Saturday, 1 January 2011

A bicycle ride - Mrs. Jenny Matlock's Saturday Centus Week 35

Jenny Matlock

(Scroll down to the end to read the instructions for this meme)
Here is my SC Week 35-text:

[It's Sunday, January 2nd, and I have written a second version of this SC. Scroll down after reading the first version, if you haven't already read it.]

Writing her New Year's resolutions, the phone rang. The court-appointed attorney had found a lawyer willing to wait for payment.
Yippie! She wrote his name and number on the same paper as the resolutions and put it in her pocket.
Dressing warmly, she rode her bike to the high street and locked it. Nothing was open, but window-shopping was an inexpensive passtime. She wanted to write more on her list, but couldn't find it in her pocket.
What was the name of that lawyer?
Returning to the bicycle, she found her crumpled up list of resolutions, lying in the snow.
Wonderful, now I can get started.

Word count according to WordCalc: 100

This fictional text is, unfortunately, based upon real life. There is an obvious flaw here. A court-appointed lawyer would not call on the telephone on New Year's Day, which is a holiday all over the world. The phone call came in the middle of a weekday many weeks ago. But the paper with the name and telephone number did fall out her pocket and onto the snow by her bike. It came out when she pulled out her keys to lock the bicycle. This is not a perfect centus. I could change the time frame back to earlier or let someone else make the phone call, but still, she is the one who has to decide about all of this, so that would not work. Oh well, take it as a writing exercise!

This is a second version of this SC-text, I am trying to correct the flaws that I found in the first version:

She wrote: Be nice... Don't date guys that are... The phone rang as she crumpled the paper.

"Hi Mom, Happy New Year!" -- "I know."-- "Don't be. Got great news! That attorney called." -- "The guy that is supposed to be neutral." -- " He gave me the name of a lawyer who is willing to help and wait for payment." -- "I'm going to... on Monday." -- "But if you didn't like him, why didn't you say that?" -- "Bye... love you too..."

She picked up her crumpled up list of resolutions, flattened it out and added: Don't believe promises that are not in writing...

Wordcount according to WordCalc: 93
(I had to hand count also because Wordcalc thought the dashes respresenting what the mother said over the phone were words!)

Best wishes,


First Commenter:
Sue of
Sue's News, Views n' Muse

Visit other SC-posts by clicking
here or on the image below:

Jenny Matlock

This is Mrs. Jenny Matlock's instructions:
Happy New Year! I decided to go ahead and post a Centus for those that wish to participate this week. I haven't visited last weeks yet, but rest assured, Grands are going back to school this week and I will get caught up with everything! I won't get into all the mushy New Years sentiments here on this post, (you can read those by clicking here!) I look forward to a 2011 reading more of your wonderful work!
Welcome to week thirty-five of Saturday Centus. STOP! If you didn't read the end SC's from last week, please take a moment to do so. Just work backwards until you find out where you left off. I feel really bad that the people at the end don't get read. Thanks! Now on to regular SC biz...In case you've forgotten... This is a themed writing meme. You can use UP to 100 words to tell your story. The prompt does not count for your 100 words AND it must be left intact in the body of your story. As a special New Years gift, though, you can use illustrations this week if you are so inclined. Your story can be fact or fiction, just keep it PG, please! You have the entire week to link your work to the meme and you can link more than one story if you like. Please display link button or just a hyper-link back to Saturday Centus. Be careful to link your SC URL to the Linky and not just link to your main blog. I would suggest that since these are so short, if you can't think of a title just use your blog name as the title in the Linky. Try to visit each one because there are some amazing writers participating in this meme. Since the links are so short they are also a fun and quick read. Please e-mail me directly with ???'s or ask your question in a comment and I will do my best to get back to you as soon as possible. This week the prompt is: "Her crumpled up list of resolutions..."



Sue said...

Sounds like she has big plans this year...!


Polly Janos said...

very well done incorporating a bit of reality into your fiction. you did swell!

Judie said...

Very interesting take on the prompt, Anna.

Bookie said...

Captured my interest...makes me wonder how and her and the lawyer work together.

resolutions said...

