Here is the FIRST of another pair of posts comprising a creative writing exercise from my undergrad days. The assignment was to create a scene in which one character tries to persuade another to do something, without specifically saying what he/she wants done. We were to write the same scene twice: once from each character’s point of view, AND make one version first-person (“I”) and the other third-person (“he” &/or “she”). I had WAY too much fun with this one…
“Martin! So nice to see you this morning!” Yvette Patton spotted the father of three in the church’s coffee shop and headed straight for him, carrying a stack of folders. She had teachers lined up for every Sunday School class except the three-year-olds, and she was determined to fill that vacancy today.
Martin Hatch turned from the counter where he was stirring two packets of sweetener into his coffee. “Good morning, Yvette. What are you up to – stopping for a dose of caffeine?”
Yvette plumped the folders down on the counter. “You’d better believe it!” She asked for a double mocha and turned back to Martin. “So, what are you doing with yourself these days?”
Martin sighed. “Well, my work schedule has slowed down just enough so I have time to mow the yard once in a while.”
“Yes, I thought you’d be bored, since WireServ added another engineer.” Yvette sipped her mocha, considering her next move. “Say, you were just great at the Easter party last week! The kids loved Mr. Bunny’s jokes and the songs. This was the best Easter party since I came on as Children’s Minister, thanks to you.”
Martin sniffed the air. “Is someone making popcorn? I think I smell butter!”
“Now, Martin, don’t be sarcastic. You know you have a gift for working with kids. Hey, look at these great craft projects.” Yvette opened the first folder to reveal a variety of food shapes die-cut from bright peel-and-stick paper. “No messy cutting, no liquid glue, no showers of glitter – just ready-to assemble art! Simple!” She beamed at him and nodded.
“Simple. Right.” Martin picked up his Bible and edged slightly toward the main hallway. “But I don’t have time for a hobby. I have three hobbies: Jake, Tiffany, and um… um… David. Plus their mom. Not especially interested in eggplant stickers anyway.”
Puzzled, Yvette glanced down at the stickers. “That one’s a beet!” she retorted. “But never mind that.” She opened the second folder before he could get away. “Look here at this curriculum. Each week’s Bible verse, stories, games, and songs are already coordinated. No lesson to plan, just a few minutes a week to review – simple!” He looks like he might be weakening, she thought. No mess, no planning – no excuses.
Martin scanned the first page. “Looks good,” he affirmed, “I think you should use it.”
Yvette resisted the urge to roll her eyes. “We are using it! We’ve bought the books for the next year, starting with June.”
“Great! Well, I’d better get to Tiffany’s classroom and pick her up for the service. Nice talking with you.” Martin tossed his coffee cup into the trash and disappeared into the crowded hallway.
Yvette stared after him. How could a dad be so nice, yet so uncooperative?