Friday, February 18, 2011

Is she you?

I am really excited about today's post!

Today's red writing hood post should be no more than 600 words and should take no longer than 3 minutes to read aloud. And a character MUST tell a joke and a character MUST cry. One character can do both.

She loved being a stay at home mom to her 3 kids.

The kids never had to worry about who was getting them from place to place; it was always her. She was the one person the kids could always count on to meet their needs.

They usually had a good time.

All 4 of them agreed that one thing was not fun - shopping.

But it had to be done as a group during summer break.

Half way through the trip to the grocery store everyone was still behaving. Whew!

She heard Megan ask her brothers What did the tree name her baby? Jake shrugged his shoulders and said in his cute 4 year old voice I don't know.

Woody! Megan blurted out.

Jake thought that was pretty cool since Toy Story 3 was his favorite movie.

As they giggled, their mother smiled and thought Okay just 3 more things and we'll be out of here with no melt downs or drama.

The few items remaining on the list were in the produce section. She just wanted to grab some grapes, potatoes, and lettuce.

Yes! It's always so nice when the kids behave in the store. Maybe I'll let them pick out a little something in the checkout line. Wow my life has changed since staying home with these guys. Who would've thought a trip to the store could make or break my da-

Her train of thought was broken by the thud of something or somethings hitting the ground.

Marcus (the 10 year old) was scolding Jake for touching the apples. Megan chimed in saying Oh my gosh, Jake! Why did you do that?!

Jake's face said it all with the big bottom lip and the huge crocodile tears. He knew this was bad.

He managed to whisper I justed wanted some apples.

She took a deep breath and tried not to worry about everyone staring at them. Well, we have to buy these now, she said while scooping the busted apples up into a produce bag.

The older two kids kept scolding, which wasn't helpful. She tried to keep cool while she gave them 'the look.'

She got down to Jake's level. This is why we don't touch things in the store, right Jake?

He was beyond embarrassed & buried his wet face in her neck. She heaved him up and ordered Marcus & Megan to grab the grapes & lettuce. The potatoes could wait.

They moved as quickly as possible to the checkout line.

*Heavy sigh* So much for a drama-free shopping trip.


After taking part in the #trdc Twitter party Wednesday evening, I was all kinds of inspired to write this post. Thanks girls!

Word count: 511

Feel free to critique if you want to. I have never done any 'writing' before The Red Dress Club, so be gentle. =)

I could never have imagined...

I could never have imagined a more emotional day.

Really it started out like most days. I was in a hurry to get to work, and traffic was horrendous. The smell of exhaust always made me feel sick to my stomach. Or maybe it was my nerves that morning.

That was the biggest day of my career. It was all on my shoulders to seal the deal with IBM.

We needed that deal. The bad economy had been brutal on us, and without that account we would have had to do some serious down-sizing.

We weren't a large company by any means. And I had become good friends with so many of the women I worked with.

I didn't want to see any of them, or myself, go.

A few of us grabbed a quick lunch, but I was too nervous to eat much. Once back at the office I looked over my notes one last time then started the proposal.

Things seemed to go well. IBM was very receptive to my ideas. And at the end of the meeting they accepted my offer!

That was huge! It was great for the company. And of course for me too.

After work several of us went out to celebrate. I loved having those women in my life. They were pretty much the onlypeople in my life.

To be surrounded by such amazing friends at that point was too overwhelming to hold it in. As things sometimes went after a few drinks, I teared up & got emotional.

We continued to talk & laugh & have a good time.

Eventually most of my friends needed to get home, and it was just me and Janet.

Janet was older than me, 17 years older to be exact. But she was my best friend.

When my parents were killed 3 years earlier, Janet was the one friend I could call any time of day. We knew everything about each other.

As the two of us sat in the booth Janet got quiet. I asked her what was bothering her.

She was obviously nervous.

I reassured her that no matter what was on her mind, I would be there for her. Besides, I was still on such a high from making the IBM deal I could handle anything.

Janet took a deep breath. "I am your birth mother."

Then the whole world shifted.


This week's prompt is to write a piece that begins with the line, "I could never have imagined" and ends with the line, "Then the whole world shifted."

My immediate thought was to write about my BFF Lori who passed away 1 1/2 years ago.

But I wanted this to a happy "world shift."

I also wanted to write fiction. It's a bigger challenge for me.

I wanted to do something different than most people. I figured they would write about having a baby, 9/11, or getting bad medical news.

...the rest of the story

Starting from where we left off last week...*

"What?" is all I could say.

I felt dizzy, like the world was collapsing in on me.

Janet apologized for just blurting it out like that, but she didn't know how else to say it.

"So, how long have you known, um.., that I was your daughter?" Those words sounded so strange as they came out of my mouth, like someone else was speaking from within me.

How was I asking my best friend this question?

Janet explained that she had always known. It was an open adoption until I turned 3. Then there was no more direct contact between us, but she continued to keep track of my whereabouts & achievements thanks to newspaper articles and the internet.

For the first 3 years of my life, I had monthly visits with Janet. She told me that the 1st Sunday of every month was her favorite day of the month. It was a time for her to see that she had indeed made the right decision. And she cherished the photos of those visits. They were among her most precious possessions, keeping them in a locked safe in her bedroom closet.

Janet was only 17 years old and still in high school when I was born. Her boyfriend got scared and left when he found out she was pregnant. Thank God her parents were incredibly supportive of her choice.

All of that information was getting to be too much for me.

I needed some air. And time to process everything.

I was an huge mess of emotions.

I didn't want to hurt her feelings, but I just couldn't understand why Janet chose that evening to reveal the secret.

So when she joined me a few minutes later, I came right out and asked her.

Janet apologized again and said she hadn't planned on doing it that night. She told me that she was so proud of my hard work, that she just couldn't keep it a secret any longer.

Ironically all I could think was: I want my mom!

But Janet was my best friend, and she was the only other person I would honestly confide in.

As I stood there watching Janet I soon smiled & couldn't stop smiling. I became excited; joyful; relieved. This was really happening!

After many hugs & tears, I told her that I would love to see those pictures.

Even though I'd done it hundreds of times before, it felt strange entering Janet's house that night. I looked at things from a completely different perspective now.

But it was good.

I sat on Janet's bed as she found the pictures in her safe. She sat down next to me and shared the stories that went along with every picture.

She told me to take some of them home with me. Then Janet returned the rest of them to her safe. As she started to close the door, she spotted something in the back. She didn't recognize it until she took it out.

She wondered how she forgot it was back there.

When she joined me back on the bed, I saw the tiny little pink sleeper in her hands. I looked up at her & she had tears in her eyes.

It was the sleeper she gave my parents when I was born. It was the outfit I wore home from the hospital.

After a long hug, Janet told me that she wasn't letting me have it! And we shared a big, stress relieving belly laugh.

As strange as it was initially, knowing that Janet was my biological mother ended up being a wonderful thing. I had the best of both worlds in Janet. My biological mother was my best friend. Not many birth mother reunions turn out as perfect as this one.

*This is a completely fictional story.

Write a piece - 600 word limit - about finding a forgotten item of clothing in the back of a drawer or closet. Let us know how the item was found, what it is, and why it's so meaningful to you or your character.

Oops! Word count: 688.

I struggle with switching tenses a lot.

Any tips? Thanks ladies.