|Emergency Flare and Me|
I manage the business aspects of our little company, writing down lots of numbers in a book, tracking our cost per mile and flipping around the radio dial. If you happen to read this and work for the IRS, I do A LOT more than that but for security reasons, you know, I'm not saying it. I Just felt the need for a creative outlet.
Enter the online creative writing course.
It started last Wednesday and I am really enjoying it, I don't know why I didn't do an online course before now. Well yes I do, I'm lazy but that's not the point here.
So we get a couple of assignments and I do them right away, post them (hand them in, as it were) and I'm off to a running start. Then we get a benign little assignment to write one paragraph about a lit candle. Just one paragraph using all the descriptive power we can muster to describe the burning candle. I didn't have a candle the day the assignment came out but I wasn't too worried, I figured I could buy one at the next truck stop.
Twenty-four hours and 3 truck stops later I was still without a candle.
No problem, I know what a candle looks like, I'll just imagine it and write that down.
I stare intently into the middle distance trying to conjure an invisible candle. My mind is a blank. I have no idea what a candle looks like. I search the truck for something flammable. We have emergency flares, those suckers would glow I bet, but quickly dismiss this, the assingment is for a candle. I have matches, I'll just hold those and write what I see. I light the first match and quickly write down the colors and shapes. It fizzes out. I light another, it fizzes faster than the first. I light another, drop it and burn my bare thigh, maybe I should be dressed for this exercise.
I think of the flares again.
I search for something else to light. A banana, my pencil? I know; a rolled up paper towel! I am excited, this will work, I think.
I roll it tightly, twisting it's paper neck. It too fizzles, even quicker than the matches. I search some more. I need some kind of accelerant. I make another paper towel roll, this time dipped in engine oil. I light it. It stays lit, hurray!
The truck fills with smoke, my nostrils sting, the embers flit around my bed. This is no warm glow, it's a conflagration. I drown the oily flame thrower, clean up the mess and write eight sentences about a flaming snake.
Still the flares beckon...
I managed to write about an imaginary candle but felt like a fake and a fraud. I didn't have a candle and surely the teacher and everyone in the class would know and I would be laughed out of the class and rode out on a rail, whatever that means. So I admitted (whined) I didn't have a candle and one of the students said why not write about the flare since the whole thing is supposed to be creative writing.
Now I had a challenge and I can't resist a challenge!
Next episode: The lighting of the flare ( this is not a dramatic pause, it's a pee break)