Monday, December 4, 2017


This is almost the end of my journey with THE STORY INTENSIVE. It has been quite an experience. Though I have been unsure about how well I would do, I gave myself permission to at least give it a try. I don't regret one minute of it. This is a three part exercise which will end with WRITING WEEK which we are in this week. This is not a finished story. I will be fiddling and refining in the weeks to come and post it together when it's done. It starts with a 1st person POV and the 2 other titles are 3rd person, omniscient I'd say.

          Yes, we have your order, we’re just not ready to deliver it yet, said the girl at the front desk, after I’d been waiting for more than fifteen minutes for her to be done with her call I knew wasn’t to anybody in the shipping department. She reminded me of my first wife. She had that kind of defying attitude, daring me to show her wrong. She was ready for me to go “       at it” with her, so I didn’t say another word, turned around and left the building. Everyone is entitled to the respect they give, I always say.
          Anyways, I’m buying a BIG BUCK’O lottery ticket today and I’m going to win myself some leisurely time with my darling Honeycomb at last and that little missy at Home Depot can just kiss my behind before I give her anymore thought.
          All the stars are aligned for it to happen, Honeycomb said to me as I was getting ready for work yesterday. Which I hate doing while she is enjoying her second coffee, snuggled with a book in the comfort of the new Laura Ashley “canape” I bought on credit last week. It’s a couch I said to myself and left it at that. I was in no mood to try to convince Honeycomb otherwise.
          I hope I can find a parking space.
          A black truck speeded through the red light as I got out of my car, missed me by no more than an inch.
          Good luck. I knew as I let myself fall against the car, a bit winded from an almost certain death if that truck had hit me for sure. I nodded at Suyin rushing out of the store asking me if I was alright.
          This thought then pushed itself in my mind; of all the ways to die, falling asleep to never wake up would be my death of choice, though shocking for Honeycomb to find me that way. And I certainly was not going to die, hit by a stupid speeding truck on today of all days. The Day I was winning the BIG BUCK’O lottery.
          Still I stayed there offering my saved face to the sunrays not giving a damn if it was smeared or not with sunscreen. I was still here and for once I was going to let that inner voice, the one Honeycomb talks about for hours on the phone to anybody who will listen, tell me I was winning this week’s BIG BUCK’O lottery, no ifs or buts about it.
          So I marched in the Convenience Plus and came out minutes later with a ticket with my lucky numbers 4, 8 and 10 and mine and Honeycomb’s birthdates, in the end, to make it six numbers, I added 13, tempting fate or pushing my luck, I don’t know, but I did it anyway.
          After enquiring about the near miss, sweet Suyin told me not to forget to sign it in case I lost it, someone else could legally claim my winnings. I turned to look at her and thought how long I’d known this young woman for stopping by almost daily and never once did I worry about her, but her kindness reminded me to put her on my list of people I could do something for with the money I won.
          The adrenaline-charged feeling stayed with me. There was no way I could settle down, so I started to walk, laughing out loud remembering how I had teased Honeycomb when she and I joined a walking group to help us get into better shape and me saying that round is a better shape than none.
          She didn’t laugh, not even a smile. The thought of her rarely humoring me by laughing or at least smiling at my jokes crept in my-winning lottery thoughts-I humor her all the time. Especially when I force feed myself her spinach soufflé when she knows I hate spinach.

