As a writer, nothing moves me more than words. I fall in love with them a lot. It’s not hard; all I have to do is open a book, magazine or anything with the written word. Whether it's about a person, an animal, a tree, a flower or a lady bug, I feel the words with a passion. I devour them like a literary cannibal. They cast a spell, tossing me into far to reach places. Words ring in my head, they taunt me, seduce me, stroke me, lull me, and manipulate me until I have to let go to cook dinner or go grocery shopping. Breaking the word spell is like being jilted by a lover; it hurts to leave before I’m ready to let go.

I am challenging myself to create a fictional tale each week. My goal is to push myself beyond my comfort zone in not keeping my writings to myself. I will write a variety of compositions that include playwriting, screenwriting, poetry, short stories, non-fiction, and a draft of a fictional novel I’m writing. At times I get jammed in my thoughts and would love for you to throw out ideas that would help me move my writing beyond a snails pace. I will be posting exercises and challenges for myself and others who wish to join me in my creative journey. Look forward to your comments. (just click on the below comments option)

Monday, January 18, 2010

One-Night Stands--Part 1

Listen, my father drank himself to death, and shortly after, mama put a gun to her head. I was fifteen and was sent off by the authorities to a small town outside Armadillo, Texas to live with my aunt Dorothy. That’s where I met Bubba. Bubba was like one of those Greek looking Gods with curly brown hair and muscles that popped out everywhere. He was the slickest-lookin’ fella I’d ever seen, and I swear to god he could charm a saber rattle snake right out of it’s skin. I mean to tell ya, I carried a torch for that man. So when Bubba pulled into the driveway, after showing me the town on our first date, the cards were already stacked against me. His voice was smooth and serious all at the same time, and while his clear blue eyes traveled into mine, his hands were as fast as my heavy breathing. Rest assure, he charmed the clothes right off me in the back of his red pick-up truck . . . right smack in the middle of my aunt’s driveway.
On the outside, Bubba was like a big shinny ripe apple, but he was rotten to the core. When I told him I was pregnant, he disappeared into thin air. Later though, some folks down at the workout place told me he’d left town with some gym rat. Anyway, after six years of sinking to the bottom, working shitty waitress jobs to support my son, I applied at "Club Mary’s," up in the north side of town.
Club Mary’s didn’t exactly roll out the red carpet. In fact, Miss Mary told me: "Your bottom half looks fine, but your tits sag and saggy tits ain’t good for business." Talk about pouring salt into wounds!
Sooooo, right then and there, I knew it was sink or swim. Rumor had it I could earn some quick cash down at the Krispy Cream place, so I decided to take the donut job to buy me some boobs to work at Club Mary’s.
My first intimate stranger accidentally strayed into Krispy Cream late one night looking for directions to the Embassy Suites Hotel. Well, we got to shootin’ the breeze and I noticed how he was rubbernecking me and all, so I volunteered to escort him to the hotel. It’d been a long time since I had sex . . . and, I’ll tell you right now, I gave him a run for his money. After that I didn’t bother to separate the sheep from the goats or separate the men from the boys. I even helped to advance the careers of some.
Take Jesse, for example, who sold laptop computers to go to college, sweet young thang . . . Anyway, I helped him sow his wild oats, and because of this, his computer sales skyrocketed, and in turn he was able to pay me, as well as pay off his school loan within a year.
The local workers, y’ know, the scruffy beer guzzlers dressed in camouflage fatigues and blue jeans, sporting scraggly beards and ponytails, who have noting to offer except bad karma, well . . . as it turned out, they weren’t in short supply of money either. By the end of two years I was sitting pretty at "Club Mary's" with my 38Cs.


