Saturday, March 8, 2014

Story Dregs

Still working on my capstone project and finally started putting together some additional scenes for the story about the waitress. The daily writing blog I use 750 words actually does help with this task. I write every morning for about 25 minutes, and it's often just a recap of the day or whatever nightmare I had the previous evening, but sometimes, I produce story scenes and today, when I was stringing them all together, I found that I had an additional six pages. Only some of it will be useful, because my focus is scattered the morning and my goal is just to get to 750 words (that's the daily word count), but overall, it does add up, even if I get only a few paragraphs. Here's a chunk of writing from "The Disabled" that I won't be able to use in the story, but I still like it:

They survived on Ramen noodles, and shopped at thrift stores and lived in studio apartments with loud radiators and were usually hung-0ver during the meetings before their shifts, even when those meetings were at 4 p.m. they worked hard--you didn't keep your job if you didn't work hard, if you weren't either running food or drinks or taking away dirty plates or getting refills of water or hurrying to the back to get another ramekin of mayonnaise for the fat lady at table five.

They had trouble sleeping and so they drank too much or they drank too much because everyone else did or they drank too much because they were hungry. They brought the plates of half eaten food back to the dish room and stuffed the French fries into their mouths or the remaining buffalo wing at the risk of getting written up by the floor manager. You were not supposed to eat the left over food, that was unsanitary and a form of stealing, but what no one ever said was that they way they were paid was a form of stealing--without the tips, they had nothing, so they were at the mercy of the customers who were mostly tourists from the Midwest who remained blinded by the lights of the displays, sitting there in flannel shirts with their mouths hanging open and the prices were too high for them, so they often skimped on the tip or else they shared plates of food, just for the experience. A table of five was the absolute worst--you could add a fifteen percent tip a table with six or more people, but five flew under the radar and the parties of five always seemed to be splitters--two people sharing one entrée and asking for extra fries, so that the bill would come to about $40 and then they'd all split it up and skimp on the tip. There were those who seemed to forget that when they were splitting the bill , they also should factor in tip. They did not.

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