Friday, February 01, 2008

CV Rick’s Writing Exercise – Heroic Qualities

Today's Writing Exercise is in four simple parts:

1. Write down the name of a real personal hero of yours.
2. What makes this person a hero or heroine to you? What is his or her greatest heroic quality?
3. What was the moment in time in which you first became aware of this quality in your hero/heroine?
4. Assign this quality to your protagonist. Find a way for he or she to demonstrate that quality, even in a small way, in his or her first scenes.

1) Whitey Furby (my father)
2) Despite an education that ended in the tenth grade, my father was remarkably knowledgeable, highly intelligent, and never saw a project or problem that stood in his way…except his own sense of worth.
3) I’m not sure I can pinpoint a time in my life when I didn’t see this quality in my father. If he could see it in his mind, he could do it. I came to realize that I could accomplish a physical problem if I could see it in my mind. I never have believed I couldn’t accomplish something if I set myself to the task; it is his legacy to those who took time to know him.


The sun rode high in the August sky. It was hot, 119 in the shade and what little shade there was would only be found in thin slivers under the arms of the giant Saguaros. No movement in the desert beyond the road showed the desert population was smarter than me and deep into a midday siesta; resting torpid from both heat and sun.

Why hadn’t I just stayed in bed this morning, feeling sorry for myself in the dark coolness of my air-conditioned room? At least it would have been cool. As much as drinking might have helped my personal pity party accelerate, a night of crying and hard thinking had done more, it had given me a foot toward resolve and led me here. Okay, so the resolve was good, most of the pity party was over, but what was I doing here in the middle of nowhere?

Staring off into the distance, distracted in thought, I grabbed my water bottle. Shimmering waves of heat radiated off the black tarmac of highway, a ribbon that stretched east and west across this great Sonora desert, with no relief in sight. Lukewarm water cut a path across my tongue, hydrating my mouth. Wet fingers filled my chest and abdomen. Oh, I loved that feeling, so different from the weight of the melting sun beating down on me, of being alive. The realization of the past six months had leached the life out of me, now I was on a mission, finding my way back to me. With renewed intent I climbed back into the cab of my pick up, turned the key in the ignition and turned back onto the long stretch of I-60.

Why are we so eager to trust, intent on being half of a whole, invested before we know the truth? Why? Oh, the great questions of humanity. Okay, my humanity. Did I have to be part of a whole to feel validated? What in Mike would make me think that he was my destiny? I had willingly given up my life and what was in it, for his dreams -- placing mine on hold. I had almost given up all that I’d accomplished. Well hell! Isn’t that what a woman is suppose to do? Turn her back on her loved ones, friends, become isolated. I’d already sacrificed my bank account; I’d almost given up my career. Darn I’d worked hard to get where I was. Few people in the state of Arizona did my job, heck in any state, and I’m a woman. Well there are other female operation managers, most had degrees, I had come up through radio the hard way, beginning with a four hour, once a week shift on Sundays. Within ten years I was keeping the station on the air, responsible for the day-to-day operations. It had been hard, intensely rewarding and I’d almost thrown it away.


Phoenix Touch said...

Way to leave me hangin'! I want more!!!!

CV Rick said...

Very well done!! Perfect for the exercise.

JulieAnn Henneman said...

That was beautifully done...