Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Writer's Digest -- St. Patrick's Day Special Edition

I thought this was a bit strange, but in honor of St. Patrick's Day, I thought...hey, why not?! I'm up for the challenge!

You drank a little too much green beer on St. Patrick's Day and can't remember the night. A friend calls to check up on you and fills you in on what happened—and why she has your pants.

Photo credit: beccafromportland

"You were pretty wild last night. How's the hangover?" said a giggly Victoria.

"Head's still throbbing, but I have my trusty Vitamin Water by my side. Hmmm..was I really wild?" I questioned as I switched my cell phone to the other ear. "I don't remember much besides going to a few bars on Clement and Geary. Grabbing a slice and heading home. Too much green beer! Good thing St. Paddy's Day only comes once a year!!"

"So you don't remember The Bitter End? Pole dancing? Dollar bills stuffed down your shirt?"


"Only good thing about it was those dollar bill paid for our pizza that night," Victoria mused. "Oh, I'll drop by after work tonight to return your pants."

"My what? My pants?"

"Didn't you notice the jeans you wore last night were missing? At the very end of your pole dance, you started to unbutton the top of your jeans. We continued to walk outside and your pants kept falling further and further off your butt."

"How come no one pulled them back up for me?"

"Wait, I'm getting to that. We tried to pull them up, but you wouldn't let us button them. They seemed snug enough, so we just kept walking to Nizario's. As we turned onto Geary, you fell flat on your knees. Your pants had somehow come off, made you trip, and you landed on dog do...it wasn't all over, just on one pant leg."

"Gross, all that happened last night? Gosh, I'm glad I forgot! Wait, so I was walking around with dog shit stained jeans the rest of the night??" I shouted in between sips of my Vitamin Water.

"NO! We wouldn't let you do that! Luckily, Sarah offered to loan you the leggings she was wearing under her skirt. Meant she was out there in the cold in a micro mini, but you had pants again. We were going to leave your pants on the street, but they are afterall your favorite pair, so we brought them to the dry cleaners this morning."

I gasped, "They took the dog shit stained pants?"

"They sure did...and that'll be $20, please."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Writer's Digest Prompts Continues

Write an apology letter to yourself for not taking a chance you wish you would have—whether it be in love, work, your writing career or even something silly.

Dear Marie,

I know it's not the best to have too many regrets, but I'm hoping this one is okay to have because there's something I/we can do about it. I apologize for not putting you first all these years. I'm such a collectivistic person, so focused on filial piety, that I neglected to attend to your needs and wants. Let's do something to erectify this. Together, let's know our worth. Say "no" more often. Be true to ourselves. Sure, we'll keep doing things for others, but be mindful about putting ourselves as first priority.

This apology is long overdue, and for that also, I am sorry. Here's to putting you first!


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Writer's Digest Got it Going On!

Yet another Writer's Digest writing prompt that got my attention. Admittedly, I had to sift through a few pages before finding this, but I'm patient. This particular prompt is very unique and hopefully will help me learn to write details. Here it is:

Look around the room and pick an object. Write one paragraph describing the object in full detail and a second paragraph explaining where it came from.

Photo credit: dianaschnuth

My garbage bin sits underneath my tiny work desk. It makes for less leg room, but admittedly, there is no other place to put it inside the office. The tan, plastic garbage bin stands a little over a foot tall, a foot and a half wide and less than a foot deep. To say it's ordinary is an understatement! The black garbage bag that lines it is tied taught to one side by a knot. It's contents include: 3/4 full container of low fat mixed berry yogurt (sweetened with Splenda, I couldn't stomach the horrible aspertain taste) with a plastic disposable spoon still in the container, a Trader Joe's brand Jasmine Green Tea bag and some of the tea steeped dark (leftover from yesterday's afternoon cup), and the plastic packaging for the heavy duty plastic binder dividers along with the colorful paper packaging that pictures and describes the product's features. Probably the strangest of the bin's contents are a dozen budless flower stems with dried leaves and all. The multi-colored roses survived almost two weeks in the murky waters; a gift from my thoughtful co-workers on my 30th birthday.
Everyone in the office appears to have their own garbage bin. For those who lock their doors at the end of the work day, they leave the bins outside in the hallway. All lined up, they get magically emptied after hours, and often re-lined with new garbage bags (especially for those bins that had food and drink). Every morning my officemate arrives to work before me, she thoughtfully places my garbage bin underneath my desk...always in the exact spot.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Writing Exercises at Their Best

I found a decent site for writing prompts in Writer's Digest. It's updated frequently as they have holiday/calendar related prompts. This is one I chose (hoping I'll do a good job with dialogue):

When out to lunch with co-workers, you bump into a close friend who refers to you by a nickname. Because of its unusualness, the nickname catches the interest of one of your co-workers who asks for the story behind it. Start your story with, "This may come as a surprise, but ... " and end it with, "And that's how I got the nickname (fill in the blank)." (500 word or fewer)
Photo credit: flashlightfish

"This may come to a surprise, but...I'm a bit of a goody two shoes, " I reported. "That nickname, Sovereign is in regards to me being a good two shoes, princess type...in fact when Daniel and I used to play Super Mario Brothers, I always played the princess character. And on top of that, my middle name is Severina. Which I guess sounds like Sovereign."

The three of us continued to walk down the street towards our building. Maggie looks over and says, "I guess I see it."
"So, Daniel is your friend from high school and you've had that nickname since then? Who else calls you by that name?" asks Lara.

