Friday, October 21, 2011


The assignment this week is to express or elicit fear in 160 characters or less:

Write On Edge: Red-Writing-Hood

I'm stuck at the light. It's still red. Why isn't it turning green? Why? Oh no. He's coming back.

Friday, October 14, 2011


Because I really like these writing memes but so frequently forget to write them the night before, I've started playing a new game with myself. By the time I have a chance to think about it on the day it's "due", I check the linky. If there are fewer than 50 links added, then I have to run and write something fast. If there are more than 50, I'm off the hook.

It's been kind of a fun exercise and I've written a few things that surprised me. It's usually not edited (much) and not particularly well thought out, but it's getting words down and thinking in a new way. And I love it.

This week's topic is tattoos. Why is it important? What does it mean?  The word limit is 300 and this one is 264.

Con crit is always welcome!

Amber walked past the shop three or four times before sucking in a deep breath and the courage to step inside.

A bell jingled on the door overhead and she stood in a tiny waiting room. A fluorescent light flickered, casting an eerie glow on the walls and making her feel dizzy. Or maybe that was nerves.

“Hello?” she called. The only sound was a faint buzzing from down the hall, which stopped at her voice.

A man appeared, younger than she expected, and cleaner. His hair was short and he had recently shaved, and his clothes were neat, almost professional. When he asked, “Can I help you?” there was a lilt to his voice and she thought he was probably a decent tenor.

She breathed easier now and pulled a folded page from her pocket. “I’m here for a tattoo. Can you do this?”

He answered yes and then studied the design. “I’m finishing up with someone now. You wanna come back in about 30 minutes?”

“I’ll wait,” she said and sat on the lone plastic chair beside a table covered in design books.

Amber had never considered herself the type to get a tattoo. Had tried to talk Trista out of both of hers, and the next one she was planning. But Trista was gone now. Lost in a night of stupidity and alcohol. When Amber found the design among some of Trista’s things, a swirly pattern of shapes and letters, she kept it. And now she was here, honoring her best friend in the only way she knew how.

“Ready?” The man reappeared.

Amber nodded. “I am now.”

Friday, October 7, 2011

Hawthorne Hall

This is a little taste from the novel I'm currently working on. This week's Red Writing Hood prompt is all about setting, and this is a scene I just wrote. I kinda like it.

A walkway led between two old, white buildings into a wide courtyard where a large fountain gurgled and most students passed by without seeing the beautiful sculpted figures at the center. They were unrecognizable to me, but there was something in the way they rounded and glowed in the daylight that spoke peace. I’d bring Twila here later and ask her about them.

There were numbers on the buildings and Hawthorne Hall was off in a secluded corner of the quad, shaded by jacaranda trees that stubbornly clung to the last of their purple flowers. The front door opened automatically as I approached, and the rubber soles of my shoes squealed loudly on the tiled hallway as I looked for the stairs.

The second floor was carpeted, an ugly, stained, gray Berber that was probably next on a long list of renovations and updates. The offices ran along one side of the corridor, doors in need of repainting, windows covered in flyers and announcements and years old tape that had never been scraped off.

There was something in the way years of school history layered upon themselves that made me feel at home.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Today's Write on Edge prompt is memoir. And the assignment is to conjure an image, a person, a season. Or a moment.

Here's my attempt. In *approximately* 100 words. Constructive criticism is always appreciated.

The tremor was worse. It had given way to shaking. Terrifying, unnatural shaking. At the traffic light, I halted, waiting for the green. The light changed, but I held my breath, not exhaling until I was through the intersection. The car lurched. "Please," I begged. "Just a little more." With another shudder, we crested the hill, rolled into a turn at the next street, and steered into a parking lot. She waited for me. Pale blue and sparkling in the morning light. An hour later, I took her with me. My heart was heavy as I drove away from 100,000 miles of memories. And it was full of anticipation for a new adventure.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Uptight Lawyer Seeks Free Spirit

I haven't done one of these in ages. I don't know why. Every week, I really want to. But then time gets away from me and I just don't make it a priority.

I saw this week's prompt, though, and it was too much fun!

The prompt this week is to write a personal ad for a character. This is for a FICTIONAL CHARACTER. This is NOT about ME.

Whenever people ask me about myself, I never know quite what to say. How do I tell you who I am in just a few paragraphs on a site where you're browsing through profiles, looking for someone who's pretty enough and interesting enough and funny enough to convince you to say a simple hello? I can walk into a court room and tell a judge and a jury why they shouldn't send my client to prison for the next thirty years, but telling you why you should give me thirty minutes over coffee? It's not quite as easy.