The roughneck bartender of Club Mary’s poured another shot for the two wide-eyed, frat-looking youths gazing up at the dancer sliding upside-down on a pole.
“One side of the track is equivalent to champagne, said the bartender. “Light, pleasant, and mildly intoxicating. But on this side of the track it’s straight tequila . . . a gift from the gods. She’s a much stronger spirit. I highly recommend her, but watch out boys, she’ll put hair on your chest.”
Austin was celebrating his twenty-first birthday with his college buddy, Craig. They were an anomaly alongside the potbellied, married middle-aged men in chest-baring shirts of synthetic blends. Austin yelled up to the young woman performing the athletic moves in spiked heels. “Is Tequila really your name?”
At twenty-two, even with her makeup thicker than an IHop’s short stack, Chloe Field stood out because of her fresh, innocent look. With her pale skin, silky hair the color of daffodils, breathless voice, pillowy lips, and a pout so inviting, she was a glistening object of male fascination.
The room exploded with cheering and whistling when Chloe finished her exotic gymnastics of climbs and spins on the pole. She stepped down from the stage and headed in Austin’s direction. “So, what do you prefer, honey, champagne or tequila?” As she spoke, every part of her face was in motion. An eyebrow lifted, eyes flashed, and her smile widened. This one needs encouragement, she thought to herself, and straddled the sandy-haired youth, preparing to give him his first adult-rated lap dance.
“If, uh, that’s your name, I definitely prefer Tequila, being how profoundly America values other cultures and all,” Austin stuttered in a Southern drawl.
Austin’s friend Craig slipped a twenty-dollar bill into the front of Chloe’s G-string next to her butterfly tattoo. She liked a captive audience. Chloe twisted her body inches above Austin’s lap to Gretchen Wilson’s “Redneck Woman”. . . Let me get a big Hell Yeah from the redneck girls like me . . . Hell Yeah. Austin reached up and touched Chloe’s bare breasts. She drew back. Then sensing his awkwardness, she reconsidered. She leaned close to his ear and whispered, “Happy New Year, Darlin’.”
After the song ended, Chloe studied Austin’s face. “How old are you?”
Austin knocked back the tequila shot, then looked at his watch. “I was twenty-one at one second past midnight.”
Chloe kissed him on the forehead, stood up, smiled down at him thoughtfully, and yelled to the bartender, “Bring out a bucket of ice and put two bottles of bubbly in it. We’re going to celebrate a birthday.”
The bartender, knowing Chloe’s penchant for picking up losers who run out on their tab, grumbled, “Is that right, bubbly; you want some caviar with that, too? Just who you suppose is going to pay for it?”
“You got a name, honey?” asked Chloe.
“Um-hum, it’s Austin. And this is my friend Craig.”
“For God’s sake, Joey, it’s Austin’s birthday, just take it out of my fuckin’ pay,” shouted Chloe.
Craig reached into his pocket. “It’s okay . . . I’ll use my credit card.”
“Now aren’t you sweet.”
Craig, taking in the woman who stood topless before him, wiped the perspiration off his brow on the sleeve of his shirt, and twisted his hands together. “Have a seat, Tequila.”
Chloe laughed, “Tequila is my stage name. My real name is Chloe. My mama named me after some girl on a TV soap opera.” She winked. “Now, you just keep that under your hat. I don’t want to blow my cover. It’s bad for business, if you know what I mean.”
“Oh, sure. We understand,” Craig laughed nervously.
“Now if ya’ll excuse me for a few minutes while I change.”
Ten minutes later, bursting with confidence in a snug black dress with a good deal of her chest exposed, Chloe sat down at the small cocktail table and shared a number of beers, several glasses of sparkling Cold Duck, and a couple of lines of blow with Austin and Craig. They joked and toasted, laughed, made bold gestures, and got very drunk. Before the frat boys staggered to their car and drove away, they boozily said their goodbyes to Chloe and the other two scantily clothed dancers who had joined in the celebration.
The boss, Miss Mary, left before the lights shut down in the club, leaving the bartender to close out the register. “Hey,” the bartender shouted to Chloe, “that dude left his card here. What’d you want me to do with it?”
Chloe liked the two boys, and knowing how things mysteriously disappeared around the club, she said, “They’ll be back; I’ll hang onto it for safekeeping.” She placed the card in the pocket of her faux fur coat.

