welcome

welcome readers & writers! in this cyber space please find: + a photo writing prompt + a place to post your creative writing response (poem, memoir, short story or the like) to the prompt + a community of readers and fellow writers excited to read your writing + morsels of genuine fiction, poetry & creative non-fiction as the blog is updated. share a response as often as you'd like. everyday discoveries from my life, captured on film, will serve as prompts. this is not a place where we will critique one another's work; however, words of encouragement or praise for writers who share their work are most welcome. writers, share your story, poem or creative non-fiction response to the photo by clicking on comments; word count is flexible. cheers! demery

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

pledged


welcome readers & writers! thanks to you readers for being such a receptive and supportive audience. and thanks also to FilmGuy and Brian for your peachy posts yesterday :)
***
here's my spin on today's photo prompt:
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no one knows what i want to be for halloween (this week)
or remembers how much the tooth-fairy brought me when my fourth tooth fell out

no one knows exactly what i'm afraid of or just how to use that information
to scare the pants off me when i least expect it

no one knows the name of my favorite lego guy or which one is my best trading
card - the one i'm never, ever going to trade no matter what

no one knows exactly what happened to that baby toy of mine, the one that stopped working not long after i was born, and you weren't so sure about me yet 

no one knows how much fun we have playing our own brand of frisbee outside
or understands the rules, because if it hits that big dark spot on the back fence
you win ten million zillion points (but having points is bad and so you lose)

no one knows just how annoying i can be, how taking my sweet time pouring milk on my cereal in the morning causes you to whine and fuss and throw quite a fit

but no one knows what a comfort i am either, especially when mom and dad go out for the night and a babysitter comes, and i want you to ready my story and not her

no one knows what it's like to live in this exact family, with the same mom and dad
and the same big brother and the same dog in this same house

no one knows quite which is my favorite stuffed animal and to go get him when i get hurt, because he always makes me feel better

no one but you     
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i'd love to read your poem, short story or creative non-fiction response to this photo.  250(ish) words or less; send it on in by clicking on comments below. thanks for writing with me!

Monday, August 30, 2010

baked


welcome readers & writers! thanks to the writing types who contributed their genius to the blog on photog friday, spoof saturday and plain old sunday.
***
today's photo prompt speaks for itself (it says that demery is a crazy lady who takes pictures of fruit in her local grocery store). writers, hope you'll relish writing about the photo; readers, hope you'll devour what we writers write.
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Georgia usually got her peaches fresh from the tree. But it just so happened that she wasn't talking to Gladys, who owned the house next door with the mini grove of peach trees in the back yard. So here she was in the grocery store, squeezing, sniffing, inspecting. Let's face it, she was outright judging each peach on the tray. Tut-tutting over how many of them didn't come close to meeting her blue ribbon standards. Oh, it was all Gladys' fault. If she'd never insulted Georgia's limp little lemon tree, they would still be friends, and Georgia's pie would already be in the oven. At this rate, she wouldn't get a taste of her oozy sweet, crispy crusted, ice cream topped favorite until the ten o'clock news. It would be more fun to eat her pie during Desperate Housewives. Then again, Desperate Housewives mightn't be any fun without Gladys. So maybe Georgia should make amends with Gladys, apologize for being overly sensitive. Maybe she should even give this pie to Gladys as a peace offering. Then again, how ludicrous would it be to even think of giving a peach tree grower pie made from store bought peaches. She started putting peaches back. So maybe rhubarb. Ooooh yes!  Strawberry rhubarb with fresh lemon zest. Too late Georgia warned herself not to think of lemons. Or her lemon tree. That - what had Gladys called it? - lily livered lemon tree. Georgia's blood pressure shot up as she slammed the fragrant stalks of rhubarb back on their pile. She rolled her cart back to the peaches. Peach pie it was. A la mode. During the ten o'clock news. Without Gladys.

