Thursday, February 21, 2013

One Lovely Blog Award

This morning, the lovely Bee, over at Living Off Script, graced me with my first blog award.  She then very patiently instructed me how to put the darn thing in my sidebar.  I won't "waste" one of my 15 facts to inform you that I have become a bit computer illiterate all while working on my writing. 

So thanks, Bee, for your recognition and your tutelage.  Here are my 15 things: 

1. This is a baby blog.  However, I took the bull by the horns and linked up my very first post with yeah write.  It was one of the best decisions I ever made. 

2. In my fifth grade year book, I am quoted as saying I wanted to be a young adult fiction writer when I grew up.  I think I forgot about that aspiration (stupid puberty), but maybe one day that dream will come true.

3. My two bottom middle teeth are baby teeth.  I was born without the adult ones.  These teeth are VERY lose.  Look forward to an upcoming angst-filled blog post about how and when I will need to walk around with a hole in my head in order to fix this little "problem."

4. I went to an all-girls Catholic high school.  This is fairly common where I grew up (and still live), but many people find it fascinating. 

5. Whilst at this high school, I played both volleyball and softball.  While the lacrosse and field hockey girls wore cute little plaid kilts and ran around a dew covered field, I donned spandex and slid into gym floors and rocky dirt.  It was awesome. 

6. My favorite television show of all time is Gilmore Girls.

7.  My favorite movie of all time is Back to the Future.

8. I taught myself how to juggle in middle school and once juggled tuna cans at the front of the sanctuary to congratulate my church for meeting our canned goods collection goal.

9. My husband has proofread every blog post I have ever written (my previous blog included.)  This post is no exception.  Hi, honey!

10. I collect pigs.  Growing up people went crazy with this information and gifted me everything from pig slippers to piggy banks to pig posters.  As a mature adult, I have whittled my menagerie down to only the most tasteful of items (if there is such a thing.)  Some of my favorites include a pig watering can, a set of pig key hooks, and a 40lb wrought iron pig doorstop.

11. If I ever have to choose a last meal, it will be a cheeseburger, fries and a Coke.

12. Growing up I had rodents as pets: Hamlet the hamster, Julius the gerbil, Sam and Al the dwarf hamsters and Lance the gerbil. 

13. I am fairly low maintenance when it comes to my appearance (cause I am naturally gorgeous, duh), but I insist on always having my toes painted.  They are currently sporting "Wet Cement."

14. I can drive a manual transmission.

15. I signed up for a writing class at the community college.  It starts Tuesday.  I hope I like it.

And in the spirit of paying it forward and having fun (and because these bloggers ROCK), my nominees are:

- This Heart of Mine
- Fifty Shades of Peach
- Michelle Longo
- Does Anyone Care What I Write?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


The bottle was nearly empty.  Cindy was stunned.  The innocent carpet picnic she had orchestrated for her boys to bridge the evening hours had turned into a living room massacre of sorts.  No one had been harmed, save the cat whose meows rang of a personal assault.  The only creature daring to move, she feverishly licked her fur.  The three tow-headed tots remained silent and stiff on the floor, their bright, blue eyes wide.  It was the youngest who spoke first, his voice squeaking as he pointed, "Mommy, you shook dippy all over the ceiling!"

Still clutching the bottle, its cap long gone, Cindy gazed upwards, her mouth gaping.  It was then that a drop of ketchup detached from one of the many strings that had formed and hit Cindy square on her button nose.  Scrunching her face, she barely resisted the urge to scream.  Redirecting her emotions, she extended her other hand palm side up and calmly quipped, "Whelp, this is interesting weather we are having.  Good thing it's chicken fingers for dinner!"

Relieved by her reaction, the three boys immediately burst into giggles of delight.  Cindy followed suit and was soon laughing so hard she had to sit down.  Ketchup dappled the sofa and now the back of her jeans.  It clung to the walls and it hung from the door frames.  It stuck in the boy's hair and even to their necks.  Ketchup streaked the curtains and across the television screen.  Every glimpse of the stuff shook Cindy all the more, her body rocking and reverberating with hysteria.

Tears streaming down her face, she motioned for the boys to eat, their plates already covered in the desired condiment.  They happily complied and she plopped down with them after catching her breath.  Cindy speckled the rest of the meal with periodic sighs of disbelief, her mind, like the living room, clouded with a bittersweet aroma.   

Hours later, the boys long asleep after leaving an orange ring around the tub, Cindy's husband returned home from overtime.  "Hey babe, it's me!  I brought your favorite!"  Reaching into a grease-stained white paper bag, he proudly lifted out a warm package of crispy, golden fries for Cindy to behold.  "I'll go get the ketchup."

