Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Writing Exercise: Abstract Story Structure

Pick 9 words at random. Half should be tangible items, half should be abstract items. Write a short snippet incorporated these ideas, You could mention the words themselves, but you don't have to, as long as the concepts are shown in your writing.

Home, Ghost, Door, View, Friend, Desire, Conversation, Happiness, Path

The home was just as I left it. Well, almost. All the clutter had been picked up off the floor, the kitchen tidied up, sparkling new. My bedroom on the second floor still had the posters on the wall. Scented candles, oil paints, the easel. Unfinished paintings had been covered with a sheet.

I wanted to finish them, but I couldn't touch them. That's right--I had no body anymore. I had left that mortal shell on the black asphalt of the interstate. Why was my spirit still here? What had drawn me here?

The door to the porch gaped open. I passed through, expecting to see the busy city streets below. I gaspede in surprise.

Instead of the hustle and bustle of New York, the doors opened onto a balcony adorned by flowers. Birds chirped and bees sang in the courtyard below. A marble fountain gurgled in its center. Four channels spread from it, dividing the garden into four quadrants. Water flowed, giving the garden life.

Among the flowers, a young man wandered as he checked the blossoms. He carried a sketchpad and drawing pencils. I laughed in delight; he seemed to be enjoying himself and I wanted to share in it. All the mortal cares and worries dropped away.

"Hey there! Mind if I join you?" I called

"Sure," he called back.

Before I could blink, I stood next to him. He showed me the exquisite drawings in his book. As a fellow artist, I could only marvel at his skill. I felt no envy, just wonder at such color and poise.

"I wanted to spend eternity among beauty," he explained, "and enjoy it for what it is. I don't want to destroy it or market it, but show others how it can brighten our lives."

My smile was sad. "I wanted to do that too."

He pointed up towards the balcony, towards my old room. "You forgot that, didn't you. You forgot to let the images guide you."

I nodded. "I lost focus. The money became more important. Now I regret it. What I could have done!"

My friend laughed. "Now we see clearly when the fog is lifted from our eyes," he said. "You aren't the only one to realize it. Do you plan on wallowing in regret? What will you do right now?"

The questions seemed odd to me. "What do you mean? I'm dead, aren't I? Dead and forgotten."

"Dead, yes. Forgotten, no, at least not by the soul," he replied. "We learn by our mistakes and carry on. Now, what will you do right now?"

I paused and considered the question. "All I wanted was to write, to draw, to create. To give birth to ideas. I looked around me at Creation, those in full bloom and those about to sprout. The answer was clear.

"I want to create."

He flashed me a bright smile. "Then do it."

I raised my brush and my palette and added my own color to the scene. A splash of red here, purple there, white there. A blanket of joyt wrapped around me as my art took root and held.

I smiled at him. "I've found my true calling."

He bowed in response. "Then follow it, Lady Muse." 

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