Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Hello this week I was working on Dialogue in the SSM classroom. Let me tell you this was challenging and envigorating. Here is my assignment. Enjoy and if you want to, leave your thoughts on it.
He’s standing wearing only jeans. He left the top button undone, she hates looking at the tightness of the stomach she works so hard at keeping slim on her own body. In the doorway, he’s steadying himself, arms stretched, hands pressed to both sides of the frame. Still, he calls out like a spoiled child, pleading his defense.
Louise, no one is blaming you of any wrong doing. I’m only curious as how many hours you need to give this new boss every week. I remember you stating; “It’s policy. No overtime at The Firm”.
The woman, neatly dressed. Form fitted in a navy blue two-piece skirt suit stands facing him in the hall outside the apartment, both arms falling to her sides for seconds before she looks up in a controlled fury. Summoning the words, she is obviously tired of repeating to come out.
I told you weeks ago when I started working. Mr. Powers picked me out of the Legal-Assistant Pool of nine to work on this high-profile case. You knew this was coming. You’ll be busy with your hockey anyway.
She bends her head, wanting to go in under his held up arms. He resists, teasing her, then lowering them down to keep her from coming in.
Oh come on now, let me in so I can get my lunch bag and head on to work. I’m late and I still want a divorce Hank.
Whoa honey, slow down now. You know how I hate the divorce word.
He holds her by both her shoulders. He smiles at her with only one corner of his mouth lifting, he peers down, in her eyes. She looks down, at least escaping momentarily. His height and built given him the advantage.
I think I remember you telling me about some overtime, he says carefully picking a bunch of her neatly coiffed hair, to let it fall, unruly on her shoulder. She flinches.
You should know I can’t hear anything while I’m watching hockey.
He presses his lips to her neck in a half-kiss. She doesn’t move. She feels the pressure of his hands he’s measuring just so looking to meet her eyes, while she turns her head to one side and the other. He tries moving her out of the doorway and into the apartment by pushing his body against hers. But she backs outside again, just as the elevator bell rings and a couple come out, stopping to look at them. Louise fixes her hair. They give the impression of a couple who can’t get enough of each other. The neighbors nod, making their way down the hall. The surprise gave Louise time enough to put a distance between Hank and herself. Still, she stays and keeps arguing. Angry at the way he almost won her over.
Sex won’t make me change my mind Hank. I’m done with you ignoring me. Hockey is only one of our many issues…
Okay, okay, settle down, not so loud he cuts in. He tries to quiet her down. Afraid he’s made her cross. Here let me get your lunch bag and we can talk this over when you get home this afternoon. I’ll cook you your favorite dinner.
He goes in and comes out with the bag. Hands it to her. He leans in waiting for her to give an answer.
She waits a few seconds before she speaks again.
I, I can’t tonight, I have to work overtime.
What, what for? he says. The words barely come out. This is not what he had been imagining her response would be.
He feels cornered strangely wearing the disadvantage he’s feeling. It doesn’t sit well with him. His body is fighting not to go at her, he knows to slip his hands in his pockets which helps him calm down. He fights inwards a battle he’s not used to. His biceps can’t save him now. He slumps down, his back sliding down the door. All he can find are words now. They need to hurt, cut even. Instill fear like a hard pinch to wake her up. But he changes his mind and simply asks her if she can make something up to tell her boss and come home early.
Can’t you just tell your boss you need to be home early?
No. Hank, I love my work. As a matter of fact, my work has nothing to do with the fact that we are not compatible anymore. I don’t want us to go round and round anymore. It’s useless. You know it is. I know it is. Let’s get this divorce done and over with.
He looks up at her slowly registering changes in his wife. He thought he had her cornered a few minutes ago. He could have sworn, she felt it also, but something in her didn’t give in. He then noticed her beautifully sculpted black silk covered legs. The new clothes. She used to dress so unassumingly down for him. He remember having convinced her she look sleazy because of her curves. All I want is to protect you from dirty looks.
Now, in this navy blue jacket and skirt, she looked sophisticated, well-educated, and anything but sleazy. Even with the tug he’d put in her flat ironed hair, she was still stunning.
Someone else was coaching her into this woman-of-the-world look and persona. Someone else was telling her just how beautiful, powerful and smart she was. Someone else…
He understood that this was a battle he would lose. She had been warning him for so long about this moment. The moment when he’d understand that he’d lost her for good. The moment when she would give her heart to someone else. He asked the obvious question to her.
Are you seeing someone else?
Yes Hank, I am.
Okay then. You got a lawyer?
Yes, she dug in her shoulder bag and took out a card and handed it to him and left. He took the card in his hand and pushed it in his back pocket. He waited until he heard the elevator bell ring making sure she had made it safely to the downstairs lobby before he took a few steps to peek at her walking away. When he saw her getting in a big white limousine. He realized that was her someone else.
He would find later on that same day that her someone else was Justin Powers.
Peggy Elms, writer.
