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Friday, June 28, 2013

It's That Simple

This week's trifecta weekend challenge is to write a piece in the style of this Henry James quote:

Three things in human life are important. The first is to be 
kind. The second is to be 
kind. And the third is to be 

The word limit is 33 or less.

So here's my spin on it:

Three things are essential for a happy life. The first is to
choose to be happy. The second is to 
choose to be happy. And the third is to 
choose to be happy.

Word count: 33

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Out of Practice

I wasn't going to do this week's challenge since I'm vacationing at Universal Studios. But, as it turns out, waiting in lines allows for lots of writing time once you get bored with looking at teenage girls' asses hanging out of their shorts. So, here is my piece. Hope you enjoy!

He's already flustered. Even with the map, he had trouble finding her place. He walks up the lawn, acutely aware of his own heartbeat.

Sitting beside her, he's sweating like a fat kid on field day. His mouth is dry--South Carolina-bars-on-Sundays dry. The silence is intolerable, and he babbles to fill it. He feels like he's talking to a rock.

"I'm a little out of practice with this. Man, I think the last time was Dana, the girl I dated senior year. We lost touch after graduation. Always regretted that. I looked her up right after my divorce. Don't know what I expected. But she was, you know, gone. So, I found out where she was and visited her."

He shakes his head.

"I broke down like a goddamned sissy. Sorry. In all fairness, I cried at car insurance commercials back then."

He prattles on about his new job, which allowed him to replace his rusty truck and inspired his ex to request more child support and alimony.

"I oughta pay some sap to marry her money-grubbing ass," he somewhat jokes.

He gives her the flowers he brought. The tulips look nice in her bronze vase.

"I didn't know your favorite," he mutters. "Thought these were pretty, so ..."

The catch in his voice irritates him. The tears straight piss him off. Maybe if he'd come home more often, he'd know her favorite fucking flower. But he was too busy. Always too busy.

"I miss you so much, Mama," he sobs.

In the six months his mother has been here, random pieces of grass have sprouted from the cracked dirt. He absentmindedly yanks a few blades and tosses them on her neighbor: Esther Willadene Banks, beloved wife and mother until 2007.

He makes a mental note to ask them to put down more seed. Mama kept her lawn well manicured. Her final resting place should look as nice.


trifecta weekly writing challenge: The entry must be 33-333 words and include the word "rusty," as defined below:


a. of the color rust
b. dulled in color or appearance by age and use

Word count: 333

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Limerickally Challenged

This weekend's Trifecta Writing Challenge is to write exactly 33 words inspired by the idiom: "third time's the charm." I decided to try an added challenge of writing a limerick while still meeting the word count. Did I mention I'm currently away on vacation?

The engagement was cause for alarm
All her friends hope the third time's the charm
'Cause her other two spouses
Bought her lavish new houses
Then they both wound up buying the farm

Photo courtesy of

Monday, June 17, 2013

Membership Does Not Have Its Privileges

I've always been somewhat of a joiner. Pep club? Sign me up. PTA? Hand me the application. Reunion committee? Look no further; you've found your sucker right here. I'll probably enroll in the AARP when the time comes. I mean, who wouldn't want 10% off a meal?

But since 2009, I've belonged to a club I can't quit. There's no monthly dues, no ID card, no annual board meeting, no logo-emblazoned, primary-colored polo shirt. My membership can never be revoked.

I'm a member of the Fatherless Daughters Club.

He was amazing. He was funny. He was smart. He was hardworking. He was Daddy.

And he's gone.

The cancer didn't kill him. It was complications from the "lifesaving," cancer-removing surgery. How's that for cruel irony?

As a member of the Fatherless Daughters Club, I can't bring myself to buy Hubs's deserving dad a Father's Day card for fear I'll burst into tears in the middle of Walgreens while poring over those Hallmark sentiments.

As a member of this club, I wonder why people I know still have their dads when mine was taken from me. (This is especially true if either party is an asshole.)