But I'll give it a shot.

I've run marathons on five continents and I'm on the waiting list to run in Antarctica in 2014. I first ran a 5K a few years ago to support a friend's foundation, but quickly learned how much I love it. Running relaxes me. It helps me unwind after long days in the office.

I combine my love of running with my love of travel. Like I said, I've run marathons on five continents, but I've traveled to more than 60 countries and every state. I'm working my way through Canada next. Some people collect shot glasses or post cards. I collect stamps in my passport.

I'm looking for someone who isn't threatened by a self-sufficient career woman that works long hours and loves every minute. Someone with a carefree spirit to balance my structure and routine. Someone spontaneous and with a sense of adventure who loves life and doesn't take things too seriously. And, preferably, someone who can cook.

I can't wait to hear from you!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I Pledge Allegiance...

You really want to know my most embarrassing moment?

Well, too bad. I'm not sharing that one. But here's one I don't mind telling you about:

The first time I went through customs, I traveled alone. I was twenty years old and far less confident than I pretended to be, but I managed to navigate the labyrinth that is the Toronto International Airport and locate my Canadian hosts on the other side of the International Arrivals gate. 

The American had arrived.

I was there on Official Business. 

Official business as the California representative to Ontario, Canada for an international youth organization.

This was an important trip and a lot of people were excited to meet the blond girl from California. 

So excited were they that a big meeting was scheduled to invite all the local chapters and all of their members to attend. 

It was a whirlwind of meeting new people, mostly teenage girls, and I was unused to being the center of attention. Though I won't pretend I didn't love every minute of it.

The meeting began and I put on my best Serious Face. I was, after all, expected to be a good example to the fine young ladies in attendance and to represent California with pride and dignity.

The Canadian flag was presented and I joined in a rousing chorus of O Canada, an anthem I am proud to know by heart.

And then, out of respect for their visiting foreign dignitary, the American flag was presented and those Canadians rang out an impressive rendition of the Star Spangled Banner

Followed by my own national anthem, the young lady conducting the meeting followed our custom and invited me to Pledge Allegiance to my flag. I stood there in that room full of Canadians. The only American. I smiled wide with my hand firmly over my heart and began.

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America."

I stopped. 

What's the next line? How does it go? Oh my gosh I'm butchering the pledge in front of a whole bunch of foreigners! I'm embarrassing my country! I'm a national disgrace! What comes next?? I can't believe I don't remember!

A woman near me whispered, "And to the republic..."

I gasped.

"And to the Republic forwhichitstands, 
one nation under God, 
indivisible, withlibertyandjusticeforall."

My cheeks burned with humiliation. I'd forgotten the very pledge I'd been reciting since the age of 5. I'd had to be prompted. And, even worse, I'd had to be prompted by a Canadian.

It doesn't get much more embarrassing than that.

Well, except for this one time. At the beach...

Thursday, June 16, 2011


It's time again to play with the girls from the Red Dress Club!

This week's prompt is about physical beauty and how it can open (or close) doors.

I honestly didn't take my time with this one. I just threw something together because I want to get back into the habit of participating. So it's really not edited and I'm sure I could make it infinitely better with a bit more attention, but, as always, I'm open to feedback.

April reached for her glass of water, sipping carefully through the straw. She didn't want to smudge her lipstick, after all.

He was talking about something. His job? His relationship with his mother? 

She didn't know. She'd lost track, her mind instead focusing on the blond curls that played at his ears, drawing attention to impossibly high cheek bones and a perfect jawline. His eyes were a shade of blue she'd never seen before. They were the color of the sky on a particularly vivid and cloudless day. 

He was the most beautiful man she had ever seen.

She raked her fingers through her brown hair. Every trace of curl had vanished before she'd even reached the restaurant. And she was certain the pimple that had been threatening to appear on her chin had finally reared its ugly head. She laughed at something he said, using the moment as an excuse to cover her mouth, hiding the teeth that desperately needed braces. She tried to laugh with her mouth closed, but knew that just made her face look weird.

What had she been thinking? She'd seen the pictures on his profile. She knew he was far more attractive when she accepted this date. And yet she'd agreed to meet him. 

He was nice. Polite. Friendly. If he was arrogant, he was doing a fine job of hiding it.

But it was obvious to April in those initial few minutes. This was never going to work.