Writing Practice and The Muse Who is Always There
Writing Leap #43
Hi Writers Out There,
An anecdote is a short piece, written or spoken. (Short except for those who go on and on. We writers, of course, feel for our readers and listeners and keep our anecdotes bared to the bones.)
The anecdote can portray a situation or something that happened. Fiction or non-fiction. Sometimes it’s funny or thought-provoking or scary. It’s meant to entertain or enlighten.
It usually starts off with “You won’t believe this.” Or, “The silliest (most terrifying, surprising, etc.) thing happened.
So writers, find your anecdote! I’ve discovered it’s great practice for writing prose that is clear, simple and evocative.
Here’s my attempt.
An Adventure in Another World
It was imperative to find a large, long watermelon. The smaller round ones available in the markets would not do at all for my project for my daughter’s baby shower. This entailed carving the watermelon into the shape of a cradle, scooping it out, making two baby grapefruit faces (she’s having twins) and filling it up with fruit salad.
My husband Garrett and I headed to Hunt’s Point Wholesale Market in the Bronx, despite warnings that it’s off limits to the general public. I was obsessed.
The Hunt’s Point Market is a huge complex of warehouses. We walked in-between the 18 wheelers lined up everywhere and found the watermelon people. Up a ramp and an outdoor staircase we came upon hundreds and hundreds of shiny, green watermelons. As well as crowds of strong, busy workers hauling them and calling to each other in Chinese, English, Spanish and maybe Russian.
A grouchy lot. All men. Were they all ex-longshoremen?
I felt a surprising flicker of fear. Me, the only woman.
Someone pointed to Freddy, the manager, who was occupied behind a counter. He barely lifted his head, true annoyance wafting in our direction. We begged. He jabbed his finger in the direction of a huge bin.
“Thank you so much,” I said. “It’s a party for my daughter. She’s having twins.”
What was wrong with me? He didn’t care a fig that my daughter was having twins.
A non-communicative worker climbed up into the high bin and brought down a lovely, huge watermelon.
Freddy wouldn’t accept any money. He waved us off. For a second he actually smiled at me.
Garrett clutched the heavy watermelon to his chest and we walked down the ramp. I held my breath. My muscles tightened too. If he dropped it? There was no way we could go back up there.
LINKING THE ARTS
A Book I Like
A Good Word
Plop: As in finding oneself plopped in the middle of a new situation
The Photo, dedicated to Freddy
I love your anecdote, especially how you built up your fear and doubts (this WAS the Bronx, after all) and then had them allayed when gruff Freddie insisted you take the giant melon as his contribution to your daughter’s blessed event.
(I might consider cutting the last paragraph. It’s anticlimactic and your point and story were made in the previous sentence.)
Thanks for sharing!