Teachers Write! 7/3 – Tuesday Quick-Write

Got your pencil sharpened or laptop charged?  Today’s Tuesday Quick-Write is courtesy of teacher, poet, and picture book author Kristy Dempsey, whose titles include ME WITH YOU, SURFER CHICK, and MINI-RACER. Kristy lives in Brazil with her family and is here today to get us thinking & writing about prized possessions and what they say about character.

At the end of this school year the first graders were studying the elements of story through fairy tales. We talked about imagination, we talked about the cultural aspects of fairy tales from around the world, we talked about what gave these characters believable qualities even though the stories themselves might have magical elements. Toward the end of our unit we watched the film, “A Little Princess”. I was rather amazed as the first graders identified that Sara’s locket and the importance it held for her made the story feel believable to them. One student even said, “It’s like her locket held everything her daddy had ever given her and when Miss Minchin took it away from her, Sara knew she still had all that in her heart.”  These first graders understood the importance of emotional truth!

Think of the physical item that is most important to your main character. What does it represent? Now, imagine it being lost or taken away from your main character. How would he/she respond? Sara Crewe’s response, of course, was fairly noble. But what if your character pitched a fit? Or what if he/she embarked on a series of misadventures to try to recoup what was lost? (In fact, one of the funniest scenes in the movie is when Sara’s friends enter Miss Minchin’s office to try to get the locket back.) Write a scene that shows the emotional importance of this physical item to your main character and then show us how he/she responds when it is lost or taken.

I can’t wait to read the serious or funny or fantastical emotionally true scenes you come up with!

Note from Kate: If you don’t have a character from a work-in-progress just yet, you can write this piece about yourself or someone you know.

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34 Comments

  1. Posted July 3, 2012 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    His hands tapped his upper thigh again. No way, no way, no way… NO WAY. The coffee cups were empty and the last of the cheesecake had been shared thirty minutes ago. Heather was getting antsy.
    “Are you OK?” She asked.
    “Yeah, I’m fine,” David said.
    Silence.
    David tries to casually look down at the floor. No way, no way, no… he checks his other pocket for the seven millionth time. He swore he had it in his pocket. He walks through the last forty minutes in his head. Where did the ring go? He checked his pocket before he grabbed the cheesecake.
    “David, are you ready?” Heather looks at him with that crazy left eyebrow arch.
    He couldn’t think. There was nothing but the absence of the ring.
    “I’m ready,” Heather says in a softer tone as she lifts her hand from her lap. She turns it open as it reaches above the table. “You dropped this…” Her voice quivers, “Yes, David. Yes a thousand times.”
    His mind freezes. No way, no way, no way…And he starts to smile.

    • Posted July 3, 2012 at 6:39 am | Permalink

      I love the twist at the end, I hadn’t expected that at all!

      • Posted July 3, 2012 at 8:02 am | Permalink

        Thank you for reading. I felt like a happy ending this morning 🙂 .

    • Posted July 3, 2012 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      I love this. I got chills. I like how subtle it was.

    • Mary
      Posted July 3, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      The tension you built was palpable. I loved the twist.

      • Posted July 3, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        Thanks for reading. 🙂

    • heather
      Posted July 3, 2012 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      You really grabbed me with the tension of this moment. I also loved the twist at the end.

    • KristyDempsey
      Posted July 3, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

      Awww, I love it! Very nice.

  2. Posted July 3, 2012 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    When September rolled around, Fish was headed back to school. She loved the beginning of school with its new books, sharpened pencils, and fresh change of a new group of kids in her class. So she wasn’t sad when the night before the first day of school came up.

    She always read before she fell asleep. Tonight she was reading Marty Mcguire. She’d read the book four times already, but it always helped her remember to be who she was and not who everyone else wanted her to be. Marty loved Jane Goodall. Fish hadn’t known who she was the first time she read the book, but the next time she was at the library she made sure to look her up. She took out a cool picture book all about Jane and her amazing experiences with chimps. She felt a lot like Jane when she was fishing. They both could sit for hours in the quiet. She was so focused on reading that she didn’t notice her stepfather had opened her door.

