Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pink Roses, Part 1

I promised to share a sample of my writing with you; well, here it is. This was an assignment for my very first online fiction writing class. The purpose of the assignment was to explore point of view by writing the same scene from two different vantage points, both first and third person. As I wrote, I discovered how much point of view affects the telling of the story and the characters themselves. It was fascinating.

Below is my scene written in third person. I will share the other one tomorrow.


Joseph held on tight to his mother's hand. Part of him wanted to let go and skip ahead - he could hardly wait to climb the ladder to the top of the sliding board - but he could tell his mother needed him. This morning she had barely spoken during breakfast. She had held onto Daddy an extra long time when she hugged him before he headed out to work. And she had completely forgotten to pack snacks for the park.

He didn't know what was wrong. Maybe she was still angry with him for coloring on his bedroom wall yesterday.

"Joseph!" she had shouted. She hardly ever shouted. "Crayons are for paper and for coloring books, not for walls."

Well, he liked his walls better now that they were decorated with his artwork. But his mother had been really upset. He knew better than to argue.

Just ahead, he spied the big pink rosebush on the path. He knew how much his mother loved that rosebush. She always stopped to sniff a bloom or two. Not only that, pink roses covered the wallpaper in her bedroom, and Daddy always gave her pink roses on special days, like Valentine's Day or on her birthday. That reminded him of a picture he had seen of him and his parents in the hospital when he was a baby.

"Tell me about the day I was born, Mommy."

She stopped suddenly and gave him a funny look. Then, kneeling in front of the rosebush, she cupped a blossom in her hand and inhaled deeply.

"Pink roses are my favorite," she said, offering him the bloom. "Especially when they smell as good as this one."

Maybe she hadn't heard him.

"I know. Daddy always gives them to you. I bet he gave you the ones in the picture of all of us at the hospital when I was a baby."

His mother turned away. Her eyes were shiny and wet.

"Why are you crying, Mommy?" he asked, worried.

"I'm sorry, Joseph. It's just a hard day for me."

"Why, Mommy? I thought you liked going to the park."

"I'm happy to be here at the park with you. But I'm sad because today would have been your sister's fourth birthday. I miss her."

"I don't remember her."

Of course you don't. You were only two when she was born. And she wasn't with us very long. But I have a picture of you sitting next to her. She was wearing a Mickey Mouse sleeper that you picked out for her. You were grinning like a monkey. You were so proud of her."

Joseph had often thought about how much fun it might be to be a big brother. "Will you show me that picture when we get home?"

"I'm not sure where it is," she replied, hesitating.

"I will help you look for it. Please don't be sad," he begged.

"Okay, sweetheart. I'll stop crying." She stood and kissed the top of his head. "How about a big push on the swings?"

His baby sister instantly forgotten, he raced to the swing set.


Carley said...

Ready to read more--get busy! (Only kidding) as I know you are always "busy as a bee". I don't know how you cover so many projects at once, but you do a fantastic job.

Natalie said...

Very good! I can't wait to read part 2 :)

Pam said...

Thank you both so much!! :-)