Saturday, April 01, 2006

Creative Writing Musings

Here is a sample of some of my writings. Enjoy and please comment on them!

Success withers in front of the television wearing three-day old underwear. His only pathetic worry is the TV Guide.

Beauty Is...

Beauty is a long-haired girl with a perfect complexion and zero body fat staring at you seductively from a magazine. It is a bare-chested man sweating from his bleached hair onto his chocolate tan. It is definitely toned body parts draped in thin material, leaving nothing to ponder but sex. Beauty is glossy, split-end free hair. It is brand name makeup, boho jewelry, rippled abs, liposuction, tummy tucks, a clutch purse, and that pulse-quickening bikini on a pink beach with blue water.
All that is what we’re told is beauty. But we have seen and experienced otherwise. Beauty is a hand on the feverish forehead of a child while they sleep. It is the pink clouds frosted in the blue sky as the sun retires. A father is ambushed at the door after work by two children with so much to tell him about their day. I have seen the reflection of Big Ben on the River Thames. The regal Cliffs of Moher were draped in infinite Irish carpets of green.
Beauty is the soft, warm breath of an infant dizzyingly intoxicated with its mother’s milk. It is the miniscule white tree blossoms after a cold snow melts away. It is the face-consuming smile and body-shaking laughter of a child. It is a Mother’s day card with more glitter and tacky glue than the construction paper can structurally hold and the words “I luv u” or some other misspelled version on the inside. It is a child’s school picture, no matter how disheveled the clothes and crooked the smile.
Beauty is also, ironically, those pregnancy stretch marks we try hard to hide but we know were worth it. It is the catcalls from my husband after many years and children. It is the snow falling from the sky, illuminated by the full moon. It is the fragrances of lavender, baby soap, and laundry detergent. It is the swollen belly of a mother-to-be. It is the rough, calloused hands of a father. It does not come in a “one size fit all” description.


Lydia was an educated, successful woman. At 35, she had already graduated from NYU with a Masters in English, secured her position as Editor-in-Chief at a top magazine company, and had successfully remained completely unattached romantically. Her brain was in charge and her heart in reserve. She slowly applied the lipstick to her pouty lips…”Mystic Red” to match her deep red Hermes scarf and bag. With her face painted and each strand of her wavy black hair in place, she headed out the door. Michael, her driver, was waiting on the curb.
“Good morning, Miss Salas,” he greeted.
“Good morning. How was your weekend?” Lydia asked.
“Oh, you know, the usual. Jetting off to the Bahamas, wild parties, and back to work on Monday.”
“Ah ha. So, you got stuck watching “Barney” 500 times again?” she smiled.
“You know it.”
He closed the door behind her and they began to drive through the maze of traffic to Manhattan. Lydia read off her itinerary for the day while he logged in into his memory. 10 a.m. presentations with a large jewelry company, fashion shoot at 11:30, business lunch at the Waldorf at 1, meetings and deadlines until 5 p.m., business dinner at 6, home at 9 p.m.
“No date tonight?” Michael asked slyly.
“No date any night. Who has the time to date?” she asked.
Before he could push the subject further, Lydia’s phone rang for the first of many times that day. It was Julia, her assistant.
“What’s your ETA?” she asked.
“About ten minutes. Make sure the notes and slides are ready for the 10:00 meeting. I’m going to need you to mail out a few packages, RSVP for three parties on Friday and Saturday, and baby-sit the fashion shoot if it runs late,” she instructed.
“Fine, no problem. But I want to know what happened last night.”
“Last night? I got in at 10, watched “The Big Easy”, and almost fell asleep in the tub. Why?” she asked.
“Because you were supposed to meet us at the club. Jeremy’s friend was looking forward to meeting you.”
“You know, as well as I do, that I’m not about to go on a blind date. I have more important things to do,” Lydia stated.
“Oh, you mean the TV and a bubble bath? Sounds awful lonely to me.”
“Well, that’s how I prefer it,” she proclaimed. “I’ll see you in five.”She hung up and looked out at NY. I’m not wrong, she told herself, and I’m not lonely. She wondered how many more times this self-assurance would work.

Beginning of a short story (latest work)

They were running late again. She rushed Todd out of the front door with his backpack in one hand and his lunch under her arm.

“If he would only get up when I asked him to, we’d be on time,” she muttered in her mind.

But it was no use, he didn’t listen to her early morning urgings even when she said them out loud. Todd sat in the passenger seat, eyes half open with a pop-tart crumbling more in his lap than in his mouth. She was pretty sure that his clothes were the same ones that he wore yesterday, but at least he was dressed and out the door. They sat in silence, her maneuvering through their suburb and him mumbling cranky thoughts in his own mind.

The only sounds were the pounding of the rain and the rhythmic swiping of the windshield wipers. Back and forth. Everything seemed to be harder after Steve left. Sara couldn’t get enough sleep, she was always late, and Todd seemed to be losing interest in everything. She could handle losing a husband to another woman, but seeing Todd slip away behind an emotional wall was more than she could handle.

“I’m getting off early today and I thought you and I could catch a movie. I know you’ve been wanting to see that new alien movie.” She smiled a hopeful smile his way and waited for him to swallow the last of his pop-tart.

“Sounds okay,” he said after a long pause. “But I pick the seats, and I require something with sugar in it.”

“Fine by me. It’s a date then.”

She pulled around the corner from the school to let him out. As a rule, teenagers are not supposed to be seen being dropped off by their parents in a minivan. The exception is when the parent is driving a car that you would see a model or a rapper in, like a Hummer or an Aston Martin. Sara remembered the day that Todd came home and shared how Tony Coleman’s dad got a brand new Hummer with chrome wheels and a killer sound system. He talked of nothing else for an hour and begged Steve to buy one or something equally as cool. Instead of simply saying no fifty times, Steve bluntly stated that Tony’s father was a divorcee with a lot of debt that only bought the car to compensate for the failures in his life. That’s how Steve was…blunt and rarely empathetic.

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