there's not a whole lot going on

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Writer's Block

It seems lately that every time I sit down to write something for this blog, that after a few paragraphs I just can't figure out what happens next. This is fine for a few items that didn't really warrant more than a couple paragraphs, but just a setting and a character don't really make for a story. And that's about all I've come up with lately - characters and places without stories. So today, I'm going to share with you a couple of my false starts, simply because I can't give you anything better. I hope you enjoy. ;)

The room filled with light as Jason drew the curtains. Jack, his lone companion for the journey blinked at the new brightness, then resumed scratching behind his puppy ear. Jason sighed, opening his carryall to withdraw his pen and ink. As the train shook itself around the next mountain, he prepared himself for his arrival in Dodge and the speech he expected would be demanded. The writers in Washington had written him a pleasant enough speech that would, naturally, bring cheers from the crowd without abandoning too many of the old timers whose families had been in Dodge since before Texas had joined the Union. That was over 300 years ago, and the new families that had settled the area following the planet's bizarre and unexpected flash freeze, were expecting Washington to bring peace to the area.

But Jason wasn't simply interested in peace. His family had been among the first founders of Dodge, and he knew and understood the feelings of the older community. He fought down the resentments that came from harboring the refugees for so long. It had been 30 years now, and many of the newcomers refused to accept the old ways, the old customs, the old attitudes and most of all, the old values. Jason had been shrugging off those old thoughts for years, sometimes little pricks of conscience would still come through to haunt him...


The sun crested the hills that morning bright and clear, chasing little whisps of fog from the harbour, and leaving the cool crispness of an autumn day in its wake. The leaves had begun turning a few weeks earlier and now clothed the city in impressionist splotches of rust reds and auburn yellows. The leaves that had already fallen crunched and crumpled as I passed, alternately kicking and stomping, just to hear the sounds of fall. A friend shuffled through the leaves ahead, and I bobbed my head this way and that, pretending not to know them when they smiled and waved. When our paths met, we shared a brief hello, and apologies for having no time to stop and chat - our educations beckoned.

And so, it was that on a beautiful, autumn day, the kind that always makes me long for the open road, an open window and loud country music, that I walked into another world.

That morning I copied all of my class information onto a tiny scrap of paper, not wanting to waste the paper or the ink for a printout, and soon wished I had not. As I pulled the door to my first class open, a heavy waft of apples greeted me, but I passed it off as some new, unusual perfume, not unusually applied to excess. Once I realized my mistake, I turned to leave, but the diminutive gnome that now clutched my elbow prevented my immediate departure while babbling loudly. Shrugging him off, I reached again for the door, but another gnome now gripped my other elbow and the two spun me to face the room, all the while wildly gesticulating and still babbling loudly first toward me and then toward each other and then back at me.

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