Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Flash Fiction--title to come

So at BlogHer I did this writing exercise. It became this little flash fiction story.

Here is the flash fiction story--draft one. I might polish it up to try to sell it to a magazine. Curious what you might make of it.

The writing prompt was about sensory writing.
The one I received were the following:

  • A 90 year old
  • McDonalds
  • The sound of breaking glass
  • The scent of orange peels
  • Taste of something sour

Here is the flash fiction story. 

Hands which used to cup the faces of the most desired men in Hollywood now searched for the simple warmth of a McDonalds cup of coffee. Though her nails were still meticulously buffed and polished, the fingers were long and thin. The skin had liver spots, and no one would mistake them for a young woman’s hands.  They were 90 years old, like the rest of her.

They didn’t shake as she emptied two of the creams and four packets of sugar into the coffee and took a sip. The coffee wasn’t as tasty as Cary Grant. Nor as gorgeous as Brando in his prime, but it was hot and wasn’t likely to disappoint.

The timer on her erroneously named smartphone went off. Time for the pill of the hour. She reached into the purse that had been a diaper bag and dug for her pill holder. It had each pill for the days of the week. She opened the little square and put the small disc on her tongue. She gulped the coffee and liquid and pill went down.  Then she dropped the smartphone and the glass cracked. Stupid smartphone.

She dug into the diaper bag where she kept extra Ziploc bags. She opened one without thinking and was assaulted with the smell of decaying orange peels. She must have forgotten to throw them out. She’d forget her own name next. She put the cracked smartphone in an empty bag and zipped it closed.

“Here, honey.” Half of a McDonald’s cherry “pie” appeared on a napkin in front of her. Audrey slipped into the booth across from her.

Ah, youth. She thought – rather uncharitably. Audrey was only eight years younger than she was, but it seemed like decades. Audrey’s less-than-perfectly manicured hand took one of hers to give strength, no, to share strength. They had shared everything. Audrey had been her beloved friend and her sweetest lover since the beginning of that long-ago television show had launched their careers.

She picked up the cherry “pie” with her free hand and bit in. Savoring the sweet-tart mess. She looked into her lover’s eyes and savored Audrey. They ate in companionable silence. Despite the coffee, she felt herself beginning to drowse. Her eyes closed for a short time longer than a blink.

“Melissa!” She heard Audrey say. “You’ll catch your death!” She opened her eyes to see the silver hair of their daughter. She was wearing an attractive blue swing coat that Audrey was buttoning. Their daughter was sixty-two, and a grandmother, but there Audrey was buttoning her coat.

“Aunt Aud, I’m fine.” Melissa’s strident Brooklyn accent reminded her of Melissa’s father, a co-star who agreed to “stud duty” as he called it for the three months it took for her to become pregnant.

“Ma?” Melissa’s voice took her from her memories and she smiled into the eyes that were so like her own. She put her hand over her daughters. She remembered when Melissa’s hands were so little, now they were larger then her own. When did that happen.

 “You said it was important. Is everything okay?” Melissa said. The peevish annoyed tone had entered her voice. Such a good daughter, she thought. She had been so very blessed to have such a good daughter. 

“It is important. We need you here to witness a signing.” The daughter straightened up, and the lawyer came out.

“Are you two changing your wills? I don’t know how many times I have to tell you that because I’m mentioned in your will, I can’t stand as witness.”

“No darling.” Audrey said. “This.” She put the simple piece of paper down in front of her daughter who was reaching to get her glasses. She then took her lover’s hand so they could watch together when the light went on.

It wasn’t long. Melissa was straightening her glasses and saw the document. She looked up at the two women who raised her. Her mother and Aunt who were the most married people she had ever known. Melissa’s eyes filled.

“Oh Mom!” She breathed and enfolded her mother in a tight hug.

“Aunt Aud!” She said and hugged the other woman.

“But, but everyone should be here!” Melissa said as she searched through her bag to find a tissue. She found it and sniffed into it.  “Why now? Why after all this time? It’s been legal for some time.”

“She finally said yes.” She said, squeezing Audrey’s hand. “Come along now and take pictures on your phone.

Audrey slid out of the booth and took her lover’s cane. Melissa positioned it so her mother could stand. Leaning her weight on it she stood. Audrey took her arm leaving the girl she raised to get the certificate of marriage and follow after them to city hall. 


This is based on one of the days of my internship. I interned at a theatrical production agency and the year was 1994. My boss had taken me to lunch and we saw Audrey Meadows and Joyce Randolph eating lunch together. I had grown up watching Honeymooners reruns but it was my boss who recognized Ms. Meadows and then Ms. Randolph. 

As we left the restaurant we walked by their table and asked their pardon for our interruption, and then we said how much we enjoyed their work. Then we apologized again. Ms. Meadows took my hand. 

"Honey, you recognized us from performances we did decades ago. There's no greater complement for an old woman." She patted my hand and signed autographs for us and then we left. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Microblog Mondays

I love to entertain.

I love having people over and cooking for them.  I love it.

This weekend we are having my second "Will It Grill?" Party.  Well, technically it is my third, but everyone got sick and NJ transit coughed and died for the first one.

