I won't be posting everything I write this month, because that would require more bravery than I have yet to muster. However, I'll post some things that I find interesting or surprising along the way, as well as my reflections about growing as a writer.
Today's prompt was to go to a public place and people watch, creating stories for the characters you find. What a great prompt! I would love to use this with my students. I walked across the street to Starbucks around lunchtime today and found 2 characters to write about. Here's what I came up with...
Starbucks, 12:08 pm.
Sometimes, he dressed up in a suit on a weekday, dusted off his leather briefcase, and gathered up his smartphone and laptop for a midday trip to Starbucks. He trimmed his beard, washed his face, and tried to remember what he felt like a year ago, before he was laid off, when he would leave the office for a brief change of scenery. He remembered the feeling of playing hooky, and the rush he got from relaxing for a few minutes when he still had so much to do. It didn’t feel the same now. He sat by the window, head in hand, scrolling through his smartphone for job openings, pretending to fit in with the business crowd who were busy answering e-mails and reading snippets of The New York Times between sips of a venti iced coffee. His forehead reddened with frustration. He loosened his tie, looked out the window, then picked up his coffee and left. Back to the couch. Back to his dark apartment where he would continue to scroll through his smartphone, waiting for an interview.
Before the divorce, she would have been embarrassed to sit alone in any restaurant, even a Starbucks. Now, she sat on the patio alone for hours, sipping endless refills of iced coffee, flipping through pages of a fashion magazine, and listening to the birds and the buzz of people walking around the courtyard. Even though she was almost 40, a size 12 on a good day, with hair that resembled a black cotton ball that had been stretched thin, and a stain on her white tank top… maybe ketchup, maybe coffee… she felt more confident than ever before. She relished the quiet time alone, and didn’t feel the least bit guilty that this was the real reason she had hired a part time nanny for the summer. Not because she couldn’t care for their 2 kids alone, as she had told her former husband, but because she was learning to enjoy herself again.