"Sweetie, wait."  Cindy held up her hand.  "They look delicious, but let's just leave them plain tonight." 


This piece is a work of fiction and was inspired by this week's the speakeasy writing prompt.  Click on the button below to read the prompt and the other beautiful writers who hang out there.  Thanks!


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pre-teen Skateland

I threw it on the ground and burst into tears.  My so-called friends skated away, giggling and gossiping.  Infuriated by what they had done, I had no idea what to do next.  I watched them head to the well-lit snack area while I retrieved the crumpled note.  Alone, I reread his poor penmanship, scribbled in the same sparkly purple ink I had used, "Jamie, thank you for asking me to skate the next couples skate with you.  Love, Kevin."

The note was supposed to read, "Love, Bryce."  It had taken me most of the school year to get up the nerve to ask my friends to ask him to skate with me.  I should have done it myself, like Mom had said.  But no, I asked my stupid friends to do it and they asked Kevin instead.  My tears tasted bitter on my lips.  There was no way I was going to skate with him.  He smelled like cooked eggs.  He wore the same navy blue sweatpants everyday to school.  His teeth overlapped like my brother's nasty mummy mask and I was pretty sure this was his third year in seventh grade.

As I finished contemplating the note, a slower song began to play and the dreaded couples skate was announced.  As pairs of kids scurried onto the glossy wooden floor, I hightailed it to the other end of the rink to hide in the bathroom.  I really had no idea what I would do if Kevin came looking for me.  Once in the safety zone, I jammed my hand into the pocket of my jeans for a quarter.  Depositing it into the machine, I turned the crank and let the gumball roll heavy into my palm.

Methodical chewing calmed me down.  Mom called gum my guilty pleasure, whatever that meant.  After a few deep breaths, I reasoned that the open session was almost over and I could soon leave this disaster behind.  I skated over to the open doorway and peaked out over the rink.  The painted concrete block walls felt cool beneath my sweaty palms.  The couples skate was in full swing and I caught a glimpse of Bryce with his arm around some eighth grader with long blond hair.

Then I saw Kevin.  He was sitting by himself on the bench where I had waited for my friends.  The sweeping and swirling lights of the darkened rink dappled him with the outlines of stars and hearts.  He was as far away from me as he could have been in that place, but I could tell by the way he was sitting that he was sad.  My friends had succeeded in ruining his day, too.  I wondered if they had even thought about that. 

When it was all finally over, I somehow managed to avoid the gaggle of girls, Kevin and Bryce on my way to meet Mom.  Our car was already parked at the curb when I walked outside and I slid sulking into the backseat.  I slammed the door behind me.  Mom turned down the radio.

"Did you not have a good time skating today, honey?"

"You wouldn't understand."

Without pestering me for more, she simply rummaged through her bag and reached behind her to hand me a piece of gum.  A wave of emotion washed over me.  I didn't know what to do.  So, I threw it on the ground and burst into tears.

Monday, February 11, 2013

She Refused

"OK, you'll need to undress down to your bra and underwear.  I'll get you a gown."

"Is it a paper gown?" I asked the very pregnant tech as she began to laboriously bend down.

Without bothering to right herself she responded, "Yeah, why?"

"Well, maybe I'll just skip the gown."

"You don't want the gown?"

"I mean, wouldn't it be easier if I didn't wear one?  I am getting a full body scan.  I feel like a paper gown would just get in the way and get ripped up."

"I guess.  I mean, you don't HAVE to wear one.  It's no skin off my nose.  It saves me a gown."

I was being efficient AND environmentally conscious.   I was pretty much rocking this dermatology appointment.  

"Oh," the tech added as she jotted something down on my chart, "do you mind if the medical students accompany the doctor during the exam?"

"Not at all!"  And, I was helping to edify our future health care professionals.  Fantastic!

But then I sat there, waiting.  I sat waiting, and waiting and waiting, just me, my sports bra and my bikini cuts made three.  I had no magazine, no phone.  I felt vulnerable.  Perched on that sticky table with its clingy roll of paper, my armpits began emitting warning waves of fight or flight.  

As the first tiny beads of sweat tickled my sides, I hurriedly scanned the room for the gown I had so willingly dismissed earlier.  I began to choreograph the quickest way into it when my brand-new-to-me silver fox of a dermatologist crashed through the door followed by three towering med students.