The orange and blue neon light of Club Mary’s shone blurrily on the damp asphalt. Chloe plucked the cigarette out of her mouth and dug through her purse in search of her cell phone. She placed the cell in her coat pocket before stumbling along the cracked sidewalk beneath the crisscrossing telephone wires. The night was not darkness to her. She did not own a car, but her spirit rode in the open world, under the naked light of the stars and moon. Pulling the collar of her coat tight around her neck, she was aware of the snow flurries swirling as she walked home. It reminded her of her eighth year when she received a snow globe from an anonymous donor at the orphanage. She shook and shook the globe and was charmed by the fake snowflakes swirling around, and by the jealousy that the trinket provoked in the other children.
As she walked, she mused, and as she did, she failed to notice the black SUV closing in on her. The acid stench of the exhaust and whine of the engine shattered the white silence of winter. The car crept alongside of Chloe. She averted her eyes and lengthened her stride. Before she knew what happened, a guy in a hooded sweatshirt jumped out of the passenger’s side, knocked her to the sidewalk, and snatched her handbag. The car shot away with a squeal, leaving a cloud of bluish-white smoke hanging over the street. Chloe lifted herself up from the gritty concrete and fumbled for her phone. Her heart was racing. She shivered. Her mind was in a drunken daze. Should she call the cops? What if the police found her purse, the thieves, and the half-ounce of cocaine lodged inside the Tampon box inside her purse?
It was a full five blocks to her apartment from the club. She reached the long grim stretch of low-rise apartments pocketed between an auto body shop, a razor-wired vacant lot harboring high-strung dogs, and a church, Zion Baptist, that featured a Sunday morning “Apocalypse” service. There were no cars at three o’clock in the morning, with the exception of the noisy junkyard where metal was being squashed. Like an automaton, she marched up the outdoor stairs until she came to a halt in front of her apartment door. Trembling, she thought, How the hell am I going to get in. Her cold finger pounded a few numbers on the cell phone pad and then snapped it shut. She decided against calling her married lover at home. “Shit.”
Shoving her phone and freezing hands into her pockets, Chloe fingered the credit card the birthday boy had left at the club. Fishing it out, she slid it into the crack of the door and jimmied it until the lock sprang open. “Thank you, Craigie.”
Once inside, Chloe bolted the door. She tossed her coat onto the bed, turned up the heat, went to the refrigerator, grabbed a Coors, and drank half of it in front of the open door. She sat down at the small kitchen table and slipped off her boots.
Flicking the light switch in the bathroom, Chloe groaned when she saw a creepy bug crawl from behind the toilet and scurry into a crack in the baseboard. She made a mental note to buy some bug spray. Sliding her dress down over her narrow hips, she tossed it, along with her pink lace thong and bra, on top of a pile of dirty laundry. After twisting her hair in a ponytail, Chloe splashed her face with warm water. She worked the cleanser into lather and massaged it into her skin. There was a fundamental sweetness to her without makeup. She looked at once wise and vulnerable, but her body suggested otherwise. The flattering mirror attached to the back of the door reflected Chloe’s long legs, 26-inch waist, boyish shoulders, and enhanced breasts. The last part of her nightly ritual was to open the bathroom cabinet and fumble with a plastic bottle. The prescribed mood-stabilizing drugs she took had been scientifically proven to stun a horse. She washed it down with the remaining beer.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Cottage Rose

Pink pearls, Pink stocking,
Pink tea,

Childlike, Ladylike--an exquisite
Pink rose.

Positioned in a garden, engaging and
Worry free,

Expressive and imaginative; a
Lovely prose.

Perfumed Pink petals of innocence and sincerity;

Well-cultivated Pink rose.

Childlike and Ladylike, too.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Rondeau Poem

Muse Me

Sing to me muse--bestow.
Picasso, Giotto, Michangelo,
School is nearly over,
My mind turned to clover.
Where did my muse go?

In truth, it’s an open blow
I suffer like an old crow.
It’s worse than a hangover.
Sing to me muse.

