Work It #13 from A Writer’s Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld

Work It #13 from A Writer’s Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld

Chapter 13: Stretch Your Skills

  1. After you’ve strectched, answer each of these questions.
    • What’s your preferred form or genre to write in; i.e., the one you feel most comfortable in? Prose fiction, usually with strong genre influences, if not a clear genre. And my blog…I LOVE my blog.
    • What’s your next favorite? Short stories, but I don’t feel like my short stories have as much meaning or potential as my longer, more complex ideas. 
    • What’s the form or genre you’ve always been curious to experiment with but haven’t yet? Maybe memoir? I’ve always thought it might be cool, but I’ve never really studied memoirs or given any real thought to what I would include in one if I wrote one.
    • Which form or genre seems incredibly different or hard to you? I used to write poetry, but I don’t anymore. I don’t feel like I have the energy for it. If I had to choose a fiction genre that’s particularly hard for me, I’d have to say horror because I have an intense dislike for being frightened. I’m also not very into writing historicals. I love reading them, but I feel like it would require too much research to actually get one published. 

Can you guess where this is going? Give one of these new, scarier forms a try. I recommend you really stretch and go with the fourth entry in your list, but any will do.

2.  Try your hand at a short essay. Write a fictional account of a true event. Turn a bad day into a horror story. Take a warm moment and channel it into a poem. But please pick the one that feels a little bit challenging so you leave your comfort zone.

Oh, boy. I really don’t know what to do or what to pick. I’m instantaneously repulsed by the idea of turning a bad day into a horror story. Maybe I’ll pick that one. It’s just going to be a short fragment of stomething that could be expanded upon later. I’m going to combine writing a fictional account of a true event and turning a bad day into a horror story. 

I’ve had a hell of a day. By 8:00 this morning I was struggling to hold my eyes open, fighting abject exhaustion and trying to focus on what the physical therapist was saying about my husband’s grandmother’s rehabilitation exercises. I know it sounds kind of bad, but the harder I tried to focus, the more I caught myself nodding off after a long, sleepless night. 

Our black and tan coonhounds Bear and Bryant paced, bayed, and howled all night, as if there were a prowler in the yard, but every time we looked, we couldn’t see a damn thing. The dogs finally got quiet some time between 3:45 and 4:15, and then we heard a nerve-shattering crash out in the shop. 

By the time we made it out there, whatever knocked our shelf of tools and racecar parts over was gone. The shelf busted the Lexan back window out of my husband’s ’67 Camaro drag car. It gouged the crimson paint job in a couple places, and left dents in a couple more, and that was a damn bad way to start the day. The Camaro is my husband’s baby.

So, we got two hours of sleep, and he had to go to work, and I had to drag my exhausted ass to Mobile with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law to learn how to properly do rehab for Granny. I tried to push through and stay awake, but my body at 26 just can’t bounce back from lack of sleep like it could when I was 16.

Then I got jarred out of my dozing off by my husband’s ringtone. “Hello?” 

“Babe…I know you’re at the hospital with Granny, but I just wanted to call and let you know that my truck burned to the ground today while I was away at a job site.”

“WHAT?! Oh my GOD! How the hell did that happen?!”

“Cops say it looks like a Malitov cocktail started the blaze. Everything that was in the truck is gone…burned completely up. My granddaddy’s truck, and some sorry excuse for a human being burned it to the ground. I don’t know who’d do something like that, but they better pray I don’t get my hands on their sorry ass is all I can say.”

He may not have known…but I sure did.

About chelseacmoye

Wife. Mom. Pet Parent. Independent Author. AS in General Studies from Faulkner State Community College. BS in English from Troy University. Minored in creative writing. View all posts by chelseacmoye

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