come write with me!  story, poem or creative non-fiction. 250(ish) words or less - submit by clicking on comments below.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

defined


welcome readers & writers. happy sunday!
***
on sundays i usually share an excerpt from my novel. today i'd like to branch out (no pun intended!) and share more about one of my main characters. i've chosen this photo, which i took in a nearby park, because it's a great reminder that every character, fictional or not, is defined by straightforward or commonplace traits as well as the quirks and flaws that make him or her unique. 
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writers, i'd love for you to participate too! this is an exercise i've done to get to know the characters in my book better. choose a character (of your own design or a character from a favorite book) and imagine the character's answers to these questions. share them by clicking on comments below.

name of character: Keiko Ikura

occupation: au pair for the Hoffman family, unwilling & uncooperative spy for Hoffmans

three things the character would carry in a purse/wallet: a photo of herself and her sister at her sister's recent wedding, a shinto amulet for safe travel, travel sized burt's bees milk and honey lotion - her favorite new american toiletry.

favorite food: Japanese - homemade sushi; American - french fries

favorite type of music: American country music

typical dress/outfit: jeans, wraparound top decorated with delicate embroidered flowers 

nervous tic/mannerism: quirking her eyebrows together when confused or concerned

special skills/hobbies: batique (an art using fabric and dye), calligraphy, cooking

secret desire/wish: to find American friends who, despite the language barrier, will want to get to know her for who she is.

character flaw: can be very stubborn, sometimes inflexible. sometimes uses American hand gestures she doesn't fully understand. 

what your character is afraid of: being fired from her job and having to go back to Japan before getting to see more of the world.


come write with me!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

anticipated



welcome, welcome readers & writers. it's spoof saturday! we take things a little easier on saturdays (or at least we try to have a little laugh). to see other spoof saturday fun, click here, here & here
***
went to the movies with my hubby recently and saw this amazing film. i love getting to the theater early enough to see the previews/trailers for upcoming films. so today, let's write movie trailers! sky's the limit - they can be based on a made up story/movie idea, on your own life, or the life of a character you've dreamed up. here's mine, based on my novel: 
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She was a GEN X girl stuck in the pristine past [montage of girl dressed in proper 1950's attire reading a vintage advice columns from miss manners]. 
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She wanted nothing more in life than perfection [video of girl on someone's front porch, ringing the doorbell, then noticing a run in her stockings and doing a crazy dance to get them off before the door is answered] AND to be a world renowned home decorator [video of her showing off beautifully decorated room]. 
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There's only one problem, her life is a mess [montage of her in her ugly, messy apartment]. Now, she's got the chance of a lifetime [video of girl shaking hands with posh woman, obviously successful magazine editor].
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Can she pull her life together [montage of her crying over a photo of her grandmother, hobbling around on crutches, in a closet with boxes falling on her, helping drunk father to lay down on sofa] in time to catch her big break? 
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Maybe with a little help from her friends [montage of vintage "ghost" advice columnist, beautiful japanese au pair laughing over blueberry pancakes, boys varsity soccer team painting a room pink, handsome handyman giving her a kiss]. 
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Starring Emma Watson, Justin Long, Keiko Kitagawa, Thomas Sangster and Nicholas Cage. December 2014.   

come write with me! 250(ish) words or less; submit your spoof saturday piece by clicking on comments below.  enjoy :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

