Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Secretly Writing in the Cubicle in the Corner...

Well, the Pink Blob of Doom reached my little town yesterday, leaving first ice, then sleet, then more ice, then snow in its wake. It's now a treacherous, deadly fairyland outside. I trekked my way to work only to discover...I'm the only one here.

And I got all my work done super quick because there's no one else here to, you know, bother me.

And I made up a couple random projects and did those, too.

And I don't have any bosses around to suggest new projects or coworkers to collaborate with on old projects.

And I draw the line at cleaning the coffeepot.


So...I did what any self-respecting writer with a computer and the gift of free time would do. Despite the fact that I'm at work and should be doing work-y things (don't tell!). I wrote.

I wrote something totally random with nothing to do with either Sweltering WIP or Wintry WIP. What is my world coming to? if I can randomly write with no preset goals or conditions? (It's called being creative and enjoying creativity and valuing writing for its own ends...oh, right...)

Because it's winter...and icy...and I'm starting to feel creepily alone in here...I thought I'd post some of what I wrote. Not part of an official WIP (perhaps never will be), not even historical fiction (though very much inspired by historical elements). Enjoy (or tell me what you didn't enjoy! I love to learn :) ).

A sliver of moon remains suspended above the trees, paling slightly as dawn threatens the horizon. I tie my snowshoes carefully—I don't know when I will have a chance to stop and tighten them, so I am diligent to pull their leather straps taut as I cross them and tuck the ends into the top of my boot. My fingers begin to stiffen with cold by the time I’ve finished, and I stuff my fists back into my sheepskin mittens, flexing life back into them. Father takes longer to arrange his pack and tie his snowshoes, and I stamp my feet against the cold and my own impatience.

Father begins to break trail and I follow. I quickly see why the winter run makes Father the most nervous. In any other season, his trail would be hard to spot; even he would disappear behind leaves and between branches. But in winter our trail is obvious and we’re exposed, dark silhouettes against bright white snow.

A person can snowshoe for hours at a steady pace without tiring overmuch. The morning overtakes us as we walk, trees drawing long shadows in our wake, and before I’ve thought about how far we’ve come, Father points out the first marker.

“See that stunted oak?” he says, pointing to a dark, knobby tree. “It never sprouts any leaves, but it’s been there for years. And see the tall beech next to it?” I see the smooth, pale trunk of a regal beech. “They’re like a gate, Nora—our trail starts between them.”

I commit them to memory, sketching them in my mind, the contrasting trees forming an archway. There will be more of these markers, I know, mere scraps of landscape, but our only signs to show our way to the other settlements and back again.

A half a mile from the mismatched pair of trees, we come to flattened piece of land, like a riverbed, but level with the rest of the ground. My snowshoes scrape on something hard as we cross it, a hollow echo in the still woods.

“What’s that?” I ask, as we cut back into the trees and swing north to stay parallel to it. I think I may know already.

“It’s an old road. You can see it better when the snow’s melted—it’s black, but faded. Asphalt. Broken up in places, there are trees growing through it now—there weren’t on my first runs to Havilah Settlement twenty years ago. We’ll keep it on our left until we hit the river.”

I glance at the road again, glimpsing traces of the black through the scoured snow, and, occasionally, a spatter of yellow in the black.


Connie said...

Loved the beginning of the story. It makes me want to curl up with a cup of hot chocolate and read more.

Helen said...

So much fun. Almost makes me want a pair of snowshoes to go exploring on my own.

Ax said...

You're actually supposed to work at work? Say it isn't so! =D

Rowenna said...

Connie, Helen--Thanks! Ax--I know, lame, right?