Last night was the first class of this creative writing course I signed up with through the local community college. I’ll be totally honest in telling you that I pretty much only signed up for two reasons:
I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I have that B.A. in English so I’ve taken a lot of writing classes. And they are all different. And I think I pretty much end up loving them all.
I’m excited about this class. It’s every Wednesday night through mid-July. The instructor is less of an instructor and more of another person in the class who just loves to write and wants to talk about writing. She’s gearing it more towards being a workshop, where we have home assignments and then meet to share and critique them. She also participates in the assignments, which is kind of neat. But it also makes me curious as to whether she’s ever used the same written piece in different classes. (Probably because I’d totally be lazy like that…)
We had one in-class assignment, probably mostly as a way for her to evaluate where all of our strengths and talents lie, and as a way to evaluate our individual progress through the course.
I’m totally going to share mine with you. Keep in mind that there were three other (shorter) assignments that I did first and we only had 15 minutes to do it all. So my little story is incomplete. But totally fun anyway. And afterwards, we read them aloud to each other. The feedback was super positive, which always makes me cautious. I am incapable of just accepting positive comments and moving on. I always have to sit here, wondering, are they just being nice? I don’t know these people, maybe they are just afraid of hurting my feelings.
I feel the same way about comments on my writings here, especially for The Red Dress Club. Everyone is always so positive and yeah this is totally awesome! That I get curious…
But anyway. Here is my story. The assignment was to “write about an experience from your childhood. It can be important, or amusing, or anything you feel might be interesting.”
The Tooth (because we had to give the piece a title – and I’m terrible at titles)
The sky was still dark behind the crooked blinds, but I knew that the sun would be making it’s way into the sky before long. I plunged my hand beneath my pillow, curling my fingers around the cool round coin. I yanked it back out and was delighted to see Sacajawea’s golden face.
I jumped out of bed to wake up mom, but my eye caught on something lying on the light carpet my mom always said stained too easily.
I sat down, tucking my legs under my body to take a closer look.
It was a tooth!
I picked up the seemingly impossibly tiny tooth and ran my fingers over the rough edges that had once secured it to my gums.
“Mom! Mom!” I ran into my parent’s bedroom, barely noticing dad wasn’t there. “Mom, look!”
“What is it?” Mom’s eyes barely opened and her head didn’t move from the pillow.
“The tooth fairy dropped my tooth!” I was laughing, gleeful that the mysterious tooth fairy I wasn’t even sure of had made such a rookie mistake.
“Huh?” Her eyes opened a little more and focused on the tiny white tooth in the palm of my hand. She seemed disappointed.
“Yeah, she dropped my tooth and I found it. I’m going to put it under my pillow tonight and get another coin.” My plan seemed perfect, so perfect that I was too excited to notice mom had fallen back asleep.
It was fun. But it was also kind of difficult. It was the first time in quite a while that I hand wrote a story. I am so used to typing, which helps me get my words out so much faster. If I’d been on a computer, I probably would have been able to write the next part of the story as well. But I’m not disappointed. I’m impressed.
By the way, I did put the tooth under my pillow the next night. I got a note from the tooth fairy under my pillow, thanking me for helping her out. It was totally in my mom’s handwriting. And that’s how I stopped believing in the tooth fairy.
What I did think was interesting, is a couple of the other students seemed to catch the little thrown-in part about my dad not being in the bed. I kind of wrote this as if it could be a chapter in a memoir-ish book of stories from my childhood. So I really meant that to be kind of a hint at the first time I was mildly aware that my dad had stopped sleeping in their bed.
So the class was fun. I’m looking forward to next week, when we share our home assignments.
Which reminds me, I have to find some time to start a story about someone named Ennaxor (my name, spelled backwards). The class decided he is Klingon (I decided the character is male), so I’m thinking of starting a story about this Trekkie who has deluded himself into thinking he is really Klingon. I guess we’ll see how it goes. I don’t know much about Star Trek, apart from the recent movie, but the instructor encouraged us to do a little bit of research for our characters.
And, if all else fails, I’ll just make up a bunch of stuff.