    “Annie? I just thought you might want to keep this in your pencil box tomorrow. You know, to remind you of our fishing this summer.” He handed her a beautiful lure he had just made. It was black and red with sparkly feathers here and there. He had clipped the hooks so it was just pretty and not useful anymore, but she knew that was because school was very strict about that kind of thing. He had also slipped an o-ring through the hole part that usually holds some fishing line. She wouldn’t keep it in her pencil box because she could put it on her backpack now! She hopped out of bed and grabbed her camouflage backpack from LL Bean. She put it right on the zipper of the front pocket. Then she turned around to show her stepfather.

    “Do you like it?” he asked.

    “It’s perfect.” she answered and gave him a big hug. She was ready to fall asleep now. She hopped in bed and turned out the light. “Good night!” she called to her stepdad and mother. “Good night sweetheart”, they called back.

    The next day she drank her orange juice quickly, grabbed a granola bar for the walk and headed out to school.

    The morning at school on the first day was always a bit of a rush. Meeting new teachers, saying hello to old friends, and finding your new locker. The kids had all lined up their backpacks along the wall of their second grade room as they waited to find out what to do next. Mrs. Rule took attendance and seemed kind of confused about what her plan was. She had been moved from her old Kindergarten classroom to second grade unexpectedly in August. Fish’s mom had gotten the letter late in the summer explaining that there would be a change. But after a while, she handed out locker numbers and codes and told the kids to go out away their bags.

    When Fish got to her backpack, she realized right away that the lure was gone. It hadn’t broken off because the o-ring was gone too. It had to be someone in the classroom. She felt sick. This was the kind of thing she hated. She didn’t want to make a big deal about it because then people would know that someone had done something mean to her. She wanted to just pretend it had never been there. That’s what she usually did. Her brother told her that people might do stuff to her because she never makes a big deal about things. “They want a reaction from you Annie. If you give them one, they’ll see that stuff bothers you and stop. They want to know you are normal.” She didn’t understand this idea. Why would giving them a big reaction make them stop? Wasn’t that exactly what the Guidance Counselor who comes to class once a week says not to do? “Bullies are looking for reactions.”

    So she put away her backpack and tried to force her face to look normal. She felt tingly all over and worried she was about to cry. That was her lure. He had made it just for her. Who had taken it and why? She wanted it back, but she wasn’t going to let anyone know it was missing so she could look for clues. But the truth is that if she didn’t find clues, she knew she wouldn’t do anything about it anyway. She just wasn’t like that. She didn’t know what she was going to tell her stepfather, he would think she didn’t like it or hadn’t taken care of it.

    • heather
      Posted July 3, 2012 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Such a believable story. I can totally see this happening (and know it does) in my fourth grade classroom. Now I’m wondering who the lure ended up with…

    • KristyDempsey
      Posted July 3, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

      Oh, I really connected with this too. I love what this shows about her relationship with her stepfather. So nice.

  3. Posted July 3, 2012 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    As a former middle school teacher, totally connected with this. I was always dealing with kids taking other students’ stuff. I wonder how many things I missed, those days when students seemed to have a “bad day” just like that. Nice work.

  4. Brian
    Posted July 3, 2012 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Ben lost things all the time, but never this. He bought that soccer ball with his own money, saved from a month of doing his family’s dishes when he was nine years old. He had shot that ball countless times off the garage door at home. In his imagination, each kick won the World Cup or the Olympics or sometimes just his town league championship. He shut his eyes and pictured each scuff and nick from where the ball had glanced off one rough surface or another in its short life. He brought it to school every Monday, and he always brought it home afterwards. It couldn’t just disappear, could it? His mind started scrambling: Maybe some other kid took it. No, most kids never even picked up their own stuff from the playground, let alone somebody else’s. Maybe the ball rolled under the fence or got kicked over it. He scanned the fence in both directions and into the parking lot beyond, not seeing his ball anywhere. He dropped to his belly, cheek to the ground, in case the ball was hiding underneath a teacher’s car. No luck. Tears burned at the edges of his eyes. That stinging feeling often came when he realized he’d lost something important, and that soccer ball counted as the most important thing he owned. He stood up, wiped the back of his hand past each eye, and spun around, resolved. This time, he would find what was lost. That’s when he noticed, on the far side of the field in the opposite direction of the fence, a thin, dark figure who seemed to be cradling a soccer ball at the end of his unusually long arm.

