Friday, March 25, 2011


This week's Red Dress Club prompt is to write about the picture below.

I decided to try writing a stream of consciousness type post for my character. This is still fiction, but who knows what may come out...

As always, constructive criticism is appreciated.

I'm not taking one.

I don't care that she brought them in "just for me." I'm not doing it.

Really? Pink? 

She did it on purpose. She knows I can't resist the pink frosting. 


I will today. 

I've been so good this month. Down ten pounds. Fourteen more to goal. I'm not ruining that over pink frosting and those stupid heart sprinkles.

Hearts are stupid.

What are they? Left over from Valentine's Day? That was like a month ago. 

Valentine's Day. That's stupid too. Why does anyone care about it so much? I mean, he "forgot" about it and did I freak out? No. It's not like I wanted to go out. And I don't need any more necklaces. It's just as well he didn't remember.

But seriously? He forgot? Did he set foot in a store this winter? With the red and the pink and the hearts everywhere? Who could forget? 

I want that donut.

It's begging me to eat it.

But she'll just love that, won't she? She's been trying to sabotage me ever since I fit back into these jeans. 

I love these jeans.

More than I'll love that donut.

I'll just eat half. Someone else will finish it. Just a little taste. 

Ah, hell. What's one donut gonna do?

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Favor

Today's theme for the Red Dress Club is "Detour."

I'm sharing a scene with the characters from my current novel. This scene appeared in the very first draft, but was cut when I later decided that it just didn't fit. I now look at it as more of a character development exercise.

You can give some constructive criticism if you'd like, but be aware that this is a very rough draft and I'm aware there are quite a few flaws. Just wanted to share it for fun.

The cell phone screamed while the traffic refused to move on the 101. I jammed the blue tooth in my ear and punched a button.


My heart skipped. It was Holly. I tried to play it cool. “How’s Oklahoma?”

I could hear her eyes rolling. “If one more person shoves a plate of fried anything in front of me, I’m going to scream. Promise when I get back that we'll go to that sushi place.”

“Of course.”

“Hey, listen, I only have a minute because I have a meeting, but can you do me a favor?”

“Anything,” I said, and meant it.

“Can you run over to my place and pick up a file? I forgot to pack it and the girls in the LA office are useless. I need it faxed if you can.”

“No problem. When do you need it?”


As I inched along the freeway, I eyed the southbound side where vehicles were actually moving. “Within the hour work for you?”

“You are the best, Jason! I could just kiss you right now.” If only. “I’ll text you the number. Thank you so much. You’re saving my life.”

I squeezed across two lanes crowded lanes to jumped off at the next exit and head the other way, which normally would have come to a screeching halt just because I was in a hurry. This morning, though, the fates smiled on me. It didn't even matter that I would be incredibly late to work. I was on a mission for Holly.

I let myself into the condo with a spare key. The place was quiet, and I remembered the roommate wasn't an early riser. Holly's bedroom was meticulous. The queen-sized bed boasted hospital corners, the duvet falling perfectly at the edges. The DVDs and books were organized neatly on shelves, alphabetized and categorized. I think she might have opted to be a librarian if she had not had such a keen interest in spending as much time as possible outside.

The file sat at the edge of the desk and I snatched it without lingering, then clicked through my phone for the nearest copy center and hoping they would have a fax.

The cross town freeway was too far away, so I inched through street traffic. The school zones were crowded as the schools welcomed a plethora of last minute stragglers.

It took thirty minutes to get to the copy center and I cursed the clock the entire way, hoping the boss hadn't yet noticed I wasn't at my desk.

I pulled into the Kinko's lot, dashed inside and ran to the counter, slamming the file down. The tattooed, pierced college student behind the counter stared at the pages for a second. “We charge four bucks per page, man.”

“Fine,” I said with a glance at the clock on the wall. This should have been done 30 minutes ago.

"It’s $12.80.”

“Twelve eighty? Where’d the eighty come from?”

“Plus tax.”

“Whatever. Fine.” I threw a twenty down on the counter and drummed my fingers. The kid counted change back slowly before turning his attention to the pages and the fax machine. Could he dial the number any slower?

He shoved a page into the feeder. Then the next. Then he slammed against the side and swore loudly. “Jammed,” was his only explanation.

Great. Just great. Holly hadn't called back yet. I hoped that was a sign her meeting had been delayed. I checked my phone again, just to be sure while the kid at the counter beat the fax machine without mercy.

“Oh, there it goes,” he said. “It was dialing.”

It felt like another twenty minutes before I blinked back into the sun and jabbed a number on the phone. Holly answered midway through the second ring and sounded surprised.

“Hey, I’m just getting out of a meeting. What’s up?” She sounded chipper, and I relaxed a bit, after bracing to be told off for the delay.

“Just wanted you to know that fax was sent. Did you get it yet?”

There was a pause.

“Oh yeah, someone is just handing it to me right now. Thanks. You didn’t have to do that. One of the girls in the office came through after all. I hope this wasn’t too much trouble.”

I squeezed the steering wheel until my knuckles turned white. "No," I said. "No problem."

When I arrived at work two hours later, no one noticed.

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts

I'm back!

I know. I haven't written anything here on this blog in, like, two weeks. But I have a good excuse, really.

You see, I've FINALLY gotten back on track with finishing my novel. Finally. And I'm going to finish this draft by March 31st if it means going a week without sleep.

But anyway, that's not why you're here. You came by for this:

The vinyl kitchen chair stuck to the backs of my legs in the sticky summer heat. I gulped Kool-Aid, staining my upper lip a brilliant shade of fuschia and continued the search through a pile of cardboard pieces, finally locating the last corner of the puzzle that started to take shape on the table.

"Here, try this." Grandpa held a bowl to my level. It was filled with white chunks of something I had never seen before. Not in that form, anyway.

"What is it?" I sniffed at the contents.

"Just try it."

My younger brother Marc left his seat with a loud snap as vinyl peeled away from his skin. He grabbed a piece from the bowl without waiting to find out what it was. With a full mouth he pronounced it "delithuth."

Still, I hesitated. The kid ate Play-doh, after all. His palate wasn't exactly picky.

"You'll like it, I promise. And if you don't, there's a whole box of fudge-sicles in the freezer."

The promise of fudge-sicles was enough to convince me to do just about anything. I reached out and found the smallest bit, turning it over in my fingers, inspecting it carefully before committing my suspicious taste buds. Marc was reaching for his third by now and I shoved the piece in my mouth before I could talk myself out of it.

A strange combination of crispy and creamy mingled with sweet. I smiled. "What is it?"

"Fresh coconut," Grandpa said, as if the answer should have been obvious.

I was puzzled. Coconut came in shapes besides shredded? And shredded coconut had never tasted as delicious as this treat. I snagged another before Grandpa could take the bowl away.

Three weeks later, my third grade teacher began a unit about Hawaii. She pulled out a bowl filled with chunks of something white. "Who can tell me what this is?"

I raised my hand with pride and hope of another taste.