Last week I began an on-line writing course with Memoir Writing Ink, thinking it would provide me tips and tools to improve my work. One of my intentions with retirement was to write more, and as you can see from the posts, the material is largely in the form of a memoir. Even though I read considerable literature, I find myself composing non-fiction pieces, much of them about the past and my associated memories.
As the course emphasizes, writers write and the only way to improve is to write continuously. The instructor suggests a number of prompts to help think in different ways, from various angles, at different lengths. There are several exercises each week, some of which will find there way to my blog. The course has a Facebook page for participants to share their pieces with each other and to comment. It is limited to one submission per week so I am planning to post many more on this site as an additional outlet for my efforts. I hope you will find the pieces enjoyable.
One exercise asked us to write about something we overheard. I have entitled this effort, I want to go to Miami. It is a true story. Here goes:
Too late to venture far, too dark to walk along the beach, I decided the sidewalk would be my yellow brick road. The flashing lights of the rainbow were bright enough to read the menus, entertaining enough to turn your head, gaudy enough to invoke a smirk.
Welcome to Miami where English is the second language, music is the first. Pulsating throbs were emanating from every door and patio on my right; booming beats vibrating from each passing car on my left. People were sauntering, seemingly to look and looking to be seen. I was derailed by the “Cigars? Cigarettes?” woman hawking her wares; questioned by a bridal party on a scavenger hunt; stopped by the lights which everyone else ignored.
I had seen enough culture for one evening. Time to head back to the conference hotel.
A nightcap was in order, so I chanced upon a watering hole, just off the tourist strip, exuding local with a name no franchise would ever adopt. The windows were splattered with advertisements for happy hour, two for one wings, and weekly dart competitions. A basketball game was on the monitor just above my seat at the bar, showing the intermission of talking heads, their conversation scrolling underneath.
My pint of the local beer was half finished when a voice from the table behind me of twenty something males planning their next excursion pierced the din:
“As long as it is not France. France is so fucking boring. There is nothing to do in France.”
One more swallow from my glass, I slide ten bucks across the counter.
Keep the change.