Monthly Archives: June 2013

The Divorcee

Gloria sat in the back of the room, hoping not to see her ex-husband. With his new wife.

Tabitha’s graduation ceremony will take no more than thirty minutes –- she remembered from her son’s, two years back. Her babies were grown and moving on. Her life, alone, will soon be hers to bear. 

A clack of heels behind and she saw Sandra Fang, PTSA parent and self-appointed popularity guru. “A joy to watch.” Sandra displayed a half smile as if she’d saved the rest for later, or for someone else.

Whispers and laughter circled around. The happiness volume constantly turned up by the joy of seeing children at the edge of adulthood, ready for the next big step.

A thrill if she didn’t seat squeezed by families she’d known since seventh grade. There was no escaping the familiar faces today. Those who’d watched her life unravel. Families that were still a unit, unlike her and Jackson. 

Hang in there, Gloria. She’d sneak in for a couple of pictures with Tabby, then slip out of the auditorium before Jackson made his way to congratulate their daughter. With his new wife. Maybe he’d have the good sense to mingle among the crowd first. Introduce her to fathers he played golf with. Fresh off his honeymoon, he’d boast like he always did. Talk about the Catamaran and the BIV waters. Another way to show her off — the much younger woman, according to the rumor mill. Too tall, according to Tabby, almost as tall as Jackson with long, red hair. A washed-out red.

None of this was Gloria’s business. She rolled her watch bracelet — one o’clock. Any moment now.

The day belonged to her beautiful daughter, who graduated high school today. Next week she’ll be off to college, two states away, following in her brother’s footsteps. Gloria will be a divorced empty nester. And life will go on somehow. It always did.

——–

Image courtesy: yan profil kadın resmi,
www.fantastikresimler.net

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In High Heels

“Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.” ~ Marilyn Monroe.

Knowing how glamorous Marilyn was, it’s safe to assume she was talking about something like this:

 

But for me, the right shoes means something much closer to this:

 

My work attire is business casual, weekend outfit jeans, shirt, and flops — weather considering. As I dash from soccer practice to basketball game to birthday parties to God-knows-what-other activity, I’m a casual dress code kind of gal.  Can’t remember last time I wore a suit or anything close to such a fancy ensemble. Dresses yes, I like easy summer dresses, but many require ironing. So, I’m happy with jeans.

There was a time I used to spend hours trying on clothes, putting on makeup (heavy makeup) before walking out the door. Now, I’m all about comfort.

Yet, this weekend I’m going to wear something similar to this (if I can manage to walk out the door without twisting my ankle). Will have comfortable shoes in the car, just in case.

Why, you ask?  I’m going to a musical/art/fundraising event scheduled to take place at a venue in the Los Angeles Art District. And I’m told that’s where people go all dressed up.  While I’m not one for appearances, we meet friends there — people who like to look very nice. So, okay, I’ll try. Let’s see how long I last before running (barefoot) for my comfortable shoes.

What do you all think about high heels — the feel, the look, the madness?

 

Convincing Character, A Must

It takes but one scene, one shaky description, to unravel a story and make the character unconvincing. And once the reader-story connection is broken, there may be no reconnecting.  The reader may understand more than the narrator, or he may not know what pulled him out of the story. But it doesn’t matter because it’s over.

I was reminded of the important reader-story connection today, when a magazine editor replied to a submission I sent long ago. He accepted one of my stories before, but not this time. The reason? Halfway through the story the character slips into a short ‘woe is me’ voice and that weakens the impact. Worse, it affects the character’s credibility.

The editor writes: “She needs to be convincing throughout.  If you can convince the reader that she’s a reliable witness, then the pathos of her situation should emerge naturally to the reader.  The more time she spends saying “woe is me” on the other hand, the less the reader is pulled in.”

 Another reminder that convincing character is a must, meaning the character should be herself, level-headed, strong, and trustworthy.  And all this needs to come across in a natural way to the reader, with no ‘there’s a writer in the room’ feel. Easy enough. 

So, back to work I go. Writing is revising and the outcomes are many — we have a better story or we decide to let go and move on.  I’m okay with either result and hope this new/old lesson remains cemented in my memory for future use.

Good luck with your writing and all you do.

Cheers,

Silvia.

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Photo credit: GLAHM 46413: Girl reading (recto)Unfinished, huntsearch.gla.ac.uk

 

 

Take Love And Receive It — Blog Awards

Take love and receive it, don’t you know that you need it?” ~ Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise.

So, in the spirit of giving and receiving, I thank my blogging friends for bestowing upon me two special awards: The Very Inspiring Blogger Award, and The Sunshine Award

 And receiving love comes with the awesome responsibility of spreading love around, right? Well, I know many folks don’t do awards, and I completely understand. But that’s not going to stop me from naming a few blogs. Simply because I think they’re awesome. What you do with this is up to you, of course.

 Now, on with the show.

 

First, Beverly Fox at The Beveled Edged nominated me for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Thank you Beverly. She “ …muses on the edge. Of what we’re not sure. But the edge of something.” Visiting her blog is always an amazing experience.

There are rules involved, and here they are:

1. Display logo in your blog to show you’ve been nominated.

2. Link back to your nominator.

3. Share 7 things about yourself.

4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award. (That’s a large number. Will start with five and go back for the rest later. It’s Friday, please bear with me.)

5. Notify your nominees.

Now, seven new facts about me.  Let’s see.

1) Love watching the History Channel. So, I was surprised to come across a documentary about aliens the other night. Is it just me or is it strange? History = our planet’s history = the past. No?

 2) I grew up in cold climate but don’t like cold weather anymore. We’re not talking freezing temperatures — cold, alone, gets to me fast.

3) I squeezed in a book-club meeting last night. Finally. Great discussion. Readers really aren’t interested in discussing prose or any other writing element. Just the story.  

4) Love spending time by the beach.

5) I actually read when I’m at the beach. My family thinks that’s weird. The beach is for fun in the sun, they say, not reading.

6) I drive a lot. So, with vacation coming up, I’m looking forward to getting on a plane, then on a train. I’m tired of driving.

7) I’m a soccer and basketball mom. Yay!

And now the five (for now) nominees:

Noelle at SaylingAway,  

Karen at Born To Write,  

Lucy at Lucy’s Reality,

Jen at  We’re Living A Full Life,

Rinelle at Rinelle Grey.

Second, Franny at Dr. Franny and Mrs. Myself nominated me for The Sunshine Award. Thank you Franny. She’s sweet and fun, fun, fun to read.   

 

Here we go — 5  Super Sweet Questions:

Cookies or Cake? Both, please.  I love both.

Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate. I wouldn’t mind having it with every meal.

Favorite Sweet Treat? Ice-cream and chocolate. Together, separate, doesn’t matter.

When do you crave sweet things the most? In the afternoon, about an hour or so after lunch.

Sweet Nick Name? I don’t really have a nickname. I’m pretty nickname-less. Sorry.

The Bakers Dozen Nominees (Starting with 3 this time, and yes, repeating from above because I really like their blogs. By the way, the number of bloggers to name is too large in my opinion. Who do I petition about changing that? :)).

Noelle at SaylingAway,  

Karen at Born To Write,  

Lucy at Lucy’s Reality

Thanks again for nominating me.  I’m off to notify my nominees. If you accept, the process is the same. I’m looking forward to reading your posts.

It’s been fun. Next, the sunshine (the one outside, not the award) awaits. See you soon.