Sunday, May 11, 2008

Writing 60 words

I sometimes post on a WD forum - 60 word fiction. Today, the prompt was 'Launderette'. I thought of several. Most recently in the US - in Brooklyn with Leonie while they were living in rented apartments before moving; in Eureka, California, during a holday in a rented RV; in New Hampshire last autumn, again during a holiday. All different.
Go back to student days, bedsit days, the days before tumble driers or disposable nappies.

So I wrote the notes, and gradually changed them to fit the format of 60 words fiction. It's not dramatic enough to satisfy me, but it's interesting (for me) to see the thought process.

Travel in an RV – the luxury of carrying your home around like a clumsy snail – but without the mod cons. You daren’t use the toilet since you don’t want to be stuck trying to empty the tank. And you certainly don’t have a washing machine. Much better to use the facilities in a campground. So why do they bother fitting these behemoths with bathrooms?
Then the laundry piles up until you find a launderette – well Laundromat if you’re stateside. We found one in the small college town of Eureka on the Northern Cali coast.

Laundromats attract all sorts.
Families without a washing machine.
Tourists – the kind who don’t stay in hotels and pay them to do the laundry.
And another kind of wanderer – whose life, complete with dog, fits in a supermarket cart.
I put the money in the slot.
On the wall: Nothing in driers unless it’s been washed. Including sleeping bags.

Half way to fiction (and it is sixty words)
They parked the RV. Wide street, a laundromat, a thrift store.
Sal put the clothes in the machine, quarters in the slot. Like the locals, she bought a coffee from the automat.
A woman came by, pushing her life, and dog, in a supermarket cart.
Sal read the notice: Nothing in driers unless washed in our machines. Including sleeping bags.

No comments: