Wednesday, October 29, 2014


I pick it up, press it to my face, and breathe in its scent: a combination of grassy notes with a tang of acid and a hint of vanilla. Roses have nothing on it. That scent is a powerful thing. It takes me back to endless days and nights spent vicariously performing magic, battling dragons, defeating the forces of evil, and making the best friends of my life. Nights spent crying, and laughing, and sometimes even both at the same time. Nights spent without sleep because I just had to know a little bit more. When that scent fills my nostrils, I feel as though a fortress has been constructed around me to keep out all of the miseries of reality. It’s a wonder no one has bottled it as perfume.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Angry Letter (Revised Final)

Dear, She-Who-Will-Not-Be-Named,
            We became friends in the sixth grade, not just the school-grounds-only kind of friends either. We were the sleepover-every-weekend-eat-junk-food-talk-about-boys kind of friends. This meant that you knew me well, better than most people, in fact, which means you should have known one of the most elemental things about me: I love to read. That is not a trivial fact, an amusing side-attribute, or a piece of my pie. It’s the whole damn pie. I am a bibliophile, heart and soul. I would rather sit in my front yard and read a good book than do almost anything else. I have a Pinterest page titled, “Books <3.” My bookshelf is always pristine, and I care for my books like a mother cares for her children. Better to run into a mother bear robbed of her cub than to damage one of my books. So, because you were my friend, I assumed you would care for my book in the same manner to which it was accustomed. What made your crime so horrific was that it wasn't just some book pulled from the bottom of my shelf. It was one of my favorites. One of those books I hate to lend people because I might spontaneously get the urge to read it for the nth time, and be unable to get my fix. Biblio-addictions are a bitch. I could not, however, in good conscious keep you from the reading the glorious book that you requested. I may be vindictive, but I'm not that heartless. So, I lent it to you. When you received it, it looked practically new. No one would have been able to tell just by looking at it that I had already read it five consecutive times. When you rudely returned it to me three months later—I mean seriously, three months? It's not exactly War and Peace—it was mangled. The protective cover was bent in several places. It had a black mark on the back. It had scratches all over it, and the first half of the book had water damage, or should I say mysterious red liquid damage: Blood? Fruit Punch? I didn't taste it to see.  There were also bizarre grooves on the first couple pages that looked like you took a fork them; quite energetically, in fact. When you handed me back my fallen loved one, I was torn between wanting to cry and wanting to backhand you. If someone asked me why we are no longer friends, I would probably say something along the lines of “We’re different kinds of people now” or “Because I have standards and integrity” In reality, this is not the case. I refrain from divulging my true motivation because it would sound petty, and, let’s face it, completely crazy. The truth is, I may never forgive you for what I have come to label The Book Debacle of 2011.
                                                                                                Truly no longer yours,


Monday, October 20, 2014

Timed Prompt

It was Christmas Eve. Fog stuck to the tarmac at Lindenbergh Field. She was sitting on a bench in the airport, nervously tapping her feet. The Christmas decorations scattered around the airport did nothing to lighten her mood. Her eyes were red and puffy and her mascara was running down her face. Nervous glances were directed her way as people made their way towards their holiday plans. She couldn't blame them; she was a wreck. Last week's argument kept replaying in her head. She couldn't recall the specifics of what had sparked the fight, but she could remember the harsh words they had aimed at each other. She started to wring her hands together. How could I have been so stupid? I can't bring a child into this. He or she will end up with a broken home, that will result in serious psychological issues later in life. It will be all my fault. I'm going to be a terrible mother. Her thought were interrupted by the sound of her name. She stood as her husband sauntered toward her. She had planned to broach the subject carefully, perhaps lead into it with a little small talk. How was your business trip? Was the plane ride nice? But when he stopped about a foot in front of her, the words just came tumbling out."I'm pregnant." She awaited his response nervously, but rather than the blowout she had anticipated, he swept into a tight hug that lifted her feet off the floor. After a minute or two he put her down and said, "Oh! Sorry, sorry, sorry." and laid his hand on her stomach. A large smile spread across his face. She started to smile too.

