Showing posts from December, 2007

writing prompt #4: bartal and the brain

Thanks to Sara for the following writing prompt : “A bitter physicist plots to take over the world.” I. He’d thought he was over it, until he saw the mouse. Bartal Varga had lived a quiet life for more than ten years, working at the educational supply store and living on the third floor of a an apartment building full of quiet, mostly single professionals who kept their homes very clean. This was key. But of course just because a thing was not probable didn’t mean it wasn’t possible. And where a possibility exists, it will occur. Not often, but occasionally. Say, once every decade. Now here it was: the small gray-brown nose of possibility. Joined by whiskers, black eyes and tiny clicking toenails that belied delicate hands capable of disarming a bomb. Or arming one. It’s just a house mouse, Bartal told himself. It hasn’t lived in a lab and taken careful notes when unsuspecting scientists are conducting classified experiments. But he was thinking all this on top

carlos and desiree

“Carlos and Desiree dropped off a bunch of cardboard boxes outside my door,” I told AK. “They are so nice!” “They’re like your new best friends,” she observed. “You’ve mentioned them like 20 times.” Who are Carlos and Desiree, you ask? They’re my new neighbors at my soon-to-be old apartment building. They’re a young couple with two cute little boys. We’ve talked twice now, and they’ve been friendly. But to be perfectly honest, there’s nothing inherently that special about them. As AK and Alberto prepare to vacate their current house, there’s been lots of wistful reminiscing about the good times they’ve had together. Alberto and his girlfriend Veronica nuzzle AK’s cat endlessly, and though Ferdinand is not a nuzzler by nature, even he seems emotional. Meanwhile, after two years of happily living alone, I’m suddenly sad that I live alone. No one really cares if I get all nostalgic about the time I painted the walls bright blue. I’ve never made an effort to get to

on the move

Just stopping by to say I haven’t forgotten about my creative writing prompts. I got a great one from Meehan on Friday, based on my call for prompts (so meta! So Meehan!): “Because the webcam is strapped to my forehead, you can’t see what’s going on directly behind me.” While that creates all sorts of possibilities for monstery-ness, this is Moving Week, and therefore, for the next seven days (and possibly longer depending how soon AT&T gets the inte rn et hooked up at our new place), I will only be able to think about: AT&T cardboard boxes and people who might be able to hook me up with cardboard boxes the patches that need to be touched up on our newly painted walls (which kick ass, if I do say so myself) feline stepsibling introductions U-Haul and how its website tries to sell you a bunch of crap that you don’t need, even more so than the average website gifts I have not wrapped/purchased the awesome coffee table AK and I found at the yard sale of this c


Tonight I was going to try to write flash fiction about a bitter physicist who tries to take over the world, but I’m tired and apparently my personal life is much more popular blog fodder and I sort of tuned out on the physics front when we started learning about levers in seventh grade. So instead I will ponder this: Am I everyone’s dead end friend? Recently, a college friend whom I got back in touch with after a long hiatus told me she was pregnant. “I’m not supposed to tell anyone until the second trimester, but I can tell you because you’re a dead end friend, meaning you don’t talk to anyone else I know.” Another friend told me about a newly acquired STD (one of the mild, treatable ones, luckily). The news was top secret, and although he didn’t say so, I assumed I was hearing about it because I barely know his boyfriend or his boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend. Don’t get me wrong. I’m enough of an Us Weekly reader that I like to learn about the various consequences of my fri

writing prompt #3: four second dates

Thanks to Nicole for the following writing prompt : "I’d like to see you write an extremely personal non-fiction story about something you experienced in your life." 1. I like fiction because I can be ruthless—i.e. more honest—in that form, while nonfiction brings out the nice—i.e. more boring—side of me. But I do have this blog thing. And while everything you read here is the truth (with the exception of the occasional clearly demarcated evil pig or flower vendor ), it is not the whole truth. It couldn’t be, not unless I strapped a web cam to my forehead. And even then you wouldn’t know what was happening directly behind me. But before this turns into a post-structural dissertation on the slippery nature of truth, I will say that even by old-fashioned definitions, you’re still not getting the whole truth. For example, I almost never write about: work fights with AK dating (back when I was) people I dislike but will have to face again So, basica

writing prompt #2: follow me to the church of perfect light

Thanks to AK for the following writing prompt: “A woman selling a bucket of roses by the side of the freeway. A messy-haired 20-something drives up and taps his fingers and looks guilty. He rolls down the window, asks ‘How much for them all?,’ and pulls out a wad of cash and buys them.” I. Lena is picking small black bugs off the roses when the car pulls up. It’s a medium-sized black SUV, sandwiched loosely between a low-rider Chevy and a cloud-blue Honda. It’s Saturday afternoon and there is a USC game at the Coliseum—otherwise Lena wouldn’t be working. The window glides down. The driver is a youngish white guy with wild sandy hair and sunglasses that match his car. He has stubble on his cheeks, but he’s wearing a suit. He drums his nail-bitten fingertips on the steering wheel and doesn’t stop drumming even as he leans out to talk to her. “How much for all of them?” “ All of them?” “Yes. All. Of. Them.” His voice has a learn-English-damnit tone. “I heard you,” L

writing prompt #1: don't call me charlotte, bitch

Thanks to Tracy for the following writing prompt: “EVIL PIGS!” “Hey, piggy. Hey, Charlotte,” cooed London Sweet. She blinked shimmery blue eyelids at Bernadette as she sank slowly into the mud. She was sinking because the skinny heels of her leather boots could only walk on certain types of flooring: marble, honey-gold wood, Persian rug. They were no match for pig shit. Bernadette blinked back with pink eyelids and hoped London would be swallowed up whole. The other pigs were very excited about the presence of the Trust Fund Babies: Ranch Round-Up cast and crew. Thin, noisy teenagers in sparkly clothing. Men in baseball caps behind cameras. They were nothing like the usual caretakers, quiet Latino men who always seemed tired, who seemed to consciously avoid befriending the pigs. But Bernadette wasn’t an idiot. She was some terrific, radiant (if not humble) pig. She knew, for example, that Charlotte was the fucking spider, not the pig. Wilbur was the pig, and Wilbur was an