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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

September 10th Challenge

Hi it’s Christina –

Good morning! Well,it wasn't as terrible as I thought it would be, nothing usually is. My "dentures" didn't slip, my tongue didn't get fat, and I believe I gave coherent replies, and it all got done in one take. This was an interview for a cable TV show about writers, and I was just one of MANY writers being interviewed. Basically they asked five questions, and you are allowed fifteen second responses to each. Not every answer will be aired.

The funny thing is, even though Princeton is only a few miles away, I won't be able to see the show when it airs because we don't get the cable station it's going to be on. I'll have to wait until they post it on YouTube. I'll give you folks the link when I get it.
Jamie Lee (not me, but the haircut
and color is really close).

Somehow I think the replies I’m going to get from you will have more to do with my hair than with the actual interview. I’m not sure if I told you this already or not – old tymers setting in – but I don’t look like the picture on my site anymore. That photo was taken a year ago April, so it’s NOT an old picture. However since the picture was taken, the psoriasis I have been dealing with since I was sixteen years old has spread to my scalp, and it has actually become painful to dye my hair; not just for the half hour they dye is on my head, but for a week or more after it has been colored.

So, I stopped coloring my hair, something I had been doing since I was seventeen when the grey started showing up. Not only is my hair no longer auburn, it is also short. I mean really short, still, even after is has been growing out for two months. Whatever, I don’t mind it short, it’s easier; and for some inexplicable reason, the grey hair makes me look a little thinner and younger. It makes no sense at all, but I’m okay with it.

After the interview, we had our normal writing group meeting. It was a lot of fun as usual – even with the camera following us around. I got up to the meeting while they were doing the first prompt, so I had less than ten minutes to finish it. I am going to give you guys the same prompt today, and I’m going to post my reply to the prompt, because this one hit me hard. I had to have someone else in the group read it for me, because I got too choked up to finish reading it out loud.

There were a couple of other damp eyes in the room as well. One of the guys in the group said, “You did that in less than ten minutes??”, and all I could do is shrug. I saw the prompt, the image and scene flashed in front of my eyes, and through the tears, I typed. This has happened several times while I have been writing my novels, but it has never happened during a writing prompt.

I wasn’t the only one who brought the group to tears last night either. My friend Sue got everyone choked up with her reply to a different prompt. The prompt was a line taken from a short story by Anton Chekhov – “The old house had to be pulled down, that a new one might be built in its place.” – and Sue’s response was from the viewpoint of a woman who is standing in the burnt out shell of her home. It was a powerful piece, and again, done in a ten minute time frame.

After “class” was over, I was able to convince only two to come splurge on ice cream with me. Well, technically only Sue and I got Ice Cream, Freida just sat with us. Sue only stayed for fifteen or twenty minutes, but Freida and I remained at the table chatting… and chatting…and chatting. Before we know it, two hours had gone by, and I felt so guilty because Freida lives over an hour away, so she wouldn’t be getting home until well after midnight. We were having such a good time, we lost track of the time.

Okay, even though Dani is not going to school today, I still have to go make Paulie his lunch so I should go. Oh my goodness, I just realized I didn’t update you on Dani. Real quick – she does have a concussion, she is out of school for the remainder of the week at least – she is on strict rest – she is not allowed to watch TV, read, do homework, text. It is going to be an interesting week around here.

Gotta boogie, so TTFN. I hope you have an awesome day, and happy writing!

Your Next Challenge is:

Spare some change please?

You have ten minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count, and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.

Here was my response:

Please Sir, can you spare some change? Please don’t look at me like that, you do not know how much it cost me to have to ask you. There are days when my pride stands in the way, and I simply go hungry. And if it was only me, I probably would go hungry for another day or two, but it’s not. Jax here has not been feeling too well lately, and I don’t want hunger to make him any weaker. I don’t know what I would do if he were to die. There’s been far too much death in my life, I couldn’t bear any more.

You see, Jax is a lot like me. We both have a big heart, but we’re both broken. Him from the rough start to life he got on the streets, and me from the war. It’s been five years now since we’ve been out here, me and my wingman Jax. I can talk to him, tell him the horrors I’ve seen, and he just listens, never judges. Often times, he licks the tears from my face, and lets me know that things will be alright. He doesn’t care when I stare off into space for hours on end, simply sits beside me. He doesn’t complain when I cry out in the night, just snuggles closer and makes me feel safe. There is never any anger, disappointment or recrimination in his eyes. He’s the only living creature on this earth who loves me unconditionally. So please Sir, can you spare any change?