Thursday, March 06, 2008

On Storms

Here's another exercise from Barbara Ganley's creative writing class. The instructions:

1. Use a second-person narrator

2. Use 150 words

3. Use the following words: bones, glint, forge, salt

4. Title it “On Storms”

5. Make it creative nonfiction

6. Go…

(Note: I've been picking at writing a novel for years now, and I'm hoping finally to get serious about it. Here's a little prose poem I just wrote for my protagonist, circa 1885 in the American west. I cheated and wrote mostly in first person.)

It's hard, this heat in a dark dress. I've sewn lead weights into the hem so the skirts don't blow. (Thank God I forswore the corset years ago.)

You don't know. You are impervious to sand, to the ancient salt that blows again here, where we unearth it. (All for a glint of fossil, a trace of saurid bone.)

They improve your flesh, the sun and salt and sand, this sedimentary forge. I burn. You have said no woman belongs here. I begin to agree

--but then the storm. I soak it up, my dress heavier a hundredfold. Yet I am grateful for this wet weight, for the extra effort. I’m lean and hungry in this scientific marathon. I’m on my knees now, but you should know--I’m not praying.

1 comment:

Barbara said...

This is fabulous. I love her voice, her spirit, and how it comes through with the first-person direct address narrator. I want to read on.

I do very much hope you write that novel. Perhaps we should start an online writing group.