clouded


welcome readers & writers. many thanks to yesterday's contributors for your great stories - De Langer, M, Dudley, FilmGuy, and Kat's Hot Iron! so good to write with you all. 
***
it's photog friday! that means that today's photo was taken by a professional photographer and not me. in this case, one Brenda Hamblin, sports photographer. Brenda also happens to be my cousin. thanks for your gorgeous photo, Brenda!
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so much potential here for a story, poem or creative non-fiction response. i'd love to read yours. submit it by clicking on comments below, 250(ish) words or less. here's my spin on the photo:
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Jayne stuffed her cocktail napkin into the plastic cup, along with the pretzel bag wrapper. The flight attendant would be around soon to collect the trash. She looked out the window, trying to imagine what it would be like to land in his city. Without him. She wondered, would she be able to sleep in his childhood room, tucked under his old, soft flannel sheets and comforter? She'd tried to gracefully decline the invitation to come to St. Louis for his birthday weekend, but his mom sounded so rough, so tearful on the phone. She lay her head back and closed her eyes, finally drifting off; there hadn't been much sleep last night. "May I?" said the flight attendant, her voice high and bright. Jayne's eyes snapped open, and, wondering if this woman was rude or just completely oblivious, she decided to make the moment difficult. "May you what," she asked, raising her eyebrows. "Well, take your trash," said the attendant, shaking her outstretched hand over the top of the cup. "Oh, no," said Jayne. "I wanted to hold on to that."  "Really." The attendant pursed her lips. "Really," said Jayne, using the same tone. "So don't even try to take it away from me." The flight attendant clucked her tongue and turned away, muttering something that sounded like "whatever." Jayne picked up the trash and put it in her purse, zippering it up in the center pocket. She hugged it as tightly as she could to her for the rest of the trip. She thought she might never let it go. 
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come write with me!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

prearranged



welcome readers & writers. many thanks to De Langer, Hot Irons (welcome new poster!), Brian Potopowitz, and author (and new poster!) Kathryn Magendie for yesterday's great stories! 
***    
come write with me about today's photo by submitting your story, poem or creative non-fiction writing below; click on comments to post it, 250(ish) words or less. i love to read your work! 
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Cassie was annoyed the first time she found Sue sitting in her seat at lunch. Granted, the dining area was open to anyone who worked in the office complex. But Cassie had claimed the window seat for six years. From twelve-thirty to one every day she would sit with her Harlequin of the week and take small bites of a soggy cheese and pickle sandwich on white, work her way through a baggie full of Lays, and top it all off with a Yoo-Hoo and a hostess cupcake. Cassie knew she had two choices.  She could sit somewhere else, and maybe lose her favorite seat forever, or she could stake her claim by sitting in the other chair. "Mind if I join you?"  "Oh, no, please," said Sue. "I sure hope I haven't stolen your seat." "Well..." said Cassie, forcing a shrug so she might look nonchalant. "We could share."  Sue smiled, gestured to the other chair, and took a bite of her salad.  Cassie noticed that salad was all Sue had in front of her for lunch. That and water. No wonder her arms were twiggy, thought Cassie. Anorexic, maybe. But then she reminded herself not to judge a book by its cover. They chatted about their respective jobs and Cassie filled Sue in on as much office gossip as she knew, which wasn't much. Sue told Cassie that she'd moved to the city for a new start after a bitter divorce. That was the first day. Monday through Friday, from twelve-thirty to one, for the next thirty-five years the two shared the window seat. They were the resident office Odd Couple, and, after just a few weeks, the best of friends. 
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looking forward to reading your spin on the photo. write away! 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

troubled


welcome readers & writers. first, many thanks to De Langer, abuxtonkutch (welcome new poster!), FilmGuy, Trica, Brian & Bess for your great dog stories yesterday. lots of smiles to be had reading them. and speaking of smiles... 
***
today's writing prompt is this photo of a downtown mural. what do you make of it? here's where my mind goes: 
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As the old man drones on, the vertigo comes again and presses down hard. Why do I sit and smile as if he's sane? As if all is well? It's not. He's not. And only a few of us know it. To everyone else, he the hung the moon. 
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The last breath I exhaled will not let itself be replaced and my heart pounds. Maybe I'm the crazy one. Or the universe has reversed itself like a photo negative. Bad is good, lies are truth. 
Seeking my bearings, I look around at others "in the know." One slumps in his seat and stares at the floor. Another is texting. Number three meets my eye and makes a pistol to the skull gesture. 
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My attention shifts to him again as I hear the words, "If you want to know the truth..." For one gullible second (shit. shit! why do I let myself go there every single time?) I imagine him actually telling the truth: I shouldn't be the one up here giving advice today. I am a drug addict. I am mentally unbalanced and haven't put forth a genuine ounce of effort in my work or personal life in at least fifteen years. God, how brilliant! The meeting would erupt into chaos, and I would bear witness to the shattering of the glass dome (her name is denial) that holds the whole room hostage. I can hear its sharp crack and feel the wondrous sting of those jillion pieces, too tiny to be glued back together. 
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But of course it's still lies. Shiny and sweet and laced with arsenic. Shoveled on a silver platter by grim reaper hands that used to belong to someone I loved. 
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i'm so interested to read your interpretations of this photo! submit your story, poem or creative non-fiction below by clicking on comments. 250(ish) words. i'm flexible.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