    • KristyDempsey
      Posted July 3, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

      Ooo, I’m intrigued by the dark figure and hope he has the soccer ball. My son just lost a soccer ball at camp this week. Fortunately, it wasn’t a treasured keepsake. Unfortunately, he has to buy a new one!

  5. Wendi
    Posted July 3, 2012 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Brian, enjoyed reading this. You make it very easy to participate in Ben’s internal struggle while seeing the external setting. The line about kids not even picking up their own things from the playground made me chuckle, and the last line was a definite twist that has me wanting to read more.

  6. Shyrl
    Posted July 3, 2012 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    True story….

    “What do you mean, it’s missing? Maggie, this is why you have to keep your room clean. I’m sure the iPod is in there somewhere.”. That had been my statement when we started the search. Now, after Maggie had looked high and low, her dad had investigated, and I had done my own search, I was beginning to wonder. I sure didn’t like to think that one of her friends had taken the device, but it was beginning to look like a possibility,

    We began to reconstruct the events of the previous days. Maggie made some phone calls to local stores, checking to see if an iPod Touch had been turned in. We had gone shopping, and no one in the family could remember whether or not she had it with her that night. The last thing anyone was sure of was that she had shown her friends a cool new app in her room, so we were back to the room, or to her friends. I began to subtly determine if we were looking at theft.

    As the days went on, the mystery grew. No stores called to say an iPod had been found, and I was quite certain her friends hadn’t taken it. It just didn’t make any sense.

    One night, after Maggie was asleep, Her big brother, Alec, told us HIS iPod was missing. He was searching his room when, lo and behold, he found not his but Maggie’s iPod hidden in a pillow. “I forgot that I stole it from her as a joke,” he admitted. I was furious but too tired to deal with it that night. I put it on the desk and went to sleep.

    The next morning, we told Maggie what had happened, expecting her to be really angry with her brother. “Where did you hide it?” she asked.

    “In my heart pillow,” he responded.

    “Good one!” she exclaimed, high-five-ing him. I was astonished! She was congratulating him on his handiwork.

    “Now Alec’s iPod is missing,” I commented, still shaking my head.

    “Oh, yeah,” Maggie replied. “I think I took it!”

    • Posted July 3, 2012 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Oh my! I was angry as if it was my own kids. That is some believable writing – NICE JOB! My nephew told his folks that he lost his iPod, but later confessed he dropped it in a school toilet by mistake – he got in HUGE trouble!

      Thanks for sharing!

      • ShyrlAnn
        Posted July 3, 2012 at 11:31 am | Permalink

        Oh, yuck! My nephew dropped his DS in the toilet, and, believe it or not, Ninetendo replaced it! Thanks for the kind words.

    • KristyDempsey
      Posted July 3, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

      Ha! This sounds just like my kids. Very believable!

  7. Mary Meihaus
    Posted July 3, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    True Story…

    “You really should lie down for a little bit.” “I’ll keep an eye on Chelsea when she wakes up. Your mom is going to be here at 3:00 to go to the funeral home with you. Couldn’t you use some quiet time to yourself.”

    My closest friend Peg, always taking care of me. She knows what I need more than I do right now. I am numb. Who ever thought she would have to get me through something like this – our worst nightmare coming to life. No one who is 30 years old should have to go to a funeral parlor and make arrangements for their dead husband. No one should ever have to answer a phone and be told that the love of their life, the father of their 2 year old baby girl has fallen to his death at work.

    “Okay”, I agree,. “It will be good to stretch out for awhile”.

    I woke up so early this morning when Danny got home from duck hunting. It was barely dawn and he was tip-toeing into the bedroom.

    “I brought some violets for my wildflower”, he whispered in my ear as he leaned over and kissed me on the cheek.

