Monthly Archives: October 2014

Blog October Twenty Eight

So, two Sundays ago I meant to write what my dream was in story form, but I forgot about it. Then I thought of some other cool stories but forgot about them too. I hate having to work all day when I get creative. This past Sunday Evwas the kick-off party for my home region in NaNoWriMo. It was awesome, I got candy and playdough and delicious enchilada things.

Something else I’ve done recently is apply to Graduate Student at Large at the university that I got my undergrad from. I’m pretty excited. I figure if I am having this much trouble getting a job, going back to school might be my best option. For what exactly, I’m not even sure. We’ll see.

Halloween is coming up… three days to go! I had originally planned on just going out to the bars after work with the boyfriend. But it turns out he’ll be working that night, so a friend of mine has invited me to hang out with her at a party. Thursday her and I will be going looking for costumes, last minute, because that’s the best way to do things. Here’s hoping we’ll find something good!

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Blog October Nineteen

I took a small hiatus from things since my last story. Sometimes you just need seven days to just not do things. Though I did catch up on reading things I’ve wanted to read. Friday night to this morning my best friend came to visit from Kentucky. It was pretty awesome to have her here.

If any of you have been following you know that I applied to a job I was really excited about. I got an email early this week from them saying that my application did not advance. Which I am not mad about, I knew somewhere in my brain that I wouldn’t get the position. Also, they didn’t give the excuse that I was just unexperienced, so that made me feel better about things. I did sign up for LinkedIn so we’ll see where that gets me. Or maybe I should just bite the bullet and go back to school and put myself in more debt. That’ll be fun.

NaNoWriMo is getting close and I’m pretty excited. I’ve kept from thinking of too many ideas for it so I can just fly by the seat of my pants. I think that if I do, I’ll second guess and delete most of it and then my word count will just suck and I wont win. I’m currently sitting with the people in my home region having too much fun over coffee and muffins before we do a game called “Once Upon a Time.”

I guess there is no point to this post besides updating on old things. I was trying to figure out how to make my dream this morning into a story. I’ll see about that after this group meeting. It’s better than the one I had the other night, trying to call my boyfriend on a piece of buttered bread. Let me tell you, buttered bread has horrible reception. It was a nightmare.


