Sunday, August 24, 2008

Rising from the 'Free Write" Ashes

I had to create a fictional character today for a writing exercise. A "free write" fictional being with no connection to anything and anyone but my "free moment" imagination. Don't know why I'm sharing this unedited, straight from the hip particular result, with all its flaws, but I am.

Morris Hetch, nearing sixty-five, six foot two inches still, walks across the pine floor to the crackling fire place and warms his hands. Funny how cold his hands seem to stay. His eyes travel to the white oblong alabaster box on the mantle and he wonders about his will power. It has been over 48-hours since he reached for the box, took one of the Benson & Hedges and lit it with the tip of a rolled up piece of newspaper he stuck dangerously into the fire. It was as if he knew each cigarette was as potentially lethal as the embers that fly precariously from the burning newsprint.

He’s strong today. There will be no cigarettes. As strong as he was for over fifteen years, until just this last week. His stomach makes an unattractive noise. It is becoming far too familiar as is the discomfort that accompanies it. He plans to make an appointment, go see Melissa, Melissa Sturgis, the woman who has been his physician since his accident, but he knows he’ll put it off, forever if possible. It isn’t that he’s afraid of what he may learn; it is more that he’s afraid of what he may not – about Melissa.

His hands warmed now, he makes his way to the back room where he has set up his small desk, ignoring the pain in his knees, and the sharp mind wrenching pain in the center of his back. He slept wrong, again, and for an hour or so he’ll be reminded of the fact. But it is the fact of what lies before him on the edge of the desk that is most agonizing. He has no choice but to attend to it today. No choice at all.

Content copyright © 2008 by Peggy Eldridge-Love. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Peggy Eldridge-Love.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Don't You Dare Talk Back Mama!

I saw a child in a supermarket recently with arms folded tightly across her tiny chest, her head bowed in full-combat defiance, and her bottom lip stuck out so far and apparently clutched so tightly it was the size of a tulip bulb and deep dark purple. This little one was mad!

I watched as her mother sought to reason with her about why the object of her desire was not something they needed to acquire. I watched as the mother explained, cajoled, and pulled out all the diplomatic tactics in her playbook to get Missy to understand. Missy wasn’t giving an inch.

Suddenly I realized what I was really watching as I saw Missy’s mom’s shoulders sag, her continence fall to a level of self-defeated disgust, and I saw the lines of bitter stress etched deep into her far-too-young-for-those-lines-to-be-there face. As Missy’s mother reached for the box of multi-colored yuck cereal and handed it to Missy who snatched it from her mother’s grip and threw it in the basket, I realized I was watching the demise of family, the loss of structure, and the end of a great deal of hope for America.

Missy is already running this country. All the little Missy’s who have been handed the reins and given their heads to take us wherever it is they think we ought to go now rule -- poor babies.

No wonder we are a nation in crisis.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Putting Meat on the Bones

The first thing I did when this particular idea took hold was to check Amazon to see if there were any books that already were using the title that I felt would be perfect for this new story. There were a couple, also a couple of variations on the title, and then a book or two that was using a portion of the title which apparently just came up with the title search.

Okay, so at least the title is not totally seminal. What about the theme?

I searched again, and thus far there is absolutely nothing that seems to have gone my direction with this set of circumstances! No where could I find this theme (that is blowing my mind) touted elsewhere.

Wonderful! It looks like I've found virgin turf.

So, now comes the tough part, the fleshing it out to see if it is strong enough to withstand what will need to occur over the next several months, perhaps even years to bring it in for a landing! I think this one is solid, I think it has the meat it needs to cover the bones of a "good concept." I'm excited because I am almost certain this one can stand and withstand whatever is tossed at it and I can't wait to wrap my mind around it totally!

Now honestly, isn't this what every writer lives for -- no matter how often it happens?