Monthly Archives: September 2014

Writing 101: Day 8 Death to Adverbs

Go to a public location and make a detailed report of what you see. The twist of the day? Write the post without adverbs.

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Early Morning No Pay

A light rain mists the air, and moistens my skin as I step outside. The weatherman predicts heavy rain and flooding in southern parts of Florida. I hustle the block and a half to the beach. The cool air and overcast skies a relief from constant sunny skies. The waves are angry and slap the shore with determination leaving little space to walk.

There are other options, the hotel grounds, and lobby.

The bellman pulls the wood and glass door open and nods his head good morning. Inside the Mediterranean lobby is empty except for housekeeping.

It is early and an upright vacuum fueled by a long yellow cord sucks up the previous day’s activities. The staff member nods and shuts off the sweeper as I pass.

Someone else polishes the large floor to ceiling mirrors and tabletop glass.

The gift shop opens at 8:30 AM but on the coffee table is a generous pile of USA Newspapers for the taking.

My husband will feel lucky he does not have to pay.

 

. . . Seriously just saying

Writing 101: Day 7/Give and Take

Focus today’s post on the contrast between two things. The twist? Write the post in the form of a dialogue

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Give and Take

Myra pulled the car seat belt across her chest, buckled the metal lock and said,
“Are you taking the Interstate or Old Kings Road?”

Her husband increased the air conditioning than said, “What difference does it make?”

“Well, if you’re going by CVS I’d like to stop and get a few things.”

“Does that mean you want me to drive by CVS?”

“No, it means that if you’re taking Old Kings, please stop at CVS, I’m not telling you which way to go, just that I would like to stop at CVS, if you are going that way.”

“So you are telling me which way to go.”

“Well if I were driving I would take Old Kings Road and stop at CVS.”

“But you are not driving, do you want to drive? Because if you want, you can, or you can tell me which way to go.”

“Forget, it just drive.”

“Forget it just drive, okay it’s forgotten I’ll just drive.”

“Great, which way are you going?”

“Old Kings Road!”

. . . Seriously just saying

Writing 101 Day 6/Don’t Be A Stranger

Writing 101: A Character-Building Experience

Today, you’ll write about the most interesting person you’ve met in 2014. In your twist, develop and shape your portrait further in a character study.

Don’t Be A Stranger

Interesting, what makes a person interesting? Hard to say, certainly the owner of Evans & Son Jewelry store, wedged between the movie theater, Cimematique, and the used book store, Abraxas, on South Beach Street, was not, at first interesting.

There was nothing special about him, a man my age, who later mentioned he was sixty-two, slightly younger than I was, he appeared ordinary. Al, he called himself Al, leaving me to wondered if it was Alan, Allen, or Albert.

The family business specialized in appraisals, and they were gemologists. We brought in a one of a kind piece, a gold elephant head studded with gems to be evaluated or decide what to do with an ugly piece of jewelry.

Al said the jade it was mounted on was of little value, it had imperfections. He rolled around on a stool that sat him waist-high behind the counter giving him easy access to an i-pad and cell phone.
Occasionally he would hike the shoulder of the cargo shirt he wore, the way Fred Couples does before a golf swing, but Al was not swinging he was talking, nonstop, incessantly. He was a pilot trained at Embry Riddle and brought the business to Daytona from Baltimore Maryland.
Now he was bald, and referenced selling his personal gold chains for scrap, after they lay idle on display after a life style change.

It may have been that single phrase, “life style change” that led to my speculation he was interesting. I imagined him melting down his youth, keeping only the tiger’s eye ring that today fit his pinky finger. His hands were small and when he stood to introduce himself, a surprise that he was tall, over six feet.

“I’m Al,” he said and shook my husband’s hand than took a small step to his left to position himself directly in front of me to repeat, “Al.” We shook hands.

His behavior was not interesting or unusual, but somehow conveyed he was interested. A story-teller, he lead the conversation carefully, weaving his life experience among our few questions. He spoke of being in Italy and how the Europeans loved Daytona Beach and when Daytona was touted one of the ten best places to retire on an income of thirty thousand dollars, people were thrilled. He was not, and raised a good point; they had no money to spend.

After we made our transaction; he stood again to shake both our hands, and said, “Don’t be strangers now.”

What makes a person interesting, hard to say?


. . . Seriously just saying

Writing 101 Day 5/ Before I Go

You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter.

Today’s twist: Approach this post in as few words as possible.

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Before I Go

Yesterday, I’m walking my dog, Fife, and Fife is pulling the leash way off the path going in circles, making me crazy, looking for just the right spot to do her you know what, and find an area that might make her happy, then starts scratching and pawing at the leaves only to uncover, an envelope addressed to Charles.

So after poop scooping Fife’s deposit, I examine the item.

The Charles, written in cursive with a black felt tip pen, has a romantic squiggle underneath. The seal is broken and a single page letter unfolds easily in my hands.

The letter reads:

Dear Charles,

        Before I go, I want you to know, and goes on to explain why she’s leaving.

Now I’m in a pickle, Charles would definitely want this letter back and Fife and I have a big decision to make.

 

Writing 101Day 4-Write about a loss

s2e084581-3bad-4f17-8a85-15cd7485eeacAuthor: Трахтенберг Михаил

(For today’s assignment I am taking Myra on a longer journey or series about loss of self. Myra appeared in Day 2 of Writing 101, the first two paragraphs are that post.)

