Thursday, February 12, 2009


This is the only exercise I've been getting recently: this writing exercise from an online novel-writing class I'm taking.

It's an exercise in POV (point of view). I also wrote it in third person but thought posting both versions might be way too much.

The premise: A female math professor suddenly finds herself able to see and interact with magical beings.

I shut my eyes, tried not to clench the arms of the chair, and willed the nascent bowel spasm welling up from the depths of my gut to recede. I absolutely dreaded 'chatting' with Martha; so much so that my body had permanently associated Martha with intestinal discomfort. But when the department head wants to chat, you chat, no matter how excruciating it promises to be.

It seemed like I had been waiting forever, but my watch said Martha was a mere five minutes late. I was ready to allow myself to feel irritated when I heard Martha's hearty, booming voice in the hall outside. I tried to steel myself for the onslaught. Martha was just so.... much, on every level.

The door banged open, and even though I knew it was coming, I couldn't stop myself from flinching.

"Jana! Hello, my dear, so good to see you!" Martha swept into the room like a silver-helmet-haired torpedo and settled her squat frame into her chair behind the desk. I'd heard people described as being as big around as they were tall and always thought it hyperbole before I met Martha. It was kind of fascinating, in a dead-possum-in-the yard kind of way.

I opened my mouth to respond but simply nodded and smiled instead. No use in saying anything; Martha never left a moment's pause. The older woman was built like a tank, moved like a tank, and spoke like a tank, if that was even possible. Inexorable.

"Well, it's annual review time already, eh? Let's see what we've got here..."

I knew what was coming but that didn't make it any easier. This last semester had not gone well. There had just been so many distractions, and dragging reluctant groups of clueless students through Business Calculus just didn't seem as important as it had last year. I heard Martha's almost-basso drone on and on about plummeting student evaluations and blah blah blah... but I couldn't bring myself to listen.

Oh no. Not now! Nol's head appeared from under Martha's desk. He couldn't actually be climbing into her lap!

Oh, yes he could. Cold sweat broke out on my forehead as my magical pal, my guide, my tormentor, clambered up into the department head's lap. He looked up at Martha, who was babbling about my lack of participation in departmental social events, then he slowly turned his head, looked me square in the eyes, and smiled his infuriating, captivating grin. He raised his hands slowly to cup Martha's gigantic bosom, never taking his eyes from mine. He gave her a little squeeze and giggled. Martha stopped talked for a moment and coughed. I thought I might soil myself.

He was going to do it. Martha wouldn't see it, but she would feel it. I had to stop him -- the thought of Martha sexually aroused was more than I could deal with.

I found myself leaning forward slightly, every muscle straining against the urge to leap up and shout at Nol. That would mark the end of my credibility in the department -- Martha would be convinced I had completely lost it -- but there was no other way. Any less of a gesture and Nol would insist he had mis-interpreted it.

I had just reached the breaking point when it all became too much; Martha, the students, Nol, struggling to gain control of this new life and maintain the status quo in the real world. All of the weariness of the last eight months fell over me like a lead blanket. I slumped back into the chair, resigned. Nol continued to stare at me, tittering, baiting me.

Screw it! Besides, Martha might even enjoy it; who knows how long it had been since anyone had buried their face in the granite bulwark that was her bosom. Hysterical laughter threatened to burst from my throat but I managed to transform it into the faintest of smiles. Praying Martha wouldn't notice, I slowly winked at Nol.

What do you think? It's the only scene I've written for this story so far. I had no idea what was going to happen when I started but thought it came out kind of fun.


  1. Just sitting here with a grin on my face. Run with it!

  2. Well done and funny, with a great opening hook.

  3. Nicely done, M'dear. :) This one has some real potential for hilarity.



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