Snapshot: A View of Something Brief

Five Minute Friday

A place where writers take five minutes to write about a word, and then link up over at Gypsy Mama to read and comment on each other’s offerings. Today’s Word is Dive.

GO.

I know this dive, where low light illuminates the green felt table. The next customer swings open the screen door, a bell rings announcing their entrance. The door slaps shut. A few heads swivel from the bar.

She walks over to the counter, surveys the line-up. Orders a drink and asks “Anyone up for a game?” The guy at the end of the bar nods. They each grab their drink, placing it on a nearby table. She digs for a quarter out of her faded jeans. Places it in the slot, pushes it in and kerplunk. Solids and stripes roll into place.

She pulls them out one by one and her opponent racks them up. He places the cue ball at the opposite end of the triangle made up of alternated stripes and solids. She smiles at him. He takes his cue and pulls back his elbow sliding the stick towards the white ball, which he expertly cracks into the triangle busting up their symmetry, and sighs when not one falls into a pocket.

She steps up and takes her turn. She leans over and eyes the orange solid in line with the cue ball, nods toward the side pocket and drops her first attempt to win this game. She positions herself and starts clearing the table of solids. Her opponent leans on his stick watching her prowess, waiting for his turn to show her a thing or two. She misses.

He drops a purple striped one into the far corner pocket. They take turns until it’s just the eight ball and the cue ball and two players wondering who’ll have the last say.
STOP.
 
You may be thinking that this post is quite a bit different than my usual offerings. And it is. I decided to take this five minute write as challenge to capture a place with words. One of my desires this year is to hone my fiction skills, which means developing scenes, characters and plots. So today, I chose to use my five minutes to practice one of my skills. I would love feedback as to whether this snapshot put you in the place or not.

8 thoughts on “Snapshot: A View of Something Brief

  1. I love how you chose to write about a dive as a place, rather than as diving into the water! As soon as I started reading I wondered why it hadn't occurred to me to think of it that way! I love your writing! I felt like I was there. You painted a very vivid picture with your descriptions!

  2. I thought this was great! The idea of sharpening your writing skills kind of goes alone with my own post today. I liked the imagery you set for us. However, I kept thinking of the situation as being more sensual than what the words actually said. I think my imagination said: bar, girl, boy, obviously this is a sensual encounter. But I don't think that is the story you were wanting to tell. Totally my bad.

  3. Jess- Thanks for your honest words. I did notice the sensuality after I wrote it, but as you said that wasn't my conscious intention. I think place evokes emotion. And as this was just a writing exercise for me, not even sure where the story was going…I was just trying to capture the moment with vivid description. I think I would have to explore the story more to find out where it's going. Don't apologize for your response, it's real and honest. I grew up going to bars with my parents and we played pool in the backroom of these "dives"…there is a story in their somewhere. I don't think we need to be afraid of sensuality… God gave us our senses and our desires. He just wants to redeem them for his goodness and glory!

  4. Beth- Thanks for your feedback. I had fun playing around with the word. I tend to look up the meanings of the suggested word in the online dictionary before I start the five minute challenge…and so that's what sparked my beginning and then I just had fun trying to imagine this scene and then describe it.

  5. I could see it all, Kel. I've not a fictional bone in my body, but what I esp. loved was the dialogue w/ your readers and your saying that pool is in your background. Maybe we never totally make something up. I'll bet if Christ were here, He'd go to that bar, woudln't He? What a ministry that would be (and I'm a former alcoholic, so I know).

  6. Oh, and like you, I love the richness of words and their nuanced and multi-faceted meanings. I was just telling my stylist about this today (I talk about the craziest things when getting my hair done). I feel so strongly about the need to develop our vocabularies and not dumb down our writing. The more words we have at our fingertips, the more descriptive and insightful we can be. Extensive vocabularies allow us to get at exact meanings of what we are trying to convey. Strip our language and we lose a powerful means of communicaiton. Madeleine L'Engle has a great quote about this, and if I can locate it, I'll share it.

  7. Lynni- I agree, most of the fictional scenes I imagine I have some connection to…also it is interesting that you imagined that Christ might go to the bar to meet folks because I actually thought that the guy who agreed to play pool with her could have been a Jesus figure and I was thinking of developing a modern day Jesus and the woman at the well type scenario…

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