Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead. -- Gene Fowler

Friday, February 19, 2010

Fiction! And jeans. Stretch jeans. Yuck.

Thursday I finally sat down and spent half an hour or so writing fiction. I had a spark of an idea while writing my Morning Pages, and after breakfast I followed it up on the computer. The result was about 1000 words of a science-fiction story about a time-travelling woman accidentally stranded in 2010.

The inspiration for this story was an experience I had last week whilst attempting to shop for new jeans. For years I've been buying jeans from Fashion Bug, who have sold straight-leg, normal, plain-old jean jeans. That era has ended, however, as now they seem to have moved to this silly 'Right Fit' brand of all stretch jeans, all the time.

I do not wear stretch jeans. I will never wear stretch jeans. The very idea of lying down on my bed to get into my pants is repulsive to me. I don't even wear pants with elastic waistbands. I've been spoiled all these years by having the ability to walk into the store, go, "I'll take one of these, one of those, and a black pair, just because," buying them, and walking out. It got to the point where I didn't even really have to try them on any longer, but I usually did, just to be certain.

Now I'll be hitting Goodwill stores and shopping in mens' sections of department stores for my jeans, because, let's face it: clothing manufacturers are insane. "This is what real women want!" Well, I guess I'm a three-toed sloth from the jungle, then, 'cos no way.

Ahem. Anyhow. I guess that rant still needed to get out of my system. The story doesn't focus on jeans, at least not yet. I wonder if I can make it hinge on wearing or not wearing a particular kind of blue jeans. Hm.

Here's a taste:

"Now, how do I find my way around?" She turned idly through the guidebook's pages, frowning. In her own time, she could easily have found the information by verbally querying the net or tapping her request into her wearable, but this book thing was dangerously antique. She remembered that when documents were still regularly printed out onto paper, they usually contained a list of their contents... "Table of Contents!" she said, elated with her recollection of the term. A postman walking by gave her a glance as he passed, and she realised how loud she'd been, gave him what she hoped was a disarming smile.

The table of contents revealed a map section, and though this was nothing like the scalable, draggable, zoomable maps of her own time, it served the purpose well enough, once she restrained the urge to touch its surface to navigate it. Grumbling about backwards backwaters, Samantha looked to a open-walled shelter a ways down the sidewalk. "Bus stop," she read from the map. She had to cross-reference it, which took another couple of minutes. "'Conveyance common in cities.' Huh. 'Requires a pass or physical currency.' Nuts." She dug in her shoulder bag and found a smaller pouch within. The black and pink paisleys decorating its surface were repulsive, but the pouch contained some printed paper slips and round bits of metal with faces and words stamped on them. "Physical currency," Samantha said to herself. "I have no idea how much this is." The guide had a description of the coins, but she saw a long, dirty wheeled vehicle approach the shelter, grinding and hissing to a stop. Near its front, a pair of doors folded open. "No time," she muttered, clutching her belongings to her and racing for the stop.

Print it in Moleskine MSK format

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