slumbered



welcome readers & writers alike. De Langer, M and FilmGuy, thanks for your great stories yesterday!
***
today's photo prompt is from our family files, one i took of our dog when she was but a pup (as opposed to the ninety pound mammoth she is today). here's my dog story, memoir(ish): 
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"Great idea," he says. "You need a dog. Some people just need dogs." I'm floored. My boss is usually the voice of reason, with a side order of iron fist, in fact. I was sure, given the big dark circles under my eyes and the fact that my energy level sucks most days since the baby came, that he was going to climb aboard the ranks of friends (and, ahem, husbands) on the nay say train. "Are you crazy?" being the most common response. So what? I have three children, a job,and a fixer-upper house that demands most of our money and just as much free time. But I need a dog. I am a dog person. Grew up with dogs. Have had a dog most of my adult life. Have finally gotten over the heartbreak of losing the most amazing dog ever (hit by a car) eighteen months ago. Need dog now. Dog brings comfort. Dog brings joy. Dog brings cuddle time and relieves pressure (aforementioned husband is not always the touchy-feely type) from others to cuddle. Dog brings unconditional love and sweetness. 
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Of course I was crazy. Especially crazy to get a puppy type dog. She brought chaos and arguments, a back yard full of poop and a permanent, fine dusting of dog hair. And, being a Boxer/Bull Mastiff mix, ever so much energy that she knocked our tiny children over just by wagging her kangaroo tail within two feet of them. But that was the first three years. Now that she's a grown up girl (twenty-five in dog years), she brings comfort. Joy. Cuddles. Unconditional love and sweetness. 
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what about you? have a dog/pet story, poem or creative non fiction piece in ya? one about slumber or must-haves? share it below by clicking on comments. 250(ish) words or less. i love to read your work!

Monday, August 23, 2010

guaranteed


readers & writers, welcome to a new week on write away every day.  many thanks to all of this weekend's posters: Chuck Galle, Bess Weatherby, Ash, FilmGuy, De Langer, and Jessica Lemmon. i have such fun writing with you all! readers, several of these folks have wonderful blogs or websites - click on the blue links/names to see them. 
***
today's photo prompt is of a convenience store here in austin. loved the look of it. i'd be thrilled to read your spin on the photo. 250(ish) words or less - submit by clicking on comments below. here's my take:
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Mmmm, do I love the coffee at Good Luck convenience store. Well, not so much the actual coffee, though it's okay. I love having a reason to go in every day. I don't play the lottery, and I walk to work, so I don't need gasoline. Coffee's as good a reason as any. Starting each day there, even weekends lately, has become something of a talisman to me. I love the mojo of the place, the idea that the owner - the guy behind the counter, maybe - wants my luck to be good. Maybe he'd even say he wants me to be happy. How many people in life are intentional about sharing well wishes for others? Since he and I don't speak the same language, it's hard to know whether he wishes me the best. But I'm thinking yeah, he does. Even if he didn't put the sign there, he works under those words every day, doesn't he? They're a banner over his head, and how can a person be unchanged by that? I'm thinking its transformative, living under a sign with kind words. It was for Wilbur, some pig, Charlotte's terrific friend. It seems to be for this guy whose name tag says Larry. Maybe all of us should work under banners like this. Good Luck. Pardon Me. After You. Get Well Soon. Nice to Meet You. Gesundheit. Thank You. 
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This morning, as I pay for my coffee and turn to walk away, I pause and blow gently across the top of my cup. I decide to take a chance. "Good Luck, Larry," I say. An enormous smile expands across his face, like a sunny side up egg just cracked in a pan. "Good Luck, you," he says.

