Writing class

One of the many things I’m doing with this move is attending some part time college courses. I have a dressmaking course on Monday mornings and on Thursday evenings I got to a creative writing course. Despite having had writers block for a really long time I’m still very proud of the work I’ve done, of the pieces I’ve bad published. I’m still eager to finish the pieces I got stuck on, and to write many more. And this class is helping.

Last week was the first week. It was good. Terrifying, but good. I got some good advice, some good prompts, a promising starter piece, and there were two delicious young men to look at. I came out of class feeling confident, ready and excited to go back.

I’ve just gotten out of my second class. I wasn’t sure how I felt going on, because I had a minor episode yesterday and I’ve been grumpy and ill for a couple of weeks. But it was brilliant. More good prompts. The starter she had us work on really sparked an idea in me. I was unable to stop when she told us to and I kept furtively scribbling throughout the whole lesson – I never said I was a good student.

Then we got round to reading last week’s homework. Not only am I dealing with my fear of reading my work aloud, but they loved it. Hilary (my teacher) described it as a very advanced piece of writing. Once I’d finished reading a fellow student gasped, and I was showered with praise and admiration. Not only that, but Hilary then went on to use my piece as an example for the other students of showing, not telling, and of good dialogue structure.

I just sat there trying not to grin and glow too much. And then, to make things even more fantastic, at the end of the class, one of the cute guys came up and talked to me! It’s the one who is studying to be a minister, so I’m not entirely sure how well we’d fit together, but it made my night nonetheless.

I won’t mention getting cornered by a creepy dude in reception while I was waiting for my ride home, because that bit sucks a little, but I will keep talking about my writing.

I want to put my homework up for you all to read, but I want to work on it and submit it to a flash fiction competition and one of the rules states that you can’t submit a piece that’s been previously published, not even on a blog. So instead, here’s my furtively scribbled piece from class today:

She sat and stared at the phone – still, immobile, dark. After a minute or two Hannah switched her glare to the word “inbox” and to the stark, cruel words next to it. “No new messages.” Her fingers rapped on the desk, one after the other in a swift tattoo. Her toes wriggled in her shoes, tapping a matching beat on the carpet. Between her fingers the well-chewed biro twirled like a majorette’s baton. And her blue eyes flicked. From phone to computer and back to phone and back to computer. Every once in a whole a new destination drew her eye. The big white clock on the wall. The clock that moved so slowly at times and yet now seemed to be whizzing uncontrollably. Time was moving too fast. It’s be time to go home soon and if he hasn’t got in touch by then…

Phone, computer, phone, computer, phone, computer, clock. Fingers rapping, feet tapping, pen twirling. Phone, computer, phone, computer, clock.

And then it came. Not the notification alert she was so desperate for. But the chime of the grandfather clock down the hall in reception.

Hannah swore beneath her breath and pretended she hadn’t heard it. She kept rapping and tapping and twirling. Studiously ignoring the stampeding feet and excited chatter of her coworkers as they rushed towards the exit.

Phone, computer, phone, computer. Very carefully no clock. Phone, computer, phone, computer. Until the last sounds of the escaping colleagues had faded and faded and disappeared. Hannah planted her hands on the edge of her desk and shoved herself and her chair away from it. Letting out a deep breath she hadn’t known she was holding, she turned off the computer screen – hiding the “no new messages” that continued to taunt her.

She dawdled as she collected her bag, fumbled putting on her coat and extra-carefully turned off the lights and locked the door. She shuffled down the hallway, finding pictures and certificates to admire that she’d never noticed before.

She used every delaying tactic in her arsenal, but it wasn’t until she’d merged her car out of the car park into the flowing traffic and was in her way home that the computer, alone in a dark room, emitted that little new-message bleep that shed been waiting for.

Any thoughts? Bear in mind that it is a first draft, so be nice.

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About Colette Horsburgh

A 30-something creator/baker/writer/doodler/crafter living with several (but not enough) scatty animals.
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