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Monday, July 29, 2013

Blindsided

Last night after dinner, we sat on the back porch eating ice cream. Chemically sweet-smelling flames rose from the citronella candles on the patio table, keeping the bloodsuckers at bay. It had been raining nonstop for days. Our dogs celebrated the clear weather by tussling over soggy chew toys in the too-tall grass.

“Honey,” Hubs began. “We want to talk to you about something.”

I looked at him quizzically, and then studied my children’s faces. The three of them stared back at me with silent resolve. What had prompted them to band together against me? My mind scanned for possible issues.

Maybe I haven’t done so great keeping up with the laundry, but I bought everyone extra undies so they won’t run out. Besides, don’t YOUR arms work?

True, a thin layer of dust blankets every surface in every room, but I’ve been writing a novel. So, now you don’t want me to pursue my dream?

I’ll admit that meals lately have skewed toward quick and easy rather than wholesome and healthy, but it’s still food, isn’t it? It’s not like you’re going hungry.

“Mom, you have a problem.” Son’s voice was soft yet firm.

“What is this?” I huffed incredulously. “An intervention?”

“Yes,” they replied practically in unison.

Last weekend when I was out of town, Hubs found my stash tucked away in the guestroom closet. Then the kids told him about the guy who brings my stuff. People come to our door so often I honestly didn’t think they noticed.

“You’re always telling us to make good choices,” Daughter scolded. “You need to take your own advice, Mom.”

It has gotten worse since I quit working, but I was shocked that my family knew how out of control I’ve become. I guess I can’t wave it off as a casual habit any longer.

“This has to stop. So I’ve changed your password.” Hubs, usually so laidback, was standing his ground. “You won’t be ordering anything else from Amazon.com for a while.”

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This week's Trifecta writing challenge: The entry must be 33-333 words and include the word "band," as defined below:

BAND

to gather together: unite <banded themselves together for protection>

Word count: 333

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Lipstick and Irony

This weekend's Trifextra writing challenge: write a 33-word piece including a color.


I wear pale pink. It's called "Demure."

Her shade is whorish bright red. I've seen it on her vanity.
When she's away, he lets me stay over.
I pretend he chose me instead.

Photo borrowed from weheartit.com


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Monday, July 22, 2013

A Whole New World Showcase

I’ve been Pocahontas for five months. I filled in for Mulan once. I mostly kept my head bowed that day, and not as a gesture of respect. As you can see, I don’t look remotely Asian, but I was the only available cast member without porcelain skin or blue eyes. Apparently a gender-bending war hero outranks a Native American chick in a skimpy dress. Who cares if Pocahontas is missing from her post outside The American Adventure? But God forbid Mulan isn’t there to welcome the little spoiled brats to China.

I wanted to be Princess Jasmine. I applied for Jasmine and auditioned in a Jasmine costume. They went with the busty girl instead … even though she mispronounced the tiger’s name. (It’s RAH-juh, you twit. Not RAY-juh.)

I gotta hand it to her, though. Jasmine’s pretty good. She and Aladdin—who she’s dating, naturally—do this stunt hourly where Genie gives Aladdin the power to charm a snake out of a basket. We’re only required to pose, chat up the guests and sign autographs. If I had nice shaded digs like they enjoy over in Morocco, maybe I’d be inspired to perform tricks, too. The execs eat that shit up. They call it “ingenEARity.” The Aladdin/Jasmine/Genie line is always long. As Pocahontas, I’m practically chasing down kiddies for photo ops.

Genie’s been after me for weeks. He’s bald and fat. What am I gonna do with that? Last weekend, I relented. After Genie inhaled his prime rib, he asked if I was going to finish my salmon, his fork already hovering above my plate. When the check came, he told me how much my portion was. Swoon. Still, I let him grope me outside my apartment. I even agreed to another date.

Today, Genie seemed as shocked as all those parents when Aladdin charmed a giant rubber dildo emblazoned with “PROPERTY OF JASMINE” from the basket. (I never said Genie isn’t a good actor.)

I get fitted for my Jasmine costume tomorrow.

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This week's Trifecta writing challenge: The entry must be 33-333 words and include the word "charm," as defined below:

CHARM
to control (an animal) typically by charms (as the playing of music) <charm a snake>


Word count: 333

Friday, July 19, 2013

Last Resort

She tossed the doomed ring into the fountain. If coins earned wishes, surely a platinum band would bring him back. She’d reached the last-resort stage, pinning all her hopes on murky water.

