Monday December 31st, 2012

The exercise:

Let us usher 2012 out the door by writing about: the turning point.

Here's hoping that 2013 is a great year for all of us, and that many of our writing dreams come to fruition before it is time, once again, to place new calendars on our walls.


It is... difficult for me to pinpoint the moment you speak of. That precise instant that I stood safely beyond doubt's grasp and knew that there was no turning back. Forward, forward, from then on... there could be only forward.

Had I recognized that line as I crossed it, would I have paused to look back? One last survey of all that my next step would leave behind? Would I have wavered, wondered, wished for more time?

Would I have gone back?

It is... so very difficult for me to say. Who can imagine what thoughts would have filled my mind, what emotions swelled my breast? It is possible that fear my have even entered the equation. Unlikely... but possible.

It matters not, though. That line was as invisible to me then as my mother's ghost is to you now. And the road ahead calls for my attention, with questions of its own. Interesting questions. Confounding questions.

And, yes, some very... difficult questions.


Greg said...

Happy New Year! I can imagine that the new year looks quite daunting for you now that you've got a new addition to the family, the next step in Prana Farm's development, and all those little household chores to finish (like the decking!). I'm pretty sure you'll come through it all with shining colours though :)
I like the debate running through today's piece, with the hints at indecision, and the ending that suggests there's something very important hanging in the balance. You manage the tensions in the piece with a deft hand.
The turning point
Derren looked out over the bar. It was nearly midnight on New Year's Eve and the place was packed. Well, packed as Moose Bend Creek with its 57 inhabitants got, which was to say that there was at least one person at each of the tables, and two guys at the bar. Neither of whom he recognised. And one of whom was tapping his glass on his beermat like he was thirsty.
"Get you a drink there, pal?" said Derren, smiling at him.
"Manahttan," said the man, his voice gravelly like the bottom of Moose Bend Creek.
"So what brings you here?" said Derren while he hunted behind the bar for his recipe cards. Most people in town drank either beer or soda-water.
"The New Year," said the man. "This here's the Turning Point, right?"
"Yup, I called it that because here's right about where folks turn back when they realise there's not much but mountains ahead for the next three miles."
"Heh." The man tapped a cigarette out of a packet, and Derren noticed that it was a slim black cylinder with a bright-red end. The man lit that end.
"You turning back then?"
"Nope," said the man. "Turning points have other meanings too, you know?"
"Maybe." Derren found the recipe cards at last and skimmed it, wondering if he actually had any of the ingredients. Olives?
"Yeah, I figure you know better than most."
Derren looked up at that, but the man was smiling, his cigarette smoking in his hand, and his eyes looking beyond Derren at something only he could see.

Iron Bess said...

The turning point came for me late in the year, it has been a doozy. Some great highs, but some serious lows as well. But in November I finally got the courage to submit a piece or two, out there, for the public to read, see, and critque. Now I have become a permanent writer for a magazine. Yippee and Happy New Year to all.

Marc said...

Greg - that's a delightfully intriguing piece. I could see it working as an opening to a much longer piece, but I can also appreciate it on its own like this :)

Iron Bess - this is fantastic and much deserved news! Congrats to you, and all the best in the new year as well.

Feel free to let us know which magazine, by the way. A little self-promotion never hurt anyone :)