Peggy Elms, writer
November 03, 2017

She is nervous this morning. She is pacing from her boudoir to her reading room. From her reading room to her mini-gym. From her mini-gym to her four season solarium. She has been doing this for more than twenty-seven minutes. As she walks past the clock on the wall in her mini-gym, it points exactly on the hour.
Nine o’clock.
She resists the impulse of thread-milling her fears away.
She has never seen Blake act out in this unusual manner. Her way has always been the way, for her, there is no highway. She oversees everything and everyone gravitating in her life.  This man she calls Her Husband is her biggest fan and she has always been smart enough to know what to do to keep it that way.
She runs to her bedroom for the comfort of her image in her cheval mirror.
No, she screams at her flawless painted face in perfect horror. Her hands bunch up the pockets of her silk dressing gown as she searches her delicate features she may have left untended. Her feet keep shifting from left to right, right to left in an uneasy dance. Catching her breath slowly, she leans in closer, her hands resting lightly on the wooden frame, shoulder height.  From behind, one would almost believe she is caught in an embrace with a lover, her head tilting sideways. Yet, the only thing she is embracing is her beauty, with her eyes, making sure, once more that everything is where it’s supposed to be.
Reassured by her mirrored face, she takes a few steps and let’s herself fall gruffly on her bed. Her body sinking softly in her goose down comforter.
“”Oooh, she moans softly, smiling to herself, this is so much better than last night’s sex.”
The act of coupling was messy to her, so naturally it was put down the bottom of her “TO DO LIST”. After twenty—two years, she had this sex and candy rule down, so she made sure to curb her husband’s carnal appetite at one “séance” a month.
After the two minutes of much needed snuggling on his part, which was more than she could take last night, they took turns in the shower and of course, together, they replaced the soiled sheets with fresh ones. She had never known any other lover to do that snuggling-bit thing. She would have been happy to go back to the high-school days, when once the deed was done, the boy keeled over and slept. Better, he left.
The memory of her husband’s sweat sends spasms of uncontrollable hiccups up her throat with bile she unwillingly swallows, not daring to leave the slimy yellowish green streak of it on her white comforter. She makes it to her on-suite bathroom just in time to kneel over the toilet ready to let go the disdain from inside her, perhaps along with the ugliness of the life she has made for herself also.
Again, facing herself, this time in the vanity mirror, she wipes her mouth leaving traces of her pink lipstick on the plush towel she promised Blake she absolutely needed for the finishing touch of her perfect on-suite.
She puts it back neatly folded on the towel hanger.
Instantly, the pit in her stomach makes her doubt in her power over him.
She is surprised of how afraid this harebrained idea her husband has come up with might unravel her daily order she works so hard at keeping safe and predictable.
Saturday is shopping day, she’d shouted to him.
“BIG BUCK’O LOTTERY”, was all she heard as he left, without even sharing their morning kiss.

 Peggy Elms, writer
November 20, 2017

          Suyin can easily picture the mix of colors every time she closes her eyes. Better focusing from her mind’s eye, she relies upon. The warn-out wallpaper falling at the corners, comes alive instantly. Carrying her to a time when feeling the velvety contours of each flowers of the pattern, meant safety and warmth and love, running from under her tiny fingers, straight to ayi Zhou’s arms. She affectionately called a yi’yi. Her aunt Zhou never corrected her about the proper way to say aunt in Mandarin, which was ayi or yiyi also, but keeping the second a with yiyi, made it exclusively their language.
            The old woman laughed when Suyin came home upset one afternoon, from her Mandarin classes, claiming she was taught the proper way to say the word. Aunt Zhou shrugged it off and put Suyin on her lap, wiping the tears from her cheeks, still laughing and hugging her. The child was surprised and irritated at how her aunt was reacting to something that made the kids in class make fun of her. But asthe tears had dried out, aunt Zhou explained quietly, breaking in giggles between some of it. Suyin recalls still being upset not only with her classmates but with her aunt Zhou, which had never happened before. Still, she wanted to know why it was so funny to her only ally she had had in life.
            Oh darling niuniu (little girl), she said. There are many ways to say aunt in Mandarin anyways. Who would care if we invent our own language, right?
            The memory so vivid makes her run her fingers through her hair just like her aunt had done then. The tiny squeeze to her heart make her yearn for a moment the comfort she remembers from the heath left by ayiyi’s gliding fingers.
            Familiar moments, closely binding.
            A ritual for the child she had once been long ago. There is safety in repetition.
            As she moves in her daily Tai Chi gestural, grounding herself into today.
            Today, she is a grown woman. And feels a bit older than the forty years she’s lived. Though no one could guess by looking at her. Changing into her work outfit consisting simply of a pair of white leggings, an oversized blue sweater on top a pink T-shirt. A pair of Sketchers sandals, comfortable and stylish, the ad said. Worn and in good shape, too. So she ordered them.
            Suyin always bought her clothes in thrift shops online or off, she rarely bought used shoes though, for obvious hygiene reasons. So she made sure to give them a good cleaning with a her Aunt Zhou’s dream cleaning recipe, made of baking soda, vinegar and lavender perfumed essential oil, which was popular in her household way before you could find, prepared in so many different ways on the web today.
            Sketchers were her favorite style when it came to sandals. Never mind, the fact that they were made of rubber, light and easy on the ankles, the suede straps held her narrow feet perfectly. But what did it for her was not only finding them in a size 6, which was a miracle in itself, they had a two inch Wedge style heel which added two substantial inches to her five feet three height, that gave her a perfect five feet five, she was proud to stand in.
            She barely looks old enough to be working at all, she’d overheard a woman say, to her friend, just the other day. The latter adding in all ignorance, but thinking she understood something of Suyin’s culture.
            Well, you know the Chinese, they have a saying about making their children productive as early as you can. I think they would make them start as soon as they left the crib if the law permitted it.
            They had laughed at their racist comment, but stopped when they saw Suyin looking straight at them, expecting confrontation from the young woman. Suyin saw their flushed cheeks and remembered thinking, at least they know enough, that they shouldn’t speak that “kind of talk” in front of a Chinese person. These women were regular customers too, coming in and out of her store ever since Suyin can remember.
            But it still hurt to hear snide remarks from the people she applied herself to serve in the deferent manner she had been taught to do day in, day out.
                She shrugs, lifting her dark mood as she leaves the back store for the day.
            In an emulation of her all time idol MJ, she slides along the aisles gently. Aware that she is not as graceful as him, she however holds on happily to her groove. Check-list in hand, ready to fill any empty space on the shelves rapidly. She finds none. The facing is impeccable. She understands how Fridays can get busy and knows first-hand how difficult it can be to reshelf the whole store, let alone make it look so good. She reminds herself to tell Derek he did a great job as soon as he walks in later on. He is not only a thoughtful young man. But he has a self-discipline quality rarely found these days. She wants to keep him motivated.
            Most teenagers she comes across are for the most, entitled and easy to frown upon any changes in their schedule. And though they agree to fill in for her when they discuss the fact that they may be called upon to replace her from time to time, during every interview, they seem to forget about it when she needs one of them to fill in for her when she needs a day off.
            One never knows when one needs a permanent replacement for oneself, musing out loud as she ends her dance by moon-walking behind her counter, ready to cease the day.

