fiction #8? the bookstore. Jillie finds the first book that might help.

“Ann Boroch?”  I repeated as I stared numbly at the title of the book in my hands, Healing Multiple Sclerosis.

“Do you think it’s a hard ‘k‘ sound?  Or a swoosh type finish? OR is it like chai tea?”  I asked Anya, annoyed at everyone who has ever had a hard last name to pronounce.

“What does it matter?”  Annie asked.

“It matters to me,” I said with an edge to my voice.  “Why can’t anything be simple with this beast?”

I turned the blue soft-hard-back over, looking for a hint of some sort of solution without having to read the 300+ pages.

“Here, you read it first, you’re a fast reader,”  I said shoving the copy into Annie’s hands.

“Do you want me too?  Why don’t we read it together?  We can hold a mini-book club meeting once we’re finished.  Or even check in as we read.  Come on girl.  You gotta read this stuff.  I’ll do it with you,” she said softly.

“Fine.  I just hope I don’t have to jump on the green juice wagon or whatever it is that’s popular with you kids these days – if I do it, you’re doing it too.” I said stiffly grabbing a second copy.

xo

unblocking.

in turtle steps.

one of my friends threw out a first sentence prompt on Friday.  in Facebook land.

“take the first sentence of the post below mine, and write a paragraph,” she instructed.

hell yes, was I going to play!  scratching out a few sentences, freehand.  I couldn’t wait to get to my laptop and post.

and now we have a FB group formed – the FSP Writer’s Guild.  😉

do we have the group public or secret?  now under discussion.

considering that I dropped the f-bomb in my second post, I’m not sure I want the whole world to know what a potty mouth I have.

but it’s who I am, so why not?  🙂

Thinking about my mother-in-law. Again,” she said.
“What’s bugging you now?” her friend asked. 
She cringed as she replayed the stinging words in her mind. “She said that ‘you’ll never be good enough for my son.’ It’s a beauty.”
“Ouch, why do you put up with that? Did he defend you at least?” her friend asked.
“No, of course not – he thinks it’s funny,” she sighed, grabbing her half-finished martini, throwing it down letting the icy vodka warm her throat.
“Honey, you need to leave that infant of a man and the mother he rode in on. Please do it for me, at least. If not yourself.”

no editing.  no nothing.  just let a paragraph flow from that first sentence.

love it.

xoxo

on writing.

I dreamed of writing the outline for my chick-lit novel this morning.

was at a work lunch.  seated to my left was one of my former colleagues, whom I still see every now and then.

(btw, she shows up in my dreamscape whenever I am on a right path.)

bored by the conversation at the table.  I grab a blank piece of paper (from somewhere!) and begin writing single word draft titles for each of my eleven(?!) chapters.

now, I can’t recall all that I wrote – but one thing stands out: I could read the scribbles.  reading letters + dreaming usually don’t go together.

here’s what I do remember:

sensation.

creation.

failing.

job.

doctor.

advent.

rejection.

huh?

time to get writing.

pretty sure this dream inspiration manifested after dinner last night when my hub and I were discussing the Triangle of Writing that I had read about earlier this week.

given what a visual and project focused person I am, the Triangle of Writing Metrics, by Rachel Aaron snapped my attention.

and made it very clear why I have not written for weeks now.

I get it.

I need an outline.

I have been writing about Jillie and Anya willy-nilly.  free.  all over the place.  whatever pops to mind.  while enjoying it thoroughly.

I’m now stuck.  (funny, I just wrote ‘not’ instead of now…)

I don’t know where I’m going.  or what they are doing.  I have a mental picture.  but need something right in front of me to get rolling again.

you can read Rachel’s blog here…

how I went from writing 2000 words a day to 10000 words a day!

so there you have it:  I intend to put together an Anya and Jillian map this month.  bazingo! 😉

hope you all have a great weekend!  we have a weekend of cleaning and clearing out Xmas.  plus, I’m eagerly awaiting the results of my Myers-Briggs Step II assessment.  more training and self-discovery coming up!  🙂

xox

here’s some music to push you into a good mood…  🙂

 

Jillie. more fiction.

“I‘m broken,” she cried.

“You’re not broken, you’re amazing.  And I don’t know how anyone could do what you’re doing.  I wouldn’t be able to do it.”  I replied with a pain in my heart.

“My mom, tried to commit suicide,” she hiccupped.  “After I was born,” she released into another wave of tears.

“What are you talking about?” I asked now afraid where this was going.