    I opened one eye and saw that he really did bring me wild violets. The small purple blossoms were peeking out over the top of a small Dixie cup from the bathroom. Only Danny would think of this. He knows violets are my favorite flower. On our first date we talked about this because there were violets peppering the grass we sat on, listening to the concert in the park. When he kissed me goodnight at the end of our date, he handed me a small bunch of violets that he must have picked when I wasn’t watching.

    That seems like yesterday…or was it an eternity ago? Eternity. That word is taking on a whole new meaning to me now. As I rounded the corner at the top of the steps, I turned into our bedroom. Danny’s hunting coveralls were bunched up on the floor, just where he had stepped out of them this morning. It’s ironic that this habit of his that really irritated the hell out of me is now, in this moment, letting me pretend that things are normal. Then he showered for work and then…and then… Oh, I cannot deal with this. It cannot be happening. My heart feels like it might explode in my chest as I flop facedown down on the bed. The tears come again, I am sobbing into the pillow that smells like Danny, smells like me, smells like us. Us. I turn my head and through blurry eyes I see the alarm clock, the lamp, the stack of books on the beside table. Where are the violets? Where is the cup? Wait a minute… I know they were here – who moved them? I quickly turn my head the other direction to check the other end table. No, It was on MY side of the bed, I know it was… he had just gotten home, he was still dressed, I was sleeping and he leaned down… Oh my God! Who moved them? Who did this? Where are my violets? They had no right to touch my things – to touch my life, to take Danny’s gift away. I hear a terrible high-pitched screeching sound. It sounds like a wounded animal. It’s coming out of me.

    • Posted July 3, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      What can one say about something so personal, so vulnerable? There’s an interesting dichotomy in the wildness of life juxtaposed w/ the wild flowers and the randomness (wildness) of people’s actions, actions that disrupt personal harmony. I would suggest breaking the long paragraph at the end into several shorter ones. I think this would heighten the tension by creating some abrupt stops that would fit the piece.

    • KristyDempsey
      Posted July 3, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear one, those are powerful words. Our family has been through a funeral in the last few days, a very emotional funeral for a man who was deeply loved. But I can only imagine the place of pain these words come from. I hope you keep writing from this deep place. This is good work.

  8. Posted July 3, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    This prompt worked for me as I was planning to have Blessen’s chicken go missing at some point in my WIP. I didn’t read anyone else’s responses yet, committing myself to writing first, then reading. Thanks for reading:

    Today is the final round for the 4-H trials. Sunshine and I are ready. I take her to the grooming station. She is calm in the crook of my arm despite the noise from the cows in the stalls we are passing. She cocks her head but remains still. She behaves like the champion hen she will be.
    I place her on the metal table and direct the blow dryer to her golden feathers. She lifts her head while I fluff her feathers. She loves the hum and heat of the blow dryer.

    Just then Ronnie Thibodeaux races up in a panic.

    “Blessen, can you take my pig back to the pen? I gotta go get ready for the cow gathering in 10 minutes. Please!”

    Ronnie doesn’t wait for an answer. He hands me the pig leash and runs off. When I turn back to the chicken-grooming table, Sunshine is gone. In the blink of an eye, my precious pet-savior-of-my-soul is gone. Poof! Like a magician made her disappear. Where could she be?
    I hand off Randy’s pig to Mandy.

    Breathless, I tell her, “ Take Randy’s pig. Sunshine is missing. I gotta find her. Now!”

    Mandy looks confused, but I don’t take the time to explain. I begin my search.
    Harmony hops to my side.

    “What’s up, Blessen? Whatcha’ lookin for?”

    “Sunshine. She flew off or somebody took her. You gotta help me find her!”

    Harmony grabs my hand and drags me forward. We search through all the isles of chicken pens, then move on to the pigs, the cows, the goats. No sign of sweet Sunshine.

    I call her, “Sunshine! Sunny girl!”

    Harmony sings her name, “Sun, Sun, Sunshine. Come home, Sunshine!”

    I remember the first time I saw my little hen. She was just a baby chick, all fluffy and yellow. She brought me new life after my near-death experience, the accident that killed my new daddy. When he held me up out of the bayou water and pushed me to safety while, he couldn’t breathe. He was sinking. I was floating. My life was saved. His, lost. The gift of Sunshine is my father’s soul, his everlasting light. What will I do without her?

