Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Words Like Conviction Can Turn Into a Sentence

This is what I see when I look out my living room window.

Tonight I'll just go ahead and continue with the old writing exercise. Ready for the rough read?:

The first time she moved to California, it was to chase a fantasy. Her college roommate told her about how her sister joined the California Conservation Corps. and got to live in the Redwoods and loved it until she met Dinah Shore's son in a laundromat in Eureka and left the Corps. to move in with him. She didn't have anything else going on and she was 19 and she wanted to make a difference somehow. Working at two different restaurants wasn't doing much to foster her need for adventure and community service. Since living by herself in a shabby motel room in Santa Rosa made her restless and lonely, she headed down to Arizona to stay with her sister and wait until she got her confirmation.

The second time she moved to California, she had an actual job and destination and chance for structured adventure. Her loose ends felt tied up and that provided her security, but still felt a little stifling. She would like to think of herself as a person who didn't need that security. She was quickly made to realize that she was again delusional.

This time her destination was Sacramento - some kind of processing station, where they took all of her information and would later use it to place her in a site after she finished her training. The woman looked over the table at her and seemed to struggle with her words, "I see you've been to college. I'm not sure how well you'll fit in here. Most of the other kids are lucky to finish high school. They're either from poor rural towns or inner urban areas. And you're from...Iowa? Hmmm. I just don't know how well you'll fit in..." She explained to the woman that she had also lived in Chicago and Phoenix and would be interested in helping tutor people to get their GED's. "Well, okay. I guess we'll just see how it goes. You're done with me then. Go over and stand with that group there. A bus will take you guys to the training academy. Good luck..."

She walked over to the group. Most of the girls were from the L.A. area. Apparently, the style there was to wear their jeans inside out. Two of the girls stood waiting for the bus with their pockets sticking out like tongues, lolling from each hip. She had never seen anything like that in Iowa and it made her wonder if the intake woman was right to worry.


booda baby said...

What is the exercise? Just straight writing or the recovering memories or thoughts or ideas for later use or doing a rough for revision ...?

So, will this end up being a book? A short story? A treatment?

Any which way, it's always interesting to see roughs. And then revisions. You need the one to get the other. I love the difference editing makes.

rel said...

Writing it down is the best way to hold on to memories and even our memories are editied at least once if not more.
Two great exercises: remembering and writing. These are also close to my heart.

Tara said...

I wish flowers bloomed like that in the Winter, it would make things so much better, wouldn't it?

That's such a pretty view.

Mrs. Hairy Woman said...

Keeping memories alive by writing about them.. Is this a true story?

I love the view outside your window.. very pretty!

laura b. said...

I love the image of the girls' pockets sticking out like tongues...although I can't claim to remember that fashion statement in LA :-)

Ananda girl said...

Hahaha... I like the pocket tongues too... and the positive attitude of being able to fit into a different situation, with doubts, but braving on.

MrManuel said...

You lived in Sacramento? What area?

Churlita said...

Booda Baby, The exercise is basically to write a little more than just detailing the crap I do on a day to day basis. It's not super structured, because it's me doing it, but I'm just trying to put down some memories and add some other stuff and get it together so that some time in my life when I have more time to write, I'll have a base to work with.

Rel, That's it exactly. A combo of documenting and creative license.

Tara, Boy, would it. That kind of color and beauty is so hopeful.

Mrs., It is for the most part. I'm taking memories and making them more interesting...Or trying to, anyway.

LauraB., Thankfully, that trend only lasted for a very little while in 1985. I'm glad it had a peaceful death and no resurrection so far.

Ananda, That attitude was probably more not letting myself think too much about anything before actually doing it. I'm so happy to be in my 40's and a bit more thoughtful.

Mr Manuel, I didn't live in Sacramento. That's just where we went to get processed. Then we took a bus to San Andreas/Angels Camp and went to the training academy there for three weeks before I got stationed in Leggett, Ca.