I have signed up to take a creative writing class. The ABC's of Creative Writing. You all are in danger of being my victims as I practice my ABC's.
This is a continuing education class offered through the local community college (translation: no credit). However, it was held at a local high school, in room 102. This particular high school is one of those with a sprawling campus consisting of 5 buildings. Sadly, none of them had a sign which said "ABC's of Creative Writing Is Held In This Building, In Room 102, Second Door on the Left. THE LEFT, Wrong-Way."
My plan was to go into the building that had the most cars parked in front of it. Imagine my surprise when I walked into the building which housed the auditorium where the Senior Class Dinner Theater was being held. So much for that plan. I walked around aimlessly in the empty lobby, listening to muffled off-key singing and searched for a "you are here, but you want to be there" kind of map of the campus. From across the lobby, a rather imposing looking woman purposefully walked towards me. Interestingly she was dressed as I was; black trousers, white blouse and red blazer. As she approached me, she said with a great deal of authority, "I'm hopelessly lost. Can you direct me to room 102?"
I laughed, introduced myself and suggested we try the next building. On our way there, Julie and I picked up another lost soul, Calvin, a young black man dressed in baggy black slacks, black t-shirt, lots of silver necklaces, black bandana and black ball cap covering his hair. After encountering a series of locked doors and a not-quite English speaking janitor, we found room 102.
My intent in signing up for this class was NOT to meet eligible men, but this was certainly the place to meet them; particularly if I was wanting to meet veterans of World War II and the Korean War. OK, not all of the men were old war veterans; just four out of seven. Besides Calvin, there was a local radio broadcaster who is quite impressed with himself and assumes we are as well. There was also a rather quiet young man who arrived even later than we did.
After the instructor introduced herself, and told us what websites sold her books, she had us briefly describe our writing endeavors, hopes, dreams and expectations. Only about half were like me, wannabe writers with drawers full of unfinished novels and short stories. During my introduction, I said that up until now, I have basically been writing for my own amusement. My intent in taking the class was to light a fire under mysef.
A few of the others had already been published, but either as technical or industrial writers and now wanted to branch out. Mr. Broadcaster introduced himself, saying "My writing is more advanced, I'm a broadcaster and motivational speaker, I write news and sports, and have compiled brochures for my seminars and just finished a book about blah blahblah......zzzzzzzzzzz...." I'm sorry, I drifted off there for awhile, after screaming in my head "ABC'S OF CREATIVE WRITING, DUDE!!" I was afraid we would hear from him all freaking night. I was half right. He was quiet after the break. Someone must have pulled his battery pack.
We were put through several writing exercises involving the senses and then we took a break. When we returned, Calvin was missing. I think there was more moldy whitebread in the room than he could deal with, yo.
After the break, Barb had us chose a picture (which she had torn out of scenic calendars) and write about it incorporating all senses. Jim, the war veteran sitting next to me, wrote an amazing piece in the 5 minutes we had to draft our stories. Jim is interesting. When we were given our exercises, most of us would spend a few minutes either staring at our blank pages or staring at the ceiling. Jim immediately started writing at warp speed. When he was asked to read, he did so at the same speed. I'm thinking there's a heavy caffeine addiction going on there.
The photo he chose to write about was a full moon shining down on a peaceful harbor. He started off with "Oh, bold moon" and continued talking about how cruel the moon was to be shining down on him after his Mary had been taken away and how desolate his life is without her. He began to describe Mary with her auburn hair and green eyes. I then noticed the other students' gaze shift from him to me. And my auburn hair and green eyes.
Coincidence, I'm sure.
An exercise we did towards the end was to take a simple sentence and expand it. One such sentence was "The kitchen was cold." I liked my sentence, but didn't get a chance to read it, so I'll share it with you. "The kitchen's frigid air mimicked the inside of the Frigidaire."
I told you, I've been writing for my own amusement.