    I let go of Harmony’s hand and kneel down right in the dust of the hay-covered ground, bend over, hide my face, and weep uncontrollably.

    Harmony rubs my shoulders and whispers, “Shh, Shh. We’ll find her. She couldn’t be far.”

    I hear Mrs. Fullilove’s voice. “Blessen, what can I do to help? Have you looked outside?”

    I raise my head to see my favorite loving teacher with the grey blue eyes looking at me with sympathy. I sit up and grab her holding onto her shoulders.

    “Oh, Mrs. Fullilove, she’s gone! I turned for one second. Where could she be? I can’t lose her. She means the world to me. I don’t care if she gets a blue ribbon. She’s my best friend. I gotta find her!” The tears flow freely and wet my teacher’s bright orange 4-H t-shirt.

    “I’ll make an announcement and everyone can help find her,” says Mrs. Fullilove calmly. I nod my head and wipe away the tears feeling a sense of renewed strength.

    “Okay. Let’s go.”

    “May I have your attention, please. Excuse the interruption, but we have a lost chicken. She answers to the name Sunshine. She’s golden feathered with black-rimmed eyes. She is Blessen LeFluer’s show hen. If you find her, please return her to the judges’ table.”

    • Posted July 3, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      Nice job creating that sense of anxiety w/ the dialogue, especially in the first half. You make me care about the chicken, which isn’t an easy thing to do since I prefer to eat them rather than think of them as pets! Are you familiar w/ the poem “Janet Waking”? Your selection reminds me of the poem.

    • KristyDempsey
      Posted July 3, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

      Love this! I have a work in progress that has a scene that takes place at a county fair (though my main character is showing watermelons). I love stories set in the South! And you have me hooked! Lord, I hope Blessen finds Sunshine!

  9. Posted July 3, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    A few days ago a former student posted a picture of me holing a fake baby. That gave me an idea for a chapter in the YA novel I’m working on. I’ve posted today’s response on Google docs and enabled commenting. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1txI6izQvgo8QObxdtD7D81WLc8rU4f09l780D-OeV38/edit

    Thanks for the prompt, Kristy. It really helped me get into this. I had a very unproductive week last week.

    • KristyDempsey
      Posted July 3, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

      I responded at the Google Docs page but wanted to say here how much I think you nailed the voice! Nice work!

  10. Posted July 3, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    “Dad, where’s my lacrosse stick?” Emmet whines.
    “Wherever you left it,” Dad replies.

    Emmet frantically searches the garage, the backyard, the family van, his bedroom, because he tends to take his stick to bed with him, and the toy room in the basement. After searching for almost half an hour, he can’t find his stick anywhere.

    “Dad, I looked everywhere. I can’t find it.”
    “What do you want me to do for you? Did you retrace all your steps from the last time you remember having the stick?” asks Dad.

    Emmet doesn’t reply and heads to the backyard to sit in his lacrosse goal. He is hoping to have a great brainstorm of where the stick might be, but instead he is distracted by his disappointment. He walks back towards the house sulking about nothing to do.

    “Emmet, it’s time to do school,” Mom yells from the backdoor.
    “Mom, why do we have to do school during summer vacation?” Emmet asks.

    Mom doesn’t reply, so Emmet goes to his usual spot for school, which is the kitchen table. Since he can’t find his lacrosse stick, school doesn’t sound like a bad idea. Emmet spends the next forty-five minutes writing, doing math, reading short passages, and answering comprehension questions. After finishing school, he searches the living room for the book that he is reading and sits on the couch to read the rest of the morning away.

    “What has gotten into Emmet? He is so focused this morning,” says Mom.
    “He lost his lacrosse stick,” Dad says with a smile on his face.

    After lunch, the doorbell rings.

    “Hi, Emmet! You left your lacrosse stick at my house,” Colin, the neighbor, hands Emmet his lacrosse stick and continues, “Do you want to come over a play lax in my yard?”
    “Mom, Colin found my stick at his house. I’ve no idea how it got there, but I’m heading over to his house to play,” Emmet yells and runs out the door.

