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Date Posted: 08:12:23 11/21/09 Sat
Author: Debi
Subject: Writing suggestions, ho!

So, this week has sucked, work- and writing-wise and, as soon as those pesky bills are paid, I plan to get back on it. But for now, I'm going to pause for a moment and toss out a couple of writing ideas/homework. I didn't even manage to write homework for the last one so I'm feeling extra-slackerish this time.

In honor of the approaching American Thanksgiving holiday next week, and Christmas, Hannukkah and the rest of the Winter Holidays approaching, here's suggestion number one.

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year: Your character in question has been invitied to a holiday celebration of some kind, one that he/she is unfamiliar with. It could be a pagan going to an office Christmas party, a Christian attending a Hannukkah celebration at a friend's house, or something else. Or they could be unfamiliar because they're from another time or place, maybe another country where the traditions are different. However you work it, let's see how different things are and how they react.

Homework ideas, Part Deaux: Use this line in a short piece or let it inspire something:
"You know how sand in an hourglass seems to flow faster as the amount in the top half decreases? That's what my life feels like."

Man, can I sympathize with that line this week. So lets see what you can sympathize with and find inspirational!

Also, don't forget about the Christmas story! I love the idea, now I need to participate.

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[> Molly and Gil -- Debi, 19:54:39 11/29/09 Sun

No Page, not one of those kinds of scenes, though I did write one earlier that kinda took me by surprise. I'll review it and see what needs to be fixed, then I'll pass it along.

This scene, as I said, is not that one. I chose the second option from the homework. This is what I came up with. Mind you, it's part of the over 10,000 words I've written in the past 24 hours. Forgive me if it's weird.

Downtown Babylon, Debi Matlack, copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Posted for sharing and critique purposes only, does not constitute publication.
**************
That Sunday, Molly had Jimmy come in his van and pick up Declan for a visit. Then she and Gil got on the motorcycle and went for a ride. The spring air was warm and fragrant, giving just a hint of the heat to come again when summer arrived, in about a week. They had no particular destination in mind and no schedule to which they had to adhere. They ended up in St Augustine and Molly’s belly informed them both it was time to eat with a loud rumble.

Gil grinned as he doffed his helmet. “I guess we better feed you before you start looking at my like I’m lunch.”

“Either way,” she agreed. “This is a little more public than my tastes run to for the other, but I’ll take a rain check.”

He pulled her to him as they waited to cross the busy road. “It’s a deal.”

They ended up in a seafood restaurant that sat right over the water. A gull perched on the other side of the rail and eyed Molly. She gave the upstart bird a flat stare. “Not a chance bub. I feed you, and then it’s like an Alfred Hitchcock movie.”

After they ordered, Gil reached across the table and took her hands in his own. They were still warm from the gloves. He looked at her with an odd, soft expression on his face. Molly became curious, an interest stained with just a hint of suspicion.

“What?”

“What, what?” he grinned. “Can’t a man just hold his lady’s hand?”

A little smile teased its way out from the corners of her mouth. “I guess so. But you seem a little edgy. What’s up?”

He shrugged, his thumb tracing over the back of her hand in slow patterns. He knew that touch would distract her, damn him.

“I just wanted to talk to you about us.”

Suspicion leaped to the forefront as she looked up to meet his eyes, no longer thinking about the hypnotic feel of his hand on her skin. “What about us?”

The disbelief in her voice must have not been suppressed as much as it should have been. Gil sat back, letting go of her hand abruptly.

“Never mind.”

“No, Gil. Tell me what you want to say.”

“Why, so you can shrug and laugh?”

“What?” Now she was on the defensive. “I’ve never laughed at you, not about something important. This seems like it means a lot to you.” She reached across and touched the back of his hand. “I’m sorry.”

With a grudging glance, he nodded. “Yeah, me too. Guess I’m just still a little weirded out by everything lately. Last time I was out things didn’t go well, and I was flat broke when I got back to you. It all just… piled up.” He let her pull his hand back between them on the table and this time it was she that stroked his hand soothingly.

“It’s okay. Was that all?”

He was quiet for a long moment and Molly wondered if he was going to say anything else at all. His gaze was fixed on the top of the lighthouse, just visible across the inlet from them.

“I guess I realized something else last time too. I’m not cut out for the road any more. I love the life, love the people, but I just can’t keep it up. You know how sand in an hourglass seems to flow faster as the amount in the top half decreases? That's what my life feels like.” He smiled at her, a rueful expression. “I guess I’m just getting old.”

“Got news for you, honey,” she told him, “I feel about a million years old, every time you leave.”

“How about if I don’t do that to you anymore?”

Her eyes widened as she took in the meaning of his words.
To have Gil stay, never have to miss him again, it was an idea too alien for her to conceive. “Are you sure we won’t kill each other after a couple of months?”

His heartfelt laugh did much to soothe her fears. “I’m not making any guarantees, but I will do my level best to stay the hell out of your business, in all the meanings that entails, if you’ll do me the same favor.”

Molly shifted her hand in his grasp until it was a handshake. They pumped their hands once, both of them grinning like idiots.

