Thursday, June 9, 2011

Within A Wall

Red Writing Hood Prompt:
This week, we'd like you to write a scene that includes a happy ending - it doesn't have to be the actual END of your story, if you're working on continuations, but it should include at least one challenge for your hero to overcome.

A dark hidden place, the quiet conversation and faint music was perfect for her. No flashing lights or loud music to dance to this night. It was better this way. A solitaire setting, her hidden within the scene.

Lucinda pulled out the stool and settled in. He had noticed her when she walked in. A beauty that seemed haunted by shadows, a dark within that came through the eyes. Not all that new to him. He served many with the look, but the beauty was different. A frequent visitor, he came over with her preferred drink. He also knew there was no use in trying to engage in conversation beyond the, weather, and her drink temperature. He had felt drawn to her, wanted to dig deeper, and usually he could charm them after a few. Not her, a wall was up, no one would enter in. Her smile that came with the thanks was free of any meaning or connection.

Several drinks later, no change in emotion, no closer to a conversation, she slipped a tip on the counter and moved out to the streets. She thought to herself how she owed this to herself. Just a few nightly drinks. She worked hard. Never disappointed the boss, her work was usually flawless. She didn't get involved in the office gossip. She kept to herself, sold out to her work and made them plenty of money. So each evening a self-presented-reward.  A little more numbness to slip into. She smiled at her control. She slipped off her heels and reached in the bag to pull out her sandals. A little stumble, but she was fine. Always prepared, all together, in control.

As she reached her apartment she mechanically moved through the door, up the stairs and into her door. Inside she looked around. Reaching to pour another glass, she slouched into a chair. She picked up the phone and the sound on the other end told her a message awaited.  A recorded voice offering to clear her credit. Delete. No other messages. No friend to see what's up. No romance asking for a date. No mom checking in to see if she was ok. She needed no one. She raised the glass to her lips. Her empty voice mail, lack of personal email as she clicked the computer on, and no pictures scattered her walls or tables. A life uncomplicated by people.

She typed in the web address, and logged in. Her anonymous name. Her only connection to people, her blog. This was her secret world, her only outlet with communication. It was unobstructed, a place she smiled, where no one knew your name. She pulled out her notebook and skimmed it for an idea. Slipped a little more in her glass. Her creative juice she thought. Mind empty, no ideas.

She stood and went to add some ice to her glass. Her computer dinged. A new comment.

"I am new to blogging and I love some of your stuff. Would you please read some of mine...I could use some feedback."

She spoke to the computer, "No. Too personal. A bunch of mommies trying to fill their space and time."

She did need something for inspiration.

The words shook her.  Like dominoes each word created a reaction. Pieces of the wall came down. The anonymous author had set a mirror in front of her, and the reflection was real. The words she read, the story, sounded like her own.  Lost. Broken. Alone. And made more numb by a bottle.

There was no big change that night. Lucinda calmed that storm with more drinking. But the next days, weeks and months she spent reading. She would click links from one blog to another. And finally, one day she reached out. She stepped from the lonely world she created to ask for help. She looked for advice and began to talk. She found a group of anonymous authors, which eventually led her to real people, at real meetings. She began a daily walk toward a sober life. Lucinda began to fight for her life, and blogged about it, hoping she could reach into another dark world and shed some light.

Author's Note: I am dedicating this post to One Crafty Mother and Sober Julie who put their remarkable stories of hope out there. They have taught me things. I have only known this life from a different perspective. There are others as well, but I have been drawn to the writing of these two and their stories inspired me to write this fictional one.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Capture: Flowers

So, I find this site today You Capture and I love the idea. I have wanted to tie my love of photography with my love of writing. But the first assignment is flowers. Flowers are all gone withered in the heat, even the ones I managed to capture, the heartiest of weeds, are not looking very healthy. I have some beautiful ones I had captured, just a few months earlier, but that is against the rules. So, here you are. Unless I go sneak into someone’s beautiful kept and tended garden, these are what you get. I did spot some sunflowers down the street in the front yard, do you think they would mind?

Monday, June 6, 2011

That Silly Little Book

RemembeRED prompt this week:
This week, as the school year is wrapping up and we're on the cusp of summer, we've decided to go easy on you.

We want to know what, from your childhood, do you still know by heart?

Is it a story? A jump-roping song? The number of rungs on the ladder to your treehouse? How much money you had to save to buy something you really wanted?

Dig deep and come back on Tuesday, June 7th, and link up.

A tiny little school nestled in the hills of New Jersey...yes, there is beauty in New Jersey. It housed students in kindergarten through eighth grade. I was in first grade in Mrs. McMurtries class. She was a tiny little lady, and very old. Of course, now I look back and wonder just how old was she really. Would I think she is old now, because you see the older I get, the older you need to be to be considered old.
Whenever one of my students pull this book off the shelf now I am immediately back in that first grade classroom. I can still see the pictures inside the book before my student can open it. When I held that book there in that classroom with the wooden floors, and tall windows, it was accompanied by a little record (an old fashioned cd kids). I played it over and over. So much so, those words are burned into my memory.
"Tikki Tikki Tembo No Sau Rembo, Chally Bally Roochie, Pip Perry Pembo....has fallen into the well", obviously I have not memorized the spelling of this characters name, but I can hear that line over and over again. I chuckle at myself every time that memory comes rushing in when I see that book. I find I  have to tell the story of reading that book when I was in first grade to my students, always a surprise to them.
So, the character, the book and my memories have all stood the test of time. Etched memories of sweet days gone by. That constant reminder of my aging, and how much more distant those memories become. A realization  that many of those images no longer are found in our present world, but the books and their words hang on. The power of the written word.