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This weekend's Trifextra challenge Write a 33-word piece including these three words:

ring
water
stage

I wrote this in roughly three minutes--some real stream of consciousness stuff going on here. Now I see about 57 ways I'd revise it, different words I'd use, etc. But I already linked up, so I'm sticking with it. Meh.


Monday, July 15, 2013

Loose Ends

I wrote this short story two years ago. I've been toying with revising it for trifecta. It was originally 600 words, so--for me--this week was more of an editing challenge than a writing challenge.

*

photo borrowed from deaddictioncentres.in
 
Julie had chosen pills. The face bloat and possibility of shitting herself ruled out hanging. There was no tragic reason behind Julie’s decision to kill herself. She was just bored. Bored with work, bored with the tiny house she’d bought with her tiny divorce settlement, bored with being alone.
On the way to work, she mailed the letters.

Dear Sis,

… Please wear black, and cover your boobs for once ...
 
The office was still vacant, except for Coughing Carl six cubicles away. Without even setting down her purse, Julie forwarded to the entire company all the saved messages proving her boss is an addle-brained, idea-stealing asshole.
 
For breakfast, Julie splurged on a sausage McGriddle (with cheese) and a (non-diet) Coke. Lunch would be a handful of barbiturates.
 
Julie’s mom was working, but Mick (her mother's fifth boyfriend in three years) was home. While he put on coffee, Julie pressed her breasts into his back. He protested … until she grabbed his crotch. As Mick wiggled around on top of her, Julie preoccupied herself by watching an insect crawl along a crack between two floorboards.

Driving away, she almost felt sorry for Mick. When her mother receives Julie’s letter, he’ll surely be out on the curb. But schtupping her mom’s boyfriend was perfect revenge for a childhood of moving whenever her mother met “the one.”

Julie hadn’t planned an elaborate scenario for her ex-husband. When he came to the lobby of his building, she calmly kicked him in the junk with her square-toed boot. As he collapsed, Julie thanked the stunned receptionist.

She showered, dressed and straightened her hair so it would fan out nicely on her pillow. She applied light makeup. Then she washed down the pills with vodka.

When Julie opened her eyes, the nurse standing over her motioned down the hall. A police officer walked in.

“We found you unresponsive when we came to arrest you,” the cop explained. “It’s a good thing your ex-husband reported the assault. You could’ve died.”
 


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This week's trifecta writing challenge: The entry must be 33-333 words and include the word "crack," as defined below:

CRACK
3a : a narrow break : fissure <a crack in the ice>
  b : a narrow opening <leave the door open a crack><cracks between floorboards> —used figuratively in phrases like fall through the cracks to describe one that has been improperly or inadvertently ignored or left out <a player who fell through the cracks in the college draft> <children slipping through the cracks of available youth services>


Word count: 333

Friday, July 12, 2013

How I Write All These Masterpieces

Ink ... rethink ... drink
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This week's trifextra weekend challenge: Sum up your writing process in three little words.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Habits of the Suburban Super Mother

The suburban super mother (mama suburbia superior), also known as PTA president, soccer mom, or neighborhood busybody, is a female homosapien native to the Americas.

An excellent stalk-and-ambush predator, the suburban super mother pursues a wide variety of prey. Primary food sources include neighbors with ugly lawns and non-volunteering parents, as well as attractive, single women--particularly those inhabiting the same subdivision.

Suburban super mothers are slender and agile, typically weighing 95-110 lbs. Although suburban super mothers closely resemble average suburban mothers, they are smaller but with more silicone in their breasts. They also are more powerfully built due to an affinity for Bikram yoga and Insanity workouts.

The forehead of the suburban super mother is smooth and immovable. Another common characteristic is two faces. The suburban super mother has five non-retractable, well-manicured claws on each forepaw and six-inch heels on its hind paws. Its thin, muscular legs are best adapted for 5K races and social climbing.

Except for its synthetic mane, sculpted eyebrows and lash extensions, the suburban super mother is virtually hairless. Skin coloring ranges from tan to orange, but varies greatly between individuals.

Suburban super mothers sometimes voice low-pitched hisses, growls and purrs. They are also known to scream.

French perfume and thong panties are used to attract mates. Suburban super mothers can be monogamous; this is less likely when attractive, male personal trainers enter their territory. At any rate, copulation is brief and infrequent. Chronic stress and budgets can result in low reproductive rates.

Suburban super mothers typically average one-to-two litters throughout their reproductive lives. They are fiercely protective of their offspring. Cubs are completely dependent on their mother at first, and begin to be weaned at around 30 years of age.

Suburban super mothers are pack animals. When encountering mothers outside of their pack, they may fly into a violent rage until the other party backs down.

