Seeming To Scene
I was in my favorite used book store and found The Scene Book – A Primer For The Fiction Writer by Sandra Scofield. I’m working through her exercises. The first chapter, The Basics, was just that. I responded to each Scofield’s exercise, posted below.
1. Reflect on something you have seen that made you curious about what you did not see. What might have happened before? What might have happened after?
What did I see?
Driving home, I came around a curve and saw flashing lights. Getting closer, I saw an ambulance and three police cars. Someone’s car had run off the road, crossed someone’s yard, and crashed into a tree. Attendants were wheeling someone to their ambulance.
So, what happened? (Working backward from their accident)
Carl thought he saw another car coming at him in his lane, and swerved to avoid it.
Carl was having trouble seeing because of eye-drops given by his optometrist.
He went alone because his wife was feeling ill and could not drive him.
Carl’s eyes had bothered him for some time. It had gotten to where he could read or write.
Carl free lanced, writing short stories to supplement his pension.
So, what happens next?
They took Carl to County General, where he learned he had suffered a concussion. He also broke his wrist.
His auto insurance lapsed because he couldn’t pay all his bills.
Carl cannot drive because their only car is no longer drivable.
2. Memories in Threes: Reflect on an event from your life. Think of something in your past that left a lasting impression. Write a scene around it.
My Grand Parents, and didn’t think about it much, until I went to kindergarten. On mother’s day, our teacher asked us to draw a picture for our mother, and I realized I was the only kid in class who didn’t have one. My teacher hugged me and told me that made me special because my grandmother loved me so much more because she loved me for her and my mom.
“Do you know what this Sunday is?”
Rachael shook her head. Why was it special? She looked at her kindergarten mates.
Linda waved her hand, like she always did.
Rachael wanted to whisper, to ask, she didn’t want to get into trouble for talking. She folded her hands in her lap and hoped Ms Sand wouldn’t ask her.
Ms. Sand pointed to Linda.
“Its…Mother’s Day.” Linda nodded. Almost everyone joined her, excited now. “We get to make mom breakfast. And give her presents.”
“That’s right, Linda,” Ms Day said. “I’m going to take pictures and print them out. You can print your name on them. So, as I call your name, tell me what your mom’s name is.”
3. Choose a photograph and write a scene.
Photo: It’s my birthday and he gave me champagne. I’m pretending to chug it.
“I know you didn’t bake it,” Rachael said.
“You don’t like me in your kitchen.” Ted laughed and began lighting her candles, with difficulty. “Did you have fun?”
“It was very nice,” she said. She liked Asian food, and wished he liked it more. She could eat it for every meal. She suspected those twisty candles were twisty, from Safeway, would keep relighting. She knew he didn’t know she knew. “Better hurry, or they will all burn down.”
“Don’t want to set off fire alarms, do we?” He finally finished, grinned and began singing happy birthday.
She felt self-conscious, and almost sang with him. She felt empty inside, wishing she were with her family. Ted never felt that way.
“Wait…let me get my camera.” He grabbed his phone and pointed it at her. “Make a wish, first.”
“Oh, yah.” She wished she were with her family, but that felt disloyal. Instead she wished for something else, something she almost couldn’t believe, herself.
Filling her lungs, she leaned in. Blowing as hard as she could, she swirled around her cake. Even before she finished, they started to light again.
She giggled and tried again. But, it was no use. Ted chuckled and helped her drown them.
She plunged into her presents, saving his for last. Books from her sister. The Hobbit DVD from her brother. Two sweaters from Grand Ma.
Finally, she got to his. The little one turned out to be a gold chain. She giggled and hugged him. He clasped it around her neck.
She hefted his final gift, cleverly encased in a gift bag. Opening it, she found champagne. Giggling again, she held it up, pretending to drink it.
“Hey, want me to open that up?” Ted said.
“Ummm…maybe we shouldn’t.” She could hardly believe her words. “I…don’t think I should be drinking alcohol.”
Ted gathered up wrapping paper.
Had he even heard her?
He started for the kitchen.
She bit her lip.
“So, should I call you mommy from now on?”
She giggled and threw herself into his arms.