Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Even farther off on my tangent...

Last month I started doing this little writing thing...500 words according to a monthly "theme". Becky Povich mentioned it to me (Thank you Becky!) and I checked it out...

There are no rules about what to write...just a set of words as guidelines...for April the "theme" is "What is the difference between lying and pretending?".

So last week I closed my office door, opened Dr. Wicked's Write or Die onto my computer screen, set the timer for 20 minutes, 500 words and this is what came out.

I was surprised.

Not my usual writing style. Not my usual tangent. And definitely a work of fiction!

And not even sure if it fits under the guidelines, but it is what was in my head and Susan Bono, the lady that has the site said it was different but OK.

So I thought I'd share it with you anyway.


I had just poured myself a glass of water when the doorbell rang.

I hesitated for a moment. Ready for an early night dressed in my shabby, old red flannel nightgown, I didn’t feel appropriately attired to chat with a neighbor or turn a hopeful-eyed missionary away.

I peeked outside through the small window in the living room and saw the flashing red and blue lights of something ominous in my driveway.

I answered the door to find two baby-faced police officers. How can boys of twelve get into law enforcement anyway?

I feel old and haggard and tired and confused standing there with my icy glass of water chilling my fingers.

I am detached as I watch their mouths open and hear words come out.

And the chill from my glass seeps through every pore of my body when I hear their words.

And their words seep through every particle of my sanity and in slow motion the glass falls from my hands and shatters on the hard concrete of my front porch.

I stumbled back with a startled cry.

And the red and blue lights flash festively on the diamond-bright shards of broken glass at my feet.

I am puzzled.

This must be a dream.

But it is so vivid. So vivid and so clear.

But, yes, it is a dream.

I toss and turn through the night unable to fall into a numbing slumber.

My mind is jumbled with words and thoughts and the flash of imagined red and blue lights eerily permeate the frost that has seemed to settle over my brain.

I awake panicked, trapped by the folds of my shabby, old red flannel nightgown.

My mouth is dry.

I splash cold water on my face to erase the cobwebs.

And I sigh.

It is going to be a long day. I will be gentle with myself today.

At my age a sleepless night can be as devastating as a disease.

I walk slowly up the hallway to put the coffee on.

I gulp thirstily from a glass of icy water. Its cold benediction feels like a memory and I turn away from the sink and go to get the morning newspaper.

My front door opens to a glorious late Spring morning.

The grass stretches away green and lovely.

The sky is that shade of pure, beautiful blue seen only on a newly-hatched Spring morning.

The air smells like a promise.

I take a deep breath and the scent of green and calm enters my body.

All is calm. All is bright.

I step through the doorway and give a sudden yelp of pain.

I lean against the doorframe and lift my foot.

A bright drop of red blood gleams on my toe.

I am puzzled for a moment and then I see the broken shards of glass scattered and gleaming like diamonds in the early morning sunshine.

Strange, huh? I like it in a totally different way.

You might want to try this. Click here to go to the site, Tiny Lights!

The theme for May is "How do you make your intentions clear?"

I had been talking to Mr. Jenny about doing a weekly writing theme meme...with 100 words but I'm not sure if anyone would like to try it. It would be quick to read...and you are all so creative. Let me know your thoughts on this?

And since I'm being all serious and intellectual here I guess I can't really say sigh.

But guess what?

I'm going to anyway!

Because I can't be serious for more than two days in a row...

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go make sure there isn't any broken glass on my front porch.




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Terry said...

Interesting! And just a quick question here...are you ever not off on a tangent?? Just curious! LOL

Christy said...

I like your story. Very captivating and now I wanna know what happened! I love the idea of a weekly 100 word time-limited writing day. I think it would be interesting to see what people come up with that could suprise even them!

Julie Schuler said...

That's very scary. I used to have dreams of dropping the baby or rolling over on the baby and smothering him when I was a new mother. And they would be so terrifying and real-feeling. That is a horrible feeling, when something terrible happens, and you almost make yourself believe you can wind time backwards, it's so confusing and horrid. Stop scaring me.

Sh@KiR@ CK said...

Let me know if you are going to do a weekly meme of 100 words...
I really like the way you kept leading me along... and then.. left me hanging? LOL


p.s I love you more!

Yankee Girl said...

I like it!

And I like how you made it about the one person who was possibly lying to herself, or pretending something bad hadn't happened.

I don't know what your normal writing style is because I am new to your blog, but I thought this was a great response to the prompt!

Beth said...

I thought it was quite wonderful! :) And Oh My Goodness! I LOVE Creedence Clearwater Revival!

Prairiemaid said...

Your story reminds me of Alfred Hitchcock.....wanting to turn away, yet held prisoner to the story. Very gripping and thought provoking.

Wonderful Wordsmith Wednesday to you! You truly are a Wordsmith....such talent.

The meme would be interesting, I'm sure. If you build it, they will come (without a doubt!).;-)

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

I can't read it. I'm having troubles with dreams, as is. And don't want to give my subconscious any more ideas, to pester me with.

Am I forgiven?