The Date

There was a man standing in the entranceway to the hotel bar. There were couples drinking cocktails in sleek black chairs at tables with glass tops. A waitress walked past the man with a washcloth and sanitizer bottle and began to wipe down empty tables. Two middle-aged men sat together at the end of the bar engaged in a hushed debate of what seemed to be sports. The bartender reached for a pair of snifter glasses and a bottle of fine brandy from the upper lighted glass and black-stained wood cabinets along the back wall. He poured the two men their drinks without spilling a drop on the white marble bar top. The man at the entry was wearing a tweed jacket, brown slacks, and penny loafers. The pennies shown so brightly, they must have been made in the current year. He wore Oakley eyeglasses, and adjusted them periodically.
He scanned the room twice before deciding what he was looking for was not to be found. He turned around, put his hands in his pockets and walked towards the windows over-looking Chicago. He watched the busy streets and rushed sidewalks. Although he was in no hurry, he glanced at his watch.
“Half an hour.” The man mumbled to himself.
The elevator dinged and the stainless steel doors opened. The man jumped around expectantly and saw a tall man holding the door open for a young woman in a bright blue coat. He pulled his hands out of his pocket and set his left foot forward as the elevator doors closed. The tall man put his arm around the young woman and she smiled. They headed towards the bar, as the man turned back to the window.
“That’s right. She said red coat.” He again mumbled to himself and looked down towards the hotel entrance. Yellow cabs were scattered along the loading zone, not one of them yielding a red coat wearing woman.
The man walked back into the room and sat in one of the stools in the middle of the bar.
“Anything I can do for you sir, you seem to be waiting for something in particular.” The bartender walked towards the man polishing a wine glass.
“Seems she isn’t coming. It’s already been half an hour. I guess I’ll have a dry martini, extra dirty please.”
“Sure thing.” The bartender set the glass with the others and swung the dish towel over his shoulder. He then reached for a martini glass and put some ice in to get it cold.
The man looked towards the TV on the left side. Highlights of the latest Cubs game played on the screen. Moments later he was handed the cocktail, with double the olives as he requested. He took one of the toothpicks out of the glass, ate one olive then placed the toothpick on the napkin next to him. He glanced at the mirror in the back of the bar towards the entranceway as a woman appeared from the elevator.
This woman was wearing a black pea coat. The man knew this was not the one he had been waiting for and decided it was time to give up hope.
“Benny! Cosmo!” The woman placed her coat on the back of the chair next to the man and sat down expectantly.”
“For the last time, it’s Benjamin.” The bartender said in a huff but carried on making her drink as ordered.
“Benny, Benjamin. All the same right? Right?” She nudged the man and looked at him with pleading eyes.
“I…uh…”
“Listen deary, if a woman tells you to agree with her, it’s best to agree with her. Unless she doesn’t actually want you to.”
“How will you know when she doesn’t want you to?”
“Practice.” She said with a smile. “I’m Zoey. You must be Matt.”
“How the, wait, who? Zoey? You’re not from…” The man sat puzzled and sipped his drink. The dating site he used was confidential. First names were not introduced until a face-to-face meeting. And this woman did not fit the description of the woman he had been communicating with since the summer. “How did you know my name?”
“Woah, I’m right!? I’m never right! Bennyjamin! I finally did it!” She watched Benjamin come over with her cosmopolitan and a napkin.
“I’m so thrilled.” He rolled his eyes and smiled as he walked away to tend to the men at the end of the bar.
“Sorry. Matt right? I like to guess people’s names. I got his on the third try.” She gestured to the bartender and held her hand out to shake Matt’s. He wiped his hand on his napkin and took her hand.
“Yes, Matt. So what puts you in the position to know a hotel bartender by name?”
“I work in the offices across the street, I live a few buildings down. I also just like to come up here and meet people. It’s a hotel so people from all over the place come. So many interesting stories. So what’s your story?” She took a big gulp of her cosmopolitan expecting a long exciting answer.
“It’s a bit embarrassing.” He took another sip of his martini.
“Nothing ever is embarrassing if you make it funny. Fire away.”
“Well, for the past few months I’ve been talking to this girl on a dating site. About a week ago we decided it was time to meet face to face. We agreed to meet here.”
She sat back in her chair and swiveled towards him. “So you’re from around here then? Why choose a hotel?”
“A friend of hers suggested it. Said it was one of the best in the area. She is from Milwaukee and planned on staying here.”
“And she hasn’t showed up yet has she.” She took another sip.
“Nope.”
“So call the front desk and she if she’s checked in yet.”
“Can’t. The site doesn’t allow us to share our names.”
“How do you know she isn’t a twelve year old set up by the FBI to catch pedophiles?”
“No twelve year old has twenty four dollars a month for a dating site. And I don’t have any priors. I like my women a little older than twelve.”
“The FBI would have twenty four dollars a month.”
“Just going with my gut here. I’m pretty sure she’s real.”
“Really not here.” She smirked.
“But how reliable are dating sites anyway.” He took another olive and gestured for Benjamin to make another.
“I wouldn’t know. The last time I had a date was before this whole superficial dating phase came about.”
“I’ve had a few dates from the site. Nothing lasting like they promise.”
“And twenty four dollars a month. Such a waste of money if you ask me.” She finished her drink and nodded to Benjamin.
“Well I’ve not had much luck elsewhere.” Matt finished the rest of his martini as Benjamin sat his second in front of him.

“You seem to be doing fine right now.” Zoey said with a smile.
“How so? She never showed.” He took a drink of his martini and Benjamin appeared with a second cosmopolitan for Zoey.
“You met me didn’t you?” She took a drink as he took another. They continued talking through the night, cocktail after cocktail.
Towards the end of the night Matt and Zoey agreed on a second date. He sealed it with a kiss as they entered the elevator to head back down to the busy Chicago streets.


Blog October Seven

NaNoWriMo is coming upon us and this year I plan on sticking to my guns and actually writing a novel. 50,000 words in a month? That comes to about 1,666 words per day. That’s pretty easy, my last story I posted was about that length. I’ve been worried about not finding a good idea to start with, but today at work I thought long and hard and figured out a setting and two characters to start out with. Now the hard part is to keep myself from writing it before November First. Maybe I should get a notebook and jot ideas down so I don’t forget them. Yes I know I said I hate outlines, but this won’t be an outline, it’ll be a “don’t forget these points idea book.” I’m pretty excited and hope the momentum keeps up until the last word is finished. I may post an excerpt of it when I am done, but it’ll mostly be updates and other stories. I want to publish it if it’s to my liking, you know, once the drafts are out of the way and editing is all done.

In other news, I reached 100 followers! That’s awesome that there are complete strangers out there willing to hear the stories coming from my head. Here’s to the next 100!


The Marriage

Mrs. Johnson delicately took her knife and fork to her small portion of steak the way her mother had done, and her mother before her. Gently slicing a piece appropriate enough to chew. She looked at her table, the fine linens and the candles gave a nice ambiance to the room. Once she was done chewing she patted her mouth with her napkin. She looked up towards her daughter.

“So, have you set a date yet?” Mrs. Johnson was supportive, but there was a hint of negativity.

