Saturday, February 25, 2012

16. The Innocent Joke Gone Wrong

A joke, a prank, a Halloween ritual still resonating from childhood.  A fake skull imitating the real thing.  Jason mentioned the simple plan, and Shelley was (surprisingly) onboard.  His brother would die laughing.    

Friday, February 24, 2012

15. Trifecta Editors Get Chatty

Lisa:  Look what I found! 
David:  I’m lovin’ the crooked teeth.
Lisa:  (nods)
David:  You know what we should do? 
Lisa:  Make it a writing challenge?
David:  Yes! 
Lisa:  (winks) An inside joke! 

14. What Was Going Through My Mind

It was odd that he wanted to show me this skull and teeth on our first date, but he was in dental school.  At least we were in his bedroom—that was good. 
33 words about a photo

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

13. Mrs. Bad Taste

Do you ever suddenly hate all your possessions?  Your clothes mock you, “What were you thinking?!”  You hate your picture frames, your dish towels, your alarm clock.  You have inhabited someone else’s world, and that person is:  Mrs. Bad Taste. 
Mrs. Bad Taste currently wears a rocket t-shirt from Target.  She also has a fondness for faded black sweatpants with a small hole in the pocket.    
Mrs. Bad Taste makes you want to trade in everything—dishes, socks, lamps.  You look around your house, the house you were very comfortable in—was it only yesterday?—and want none of it.  Who bought this throw pillow? It doesn’t look like anything you’d pick out. 
You want to gather up everything and mark it with the label:  Yuck-o.  You are feeling depressed and simultaneously industrious; you scoop up the offending items and set them in a box by the door.    
Your friend Angela knocks.  “Ready for coffee?” she chirps.    
“I forgot!” you say, apologetically, “Two seconds!”  You zip into the bedroom to change.      
You reappear and notice Angela trying not to go through your Goodwill box.  “What’s this?”  
“Some junk I’m getting rid of,” you shrug.  “Can we stop by Goodwill so I can drop it off?” 
“Sure.”  She smiles a tight grin, a grin that wants to say something else. 
“Angela, it’s okay, if you don’t have time to—”  
“No!  No, it’s not that … I just really like that seashell picture frame, and if you’re getting rid of it,” (her voice childlike), “can I have it?” 
“It’s yours!  Please, take whatever you like!” You hold out the box enthusiastically, and you instantly regret it.  She likes everything in there. 
You now like everything in the box, too.  Through the Angela-filter, everything you hated is now attractive.  You’re having a serious case of Donator’s Remorse.  It was all a big mistake!  I’m a fool!  Angela, step away from the box!    
“I’m dying for that coffee,” you prod, trying to distract her, “let’s go.” 

the word is:  fool

Saturday, February 18, 2012

12. Icarus

My clever father created beautiful feather and wax wings for my escape.  And escape I did!  Drunk with the power of flight, I ignored his silly warnings.  Then the wax melted. 
Shoulda listened. 

re-tell a story in 33 words

11. Snow White

  • Name: Snow White
  • Previous employment history:  Worked in mental health ward, responsible for seven men
  • Education:  PhD in Psychology, Fairy Tale University
  • Skills: Escaping evil
  • Objective:  Marry a prince or win lotto

Friday, February 17, 2012

10. Goldi

She showed up on his doorstep, frazzled and lost.  Nobody home.  She made herself comfortable.  Too comfortable.  When he and his parents returned, they were (predictably) not happy.  Good thing she was beautiful. 

re-tell a famous story is 33 words

Thursday, February 16, 2012

9. Safe Inside

Steaming magenta swirls collide with random teal epiphanies, and vivid turquoise explosions kiss a brilliant wilderness of tangerine sunsets created with blinking sugar dissolved in vibrating diamonds.  Erotic rainbows swim with galaxy-bright leaves, radiating perfect white pearls shrouded in curling thunder.  Yes, loud and encouraging, seductive.  Inviting magical hues never glimpsed by mere mortals dance to a high triumphant symphony of metallic flaunting perfection, caressing slivers of sanity.  Come here, come closer.  My rapturous bones turn inside out in splendid anticipation, ruby blood receptive like homecoming.  Seconds segue into years morph back into seconds again racing for infinity.  I can hear the hummingbird yearning for future  earthquakes, wings cracked then multiplied.  Stunning crystal castles bend and expand, with haunting electric waves of fierce sunshine and slick rocks enveloping me, while twirling angels of love cackle with corrupted innocence to hide their own true motives.  I see everyone I’ve ever loved and hated in this moment.  They reach, they laugh, they mock.  This glorious florescent vision melts and adheres to the shining glass droplets of withering sky.  I can’t breathe, I hate this, give me more.  Yes.           
The wicked drugs stain my brain, taunting and betraying me.  Where is my safe place now? 

the word is "safe"

Friday, February 10, 2012

8. The Affair

He swam for the next wave, he could feel the force of it swelling.  He positioned himself on the board, glancing toward the sand where his girlfriend Donna sat sunning herself.  She barely tolerated his obsession, but that was okay:  he barely tolerated her. 
He perched on the board, feeling glorious in this moment, suspended animation, he and his board united.  This was what he lived for.    

This weekend's Trifecta writing challenge:  Produce a love scene, but absent the usual suspects (33 forbidden words:  stroke, quiver, whisper, hold, say, entice, moan, sigh, embrace, nibble, kiss, excited, taste, dance, passion, love, intimate, thigh, soft, hard, lips, heart, mind, beating, racing, music, candle, hair, wine, beach, fire, lust, desire). 

