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Creativity

I’m taking  a creative writing course this semester and I’ll probably end up posting most of what I write here. Our first assignment was to take an adjective and write a 2-3 page story based on it, this is what I came up with:

Creativity

John drove his car along the road on his way to work, a menial office job to pay the bills while he worked on his true calling, his writing. He had the music loud, it helped him to think, which was what he was doing now. It was moments like these, when his body was involved in some mindless task, that his mind was able to wander and drag back the best of his ideas. He noticed as he drove that an abnormal number of cars were jumping out into the street in front of him from driveways, their drivers looking annoyed when he did not willingly yield to their intrusion. He occasionally had to hit the brakes hard, which annoyed him because it interrupted his thought process. He was working on a new character, but was stuck on a name. A name is so important to who a character is, it has to fit them just right, like a glove, and is by far the most bothersome part of their invention. Throwing together character traits is easy, but finding the right name to pull them all together like no other could is a veritable chore. He ran through the alphabet in his mind, going through the “M”’s. Mark, Max, Mike, Muncus… none fit. He was distracted again by yet another car pulling out suddenly in front of him. The driver gave him the middle finger, a sentiment which John happily returned.

John turned his thoughts to earlier that morning, eating breakfast with his girlfriend, Christi, who had moved in earlier that month, just a couple weeks ago. The move had been more about convenience than anything else really, that and the financial benefit of shared rent. It was going well, he’d thought, and had several times now contemplated asking her to marry him. That was after all generally considered to be the natural next step one took after moving in with someone. This morning had changed that. She’s looked up from the newspaper, started at him across her cornflakes, and flatly said, “Maybe it’s time you started thinking about a career in something.”
“What do you mean a career in something? I have a job.”
“A job is very different than a career. Do you really plan to spend the rest of your life filing papers? You have an education, go out and use it.”
“Of course I don’t plan to spend the rest of my life filing. Have you forgotten about my writing? Did we meet yesterday?”
“Yes, your writing,” she said with an air of exasperation.
“What? Don’t you think I’m any good? Should I just give up and pursue a ‘career’?”
“The two don’t have to be mutually exclusive.”
“If you had any faith that I was going to get anywhere with writing you wouldn’t feel the need to pressure me into getting a fail-safe career.”
“Faith and sensible life choices are two entirely separate things.”

After that he hadn’t said anything. This was it for them and he knew it. No way would he ask someone who didn’t believe in him to marry him, and if there wasn’t the possibility of marriage, there wasn’t much of a point in continuing the relationship. He had thought it over through and through, occasionally he came to the conclusion that he might just be being petty, you couldn’t just decide to break off a serious relationship over one little argument. Hell it hadn’t even been an argument really, more a discussion. But it had also been much worse than any fight could have been. She didn’t have faith in him, that had been made plain and simple, and he could not live with that.
As he drove along the road he thought about this, and was suddenly inspired. This was great material, he could write about this. It would be heartfelt, meaningful, a wondrous piece. It could be just what he needed to jump-start his writing career. He wondered at how life could provide such great inspiration, how one such morning could provide the material necessary for a masterpiece. How wonderful life –

At this moment in time two things happened simultaneously. John noticed that his right turn signal was on, which he had not caught before because of the loud music. As he reached to turn it off, a car waiting to turn from a driveway pulled in front of him, this one too close to avoid, and he crashed into it. The front of his car crumpled, glass shattered, and the airbag exploded into his face. It was an experience that would have been worth writing about, had he survived.

This has I think one of my favorite lines that I’ve written so far: “Faith and sensible life choices are two entirely separate things.”


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