"Small" writing challenges for my small writing talent. Hotel note pads are the only space allowed. Let's see if I can strip it down and tighten it up to learn something. Improving my skill of weird fiction.
My judgement hat auto-assembles. She appears short, perhaps fifty. Older? Her peppered hair is a warning system with minimal work, staying regulation and face free. That’s her method. Force regulation and stay out of my face. Having the skills nobody notices; having importance superiors ignore; having self-worth ignored by family. Saving the world with only ticket counters and pejoratives is all she has to look forward to. Nobody will diminish what’s hers. By dealing out skin crawling escalation like crack, she reminds everyone where she is in control and they aren’t. Her reduced world saddens me. My judgement hat disassembles.
(Author’s notes) February 9th, 2016: Written in flight, west of Newark, NJ – rapidly climbing the hell away from that lady at two-hundred-ninety knots.
The picture above shows what an awesome exercise a 100-word story can be. you can see the original notes, and the condensed version on-screen. I scratched down my thoughts on this event that got me all wrapped up inside. I, was, mad. How could I not write on this. I had to because I didn’t know if the escalation that almost became an argument in front of my passengers and crew was my fault or hers, but I knew at every opportunity she took verbal ‘swipes’ at me. I took off before I said something stupid that would gain an armchair quarterbacking phone call from my boss. Once at cruise altitude with good weather and nothing happening, I wrote my thoughts. I also learned my crew-all of them- had the same reaction. The agent was NOT nice. Thoroughly to the core she was over-controlling and to anyone that dared ask anything at all, she was dismissive and condescending. She..WAS…ALPHA!
The next day, when I could type it all out to organize the main points, I found somewhere over five-hundred words. I condensed the soup into one-hundred and it was a great learning experience because the line between a story and some kind of poetry was blurring. Literally, I was finding different words to replace three at a time. Semi colons instead of “She had”, hyphens to make multiple fragments into one complete sentence. etc. I also discovered that it wasn’t my fault. She obviously had other issues stewing for a long time and I was the unlucky one that took the brunt and couldn’t finish a single sentence or question without her dominant interruptions. Not a single point I had could get across.
This exercise expands a toolbox you might not know you had. It will teach anyone how to pull their hair to find the perfect puzzle piece. It’s a game in the end. Use too any words and crack 100, you lose-but, there’s not enough in the story! Get to work. Can you, a writer, project a whole story of feeling and background like this? It’s easy to start, but gets so much harder to really polish it off and bring it up to a level acceptable to more than friends. That’s what I tried to do here, and learned all about pejorative language types! She had it in snow-shovels.
This is a submission to another blog I just started to follow-one that ‘liked’ my previous post to this one, a 50th post special. THE DRABBLE blog deals in short stories-One hundred words at a time. Nothing bigger. It opened a new section with the assignment to do 100 words on, basically, people watching. Select a person. That person. Whatever the encounter, write on it. So, I did. I hope I brought things to a higher state of writing for myself with this. It also brought my fury down to normal levels. Writing is proven to be self therapy.
Oh, the free snack:
Don’t worry, it doesn’t have 21% of your daily saturated fat and taste amazing with coffee. I promise….