Fiction Friday

[Fiction] Friday: Fantasy Leap

Ginny tapped her pen against her pad of paper. She nervously chewed on her lower lip and looked toward the clock: ten minutes before class was dismissed.

She wasn’t sure she would last another ten minutes.

*tap-tap-tap*

“So, the author did a good job of telling us about the scene,” one overweight woman piped up, her beady black eyes sliding to Ginny with malicious intent, “but that’s the problem, she TOLD us, she didn’t SHOW us. Her description lacked imagination. I actually found myself nodding off a few times.” She looked around the classroom to search for confirmation of her opinion; her thin lips curled into a derisive grin.

Ginny thought her mouth looked like the tilde character on a keyboard. She’d never be able to use that particular key again without thinking about the obnoxious fat woman in her creative writing class.

*tap-tap-tap*

Ginny stole a few glances herself and noticed no one was even paying attention to the woman. She felt her shoulders relax somewhat and withheld a smirk of satisfaction. Though no one had come right out and said it, she sensed that the 20 some-odd number of students couldn’t stand this particular woman. Ginny couldn’t even remember her name, quite frankly.

Shelby. Sarah. Sally. Something with an S. Or did it start with a W? Her brow furrowed as she tried to think of the name.

*tap-tap-tap*

“I have to disagree with you,” the instructor interjected, his soft gaze staring a hole into Ginny’s downcast skull. “I thought the writer did an excellent job walking the reader down this particular path. I not only saw what was going on, I felt the girl’s uncertainty and certainly her fear.”

“Did we read the same story?” the woman snorted out with a snarky chuckle.

Ginny’s entire body tensed at the woman’s sarcasm. She suddenly had a vision of this woman crossing the street and smacking headlong into a speeding bus. Or would it be a train? The woman was so fat, a bus might not be enough to stop her.

She smirked to herself.

*tap-tap-tap*

“Actually, I was wondering the same thing,” another girl spoke up. Ginny glanced at the girl from under her lashes. “Because the points you’re trying to make don’t even apply to this particular story. Did you even read the right story?”

*tap-tap- …*

Ginny, along with everyone else stilled. The tension was nearly palpable.

The woman spurted a nervous chuckle. “Of course I read the right story. ‘Midnight’ by Lisa Coleman.”

The entire room groaned and Ginny could have sworn she heard one guy mutter “idiot” under his breath.

“Actually, we’re supposed to be critiquing ‘Violet’ by Ginny Matthews,” the instructor said.

Ginny glanced at the woman – her face was ashen and her massive frame seemed to have shrunk within itself leaving only rolls of fatty tissue. She looked like a turtle minus its shell. It was actually quite fascinating to watch and she jotted a few notes down in her notebook to record her observations. She would use it the next time she wrote about a character’s discomfort.

“Annnd I think this would be a good place to stop,” the instructor said. The students immediately began to shuffle papers and stuff notebooks and pens back into their book bags. “Ginny. Do you want to talk about your story next time, or should we move on to the next one?”

She raised a palm and offered a shy smile. “I’m good.”

“Alright then,” the instructor said, raising his voice to be heard over the commotion. “We’ll begin with Todd’s story on Thursday. Have a great day, everyone.”

“Ginny!” a girl’s voice sounded behind her, but Ginny pretended not to hear her and scurried out of the room as fast as she could without actually running people down.

Thank God that was over. Now she could get back to her characters.

She had missed them.

She walked through the campus and back to her dorm room, her head lowered, her eyes trained on the sidewalk in front of her. She immediately shut the world out around her and turned her thoughts to her story … to Violet.

Things were heating up and she wasn’t sure where to take the story next.

She let herself into her room, threw her book bag onto her bunk and immediately booted up her laptop. She was relieved to see her roommate was already gone for the day. Lori was a peppy, outgoing girl and though Ginny liked her, she didn’t feel very comfortable around her. Lori was constantly trying to get her to do things with her and she simply didn’t want to. She was much happier immersing herself into her fantasy worlds.

Grabbing a Diet Dr. Pepper (it was all Lori kept in the fridge, she personally preferred unsweetened tea), she sat down at the desk and opened Violet’s file.

“Hey, it’s about time you showed up,” a voice beckoned her and Ginny smiled and began to relax for the first time since leaving her room that morning.