Everyone deserves a fresh start in the new year! :)

Ann said...

where you see flaws I see a well composed writing. I hope her new year and new beginning bring her joy

Kat said...

Well done Anna. I like the way you intertwined fact with fiction. And I love the conversation in the 2nd one! Kat

Sue said...

Nice addition!


Judie said...

Interesting conversation in the second post. I hope everything works out for the best.

jfb57 said...

I really liked the second one!!

Polly Janos said...

The epilogue is great stuff. I like the the way you allowed us in on the private conversation, eavesdropping and only hearing one end of the conversation as in real life. Perfect 2 parter!

Thanks for giving me the heads up. So glad I came back by!

Teresa said...

Hi Anna!

Okay, now you've piqued my interest. The first version of the story ends with hope for the future, but the second version makes me feel apprehensive and I want to know more!

Well done.

Jo said...

this is very interesting Anna ... I really enjoyed that you mixed both fact and fiction ... and in the second one, I enjoyed the converstional aspect.

Viki said...

I liked both of the centus's. I don't necessarily think all the time it has to be totally correct. I did love the conversation in the second one though. Good job.

Ames said...

I Anna! My votes for the second one too! And I am behind on reading everyone's contributions too!~Ames

Tina said...

that is so true isnt it. its hard to trust most people these days.

cj Schlottman said...

Anna, I liked the way you handled both posts. They are quite different, thus they are hard to compare. You did a beautiful job.

I am soooo glad this is fiction!


jeff campbell said...

Very nice ...I vote for the first...its all in the visuals...peace and blessings

Anna said...

I have left (or should have left) comment on each of your SC-posts. But I would like to thank you all for commenting (several of you doing it twice!) on this SC-post, because I learn so much from you.

This is still not a perfect SC-text. But I am going to leave it for now. The problem with this text is that it started off being a fictional text using non-fictional material, and then the non-fictional elements started to make demands.

These are questions that every writer faces whenever he or she decides to use facts to make a story more authentic. Jeff's comment has reminded me that it is the story that is important. The visuals. How one picture is linked to another.

I really like the image of my protagonist first losing an important piece of paper, and then finding it again in the snow by the bicycle. This is not a piece of fiction. This actually happened to me. I was the protagonist. I lost a piece of paper and then found it again by my bike.

But in the second text, I ditched this image, because all writing manuals tell you to be cavalier about cutting material. You have to kill your darlings as Ingmar Bergman once said (or maybe he was quoting someone else here).

For the second text I actually wrote a long conversation that approximated what my mother and I said to each other. And then I crossed out everything my mother said. I had to do this to get it to fit in to just 100 words. (Just a sidenote here: I have never called my mother 'Mom', not even when we speak English. I did this for the benefit of my American readers. We usually speak Swedish with English phrases stuck in here and there, when we don't know or remember what the Swedish counterpart would be.)

To cj Schlottman:
I wish it were just fiction. My little characters for the other SC-texts, Charlene, Daisy, Denny, as well as Kris Kringelmacher (aka Kris Kringle) are completely fictious persons. But this bicycle-gal with her phone-calls from court-appointed lawyers and her mother, is a thinly disguised self-portrait. Which is probably why I am having trouble with it. I should maybe just return to my purely fictional characters and leave my roman à clef on the shelf for a while. I don't really know what is going to happen to me.

I need the freedom of being able to invent. I think this is what Jeff is trying to say to me. To get the visuals right, I have to step outside of the text and see with all-seeing eyes.

Best wishes, peace, blessings & hugs to all of you dear sweet people,

Jenny said...

Anna, I feel your pain in these words. My heart hurts for you as you deal with these changes and heart-aches.

Writing auto-biographical material can be so difficult. Someone gave me a tip that helped me a lot. They told me to write the whole thing with the correct names...and then use find and replace and change the names to a fictitious name and read it again.

I don't know if that will help you...there is certainly nothing wrong with writing auto-biographically...especially if it helps rid your heart of some of its pain.

Sending you a hug and a hope that 2011 will be filled with small joys and positive changes.

Thank you for linking.

nimaruichi said...

The poignance and the disappointment - you have captured these beautifully in the two pieces.
Happy New Year!
(with resolutions or without them :) )

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