Thursday, December 10, 2009

Writing Well Challenge: Character

As I am more and more convinced that more writing=better writing, and while most of the writing I do is comparatively dry as it is academic, there is no reason for it to be crappy. To that end, and because I like programs and systems and because I keep forgetting to blog, I am doing the Writing Well Challenge. Here is week 1, which is about character.

As I approached the coffee shop I was worried, it was finals week, and cold out, and there might not be spare seats. I did find one, although it was right by the door. As I struggled through the old, discarded library book (bought cheap from!) on learning and instinct in animals, I kept looking at a woman right in front of me. I couldn't help it, she was in my staring-off-into-space line of sight. She was all in black, with dark curly long hair and a bubble gum pink pashmina. Somehow, in the dim coffee shop and her black clothes the pashmina glowed, drawing everyone's attention. She was working hard on her computer, drinking cups of coffee, ordering soup after she determined it was dairy free. She seemed like a normal grad student, typing a paper, like all the rest of us there that day. Later, though, I realized she was entering numbers from tiny slips of paper into a spread sheet. Number after number, from many tiny sometimes crumpled pieces of paper. A mathematician? A spy breaking a code? Just doing her taxes? Finally she left, wrapping the bright pink more closely around her as she went out into the gray and rainy day.

Here are some others who have completed this same challenge:

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