 Peggy Elms, writer
December 4, 2017

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


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 alive and sharing my work in Lesson 5 of The Story Intensive. This one was all about plot & drift. I admit to having had some resistance here. I did what I trained myself to do now with the help of Sarah Selecky, my teacher and my fellow writer students, trust the process . I can't say enough how this is helping me grow, not only as a writer but as a person. 
A little note about this story. I needed to cut alot of the juicy details of it to fit the 300-500 words for the assignment, but I will try to post the whole story soon for you to get it all. Still, I feel it quite stands on its own. 
Thank you for stopping by.

I am writing this letter to tell you what I did was CHILD PROTECTION and why this unusual event took place today and why my actions may have been misconstrued by everyone implicated.
Earlier, on my daily walk, I notice this sweet little boy, barefoot, playing quietly in the sand, while his mother sat on a park bench, her cellphone cradled in her hand, instead of her son. She sounded like a child herself warning her son in her whiny voice. Mommy needs her phone-time, like you need your play-time. I’ll call you when I’m done.
This was not a safe situation; his mother not watching over her child’s safety.
Though, the outcome presented me with the advantage of taking a closer look at him. I noticed right away, his tiny frame lost in a worn down t-shirt that went down to his knees, his bony shoulders poking through the soft material. His arms and calves slightly bigger than the unsavory chicken legs I had for dinner last night. I sighed.
It was disturbing to me not to see him skipping up and down the monkey bars or the giant spider-web-like jungle gym, my nephew lives in whenever I bring him here.
I casually sat on the swing near him. It took all I had not to bend down to get even closer to him, he being so near me, I wanted to sweep him up, cradle him in a way he surely never had been. He then did the most remarkable thing in joining an ant in its daily labor, instead of crushing it, which I’m sorry to admit my nephew would have done without giving it a second thought. I wondered if his days were as laborious. It seemed he knew of the dulling work the ant repeats day by day to feed itself and the colony. From the gaunt looks of him, he did not get his three daily meals. He spread down on his stomach, gently leading the ant carrying its scavenged loot to its hole. He let another one climb on his index, watching closely from his under circled eyes, how it traveled freely up and down his hand, arm, and neck, the ant trusting this little giant would do it no harm. He smiled at it and I knew he needed me then.
I’ll swear to anyone who asks, his mom stayed on that phone for more than an hour, and you will find this as disturbing as I did, she never once looked up to see to the well-being of her son.
The helpers of the world.
Though I’m sure we all are familiar with the famous expression -shit happens-, we seem to think that when it hits the fan, or when we are swimming up in a creek full of it, we somehow, don’t know how to stay clear from it, be it blowing or drowning us.
All I can say for my defense is that I was eager to save an innocent child from his delinquent -ignorant in this case may be a kinder word- mother.
Isn’t a mother responsible for providing a safe, stable and nurturing environment for her child?
Well that’s what I was doing when the police stole him from me and put me in jail.
 Peggy Elms, writer

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.


