Thursday, April 19, 2012

Flash Fiction Friday #5: The Royal Empress

I found this piece a challenge to write, since stylistically it is quite different from my other work. Also the first-person, present-tense written from the point-of-view of a seventy-year old woman is something I've never done before.

I think it turned out OK. What about you? Please leave your comments on the blog, I love to read them.

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As I sit down at the keyboard of my gray little typewriter, I wonder whether I can measure up to all the younger writers in my class. I'm seventy-one years old; I must be as outdated as the 1951 Royal Empress typewriter sitting in my husband's old fly-tying room in the basement. Since he passed in '99, I haven't thought much about what I was going to do down here in the dank basement. I decided that, aside from the lack of sufficient lighting, it would make do to set this area up as my writing studio.

I was surprised the writing instructor selected me. After all, I didn't think I would get in, at least the first time around. (This course is only offered once per year, you know). I had applied for the course "On Crafting Your Novel." They only took ten applicants; I was one of them. I think they said eighty people wanted to get in. I still can't believe I'm one of them.

It was the first class this evening and all of the other students are under fifty. They were nice enough, though. Jack Dennis, our instructor, told us that next week he will be assigning writing partners. I hope I'm not paired with the young man who is writing about the mutant gorillas. That's the way it will probably be, though. Because, despite the fact I was accepted in the course, Mr. Denn-- ... er, Jack... told us that we were in the class together because he found our stories interesting. "The differences in us would make us less diffident." I think that's a rather clumsy way of saying that we will learn from each other.

And the topics...people are writing about such different things. I told you about the mutant gorilla--that's a sci-fi writer's project--but there are also several stories set in the antebellum South, a Romance set in Brazil, and two different historical fiction pieces--one's a story about Van Gogh and the other is about Joan of Arc. One young gentleman is even writing a story about a dog trainer in North Dakota. How interesting.

I wonder if my piece will be up to par. I know the topic is interesting enough: it's a romance and a bit of a mystery. It's about a young woman who went to Kenya in the 1830's. That woman was my great, great grandmother. I only found her diary this last May.

And now, I'm sitting here in the basement at the little gray typewriter, because I can't sleep. I'm too excited. Finally, I will get to write. Finally, my dream has come true. Finally, the basement doesn't seem so dank and dirty as it did ten years ago. I'm happy tonight. The Royal Empress even has ink left in the ribbon.

10 comments:

Carol said...

i LOVE the last paragraph!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the start of an interesting novel.

Bill said...

Sounds like the start of an interesting novel.

Anonymous said...

Where'd you get that great picture of the type-writer?

Anonymous said...

Dan, looks pretty good. I think you are getting better.

Jack Findlay said...

Nice.

Stephen Hickman said...

Excellent. You write very well.

Kari said...

nice start :)

Anonymous said...

I agree with Carol. The whole thing is great, but I also love the last paragraph! - Steph L.

Jose Olmo said...

Your handsome machine should have a production date from the early 1960's and not from the 1950's. Check your serial number at the typewriter database.