Monday, September 25, 2017
Hello, this week is all about character. We did some hard work that paid off. I get to live in my character when I'm writing, when I'm on my daily walk, as I prepare lunch, even in the pool this afternoon. But, I have to tell you, this short story came from a dream, at least some parts of it. I am enjoying these exercises in writing and I always want to kow what you are thinking.
SURPRISE, SURPRISE, SURPRISE
I walk in the jam packed cafe feeling nervous. It’s nearly lunchtime. In line, I order a double latte, decaf, one cream, one sugar, keeping in mind I’m still breastfeeding baby Bruno. The barista smiles and repeats my order loudly above the crowd’s noise making sure to offer me their daily special. Turkey, lettuce and tomato on rye bread, mayo or Dijon, which I kindly refuse. I find a table in the back part of the restaurant so I can watch as people come in.
As entertainment, I sip my coffee slowly while eaves dropping on my “coffee mates”. Mom hates it when I do that, but even when I explain my delight in objectively observing people, she still dismisses it as an unhealthy thing to be doing. I see no harm in it. Even Oprah says to be vigilant in strange places. I’ve been doing this for years now and become a master at noticing, without being noticed.
In this instance, as I sip, I look up just so and discover someone observing me. I’m not quite sure, so I wait a little, fiddling with my cellphone to keep her suspicions at bay. I look again and I then notice how beautifully polished this woman is. Her face is symmetrically perfect as far as I can see. Her light blue eyes remind me of Cooper’s powder blue “blanky”. Oh and the soft blue dress she’s wearing invites anyone, male or female for a longer look. Just a glance around me and I know we are all admiring Miss Vogue. I don’t even want to see her legs at this point or her Stiletto shoes. They must be long and muscular where they need to be. I’m praying she won’t get up and leave, it will just floor me if she does.
Right about now, would be a fantastic time for Tyler to get here, so I can be the one to surprise him for a change. The clock says twelve fifteen. My coffee is still warm, but if he doesn’t get here soon, I’ll have to order something to eat. So, I make my way casually to the ladies room. In there, I look over my make-up in the mirror while pondering on that sugary pink gloss Miss Vogue efficiently painted on her lips earlier. Would the effect be the same on mine? I already know I couldn’t pull off that whole pure immaculate look even in a lifetime of trying. I can hear mom revealing to me what I already know, your lips are full enough, and you don’t want to attract attention to them or yourself, right sweetie.
Before I know what I can do with myself, Miss Vogue enters the ladies room, I can see her in the mirror but she can’t see me. That’s when I dash and lock myself quickly in the stall behind me. Feeling caught, I flush the toilet, pull on the toilet sheet roll and wait so she knows I had a legitimate reason to be here. The room is quiet but for a few fogged out sounds of music and conversations.
I then hear her talking to her phone, like she’s giving it an order. “Call Big Boy” I wrap my hand on my mouth for fear of bursting in laughter right then and there relieved to learn that Miss vogue has a little kinky side to her. “Right, she whispers softly, I’ll be coming out of the ladies room. “ And “mwah”, she kisses the air and hangs up. I get up and out of my stall quick enough to see only the back of her blond highlighted hair, cut in a line so straight, you’d think her cutting edge hairdresser used some kind of laser beam over her back. You know the kind a carpenter uses to level his cuts.
I smile at the picture I see of the carpenter in the glamourous beauty salon in my mind’s eye while I wait the expected time lapse to go back to my table.
What I’ve never understood is how I made it to my table standing. Though I felt like the scene before me brought me to my knees. It took all I had to grab my handbag and get out, unnoticed from them. The dumbfounded look I glanced in the man’s dark eyes was familiar. The jerk in my wrist still hurts as I pulled away from the strength his hand gripped on me. I had missed that sure grip for three whole years. Not that my husband had ever been physically violent with me in all the years we’d been together. It’s just that his hands had always been loving even when strong.
Now, I sit in my parked car with an ache inside that almost kills me. Our son Cooper is four, Bruno, three months old, our make-up baby as Tyler lovingly referred to him. My phone keeps giving out loud vibrating buzzes every minute. Still I can’t answer it when I see Tyler’s name light up on the phone screen. I want to give in here. I feel I could do it. Drive straight in the big red brick wall in front of me in the parking lot. It looks too easy. So that is when I let dad’s warm voice come to me in a resounding plea. Onward now, roll them sleeves up my darling, we need to get Cooper a new blanky.
Peggy Elms, writer.
September 25, 2017
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Monday, September 4, 2017
Hello there you beautiful people,
It has been a while since I've been here. I missed coming here and sharing my writing. I admit to being shy about the results yet, I am learning in THE STORY INTENSIVE that sharing is part of growing as a writer. So here I go. My first lesson is a I don't remember exercise in freewriting.
Thank you for stopping by, leave a word or two about your thoughts will you, I'd love to hear some input.
I don’t remember…
I don’t remember walking home from the school bus the day Samantha slapped me across the face for no apparent reason I knew of. I don’t remember if I cried or if any of my friends witnessed this unpleasant scene.