Good luck, you. Come write with me!  

Sunday, August 22, 2010

bugged


welcome readers & writers. hope the weekend is treating you gently and joyfully.  many thanks to bess and ash for your help with creating a school supply list for the school of hard knocks yesterday!  
***
today's photo (and this adorable little VW bug itself when i saw it last saturday night) inspired me to share another excerpt from my recently completed novel, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. in this scene, Glory (my main character) is remembering how she came to be the owner of BB, her Gram's VW Rabbit. 
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          "No need to walk me out,” Glory told Mrs. Hoffman. Glory was self-conscious about her car, an ’83 Volkswagen Rabbit; Gram had handed it down as a high school graduation present. Glory loved it so much that she planned to drive it until the wheels fell off, which might happen sooner than later, as BB’s odometer had just passed 229,000 miles. “BB” was the name Glory had given the car when she was four.  One day, as the story went, Gram had asked Glory to help her carry some things out to “the Rabbit.”  The next time Gram was over Glory insisted on carrying Gram’s purse to “the Bunny.” Gram added “Brown,” for the car was nut-brown in color, and the name stuck. BB needed repairs fairly often, and the parts were sometimes hard to come by. But the same mechanic had been working on it for years, and he loved the car as much as Glory did. He’d replaced the engine a year ago, and Glory continued to add to her auto savings each month for whatever was needed next. Happily, she’d found that repairs were still cheaper than payments and insurance on a new car.
          She relished the feel of the tatty leather seats warm on her thighs and back end when she came out of air-conditioned buildings, which in North Carolina was the case for at least half of the year. And BB still smelled of Gram, who was gone now, something like hard cover library books, spearmint gum, and the faintest smell of cigarettes from Gram’s smoking days. Glory always smiled when she remembered the time she’d dumped all of Gram’s cigarettes into the toilet; she’d been in second grade and had listened in horror at a school assembly while the school nurse explained in full detail the health hazards of smoking. At the dual discovery of a missing carton of cigarettes and a clogged toilet, Gram had been furious. But she hadn’t raised her voice even a little bit. And it gave Gram something to think about, she’d said - when she calmed down and gathered Glory up in a soft hug. Within a year or two, she’d finally steeled herself to quit. Spearmint gum, Gram’s favorite, had become the proxy.  

what about you?  have any great stories, poems, or memories to share about a favorite car? 250(ish) words or less - click on comments below.  i love to read your work.  come write with me?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

prepared


happy spoof saturday, writers & readers! thank you, cgalle, for yesterday's story. be sure also to see the new story sent in by Pauline in on on slanted. on saturdays we take things a little bit easier around here by writing on the lighter side. you can read our other spoof saturday fun here and here.
***
being as it's back to school season for kids, teachers & college students, a lot of folks have school supplies on the brain. what about a supply list for the "school of hard knocks"? here's mine. show me yours? 250(ish) words or less by clicking on comments below. come write with me! 
school of hard knocks
supply list

crash helmet
extra thick skin (at least ten sets, seven layers each)
dark chocolate
exact change for toll roads
sunken bathtub
witty comebacks to deflect the deranged
lock pick set (includes 3 brothers)
dustin hoffman
good books
good music
good friends