“I’m so glad that’s over,” she said. “You wouldn’t believe what that fat witch did today.”

“Oh?” Violet stretched out onto the love seat beside her. “Do tell.”

“She had nothing but stupid things to say, as usual,” Ginny smirked. “But get this, she was ripping the wrong story to shreds!”

Violet burst out laughing and Ginny followed suit.

“What a dork,” Violet said and Ginny nodded her agreement.

A few moments slid by while the girls surrendered to their amusement.

“So, what am I doing today?” Violet asked and stood up.

“I’m thinking a little romance,” Ginny said, her eyes trained on the screen in front of her.

“Oooh, I like that,” Violet said.

“Are you ready?”

“Ready for what?”

“To get back into the story?” Ginny said, turning to face her beloved character.

“But I like it out here,” Violet whined.

“Oh trust me, this world,” she gestured to her laptop, “is much, MUCH better.”

Violet studied her creator for long moments before nodding. “Fine. I’ll go. But you have to come with me.”

“What?”

“Come with,” said Violet with a charming smile.

“I can’t go with you,” Ginny sputtered with a nervous laugh.

“Why not?”

“Because … that’s not possible. It’s crazy.”

Violet gave her a snicker. “And talking to me isn’t crazy?”

“Well,” she swallowed before answering, “no.”

“You’ve been manipulating me for weeks now,” Violet said. “I think it’s time you stepped into the world you created and experience it first hand.”

“But ..” Ginny swallowed the basketball-sized lump in her throat and felt her chest begin to heat up. “What if I can’t get back?”

“You said yourself, it’s MUCH better in there. Why would you want to come back?”

Ginny opened her mouth to reply and then promptly shut it. Why indeed.

Violet gave a toss of her long, raven black hair before dissipating before Ginny’s eyes. “Last one in is a rotten egg!” And with that, she disappeared.

Ginny’s gaze shifted from the space where Violet had been moments before to the laptop in front of her.

A drop of sweat trickled down between her breasts.

Could she?

Should she?

“I’m waiting,” Violet’s voice came from the screen.

She ran a hand through her short, spiky hair and looked around the room. What exactly was she leaving behind anyway? No one ever paid attention to her. She didn’t have any friends, other than Violet. Who would miss her?

Ginny closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and jumped …

_________________________

Fiction Friday

[Fiction] Friday Challenge for June 19th, 2009:

Include this line in your story…(your character) closed his/her eyes, took a deep breath, and jumped

Friday Fun

Aloha Friday

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Aloha! Kailani is the brain-child behind this fun Friday meme. If you feel inclined to answer my question, please post your answer in the comment section. Sound fun? Of course it does! Want to answer more questions? Hop over to An Island Life and play along!

(Please feel free to answer the question below, even if you’re not playing Aloha Friday!)

My question:

What lessons do you hope to instill in your kids?

Courtesy and respect are the two most uppermost in my mind at the moment.

I’ve always taught my boys to be respectful and to put themselves in other people’s shoes, but here lately, Dude has been rather … self-serving.

I don’t know if it’s because he’s a teenager and teenagers just naturally think the world revolves around them, or if he honestly doesn’t know, or care (!), about being rude to others, but he insists on putting himself first.

Case in point:

We were at my nephew’s graduation party. And my sister-in-law and her family? Know a TON of people. They are very active in the homeschool community as well as with their church community and to say these people don’t know a stranger would be, well, accurate.

They know everyone. (It’s weird being out with them. Everyone stops to say hello to at least one of them).

Anyway, it was raining. Not storming, just a steady, heavy downpour. We hadn’t planned on staying very long because we knew their house would be crowded (boy, was it), and we wouldn’t know anyone there other than family (which we didn’t) and we didn’t want to get in anyone’s way and/or feel like the weirdos standing by themselves in the corner (which we were and did).

So, we congratulated my nephew, dropped off his card and were on our way out the door when we encountered a young woman carting a baby around in a car seat/baby carrier.

I opened the door for her and stood aside so she could enter smoothly and not have to stand out in the rain any longer than she needed to.

And my two boys (because Jazz is just as guilty), followed me out and in fact, had to squeeze past me and the woman with the baby, in order to exit the house.

