Tired, she muttered. She stretched, moaned, and stood beside the bed. Yep, still alive. Who was that guy in the bar? She turned quickly to look in her bed. Empty. Whew! At least she hadn’t done that. She stumbled toward the bathroom. Wait. There was a phone number scrawled on her arm in fat, black marker.
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Waverly slowly became aware. She had a raging headache. Her hands were tied behind her. She was in a rough wooden box of some kind – she couldn’t stretch out. For a long time she tried kicking her way out, but she couldn’t get much leverage for her kicks. She paused, breathless, and heard the buzzing of a mosquito. It landed on her cheek.
When my babies were tiny I wished they would talk to me so I’d know what they were crying about. When they were teens I wished they would talk to me so I could help them through the perils of high school. Now they are grown and they talk to me about all the other things that adults talk about: overwork, horrifying political events, worries over their kids, being stretched to the limit. I didn’t manage to raise them to have a better life than mine, which makes me sad.
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Ten knew she had to decide. Was she going to turn to her friends, playing a game with their stuffed animals in a tent on the floor? Or was she going to leave all that behind and tell her mother what went on in her room at night? She’d tried to talk to her mother before, but she was brushed off. But now she was Ten. She’d just had a birthday. Surely her mother would pay attention now that she was Ten.
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My friend Rebecca is a mess. Her life is a mess. She’s unreliable. She’s irresponsible. Why do I love her so much? She makes me feel alive, she makes me feel things are possible. She supports me when everyone else thinks I’m crazy. She has a big heart and would do anything for me – and sometimes does. She . . .
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It was 60 years old, that cookbook. You know, the one with the red checkered cover like a tablecloth. The pages were falling out of the binder. Some pages were greasy with use, others were untouched. I found what I wanted in the section on pancakes and waffles. Yes, exactly what I remembered – mama’s pancakes. I pulled a big bowl . . .
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“Keep it up, Buttercup,” Mom yelled from the bleachers. I hated it when she called me that. So embarrassing. I trotted back to my spot in right field amid general cheers. I’d made a catch – an out! I’d thrown to second base for another out. I was a freaking hero and my mom still called me Buttercup. I bent my knees and took . . .
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I discovered a moon dance on a rocky hill near my campground in the Rocky Mountains. The noise attracted me and I approached. There were 13 women. They introduced themselves to me as Wiccan, but I always thought of them as witches because of what happened afterwards.
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There was a bench outside The Olive Garden where people could sit in the shade to wait for a table. I planted myself there to wait for Talia to come around the corner. A couple with 3 kids wandered in my direction. The parents joined me on the bench but the kids scampered in circles around the bench and the tree. The oldest boy . . .
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My brain works in passive voice. Words fall onto the page in passive voice. I finish a first draft and spend the next 17 sweeps through it changing verbs. I never fix them all. I don’t even see them. What’s your writing bugaboo?
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