Friday, July 30, 2010

Bonus Track: "Flying Standby"

I wrote this flash in response to JM Prescott's "I Dare You" Challenge, What Could Happen?.

I received an honorable mention, so I decided to post it here. I encourage you to click the above "I Dare You" link to read the winner, Sal Buttaci's, response to the challenge.

"Flying Standby"

I look up at the departures screen, and I know that I can go anywhere I want. I feel freedom and trepidation at the same time. With a few hundred dollars in my pocket and the clothes on my back, I can spend the rest of the summer working odd jobs and playing my guitar in the downtown area of Any City, USA while businessmen throw dimes and dollars into the case and ask me to play “Proud Mary”.

New York. The Big Apple makes me want to sing a Broadway showtune, and I imagine standing in Times Square, getting “discovered” by a faux-tan gentleman with a handlebar moustache who thinks I could be one of the next Zigfield Girls. My Streisand-esque fantasy ends when I see the last flight of the day has already departed, leaving me to wonder if I will ever wake up in the city that never sleeps.

Las Vegas. Wearing my LBD (little black dress), I'll hop a plane to Sin City, laugh with Ashton Kutcher (he is a frequent Vegas visitor), dance to Katy Perry (who knows what it’s like “Waking Up in Vegas”), and play blackjack at the Palms. I look down at my flip flops and peer into my wallet, thinking my three C-notes won’t last me long in the city where drinks are $20 each and my style will not be appreciated in most of the hot clubs.

New Orleans. I’ll flee to the home of Mardi Gras, my heart breaking for the victims of Katrina. I'll hear Harry Connick, Jr., and I’ll exchange my guitar for a saxophone, bellowing jazz melodies from my tired lungs, praying that any music I make will teach the world that anywhere your family is at is home.


Home.  It doesn’t seem to fit with the big cities, the bright lights, the anywhere invitation, but I am content when I take my eyes from the departures screen and look at the arrivals. I notice all the planes coming to my hometown, and think that maybe they know something I don’t. Maybe the decision I am making to stay right here is the best one for me.

Walking out into the night, I hail one of the few cabs in this town, and when the driver asks where I am headed, I simply say, “Home.”

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bonus Tracks: Mind Games and "The Phone Call"

My piece about eating disorders was chosen for the 6S Anthology, Mind Games available here.

My flash fiction piece about domestic violence, "The Phone Call", was chosen as the I Dare You winner for the week of July 9 on JM Prescott's blog.

Thanks for reading, and I appreciate your comments!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Track #4--"Nookie"

"I did it all for the nookie
The nookie
So you can take that cookie. . ."
 ~Limp Bizkit

"Hi, my name is Jen and I am addicted to nook."

"Nook? You mean, like, sex?"

"No, not nookie, the nook e-reader! I guess it sounds like it, doesn't it?"

It has been almost two weeks since I finally gave in and bought Barnes and Noble's e-reader, and I am definitely glad I did except that distracted me from writing for that week. For the first week, there were no 6S blog posts, no submissions, as I spent most waking moments glued to the nook. Before you give me the bad mother award, these were all moments when he was engaged in other activity: racing his RC car with dad or practicing his guitar. I do spend time with the boy, and occasionally, the husband. I even (gasp) let the boy use the nook a time or two.

Since I am going to be doing a lot of e-reading this summer, I thought I would recommend some summer reading for all of you ebook and non-ebook readers alike, including a few on my wish list.

Here are the books I have read/am reading and the ones I am ready to download next.


1. Warning---Shameless Plug ahead
The Mysterious Dr. Ramsey 
Edited by Thomas Knox
This is a fantastic flash fiction anthology put out by 6S writers. You may even know one or two.

2. Best Friends Forever 
by Jennifer Weiner
Although I read this last summer, I love the story of Addie and Valerie. Weiner's characters are always well-developed and make you hope for a sequel. BFF is a little bit of Thelma and Louise and the perfect summer read.

3. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca Skloot
I am only halfway through this book, but the story of an African American woman whose "HeLa cells" changed the world of medicine is a study of ethics and humanity that is part scientific study part biography, and compelling with every turn of the page.

4. Hello, Summer Vacay
by Bolton Carley
Yes, Summer Vacay is written by one of my close friends, but it is a perfect YA verse novel for students and adults alike. Told from the perspectives of a teacher and her student, Mrs. H. and Brianna both are uncensored in the words, not telling us what we want to hear, but what they are really thinking in this humorous real verse novel.

5. Heart of the Matter
by Emily Giffin
I just started reading my library copy of Giffin's newest book, and I know it will be a fast read but the first few pages reminded me of conversations I've often had with myself about letting go of silly things and understanding that I am one of the lucky ones. I look forward to reading more.

NEXT (on my wish list):
5. Thin, Rich, Pretty
by Beth Harbison
Harbison is one of the best "chicklit" authors around, and her personable interaction with fans has made her one of my favorites. Last year's Hope in a Jar was delightful, and I am ready for this July 6 release about friendship, weight loss, and tragedy.

6. My Fair Lazy
by Jen Lancaster
It's Jen Lancaster; what else can I say? Jen's memoirs are hilarious, and I hope this one lives up to the uncontrollable laughter I experienced while reading Such a Pretty Fat.
Bonus! It's a lendable nook book!

7. When the Game Was Ours
by Larry Bird, Ervin "Magic" Johnson, and Jackie McMullan
See? They aren't all chick books. This book was released in November 2009, but I've always been fascinated by the friendship by these two adversaries and basketball greats. (Also lendable)

8. Medium Raw
by Anthony Bourdain
I love No Reservations, and Bourdain has such strong voice in his writing. I am looking forward to the followup to Kitchen Confidential. I am adding the debut to my list as well.

Feel free to plug your own writing or list some of your favorites in the comments section.

Enjoy your summer reading!