“She hated me.  She hates me,” she concluded.

I reach down for the five year-old Jillie in front of me, and hug her tight.

~

fiction #?   was inspired listening to Cold Play while my doggy ignored me.  this comes after the trip to the Western Rock Medical Center.  there is more in between.

43/50: Western Rock Medical Center.

thanks everyone for following along!  you have no idea how your Likes and Follows make me smile and warm my heart!!  so thank you!  here is the last post of the weekend.  in the homestretch now.  seven posts to go, less one (already drafted).  whooeee…what fun this experiment has been!!

~~~

“You’ll like him, he’s got a proper job.”  Jillie replied.

“What is that supposed to mean?” I said, instantly annoyed that she would throw that back in my face.

“Kidding, honey, kidding.  You need to stop taking everything I say so seriously,” she chided me.

“Right, right.  I would if I didn’t think that there’s an ounce of truth in everything you say to me, you know that, so go easy on me, will ya?”  I shot her a half a smile.  “How old is he?  He better not be in his 50s like that last guy.”

“He’s hot and cool.  I just hope he takes my insurance,”

“I hope so too.  You didn’t answer my question.”

“I don’t know, he’s a guy and he’s cute, why are you so hung up on age?”

“Because if he’s too old, that means he’s had more years to strap on the baggage.”

“Or more years to work through the crap.”

“Fine, where do I turn in?” I snapped as we approach the medical building, unclear why I am so on edge today.

I pull into the Western Rock Medical Center parking lot, bottoming out as the front end of the Civic scrapes against the driveway.

“Sorry about that,” I say.

“No worries, it’s not like I haven’t done that.  This car likes to find pavement.”

I park the car about a half mile from the entrance in the only available parking spot, and shudder before we get out of the car.  I hate hospitals.  Ever since my Grandma was reconciled to spend the last six weeks of her life in an antiseptic hospital room.  She would cry and gasp in the middle of my visits, reaching out to only what she could see in her mind.  I asked the nurses if she did this frequently.  The gentle Filipono nurse would only shake her head, no.  “Only for you, Ni,” she would say.  I would clasp Grandma’s cold, veiny hands in mine, and let her know she was getting closer, just keep climbing, God is waiting for you, I would whisper.  I would have done anything to expedite her transition.  She passed alone in her room one Friday morning.  Friday was her favorite day of the week.  I guess it’s true what they say, one enters and leaves this life alone.  I shook off my goosebumps, and returned to the present.

“You back, Annie,” asked Jillie, as she tipped her head to the right like she always did when she was trying to work things out.

“Uh huh, I just hate hospitals,” I said.

“I love ‘em, free food, constant care, and when you have your own room, all the TV you want to watch, and sponge baths by the hot male nurses,” she replied grabbing my arm and started to skip towards to the automatic door to to the waiting room, under the looming sign, Western Rock Medical Center, a Nice Place to Be.  I force myself to skip along with her, but I can’t shake this black cloud that rolled in after we left her place.

~~~

struggled a bit with this piece.  wanted it to be fun, but it just wasn’t coming out that way.  maybe I was in a bad-ish mood this morning while working on this, which rubbed off on Annie!  not much is going on either.  other than Annie knows something is afoot with Jillie.  not a fun piece to write for several reasons.

xo

38/50. car ride. Jillie and Anya.

Jillie and I pile into her beat up turquoise Honda Civic, circa, 1979, and we are off to meet with her second neurologist to review the results of her latest MRI and extensive blood work.  She is nervous, I can tell.  Something went wrong this morning, before I arrived to pick her up at 11.  For one, she reeks of whiskey, looks exhausted, and she asked me to drive.

As I wrench the ancient car into second gear, grinding and squeaking gears, I contemplate, what life must be like for Jillie.

She grew up the second youngest, and from the outside, to what looked like a rock solid family.  But she was never rock-solid from what I have seen and what she has dared to share with me.  She has me on the say it like it is front, that’s for sure, but I can’t stop thinking that something went terribly wrong in her childhood.  She is zipped up so tight, and only talks in the present, so I feel like I’m missing out on a huge chunk of her life, even though we have been best friends since 2001.

“How was your night,” I asked cautiously, quickly looking to my right over at her.  She looks like hell, for one.  Her shoulder length bobbed dirty blonde hair is mussed up, and I can see that she just slapped on foundation a shade darker than necessary.  She has her Jackie-O glasses covering her blue, blue eyes.  I reach over and rub some of her mismatched color into her chin.