Friday, August 20, 2010

harvested


welcome readers & writers... it's photog friday! every other day of the week the photos you see on this blog are mine, though periodically i'll use one taken by my husband or my eleven year old. but each friday we'll celebrate a photo contribution by a photographer* better than me (and that's not hard!). see last week's photog friday celebration herethis week our guest photographer is kelli west. kelli is a fellow blogger (you can see more of her wonderful photography there). many thanks, kelli, for your gorgeous photo!
***
what written response (story, poem or creative non-fiction) does kelli's photo inspire in you? 250(ish) words or less. i'd love to read it - just click on comments below. here's my take on the photo: 
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I stand at the kitchen window, elbow deep in sudsy water. I suppose I could stack the dishes in the dishwasher, but this way I get to watch him longer. Out there on his tractor he's a happy man, and how I love to see him happy. It took me years, you know, to understand that it was right for him to be happiest at his work. That work has quite literally put food on our table for fifty odd years. But when I married him (at seventeen years old, mind you) I thought that he should find his happiness in me. That first year especially. Land, I don't know how we got through. I dreamed he'd be so taken with me that he wouldn't want to leave the house. I'd imagined that he might linger in bed those first early mornings before starting his daily round of chores. But not Gardner. Gard set his alarm clock on our first night back from Niagara Falls, where we took two nights for our honeymoon, and the next morning he was out of bed like a shot feeding the chickens. I cried all through breakfast and, bless him, he couldn't muster two words to comfort me. Just devoured his scrambled eggs and toast, dropped an awkward kiss on the top of my head and went back out. But somewhere in our journey together, somewhere along about fifteen years, I'd say, I finally got it through my thick skull that Gardner loves by doing. He woos by providing. He adores me by being a man of character and a strong work ethic, the man I fell in love with. That's what makes him happy.
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come write with me!
*readers & writers, if you know any photographers who might like to contribute photog friday, just have them email me: writeawayeveryday [at] gmail [dot] com.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

slanted


welcome readers & writers. many thanks to you readers - without you we wouldn't be writers. thanks also to yesterday's writers, including author chuck galle. it's an honor to write with each of you!
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as i continue to build a readership & writership for this blog, i will need a little help from time to time if you're willing. first, if you're a regular visitor, please click "follow" on the right hand side of the page and become an official follower. another very simple way to help promote the blog is to click the "stumble upon" icon (under the word sociable on the right hand side of the page). the "stumble upon" icon (blue and green with a white squiggle through the middle - 5th from the left) will take you to the "stumble upon" website. you won't have to do anything special there (unless you'd like to surf around on it and see various random blogs that other folks like - it's actually kind of interesting). i'd encourage you to click this icon when you think the photo prompt and/or the posts are exceptionally good. when folks submit write away every day to "stumble upon," others interested in reading and writing will be directed to this website and so more likely to find us. thanks! :)
***
okay - so enough of this crazy media marketing thing and onto today's photo prompt.  can't wait to read your take on it! here's mine: 
Don't tell anyone, but this slanty garage is mine. It's actually brand new, but I got out and roughed it up a bit when the contractors left - to make it look old and kind of artsy. See, I want it to look good, I do live in this neighborhood, but not too interesting. That's because of what's inside. By day I'm a big city, big boned, middle aged lady lawyer. I leave for work in the a.m. in my power suit and square toed shoes. I drive my yuppie car and carry the requisite Kate Spade bag into a shiny suite of legal offices. But by night, and on weekends, this is what I do. I sneak out of my condo and into that shed. I change into a t-shirt, boots, and leathers. I let my hair down and roll up my sleeves so my ink shows. I put on my black helmet, pull down the visor, open the garage door and ride out, busting a wheelie right down the alley to the road and onto the highway. I ride until every last infuriating conversation with my boss or repugnant encounter with a colleague or opponent has seeped out of my pores, dried up, flaked off and whipped away in the wind. Do any of my neighbors really care that I ride a bike? No. Is there a reason to be so secretive, like I'm some kind of... of superhero? No. But there's is no better high, no sweeter solitude, than total anonymity when I ride.  
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come write with me!  250(ish) words or less - submit your short story, poem or creative non-fiction piece by clicking on comments below.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

