Monday, August 23, 2010

Here I Go Again

So...Janet Reid, literary agent, is hosting another writing contest on her of those funky little 100-word or less stories (no, I didn't even get an honorable mention from the last one that I did and most of the other entries made no sense, so I guess what she really likes are submissions that refer to inside jokes of the trade that the rest of us don't get).  This time, we are to tell a story utilizing the following five words:  minion, sinister, nemesis, heinous and headgear.  Here's mine...
C.P. the Conqueror and his loyal minion, Clancy, were 13. By Vanqasian standards, they were old men. their establish dominion over President Dellanovia's sinister nemesis, JimHaShpa of Planet Vanq. In preparation for disembarkment, the check list began. Lasers...check. Invisibility cloak...check. Force field...check. Wait...a heinous substance oozed onto C.P.'s hand. Something struck his head! CODE RED!!!
C.P. lifted his head from the slab of wood laminate. Drool pooled on the desktop and his headgear was jammed into his gums. He composed himself without a moment to spare. "Yes, ma'am. the square root of 16 is 4."
Not great, but I love doing these exercises...didn't get to do her last two contests but now that August (my most harried momth of the year) is almost over, I've got more time to write.  Wish me luck!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Blessed or Lucky?

When people say, "I am so blessed" or "The man upstairs must have been looking out for me" or "She was saved by angels", it implies that those who are not so fortunate are less worthy of divine intervention than those that weren't so lucky.  Don't God and the angels care about them?  What about the victim of a drunk driver?  Or a child who is molested and killed by a pedophile?  The grandparent who just got bilked out of their life savings?  The person who lost their fight with cancer?  The starving child in Africa?  The child who is unloved and abused by his/her parent(s)?  The woman who is raped and then punished for it in the middle east?  Do we really believe that they have been forsaken and were not worthy of the same "blessings" that are bestowed upon us?  I suggest that we be thankful for our "opportunities"...our "luck"...our "good fortune"...and pray for God's understanding touch in all of our lives (and for his divine intervention when He sees fit).