A View of My Room

After dinner, Myra walks to the beach. Mahogany and apple green coleus, line the cement path along 16th road, and crêpe myrtle, provide shade. The sun is soft and will soon set. Low tide gives the shore width and Myra removes her sandals to feel the tepid water on her feet and walks.

The beach is empty and the waves peak white, then brush the water’s edge and provide an upbeat tempo that match her mood. This is as near to heaven as you can get, bad still exists.

Silly, it is silly to leave after all these years, but sillier to stay with who knows how many years left. He does not drink or womanize, pays the bills on time, and takes the garbage out in a timely fashion. Unlike Hillary Clinton, she could not boast, “He is the most fascinating man I know.” There was no reason to stand by her man.

An earlier disagreement over a wash bucket in the kitchen sink spurred her decision. A chartreuse green plastic bowl bought at the Dollar Store and his comment, “Why are you so stubborn?” Like a thorn in her side, needed removal.

When she cooked, he cleaned up and vice verse. Tonight, not saying a word he noisily shifted and tossed silverware, splashing water across the counter, his body language giving him away.

After water dribbled down a cabinet door, Myra said, “Sweetheart if the bowl is in your way, empty it, put it under the sink.” And repeated her previous explanation, “I like to use the bowl to hold water so I can rinse my hands or clean a sponge without running water, while cooking.”

His response, “Well, now I know,” as he emptied the bowl and set it on the counter with calculated force, wreaked of sarcasm.

On the counter, the textured bowl resembled a horn toed frog and Myra thought she heard a rib-bit sound, but did not. She put the bowl under the sink, and filled the void by saying, “Don’t be stubborn, if it annoys you don’t use it, please. . . just put it away.”

“You’re the one who’s stubborn, why do you insist on using it?” He said emphatically.

And so her decision was made.

Her mind is clear. She will leave tomorrow.

 

. . . Seriously just saying

Writing 10:1 Day 3-Commit to a Writing Pratice

Writing 101: Commit to a Writing Practice
Today, celebrate three songs that are significant to you. For your twist, write for fifteen minutes without stopping — and build a writing habit.

The Kindergarten Verson

The clock just switched to 7:08 and here I go, no pause I have until 7:23 to wrtie and this will he hard, no back spacing to correct that I typed he instead of be, this is very hard but uncensored I doing it no pause or hesitation, the two or three songs that come to mind are songs from my childhood, how am i doing I not looking at the screen I’m looking at the key board the three songs from my child hood are songs my mother sang to me. The first Ma He’s Making Eyes at Me, always makes me smile I recall her sitting on a living room couch and tickling me while she sang. It is one of the few times I felt her love, as one of eight children I always felt unwanted and in fackthe family joke was that the milkman left me because of the first five kids I was the only blonde. But I loved that Long it ended by singing, Mom, he’s kisssing. The second sond would be By The Sea a well known favorite and the sea and ocean have aways brought me joy. Again it makes me giggle just to think of if. The last song would be Over The River and Through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go. We sang that song traveling in the car to not only grandma but anywhere. There was at least five or six kids squeshed in the back seat, no seat belts or any protection. It sounds like I had a great childhood and in many ways it was except I never felt loved and even though the songs bring a smile I am filled with a sadness a heavyness that is pressing on my chest that makes me want to stop typing and pause go into gaga land a place I have fought years to avoid. The clock says 7:18 that means I could stay in this uncomfortable place for five more minutes and that is not happening. I have spent way too much time depressed so I am sighing heavily and wondering if what other songs have meaning for me. I love music and about 6 month bought a new 49 dollar ipod that I still can’t figure out how to load songs because when I hook up to my computer to upload or download cd i have stored it goes to the apple store and i don’t want to purchase from the apple store i want my songs to be put on the device free. now i’m stopping because worried i have gotten too far away from the topic and feel done  with this assignment and just backspaced to insert the word with that i left out. I have a serious editor going on and with two minutes left can’t wait to get this over but perhaps I’ll sing the song

Ma, he’s making eyes at me

Ma, he’s being nice to me

Ma, he’s almost breaking my heart

He’s beside me mercy let his conscious guide him

Ma, he want to marry me and be my honeybee.

Now he’s leaning on my shoulder,

Ma, he’s kissing me.

Well I went over one minute, it’s 7:26am

. . . Seriously just saying

Writing 10: Day 2 A Room With a View

Writing 101: A Room with a View (or Just a View)

We’re all drawn to certain places. If you had the power to get somewhere — anywhere — where would you go right now? For your twist, focus on building a setting description

A View From My Room

After dinner, Myra walks to the beach. Mahogany and apple green coleus, line the cement path along 16th road, and Crêpe Myrtle, not in bloom provide shade, although the sun is soft and will set soon. Low tide gives the shore width and Myra removes her sandals to feel the tepid water on her feet and walks for exercise. Her mind is clear. She will leave tomorrow.

The beach is mostly empty and the waves peak white, then brush the water’s edge and give an upbeat tempo that match her mood. This must be heaven if there is a heaven, a place where bad does not happen.

Myra mentally packs and includes her books and writing-table, things she will need in her new writing room, a room with a view. A view of water, possibly lake water and trees, many trees, trees that change colors. A small lakeside cabin, minuscule will do. It is the view, fog lifting mornings a defining solemn moment of dawn, and new beginnings.

. . . Seriously just saying