7. Getting To Know MOV

  1. Who are you?  MOV is my blog name.  It stands for whatever you want it to stand for.  I am a former career flight attendant, but my degree is in English Literature.  I am married, and a stay-at-home mom to our two adorable, elementary-aged sons.  We live on the East Coast.            
  2. Describe your writing style.  Sharp.  Funny.  Real.           
  3. How long have you been writing online?  Almost two years on my principal blog, mothersofbrothersblog, which is a humor site.  And I just published my first book a few months ago (a 240-page book called “Mom’s Had A Rough Day”—you can take a peek at it on Amazon).            
  4. Which writing challenges do you do?  Just Trifecta for now (which is giving me a great opportunity to explore my serious side).  I also signed up for the A to Z Challenge in April. 
  5. Describe one way in which you could improve your writing.  Ha!  It’s perfect!   
  6. What is the best writing advice you’ve ever been given?  Write what you know.  I take an idea based on a real experience and embellish it.  I write what I would want to read.    
  7. Who are your favorite authors? I adore Laurie Notaro and David Sedaris.  They are edgy, dark, clever.  Even though I have never met either of them, they are both on the acknowledgement page of my book.
  8. Why do you write?  Words attack my brain all day, every day.  I must write them down or risk stray letters oozing out my ears.           
  9. Give us one word we should consider using as a prompt.  Parallel.      
  10. Direct us to one blog post of yours that we shouldn't miss reading.  This is one from my humor blog.  Read THIS.
Thanks for stopping by!    

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

6. Cake

She carefully laid out all the ingredients:  eggs, butter, flour, vanilla, sugar, chocolate.  She studied the recipe for a long time, glad that her mom had color-coded the amounts for her.  Pink meant the large measuring cup, yellow meant the small measuring cup, green was a spoonful.  Colors she could understand, whereas numbers tended to dance on the page, dance away to other deep places, places that were no longer involved in baking and creating, destinations where basic symbols and printed letters mysteriously flipped and reflected one another, playing cruel tricks on her brain, teasing her into believing she could decode them if she just concentrated a little bit harder …    
“Andrea!  You made a cake!  By yourself!”
She grinned shyly, nodding.  “Yes, happy birthday, Mother.”  Andrea lit the candles cautiously and began to sing for her mother.    
They ate the dry, overly-sweet cake together, and when Andrea left the room to use the bathroom, her mother checked the oven to make sure Andrea had remembered to turn it off. 
It was still on.  Of course it was.    

this week's challenge: write a short essay using the word "deep" in the sense of "difficult to penetrate or comprehend"  

Saturday, February 4, 2012

5. Update

So then he said he didn’t want to go through with the surgery to see if he has any viable sperm because it would be painful and expensive (can you believe it?!) and I’m like, what the fuck is your problem, we’ve been doing this for two years now, I’m sick of waiting, I can’t take it anymore.  I mean, if his sperm won’t work, okay fine, we’ll have to figure something else out—but we still need to find out.  God, Mandy, I’m just so sick of him and his little tantrums. 
(trifecta writing challenge.  three sentences.  one story.) 

Friday, February 3, 2012

4. The Proposal

He looked me in the eye, reached nervously for my hand, then tentatively slid the antique diamond ring on my third finger.    
“Sophie, will you marry me?” 
“No,” I said, “I won’t.” 


(another one for the trifecta writing contest, tell a story in three sentences)

3. Luck

The house burnt down.  We went back and forth with the insurance company for months about the value of the art and David’s computers and his gun collection; they were no help at all. 
At least there was nothing to divide up when we got divorced. 

(this one is for trifecta's latest weekend writing challenge:  tell a complete story in three sentences.)   

Thursday, February 2, 2012

2. President's Day

The face of the President was burned in her mind, the victory of their stolen hours together made her blush.  He once gave her a snapshot of himself as a child posing with his youthful grandfather.  They were standing by a lake, holding up fish they had caught; how utterly dull.  She still had the picture (the lawyers didn’t know she had it so they’d never asked for it); she held it close to her face and studied it.  He is the image of his grandfather, if we get married and have a son, our son will look like this, too. 
She flipped over the photo and read the inscription in his messy scrawl:  For My Dearest Monica, You mean the world to me!  It was such a trite expression, but she knew he was sincere.  And he’d drawn a heart around her name, a small gesture that meant a lot.  I will reel him in, she thought, just like he reeled in that fish.      
(*yet another entry for the trifecta contest.  required word:  image)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

1. Oh, Sunshine!

Remember when we met?  I carry an old photo with me, it’s a shot of us at the beach near the boardwalk.  I was blurry.  You, on the other hand, you looked great as always, your hair just the right amount of windblown and athletic—if hair can be athletic, yours certainly was. 
I sat on that stretch of beach earlier today, that same spot in fact, watching our son play.  How could I have known back then that I would be watching this freckled toddler amuse himself while the morning sun made his cheeks rosy?  I smiled at my sweet blond child, the perfect image of you.  He looked up and waved at me, then turned back to his buckets and sand castles and plastic trucks.   
At least I have him, I thought, he’ll never leave me. 
I walk through the grass, past the stone bench, until I find you.  I place the picture of us gently on your grave.  I cry until I can’t see.  You are blurry now. 

(A note to my regular readers from my mothersofbrothersblog:  I am starting this blog, Word Cut, as an extension or splinter from my other site.  This is an exclusive place to do writing challenges like the one above.  This week's contest is for trifecta, and the challenge was to write an essay using the word "image."  The parameters were to keep it between 33 and 333 words.  Click on trifecta to read the other entries in the competition.  Wish me luck!)