Hello everyone, I am here today with this Exercise I did a few weeks ago. In my SSM classroom we did a SHOW-AND-TELL about a book we enjoy, a book we come back to. I did mine on RUSH HOME ROAD. You can read all about it and let me know what you think. (Of course for copyrights reasons I can't show you the excerpt, but I must say, a little trip to the library and you would be all set)
Candy canes

First, I want to tell you that Lori Lansens was introduced to me by my oldest sister Soelah. She was an avid reader. She introduced me to novel reading in bed at the age of 11. Since then, I don’t think I can remember a time I didn’t have a book on my bedside table. We have shared a lot of books together. But Lori Lansens was one of the last writers my sister suggested I read before she passed away in 2005 (yeah, breast cancer). Not only did we love the fact that she is Canadian, we were amazed of her insight on the black culture in Canada. I read Rush home road in a minute, so I read it again at a lower paste of a few days and went to the end over and over again until I stopped crying. Call me crazy, I’m just a sucker for a book that will go right through me.
Lori Lansens makes up ordinary characters living in ordinary circumstances; being an old black woman with a mixed color child and brings everything along the ride to make it into something that the reader relates too. Not forgetting the fact that she is white. I just have to bow before such judicious talent mixed with solid courage.
The narrative is a form we see a lot in novels, yet Lori pushes it up a few notches in the way I feel I am going through Addy’s hardships, though things would be so different today for her. In general society could not blame her for it now.
I am working on condensing my words so the readers feel like they’re watching a movie. It happens to me when remembering passages of this book. I see the whole scenes before my eyes. I want to write like that. I’m learning it’s possible. If anything, the writing in this story has shown it over and over. The best influence a writer can get.
To me, there is no “meh” writing in this book. Not everyone might agree with me. But, with all due respect, I will stand by my word. “Meh” writing would have been telling the whole story from beginning to end, chronologically. This is far from happening here. Keeps the reader curious and interested.
The book starts with Addy and Sharla living together. Great way to start a story right, in the middle. Fresh from Lesson 2, I smiled at the genius of Lori Lansens. The magic in Lori’s writing is we become these characters by the way she appeals to our own naiveté and humanity  both as we follow Addy Shadd back and forth through her life.
What always kept me interested was as I read along, she finds not only a way to salvage what seems to be a wasted life in being willing to care for another child whom has no ties or relations to her. That’s when humanity  ( or Lori, I should say) saves the day. With all that Addy has gone through, you’d think she would not give a damn, and in the beginning she doesn’t. Until she understands that she has no other choice. This is who she is. Her mission will be to secure the child’s future in finding someone trustworthy to care for her.
Here are some highlights for you:
At some point, Sharla is wondering about who will take care of her.
Who will have me? , such a 6 year old lost child question to ask and formulate this way because they don’t always have the words. Reading this, made me want to pick her up in my arms and scream: I will, I will. Yet, Lori Lansens, not only gets it right in words, but in emotion also. This is no time to show Sharla how desperate the situation can become (Addy is pushing 70, a not long ago non-smoker, she quit the summer she got Sharla) instead she reassures the child through common sense, humor on page 425. Great parenting skills and psychology here. (I admire this quality in any parent)
Addy has been having flashbacks of her younger years. She has been raped and shun by family and neighbors. So she leaves suffering poverty, trusting thee wrong people and many losses.
v  We learned O Canada in French. (details of interest for the reader and the fact that she is learning it in French is something that connects me to the story)

v  Mmm-hmm. (What mom doesn’t answer in this manner throughout the course of a day, love it.)

v  He make the bed with you in it? (the correct grammar would have been Did he make the bed with you in it?, but this is a child and the words she uses in the dialogue is different from the adults one. It sits naturally with the reader (me) and adds another touch of realism.)

v  Page 428-This part was complete magic to me, for poor Sharla, from where she come from, supper could have been magic, but Addy has this way of capting Sharla’s curiosity:

v  Addy glanced around mysteriously, then whispered “Santa’s a magical man, Sharla, and magic’s a thing not to question. Now you want to get up and go look in that closet or not?
The reader is in the room with Sharla and Addys, how can you not? It’s easy to understand by the way the child reacts. I sense maybe seeing, but not believing what she sees for she couldn’t dream this possible a few months ago. More, that someone would think of offering her a gift in the first place. I can read all this in these few words.

