[Daily Prompt] Good Tidings: Positively Dickensian

Today’s Daily Prompt-Good Tidings:

Present-day you meets 10-years-ago you for coffee. Share with your younger self the most challenging thing, the most rewarding thing, and the most fun thing they have to look forward to.

This is my contribution!

Positively Dickensian

Two women sit across from each other at a table in a coffee shop. They take their tea the same way: Earl Grey, strong, two sugars. Turbinado, please, stirred clock-wise.

Their conversation goes like this:

2004 Mae: Hey, why are we blonde? We haven’t been blonde since we were seven, and we both know that was way more than ten years ago–yours or mine.

2014 Mae: We’ve met before, right? We’ve been radically altering our hair every few months since we were twelve. Some things don’t change. Wait until you get to 2012. That was a great hair year for us, even if we got sick of the Miley comparisons.

2004: Who is Miley?

2014: Never mind. We’ll know soon enough, and we’ll wish we didn’t.

2004: Oh, okay. Anyhoo, this is kind of weird. Why are we here, again? Do you have big news for me? Because I’m not sure that I want to know. Even if it doesn’t suck.

2014: Good, because I didn’t plan on giving you specifics, anyway.

2004: Well, what if I changed my mind? What if I want to know now?

2014: Too fucking bad. It doesn’t work that way.

2004: Did you bend time and space just to have tea with me? Honestly, that is kind of creepy. Is this some next-level Miss Havisham shit? Future me is so bereft that she finds a way to come back to a point when life was better? Oh, my god. Do I really turn into Miss Havisham? Seriously, is my future that pitiful?

2014: I’m not wearing a tattered wedding dress, am I? So, no. I forgot how kooky we can be.

2004: Wait. Wait! Do I-do we-become…normal? I’d rather be Miss Havisham.

2014: Haha, no! We’re amusing, too!

2004: Hey, don’t take credit for that line! I said it, so I am the amusing one. Continue reading

Daily Prompt: Standout

The best way for a short girl to stand out in a crowd is by having a bright red mohawk. Trust me, it works like a charm. Just don’t try to talk to her; she might bite.*

This is brought to you by the Daily Prompt: Standout. When was the last time you really stood out in a crowd? Are you comfortable in that position, or do you wish you could fade into the woodwork?

**Okay, so I don’t really bite. I’m pretty sure this is true of most mohawk-sporting lasses. I am totally comfortable with you staring at me, but will become a googly-eyed mess if you engage me in small-talk. Unless the conversation is about books or dead writers, then I say, “Stranger, bring it on!”

Daily Prompt: Never

Daily Prompt: Tell us about a thing you’ll never write about.

This one is easy.

A closed mind is the death of creativity. Never say never.*

*As soon as this phrase ran through my mind, I thought of this old Romeo Void song. It has nothing to do with this prompt or books or writing,  but Debora Iyall is all kinds of awesome.

Daily Prompt: Say Your Name

I was named after a hippie chick called Alley Cat. Slick chick, cool cat, teenage runaway. She slipped out of sight long ago, but will never be forgotten. I don’t answer to the nickname Alley, but use half a dozen other diminutives. Quick change artist: just like my namesake. That’s all you need to know.

From the Daily Prompt: Write about your first name: Are you named after someone or something? Are there any stories or associations attached to it? If you had the choice, would you rename yourself?

Daily Prompt: Judgment Day

I cannot get over the fact that it is possible to have one favourite book. My mind is blown. What was the question again?

This bafflement is in response to the Daily Prompt: Judgment Day. If you were to judge your favourite book by its cover, would you still read it?

Daily Prompt: Happily Ever After

Once Upon a Time, little girls were told they needed fairy tales. The goal was to hear the words, “And they lived happily ever after. The End.” It’s a scary idea. It says so right there: the end. A closed book. Happiness trapped under glass like a dead fly. The problem is that, when you are working toward an official Happily Ever After, you miss the nuances of the journey through the Big Bad Forest, the meat and mead of life: laughter, tears, growth, absurdity, knowledge, companionship, heartbreak, fulfillment, frustration, accomplishment. Life is messy, irreverent. It brooks no happily ever after. Why should it? Life is its own complicated reward.

Write your own story, but write it honestly. Live your own life, without succumbing to complacent platitudes. Embrace your own beautifully cracked version of success and happiness. Mine calls for writing words the best way I can, in reading more than is healthy, in loving a complex, brilliant, imperfect man. It allows for dust in the corners of my house and budding laugh lines around my eyes. I love every second of this broken bliss. It’s a thousand times better than any sterile Happily Ever After.

This is in response to the Daily Prompt: Happily Ever After. “And they lived happily ever after.” Think about this line for a few minutes. Are you living happily ever after? If not, what will it take for you to get there?

Daily Prompt: Through the Window

Men on a roof. Bending, crouching, arms open to the sky. Hammering, drilling, sawing. Moving silhouettes on a cityscape set. Dress extras bringing atmosphere. Skyscraper backdrop with painted clouds. The foreman stands, his back to the audience. Directing the action. Immobile. Neon-vested. Empty hands in warm pockets. The workers’ raucous laughter slides through the whirring whinge of their tools. Perfectly timed. They’ve given this performance before.

Men at Work

Men at Work

My response to the Daily Prompt.