Portfolio 3-Short Fiction

Writing short fiction was definitely a huge challenge for me. Out of all the genres that we covered over the semester, short story writing seemed to be the most difficult for me.  Making up characters and putting them into a story is harder than it looks.  I have always stuck to poetry because that’s what I know I am good at and that’s where I feel safe.  Writing short fiction has taken me out of my comfort zone and I am glad this class helped me get acquainted with it.

I  had many struggles with my story, “The Progeny”. I started out brainstorming ideas of what I wanted my story to be about.  I knew right away that I wanted to write about the Moon and the Sun quarreling. I took that image and decided that it would be an interesting story if I used the sun and the moon as the mothers of our world. I didn’t want the story to be cliché but I wanted it to have a mythological sound. My story was intended to start off positive and end negatively but the rise and fall of the moon and sun were the main focus of my story. As I read over my story again, I did feel like the closing paragraph could have been seen as biased because of the word “we”. I do feel like this should be changed considering that the narrator played a neutral role throughout the story.  I think using the word “they” makes it flow better.

My second story, “The Magical Wheelchair: A Christmas Story”, was easier to write for some reason. I just thought of it right away and it didn’t take long to write. This story is more of a comedy/drama and having dialogue was interesting because I’ve never tried that before. I had a lot of fun creating my characters so I’m looking forward to hearing your feedback.

This class has been a great learning experience.  I enjoy any opportunity that allows me to be creative. In this class, I was kind of able to be forced into doing new things and writing in genres I’ve never tried before.  I wish we could have spent more time writing in class and sharing instead of working at home on the blogs. In this class and many others I have taken, I feel that the blog writing disconnects the student from the teacher. I’m an old fashioned student I guess. I did really enjoy the free writing exercises but I think we spent too much time focusing on the weekly readings. It’s definitely beneficial to read other stories and poems in the genre you are writing in, but at the same time, sometimes the class seemed to be more of a normal literature survey class than a creative writing class. All in all, this class has been fun and a good learning experience and I look forward to taking more workshop classes. Next semester I am taking poetry workshop. Maybe the semester after that I will take one in in short fiction writing. We’ll see.

The Magical Wheelchair: A Christmas Story

Gilbert White lives in a brownstone apartment with a decent view of Central Park. He does not have any friends or family and is a rather lonely old man. He collects disability checks and spends his days walking through the park. He looks forward to these walks and enjoys the exercise and the fresh air. He has Tourette syndrome so he is unable to keep a job. He had worked for the post office delivering mail for forty years but his disability caused him to lose his job. People were constantly complaining and Gilbert’s boss didn’t want to keep losing customers. Gilbert has a case of what is called Coprolalia in which he yells obscenities at people uncontrollably. This illness is difficult to control and it has greatly affected the way Gilbert lives. It has held him back from living a normal life but nothing prepared Gilbert for the day that would change his life forever.

Gilbert was crossing the street one day to take his usual daily walk in the park. While he was in the middle of the street, his Tourette’s kicked in and he yelled “HOE” while his head just happened to be facing in the direction of a sensitive old lady next to him. She began hitting Gilbert with her purse in the middle of the busy street while a car started racing right for them. The old lady saw the car and moved out of the way in time but Gilbert did not see it coming and it hit him. Gilbert suffered major injuries and became a paraplegic. When he awoke in the hospital from his unconscious sleep and couldn’t feel his legs, he came to the realization that his new form of transportation would become a wheelchair. He began to worry about not being able to take his walk through Central Park anymore.

When he was taken home to his apartment, Gilbert was surprised to see a wheelchair sitting there waiting for him with a red ribbon on it. He didn’t know how it got there but Gilbert was a simple man and never questioned anything. The wheelchair looked every bit of normal. It was fully functional and durable, both the things that Gilbert needed for his strolls through the park. It was all he was concerned about and Gilbert didn’t ever hope for anything more.

It was night time and Gilbert got sleepy. He wheeled over to his bed and lifted himself up. Gilbert felt overwhelmed knowing that he would have to do this every night. For the first time ever, Gilbert realized he was alone and that feeling made him cry. He cried himself to sleep that night only to awake to the same reality. Every day Gilbert woke up, made himself breakfast, took his daily stroll on his wheelchair through Central Park, and came back home to spend the rest of his evening alone. And every night he would lift himself onto his bed and cry himself to sleep.

One night while Gilbert was sleeping, he was awakened by a little man in a green suit.

“Are you currently seeking employment?”, asked little man asked.

Gilbert was not frightened at all and responded “Yes, but I am not able to work around people.”

The little guy told the man that he already knew everything about Gilbert and still needed his assistance. “What kind of job?”, asked Gilbert.

The little man