Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Entry #45

Last-Minute Lara
by The Individual Voice

"Last-Minute Lara" her mother called her. Late to school and meals. Studying for tests all night before.

So, it was no surprise that Lara waited until the night before the writing contest deadline. Two hundred and fifty words. How hard could that be? She was spewing out thousands a day for Nanowrimo.

Of course the thousands would not be read by another soul, and Jason’s contest submissions were read by everyone who was anyone in the literary blogosphere. The shorter piece required logorrhea edited down to size, hacking at adjectives, adverbs, repetitions, clarifying, specifying, condensing.

So Lara started a story about writing a story, clever, she thought, for a last minute foray into the closing contest. But hunger drove her every few minutes into the kitchen for snacks: ice cream sandwiches, cups of tea and blueberry bread to quell her anxiety.

Why did she do this to herself? Lara knew. She grew up in a rushed house, the clocks set seven minutes ahead (five would be too easy to figure out). When they went to weddings as a family, they would arrive an hour early, to beat traffic, hanging around while the immediate family took photos and the band set up. They would leave and hour early, too.

Lara munched on her blueberry bread, swallowing her anxiety, and peeked out the window. Dawn had arrived, pink and blue clouds announcing the contest deadline.

Oh, wait a minute. The deadline said PM, not AM. She still had the whole day.


SzélsőFa said...

that is funny. I knew a few 'Laras' out here.

Anonymous said...

Very funny and definitely a unique take.

The Anti-Wife said...

Very clever take on the contest.

Jaye Wells said...

Do you have any of those ice cream sandwiches left? Cute idea.

The Quoibler said...

I'm really feeling this one... nice job!

I grinned through the whole piece, especially the bit about the clocks. I actually do that myself now... :)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for all your comments. This was a real and reluctant breakthrough for logorrheic (and procrastinating) me. It's really hard for me to write short. I normally don't even try. This is definitely a step forward and I thank Jason for the 250 word limit and everyone else for your good humored support. I read it to my teenaged son who argued that it shouldn't count as fiction. Um, but I changed her name.

Sarah Hina said...

Very meta of you, "Lara." ;) You took a clever idea, and made me smile.

Very original!

chong y l said...

t i voice:

You would make a good journalist. Pushing deadlines to their final seconds -- I was a typical one of that species. Now I'm trying fiction-cum-occasional news writes.

Original! Well done:)

Beth said...

Very cute. I thought for sure you were just writing it because you were a last minute gal and didn't come up with an idea beforehand. Haha.

Beth said...

I meant that above comment in a good way. Not sure how it came across, but wanted to be sure my tone came across correctly.

Anonymous said...

I liked this! Certainly a first. I got a kick out of the 7 minutes fast being harder to figure out. Genius.