I don’t remember my first day in first grade. There was no kinder garden then. They started having kinder garden classes the year after I started second grade and cried the whole first day.
I don’t remember why I wrote a love note to Jackson in fourth grade when my heart was set on his best friend Isaac.
I don’t remember if my father was with my mom, Nathan and I while we moved in our brand new home in 1967. I don’t remember seeing mom packing our special picnic lunch of potato salad, baloney sandwiches and a homemade Boston cream pie, she had prepared. So in the end we had one third each of a delicious enough apple pie our new neighbor dropped off to welcome us in the neighborhood. What a treat.
I don’t remember preparing my lunch of baloney sandwiches every day. But I know for a fact my mother never did. She was always dead tired by the time she got home late from her work in the factory and would go to bed right after we watched the Flying nun at seven thirty.
I don’t remember how they put Uncle John in the ambulance the night he got really sick and his kidneys failed. It took forever for him to come home from the hospital. I don’t remember my parents giving me a straight answer when I asked about his return. Can’t have been much of an answer or I’m sure I wouldn’t have kept on asking. I don’t remember where I hid the silver dollar I would have wrapped with my favorite wrapping paper I kept neatly in the bottom drawer of my dresser . I picked this happy one in my mind believing it would cheer him up and remind him I was waiting impatiently at home for him to come back and be all better.
I don’t remember when Safka our fourth and last pet dog left for a new home. Mom didn’t either when I asked her. Dad hadn’t the faintest idea either. So maybe she just ran away.
Terrebonne, 3 September 2017
Peggy Elms, writer
Monday, January 5, 2015
She looked at the stove clock and it said 6 :02 am. Miles had left the day before. Good paying job for a big mining company. This was his third time. They flew a crew of about twenty young men to this lost place called Miracle Bay, the coldest area in the province.
It was still dark outside. The almost noiseless split AC unit was humming coolly above her head. Elias was still sleeping and he had left the computer on, another familiar sound. Miles had said that it consumed less energy if you did. So as good obeying parents, who knew nothing really about computers, they knew about saving money and that was fine with them.
Maxine missed her son. The distance set by this trip was but a prelude to what life had in store for her. Kids do grow up. Kids do become independent adults. All part of life. All good. At least that’s what she was telling herself lately.
She smiled when she heard Elias call out in his sleep. Dear man, he is a slave to his work and dreams, she thought. She wished he could do more for himself than for her at times. She would be more at peace with herself then. He had worked non-stop for the past three months. Saving up to make up for their holiday in the sun. The first in their twenty year marriage.
She kept on writing. Practicing her hidden talent. How she enjoyed the fantasies she would dream up. Laying them on paper was the hard part. Sharing her stories was like a whole was burning through her stomach lining. Too many ‘’what ifs’’.
For instance, while on her daily walk yesterday she thought of how amusing it could be to write about her childhood summers. Of course, she would use this cool name list she found on the web for her characters. Also, Adele, her best-online-friend had sent her a cool link for writers and she found a whole community laid at the end of her fingertips for her to explore in many ways and in many of her days.
She delighted in the idea of sharing her early mornings getting her ‘’day-at-the-pool-kit’’ together. How her mom would remind her that she had left a towel on her bedroom chair, as she kissed her forehead before she left for work in the morning. How grown-up she felt fixing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on her own. And the special times, her dad offered her the little spice cake he said he hadn’t been hungry for at work. Maxine knew now that he would save it as a special treat for her whenever he could afford to get one for her from the big food distributor she remembered from a visit at his workplace months earlier. It took all she had not to cry at these memories though.
She could write about how she would hold on tight to her dollar bill then, while Shelly and her walked, almost ran down the street, filled with excitement at the joy the day would bring. How Shelly would plan their lunchtime right before noon, so they could share a French-fry, which they would soak with vinegar and sprinkle generously with salt.
The writing went on for a while. She felt confident about elaborating a little, not too much from ideas that would spring, it seems out of nowhere. When inspiration lacked, she did a stretching routine of about twenty minutes. When that was not enough, she would dress-up and go for a long brisk walk outside, searching inside herself for peace settling in her mind, so she could go on writing again. She tried and at times, succeeded in not scaring herself crazy, and kept at it. She would revel in the days she would produce anything at all on a blank page. Even more, when she could type it out on her computer and share it via the world-wide-web.
Maxine now saw herself as a writer. A published one? A popular one? Not really, but she loved that she had come to a place where her breathing felt less constricted in her chest and allowed her heart to beat more freely. Hence, follow her inspiration and write.
Peggy Elms, writer,
Terrebonne, 05 january 2015.
Hello to my faithful followers, Isn't this just the loveliest day. Oh yes, it is raining buckets outside and I feel lucky to be aliv...
She looked at the stove clock and it said 6 :02 am. Miles had left the day before. Good paying job for a big mining company. Thi...
Hello there you beautiful people, It has been a while since I've been here. I missed coming here and sharing my writing. I admit to...
Hello to my faithful followers, Isn't this just the loveliest day. Oh yes, it is raining buckets outside and I feel lucky to be aliv...