C.L. Smith said...

I haven't stopped by in a while, Jenny, but I'm glad I did today--loved the writing exercise...such a neat premise for suspense. To me, your story is about denial of a painful event, or is that too obvious? Either way, I really liked it :-)

Brittany said...

How many times can I tell you that you are incredible. Your words jump off the page! :) So impressed!

criticalcrass said...

that one-hundred word exercise sounds fun. i'm in.

LuLu Kellogg said...

Jenny....this is great! I wanted to


Brenda said...

And what the heck does this have to do with the difference between lying and pretending, huh? Some of us are not quite as intellectual as you so we don't get it...and get working on that next chapter 'cause that story had me going...what the heck did the policeman say? Hello? I feel wronged! I swear I could feel the icy chill from her hands... man you're good!

"Alone again.... naturally!" said...

That story gave me huge goosebumps! You are probally one of the best writers I should start writing books! Have an unbelievabley unshattering day! Cathy

Nancy C said...

Wow. I think sometimes we write our fears so we can address them and put them away.

Julia Christie said...

I like your writing style and this made me want to know more about the main character and what happens. Ya got me interested!
enjoyed this.


Anything Fits a Naked Man said...

Geez, you're good! LOVED it!! Thanks!

Nellie's Cozy place said...

Jenny I found your story fascinating and was hanging on every word, I was waiting to hear what the baby faced policemen told you!!
What was it??? lol
You definitely have a clear writing talent my dear!!
whoever told you it was okay, hosh posh, don't listen to them!!
Have a great day and keep those tangents going!! lol
Blessings galore, Nellie
and I love that song here comes the sun!! Haven't heard it in ages.

angeltastic said...

Great story! What did that police officer tell you? I even reread it, thinking I must have missed it. lol
Looking forward to reading more!

Theresa said...

Girl, now you are a writer among all of the other things you are:) Love your imagination my friend! Keep it up! I actually started writing ALL things that I could remember from my childhood. It would be boring to many but to me it brought back lots of precious memories. Hugs to you dear Jenny!

Lourie said...

1. I love the story! Awesome!

2. I like 100 word idea! (but I am such word whore it would be hard to stop at 100. An interesting challenge though.)

lissa said...

is that really one of your dreams or something you make up? I can't say but I like it and there is that sense of eerieness, but what a great write

Jo said...

i have problems getting a whole sentence out ... let alone 100 words ... i wont play but i will still follow! love the results of your 100 word exercise .

kim said...

Jenny, you are a very good writer, but not me. Don't have a clue. I am not a lover of reading books either and I thing usually people that like to read can write well. My mom is a reader and she majored in English and journalism. She could have written, but instead raised a family.

Ms. Anthropy said...

Good job!

Tina said...

That was AWESOME. I have dreams like that...and had more of them than I care to recall during my bedrest captured the unrest of that SO well. And I'd love participate in any meme you host. Especially now that my Tuesday T&TR is so sadly done...

Dee said...

That is a big challenge but after reading your story I am sure you would have no problem with it and we would all be greatly entertained.

My name is PJ. said...

If that's what you get with 20 minutes, I'd have no prayer of keeping up with you on a 100 word meme every week! You are a WRITER!

Pretty darn good, Matlock! It left me wanting the blanks filled in. If it had been a tv series, I would have tuned in the next week.

Please don't start another meme whilst we're still doing the Alphabet! If you knew how much time it took me to put a post together, you'd understand why I don't have any more free time. :)

GardenofDaisies said...

You could have written scripts for the Twilight Zone ! :-)

kim said...

Jenny, your blog on my blogroll shows the alphabet Thursday, but your blog is still this other post. Just letting you know.

Life is good! said...

i like. i like! watch were your bare feet are stepping!

Terri and Bob said...

I would be far too intimidated to try that. I would love to read everyone else's though!

I am ready to link to tomorrow's M day!

mbkatc230 said...

Dang it! Garden of Daisies took my line :) Really, I felt like this was a short story from "Best American Short Stories of 2009"! Loved it Jenny. And the 100 word story idea is great. I'm trying to work on my writing chops and this would be a fun way to experiment. Kathy

Melinda Cornish said...

the story scares me because I have lived this dream.....

BECKY said...

Hi Jenny! How surprised I was to see my name on this post! Thanks for the shout-out and for mentioning Tiny Lights. Your story is cool, and as you said, different than what Tiny Lights usually shares on The Searchlights and Signal Flares section! Great job! And, I would LOVE doing the 100 word meme. I always love a writing challenge. Hey, if I can do a TWELVE WORD story, than I betcha I can do a 100 word one!! :)

Linda said...

I liked it! Of course I enjoy your writing and how your mind works. It was different but good.

Not enough hours! said...

That's a lovely story. Will be back for more.

~ Rayna

Cheryl said...

Wow. I loved that 500 words ~ it's far more than OK. It rocked!

Emalee said...

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. your comment so sweet!! Hope you have a GREAT day and enjoy the rest of your weekend! oh and my family lives in AZ buckeye and Glendel.