For today, I decided to share something I wrote yesterday in my writer's circle. It's a short piece, 200 or so words. Most of the time I write bits and pieces that don't feel like they're going anywhere. Sometimes I write a piece that immediately feels like it's got a life behind a forty-five minute burst of writing. I'm not sure where this one fits. We used as our prompt the first six paragraphs of Jack London's "The Heathen," which has about as great an opening line as I've seen:
"I met him first in a hurricane; and though we had gone through the hurricane on the same schooner, it was not until the schooner had gone to pieces under us that I first laid eyes on him."That is a powerful beginning, as far as I'm concerned. Anyway, I made a conscious effort to write in an 'older' style, and I like what I've done. Part of me feels like I can do something more with it. The problem is, I have no idea what that is. Anyway, this is an untitled piece. It has not been edited beyond the circles and arrows scrawled around my notebook pages yesterday, so is still rather raw. Here you go:
The storm battered our ship and I sought refuge below, in a cramped cargo hold that smelled of bananas, pitch, and, distressingly, sea water.
Better, thought I, to protect myself within the strong hull of the ship than to risk being washed overboard or struck by a falling spar. And so I ensconced myself in the midst of the hold, wrapped tight in my bed roll, wedging into the small space between walls of steamer trunks with shiny brass latches. Over my head, bunches of yellow-green bananas hung from a spiderweb of wires criss-crossing the ceiling. Dislodged bananas, thought I, were softer and far more forgiving than the coconuts suspended over the other side of the hold.
Waves pounded at the ship. Timbers creaked and groaned at the onslaught. We rolled left and right, up and down, rocked forward and back, a constant, stomach-heaving motion in all directions at once. I felt safe in my crevice, however, warm in my blanket, embraced by the leather trunks around me, a metal bucket clamped between my knees for emergency use.
Safe, that is, until the first banana spider fell into my lap. Had I known there were spiders, I would have taken my chances with the coconuts.
|Photo copyright Natalie McNear|
Anyway, hope you enjoyed that little bit, have a great week!