My first piece for my uni course
TMA 01 Diana McDonald A755615X
Free write - Waiting
Order things, take the ticket, wait in line, watch the screen, you're up next. Take your bag, thank the vendor, leave this place, enjoy. Repeat as often as necessary and wait for the next bout of retail therapy.
Always seems to be waiting. the tedium and borem of being in a queue, it can stretch on, feeling like a lifetime. The ticking of the clocks seem worse when you're waiting. At least with queuing means you'll be seen eventually but you have to wait with all the other people. sighing, coughing tutting. This makes it worse, hearing the impotent groans of the crowd, like this would somehow change their lot and the queue will magically disappear. It's not like the other people who are being served are at fault for being ahead. the little old lady fiddling with her purse, the foreign man who has a little difficulty with hearing the droning cashier, desperate to send a letter to his family. saying he's ok. why all the hate and groaning? Drives me mad. The great British past time of moaning and complaining is in its element here.
Waiting can be a good thing too it can be the anticipation of treats and good things to come. the trips away, holidays and present and "you'll have to wait until tomorrow" the frustration is bittersweet and gets no weaker over the years or so I have found.
Waiting for your lover to come home, to answer the phone, to say yes. it's truly beautiful.
Sometimes the wait is more exciting than the prize. the gentle anticipation and the excited feeling makes you grin at every turn.
Word count: 274
That time of year (Again).
Bethany hated Christmas. Well, to be more accurate, she hated all the nonsense associated with this time of the year. All the fuss over one day was beyond her. She had nothing against the holiday itself and rather enjoyed seeing her family and all the nice warming things. She loved winter and the food was a major part of that. The warming soups, the mince pies and roast turkey. Even the weather was more her style. Sleet and rain and a biting wind was all good. She could snuggle up in her huge coat during her commute or use her fleecy blanket on the sofa at night.
No, it was the insanity of the Christmas shopping. The deranged lunacy associated with the human scrums in shops, madly scrambling for useless but quirky gifts that will be put in a cupboard to collect dust for all eternity. And the queues. Oh, how she hated the queues, like a zombie conga line.
Not to mention that most people act as if the holiday somehow creeps up on them. It's the same time every year! Maybe a little planning would be in order?
It was with these thoughts that Bethany wandered around the town centre at 4:45pm on a squally Monday night, two days from Christmas. The irony was not lost on her, she was a hypocrite to her own thoughts. She was seeking a 'fun' gift for a colleague. All part of the Secret Santa initiative started by her jolly but odd boss the three years ago. (All of which had been extremely disappointing for Bethany).
She had a budget of 10 and given a random person to buy for. This year she had Colin.
Oh joy. Colin, the office self-appointed clown. revelling in his pranks in the workplace. Colin, the man who does not know the meaning of personal space.
"Great." she thought, "How to buy for this jerk?"
She stopped outside a shop near the edge of the High street. She hadn't even realised she had wandered so far. The crowds were pulsating and made all the window displays blur into one lump of glittery cheer and fake looking snow, so she had walked in a trance.
"Oh, to hell with this. The next shop I come to I'm going in."
Striding confidently towards the nearest door was like walking a marathon but she got there in the end. As she peered into the window to see what kind of place this was, she let out a low groan. It was packed. Gritting her teeth, she pushed her way inside. This was one of those tat shops, full of cheap decorations, bottle openers and mugs with humourless slogans or a variety of football teams on them. Bethany looked at the haphazard displays trying hard to find something that may be okay and not look like she only spent 50p.
At last she spotted it. A massive display of novelty ties and hats. All Christmas themed and filled with so many primary colours it actually hurt the eye. She scanned the choice and selected a hideous Rudolph tie with a flashing nose on the tip and a bright red Santa hat, complete with bell on the end and fuzzy edges. She glanced at the queue and sighed again. At least four people long. She shrugged and joined. The first thing she noticed was grumbling. The lady ahead of her was moaning, saying that the staff were useless and elderly should go first. Next were the family. Mum screaming at the son who was helping himself to things off the shelves and dad trying desperately to quieten the screaming toddler in the too big pushchair. After this family bliss were two giggly teens, both of them not paying attention and getting in the way.
Bethany stood as stoically as possible but the fug of the combined sounds was starting to grind on her nerves. This wait felt like forever already. She glanced at her watch. 4:54pm.
Damn. The sign on the door said closed at 5:10 and this queue is not going down fast enough.
She looked at the desk. The cashier was slowly bagging up the teens items, all the while talking to a friend that was by the counter.
"Come on come on come on!" Bethany knew this was her fault for waiting until the last minute to get this stupid tacky gift, and now she was being punished for this by having to wait in the queue from hell.
Word count: 750
I approached this first piece with a mixture of anxiety and excitement. Reading of the course books so far has really helped me to learn new techniques to help with starting a piece of writing and how to keep the momentum going on the piece. The process involved for this piece started with a clustering. I found choosing a word form the list and then applying this technique helped me to explore the potential of the words available. This gave me several key ideas to work with and I had sure to put this into my free writing. As you can see, the free writing is a bit disjointed but I have been using this technique in a very fast paced way as I find that sometimes my brain goes too fast for the sentences to make perfect sense and I have to go back to flesh out afterwards. Using a combination of these two techniques teased ideas out of my brain quite effectively, for example with the use of certain adjectives to get across my personal feelings and associations with the word 'Waiting'. This helped me to construct a fictional scenario which had many commonplace feelings and observations through the eyes of someone else, i.e., Bethany.
Word count: 207