Friday, October 14, 2011

Where Will The Flowers Go?

This week we asked you to write a piece – fiction or creative non-fiction – in which a tattoo figures prominently.
We wanted you to explore the many facets of tattoos: why someone would get them, what the meaning was, what the tattoo says about them. Word limit was 300

I stood in line at the grocery store and tried not to stare at the young woman in line ahead of me. Her blonde hair was dyed black and red at the tips, and was gelled up into a dangerous-looking row of mohawk spikes. A pack of cigarattes peeped out of the black leather bra, which was also peeping out. She was wearing "zombie leggings" and black leather biker boots.

Her groceries inched down the conveyor belt. Cigarettes. Cheez-whiz. Petron Silver. Tortilla chips. A bag of M&Ms. And an incongruous bouquet of pink roses.

She pulled her wallet from her back pocket, showing a flash of white wrist, with a tattoo of a rosebud on it. It was a pink rosebud, angel wings on each side, and the words, "Momma's Angel". As she reached out to hand the checker her club card, I saw the tattoo on her ring finger. It looked like a prison tat. A skull and cross-bones.

She took the divider bar from the slot and plopped it down behind her groceries and glanced back at me. She smiled a flashing, brilliant white smile that reached up to illuminate her bright blue eyes. I smiled back.

Thanks for the comments! I tried switching the last two paragraphs and it does seem better. Thank you!
(I am working on polishing my descriptive voice regarding people. I want to be better at showing my reader a true depiction of characters, in a way that will give answers and still inspire questions. This is one of my attempts.)

Always, feel free to comment! Trish in AZ

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Opening Day

Stephen King said, “The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.”
This week we asked you to write a memoir post inspired by that statement – in 300 words or less.

It happens every time. I plan. I worry. I walk to get ready.

I get out my backpack, my camouflage clothes and my 30.06 rifle.

Sleep eludes me that Thursday night, because opening day is Friday.

We rise early, Sweet Hubs and I. We want to be in our spot before sunrise.

My heart rises higher and higher in my chest until it feels like it beats at the back of my tongue, hard enough to make me gag.

The sky pinks up. The sun inches higher, at last showing its pop of yellow-orange above the horizon and turning the hills purple.

And there he is. A bull elk. The sun gleams on his pale coat. His antlers, polished brown with ivory tips, crown his magnificent head. 750 pounds of God's stunning handiwork. Several hundred pounds of potential meat for the freezer.

I lift my gun to my shoulder and look through the scope. I will my heart to slow. Deep breath. Find the "boiler room" and focus the crosshairs there. Calm down. Squeeze the trigger. (This is the part where I wince because my gun kicks like a mule and I just got knocked back into last week.)

I take a moment to thank God...and to thank the elk. Then the work begins.

My family is a hunting family. It's how we eat. We have raised our own chickens and beef, but we predominantly eat game meat. Arizona has Coues' Whitetailed deer, mule deer, elk, turkey, bison, Desert Bighorn and Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, antelope, javelina and black bear. I figure I have cooked close to 6,000 meals out of game meat.
Just for fun, visit 

Always, feel free to comment! Trish in AZ

Friday, October 7, 2011

Turkey Creek

This week we asked you to take us somewhere. Where was up to you -fiction or creative nonfiction- but we asked you to use your words to paint the setting as vividly as possible. In 200 words.

    Just off of Aravaipa in south-central Arizona is a cool, fragrant canyon. It's a gash in the desert, shaded from the harsh reality of the arid, rocky, cactus-ridden challenge above. Sheer rock walls angle over the canyon floor. Cottonwood and Sycamore trees filter the sunlight. In the autumn, those trees drop colorful, oval leaves and turn the blue granite boulders into mosaics of color.
    A lazy creek wanders from one side of the canyon wall to the other, ambling back and forth like a child chasing a butterfly. Coatis run amok in the canyon, a gang of noisy delinquents. I don't speak Coati, but if I did, I bet I'd be shocked at the names they call each other. Canyon Wrens stay above the fray and let their liquid songs fill the canyon. Dainty prints of whitetailed deer in the mud tell me that the little gray ghosts stopped to drink, before darting back up to the desert hills above. Black bears amble back and forth between canyon and desert, eating whatever looks good on nature's salad bar.
     It's a quiet place, ancient and delicate. If you listen carefully, you can hear the echoes of the ones who walked here before: Hohokams, Mogollons, Saladoans, settlers and ranchers and Basque sheep herders. The sounds of the bawling cattle, bleating sheep and even the sounds of a massacre have faded away to a whisper....a whisper of a road less traveled.

Always, feel free to comment! Trish in AZ

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What is it?

Your memoir prompt this week comes from Assistant Editor Galit.

Writing short posts is an excellent way to flex your word choice muscles. Which word is the most clear? Poignant? Direct?
This week I want you to conjure something.
An object, a person, a feeling, a color, a season- whatever you like.
But don’t tell me what it is, conjure it.

Soft, velvety smoothness against my bare skin.
A warm smell of newness and earthiness, inexplicably intermingled.
Hard and perfectly rounded, fuzzy and fragile in my right hand,
A firm and well-padded little bump in my left hand, he is light
And yet this is the heaviest responsibility I have ever held.
A dark fringe lying soft against his cheek as he sleeps,
A fleeting smile across his rosebud lips and then a crooked, sideways yawn.
My heart opens wide like a flower in bloom,
Bursting with a new love.

Always, feel free to comment! Trish in AZ