I found a writers’ group that people actually attend! They had a writing lab the evening I went. We chose from a couple different prompts and wrote for half an hour. Then each of us read our piece, and the others gave feedback. It seems to be a nice blend of positive comments with gentle suggestions for improvement, and I think it’s going to be a good group to be in. Here’s the edited version of what I wrote.
She sat at a table outside the cafe, picking tiny pieces off her pastry as if to make it last. Or maybe because she didn’t have much of an appetite. Steam rose from the white cup sitting untouched on the matching saucer. Wearing a gray dress, her long blond hair loose on her shoulders, she almost looked like a ghost. She barely glanced up from the table top, never smiled, not even when the handsome young man pulled out the chair across from her. He was tall, athletic, not more than twenty.
He spoke a few words to the waitress and leaned his elbows on the table. He said something to the girl.
She just nodded.
He leaned back, his speech more animated, gesturing with his hands so he almost hit the waitress when she brought a cup to him. The girl flinched at the near miss, but the boy seemed not to notice.
He leaned in, closing the distance across the table, his hands flying, punctuating his words. She drew back as if slapped, her jaw falling slack, before bursting into tears. He didn’t seem to care. If anything, he seemed more agitated than he had been before.
Finally, she wiped her face with both hands and picked up the black leather bag from the chair beside her. She pulled out a small photo album with a teddy bear on the cover and slid it to him across the table. Then she stripped the ring off her left hand and laid it beside the album.
Hoisting the bag to her shoulder, she stood and shuffled way, eyes pointed toward the ground.
He stood, too, every part of his body tense, his movements jerky as he scooped up the book and the ring.
She didn’t even turn around when he pointed at her and shouted, “I don’t care what you say! It’s not my fault the baby’s gone!”