Will it Grill is simple.

I supply the burgers and dogs.
People coming supply other things to see if they taste good on the grill.

Last year people brought corn and asparagus.  We were surprised to learn that grilled pineapple tasted amazing!!!!!!

This year people are bringing zucchini and salads and someone said a pizza crust.

So other folks...what do you grill?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


I miss my baby.

Lotus is still fine (thank Gd), and she is tackling the world with her three year old will.

I'm no longer home when she gets home. I'm still at work. I miss the rush of "what we did in school" that she would say when she came through the door. I miss cuddling with her for a half hour watching Team UmiZoomi and listening when she said someone was "not nice."

I like my job. I like the money. I like the fact that the money pays for the dance lessons Lotus adores.

I don't like that I can't go with her and see her excitement.

I'm in the middle of the sadness of the working mother. Lotus is going to be our only child--I'm not getting another shot at this.

I love that D has the summer off and that he can take her and be there for her. I love that they are becoming closer. The last few days Lotus has been back in our bed in the middle of the night, she called out for Daddy to pick her up and get her there. I was happy/sad. Then she grabbed me and held me close.

I love that she is learning that I will come back. I love that the time we spend together is even more special because there isn't as much of it.

But I miss my baby.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Microblog Mondays--Needs Improvement

I took Lotus to Chuck E Cheese for the first time today.  I had promised her Mommy and Lotus time and it seemed like a good idea.

And it was.

She played games and got four tickets from each game that had one.  Fine. Then after playing one for a few times she had a great game and really racked up the points. Over 300 points. I wondered how many tickets she was going to get.


The same as when she got 15 points.

This strikes me as pretty damn stupid.

Seriously, how do we show them that they get better if they get the same number of tickets for a shitty game as they get for an incredible game? I shook my head but thought maybe it was just in the little kid's section. Then we had Lotus' first experience with skee ball. It was like all of my experiences with skee ball except she is better at it than I am but we're both pretty crappy.

How many tickets did she get?
How many tickets did the skee ball hot shot get after a pretty amazing game?

Something seriously wrong with this picture.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

And then the [deleted] had to go and die on me.

One of my personal powerful moment of BlogHer came as an aside.

We were listening to Gwyneth Paltrow discuss her family. This was THE Keynote address so the ballroom was packed. If you were at BlogHer at all, you were at this lecture.  It was a great lecture. Gwyneth was lovely and real. She seemed like someone I could hang out with--and that was the tone of the discussion. We were all "hanging out" with Gwyneth Paltrow.

She had just finished a heartwarming story about her father taking her to Paris. She finished it to applause and then the aside came.

"Yeah, and then the fucker had to go and die on me."

You could tell by the reaction in the room that no one had the slightest idea how to react to that. There were gasps!  (She just said the F-word!)
A feeling of disbelief (She didn't mean to call her father that--did she?)
Slight giggles (She said the F-word)
I'm not sure of the other reactions. I'm sure of mine.

I grinned. Full out.
I applauded--even though few others did.


Because I get it.

This is how I feel about my mother. I could go on and on and on about how wonderful she was and that would be true.  I could go on and on and on about how much I miss her and that would also be true.

I don't get to talk about how furious/angry/annoyed I feel on a regular basis. Not that other people have their mothers and I don't, though that certainly comes into it.

What I can't say is how angry I seem to get--at my mother. This is not cool-but it is real. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross had it in the five stages of grief, but most people think it is anger at the world. No it is focused. Damn fucking focused.

I am angry that she ever smoked. I give her credit for giving up a two pack a day habit cold turkey. But seriously I get angry that she smoked because maybe, maybe if she hadn't she'd still be here.

I am angry that she didn't fight harder to stay. This makes no sense since I know she fought and fought damn hard. But she's not here and my grief is.

I am angry that she didn't tell me _________.  I had been a mother for less than a year when I lost her. I lost her advice before that as she succumbed to the pain and pain pills. I know nothing about being a mom. Maybe she felt she knew nothing too--but she was my mom and she knew me.

I am angry that the fucker had to go and die on me.

That sums it up.

Yes, I have wonderful memories. Yes, she was not young. She was in her 80s and I know I was lucky to have her.

But now I don't.

Because she had to go and die on me.

Blog Her

I'd heard about it.

It seemed cool.

Never got up the wherewithal to actually go before.

And it was wonderful.

I met Melissa of Stirrup Queens and got to hang out with someone who gets it--and me.

I met wonderful people who I hope will be reading this blog.

And I remembered that not only do I like to write--I am really effing good at it.

So what next?

I will be making a bunch of posts that will be me processing BlogHer.
I will finish the flash short fiction that I started at a writing lecture in BlogHer.  I got so into writing it that I left the lecture and then worked on it some more.  It will be done by Friday.
I will register my blog with BlogHer and start reading some of the lives of the people that I met.

But now, I will play most of the day with my daughter as she missed me. I will spend time with my husband as I think he missed me too.

Looking forward to it.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Microblog Monday--Blog Her prep

I'm going to BlogHer.

I've been blogging for over a decade and this is my first time.

I'm nervous and looking forward to it.

And I'd love to meet up with people.

More later.