Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Forays In Fiction: An Exercise

I'm tired of my own excuses so I'm going to combine advice gleaned from Rick DeMarinis' book which I've been reading all week, and John Daniel's workshop which I attended last week, and recent personal experience of which I've been blogging all week into a fiction writing exercise.

This may or may not ever be incorporated into a story--thinking that is supposed to relieve the pressure to perform. But if it ever were, the autobiographical elements would be less thinly disguised.

So here goes. Totally off the cuff and composed directly in Blogger:

Snags in Her Stitches

Jan held the seam ripper poised over the purple sweet pea stitched on the front of a heavy knit sweater. There was no way to save it. She had given four hours to an effort to fix the snags put into her carefully laid stitches by Barney's kneading. When tacking down, adding cover stitches, pulling to the back with a crochet hook, and combing the stitches with her fingers had not worked she had attempted to remove the stitches one by one, preserving the thread at least. But she had only made a mangle of loops out of her once smooth satin stitches. She was going to have to cut them out.

Sweat beaded on her lip and the bridge of her nose as her hand hovered over the stitches. So much was riding on this. She hated the waste of the yard or so of floss nearly as much as the thought of undoing her carefully laid stitches. But time took precedent now. She was doing this project for her landlord in exchange for a month's rent and had promised to have it done by the end of the month.

Her hand wavered a bit as she aimed the ripper at the flower. It wasn't just the loss of thread and of her work unnerving her. What if she snagged the yarn of the sweater with her ripper? Just as Jan inserted the prong of the seam ripper under the row of carefully laid stitches her glasses began to slide on the sheen of sweat and she raised her hand to push them back in position, with the same hand she held the unsheathed seam ripper.

I borrowed Jan from this little flash-fiction exercise from 2007. Gave her the same task I'm currently engaged with.

0 tell me a story:

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