She could barely say the words.

The energy dashes to your heart with the next  two words:

“A television.”
Sharla was quiet for a long time before she said, “I never heard of Santa bringing no one a television before.

The chapter ending shows us how loving Addy is with her “girl” by being honest in telling Sharla that she is aware of the “bad things” she did, but emphasizes that she is “…mostly good” and .”knows that to be true”. How safe Sharla must feel with Mum’ Addy.
Little note about Lori Lansens I picked up while researching some interesting things to know about her. This has to be another reason why I love Lori’s writing so much. This is what she answered when asked what was the best advice she ever received. Parenting advice, she says. She walks the walk, not only talks the talk in her novels. I suspect, in her daily life too. Now that’s my kind of writer.
The best advice I received was parenting advice. It came from different sources. Condensed, it looks like this: Let them fall down. Let them fail. Let them bleed a little. Dirt’s okay. Let them suffer disappointment. It’s good for them to cry now and then, too. Comfort, but don’t coddle. Protect them from injury, but not pain. Pain teaches. Pain strengthens. Love them fiercely and tell them so every day.
Source for the whole interview:
Thanks for stopping by it's always such a pleasure to know you care.

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.


                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


Here I am again with another Assignment from THE STORY INTENSIVE. We had different choices for this one. I chose to start off with this sentence offered by the class. So hope you enjoy the read.
We all had a stake in it: we all had something to win and something to lose.
Our family isn’t the tightest knit family like the ones you see on TV. So sitting in the waiting room is a beautiful family picture I am dying to snap as soon as I step in. My brothers, they both look so groomed and perfect. Blake sitting alone, again, still manages to flaunt his signature Armani dark blue suit though his features are a bit more wrinkled than usual, and when I look closely the circles are darker under his big brown eyes, that don’t look so big right now either. No tie for him, he’s the casual would-be-millionaire and shows it. I don’t know if his patent leather shoes are shinier than his golden wedding band. Derek, the youngest of my brothers. Two whole years exactly, –mom had them on the same date two years apart, she couldn’t have mastered something so unusual, if she’d tried– Derek makes a point to remind Blake as he pinches the small overlap his stomachs pushes from his shirt stretching because he’s sitting down. But looking at Derek sporting his new leather jacket, I recall the story behind it. He told us, –fakely-shying away from his owenership in being the one wanting so bad to buy it– because his wife begged him to buy it in Italy. He’d went on: it was almost like stealing it, so I bought it to make her happy. -Yeah, right, I told myself, you just loved that Derek-‘’the ladies go wild at the bank when he walks in and he’s wearing his Levi’s dark blue 517 boot cut jeans and white shirt under it, my sister-in-law coos with the biggest of grins, unsuspecting why they give him this much attention. I don’t even want to go there. I am jealous of his still slim silhouette. For Christ’s sake he’s fifty-four and look like a freaking teen-ager. Tell me how that can be fair. When I’ve been dieting all my life. Losing 20 pounds, gaining 25. Losing 25 and gaining 30. It’s a never ending cycle.
You’d look at our family pictures and swore we were the happiest of families alive. To tell you the truth, we are a far cry from the Braverman family on the TV show: Parenthood. I enjoyed watching the show so much, I’d fantasize about being Crosby’s wife as dysfunctional as they were, they still had each other’s backs. I can’t believe my brothers are here.
Then I am quickly reminded of why they are, when Derek gets up to greet me distracted by a beep from his iwatch as he asks me how long all this is going to take. I have a busy schedule today.  don’t you always?
They’ve come to ”cash in” as they say in those misleading lottery commercials. But boy, oh boy are they in for the surprise of their well-tailored, shiny patent leather shoe, groomed, adultery filled lives.
I’ll even snap a picture of their surprised faces.
Peggy Elms 09-11-17

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


This is almost the end of my journey with THE STORY INTENSIVE. It has been quite an experience. Though I have been unsure about how well I...