Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tuesday night was my third (and penultimate) summer writing class. My instructor, and the class, has a stealthy way of understating themselves. I somehow came out with so much -- and I'm not sure how.

Last week's book was The Spy Who Came in From the Cold by John Le Carre. It wasn't my favorite book ever, but not being a spy person (I haven't even seen a James Bond movie all the way through), I can confidently say it's my favorite spy book. So far, that is...

After receiving probably one of the best comments ever (that my writing reminded everyone of Raymond Chandler), I'm going to be reading a few more spy books. For next week's class, we're reading Graham Greene's Our Man in Havana. I also have a personal assignment to read (at some point) James M. Cain's Double Indemnity.

But...I ramble. Here's what you really want, a glimpse at my stab at fiction. I finally have a direction and a plot in mind (astonishing!), and more important a project that I can't wait to work on, but for now I'll just give you this. The set-up is that Greg is on an airplane:

Finally, Greg’s eyes rested on the woman next to him in the aisle seat. Greg guessed that she was 66, maybe a young 67, judging from her orange hair, orthopedic sandals and too-small Club Med Turks and Caicos T-shirt. She had two glossy bottles of sickly sweet liquid enamel. It was a cheesy brand like “Slick and Hard” or “Wet and Fine.” She took the bottle between her glistening left thumb and index finger and gave it two hard violent shakes like she was snapping the neck of a fatally wounded animal. With a taxidermist’s precision, she applied a third coat, giving each nail exactly two and a half strokes. Then she placed all ten fuchsia fingertips flat on her tray-table, leaned forward and blew.
Greg is a fraud investigator, on his way to Las Vegas for the National Conference of Fraud Examiners. (Like a good journalist, I lifted this delicious detail from reality. As Jim Sheeler would say, "Reality is too good...you couldn't make this stuff up!") There, he'll end up on a case that he's completely ill-prepared for. I'll let you know how it develops...

2 comments:

Anat said...

i love it!

Kitty said...

Love it. There is always at least one person on a plane who undertakes some private behavior in public. I want to read more!