The Meet-Cute

Here is the final instalment of my successful night of writing in the 642 Things to Write About book by the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto.

I had passed this particular prompt on many occasions when flipping through this book, and it was last night when an image just popped into my head and I decided to create it. It is supposed to be a short story, and maybe some people will argue that what I have written is a short story, but to me however, I think it is more of a “meet-cute.”

themeetcute


Prompt 3: Write a short story that is set in Detroit in 1956, in which a car floor mat plays a crucial role.

The large, canary yellow taxi that smelled oddly of pickled eggs, rolled to a stop in front of her hotel.

“Thank you sir,” Esther said kindly as she handed the driver some money. He grunted in reply, and got out of the taxi to open the door for her. She bundled her skirts together, grabbed her purse and made to get gracefully out of the strange smelling car. Unfortunately for Esther, her feet had other plans, and she tripped on the car floor mat behind the passenger seat and flew out onto the pavement with a glorious thud.

“Are you okay Miss?” Esther rubbed her poor nose as she looked up as the hand that was held outstretched for her.

“Why yes, I’m fine, thank you,” she replied gratefully as she took the hand. The grip was warm and firm, and she was hauled up onto her traitorous feet in no time. She patted herself down and then looked up into a pair of dazzling, emerald eyes.

“Thank you again sir, you are most kind,” Esther said as the boorish taxi driver thumped her travel case down beside her and drove off.

“You are most welcome. Say, you’re not from the States are you? What brings you to Detroit?” the tall, kind, handsome gentleman with the green eyes asked. Esther felt her heart leap; this was the first real conversation she was having since her arrival.

“Oh no, I’m from Northern Ireland, Londonderry to be exact. During the War, I was a burse at the barracks, and the stories the GI’s would tell me of the US had me desperate to go. Why Detroit? Well it sounds a lot different to New York, Los Angeles or Chicago,” she explained a little too breathily. The man smiled warmly at her, his eyes twinkling in the light.

“Well that sounds like a great adventure! This is forward of me but would you care for a drink Miss?”

“Esther, my name is Esther, and I would love one umm…?”

“Charlie, the name’s Charlie,” he said as he shook her hand and picked up her travel case.

The Mind Wanders and Creates New Things

Here is the second instalment of my successful night of writing in the 642 Things to Write About book by the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto.

642 things to write about

This particular prompt took me down a path that was a littler darker than I had intended. You know the way you start out with an idea, and fully intend on writing it down, but when you start putting pen to paper something else just seems to emerge from the depths of your brain? Well that is what happened with this prompt.


Prompt 2: Write a scene that begins: “It was the first time I killed a man.”

 “It was the first time I killed a man.”

The wary reporter faltered, his pen coming to a stop on his writing pad while the Dictaphone recorded on. He looked up and Henry looked back at him with a look of feigned innocence on his face. The reporter motioned for Henry to continue on, even though he was now painfully aware of how small the metallic table that separated them truly was.

“Yes it was the first time I killed a man when I knew it was my mission in life to rid the earth of vile, meaningless creatures. I knew being a Vicar wasn’t my only role, and when those thugs broke into my church, it was like a sign from God that I should punish the worms who dared to desecrate his house.”

Henry paused for a moment, as if savouring the memory for all that it was worth. He continued on in an almost wistful tone.

“I picked up a heavy, golden cross and bashed one of them over his head. This caused the other two cowards to scarper, with the evening’s collection tumbling from their pockets. The other one lay wounded on the thick, red carpet, which was being dyed a darker colour due to his blood. His breathing was laboured and I could tell he was in a considerable amount of pain, so I decided the best thing for him was to rid him of his misery. I took the cross and bashed his brains in. He was dead within seconds. I’ll always remember how the crack of his skull sounded like a clap of God’s thunder, and it resonated through me, through my very being. After I had disposed of the body in the graveyard, I set about cleaning the mess, and I was truly happy for what felt like the first time.”

The reporter had suppressed a shudder, and Henry could tell. He smirked and then finished his story in a condescending manner.

“Well you know how the story goes from there. For 15 years I cleared the world of evil. The Martin brothers was the first time I had used acid to get rid of the bodies, and the Harris woman was the first time I had used a cleaver. I felt it only befitting as she was a cheating Butcher’s wife. It was the media that gave me the title of “Hell’s Vicar” and it seems to have stuck with me, even here on Death Row.

Writing To Keep Busy

It’s been a while since I last updated my blog, and a lot of things have happened. The two jobs that I applied for in a local museum here in my very own city of Derry-Londonderry were rejected. Needless to say I was down for quite a while about that, pouring endlessly over the application forms I filled out, looking for any small detail that would have shed some light onto the fact that I didn’t even get an interview. Being unemployed is starting to get more difficult by the day. I relish in the opportunity to do little odd jobs. For example I was on BBC Radio Foyle again last Thursday and Friday, and this gave me a reason to get up in the morning.

If you would like to hear me on BBC Radio Foyle then just follow these links HERE and HERE.

