Monday, August 27, 2007

Writing Exercise - Lesson 4
Assignment: Choose a color to write about; write about the color in the first person, that is in the I way.

I am romantic Caribbean sunsets.

I smolder in candlelit jazz clubs and present the sun-softened finish on buildings deep in the French Quarter.

I am variegated in mums and marigolds but in roses I am desire and afterglow.

I nurture you with luscious peaches, succulent apricots and the flesh of butternut squash.

I offer you the Mackinac Bridge in silhouette on a summer evening.

I cast sparks and illuminate the night with embers in a winter fireplace.

I am warm, radiant, luminous and flush - orange.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Writing Exercise - Lesson 2
Assignment: Write a short story using one of the provided sentences

Mary was "fed up" with Bob and he had only just arrived. He walked in as if he was some kind of superhero. But instead of an "S" on his chest he had "Bob" embroidered on his work shirt.

"Where's the culprit?" he demanded.

"In the fireplace" she responded begrudgingly. What was she thinking when she bought this 100 year old money pit of a house? Now, hardly a month into ownership she had an unwelcome housemate. While cleaning the glass doors of the fireplace – a fireplace she dearly loved and hadn't even used yet – she discovered a squirrel settling in for a stay. He wasn't going to exit the same way he entered so she called animal control. And they sent her super Bob.

Bob dropped his bundle on the living room floor and began to gear up for his task. Mary looked on as he donned hip waders, heavy duty gloves and a mask. Was he hunting squirrel or playing goalie for the Blackhawks?

"Go get yourself a broom" he directed. Probably the only way he recognizes a woman is if she's holding a broom, she thought. While she fetched the broom Bob moved her dining table and chair away from the sliding glass doors to the left of the fireplace. He moved the couch and chair off to the right barricading the front door. He then positioned Mary in front of the staircase with the broom."Now," he said opening the sliding glass door, "when I open the fireplace doors with this pole the critter should make for the nearest, most obvious exit – right through these doors. If he comes your way, just wave the broom to redirect him."

"Whoa!" Mary suddenly decided compliance was overrated. "You're standing there dressed like a Star Wars storm trooper with a ten foot pole and all you're going to do is open the doors? Where's my hip waders, my gloves, my squirrel gear?"

Bob smiled indulgently. "Miss, I'm a professional. I know what I'm doing."

Well, she thought. Once I deal with the squirrel I'm going to use what's left of this broom to beat the snot out of Bob.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I’ve recently come out of a 10 year relationship. That’s not exactly right. I’ve recently been booted out of a 10 year, 8 month, 5 day relationship. Never mind the details. Getting dumped is getting dumped no matter how you dress it up.

I’m working through the recovery process. In matters of the heart forget the typical five stages of grieving (denial, depression, anger, bargaining and acceptance). My theory is that you can gauge your healing process by the content of your fantasies.

Initially I envisioned my heart’s desire finding me walking the wind swept cliffs of New England. As I turn and the wind swirls my skirts he approaches me determined to reclaim his paramour ala Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights. He sweeps me into his arms and professes his never ending love and desire for yours truly. Never mind that I live in Indiana and the closest things we have to wind swept cliffs are guardrails on the interstate. Disregard that my lost man is an accountant. The only time he becomes a tortured soul is at tax time.

Later, as incremental doses of reality and sanity seep back into my psyche, I begin to daydream about a benign crisis that throws us together. In a plot torn from the script of Twister my leading man realizes that it’s me he wants instead of the gorgeous gal pal fading into the background. At first, I resist and make him atone for his lapse in judgment but, eventually, I surrender.

Further into the process I begin to create my fantasies in more reasonable settings. After settling into a comfortable platonic friendship my former love asks me to accompany him to a business associate’s company Christmas party. He is smitten by my new self confidence, my size 6 frame and form (hey – it’s still my fantasy!) and the familiarity of my perfume. As the evening progresses he calculates the risk and asks me to dance. We have a wonderful evening. He drives me home, walks me to the door and kisses me goodnight. As he walks toward his vehicle he turns on his heel and returns to me. His next kiss promises everything except “goodnight.”

And finally, at his funeral I am picked up by one of the guests.

I suppose the ultimate recovery signal will be when I wake up, proceed with my day into the evening and finally to bed without thinking about him every hour. When my mind no longer constructs scenarios that keep him in my life; when thinking about a life without him doesn’t seem quite so bleak, then I will know that I have completed the process. Clearly, I’m not there yet.