My hand will not flow;
Sestinas, Rondels, to-and-fro.
I may as well be in Hannover.
Perhaps I should pray to Rover.
Why am I not gung ho . . .
Sing to me muse.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Ugly Feet

The afternoon sun’s prisms stretch along the sidewalk, the very sidewalk my white opened toed sandals will brush-up against on the way out of the salon. But, for now, I sit in the cool comfort of an air-conditioned room, in a pedicure chair, and watch as coral strokes are brushed onto my toes.
Un-hum, I can just hear your excuses: “I have other priorities--children to feed, bills to pay, cavities to be filled. Besides, who can afford or take the time for such a luxury?” Oh yes, by all means, Hon-nee, it’s a luxury, and I highly recommend it to all of you nail fungus and cracked-heeled women. Summer means it’s time to take some of that grocery money and buy yourself a pedicure and a pair of opened toed shoes. Go ahead, be a bad girl, indulge your feet, and release those big bunions from orthotic-bondage.
Spic-and-span tootsies and opened-toed sandals will open up a whole new world for you. Trust me, I know. I used to have ugly, please-hide me feet syndrome. I was embarrassed by my disgusting, fungal feet, but all that changed when I took my sock cash . . . y’ know, the money I was supposed to spend on groceries, and headed to the Payless Shoe store.
I’ll admit, walking into the store in my beat-up sneakers, a knot bunched up in my stomach and dire panic emitted under my armpits. I was nervous and intimidated by the field of shoes. But, an enthusiastic sprint pushed me further into the store.
Looking this way and that way, I crepe pass sizes 5s, 6s, 7s, 8s, and stopped at size 9, in the back of the store. I scanned the variety of beef hide in a kaleidoscope of colors, until my eyes rested upon my dream shoe. I plucked the shoe from the rack, and held it to my chest. I must have called attention to myself as I stood there, crying and hugging the white, high-heel strappy sandal. I held it as carefully as I ever held anything, until a husky voice came from out of know where: “Hello, my name is Darrel, may I be of assistance?”
I wiped my nose and dabbed my eyes on my rolled-up shirtsleeve, and composed myself well enough to address the salesman. “Yes . . . Darrel, is it? Yes, I’d like to try this on in a size 9, please.” Darrel was taken aback. His stare stunned me into saying: “Is there something wrong? Don’t tell me you’re out of them?”
“Noooo, it’s just that . . . well . . . it’s just that I suggest we start by having your foot professionally measured. Too many people come into the store these days and never have their foot measured.” I stood there like a frozen chicken as Darrel whipped out the foot-measurement from underneath the shoe bench.
Nothing can prepare one for this type of moment, not even a counseling session with a podiatrist. I acquiesced to my fate and sat down on the shoe bench. With a shaky hand I unlaced my sneakers, pealed off my socks, and revealed to Darrel my innermost secret, the secret that’s been hiding in the depths of my soles. Call it what you will, intuition, vibes, ESP, but I knew at that very moment Darrel didn’t have ugly feet courtesy.
“Mannnn! I’ve seen hammertoes before, and corns the size of a chicken thigh, but I’ve never seen bunions that jut out like Cape Cod!” Shaking his head like he’d just found out his best friend’s dog was hit by a car, Darrel bent down, and placed my left foot on the measurement. Darrel’s irresponsible words did not provide the vital support I needed for my self-image so I squeezed my eyes shut, not wanting to hear what he was seeing. This delusion provided me with a relaxing respite. Although, I instantly acknowledged the catastrophe when he told me the shoe didn’t come in a size 10 and a 1/2. The profound impact of the lie throbbed in my ears for three seconds before I could say: “What?”
“I said this shoe doesn’t come in a size 10 and a 1/2. And, besides man . . . err . . . lady . . . The heels are way too high for your feet.”
I felt a controlled dribble of sweat leave my scalp and slide down the side of my face. I took a deep breath and with all the dignity I could muster said, in a soft voice, “Now, Darrel, you know it’s not up to you to tell the customer what is right or wrong for them.”
Darrel ran a finger around his shirt collar. All I’m trying to say is that the backs are open and they just have one tiny strap going across the toe, and . . . well, a shoe like that will never cover those Paul bunions of yours.”
My passion for the shoes provided an opportunity for me to immediately deny any poise I learned along the way. So in my very best butch voice I replied: “Darrel, listen, you sack’o’shit, just get me the fucking shoes in size 9.”
After Darrel returned with the shoes, I squeezed my feet . . . Cape Cod and all, into the heels. The tips of my toes, which hung over the sandals, gripped the hard floor as I plopped $32.86 down on the counter. I’ll tell you right now, Hon-nee, shoe fashion comes at a price, and that doesn’t always translate to dollars. It can hurt to look good. I left the store walking among the clouds in my 5-inch heels, climbed into my car, and headed for my 3:00 pedicure.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Life In A Bottle

