jennasday

Health, fitness, communications, and everything in between!


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Creative writing: an excerpt

I pulled my car to the side of the road, fuming. How was I going to catch him now?

The officer took a long time behind my vehicle, then the door creaked open and he – no – she eased her way out of the car. I watched in the rear-view mirror. Younger than most. Fog tendrils crept up in the woods as she came up and stopped beside me.

“Good evening, sir,” she said. Calm tone, good. “If I could see your license, registration, and certificate of death, please.” That tone? Yep, that’s going to change.

I signed mentally and pulled open the glove box, thinking fast. I pretended to rifle through it, then rifled through it again. I pulled open my centre console and pulled out items – a waterstained roadmap of Idaho, a plastic spoon, a couple of old CDs.

“Shoot!” I said, as convincingly as possible. I turned back to her, then pulled open my wallet. “Here’s my license and registration. I must have left the certificate at home.”

“Sir.” Her tone was less agreeable but still calm. “You know it’s a felony to travel this area without one.”

“Yes, I know, and I’m sorry,” I said. What else? “I’m still new to all this.” As soon as the words were out of my mouth I knew I’d made a mistake. She stiffened to attention, and looked at me more closely.

“Please wait here for a few minutes, sir.”

I stared straight ahead, listening to her footsteps as she walked back to her car. The door opened and then shut. I shuffled my fingers on the steering wheel, despairing. He was long gone and not only was I trapped here, I was already in trouble with the law.

Slam. Out of time. Her car door had shut again and she was on her way back to the car.

“Thank you for your time, sir, these check out,” she said. She handed me my documents back and stood there, hand on her hip. “I just want to remind you that you must always travel with all documentation, and the next time it won’t just be a warning.”

“Yes, of course, officer,” I said. I turned on the charm and leaned out the window a little, peering up at her. I even forced a smile. “I won’t make that mistake again.”

As I started to lean back into the car, though, her hand came off that hip and her first finger hooked deftly under the rim of my sunglasses and off they came. My heart jumped into my throat and I stared up at her with my bright blue, fully alive eyes.

***

I wrote this piece for last Thursday’s creativity challenge. This is the majority of what I wrote. Not sure whether it’ll end up as part of a longer piece or if it’ll just be a stand-alone exercise as part of the challenge. Either way, I got to flex my imagination and that feels good.


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In defence of the cell phone generation

I’m sitting at the airport in Denver, waiting to board the flight that will take me home from Hawaii. I got to spend some quality time with my sister, and enjoy an absolutely gorgeous area of the US. It has everything – beaches, hiking, volcanoes, mountain, desert, caves … it’s unreal. More on that to come.

But today, it occurred to me how many times my phone came in handy throughout the trip. (I’m so sleep-deprived it’s pretty amazing I had any thoughts occurring to me, but for some reason it just clicked.)

We, the cell phone generations, often get a bad rap. We’re accused of opting for digital instead of face-to-face interactions. We are thought of as always on our phones and as people who can’t write anything longer than 140 characters or a standard text message.

I’d like to protest this for just a minute. On our trip, our phones were very useful. The primary usage of my phone was as a decent quality, lightweight camera – I snapped everything from an underground cave to gorgeous sunsets on the beach. I’m sure small, lightweight cameras exist, but are they the same size as my cell phone?

The last day we went to the beach, met a bunch of people, and played a sport that we dubbed ‘boomerball’ (boomerang volleyball, named for the effect of the wind in pushing the ball back toward you). We played for about an hour, then I grabbed my phone and took a couple of quick photos and some video. It was super easy to get our new friends’ numbers and send them the shots of our great new game.

Another time my sister and I got a little lost, and again my phone came in handy for that. We turned on the data option and figured out where we were. It was dark out, it was raining, and it would have been a lot more stressful and complicated to figure out where we were another way. Possible? Absolutely, but our way was the easiest.

Obviously I’m not saying that everyone in my generation is smart with their phone use. I see people (of all ages) on their phones while driving. I see people on their phones when they’re at a restaurant with their family or in another situation that really deserves their full attention, and these things all make me sad/mad.

However,  I think we should be careful before labelling an entire group, or an entire group of products, because when used wisely, even in the hands of millennials, smartphones can certainly enhance either a vacation or everyday life.

(I plan on adding some pictures to this post later but my flight is boarding soon!)

 

Until next time,

Jenna Anderson