    Mom and Dad look at each other, and they both shake their heads.

    “I have a great idea. How about you hide his stick before school tomorrow?” Mom says.
    “I have just the place,” Dad says while peering towards the gap under the couch and winks at Mom. “He may turn into an “A” student after all.”

    Kristy, thank you for today’s lesson! My little story is realistic fiction – my son would never really lose his stick (he has tried to take it to bed), but if he did the expectations with his school work, outside of gym class, could be endless.:)

    • KristyDempsey
      Posted July 3, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

      Ha, I might have a few things to hide tomorrow! Love this.

  11. Posted July 3, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    “Paramedics say he’s conscious, and should recover. Bumps, bruises, maybe a broken bone,” his black eyes capture my gaze and I can’t look away. “But don’t think for a minute that I believe your story, or your concern for Nick.”
    “I promise I never meant to hurt him. It really was an accident, Sir,” I plead in my most grown-up voice.
    Shaking his head, Principal Anderson checks his reflection in the shiny plaque on his desk. Squaring up the one paper on his pristine desk, he tells me that I’m going to have to stay for detention after school for a week. Also, I have to write a two-page letter of apology to Nick. Then he adds, “The backpack stays. It’s now considered a weapon”
    My eyes widen as I take inventory of the pieces of my life that are in that bag. “Weapon!” I croak. “But all my homework and books for class are in there,” I say, hoping that his good sense will prevail and he’ll remember the purpose of school.
    No such luck. Pointing at the door with a finger as thick as my body, he says, “Dismissed.” Turning his back to me, he plants himself in front of the window overlooking the courtyard. The deafening sound of the intercom bell makes me jump, but he just says, “Do not be late.”
    Not needing any further invitation, I hightail it out of the office, looking over my shoulder to see where my backpack is. Noticing it has been tucked up under the desk where the chair goes, I turn and join the hundreds of rats racing down the hallway and make it to my first class of the day before the tardy bell rings.

    Plopping down at the table I share with Ryker, I hurriedly fill her in as Mrs. Smith struggles with the computerized attendance form. If you ask me, it’s just wrong of them to force a woman that old to use anything electronic. I usually help her, but today I actually need to use my study hall time. Not for studying, of course, but to plan a heist.
    Yes, I realize a heist goes against the whole “trying to stay out of trouble” thing, but my backpack is being held hostage! I have some stuff in there that is really important. Just before my dad died, he told me about my role as the “Keeper of Secrets” for Thunder Falls. This is a super, important job that has been passed down to every first-born male in the Wolf family ever since the town was founded. When I turned 18, my dad was going to take me camping and explain everything to me then. That’s the way it’s been done since the beginning, or so I’ve been told. But then Dad found out that his cancer was terminal and it was eating away at him too fast; he knew he had to pass along the secret before it was too late. Unfortunately, the little time we had was not enough. He had some really bad days when he didn’t know what was going on and didn’t make any sense. On his more lucid days, he talked so fast that I had a hard time understanding it all. I mean, this stuff is weird to begin with. It’s an awful lot for an 11 year old to absorb, never mind the fact that I was dealing with losing my hero too.
    Dad tried to help me out by writing some of the stuff down. He kept a brown, leather notebook by his bed, and when he felt well enough, he would write down things he wanted me to know. I’ve looked through it a couple of times since the funeral two months ago, but so much of it is rambling. There are times where his sentences run off the page or stop altogether. I keep it in my backpack so I can try to decode it whenever I get a chance. Unfortunately, that notebook is now in Principal Anderson’s office; I’ve got to get it back.
    Sensing a new adventure, Ryker asks, her green eyes sparkling, “So what’s the plan and how can I help?”

    • KristyDempsey
      Posted July 3, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

      “If you ask me, it’s just wrong of them to force a woman that old to use anything electronic.”

      Ha! Classic teenager-speak! Nice work.