I was so embarrassed that my two boys either didn’t KNOW not to step back and allow this poor woman by or didn’t CARE enough to step aside and allow the poor woman past.

I gave the woman an apologetic smile and we all sprinted to our car through the rain. As soon as we were in the car, I let the boys have it.

I gave them a pretty long lecture about respecting other people, women and ESPECIALLY a woman with her hands full of baby.

I thought they were so selfish and I was embarrassed that they behaved like five year olds instead of respectful, and mature, young men.

Jazz has gotten better about allowing people to pass him whenever the occasion arises, but Dude is still as selfish and clueless as ever. He has literally jostled me aside to get into the door first and each time this happens, believe you me, he hears about it.

The little stinker.

I haven’t decided if Dude just doesn’t think about it (which presents it’s own set of problems) or if he’s just so competitive that he subconsciously can’t stand the thought of anyone getting somewhere first before him.

I’m sort of leaning toward the competitive excuse because it seems to bother him when people pass him on the road, too.

There’s competitive, and then there’s rude. Either way, we have some work to do.

Summer Fun

Summer Fun: June 19th

Are you ready for some fun ideas to keep your kids busy this next week?

Here are five ideas to get the creative juices flowing (and please, take these ideas, build on them, make them your own, use them as a springboard for bigger and better ideas):

Day One – Cook dinner with your child and show him or her the do’s and don’ts of preparing food.

Day Two – Have your child tell you a favorite story. Or, show your child how to type out his/her own story and save it. (It’s never too early to start learning how to use a computer!)

Day Three – Teach your child a new skill like setting the table, or cleaning the bathrooms, or mopping the floor or starting a load of laundry, or watering the plants.

Day Four – Ask your child to watch for numbers in TV programs and commercials.

Day Five – On trips, make a game of measuring distances and times. Or play “I Spy,” it’s never too early to start teaching children to pay attention to his/her surroundings!


Crafts for the Kids (by age)

Featured Craft of the Week:
Toddlers
Plant Markers

4 to 5 year olds
Foam Animal Feet

6 to 8 year olds
Beach Coverups

9 to 12 year olds
Kid Book Club


Here is a fun activity from the book, “A Lithgow Palooza!”:

groovy-face2 Body Parts

It doesn’t matter who is a Balanchine and who has two left feet, this dance is all about freedom of movement and improvisation. By exploring rhythm and tempo through isolated body parts, anyone is a dancer and choreographer.

arrow-right-side What to do:

Get your whole body moving one glorious body part at a time. For first-time body-parts dancers, it’s helpful to have a leader, perhaps an older sibling, who can call out the body-parts directions and demonstrate the movements for everyone else to follow. Once everyone gets into the groove, rotate leaders or let the dancers do their own thing. Keeping eyes closed during the dance allows everybody to move without inhibition.

First, set the scene. A clear and open space is necessary for body-parts dancing — really any room where there is nothing sharp to bump into and the furniture can be moved against the walls. Turn off the lights or use dim, colored bulbs for a more artistic atmosphere.

Next, pick some music. If you’re bursting with energy, turn on oldies rock or contemporary pop. If everyone’s mellow, Herbie Hancock is a favorite for body-parts dancing. Look for strong percussion recordings or, for a truly rousing and joyful experience, try body-parts dancing to Prince’s “Rainbow Children.”

Dancers need to stay more than an arm’s length away from anyone or anything. Start in stillness, with everyone standing as tall and motionless as possible, listening to the music, and feeling relaxed. After a few moments, the leader calls the first body part (usually the head), and everyone follows by moving his or her head in any way and keeping all other body parts still. After a period of time, the leader calls the next body part, and dancers keep moving the head and add the second body part. This continues until the whole body is moving. Sequencing the body parts from top to bottom is a good way to make sure everything has been called: head, shoulders, elbows, hands, fingers, back, belly, hips, knees, ankles, feet, and finally toes.

When the leader shouts “Freeze,” the dancers isolate and move two or three body parts at once. If everyone’s eyes are open, the leader can instruct the group to mimic one person’s movements. If the pace of the music changes, the leader can call a slow-motion or fast-paced dance.

To end, play some slow music and have the leader call various body parts to slow down and stop, one at a time, until the room is still.