Category Archives: Story Start

Memory and creativity

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Here is a memory, exemplary of how the mind turns things over the years.

It is summer because Six Flags Over Georgia is a summer place when you are young. The great rides of later years are not in evidence, but the Great American Scream Machine is there and gives a startled thrill as it descends on what even now seems a rickety track. I have come here every year since the park’s opening, usually with parents, but now am old enough to have a Season Pass and come alone.

The draw today is not the rides, it is a concert, in the evening, one I have been anticipating for weeks. I wear a short nylon set of pale sky blue I put together from different stores, or maybe the same store at different times. I have a tank top with a circular collar and shorts that border on too short with a vinyl and material belt that came together. Mom lets me out of the house, so I must be decent. My hair is still blonde, but I could have already begun coloring it.

I get to the pavilion early, while the show is being set up, I want to be in a place where I can see. The star is a teenager like me, I follow him in Tiger Beat, with its bright arresting covers that I cannot pass up in the grocery store check out line. He comes out on stage to do a sound check, and I am enthralled seeing him alive. Our eyes meet across the distance, which is not far.

Somehow I move away from the stage, and then I feel a tap on my shoulder. He followed me, and I turn to face him. He asks if I would like to go for an ice cream after the show, and oh yes, I would. My father would be furious though because he says all rock stars are ruffians. He does not look bad, he seems like someone who could be my friend. My heart breaks a little, and I tell him no, my parents would not allow me to stay late.

Years pass that short set stays in a drawer long after I have outgrown that slim frame. I always wonder what might have been had I stepped out of my fear, my inhibition, that evening. If I had gone with that gorgeous blonde boy, who wanted to spend time with me. Maybe somehow, somewhere it happened, and both our paths were changed for the better. Could be.

 

When working with memories creatively, all the pieces do not have to be there. A little space where the color fades, fog descends, leaves room for imagination to fill in the spaces and make what is vague, transcend and come into focus with a clarity that to a reader, viewer, listener, seems more than real, even magic. Always play the magic, because that is where the story happens and the story is everything.

As a prompt, use a memory creatively to tell a story in whatever way you like. If it leads you off somewhere, chase it. Chasing the tale is magic.

Thank you for visiting, please come again and be safe out there.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Just a something, somewhat

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The way Justine felt, she had bought time from the Reaper by giving up speed. So, now she was determined to live a bit dangerously. She sat in a booth near the bar watching comers and goers.

The man who just came in had on a respectable pair of navy trousers, a white dress shirt, a tie he had only barely chosen to retain, and shoes too highly polished for the average office worker. His almost invisible crew cut gave him away, he was either once military or an officer of the law. Not what she had in mind, plus he sported a conspicuous gold band on his wedding finger.

She had some respect, restraint, married men were out of bounds; if she knew at least. She thought were there no markers and she only learned later, probably the man was already on the market as used and it was not her fault if she enacted a repossession.

She liked to steer clear of the previously encumbered because for her purposes it was best to avoid garnished wages and the poor chaps who were saddled with alimony.

Outside the window, to her left, a limousine pulled up, and a handsomely uniformed chauffeur bolted around the vehicle to open the rear passenger door. Justine inhaled sharply and retained the breath.

This could be someone worth working for a while. Luck had been negligible for some time, but all one ever needed was a good break until at least it was time for the next one.

She glanced at her phone, noting it was still the early side of the evening. Yes, prospects were fortunate.

She ran a hand through her newly ebon hair, tossing a streamer away from her carefully painted face. She crafted the version of herself waiting in this exclusive bar especially to captivate a man who could meet her present and, hopefully, future needs.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

I have an unfortunate habit of doing decent beginnings of stories and then leaving them in an unfinished state. This one has been languishing in my notebook most of the month. I thought I would bring it to light and see if anyone thought it was worth continuing. The truth of this one is that I have ideas of tying it with a well-remembered tale I started in the nineties. The chances are that is just wishful thinking. So here you have something, somewhat devious, unlike my usual fare.

As a prompt, go out of your usual writing character and begin something like nothing before.

Thank you for visiting Haphazard Creative. I appreciate you taking time to read my missive. You may use the follow button, or come back as you wish. In your wanderings and wonderings, take care and by all means be safe.

With gratitude always,
Jo Ann