“It’s a deal.”

“Now I do have some things I have to wrap up out there. No, I swear before God it isn’t another woman. I know what you’re thinking.”

Molly snorted and nodded. “Okay, I believe you. Now, if you’ll just do me the honor of contacting me once in a while while you’re gone, that would make everything as close to perfect as it could possibly be.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean pick up a phone and tell me you didn’t die in a fiery crash, embedded in the grill of a long haul truck on that crotch rocket.”

Now Gil laughed. Laying his hand over his heart, he intoned, “I, Gilbert Anthony Freeman, being of off balance mind and smoking hot body—“ she reached across the table and smacked him on the arm—“do solemnly swear that I will call home and reassure you of my continued existence. I do further avow that I will return home to you, Molly Abigail Whelan—“ this earned him another whack—“my lady of my heart, also of the smoking hot body.” He lifted her hand to his lips and pressed them there for a long moment, his eyes glowing a deep blue.

“This is do promise, before all these witnesses,” he nodded to the gulls gathering on the rail outside.

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[> [> Holy smoke, I almost missed this! I've gotta learn to scroll down when I log on >>>> -- Page, 01:15:07 12/06/09 Sun

>No Page, not one of those kinds of scenes, though I
>did write one earlier that kinda took me by surprise.
>I'll review it and see what needs to be fixed, then
>I'll pass it along.

What? Me? Am I that obvious? Of course I am. So is it fixed? The whole "took me by surprise" has me intrigued...
>
>This scene, as I said, is not that one. I chose the
>second option from the homework. This is what I came
>up with. Mind you, it's part of the over 10,000 words
>I've written in the past 24 hours. Forgive me if it's
>weird.
>
>Downtown Babylon, Debi Matlack, copyright 2009.
>All rights reserved. Posted for sharing and critique
>purposes only, does not constitute publication.
>**************
>That Sunday, Molly had Jimmy come in his van and pick
>up Declan for a visit. Then she and Gil got on the
>motorcycle and went for a ride. The spring air was
>warm and fragrant, giving just a hint of the heat to
>come again when summer arrived, in about a week. They
>had no particular destination in mind and no schedule
>to which they had to adhere. They ended up in St
>Augustine and Molly’s belly informed them both it was
>time to eat with a loud rumble.
>
>Gil grinned as he doffed his helmet. “I guess we
>better feed you before you start looking at my like
>I’m lunch.”
>
>“Either way,” she agreed. “This is a little more
>public than my tastes run to for the other, but I’ll
>take a rain check.”

Okay, at least I'm not alone in thinking what I thought when he said that. LOL

>He pulled her to him as they waited to cross the busy
>road. “It’s a deal.”
>
>They ended up in a seafood restaurant that sat right
>over the water. A gull perched on the other side of
>the rail and eyed Molly. She gave the upstart bird a
>flat stare. “Not a chance bub. I feed you, and then
>it’s like an Alfred Hitchcock movie.”

No kidding! Anyone who has ever been mobbed by gulls will sit up at this juncture, and yell, "Right on!"

>After they ordered, Gil reached across the table and
>took her hands in his own. They were still warm from
>the gloves. He looked at her with an odd, soft
>expression on his face. Molly became curious, an
>interest stained with just a hint of suspicion.
>
>“What?”
>
>“What, what?” he grinned. “Can’t a man just hold his
>lady’s hand?”
>
>A little smile teased its way out from the corners of
>her mouth. “I guess so. But you seem a little edgy.
>What’s up?”
>
>He shrugged, his thumb tracing over the back of her
>hand in slow patterns. He knew that touch would
>distract her, damn him.
>
>“I just wanted to talk to you about us.”
>
>Suspicion leaped to the forefront as she looked up to
>meet his eyes, no longer thinking about the hypnotic
>feel of his hand on her skin. “What about us?”

I know why she's suspicious. Men never want to talk about relationships. Sports, cars, electronic gadgets, yes. Relationships, no. So if he's bringing it up, then it's heavy.

>The disbelief in her voice must have not been
>suppressed as much as it should have been. Gil sat
>back, letting go of her hand abruptly.
>
>“Never mind.”
>
>“No, Gil. Tell me what you want to say.”
>
>“Why, so you can shrug and laugh?”

I know this was written during a marathon, but this part has me a tad confused. If she sounded suspicious and in disbelief, why would Gil think she'd shrug and laugh?

>“What?” Now she was on the defensive. “I’ve never
>laughed at you, not about something important. This
>seems like it means a lot to you.” She reached across
>and touched the back of his hand. “I’m sorry.”
>
>With a grudging glance, he nodded. “Yeah, me too.
>Guess I’m just still a little weirded out by
>everything lately. Last time I was out things didn’t
>go well, and I was flat broke when I got back to you.
>It all just… piled up.” He let her pull his hand back
>between them on the table and this time it was she
>that stroked his hand soothingly.
>
>“It’s okay. Was that all?”
>
>He was quiet for a long moment and Molly wondered if
>he was going to say anything else at all. His gaze was
>fixed on the top of the lighthouse, just visible
>across the inlet from them.
>
>“I guess I realized something else last time too. I’m
>not cut out for the road any more. I love the life,
>love the people, but I just can’t keep it up. You know
>how sand in an hourglass seems to flow faster as the
>amount in the top half decreases? That's what my life
>feels like.” He smiled at her, a rueful expression. “I
>guess I’m just getting old.”
>
>“Got news for you, honey,” she told him, “I feel about
>a million years old, every time you leave.”

