Fiction Monday

I’m writing a book in my head. The first two chapters are in my Notes app on my phone. Until I get motivated to write it down in a place that won’t disappear the next time I drop my phone in the bathtub – you know, like on a computer with a hard drive, or on Google Drive where it can live blissfully in the cloud – here’s a bit I wrote in my head this morning:

***

Lisa stared at the car scent in her hand. She hadn’t meant to wander into yet another Bath and Body Works, but the FREE ITEM coupon was burning a hole in her purse. Her basket was full of hand soaps she didn’t need, but Maggie did. Maggie’s kids were always dirty. Or maybe all kids were always dirty, Lisa didn’t really know.

The car scent in Lisa’s hand smelled exactly like her ex-boyfriend’s cologne, the cologne she had bought him right before he left for London, the cologne she had sprayed on his old t-shirt and stuffed under pillow case hoping he wouldn’t notice how sentimental she was after just a month of dating. But there it was, in her hand, and now it was in her cart, and she was going to put it in her car and smell him on her way to work, on her way home, on her way to Maggie’s house to drop off the 3 for $18 hand soaps she’d bought, hoping that the scent of her ex-boyfriend would distract her from Sam.

***

 

 

Your Most Important Hair Moment

I’ve been inspired by C. Jane Kendrick, a favorite blogger of mine, to write for 8 minutes based on prompts from writer Ann Dee Ellis. Today’s topic: Important Hair Moments.

I have a dirty little secret: that hair you see in my wedding photos? It’s not my real hair color. Many years prior to my wedding, I started getting low-lights and highlights in my hair. I absolutely loved the way it looked, but about a year before the wedding, I stopped getting my hair colored because 1) it was expensive and 2) I really wanted my natural color to be on display for my wedding. My hair doesn’t grow very fast, so I had to decide if I wanted my stylist to dye my hair all over in a color that was close to my natural color, or figure out a hair style that covered the fact that I had four-inch roots. I dyed my hair. I really liked the color and I think I look pretty in wedding photos, but that’s not my hair color.

I am very vain about my hair color. I love it. I call it auburn. But I absolutely hate the texture of my hair. When I was 10 or 11, I had hair down to the middle of my back, and I begged and begged my mom to let me cut it. She finally gave in, and I distinctly remember the Chinese ladies in the hair salon in Hong Kong making audible gasps of horror as the barber chopped it off. I now had a big, poofy auburn-colored afro, and not in a good way. You see, I have thick hair that’s sometimes wavy, sometimes curly, and in the humidity of Hong Kong, it was extra big.

When I met my husband, I had those aforementioned low-lights and highlights, and he still asks me when I’m going to get those again. And then I tell him how much it costs to maintain and his jaw drops and he shakes his head, and then forgets and asks me a few months later. When we met, I also straightened my hair every day and in the dry heat of Eastern Washington, my hair was beautiful. In Utah, I had a cute bob and my hair thrived in that climate – never big, straight if I wanted, and I loved it.

And then I moved back to the PNW, but this time to the colder, rainier, more humid part of the PNW and my previously lovely hair curled again. I’ve tried to fight it, but now I have two kids, and I’ve given up trying to make my wavy hair straight. According to my hair dresser, hair changes due to hormones are very common, so not only did I move to a different climate, I had another child, and thanks to pregnancy hormones, I still have little sprouts of hair springing from my scalp that even long bangs don’t hide.

My youngest is blonde, just like I was as a baby. When my parents took the three of us to Korea when we were little, we were all blonde, and people repeatedly stroked our heads, marveling at these blonde foreigners. My hair is no longer a marvel, just another part of me that I try not to hate.

 

Decisions

I’ve been inspired by C. Jane Kendrick, a favorite blogger of mine, to write for 8 minutes based on prompts from writer Ann Dee Ellis. Today’s topic: Decisions.  

What do you share on social media? Only the beautiful but not the mundane?

When I started this blog, I was in law school, separated from most of my friends and family by thousands of miles and two time zones. I moved to the D.C.-area so I could live near my fiance while he worked his dream job on the Hill and went to graduate school.

I shared both the beautiful and the mundane – early readers will remember the stories of life in D.C., everything from the squirrel who made his home in our attic; the time the power went out on the 4th of July; and the terrible neighbors who routinely came home drunk and screaming at 2 in the morning.