“Well. No, not exactly.” Emily said while she pushed her peas around her plate. It wasn’t that she didn’t like them. This was her favorite meal, but the awkward silence in the room troubled her.

“What is that supposed to mean?” Mr. Johnson said sternly as his wrists hit the edge of the table. He was displeased and disappointed. He stared at his daughter until she gave a shrug. This angered him even more and the veins on his head slowly started to rise. Mrs. Johnson looked up at him from across the table, which to her seemed miles away.

“Frank, eat your dinner before it gets cold.”

“I don’t see the point of it.” Mr. Johnson took up his fork and stuffed some meat into his mouth like a child who had just been told he wasn’t going to get dessert. He didn’t see the point in his daughter’s marriage, though he wouldn’t say more about it.

“How did you meet this boy, Emily? You must have told me, but it seems I have forgotten.” Mrs. Johnson took a sip of her wine, which had been bought on vacation in France. She only brought out the good stuff for special occasions.

Emily looked up toward the ceiling as if she were counting. She remembered that it was love at first sight, but didn’t remember where she had met him. She was far too intoxicated at the time to remember details of that fateful night. Emily looked back at her plate and started to say something, but lost in the thought she took some peas and shoveled them into her mouth.

“He doesn’t want to set a date yet, mom.” Emily slightly remembered the dark and crowded bar she first laid eyes on her fiancé but changed the subject, knowing her mother would not approve.

“Hmph.” Mr. Johnson looked at Emily, then looked at his wife. “I just cannot….” He stood up from the table with his plate in his hand and went to the kitchen. Mrs. Johnson looked at the door as she sipped more of the wine. It seems as if she has had enough of the conversation too and stares off into the distance. Emily finished her dinner in awkward silence. She could see that her father was angry but did not understand why. She was his only daughter. His perfect child. What could she have done wrong? The rest of the night is silent as Mrs. Johnson clears the table of all the dishes. Emily blows out the candles and sets them in their place on the fire place. She gently folds the table cloth and puts it in a drawer of the china cabinet then walks to the kitchen to help her mother.

Emily looks around and only sees the dishes on the counter. A bottle of wine is missing from the wine rack, and so is her mother. Still not exactly sure why her parents are so mad she begins to clean the fine china and sets it back in the cabinet. She walks through the empty dark hallways to go to her room. She finishes the last bit of her homework before falling asleep to the glow of Jersey Shore on her TV.

***

“You got WHO pregnant?” Darlene shoved two TV dinners into an oven that had not been cleaned in months.

“Emily Johnson, Ma. And it’s more than that. We’re gettin’ hitched. I love her.”

“Jared, love ain’t got nothin’ to do with it. You don’t make enough to pay for this baby. You know she’s just using you. Wait. Johnson… Like the ones from up on the hill in that fancy house?”

“The driveway that heats itself in the winter so you don’t have to shovel it.” Jared cleared off two spots on the messy card-table they called a dining room table.

“You knocked up a rich girl? Frank Johnson’s precious little princess? You an idiot, boy.”

“Ma, don’t. It’s happening.”

“Have you even met the man, Jared?”

“Well, not exactly.”

“‘Not exactly’ he says.” Darlene sits down at the table perplexed, though she wouldn’t know what there was for it.

“I shook his hand once. Outside the factory one day, I was sweeping up some shit in the parking lot. He came over to me and said “You’re doing a fine job young man.” Then he went to shake my hand and I told him I was a mess then he said “I know the trouble, I started out in your spot once.” And took my hand. A firm shake he has.”

“So just because the owner and president of some fancy old factory says you’re doing a good job and relates to you, gives you the right to date his daughter and get her knocked up?”

“Well… we never really dated…” He turned on the water to do some dishes, as he only did when he knew how much trouble he was in “exactly…”

“Jared.”

“Ma.”

“You an idiot.”

***

“Is Mr..uh. Well. Is your husband around?” Frank said into his Blackberry, staring at a picture of three year old Emily in a tutu.

“Ain’t got none.”

“You don’t have one?”

“I didn’ stutter Mr. Johnson. He dissapeared when Jared wasn’t more than a week old and I’ve done well enough on my own.”

“Sorry to hear that Ms. Uhm…”

“Just call me Darlene Mr. Johnson. The sitiation calls for it I think.” Darlene took a bottle of Boone’s Farm Strawberry Wine out of the fridge and opened it up.

“I damn well have all the right to know what name my daughter will be taking, Darlene.” Frank said her name so it stood out over everything he said.

“That’s not the reason you’re calling, Frank.” She mocked his tone.

“Uh. No.”

“Spill.” She took a swig.

“I just do not think this is a good idea. It would be best to send Emily off, as if she is away at college or something, then give the baby up for adoption. I’ll compensate for you and Jared’s trouble.”