The exam room was no bigger than 12 feet square.  The four faces were no further than three feet from mine, not to mention basically the rest of my very fair skin.  This was no big deal, I reasoned.  I was perfectly decent in front of professionals.  I really didn't need that silly paper cover up.  Feigning confidence, I took a deep breath, sat up straight and greeted the doctor (and his entourage) with a smile.

"Hello, you must be Kristin,"  Dr. Douglass bellowed.  "I see you decided to go gown-less.  Good for you!"

Oh, for Pete's sake.  Two sentences in and he spanked the elephant in the room.  That was clearly a breech of examination etiquette.  Utterly embarrassed, I apologized for being a practical mom who hated waste.  The students shifted awkwardly next to me, but then my thought process did too.

I was simply there to get all my moles checked out.  I didn't bring anything funky to the table.  I looked like any other woman in her thirties with two young kids.  In fact, I probably even looked better than average in my undies, after all.  I don't exercise, but I stay active and am trim.  My tummy is soft, but refined.  My chest is small, but therefore very appropriately portrayed.  And, no, I may not regularly wax, but I don't go around spidering out everywhere either. 

I decided to embrace the exam with aplomb.  Even as the eight eyes patiently perused every inch of me for skin enigma, I played it cool.  I asked thought-provoking questions like, "What's that weird-looking thing?"  I even sprinkled in a few jokes and got a few laughs.  By the end of the appointment I had almost convinced myself I was enjoying this dermatological debauchery.

When it was all over, I received a clean bill of health.  Relieved that I wouldn't have to have anything picked or scraped off of me to add to the anxiety of the appointment, I actually hopped off of the table to accept my complimentary sunscreen.  Possibly alarmed by my nearly naked maneuvering, the group quickly filed out of the room and left me to re-robe.

I felt oddly exhilarated, maybe I had really been concerned the doctor would find something. Throwing on the mere tank top, shorts and sandals that enabled me to re-enter the waiting area, I grabbed my bag and headed to the receptionist. As she scheduled me for next year's full body scan, I read the note the tech had scribbled on the top of my chart, "She refused gown."

That's right I did.   


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Guest Post: Wednesday's Woman

Several weeks ago, Kimberly over at Sperk* approached me about writing an upcoming post for her weekly feature "Wednesday's Woman."  Flattered, I jumped at the chance to do some extra writing and then set out to choose my "victim."   

Follow me through this link to Sperk* to read about and show your appreciation for a real life role model: my good friend (and maybe yours), M. Kendall Ludwig. 

Kendall and Kristin

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


A hush descended over the room.  Anxiety rose up in her throat.  The introductions started.  If only she had had time for a drink.  She twisted her wrist toward her and looked down to check the time.  The floral pattern of the commercial-grade hotel carpet turned slowly in a blur below her.

The banquet hall was packed with people starving for her words.  She could see them through the narrow break in the partition; shuffling their chairs and napkins, scurrying at the last minute to return to their seats.  It was the same in every big city, every small town.  She was the reason this desperate bunch was in this ridiculous room and they did not want to miss one delicious bit.

In 57 minutes and 26 seconds, she would convince them that they should start over and the time to do so was now.  They simply needed to throw off their old prescriptions for new rose-colored glasses.  In five easy steps they would envision themselves as freshly-polished vessels, newly empty to receive all the positive pieces her plan had to offer.

Mulling over the program made her nauseous.  What kind of hotel bar does not serve alcohol until four o'clock?  Devon was going to have to handle the helicoptering hoard himself.  There was no way she was going to sit in the lobby and sign books today.  There was an entire case of autographed copies in the van.  In 57 minutes and 26 seconds, she was going to be upstairs in her room, manhandling the mini bar.

The lights dimmed over the room.  Adrenaline pulsed through her body.  The introductions ended.  If only she had had time for a drink.  She shifted her gaze toward the steps on the riser.  "Ladies and gentleman, it is with great honor and exceeding pleasure that I bring to you this afternoon, the one, the only, our Maven of Motivation, Savannah Joy Copeland!"


This piece is a work of fiction and was inspired by this week's the speakeasy writing prompt.  Click on the button below to read the prompt and the other talented writers who hang out there.  Thanks!

Saturday, February 2, 2013


"Are you saying I can not return these Islamic stamps, which you told me were Jewish stamps, when I am a Christian?"

"Miss, I do not care what you believe in."

"I do!"


Today I am linking up with the weekend Trifecta writing challenge, Trifextra:

For the weekend prompt we're asking for exactly 33 words of dialogue.

My entry this week was inspired by a previous post.  You can read it here.

To read the other entries, click on the button below.  I highly recommend it.  Plus, each one is only 33 words...