Thursday, December 4, 2008

Writing about people- fiction- writing exercise

Writing about people- Writing Exercise-- not posted on writing class yet, having trouble with website

this piece is fiction.
What is the essence of the person you want to portray?
Followed by some questions
and an example of the "Portrait of Jack"
so here we go.. away from the poem and into the prose
as coworkers dialogues mingle in the distance and I wonder if I will need headphones and music to complete this

He is an old man, only a little bit of hair left on top and it was gray, and cut short. He is tall and thin, and wore patches at the elbows on his shirts. His pants hung loose, although his belt is pulled tight, he still seems to be losing weight. He smells of Old Spice aftershave, mixed maybe with roses and Miracle-Gro. He has a slow way of walking, deliberate, unhurried, and if you look real close you might see a slight limp. His words are not hurried either, and you know when he says something, anything at all, it is important.

"Go Army!" He watches all the college football games on a black and white tv because color might hurt his eyes. When the game is over, he goes out to the gardens and tends the roses and the berries, and finally the vegetables. He rarely climbs aboard the tractor anymore. Cows and corn and hay are his son's business now. These are the years for staying closer to home, on what is left of the homestead. He sleeps in a small room, with a twin bed, a dresser nearby, and a small desk. He doesn't need much. Inside the dresser he stashes the new shirts and clothes that he got on Christmas and on his birthday. He saves envelopes and cracker boxes and old cards. Reading seed catalogs and drinking a Schaffer beer are how he might spend a rainy day. A bowl of soggy corn flakes and a banana for breakfast, and meat and potatoes for supper. The salad is rabbit food. The car he drives is 20 or 30 years old. The passenger seat still reserved for the old beagle who has passed away and never been replaced. It is red, 2 door, looks sporty, but probably never needs to go above 40. He doesn't have far to go these days. The day the old farmhouse burned down, he was sitting in the driveway reading the mail, and he never even looked up until the fire trucks came, by then it was too late. His tenants bought the remains for a cheap price, and he went on living in the double-wide next door. Today he is standing on the front steps looking out over the fields, listening to the church bells, listening and waiting.

the end

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