burst


welcome readers, writers & new followers. thank you ash for changing the 0 in the comments section to a 1 yesterday with your great story!  
***
today's photo writing prompt speaks for itself. my take on it - part memoir, part fiction (what do you call that - miction? femoir?) follows below. does the photo inspire a story, poem or creative non-fiction response from you?  i love reading what you write, so click on comments below and come write with me! 250(ish) words or less. 
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Dozens of people in exercise clothes mill around the field. I spot a card table and a lone balloon taped to a handmade sign. The 5k organizer is the survivor of a terrible car accident. I'm here because of a flyer she posted in the library. Reading the story of her loss was excruciating, and I never would have come to the park today if it weren't for the miracle after the accident. As she lay waiting for help, crying and confused in her family's smashed up car, an angel appeared and told her that her husband and two of their three children were not going to survive. The angel said that someday they would all be together again and that each of them was deeply, divinely loved. One day, the angel told her, the woman would gather people together in the name of that love. Two years later she's hosting this walk. No agenda. No fees. She just wants to remember her family and fulfill the vision. As she thanks everyone for coming, I search her face and find in it peace and contentment, joy even. Through the streets of our neighborhood, the crowd walks with her. When we've circled back to the park I linger as she begins to pack up. Her son pulls the balloon off the sign and asks if he can pop it. When it bursts against the tip of a pen, he laughs the laugh of any six year old. The angel was right, I think. He's okay. He and his mom are going to be okay. Maybe I will be too. 
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i'm interested to see where this popped balloon takes you.  write away... 

Monday, August 16, 2010

reflected


welcome readers & writers. hope your weekend allowed for moments of rest and renewal.  i enjoyed reading your self-help spoof advice, and your "messaged" reflections - thanks for writing with me! more glad news for write away! yesterday, author kathryn magendie found this blog via a tweet (on twitter). she read my novel excerpt and was kind enough to take the time to send positive feedback - which made my day. 'tis the power of social networking. kathryn, a southern writer and women's fiction novelist, has two novels out (and one on the way), both of which have received high praise from critics.  i'm looking forward to reading her work.
***
today's photo prompt is one i shot on saturday evening, looking into a downtown restaurant from the street. come write with me! what's your short story, poem or creative non fiction spin on the photo? 250(ish) words or less. here's mine: 
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A wind tunnel whoosh of air conditioning undermines the soothing voice of an NPR commentator. Pulling into a parking space, Marnie tilts the rear view and pouts her lips for a touchup of gloss. She thinks how much work sucked today, and of her head, which is beginning to ache. The glimmer of late afternoon sun bounces off of the wine glasses hanging in the restaurant window, and she finds herself impatient for that first tangy sip of chilled white wine. The wine is all she's looking forward to tonight; it's the conversation that must accompany it that she dreads. In preparation, she'd downloaded When Harry Met Sally to watch during her lunch hour. She'd fast forwarded to the restaurant scene. No, not that restaurant scene. The other one, toward the end of the movie. For as many times as she's pictured it - that she and Kenneth would sit in silence while he chomps obnoxiously away on his salad and she takes dainty bites until they both say aloud, "it was a mistake" - she knows it won't happen this way. Because it really was a mistake. Sure she'd fantasized about their friendship evolving into romance. But the moment his dry lips brushed hers she'd known unequivocally that he was not the one for her. She just hadn't been able to summon the courage to pull away, to risk wounding his dignity, this man she loves. As a friend. And now this awkward misery. Inside, the hostess shows her to their table; he's already there, waiting with a silly grin on his face.

can't wait to read your work. just click on comments below to share it.
  

