Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Sometimes I like to just write and let it be, without editing a piece to death. It makes me feel free to let a something out and let it live, even with flaws it might have. I wrote this a few minutes ago. I will not edit it.

The photograph’s rounded corners and grainy image reminded her how long ago it had been taken, along with its unnatural hue, as if covered with a golden film.

Her childhood face smiled back at her, dirty and smiling with more bangs than any person had any right to have. Her corduroy cover-alls were smeared in mud, her feet buried in it.

She wasn’t sure if she actually remembered that day, or just the memories of trying to remember it, photos for fuel.

In the stories Mom always told about it, the mud was secondary, inconsequential. It was those shoes.

They’d left them on the car, and then drove away.

Mom laughed when she recounted how distraught her little daughter had been at the loss of the shoes she’d nearly grown out of. The silliness of children.

The pain of losing the shoes reflected back to her through the years, like two mirrors facing each other, compounding as it stretched through time. The details were lost to her, but the loss was fresh.

Silly, indeed, to still be missing those shoes all these years later. A day of realization, a peek at the cruelty of accident and chance. A turning point, to learn Mother was falliable, that dear things are sometimes suddenly gone.

Slipping the old photo back into the album in her mother’s closet, she wiped the tears from her eyes, flattened the wrinkles out the bodice of her black dress and headed back to the guests downstairs.

Vocabulary Word of the Day:
MERCURIAL - adj. - Quick and changeable in temperament; volatile


SzélsőFa said...

There has just been a writing experience at Church Lady's, about shoes. I wrote a piece and edited it until it fitted the word count limit, but nevermind.
This piece, edited or not is so deep and says so much.

Hoodie said...

I saw that exercise at Church Lady's site and thought about doing it, but nothing was really coming to me. Maybe that was a subconscious inspiration?

Thank you for the compliment.

SzélsőFa said...

I love the subconscious.

Anonymous said...

I really loved this line: She wasn’t sure if she actually remembered that day, or just the memories of trying to remember it, photos for fuel.

Raw skill is important. It's hard to get to a sharp finished product if the first draft is painful. You're right to trust that raw voice.

Hoodie said...

Thank you, Jason. I think that sometimes when I over edit I lose the essence of what I was originally trying to convey. Of course, most of the time editing is necessary to refine and sculpt the original layout. That's why they call it a "rough" draft, right?

Also, if you announce that you have not edited, you get some leeway, whereas an completed piece is up for total scrutiny.

Beth said...

I LOVE first time throughs. I can always spot something labored over and usually it takes a LOT for me to get over it. I think good writing should flow from you. It should be forced and pushed. I never edit. My proofreading means correcting things I've misspelled, that's it.

I really like what you've written. This kind of writing speaks to me.

Hoodie said...

Beth - My kinda lady!

briliantdonkey said...

If that was unedited I am completely impressed. Hell if it WAS edited I am impressed. My favorite part was about not being sure if she actually remembered it or remembered remembering it as well.
Nice job.

Hoodie said...

Thanks, BD. That was a juicy compliment.

sexy said...
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