She waves my hand away, and pulls down the visor, which has a make-shift mirror clipped to it, with a bunch of receipts shoved behind it.

“I look like hell, don’t I?  I had a helluva night.  What I remember of it,” she replied as she licked her fingers and blended in her foundation.

“What do you mean, what you remember of it?” I asked, concerned.

She rolls down the passenger window an inch, pulls out a cigarette and snaps her Zippo on fire, breathing in her Marlboro Light deeply.  I roll down my window.

“Well, you know how it goes, I had a couple of vodka tonics, and the next thing I know, I’m waking up next to a mole-marked Nazi.”

“You’re kidding right,” I asked, a sinking feeling settling in my stomach.

“Of course, I am, silly!” she slaps me on the arm gently.

“So who is this new doc, what’s his scoop?” I asked ignoring everything my body is telling me.

~~

so be it.

37/50. black Saturday fiction. everything hurts. (spoiler alert, this is a dark Jillie piece.)

Jillie awoke that morning, stretching off the night before, feeling somewhat euphoric when she realized she had the day off from work.  She stretched her arms over her head, pleased to find that she had the sense to throw on sweats and a t-shirt in the middle of the night.   Though it was soon brought to her attention, that her entire body hurt.  It really hurt.  Every cell in her body was throbbing, no, screaming in pain.

Not again, she sighed.  She imagined her cells having angry, snarled faces.  She bit her lower lip as her left foot spasmed uncontrollably.   She began breathing in deeply like Jayzen showed her.  Away, away, away, she breathed out until the iron rod slowly removed itself from her foot.  She always said to Annie that she needed to be crucified to show her the way.  She chuckled at her pain.  God, that was just a joke.  I wasn’t serious, she implored as she stared at the neon plastic stars on her ceiling.  Please, please give me a pass today, that’s all I’m asking for, a pass.  

She rolled over in bed to her left as gracefully as she could manage amidst the agony to find a shaved head and mole-marred white back staring at her that belonged to a man, a boy, from the looks of him, that she didn’t know.  She traced his back with her eyes, down his hair-less legs, to his cracked heels, counting his moles as her eyes moved, stopping at 33.

What in the hell did I do last night? What am I doing to myself?  She asked herself and then quickly attempted to shrug off her self-hating thoughts and move on.

Today was the day she was supposed to get her lab and MRI results.

“Come on, get up, would you,” she said as she put a hand on the guy’s clammy, oily back.  She shoved him gently, “Move it, man.”  Nothing.  Fabulous, she muttered.  She grabbed the loan sheet crumpled at the bottom of her bed and pulled it up to cover his pale, flaccid body, so she didn’t have to touch him directly again.  The thought turned her stomach upside down and she tried not to vomit as she rose to her knees, breathing quickly.  She collapsed to her hands as the room started to spin around her.

“Get up, and get out of here,” she screamed at him, pounding on his back with her right hand, feeling like a feral cat as her nails dug in to his flesh through the thin sheet.

“Jesus, woman, chill out,” he mumbled rolling out from her claws, slowly to a sitting position, swinging his weathered feet around to the floor and grabbing his jeans at the same time.

“Just get the f*ck out, would you, please.” Jillie started crying.

“Psycho-b*tch, you got it.  You weren’t any good any way.  No loss here,” he replied as he stood up buttoning his jeans, his back still turned to her.  He grabbed his torn red t-shirt from the night table with the word ANARCHEY emblazoned across the back pulling it over his head and made his way for the door grabbing his flip-flops on the way out.

