I’m taking general, introductory Creative Writing this semester. It’s more structured than last semester’s Creative Nonfiction (surprisingly, because I wouldn’t expect anything “creative” to be structured), but it’s exactly what I need. I wish I had taken it before Creative Nonfiction, but oh well.
Yesterday we had 30 minutes to park ourselves somewhere on campus and freewrite what we could see, hear, smell, etc. All observation; as little reflection as possible. That is so hard for me! I’m one of those obnoxious reflective writers. I love written pieces that paint pictures in my mind, but I suck at it myself. I tried to stay observant, but I started to tell a story and I had to fight the urge to be reflective. Then the professor said something miraculous that I don’t remember her saying last semester: “Observation leads to reflection.” Oooooh! Well then I guess I’ll stop kicking myself.
My class is on the other side of the construction site in my View Club shots. I saw three trucks drive off the site at a snail’s pace, surrounded by 3 or 4 crew members on foot, up a service road and off campus, one after the other with big gaps in between. I was on my way to find a lovely, picturesque spot for the assignment, but those trucks struck me because they reminded me of the Rose Parade: whenever the floats are on the move, they are always slow and surrounded by a walking crew. So I sat myself right there and wrote about the trucks.
The homework assignment was to take that freewriting piece and turn it into a formal piece of creative writing. I decided to turn mine into a poem. I haven’t written poetry in about 20 years, but honestly, don’t construction trucks naturally lend themselves to poetry? Hearing it out loud makes me cringe, but since the final draft isn’t due until next week, I’m allowing this draft to stand for now.
And the trucks file by slowly, one by one like parade floats,
Resplendent in glittered layers of metal dust, earth and grime.
Each escorted by fine footmen in worn jeans and workboots,
Reflective orange vests and hard hats in varying shades of beige.
The humble procession leaves the skeletal edifice
Through chain-link gates; led not by mace, twirling baton, or whistle,
But hexagonal red “stop” sign. Pedestrians shuffle
Alongside the route, heads bent against their mirror images,
Silently considering, “Can I make it across now,
Or should I just wait? How much longer is this going to take? “
It doesn’t matter: in a hurry they scurry across.
And the trucks file by slowly, one by one, like a dusty grand parade.
So there you have it.
My View Club shots, taken yesterday:
From a slightly different perspective, the chem trail was tilted at a similar angle as the mountain roads, which made a strangely pleasant picture.
The more I looked at the sky, though, the more chem trails I saw. Ever since Homeland Security was established, the closest military installments have increased training maneuvers over our area. I’m not exactly sure why they choose this area, but I assume it has something to do with the mostly uninhabitable mountains and the nearby open desert spaces. Not that they practice combat or anything. Whatever the case, it’s currently beyond my working knowledge.
The “skeletal edifice.”
Someone once said that here in Southern California we don’t have weather: only climate. Call me spoiled, but climate is boring. Today was perfectly warm and lovely and comfortable, but when it started to sprinkle tonight I was excited. We are supposed to see rain through Sunday, but by the sound of the cars driving by outside I can tell that those first sprinkles have already stopped, and the pavement is dry again. Dangit!