Friday, June 10, 2016

Short Stories, Fashion Shows, and Other Inspirations

Yesterday morning, I finally finished my story that was rooted in the vision of a female administrator watching Prince videos the day after Prince's death, writing to a friend, “'I am watching old Prince videos while ignoring my self-imposed deadline on spreadsheet submission. The door to my office is wide open, and the volume is up. This may be the most subversive thing I have done in a decade.'”  The story went in ways I didn't expect, exploring the issue of transgressiveness and what it means to be radical.

And then I had a vision for my next short story, a way in, a possible first line:  I was not the typical person that you would see at an ACT UP rally.

Then I realized how little I knew/remembered about ACT UP, and I also remembered that I had intended to see the documentary How to Survive a Plague.  My local library had it, and I needed to return the coffee table version of Sense and Sensibility, so I stopped in.  Happily, the shelf agreed with the catalog, which doesn't always happen.  I left with that DVD, along with some other books.

I had a great day at work, helping students, having coffee with my English faculty friends/colleagues, waiting for it to be time to head to the fashion show.

I was going to go to the fashion show with a friend and colleague from work, but she ended up deciding not to go.  I thought about going home, watching the video, eating salad--but then I gave myself a stern talking to about supporting friends and colleagues and students.

The fashion show was at the Galleria Mall.  When we first moved here in 1998, that mall reminded me of some of the glitziest malls in the D.C. area--the mall had stores I had never seen elsewhere, like Chico's.  Now there are empty stores, but it's not as empty as some malls I've seen.  Still, I had trouble finding the fashion show.  I was delighted to realize that a children's theatre had taken over some of the stores in a hallway, and I had this vision of what to do with the nation's emptying malls.

I took a quick look at the food that was left on the table--I was a bit late because of the rain and because I stopped at Trader Joe's on the way.  I took a few crackers with hummus, two slices of apple, and a cheese cube to tide me over.  I took a sip of wine and decided it wasn't worth the calories--much like in the morning when I made a coffee drink the way I once did and decided it wasn't worth the 120 calories.

I always have mixed feelings about the fashion show--some day I hope to go to a fashion show where there are plus-sized clothes.  This was not that show.  But there were bikinis that were worn by body builders--which made me feel inadequate in a different way, but it was a nice change.

I enjoyed seeing the different fabrics, the ways that the clothes were assembled.  I found it fascinating at the end of each collection to see the designer walking beside the model--let me point out that most of these designers are not stick-thin, like their models.

After the show, I took a quick trip to Williams-Sonoma, just in case the sale section had anything I couldn't resist.  Nope.

I am pleasantly tired this morning.  I'm glad I made the effort to get to the fashion show.  Even though clothing is not the way that my creative energies express themselves, I found it inspiring.

Now, on to that story about the unlikely participant at ACT UP!

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