  12. Posted July 3, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    Day 2 of TeachersWrite for me and I haven’t really got a good handle on which bigger piece I want to work on . . . yet. So today I went back into old patterns and wrote a slice of life. Hope that’s ok.
    For the Birds – http://mardiesnotebook.blogspot.ca/2012/07/for-birds.html

    • KristyDempsey
      Posted July 3, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

      Oh, I loved this! It really was a nice character sketch (in many ways) of your father and shows exactly how you could take characteristics from real people and use them for characters in fiction.

      It also made me wish I knew your father. He sounds like a lovely man.

  13. Posted July 4, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    For  Victoria’s fourteenth birthday she received the 14k gold bracelet her grandmother had promised would be given to her. “I got it from my daddy  when I was fourteen and I gave it to your mother when she turned fourteen. It’s our only family heirloom. My daddy didn’t have much but he spent whatever extra he had on me.” Victoria was very excited, the bracelet was beautiful and more importantly grandma trusted her to hold on to it. Her mother looked at the bracelet & said “Momma, are you sure she’s ready? I could keep it until she gets a little older.” Grandmother smiled at Victoria and said “You’re ready, it’s all yours now.” Momma handed the bracelet over to Victoria. “Okay, it’s truly all yours,” she said.

    That seemed like yesterday instead of a month month ago. Victoria was now trying to retrace her steps in the hallway looking for her missing bracelet. She knew she had it on when she got off the bus and she still had it on when she was talking to Jose in the hallway after first period. Then Natalie came up and the two girls started gossiping about a well known break up. That was the last time she remembered knowing she had it. “My mother is going to kill me,” she groaned to her best friend Karen. ” We’ll find it,” Karen said as they rushed down the hallway. ” My grandmother is going to be so disappointed. It’s our family heirloom. The only expensive thing she ever owned as a child.”  Victoria stopped walking and slid down against the wall sitting on the floor. Karen said,  “Come on, we have to keep looking. We only have 15 more minutes before lunch is over. ” Victoria got up and gave a deep heavy sigh. “Momma said I wasn’t ready. I haven’t even had it two months yet! Momma was so right.” Victoria shook her head as she and Karen continued down the hall.

    The girls used their entire lunch period looking for the bracelet. Victoria felt sick for the rest of the day. At the end of the day she ran to the office, she didn’t check there during lunch. ” Ms. Rich, has anyone turned in a gold bracelet?” Victoria asked. “No,” Ms. Rich said not even looking up from her stack of papers.”   Victoria moaned and turned to walk away. ” Hold on,” Ms. Rich said, ” there was a bracelet turned in this morning.” Victoria’s heart skipped a beat & her mouth got dry.  Ms. Rich opened her desk drawer and pulled out a silver bracelet with colorful gems. “Is it this one?” she asked. “No, that’s not it,” Victoria’s voice cracked, ” but thank you.” Victoria walked away feeling sicker then she felt earlier. How was she going to explain this to her mother? What in the world was she going to say to her grandmother? 

    Victoria decided she would walk home. That way she had time to think up an excuse to tell her mother. On her way leaving the building Jose came running up to her. “Hey Vic! Are you coming to hang out at the skating park later?” Jose asked. “No,” Victoria answered still trying not to cry. ” Who died?” Jose asked looking at her strangely. ” I lost something really important. I really don’t want to talk about it.” Victoria turned and started walking away. “That’s cool,” Jose said. Then Jose called out, “Victoria, wait up.” Victoria turned around irritated and barked “WHAT!” Jose reached in his pocket & pulled out her bracelet, “You dropped this earlier when we were talking. I kept calling your name but you and Natalie walked away.” Victoria was so happy she could have kissed him! ” Oh my gosh! That’s what I was looking for! Thank you so much for holding it. You just saved my life and my reputation!”  Victoria squealed with delight! “Um…okay,” Jose said looking confused as he walked away mumbling about how strange girls were “One minute they’re barking at you, the next they’re squealing.”

    When Victoria got home she took her bracelet and placed it in her jewelry box. “Grandmother was right and momma was right too. I was so ready to have you, but it’s too early to always wear you! You can stay right here until a very special occasion! My heart can’t take drama like what happened today!” With that she closed the box and headed to the kitchen for a snack. Missing lunch had taken its toll! 

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