Showing posts from May, 2015

duct tape

A year and a half ago, I invited some friends to guest blog about a day in their lives . I’m always curious about the nitty-gritty of how people make things work. My mantra lately has been Everyone’s life is secretly held together with duct tape. Since today was my first official day as a full-time working mom,* I am currently interested in how I’m going to make things work. Specifically, when will I write? My options seem to be 5:30 am, lunchtime or 8:30 pm. None of these slots is ideal, but today I’m trying out the latter. And I’m easing into it with a Blog As You Are post of my own because that’s all. I. Can. Manage. 6:05 am: Wake up with pan dulce hangover from yesterday’s mini shindig in our backyard. Vow that this time I really, really will take care of my body. Wonder not for the first time if there is a 12-step group for people who eat well seven days out of eight but then really, really fuck shit up on the eighth day. Feed cats. Feed baby. Feed self. 8:10

that not-so-fresca feeling

Well, I gave Kathy’s prompt (“Fresca”) a try, and I almost liked what I wrote. I read up on Fresca soda online and learned that it was sweetened with cyclamates, which were banned in 1969, because studies in rats suggested that a human who consumed 350 cans of Fresca a day might have an increased risk of bladder cancer. Corinthians 1 restaurant knows how to party. I had this idea for a story about someone who’d grown up with a birth defect because her mother had been addicted to Fresca while pregnant. But because a Fresca addiction is so absurd, she tells everyone she’s a thalidomide baby. Then she meets a real thalidomide baby and gets in trouble. I’m still sort of into that idea, but I didn’t like my story enough to post it. The tone has to be just right in a story like that. For a while now I’ve been interested in the idea of genuine tragedy that is the result of an absurd event. Like, what if you lost someone you loved because an actual anvil fell on them? What would

still lucky

The audience-participation component of my Ask Me a Question/Give Me a Prompt series hasn’t totally panned out (although it’s not too late, Breadketeers!), so today I borrowed one from Brian Kiteley’s The 4 a.m. Breakthrough. In my case, it’s more like the 5 a.m. Just Write Something. Write a short piece of fiction that depends on a character’s precise perception of or reaction to the color red. We pulled our van up to the white-curbed loading zone, that sacred space, at noon. Gomez was driving and being a dick. He was usually a pretty kick-back guy, but something about Sunset Boulevard and all its valets darting into lanes like deer brought out the worst in him. He’d been shouting at the windshield since La Cienega. “You think you can haul the carpet up all these stairs, Shannon?” We all called each other by our last names, and Shannon was mine, but when Gomez said it, it sounded like a first name. A girl’s name. And that’s fine, I am a girl, but he made it sound like a b

if a blog falls in a forest

For the first installment in my Ask Me a Question/Give Me aPrompt series, loyal reader #7, Fresca , asks: Why do you continue to blog in this era of FB, tweets, etc.? (I used to blog a lot, mostly went away for a couple years, came back and am interested in who else has stayed/come back/started blogging. It feels so...old fashioned!) Like somebody famous said (Joan Didion? Or maybe she was the one who said “Take Fountain”), I write to figure out what I think. When AK and I fight, it’s not unusual for me to send her a text or email later in the day to sort out my thoughts. I’m sure she loves it. As a writer of mostly fiction (at least until my memoir-in-progress cropped up), the blog is a nice place to sort through my thoughts on such nonfiction miscellany as Depressing Things In The News, My Various Neuroses, God, Books and Really Bad Reality TV. Not necessarily in that order. Probably in the opposite of that order. Remind me to tell you about Marriage Bootcamp: Br