One Thousand Words and a Couple of Scenes

This is going to be a bit of a fractured post tonight. I attended a prompt writing workshop (I’m really getting into the workshop thing) and was hoping that I would churn out enough words to get to one thousand without having to add on. But I only got to 500.

And many of them are for the book so I shouldn’t even share them here.

But I am. I just don’t have it in me to write one thousand words from scratch. And it’s just a bit of a scene, not even a whole one.

There were a lot of new faces at tonight’s workshop, at least new to me which probably means I was the new face.

It was fun to hear other people’s voices, meeting new folks.

One woman even asked if I was a broadcaster after I read. She said I sounded professional. I think that’s a pretty nice compliment!

So here are my prompts, with a bit of explanation:

==

The prompt was “It was the worst lie he/she/I ever told” (I never got to that, but when I did stick in a cat when the group leader said “introduce a new person or animal.”)

Daniel stood at the edge of the church basement meeting room, beside the piano, and took in the half circle of folding chairs. From the back, the men were indistinguishable. They all wore t-shirts and had longish, greasy hair

One guy had a flannel shirt hanging on the back of this chair, another sported a baseball cap, but other than those small details they could have been thirteen replicas of the same person.

One of the t-shirts turned around and grinned at him. “Daniel!” Mike beckoned him over.

Daniel hesitated. There was still time to make a run for it. Mike gestured again and the man sitting next to him turned to look too.

As Daniel sat down, Mike announced, “This is Daniel. He’s the guy I told you about last week. He’s cool.”

The blood pounded in Daniel’s ears so loudly that he didn’t hear the introductions. He wasn’t cool. No one had ever thought he was cool.

A guy with a ponytail stood up. “Let’s get going. The weekly meeting of the Horror Film Society of Upland is now in session.”

Mike leaned over to Daniel. “Skip always talks like that. I think he wants to be a judge or something.” He nudged Daniel with his elbow and let out a snort.

A black cat wandered in to the center of the circle and sat down. She surveyed the men then proceeded to clean her paw.

Daniel sneezed.

“That’s the church’s cat, Sister Christian.” Skip explained. “Just ignore her and she’ll leave. We’ll start with the inventory of the films.”

One by one, they went around the room offering detailed critiques of the horror movies they had seen over the past week, while Skip made a list on a white board in front of the semi-circle.

As the list grew, Daniel began to feel nauseous. He hasn’t seen a horror movie that week. He had gone to see Sex in the City. But he wasn’t about to tell this group of horror experts, who was currently in a deep discussion on Japanese director Hideo Nakata’s use of lighting, that he thought Sarah Jessica Parker was pretty.

He was still thinking about Carrie and Mr. Big when he became aware that the group was looking at him. He shifted in his seat and Sister Christian, who had curled up beside his shoes darted out of the room. “Is it my turn?”

Skip crossed his arms. “You were humming the theme to Sex in the City.”

==

This prompt was “a rose on a train seat.” What I wrote isn’t part of my book, just a scene about someone else, but I kind of like what came out.

There was a rose on the train seat across the aisle. It was there when he boarded and still there three stops later. Just a rose, alone. Pink and wilting.

He pictured the woman who had left it behind. She was short, he decided. And a little plump. With long brown hair, a hairstyle that didn’t go with her face.

He waited for her to return. From the rest room, the dining car, from stretching her legs.

He wanted to ask her name, which would be something sturdy like Ethel or Eleanor, and where she was going, which would someplace frivolous.

But Ethel or Eleanor didn’t return. He began to worry as the train approached his stop.

Surely she wouldn’t have abandoned the rose to the train. Surely it had meant something to her, or at least the person who had given it to her did.

His stop came and went. He waited, alone. Pink and wilting.

==

So I finished Sacré Bleu by Christopher Moore last night. I’m not going to talk about it too much since I want to write a real and proper review of it for a future post.

But it was great and it felt really good to finish a book.

I’m normally a fairly quick reader. I don’t retain what I read for very long, but do finish books in good time.

But it’s been a while since I finished a book. I started two that I didn’t like and then I struggled with a third while really wanting to start Sacré Bleu.

And my reading time seems to be short lately, mostly because I use it to write instead.

I’ll get my post written, put it on the website and then try to read. A few pages later my eyes won’t stay open and I’m dropping my book.

Once I reach a year of writing (in thirteen freaking days! I can’t believe I’m almost there), I’m going to have to figure out the right balance. I refuse to stop reading. I miss it.

Guess that’s it for tonight. I warned you it was fractured. But hey, it’s Friday night.

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