Writing me Down

Friday, February 10, 2006

Freewriting (30 Jan 06)

Coffee, toast and three paracetamol did little to alleviate my pounding headache and feeling of nausea. I was struggling to remember the previous evening – had I really had that much to drink? It was only a few glasses of wine with friends – not exactly a night out on the town. I faintly remembered having a chat with Duncan – something about a seaside town. St. Ives – that was it. He was planning to move there, to become an artist.

I was surprised at the way that thought landed in my stomach, cold and hard like a whole tin of cold baked beans. I’d miss Duncan. Thinking over my first term, he’d always been around, his warm humour lightening the homesickness that I still felt. Duncan dropping out? It didn’t seem possible. He was easily the most talented artist among us. But it was a heavy financial commitment to make, studying for a Fine Art Degree. Most of us were struggling, and Duncan more than any of us I suspected.

I poured myself another coffee from the jug still hissing on the percolator, and went to sit in the shabby old armchair by the window. Very little light seemed to find its way into our second floor flat, but this was the lightest spot I could find. I curled up with my coffee and mused over the idea of Duncan moving to St. Ives. He had some wild plan of camping out in a draughty old barn and setting up his studio. How he would make a living, I couldn’t imagine. But he was good, no doubt about that. And he could paint the kind of stuff that sells.

A corner of a piece of paper caught my eye, sticking out of my bag from last night. I reached over and pulled at it. Out came a folded sheet of newspaper – the properties page. An advert was circled. It read ‘Flat to share, St. Ives’. Next to it, in smudgy pencil, was written ‘Helen. Come with me.’

The coffee stain spread unnoticed on the arm of the old chair, as the sounds of the street below receded behind the rushing that filled my ears.


At 12:36 pm, Anonymous Beth said...

That's freewritten?


Did she go?

Good story, Carole

At 9:27 pm, Blogger Carole said...

It was freewritten. Don't know where it sprang from. I just got a picture of St Ives in my mind, and the rest tumbled out.

Did she go? I don't know. I need to write the rest of the story. What do you reckon she'd do?

By the way - I somehow managed to enable comment moderation on this without knowing what I'd done. Doh. All mended now.

At 11:26 am, Anonymous Beth said...

I think that she did not go. I think that she has an existing relationship. I think she's feeling guilty about her hidden feelings. Maybe she gets to the station, then turns back and returns to her armchair

But I am probably wrong.

All the same, I still think it remarkably whole and well-formed for freewriting. I stand in awe.

At 2:39 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very good, makesthe reader want more. I think she did go, I don't know why. I just feel it because she is somehow lost in the little flat.
Carole, did you like it when you posted it? I am curious to know if that is a sign of a good piece.

At 6:24 pm, Blogger Carole said...

I'm amazed at how this character seems to have taken on a life of her own for both of you!

Funnily enough, I didn't think much to it when I first wrote it. I posted it as an example of some freewriting that doesn't go something like 'what shall I do today? Perhaps I'll go for a walk.' Which is what most of my freewriting starts like.

So do I like it? I don't know. I wasn't feeling much like developing the story. But now that you two have said you liked it, and given me some more ideas ... well, maybe. I think sharing one's work is helpful. What do you think?

At 6:44 pm, Blogger Sue said...

Hi Carole,
Just catching up a bit ... I love this story too ... definitely worth developing, and I`m with connie, I think she goes! She doesnt belong in a second floor flat, that jarred!!

At 3:48 pm, Blogger Carole said...

Hi Sue,
Nice to see you. I hope all is well?
Thanks for this - I'd forgotten about this story. I've got to develop some characters, so perhaps I'll have a go with her and see how she gets on.


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