Seems like I’ve talked more about the obstacles to creativity recently than actually being creative.
Let’s see if we can’t change that.
I recently stumble across a blog for short fiction called “The Drabble“. It has been a struggle to find quality short fiction sites that are active. This site actually does fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. And they are serious about “short”. If you want to submit, it’s a maximum of 100 words.
Given that my first collection has a variety of very short stories in it, I thought this was an interesting challenge. There has been an idea floating around in my head for the last couple days. It had the feel of one of those flash fiction kind of stories, so I thought “Why not?”
The first problem I hit was that even my ultra short story was too long for “The Drabble”! It took me about as long to edit down the story to 100 words as it did to write the original.
The “full-length” story is below. I have submitted the short version, and if they like it, I’ll give them first shot at publishing it. If that happens I will link to it. If not, I ‘ll share the short version here.
The Intimacy of Driving
I’m all set. The car is clean, seat adjusted, my little “u” sign carefully affixed.
The first call arrives just as I leave the highway and enter the city proper. A young woman on her way to the gym. She’s forgiving when I’m a couple minutes late. The app and I are still getting to know one another.
Young women are an interesting balancing act. They are climbing into the car of a middle aged man they do not know. I want them to feel comfortable and safe. Should I talk? Should I remain silent? Is the guy who never speaks to them on the trip reassuring or creepy? Certainly, the guy who talks too much is no good. I usually say a few things right at the beginning, then wait to see if they pick up the thread. If not, I will offer a companionable silence. Most of the trips are quick so it never grows uncomfortable. The younger riders tend to spend the time on their phone, a soundtrack of quiet beeps and sound effects.
Five rides in quick succession. To the gym, a coffeehouse, home from work or to the airport. The airport trip passenger is a man a little younger than me. We compare notes on airports.
I pick up a young woman at a local college. We’re headed out of town. When we arrive I ask where she wants to be let out. She’s never been here before, so we search a little. It’s a woman’s health clinic. It’s none of my business. I wish her well and say a little prayer that all is well.
Then I turn the wheel for home.
Never stop creating.