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Life Lessons

   Josephine left our game of cards to go to the bathroom or maybe into her's fuzzy now...I was in second grade and she was in third and that was a LONG time ago.  The ring that she left on the table was the most beautiful I had ever seen.  The ring held a cameo of Mary holding baby Jesus (Josephine went to Catholic school-I was in public).  My mom wasn't too much into jewelry or other girlie things so we never had many "gazeable" objects around our house...but I lived for color and beauty and sparkle!  My hand shook as I reached out, grabbed the ring, drew my arm back to my body and put it in my pocket.  The sensation was intoxicating!  If the ring had been booze, I would have been drunk!  I now possessed the object of my bling-lust!
   "Hey, where'd my ring go?" 
  (Crap.  I thought she wouldn't notice)
   "I dunno.  What ring?"
   (Do you remember being a kid and thinking you were smarter than the rest of the world?)
   "My Mary and Jesus ring."
   "Oh, that.  I dunno.  Maybe it fell on the floor."
   (I should've been a search and rescue worker, because I left no stone unturned)
*******************************the next day*****************************************
   "Children!  Line up.  It's time to wash our hands before lunch,"  chirped Mrs. Burbridge. B-U-R-BRIDGE  (Thanks, Teach.  I will never forget how to spell you last name, but for the life of me I will never be able to remember how many c's are in the words occur or recommend-yes, I used spell check).
   Bonnie was behind me in the line and I hated her.  Her shoes made the coolest little clicking sound on the wooden floor as we walked to the girls' room...they were girlie shoes and mine were practical and rubber-soled, so they just sort of humpfhed on the floor.  We filed into the restroom and when it was my turn to wash, I carefully removed my beloved ring of power and placed it lovingly on the edge of the sink. 
  Whatever it was, is lost to me now, but I must have been distracted by something more beautiful or more sparkly than Mary and Jesus, because the next thing I knew, lunch was over...we were back in the classroom...I was reaching my hands into the incubator to grab one of the baby chicks our class was raising and I suddenly noticed that all of my sticky little fingers were as bare as the day I was born.   You don't need to be told how I felt.  Mrs. B-U-R-BRIDGE let me run to the restroom. It was gone.  Mrs. B-U-R-BRIDGE did everything she could to recover "my" beloved ring....checked with the class that washed up after us, asked the students in our class, even talked to the principal.  I just know that bitch, Bonnie, took it!
   The bus ride home was horrible.  I was haunted by the image of Mary's and Jesus' eyes boring into my soul every time I would squeeze my eyes together to expel the tears.
   My mother was waiting for me when I got home.
   "Did you steal a ring from Josephine?"
   "Put your hand on this Bible and swear to baby Jesus that you didn't steal it.  Josephine's mother called...told me everything...and I know that it disappeared while you were there playing cards.  If you lie, you will become very sick to your stomach."
   My hand (my utterly empty and ringless hand) trembled just a wee bit as I placed it on the faux leather embossed in gold with my father's name (thank Heavens he had his real naeme printed there...Richard Eubanks.  How embarassing to explain to people why the word Dick is prominently displayed on a Bible). 
   "I swear."  Sweet mother of God (how ironic).
   ...what had I done?  Death was certain!  Life as I knew it would cease to exist.
   Deny.  Deny.  Deny.  It was working.  I felt great!  Well, as great as a girl can feel who has just had her ring of royal entitlement stolen from her.  So, maybe I didn't feel all that great, but I felt relieved...until my dad got home.  The next five minutes of that day are engrained so deeply in my psyche that I fear God will strike me dead on judgement day for those five minutes and he'll completely overlook that one time that I...let's save that for a different post.
   As soon as he'd heard the story, he began to cry.  Not just crying, but weeping openly.  Had my father realized at the time that this whole scenario was a precursor to all of my future troublemaking, he would have given me to the gypsies (as he would threaten to do many, many times during my life) or killed me and hidden the body with Jimmy Hoffa (was he even missing in 1971?). 
   That was it!  I cracked!  I sang like a bird!  He marched me across the street to Josephine's.  Made me fess up to what I'd done.  Told Josephine that she could rest assured that I would be earning money to go out and buy her a piece of jewelry to replace the ring of eternal beauty.
   Work I did.  Earned enough to buy her a wooden bead and leather choker for $2.50 (hey-it was a long time was probably in style then).  Looking back, it was ugly.  Josephine got hosed.
   Lesson learned #1:  Tears are more powerful than words.
   Lesson learned #2:  Deny, deny, deny may work for men, but it doesnt' for seven year-old little girls when
                                  the receiving party starts to cry.
   Lesson learned #3:  It doesn't pay to be a thief (unless you are my second husband).
   Lesson learned #4:  Don't take your rings off when you wash your hands.
   Lesson learned #5:  Keep your eye on Mary and Jesus when you're in the company of a protestant, public
                                  school girl whose mother isn't really into jewelry or you'll end up with a stupid wooden
                                  bead and leather choker that is butt ugly.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Yay, California!!!

Seriously...if those who are threatened by same sex marriage loved someone who is denied the basic right to marry the person he/she loves, the issue would take on a whole new dimension. If it were your child, would you begrudge them the same chance at happiness to which you have been privy?  If you were forbidden to marry the person whom you are with right now, how would you feel?  Even if you don't love someone who is in a same sex relationship, can you articulate in any way, shape or form why it is such an inconvenience to you?  Perhaps it's a. fear of the unknown.  Or a self esteem issue.  Whatever it may be, allow yourself to love someone who's different from you...try it on for size.  And if that fails, try pulling the plank out of your own eye and MYOB!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Romance Schmomance

   Anybody who knows me will report that my biggest pet peeve is "romance."  I hate romance.  Don't believe it exists.  It's a waste of time.  Romance, as such, is a non-issue (yes, I'll admit that there's all sorts of other love).  People simply misinterpret lust as romantic love.
   Today, I sent in a submission for a "romance" writing contest.  The goal is to submit a 100-word maximum "romance" which relates to the photo below.  Take a gander and let me know what you think!  I love this kind of excercise to sharpen writing skills!  It makes me feel like a college freshman again...about to have my submission read aloud and ripped apart in front of all my peers...
   Despite the recent and scandalous revelation about Barbara’s herpetophilic tendencies (the couples therapist said it was nothing to be alarmed about), Mitch was supportive of her need to change careers mid-life. What he didn’t anticipate was that the fetish would manifest itself so publicly after just two appletinis, innocently imbibed during the “Meet-n-Greet” portion of their first attendance at the North American Paleontological Convention. Lesson learned: if your woman says she loves tight swimming trunks, wear a pair…don’t take her to the Speedo show during Fashion Week. It becomes socially problematic and you end up looking like a cuckold.