“Have a nice life,” he laughed as he slammed the door to her tear-streaked face.

~~~

oooph…this was dark, wasn’t it??!!  Not sure where this surfaced from – and why I’m referring to Jillie in the third person…but it surfaced.  I just see Jillie, as a tortured soul…she and Anya are both tortured, but in different ways…and lots to reconcile.  huh.  must lighten the mood at the doctor’s office!

xox

24/50: Jillie’s vertigo and visual hallucination episode. this needs more detail!

“I have had a couple of bouts of vertigo over the last two days,” I said to my boss after organizing my buzzing legs into a professional crossed position.

He leans back in his chair, with an exasperated sigh, and rubs his forehead.  Great, I think to myself, I’m giving him my migraines.

“Look Jillian, do you need to go see your doctor again?”  He asked, emphasizing again, a little too much for my liking.

“I don’t think so, I thought I was over the vertigo!  I’m sure it will go away.  But just wanted to warn you should I crash into anyone in the office!”  I replied plastering a smile on my face.

“Okay, well, take it easy, if you need to go home early, just let me know,” he concluded the meeting.

Geesh, I think to myself as I ease myself out of his office, praying that I’m walking straight.  Compared to Thursday morning, when I walked into the line of bushes that encircle the office, I seem to be doing much better today.  I have always walked a little wonky…but this go around was different.  I shushed my inner voice that was telling me that the Beast was working his magic.  Again.

Later I sat down for a quick meeting with two of my direct reports, and the wall in my office twisted into a spiral.  Right in front of me.  I watch as the flowers on a calendar swirl together and then slowly right themselves.

One of my guys, Rob, who is very familiar with what’s been going on with me stopped discussing the latest order numbers, and asked, “are you okay?”

“Yes, I’m fine, thanks.  Can you tell me again what we can expect?” I replied too quickly, returning to my management duties, relieved that was a short episode.  After they leave my office, I do a quick google search for, vertigo, MS symptom.  Yes, it’s still on the list according to the MS Society.  D*mn, I mutter to myself.

~

After I arrive home from work, I grab the door frame in my bedroom as the walls begin to bend.  I look up to see if any of the lights in my room are swinging.  Turns out my brain is the only thing swinging.

Fabulous, I say to myself, and head out to the kitchen, grabbing a wine glass from the bar as I walk by.

16/50: Anya and Jillie, end of the liquid lunch. um. a bit more candid. fyi!

“I’m not going to sleep with a boy that half the company sees on a daily basis.  Besides, you know why I don’t sleep around.”

“I know, but why do you keep thinking that every man who shows the slightest interest in you is going to be HIM again?  I don’t get it.  You have to stop putting that out there…otherwise it will happen.”

“Yeah, yeah, Jayzen has been working on that with me.  I know I’m not there yet, but I’m working on it,”  I raise my glass.

We clink our glasses…and lunch turns into another liquid lunch, as we recount the men who have shared my bed.  A grand total of three.  Or my lucky three as I like to call them.  Compared to Jo’s 28, I feel like a teenage girl.  She’s the only one that knows my full history.   Well, I take that back, Jayzen knows my past.  They are the only two people who I trust in my current life.

I look at my watch.

“Jeepers, we’ve been here for two hours!”  I say.  “Let’s reconvene at my  place tonight?”

“You got it sister, but promise you’ll stop being so hard on yourself, will ya,” she says.

“I know.  Are you feeling better,” I ask as I motion to Dean that we need our check.

“Yes, must be the vodka.  You make my world so, so much better, you know that right?”  She says, looking at me right in the eye.

“I know, sweet pea.” I wink one last time.

We clink our glasses one last time, and drain our martinis.

~~~

very rough cut!  seriously lots of glasses clinking and eyes winking.  edit. edit. edit.  need more examples of how hard Anya is on herself.  and how equally hard Jillie is.

xo

14/50: The Tate.

“How you doin’?” asks Tate when I arrive at the Starbucks counter.

“Never better. How you doin’?” I wink at him, chagrined that I actually just winked at HIM.

“When do I get to take you out on a date, Anya?” He pleads with big puppy dog eyes.

“Umm, when you figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life,” I say, while grabbing the venti coffee he has waiting for me.

‘I want to marry you,” he replies and winks back at me.

“In your dreams tough guy, see you next week” I reply and turn on my heel to head for the sugar and cream counter.

I try to maintain my cool, calm and collected vibe as my heart is pounding hard after I have turned my back on him. My hands are shaking as I tear through six packets of splenda and pour nonfat milk into my coffee. I can’t get his jade eyes and dark brown hair out of my thoughts. What is wrong with me?

I feel someone come up behind me, but don’t turn around. I can still feel my cheeks burning from my run in with THE Tate.

“I do want to go out with you, pretty woman,” he whispers behind me.

“Sure you do,” I reply without turning around and busy myself mixing my coffee, splenda and non-fat milk combo.

By the time I turn around, he is gone.

Table it for another time, woman, I say to myself and attempt to ignore the fact that I am completely crushing on a Starbucks cashier. No sense in even dabbling with that, I tell myself…you want someone who is career oriented, smart, funny – and someone who makes more than $12/hour. If that’s what he even makes at Starbucks. I shake my hair out like I’m shaking off my crazy thoughts and sending them back out to the universe. Universe can handle them better than me.

xo