Saturday, May 25, 2013

Entitled? You bet.


Like most people I think I work harder then I actually do.

            I’m a single mom; a PhD student; a writer; a tutor and an Assistant Professor. I am trying to build a community of writers and to bridge relationships between the campus on which I live and study and the community that surrounds it. I am also, in my spare time, hosting a radio segment featuring writers reading their works and interviews of published writers.

            At times I feel that all I do entitles me to well, to feel entitled. Not entitled to the things I don’t deserve like special parking, green-light passes, or advanced Black Friday deal information; but to rewards, perks, a sleek, shiny black coffee machine that looks good making a cup of coffee: a sexy coffee machine.

            I ordered a sexy one but got a plastic, clumpy one; one that says: “you don’t work nearly as hard as you think you do.”

            I disagreed.

            There are people who deserve respect, health care, free education, peace, serenity, thank yous, free homes, job security and everything else they worked, served and died for other people to have.

            I don’t fight crime, save lives, put out fires; I don’t keep the streets safe, combat drugs, protect.

            I raise artistic, intelligent, loving children who will one day run companies, organizations, businesses; who will be loving, caring, sincere; who will build communities and shatter stereotypes. And I teach. I teach college students the skills to write and communicate on and off the page; I endeavor to instill confidence in information, in research, in individuals; I encourage people to think critically, to question logically, to explore illogically.

            I write words that explore characters, that lay them naked and exposed and whole and present them to people who will never know them off the page and to people who have known them in life and to people who are them—or think they are.

            I deserve a sexy coffee machine.  

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Snippets from a scene (Fiction from my Attic) Or, My get-a-story-about-a-writer out of my system attempt

He slipped in to the elevator behind me, fairly innocently but a bit too closely, a bit too familiar. There was something intimate about the way he looked at me, as if he thought I should recognize him.  For a minute I thought I did but I shook it off, I would have remembered him he was that fine. 
Out of, I don’t know what, I couldn’t meet his eyes, I wanted to, felt drawn to, but just could not do it.  So I stared at my toes, wondering when I would feel like painting them. Slowly the elevator crept up to the 23rd floor.  When did I notice he hadn’t pushed a button? Probably around 21.  But my office was on sort of a community floor, the price I paid for wanting an office outside of the house before I really needed one.  I was a writer, a freelance one, and I could write any where I wanted so why I chose to do it from time to time in an office I paid too much for was no one’s business but mine. 
Anyway, I felt like he was weighing me and I was a few pounds shy of what he bargained for.  He smiled as he stepped on to my floor and held the door open as I fumbled with my keys. 
“You never remember where you left your keys,” he said chuckling. 
Normally a statement like that would have made me nervous.  I mean what was he watching me or something? But that smile was so enchanting that it made me smile.

Still when he followed me in to my office I felt a bit too comfortable and by the time he sat down in the guest chair closest to my desk, I was closer to stunned.
“Allow me to introduce myself, I’m Alex…Reese.”
If I know anything at all about myself, it is that I am a terrible actress so I am sure my face registered a bit of surprise.
“You haven’t had your coffee,” he apologized, “be right back.” And off he went to get the coffee I needed to process just how one of the characters I was creating ended up sitting next to me in my office.
“Just like you like it, 6 cream, 6 sugars.”
“And how exactly do you know so much about me?”
“What? I know as much about you as you do about me, though probably more. Anyway, I’m here to find out why you haven’t been writing about me, I have some things left to do.”
“You realize, I’m sure, that I write murder mysteries? And most of my victims are men?”
“We’ll have to see what we can do about changing that.”
“And what were you hoping I would write for you?”
“A romance,” he grinned.

“We’ll have to see what we can do about changing that.”

October Call for True Stories: Stories at the Storey

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