McMansions in gated communities offering status and ample walk-in closets are the suburban super mother's preferred habitat.

Photo borrowed from deviantart.com
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trifecta weekly writing challenge: The entry must be 33-333 words and include the word "fly," as defined below:

FLY
a. to move, pass, or spread quickly <rumors were flying>
b. to be moved with sudden extreme emotion <flew into a rage>
c. to seem to pass quickly <the time simply flew>

Word count: 333

A Birthday Poem for Hubs
a.k.a. Suck It, Hallmark!

I tried to find the perfect card
To celebrate you, Honey.
But this blog post will have to do 'cause
Cards cost too much money.

Your (cough) cheap-ass (cough) frugal wife
Would rather die than pay
Six big ones for some mass-produced,
One-poem-fits-all cliché.

So I'm like, "Who needs Hallmark?"
I've been known to drop a rhyme.
And since I'm gainfully unemployed,
I certainly have the time

To tell you just how blessed I am
to have you in my life.
Thanks for puttin' a ring on it
And making me your wife.

As housewives go, I'm not the most
Domestically inclined.
But when the laundry's piling up
You never seem to mind.

You snake out slimy clumps of hair
Each time the shower clogs.
And that's a lot of snaking since
I shed more than the dogs.

You rescued me from snow and now
We're close to Mickey's house,
Which means I get more visits with
My favorite cartoon mouse.

You're always so supportive of
My "projects," and my schemes.
Your faith in me inspires me
To go after my dreams.

Truth is I'm no day at the beach.
Let's face it: I'm a pain.
My snarky, stubborn streak would drive
A lesser man insane.

You take the time to know our kids
When some dads barely bother.
Our babies are so fortunate
To have you as their father.

I never thought I'd find a guy
As awesome as my dad
Then I met you and, I must say,
I didn't do half bad.

Well, that's your birthday poem, Hubs.
I'm sorry if it sucks.
I know it's not a Hallmark, but
I did save six whole bucks!


Helping Daughter
reach new heights
Guiding Son through
life's little storms
 











He does claim them
most of the time
.
Sorry, ladies. He's all mine.
 

Friday, July 5, 2013

I'm THAT Mom

My children:
  • are products of interracial marriage
  • were bottle fed
  • attend public school
  • eat sugar 
  • watched SpongeBob
  • have been spanked
  • play video games
  • know (and love) gay people
  • are clearly doomed for life

Daughter and Son practicing for their future as street people.

 
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The kind folks at Trifecta decided to take it easy on us for today's weekend writing challenge. They asked for a 33-word free write--any topic, any style--which is harder than it seems. I didn't think I'd ever say this, but I like being told what to do.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Playing Dirty

They met at the mud run. Even coated in sludge, Josh was gorgeous. He offered to scrub her down. To his surprise, Lauren accepted his crude advances. She told him she “never does this.” He swore the same. They showered together, slept together, and Lauren woke up alone. No goodbye, no note. Eighteen hours earlier, she had been covered head to toe in mud, but--at that moment--Lauren felt dirtier than ever.

Finding Josh was easy. Race results were posted on the mud run website within a week. In a matter of hours, Lauren had located his Facebook profile, Twitter account and a mention of him in an article about the magic camp he’d attended 17 years ago.

Josh was annoyed the mud run chick showed up at his job. The flowers she’d sent were weird enough. That night was fun, and the girl was smokin' hot. But psycho trumps hot any day. He grudgingly agreed to lunch. Probably just needs closure. She suggested her favorite Mexican restaurant and offered to drive. Let Crazytown burn her gas.

Josh excused himself from the table for a phone call. When he returned, Lori … no, Lauren … was sipping a margarita. He was glad she’d ordered him one, too. Something told him he'd need it.

When Josh awoke, he was bound to Lauren’s bed. He thrashed about, but Lauren had learned to tie impenetrable knots during her brief stint as a Girl Scout. (Apparently, an extended stay in the juvenile psychiatric unit is not a valid excuse for missing meetings.)

Lauren lay beside Josh, vacantly watching him. Her face was covered in mud. Josh guessed his was too; his cheeks and forehead felt rigid. Lauren caressed his bare chest. Her hand was sticky. As she reached up to smooth his hair, Josh saw the gash across her wrist. Between them, the sheet was soaked in blood.

Hers? Mine? “Please, Lori …” Josh implored.

Lauren,” she chuckled. She closed her eyes and snuggled against him.

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

CRUDE
marked by the primitive, gross, or elemental or by uncultivated simplicity or vulgarity <a crude stereotype>


Word count: 333