Sunday, August 15, 2010

messaged


today's writing prompt photo
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below is an excerpt from my novel, titled Friday, Saturday, Someday. the main character, Glory, is a budding home and gardens columnist.  she's gotten the opportunity of a lifetime - to re-do the home of a big time (bitchy) magazine editor in chapel hill, nc. this could be Glory's big break. the catch is, she's promised to redecorate the whole house in one week while the family is away on vacation. she's hired a carpenter to help out, and they've really clicked as friends, having spent so many hours working, talking and laughing with each other - not to mention dealing with a number of tricky setbacks. (some other folks lend a hand too - you'll read more about them soon). he's already zonked out in the backyard of the house. this isn't a romance novel by any stretch, but there is definitely the potential for love in the air, along with a few wishes turned to prayers:

She found him stretched out on the grass, hands under his head. She supposed he must have fallen asleep looking at this star soaked sky. Shivering slightly at the cool tickle of grass against her skin, she said nothing as she lay down beside him. It was warmer than most nights in May. The Big Dipper was the only constellation she could identify, but still she connected the dots of all the biggest diamonds in the sky, murmuring wishes on each one of them.
That I will get this project finished in time and not be sued… That the Hoffmans will never miss the trash bags full of stuff now lost in the city dump… That I might find the time to finally turn Gram’s place into a peaceful home for myself… She lay quietly for a moment, matching her breath to his. As her body relaxed she became aware of a symphony of crickets around her, and her wishes turned to prayers. For Tommy, that he will have everything he needs in life. For Mom, let her be happy. Her eyes filled with tears and the stars blurred. Please, please let my dad get some help. The tears overflowed their pool and slid down her temples to her ears. She breathed some more and the stars came into focus again.


He stirred beside her and turned to look at him, thinking how -- unexpected he was. Extraordinary, she breathed. Thank you for letting me meet him. He'd rolled onto his side with his back to her. Propping herself up high on her elbow, she peered over his shoulder, squinting to see his face. He was still sleeping deeply. Lying down again, she edged closer to him. Though they bodies were not touching, she could feel the warmth of him through his sweatshirt. He smelled like soap, like sunshine. A kind of electricity buzzed in the half inch of space between their bodies, ebbing and flowing in time with their breathing and the night sounds that billowed around them.
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got any messages (fiction or non) for the stars? for God? for love, destiny, fate, the universe in all its wonder? submit your story, poem or creative non-fiction work by clicking on comments below. 250(ish) words or less. thanks for writing with me!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

improved


happy saturday, readers & writers! i'm celebrating today because yesterday was awesome: we pulled off our first photog friday - with great posts from de langer & filmguy (thanks guys!). and we hit a big landmark yesterday, 50 followers. of course i had to beg, borrow and steal to get the last few followers to join and bump us up to 50. susannah, being #50, you win a prize, message me. write away also gained a new poster who submitted stories on earlier prompts. welcome amy!
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it's spoof saturday. so today will be about self-help spoof writing. again, we approach the topic with all due respect to authentic self help authors; as you can see i'm a fan of the genre and have, at many times throughout my life, found help, shelter and solace in the wisdom of others to be very, well, helpful. come write with me by submitting your self help spoof below. click on comments - 250(ish) words or less.  let's have some fun! here's mine: 
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The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Naggers 
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So you wish you could nag better. If only the sound of your voice could be more grating, the quality of your guilt-inducing stories just a bit more nuanced. If only you could get an eye roll every time you open your mouth. You've come to the right place.  The seven habits of highly effective naggers can and will change your life forever.  First, an overview. There are half-hearted naggers, who pull out "the tone" from time to time if they feel they must. Then there are the guilty naggers, those who regularly try to stop nagging, or at least they think about it a lot. And then there are the dedicated naggers, committed naggers (and proud of it) who have perfected their craft and put control freaks everywhere to shame; these are what we like to call, highly effective naggers, or H.E.N.s.
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HENs: 
1) love too much. 
2) don't know when to stop.
3) wouldn't stop even if they knew how. 
4) preach much, much more than they practice.
5) practice how to preach (in front of a mirror is best).
6) repeat themselves as much as possible (did you get that?)
7) repeat themselves as much as possible (i said, did you get that?) 
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If you practice these steps every day, you too can join the ranks of poppin' proud H.E.N.s.Guaranteed or your money back.*  *offer not valid in the contiguous united states.
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i need all the help i can get on a variety of subjects, so i'm looking forward to reading your advice, spin on the photo, self-help books and/or the genre in general. chop! chop!