At the end of the Writers In Paradise sessions, everyone got a chance to present a refined version of their submitted work, or a new story they were working on.
Everyone got five minutes. No critiquing. Just listening.
I was determined to write something that'd hook a reader and leave the room breathless.
I was so angry and so confident. Cocky?
For all I knew in that moment, it was going to be the very last story I'd ever write.
I was damned sure it was going to kill or be killed.
When my turn came up, the enormity of what was actually happening took effect.
(Of course. It's always right before you have to stand up in front of a bunch of strangers and present something you reviewed once because you were afraid your obsessive compulsive approach would ruin it if you looked at it any longer beforehand.)
The podium was simply a flat wooden surface attached to a stick-like piece of wood, supported by a rickety wooden base.
It looked like something I would've made in high school shop class. Something you hurriedly get through at the last minute to avoid failing, but just enough of a submission to pass.
Hardly anything viable to hide behind, that's for sure.
I put my four printed, numbered, one-sided and double-spaced pages up on the podium. The podium to shift slightly.
Oh boy, I thought.
"Hi everyone," shakily crept from my lips. "I'm Sara Eatherton and I'm going to read the first mini-chapter of a piece I'm working on."
Quiet. A few smiles peeked from the crowd. I don't know if I expected some A.A.-like, "Hi, Sara" or what. But the silence was deafening.
...to be continued...
He didn't sign up for this, but he's still here.
A Pill For A Pill Leaves The Whole World Drugged
I've got nothing of value today. Only anger.
What could it be?
I didn’t prepare for it.
I think I like not knowing.
What do I want to do with this?
Hmm… Good question.
It had just started to rain and the dog was whining at the back sliding glass door.
I don't want to get my hopes too high, but it's something to look forward to.
"What do you want it to be?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, you act like I haven't done anything over the last three years. Three years..."
So much stuff. What's the goddamned point?
Time seems to slip away faster now.
If only I could take them with me.
'How's your business going?'
'Fine.' I hate it.
If only he knew her, then he'd understand.
'I wouldn't do it again, if that's what you mean,' I said, pulling my MacBook Pro closer to me atop the long work table in the mall.
What was she thinking?
My fingers are crossed, but I'm not sure if that's enough anymore.
They always end up letting you down.
It always happens in droves.
She caught me with the knife when I was sixteen, maybe seventeen.
I like being flawed. It gives me something to write about.
I let my kids examine my naked body yesterday.
There's no winning with blame.
Every time I think I'm getting better at this whole life thing, I do something wrong and set it back.
It was cold that day. Odd for Florida.
I gave twenty dollars to a woman on the side of the road today.
I like getting older.
There's something about with age and experience comes wisdom that's exhilarating.
The bad thing about family is you can never escape the past.
They remember everything.
I'll see this one through, I tell myself. I'll finish it.
After this, I'll put it to bed. After this, I'll move forward.