I’ve blogged for years, off and on in regularity, because I love to write. I decided to continue this blog even when most of my friends – IRL or online – stopped because it’s a public journal and the details matter to me, details that don’t make it into Facebook or Twitter posts. I know, of course, that I could have a private version of this blog and simply write there, but the community that comes through blogging has proved invaluable to me.

I’m glad I decided to keep blogging, even though it’s not the trendy thing to do anymore. It wasn’t a hard decision for me.

What’s for dinner? Now that’s a hard decision.

Losing Things

I’ve been inspired by C. Jane Kendrick, a favorite blogger of mine, to write for 8 minutes based on prompts from writer Ann Dee Ellis. Today’s topic: Losing Things.  

My son’s room is an absolute disaster, which is a surprise because since he started Kindergarten two weeks ago, he’s hardly ever home. But when he is home, he’s always looking for something. Last night it was his “first Bible book.” I had no idea what he was talking about. He knew exactly what he meant, and after about a half hour of looking, he found the book…in the living room. Meanwhile, his room literally looks like a tornado has been through it. I am not pleased.

My husband loses his wallet and keys on a semi-regular basis. When he does, he is absolutely positive they are gone forever and he’ll have to cancel our credit cards, get a new license, make new keys, etc. Except they always turn up, maybe in unexpected places, but there it is, the wallet in the center console of the car, or the keys in a suit pocket that’s lying on the stroller in the garage.

Me, I don’t lose things very often, but lately I’ve felt the absence of friendship. I went to dinner with a new friend and lamented that because of life – job, kids, husband, commute, laziness – I feel like some of my long-time friendships are changing, dissolving, getting lost in the shuffle. It’s no one’s fault; it’s everyone’s fault. That’s why I have to hold back tears whenever I hear Adele’s “When We Were Young.” I want to shake my 20-year old self and tell her to hold on, hold on tight to those women who made such an impact on my life. If only I was better at picking up the phone for a long chat, if only I was better at checking in with long-beloved friends; I blame Facebook for my laziness – who needs a phone call when I’m up to date with their lives?

But let’s face it: Facebook is not the true picture of real life. It’s a mere snapshot. I felt this most keenly when a friend got married and I didn’t even know she was engaged until a photo of her bridal shower popped up on Facebook. It wasn’t a wedding I could have attended but I would have liked an invitation. I was at a loss for words for a while and then I found them: “Congratulations. Miss you.” Because it’s true: I do miss her, but apparently not enough to pick up the phone to say it.

The End of Nablopomo

Today’s the last day of Nablopomo. It’s been fun! It gave me something to do while I recovered from surgery, and I like reflecting on Thanksgivings past and present gifts.

If you don’t have a blog, I highly recommend starting one. If you have one but it’s been a long time since you posted, I encourage you to post. There’s something wonderful about flexing the writing muscle. And tell me if you have a blog! I love reading posts from both IRL and Internet friends.

Now that Thanksgiving is over and Christmastime is here, I’m sure there will be lots of posts about holiday events and family outings and encounters with Santa. Happy blogging! And thanks for reading.

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Friday Reads

Happy Friday everyone! Here’s a roundup up of great reads I found this week.

How does technology change storytelling? Writers weigh in.

Follow along with this 20-day serialized story, Temp, by Douglas Coupland.

The Board of Education finally inspects Hogwarts. A brilliant essay!

Ann Patchett is blogging for Powell’s. Check out her book recommendations.

My friend Shawna is doing NaBloPoMo, too. Check out her blog here.

NaBloPoMo

A typewriter on the U.S.S. Bowfin

A typewriter on the U.S.S. Bowfin

National Blog Posting Month begins tomorrow. You can read about the hows and whys of NaBloPoMo here.

Basically, the goal is to blog daily during the month of November. I used to know a lot of bloggers IRL, but most of my real-life blogging friends have fallen off the blogging wagon. I love blogging. I also love Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I’m a social media freak. I realize blogging isn’t for everyone. But here’s a challenge for my fallen-off-the-wagon blogging friends: blog once a week in November. I’m going to try to blog once a day. It’s the type of challenge that’s perfect for me – a goal with an end date.

You know who you are. Join me and blog this November!