“Write something from the point of view of an inanimate object.” That was the assignment in my intermediate creative writing class at the Alexandra Writers’ Centre. I’m not sure what writing muscle it was meant to flex, but Unfaithful was the result.
My teacher, Robin Van Eck, had given the assignment the day before. I don’t have much time to carve out for myself (I have to sneak away just to pee, and the people – the little Yates people – they always manage to find me mid-stream). But on this particular evening, after clearing the dinner table, I was struck with the idea of what to write. “Dolls and mannequins were cliché and had been done to death,” Robin had said. “Be original.”
So, what? Another toy? No, too similar to a doll. What would speak to me as a mother? A wife? And it hit me – along with the constant stream of beeps, chimes, and notifications. That damned cell phone….
It was one of those divine moments that writer’s hope will strike them when they sit down, fingers to keyboard. At the kitchen island, I tapped furiously on my laptop while my husband did the dishes (yes, he does dishes…and laundry too). Miraculously, no one interrupted me, and it was done in one sitting – about 20 minutes. That doesn’t mean I didn’t edit it after – but for the most part it was done. I wish it was always like that…but it often isn’t. (click here for my post on writer’s block).
I brought my completed assignment to class the following week and sputtered, red-faced, as I read it aloud. Robin gave me a, “Wow”, and I gave her a, “Yeah? But what do I do with it?”
She directed me to A Place for Writers website. There I found In My Bed Magazine’s call for submissions for their “Sex and Magic” issue. I thought, “Not quite magic, but close…”, but figured it didn’t hurt to try, so I submitted it.
I was shocked when a few weeks later I received the acceptance! My first submission and I got an acceptance. Unheard of – and probably dumb luck – but I’ll take it.
All in all, I’m proud of this little piece. It really speaks to my disillusionment with how we ‘connect’ with each other these days, but yet are so disconnected. You can read Unfaithful by clicking here.