I signed up for a Creative Writing class at Uni because well, I could use the practice. And I needed the credit hours, but that's beside the point.
Anyway, I was reading the syllabus and decided that I'm terrified of this professor already.
We're going to have these 'workshop' things where everyone critiques your writing and there's a question-answer thing, all kinds of craziness...which is fine and dandy, probably even helpful. But then I got to this line:
"The writer will read the first two pages of his/her piece before the class, and listen to suggestions..."
Okay, reading in front of the class? It's not nearly as awful as that public speaking class I had a few years back, but still. Writing stories to be critiqued is one thing, reading them aloud to the class is quite another.
Add to that the fact that we're expected to turn in 5-20 pages of writing for this critique thing, and I'm in full-on panic mode. It's been a while since I've written anything that wasn't fanfiction. And I'm pretty sure that won't cut it for this.
So I've started writing already, even though the first class meeting isn't until...later today. About twelve hours from now, in fact. Hoorah.
Untitled Project numero uno.
(needs a lot of work...obviously. Concrit is appreciated!)
Shifting his coffee and newspaper into one hand, Shaun Gallagher pulled out his phone from his back pocket and hit a key, speed-dialing. The routine was so familiar he didn’t even look to make sure he’d hit the right number.
Jed Thomas answered on the other end, and there was a bit of shuffling before his groggy voice gave his customary greeting. “You’ve got Jed. This better be good.”
Without preamble, Shaun started in on his newest scheme, hoping to finish before he was cut off.
“A great man once said ‘A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points, but it is by no means the most interesting.’” He quoted. He sucked in a breath to continue, but Jed butt in like always.
“’A great man’, eh? Sounds like someone’s been watching too much television. Again.” His friend’s tone was exasperated, if not accusing.
“Okay, yes, fine, you’ve caught me. But at least its good quality British programming and not the drivel everyone else around here considers entertainment! And you love science fiction,” he continued, defensive and warming up to the argument, “Don’t pretend you don’t.”
“Alright, alright! Let's not start this again, jeez. What exactly is the point you’re trying to make here, Shaunathan?”
He chose to ignore the irksome nickname Jed was so fond of calling him and returned to his earlier topic.
“Right. I’ve got an idea for how we can solve our little…problem. Of course, you’ll need to be open-minded because this will take quite a bit of doing…”
There was a sigh from the other end of the line. “With you, I’ve learned to expect that.”
“Would you shut it? I’m on a roll here.”
“Sorry,” Jed mumbled, sounding anything but.
Shaun continued, undaunted. “Okay. We’ve got this property. We haven’t any idea what to do with it, no one is looking to buy a dusty old lot in the middle of nowhere, and it’s basically sitting there mocking us. But Great-Uncle Bill wouldn’t want us to sell it anyway, seeing as though he expressly stated in his will ‘don’t sell the old Heywood land.’ Although I’ve never listened to him before and I’m not sure why I should start now…but that’s beside the point.”
Jed waited somewhat patiently on the other end, knowing his friend could rant for a while once he got going.
“He trusted that property to me—“
He was cut off again
“To us. He also expressly stated in his will that he didn’t trust you to handle this on your own, and put me in charge. Well, co-in charge. We share that land, don’t you go forgetting it.”
“How could I, with you reminding me every other day? I’ve yet to understand why good old Bill wanted his favorite barkeep in on this scheme. What’d you ever do to earn that sort of trust?”
“Obviously it doesn’t take much. He gave half the responsibility to a self-proclaimed yo-yo master.”
“I’ll have you know that I won the county-wide Yo-Yo Jamboree in ninth grade! And made it to qualifying at the State Championships.”
“Only to completely lose it with your final…exhibition…show…performance thing.”
“I got seventh! That’s not bad! Besides, I’m his favorite great-nephew and as I was saying—“
“You’re his only great-nephew,” he countered.
“As I was saying, he trusted me…” at his friends intake of breath he decided to revise his statement before he could be interrupted yet again, “trusted us to take care of that land. Turn it into something to make some money or, I don’t know, do something nice for the community.”
“And you’ve got an idea now, have you?”
“Yes. The thing is…” he hesitated. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea to run by Jed. Last time he tried something like this his ear was practically bleeding by the time the other man finished yelling.
“Out with it, already! I need a shower and a beer and this conversation is accomplishing neither.”
“Fine, but remember, you asked for it…”
He waited a beat, working up the courage before finally delivering the news.
“We’re going to need a monkey.”