguins in elevators and other assorted randomness.