"Yes, Daniel went to Wash with me. Hmmmm, but the nickname didn't surface till college. Our other friend, Charles made it up. He was into nicknames...and was desparate to find one for me.

"He should have tried harder...though, I suppose it's regal. Get it?!" Lara joked.

I laughed all the way up the stairs and into my office, only waiving at Maggie as we parted ways to our separate wings.

"Gee, it wasn't that funny," Lara said.

"Maybe not, " I replied, "but it got me."

Always unmotivated to work after a bento box lunch, I decided to check my personal email before cracking down on that event budget. Daniel had already sent me an email about meeting up later in the week for coffee. Oh, sent from his Apple iPhone...la ti da, I thought to myself. As I was replying to his email, I began to go over our 15 year friendship. I realized there was more to the story of the nickname and had to share with Lara down the hall.

"Hey, Lara! I remembered more details around how I got my nickname. I was at the mall with Daniel and Charles, and I ran into a family friend who's name was Princess. I hadn't seen her in years, and after small talk, I realized I didn't know her at all anymore. In fact, I disliked how fake we both were in our conversation. 'I used to envy Princess,' I told the two. 'She always had prettier dresses and cooler toys than me...she was always prettier too.' Charles retorted, 'But look who's prettier now? Who's better dressed, and has two fly boys at her side?' Daniel added, 'And you're about 5 inches taller than her too!!' 'Ah ha, Charles added, "looks like you're more of a princess than she is. And we shall call you, Sovereign."

"And that's how I got the nickname, Sovereign."


Opps...425 words!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Other OTH quotes

“The heart has reasons that reason cannot know.”
-- Blaise Pascal, author

Photo credit: * Yumi *

“Do not look back and grieve over the past, for it is gone;and do not be troubled about the future, for it has yet to come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering.”
--Ida Scott Taylor, author

“Live all you can; it's a mistake not to. It doesn't so much matter what you do in particular, so long as you have your life. If you haven't had that what have you had?”
--Henry James, author

"There is no despair so absolute as that which comes with the first moments of our first great sorrow, when we have not yet known what it is to have suffered and healed, to have despaired and have recovered hope."
--George Eliot, author

Season 3 provided me with a lot of insight about love, loss and grieving. I know that it's just a television show, but the show touches on emotions I'm currently feeling. And while television is be favorite escape, I'm okay with the show affecting my emotions and causing way more tears than usual.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Quotes (from OTH)

I'm in LOVE with One Tree Hill. I love the quotes Lucas says in the beginning of each episode; it's as if it's the episode's "theme" . Love it! Here's one from Season 2:

Photo credit: ToniVC

"Time takes it all, whether you want it to or not. Time takes it all, time bears it away, and in the end there is only darkness. Sometimes we find others in that darkness, and sometimes we lose them there again."

-- Stephen King, author

Friday, February 20, 2009

Writing Exercise(s) Found Online Part 2

The minute I read this writing prompt, I knew I wanted to do it. I had a blast attempting to write the prose in my last writing exercise, and I can only imagine this will be even more fun. (Dialogue is hard to write...for some reason.) Here's the prompt:

Shifts in Perspective: Write about a past family gathering, the most embarrassing thing that ever happened in your high school, the best (or worst) teacher you ever had, the time you learned to do something important (swim, ride a bike, use a computer), or the biggest event you ever attended. Write the story in as much detail as possible, explaining what you saw, what you did, and how you felt. Then rewrite the same story from the perspective of someone else - a relative, a fellow student, another participant, a passer-by, etc.

My Perspective

Mr. Bob Matthews was every one's favorite 7th grade teacher...favorite teacher, period. He gave us 7th graders a reason to like Math and Science. In fact, Science was my favorite subject back then because of him. I'll never forget receiving an A+ in Science on my report card. Who gets an A+ in Science?! It was all the extra credit points he used to issue us after the actual exam. Fun little tidbits of knowledge that we'd absorb like a sponge. For instance, FUCK is an acronym--For UnCardinal Knowledge. Yup, that's something we learned from Mr. Matthews. He knew what was and wasn't appropriate.

Last day of 7th grade, someone had the idea that we'd do a nice send off to Mr. Matthews. Earlier in the year, he showed us the movie, Dead Poets' Society with Robin Williams. Everyone was captivated by the movie. To this day, I think of 7th grade when I watch or the mere mention of the movie. Last day of school...12:15 or something like that because it was a half day...the bell rings, I and 30 other classmates stand on top of our desks and say, "O Captain, My Captain". Just like in the movie, we are emotional. Tears stream down my cheeks. I look around the room and it's not an uncommon emotion. Mr. Matthews looks as if he's near tears. He bows. He says a few parting words of gratitude, and then quickly leaves the room. We got to him...and he had to run out of the room cause he didn't want us to see him cry.

The Janitor's Perspective

That Bob Matthews was every one's favorite teacher. Always kids around him staying after class with questions. I was mopping the hallway near his classroom the other day and I heard how he captivated his students. One student proclaimed, "You make Science so much fun!" He treats his students with respect and you get a sense that he's making a difference in their lives.

Yesterday was the last day of school. I was doing my rounds upstairs when I peaked inside Mr. Matthews classroom. He stood before them and the students were on top of their desks. Strange sight. Some looked very emotional with tears in their eyes. Mr. Matthews himself looked near tears. He was speaking in front of the class one minute and then rushing out the door the next. Matter of fact he almost ran into me on his way out. The students came down from their desks and cried. Hugged each other and cried. I wonder if it had anything to do with them being 8th graders now.