first drink
of alcohol
came pour-
ing down
my mom’s
throat passing through the umbilical to me.
I was only in my second trimester and don’t
remember the taste, but somehow I liked
the way it made me all warm and homey. I
didn’t have to worry about the startling loud
noises I heard out side my mom’s body or
worry about maturing to fast or gaining
weight. My third trimester my brain cells
weren’t growing very fast, so I just dosed a
lot as opposed to swimming and kicking
around in my amniotic sac. Most of the time
I was content while mom was passed out
drunk. Today, something weird is happening.
Mom is awake, and pushing very quick and
hard. She shoves a wash cloth in her
mouth to choke her screams as she pushes
with all of her strength. I’m born on the
cold hard bathroom floor. Mom cuts the
cord with a razor from an old leg shaver.
She’s thankful I’m so quite. Quickly, she
wraps me in a white towel, and cleans up the
blood on her. She dresses into fresh clothes
and picks me up. She creeps slowly out the
back door. The night air is freezing cold.
Mom runs over to the dark Wal-Mart store
across the street. She prays no one sees her.
With caution she walks up to the dumpster;
I’m calm inside the bloody towel. She lowers
me into the trash and places an old newspaper
on top of me. Without any emotion, she turns
and leaves.

Shaky, The Starbucks Bandit

Shaky, The Starbucks Bandit

J.J.Turner’s crime spree began in 2000, a week before his eighty-second birthday. He was arrested in Pensacola, Florida minutes after taking $300 from the popular Starbucks Coffee Company. He was eventually given two years probation, fined $260 and told to leave Florida.

Turner was arrested again in November 2002 outside a Starbucks in Memphis after giving a note that said “ROBBERY” written with a black felt pen in shaky letters. “Give me all your money and a double mint mocha skim latté to go.” The employee got Turner’s license plate number as he left the parking lot, he was arrested about ten miles out of town, fined $500, and served nine months in the Memphis state prison.

Turner didn’t take from Starbucks for himself, nor was he after the high-quality whole bean coffees. No, Turner robbed for the love of his thirty-two year old girlfriend, Lindy, who loved Starbucks’ mint mocha skim latté--and money.

Lindy had a list of problems, and caffeine was at the top of her list. It was love at first sight for both of them. Turner fell in love with Lindy’s get-up-and-go and thirty-eight D cups of bulging breasts, and Lindy fell in love with Turner’s bulging wallet. Lindy’s breasts stayed the same, but the wallet reduced in size the first few months of their devoted relationship. Consequently, successful Starbucks heists across the country supplemented Lindy’s energy needs, and, thrust Turner into the criminal spot light. He became famously known as “Shaky, the Starbucks Bandit.”

Four years later, Turner walked into a Starbucks in Houston Texas, handed the employee a piece of paper written with a black felt pen in the same shaky writing “ROBBERY.” Twice, the employee asked if he was kidding when he asked for the money and a cup of mint mocha skim latté to go. He was convicted of robbery again and sentenced to five years in prison, becoming the oldest inmate in the Texas state prison.

The 90 year-old walked out of the prison gate carrying a green duffel bag stamped Fort Worth Texas prison. Scratching his stubby white whiskers, he squinted his worn out cornflower eyes and walked towards the red pick-up truck.

“Welcome home, old man,” said the woman behind the wheel.”

J.J. Turner threw the duffel bag in the back of the pick-up without saying a word, and, at a snail’s pace, climbed into the passenger’s side of the truck. “Where to Shaky,” said Lindy.
“Sure could use a good cup of coffee.”