Awww...

>“How about if I don’t do that to you anymore?”
>
>Her eyes widened as she took in the meaning of his
>words.
>To have Gil stay, never have to miss him again, it was
>an idea too alien for her to conceive. “Are you sure
>we won’t kill each other after a couple of months?”
>
>His heartfelt laugh did much to soothe her fears. “I’m
>not making any guarantees, but I will do my level best
>to stay the hell out of your business, in all the
>meanings that entails, if you’ll do me the same favor.”
>
>Molly shifted her hand in his grasp until it was a
>handshake. They pumped their hands once, both of them
>grinning like idiots.
>
>“It’s a deal.”
>
>“Now I do have some things I have to wrap up out
>there. No, I swear before God it isn’t another woman.
>I know what you’re thinking.”
>
>Molly snorted and nodded. “Okay, I believe you. Now,
>if you’ll just do me the honor of contacting me once
>in a while while you’re gone, that would make
>everything as close to perfect as it could possibly
>be.”
>
>“What do you mean?”
>
>“I mean pick up a phone and tell me you didn’t die in
>a fiery crash, embedded in the grill of a long haul
>truck on that crotch rocket.”
>
>Now Gil laughed. Laying his hand over his heart, he
>intoned, “I, Gilbert Anthony Freeman, being of off
>balance mind and smoking hot body—“
LOL!
she reached across
>the table and smacked him on the arm—“do solemnly
>swear that I will call home and reassure you of my
>continued existence. I do further avow that I will
>return home to you, Molly Abigail Whelan—“ this earned
>him another whack—“my lady of my heart, also of the
>smoking hot body.” He lifted her hand to his lips and
>pressed them there for a long moment, his eyes glowing
>a deep blue.
>
>“This is do promise, before all these witnesses,” he
>nodded to the gulls gathering on the rail outside.

Oh, this is nice! It's a great interlude, and a very relaxed way to show more of Gil's personality, and a hint of what's been going on between the two of them. I liked it!

Hugs,
Page

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[> [> [> LOL, but you did find it! -- Debi, 10:04:45 12/06/09 Sun

>>No Page, not one of those kinds of scenes, though I
>>did write one earlier that kinda took me by surprise.
>>I'll review it and see what needs to be fixed, then
>>I'll pass it along.
>
>What? Me? Am I that obvious? Of course I am. So
>is it fixed? The whole "took me by surprise" has me
>intrigued...

>>
I'm off to revisit that scene right now. Last weekend is a bit of a blur, after writing that much in just a few days...
>>
>>Gil grinned as he doffed his helmet. “I guess we
>>better feed you before you start looking at my like
>>I’m lunch.”
>>
>>“Either way,” she agreed. “This is a little more
>>public than my tastes run to for the other, but I’ll
>>take a rain check.”
>
>Okay, at least I'm not alone in thinking what I
>thought when he said that. LOL


He's always thinking about sex, he's a man...;-)

>>“I just wanted to talk to you about us.”
>>
>>Suspicion leaped to the forefront as she looked up to
>>meet his eyes, no longer thinking about the hypnotic
>>feel of his hand on her skin. “What about us?”
>
>I know why she's suspicious. Men never want
>to talk about relationships. Sports, cars, electronic
>gadgets, yes. Relationships, no. So if he's bringing
>it up, then it's heavy.


Ain't it the truth...

>>“Never mind.”
>>
>>“No, Gil. Tell me what you want to say.”
>>
>>“Why, so you can shrug and laugh?”
>
>I know this was written during a marathon, but this
>part has me a tad confused. If she sounded suspicious
>and in disbelief, why would Gil think she'd shrug and
>laugh?


I honestly don't know. I need to revisit this and try to clarify what they were telling me. He got his feelings in a bunch and was reluctant to tell her (or me) why, so I'm going to have to investigate further.

>>“I guess I realized something else last time too. I’m
>>not cut out for the road any more. I love the life,
>>love the people, but I just can’t keep it up. You know
>>how sand in an hourglass seems to flow faster as the
>>amount in the top half decreases? That's what my life
>>feels like.” He smiled at her, a rueful expression. “I
>>guess I’m just getting old.”
>>
>>“Got news for you, honey,” she told him, “I feel about
>>a million years old, every time you leave.”
>
>Awww...

Well, she does...;-) She wanted him to stay for a long time, but never felt she should ask.
>
>Oh, this is nice! It's a great interlude, and a
>very relaxed way to show more of Gil's personality,
>and a hint of what's been going on between the two of
>them. I liked it!


Thank you. Downtown Babylon still has a lot going on, but I think I have the bones of the story in place. Now just to flesh it out a bit more.

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