P.S. I agree with Fanny Howe's point that writing these days often ends with senseless violence that defeats the characters. However, this particular piece does not adhere to that statement, because there is no violence that overcomes the characters, and there is a happy ending.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Letter (Revised Final)

“You got a letter.” Dave droned as he sauntered through the archway between the kitchen and the living room, tossing a beat up envelope onto my lap. "For Jessie’s eyes only!" was written on the front in large crooked print. The stamp looked new.
“Who’s it from?” I asked turning it over in my hands looking for some clue. 
“How should I know?” Dave snapped.
“Sorry. I was just asking. Take a Midol.” I tore open a corner of the envelope flap and slid my pinkie nail across the top to open it up. I got a paper cut, but was too curious to bother with it right then. 
I withdrew a poorly folded sheet of yellow paper, the cheap awful kind we used to get given in school, the kind that tore if you tried to erase anything... and we always did.
It read: We are writing letters to our future selves in class today. Hi! Whats up? Congrats on being 25! I have so many questions. What are we? Are we a balerina, or an archeologist like Lara Croft? Did we finally save enough for that trampoline? Are we married to Jeremy Sumpter? If not, that’s okay. I understand. Do we ever get a puppy? Whats his name? How tall are you? Mrs. Kirkman just said she wants me to write something meaningful, so, are you happy?
I thought to myself, “No, I’m not.”
Just then Dave came up behind me on the couch and looked over my shoulder. “Good God! who wrote that?”
“I did,” I replied without thought.
“It was a school assignment when I was nine.”
“Were you retarded as a nine year old, because that hand writing is awful.”
As he left the room, chortling about his own joke, I grabbed my pen from atop the Washington Post daily crossword and drafted a response to my younger self on the back of the letter. Never Grow Up. Then I scratched that out and wrote instead, It’s never too late. Find the courage to start over. Then, I rose from the couch went into our bedroom and started to pack. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

The First Date (One Act Play)

(The door bell rings. Rose answers the door.)
Rose: Mr. Foster I presume?
Sam: Umm…yeah. Hi Mrs. Montgomery; it’s nice to meet you.
Rose: Please, come in.
(Sam enters)
Sam: Is Alicia ready yet?
Rose: Not quite, we Montgomery women like to take our time.
Sam: I fully respect that…and I respect your daughter as well sir—I mean ma’am.
Awkward Silence
Interrupting each other
Sam: You have a lovely home.
Rose: Shall we just cut to the chase Sam.
Sam: I beg your pardon?
Rose: Let’s skip the chit chat and get to the part of this night where I interrogate you to ensure that you are good enough for my daughter, and then put the fear of god in you to ensure that she comes home in exactly the same condition in which she left.
Sam: Uhhhh……
(Alicia descends the stairs.)
Alicia: Hi Sam, sorry it took so long.
Sam: Don’t worry about it. Me and your mom were just…
Rose: Getting to know each other.
Alicia: Mom can I see you in the kitchen for a sec.
(Alicia and Rose enter into the kitchen.)
Alicia: Did you have to go all mommy dearest on him?
Rose:  I don’t know what you mean.
Alicia:  Oh puh-lease mom he looked terrified.
Rose: Consider yourself lucky I’m not cleaning my rifle.
Interrupting each other.
Alicia: You don’t have a rifle.
Rose: But if this is the gratitude I get, maybe I should just break out the baby pictures.
Alicia: Oh god, keep your albums on the shelf, okay. (Exasperated sigh)Thank you for not cleaning the rifle that you don’t own, in front of my date.
Rose: Was that really so hard?
Alicia: Yes. I better go back in before he tries to make a run for it.
(They rejoin Sam in the hallway.)
Alicia: Sorry about that.
Sam: It’s fine.
Rose: Have her home by eleven.
Alicia: Midnight.
Sam: 10:30 it is ma’am.
Rose: Right answer young man.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Peer Reviews

Rachel Wheeler's Self Deprecation
I absolutely loved her first sentence; it really peaked my interest. Rachel really captured what it's like to have an obsessive personality. It was cool how she interacted with the reader at different points in the story.

Francesca M's Self Deprecation (60 seconds...or not...)
I loved the structure of the piece. I thought the responses to the dentist were very amusing. I really liked the closing sentence.

Sean Eykel's Self Deprecation (The Most Harmless Thing)
The piece was very well written. I loved the goonies comparison. It was wicked funny but also a little sad. The piece was really great.