“I don’t need your money Frank. We had the dear girl over for dinner the other night. She is a delight and I truly believe that these two kids are in love. And if I ever hear you puttin’ your grandbaby up for adoption, I’ll go over there and shoot you personally. It don’t fit in your plan. Hell, it doesn’t fit in my plan and it sure as hell doesn’t fit in Jared and Emily’s plan. Had they met in the proper way, they would have fallen in love, spent some time together, Jared would have worked up the money and the courage to ask for her hand all gentleman like, you still would have said no. She’d have gone off anyway. Or, best case, you’d have said yes and they’d be married in a big o’ church and in a year or so, they’d have a babe takin its first crawl and you’d have known it was the right thing. Now, that’s great and all but that ain’t life. That’s a fairy tale. Just like my Mike would have come back to me and helped me raise Jared. But he’s done a hell of a good job on his own. They’ve made one mistake, and sped up the process. Now you listen here Mr. Frank Johnson. Good idea or not, they’re making the best of it, and I think you should too.”

“Darlene. Listen to yourself.”

“I have. Over and over in my head. This is the right way.” Darlene took another swig. She heard on the other line what sounded like a crack in Frank’s voice. He sobbed. “Frank…”

He cleared his throat. “What’s the name I need to be putting on the announcement for the paper.”

“Thought so. It’s Brown.”

“Great. I’ll put the announcement in the paper tomorrow. Good day to you, Darlene.” This time, Frank said her name in an endearing way. “I look forward to you coming to our holiday party.”


Flash Fiction Saturday

Harold was just an ordinary man living in Isla Paradiso, a bed pan cleaner at the local hospital. He believed in God, a true believer in faith, and always waited for His commandments. With some help from God, logic skills, and hard work he knew he would get the promotion to paramedic. Harold needed a new shower because even with his efforts of repairing, it still sprung a leak one too many times to his liking.

One morning he woke up at 6AM and began his morning routine. He took a long cold shower and then was on the toilet for entirely way too long. Luckily for him, the shower did not leak today. Un-luckily, he didn’t have time for breakfast before his carpool came at 8AM. Harold ignored his co-workers and cleaned every bed pan in the place. Time seemed to pass smoothly, what should have felt like eight hours, passed by in three minutes. He was strained from work, but happy.

He walked in the door at 5:05PM and started dinner for himself. He loved peanut butter and jelly, and being a bachelor, nothing stopped him from having it for dinner every night. After dinner he decided to go for a swim.

He changed into his swim trunks and dived off the diving board. Swimming was his release, he loved it almost as much as his peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. After about an hour of vigorous swimming he was ready for bed. He swam over to the ladder…but it was missing. He didn’t know how to get out of the pool without his ladder. He must have done something wrong. God wouldn’t have willed this to happen. Or would he?

Harold splashed and splashed. He panicked. He screamed for help. He had no neighbors, but maybe someone would pass by and see and try to help. He screamed again, and splashed. Harold became so tired, so fatigued, he couldn’t take it anymore. Harold drowned in his own pool.


Blog October Third

“Plot is, I think, the good writer’s last resort and the dullard’s first choice.” -Stephen King, On Writing.

I’ve been slow on the reading of Stephen King’s memoir that I was let borrowed a bit ago. Today since they closed production down at work (which means I’d be bored out of my mind if I showed up) I’ve had some free time to just lounge around the house. I attempted cleaning the oven (which had a small grease fire, my fault), I watched some television (discovered some of our channels are missing. No more SVU marathons 😦 ), and picked up where I last left off in the book. Currently I am on the section where he talks about his secrets to writing. In which he explains he doesn’t really have any, he just writes and reads a lot. King talks about bad writers and good writers. Bad writers, don’t exactly make it to the good side. And good writers don’t always become great. Throughout the chapters I’ve been wondering where I fit into the writers scale. Obviously I’m not horrible or I wouldn’t have any likes on my posts here at WordPress. But then I got to the quote I read above. I’ve never wrote down my plots ahead of time or ever had the slightest clue where my stories were going. You might have read my Morty the Dragon story that has been split up into parts. It’s been split up into parts because I started writing it and didn’t know where I wanted to take it. I still don’t. I’ve let you see everything that I’ve thought of to add to it so far. Yes, I’ll finish it someday but not until the words come to me. If I force myself to think of everything before I write it, I just feel like what I have written is too cookie cutter. That’s also how I felt in school when having to write essays. Especially the teachers who wanted to see an outline before we handed in a draft. It was too easy at that point.

King says that plot is anticreative. That’s how I felt about it before I even knew I felt that way about it. So that means I’m a good writer right?

Stephen King thinks I’m a good writer. That’s what I’m taking out of this.