Autumn Bradford

In the summer of 2012, Autumn turned 50—a major event in any person’s life—and in the middle of the fall 2012 semester, she nursed her mother’s sister through the older lady’s illness until her death. At the same time, she tried to complete her college courses at LACCD, but “everything became overwhelming and normal life stopped.” Autumn writes: “I grew up in foster care and had never seen family again after the age of nine..., so it was, and continues to be, pretty surreal.” During this stressful time, Autumn managed to be amazingly productive in her creative writing class at West Los Angeles College, for which she produced this flash fiction piece. Do troubling personal situations sometimes make us great artists? Autumn’s flash fiction piece could be used as evidence to support this contention.

The Daily Grind

(296 words without title)

"Her responsibilities fall to the wayside in favor of one more look at her favorite celebrity's twitter account."

Her drug of choice transmits itself by megabytes through an ethernet cord plugged into her laptop. She compulsively opens and closes the web browser throughout the day, checking and rechecking her email even when she knows there's nothing there. Checking and rechecking her favorite websites, even when she knows they won't be updated. She reads the same articles she's already read, and looks at the same pictures she's already cooed over and shared with all her friends.

She has real work to do: bills to pay, and animals to feed. Her responsibilities fall to the wayside in favor of one more look at her favorite celebrity's twitter account.

What will he be doing today?

She tries to trick herself into doing work. She blocks websites, and turns off messengers. She disconnects from the Internet, and warns people not to interrupt her while she's doing what she needs to do. She puts a sign on her door. Creative Process Engaged - Do Not Disturb. It works for a few minutes, but then she's plugging her Internet back in, and reading through her favorite blog.

She tries to disconnect from her computer altogether - turns it off, and hides it away. She's determined to sit at her desk and write out by hand what needs to be written. Pages due.

She isn't sure when she picked up her phone, but she realizes a few hours later that she hasn't written a word, and her uncapped pen is drying out. She's been surfing the web on her phone's browser, and talking to people on IM Forwarding. She's been doing what she had tried so hard not to do.

She starts to feel the helplessness set in. Another day lost.

She unpacks her computer. Boots it up.

There's always tomorrow.

Editor: | West Los Angeles College | 9000 Overland Ave, Culver City CA 90230 |
Production Mngr: Michelle Long-Coffee | Web Design: Clarissa Castellanos