As a member of this club, I question why some people get to live to be 92, when my dad only made it to 69.

As a member of this club, I hoard every piece of paper bearing his unmistakable handwriting.

As a member of this club, I saved a cell phone message he left me before he died, refusing to activate my new iPhone until Hubs could figure out how to upload the message to my PC.

As a member of this club, I sleep atop the comforter on our bed, because I have to cover up every night with a blanket that belonged to him. Yes, I have a blankie. No, I'm not ready to give it up like a big girl.

I hate this club. It sucks. Membership in the FDC does not have its privileges.


trifecta weekly challenge: The entry must be 33-333 words and include the word "club," as defined below:

a: an association of persons for some common object usually jointly supported and meeting periodically; also: a group identified by some common characteristic <nations in the nuclear club>
b: the meeting place of a club <lunch at the club>
c: an association of persons participating in a plan by which they agree to make regular payments or purchases in order to secure some advantage
d: nightclub
e: an athletic association or team

My entry is 333 words.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Summer in 33 Words

This weekend's Trifecta Writing Challenge is to describe summer in 33 words.

Humidity overpowers air
Sleek becomes frizzy, R.I.P. sexy hair

Stovetop hiatus; oven, be still
Tag you’re it, Mr. Grill

“No-Shave November” stretched into May
Fur's gotta go now; bare legs on display


Dear poetry Nazis (myself included): The meter totally sucks, but please overlook that in the spirit of summer fun, OK? Thanks.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Beautiful You

He eased her forward just a few inches so he could replace the freshly puffed pillows propping her up. Despite her protests, he flicked on the light. She reflexively put a hand on her head, which was dotted with wisps of hair but otherwise smooth as a globe. He grabbed her hand, kissed it and placed it back down by her side. He looked her over. Her button-down blouse draped inelegantly in the absence of her once ample breasts. There was a brown stain from this morning. The coffee she’d wanted so desperately hadn’t sat well; on its way back up, some of it sloshed out of the basin. She was too weak to even let him change her shirt.

"You’re so beautiful,” he whispered.

She shook her head. Her eyes moistened. Since the 5th grade, she’d obsessed over her hair. It was never long enough, thick enough, red enough. She coveted her sister’s wavy, voluminous locks. When she found that first gray hair, she became a lifelong hair dye devotee. She’d give anything to have that short, stringy hair today.

The hair bothered her worse than the breasts. She wore a prosthetic bra for the first several months. But it chafed at her incisions. She often joked about not having to lug around those heavy boulders anymore.

She couldn’t remember a time when she wasn’t on a diet. Atkins, South Beach, juicing … that goddamned cabbage soup diet. Now her collarbone jutted out, threatening to pierce her skin if she moved too suddenly. She couldn’t gain a pound if her life depended on it.

They used to have fantastic, hot sex. Her friends hated her for it. She bragged about the time they did it in an abandoned warehouse parking lot on the way home from dinner. She’d been worried the sitter would notice their disheveled appearance. Now they only kissed awkwardly like old friends at an unplanned reunion.

"My beautiful bride,” he repeated, wiping a tear from her delicate, shiny cheek.


trifecta weekly challenge: The entry must be 33-333 words and include the word "light" (defined as a source of light: as a.) a celestial body; b) candle; c) an electric light). Mine is 333 words.

Saturday, June 1, 2013


This weekend's Trifecta Writing Challenge is to come up with 33 words inspired by this photo. My entry follows the picture. 
mohammadali / Love Photos / CC BY-NC-SA

"I'm so sorry."
"I know. You said that already."
"It was an accident."
"I know ... I just can't believe we climbed all the way up here, and you forgot to bring Flat Stanley."

I really, really considered writing something to convey the profundity of the photo. But then I remembered who I am and went the humorous route. That's just how I roll, yo.

If you don't know who Flat Stanley is, first imagine me shaking my head disapprovingly, and then visit this website to learn more.