Process is Progress . . . Right?

Three parts forward, two parts back. Ah, that’s the writing process. Believe it or not, I have been feverishly working on the fourth and final part of the “Valentines” story. It’s rather long, but I hope to have it posted in the next few days. If nothing else, it is an inward testament, showing me that if I resolve to “write long,” it (eventually) happens. And, failing that, I’ve heard from a wise bird that it can live forever as a “shitty [in this case, second or third] draft” you might have subjected yourself to.

On another note, the following flash fiction piece wrote itself after I read and was inspired by these two writer-friends’ Friday Fictioneers’ posts, each quite different. (There are others I haven’t read yet, brainburstingly great ones, to be sure, so check them out at Rochelle’s FF site.)

I thought you might also enjoy seeing the quickie editing process I applied to the typed versions (there was 1 written, with overlays, chicken scratches really, of edits). If you want to skip to the end, that’s the short version (“Mute-4”), at about 109 words. Here’s the little bit of research I did, paired with good, old (gold?) imagination. Cheers!


hollywood-crowd-photo by Rochelle Wisoff Fields

Photo copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 Mute-1

Feet are a maddening mode. Some shuffle or scuff. Run, roll, gallop, or canter. Others amble. Shadows, the lot of them! Callous, stilted catches of chiaroscuro self-enchantment, blotting out all that is light.

I’ve come to hate them all. Artificial. Real. Flat and triangular. Moist, gluey, or dry. Circling. Cloven. Unshod, unshorn. Fleshly silk and scratchy felt. Mired here in this place I don’t know. Is it Southern California, Asia, or a blip on Orion’s belt? I can’t be sure from this perspective, hidden in the metal ducts smothering human smells.

A tintinnabulation of toes, steady, drives me nearly circleward with its wordless taunt. Loosely translated: I move, therefore I am human.

What approximates for ears feels them all, footpads fettered to them. Forever. With tenebrous eyelash-like appendages, I scratch walled words over and over in this sub-city hell. I, voyager, was sentenced to exile, rooted in your time and place. Hear my mute mandibles’ message . . . (159 words)

 

Mute-2

Feet are a maddening mode. Some shuffle or scuff. Run, roll, gallop, or canter. Others amble. Shadows, the lot of them! Callous, stilted catches of chiaroscuro self-enchantment.

I’ve come to hate them all. Artificial. Real. Flat and triangular. Moist, gluey, or dry. Circling. Cloven. Unshod, unshorn. Fleshly silk and scratchy felt. Mired here in this place I don’t know. I can’t be sure from this perspective, hidden in the metal ducts smothering human smells.

A tintinnabulation of toes, steady, drives me nearly circleward with its taunt. Loosely translated: I move, therefore I am human.

All as I scratch out walled words with muted mandibles: I, voyager, will be sentenced to exile, rooted in your time and place . . . (120 words)

 

Mute-3

Feet are a maddening mode. Shuffle, scuff. Run, roll, gallop, or canter. Others amble. Callous, stilted catches of chiaroscuro self-enchantment.

I’ve grown to hate them all. Artificial. Real. Flat. Triangular. Moist, gluey, or dry. Circling. Cloven. Unshod, unshorn. Fleshly silk and scratchy felt. Mired here in this place I don’t know. I can’t be sure from this perspective, hidden in the metal ducts smothering human smells.

A tintinnabulation of toes, steady, drives me nearly circleward with its taunt. Loosely translated: I move, therefore I am human.

All as I scratch out walled words with muted mandibles: I, voyager, will be sentenced to exile, rooted in your time and place . . . (112)

 

Mute-4

Feet are a maddening mode. Shuffle, scuff. Run, roll, gallop, canter. Others amble. Callous, stilted catches of chiaroscuro self-enchantment.

I’ve grown to hate them all. Artificial. Real. Flat. Triangular. Moist, gluey, dry. Circling. Cloven. Unshod, unshorn. Fleshly silk and scratchy felt. Mired here in this nowhere, no-when place. I can’t be sure from this perspective, holed in the metal ducts smothering human smells.

A syncopation of ceaseless toes drives me nearly circleward, taunting. Loosely translated: I move, therefore I am human.

All as I scratch out walled words with muted mandibles: I, voyager, will be sentenced to exile, rooted in your time and place . . . (104)

Advertisements

20 thoughts on “Process is Progress . . . Right?

  1. Writing full stop, is better than not.
    I think of it as a muscle, and to get the best out of it we need to be continuously exercising it. Fine tuning and technique comes after. But you seem to have all three in perfect composition. 🙂

  2. Great work Leigh, I enjoyed all the snippets. The hardest part after writing, is reducing the word count but I was happy to see yours come down from 159 to 104. Still cherish how do the others do it. 🙂
    I am eagerly waiting for “Valentines” last part. 😀

  3. Great use of words Leigh, I’m always astounded at how well and how uniquely you put words together. Interesting to see the editing process and to see that almost all my favourite bits made the cut 🙂

  4. Such originality. I love your take on this.
    I think that it’s shoes that are maddening rather than feet, as they seldom accommodate the fact that feet are so individual that even in one person the left rarely matches the right exactly, let alone any two people fitting a particular size taking into account arches versus flat feet, different length toes, bunions, and how much a person sweats etc.
    Thanks for linking to my Friday Fictioneers’ story for this week’s prompt.

  5. I’m glad you didn’t strike the phrase, “I move, therefore I am human” – that’s a deep, philosophical thought! I liked how, “A tintinnabulation of toes” flowed, even if I had to look up ‘tintinnabulation’ 🙂

    • Thanks as always, Janna. I really liked tintinnabulation, too, which I stole from Mr. Poe . . . but I didn’t think it logically worked with the sounds of footfalls (footfalls = bells ? unless, maybe . . . elves’ boots? Santa or reindeer?!)

  6. First of all, your take on the photo is unique and your descriptions are masterful! I really enjoyed reading through the variations as you edited for length, keeping what’s most important to achieve the message. Brilliant as always Leigh! 😀

  7. Leigh I feel like I should bow before you. I don’t have a writing process and to think of so many edits makes my head spin. They are all fabulous as far as I can tell. Wow!

  8. I have nominated you to participate in a Holiday Touring Blog Hop, it’s kind of like a chain letter for bloggers, but more fun. Marilyn, at Serendipity, nominated me and here is my link which explains all about this and you can find your nomination and Holiday topic:

    https://cancerisnotpink.wordpress.com/2014/11/26/holiday-touring-new-years-day/

    If you do not want to participate (there is no time limit, you can take as long as you need to respond to this and pass it forward) please let me know so that I can nominate someone else to keep this going. Thanks again!! Swoosieque 😀

  9. Great stuff, excellent use of sound and some wonderfully visceral, staccato, rhythmic moments. I liked metal ducts smothering human smells. And your controlled moments of florid diction. Self-editing to a word count like this looks tough, i would find it painful, so kudos 🙂 need to get round more of your pieces here, has been a while, all the best 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s