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newkidintown
June 2nd, 2012, 09:54 PM
This is a writing exercise I did the other day that I ended up really liking a lot, so I was just wondering what you all thought of it. The exercise was basically just to start off with "I don't know why I remember..." then choose a "non-significant event or scene" to elaborate on. So yeah, sorry about it's brevity and not having much of a plot, but I hope it's decently enjoyable anyway. By the way, this is written from the POV of my novel's MC, and it was originally handwritten. I only edited some parts when I transferred it to the computer, so some things may still be worded awkwardly. Please do be harsh, though; I'm trying to prepare for rewriting my novel after a two month break, and I really need help.

Here it is:

I don’t know why I remember road trips so well. I’m like a freaking elephant when it comes to things like that. Like I remember being sprawled in the backseat of my grandparent’s station wagon, headed home from their house in the northern Appalachians. I didn’t have a seat belt on, because the car was so dang old there weren’t any. In fact, too many of my surroundings were old.

What sounded like the Shangri-Las played over the radio, which was actually tolerable, but dear goodness, the smell was awful. It was that moldy, mildew smell that all cars predating ’85 have in common. In this case, it was so strong I could practically taste it. My mind wasn’t really digesting most of this, though; I just kept dozing on and off, singing “Carolina” over and over again in my head. I’d spent two whole weeks away from home, and I missed the place like crazy. I'd never say that out loud, though, or my parents would probably never let me travel again.

After a while I sat up and looked out the window. We were still crossing the Old Mountains, probably getting near High Top or Scratch Britches or one of those. Just looking at those mountains, I started feeling pretty old myself, ancient, even. Oldness seems to have that affect on people.

Somewhere around halfway through the trip we stopped at a gas station. Really, it was a miracle the old clunker made it that long without breaking down, the gas-guzzler it was. Grammaw and Papa thought I was asleep, so I didn’t get out, but I sure wished I did when they went in to pay (it took two, apparently; thanks to Papa’s insisting on paying despite being too blind to count how many fingers he had). It felt like any minute things would turn into a scene from Deliverance. Peeking through the window, I could see that the parking lot was empty. I guess whoever worked there just up and hiked over the side of the mountain or something. After five minutes or so, the radio started playing “Duelin’ Banjos”, which about scared the freaking heck out of me, but nothing else eventful happened. Dang, my grandparents took forever.

Three songs later they finally came out and we got on the road again. Before long I fell asleep, for real this time. I remember the dream, though: I was five, chasing my dad, who had a bowl of lemon sherbet, around the local bookstore, Bound to Love It.

I’m telling you, I’m like a freaking elephant. I really am.



EDIT: I apologize if this needed to go somewhere else; I'm still getting the hang of things. :)

bazz cargo
June 3rd, 2012, 09:42 PM
Hi Newkidintown,

I liked this. Very atmospheric. I don't know if it was accident or design but the disjointed feel of narration fits well with the character's POV.
The layout reads easier with some breaks in it. Try the link in my signature for some helpful information.
Good work
Bazz


I donít know why I remember road trips so well. Iím like a freaking elephant when it comes to things like that. Like I remember being sprawled in the backseat of my grandparentís station wagon, headed home from their house in the northern Appalachians. I didnít have a seat belt on, because the car was so dang old there werenít any. In fact, too many of my surroundings were old.


What sounded like the Shangri-Las played over the radio, which was actually tolerable, but dear goodness, the smell was awful. It was that moldy, mildew smell that all cars predating í85 have in common. In this case, it was so strong I could practically taste it. My mind wasnít really digesting most of this, though; I just kept dozing on and off, singing ďCarolinaĒ over and over again in my head. Iíd spent two whole weeks away from home, and I missed the place like crazy. I'd never say that out loud, though, or my parents would probably never let me travel again.

After a while I sat up and looked out the window. We were still crossing the Old Mountains, probably getting near High Top or Scratch Britches or one of those. Just looking at those mountains, I started feeling pretty old myself, ancient, even. Oldness seems to have that affect on people.

Somewhere around halfway through the trip we stopped at a gas station. Really, it was a miracle the old clunker made it that long without breaking down, the gas-guzzler it was. Grammaw and Papa thought I was asleep, so I didnít get out, but I sure wished I did when they went in to pay (it took two, apparently; thanks to Papaís insisting on paying despite being too blind to count how many fingers he had). It felt like any minute things would turn into a scene from Deliverance. Peeking through the window, I could see that the parking lot was empty. I guess whoever worked there just up and hiked over the side of the mountain or something. After five minutes or so, the radio started playing ďDueliní BanjosĒ, which about scared the freaking heck out of me, but nothing else eventful happened. Dang, my grandparents took forever.

Three songs later they finally came out and we got on the road again. Before long I fell asleep, for real this time. I remember the dream, though: I was five, chasing my dad, who had a bowl of lemon sherbet, around the local bookstore, Bound to Love It.
Iím telling you, Iím like a freaking elephant. I really am.

newkidintown
June 3rd, 2012, 10:12 PM
Thank you! I'm sorry I left some things (like word count) out of the title; I'll try to remember that next time.

Greak
July 16th, 2012, 07:40 AM
What a nice memory, thanks for sharing! I've traveled the world but never spent much time in the Appalachians other than a quick drive through to beat a snowstorm a few years back. I've always enjoyed the idea of living there, your story brought me to the empty seat beside you. Thanks again. :)

-Greak

Juganhuy
July 16th, 2012, 03:11 PM
This is a neat exercise I had in college. We also did one where we randomly drew 10 words from a hat and wrote a point in our lives that all the words were connected. Of course, we were told we greatly exaggerate and some people came up with some interesting stories.

Overall, what you posted was very well connected. You took something small and expanded on it very well. Comparisons always do well in these situations, and sometimes it is even fun to expand on other things that you have in common with that particular 'item'.

For instance, you said you were an elephant because you could remember every detail, but what else makes you an elephant? Let it be a side point for humor and not the main detail like the memory. It is something you can have alot of fun with. "I work for peanuts"