Keeping myself busy is the one thing that helps to keep me moving forward. One minute I’ll be looking for jobs and then the next minute I will be cleaning the house, or writing, whether it be non-fiction or fiction.

642 things to write about

I made myself smile last night. I have a book, 642 Things To Write About by the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto, and it is packed to the rafters with writing prompts to keep your creative mind active. They even help to eliminate writers block. I don’t really know why I took to writing last night, usually I have to be in the mood to write before anything happens, but maybe it was the fact that I wasn’t in the mood last night that made some magic happen. I penned three things last night that I never thought I would, and I feel like sharing them.

writing


Prompt 1: You wake up by the side of the road lying next to a bicycle, with no memory and no wallet. What happens in the next hour?

(NB: I don’t know why but I made this story about a man)

The next hour was a total blur. He picked up the bike, which he could only assume was his, even though he was wearing no helmet or knee pads, and started walking down the eerie, deserted road. As he walked, he patted himself down and could find no wallet. There went the last hope of finding out exactly who he was, and where on earth he could be.

He kept up a steady pace walking beside the bike. He was wary of riding it, for fear it was what had gotten him into trouble in the first place. Deep, dark clouds started to spread across the sky, covering it like a heavy blanket. He picked up his pace, noticing that he was entering an industrial type area. Clearly the buildings were all closed and devoid of people, because each chain link gate he passed were locked up tighter than a bank vault. As fat droplets of rain started to collide with his forehead, he spotted a glowing sign up ahead. It was a petrol station by the look of it. He jogged towards it with the light weight bike in tow as the heavens started to open.

By the time he reached the petrol station, he was drenched right through, his teeth chattering with the chill. He deposited the bike at the entrance and walked through a solid wave of heat. The light of the store burned his retinas and the smell of petrol lingered in his nose as he made his way towards the counter. A portly, older woman was rummaging behind the till, and when she caught sight of him, she gasped, clamping her hand to her overly painted mouth. It was only then that he realised that his face and hands were burning with pain, and shards of jaggy pain were shooting up his back. He must have looked awful.

On the counter, a little out of sight, sat a wallet. He grabbed it and searched for the driver’s license. He pulled out the laminated card and stared at the photograph. He strained up to see his reflection in the mirrored sign behind the portly woman’s head and realised that the road burned face that stared back at him was identical to the image on the license. He glanced back down at the card in his hand as the woman made to call for medical help and read the name on the card.

“Carl Jameson,” he said out loud, not even recognising the name, or the sound of his voice.

Patience is a Virtue

Patience is a virtue. That’s what they say. Over the 24 years of my life, so far I’ve been a very patient person. I may have not had patience when it came to things like waiting to get presents on Christmas morning, or on your Birthday, but other than that, I’ve been a pretty patient person.

Patience1
I have now found my patience limit, or well, my patience meter is being tested. I have applied for two jobs recently, and I’m just a bit on edge now waiting to hear if I’ve gotten an interview or not. I know this is a normal feeling, but now that I’m unemployed, the feeling of being on edge seems to be ten times worse. When waiting for news on previous job application forms, I did feel on edge to some degree, but I was still in a job at this point. Nothing was really hanging in the balance, as it were. Now it feels like everything is depending on these jobs. Also, I am very passionate about said jobs, and have so many ideas forming in my head about them that I just can’t help but feel…impatient.

impatience
I know it’s all a waiting game. I have no idea (well some idea) as to who else has applied for these jobs, and I often wonder to myself, are they feeling the same way that I am? I’m just guessing, but half of them probably are, and then half of them are probably already in a job and not feeling the same pressure. I know these people, whoever they are, are my competition, but I sometimes wish that we could all meet up and discuss what is happening with us. What is the most important thing to me, at the end of the day, is that the right person gets the job. Ideally that person would be me, but if it is not me, I want the job to go to someone who truly deserves it.

Anyway, I’ve found that quotes often help me out when I’m feeling stressed, anxious, and at this point, impatient. Here are a few that I really like:


“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”–Winston Churchill

“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.”–Norman Vincent Peale

“Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.” – Joyce Meyer

“What good has impatience ever brought? It has only served as the mother of mistakes and the father of irritation.” ― Steve Maraboli

“Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.” – Guy Kawasaki

Make ’em Laugh – Joker Style

This is a blog I’ve been looking to write for a while, and now that my head isn’t buried in application forms, I think I may just get on with writing it.

One of my favourite characters of all time is The Joker from Batman. There has always been something about The Clown Prince of Crime that has always stuck with me. Maybe beneath it all I’m a raging psychopath like he is, but that is probably very unlikely. From a young age I can remember watching The Joker in Batman: The Animated Series, the best cartoon of all time, hands now, no questions asked, end of story! I watched it all the time, and I think that is why this version of The Joker will always be my favourite, because I grew up with him. Don’t get me wrong I love the other versions of The Joker too, like Jack Nicholson’s Joker, Heath Ledger’s Dark Knight Joker, and the really sick twisted Joker in Death of the Family, but Mark Hamill’s Joker will always be my favourite.

The Joker 1

When rewatching some of the Batman: The Animated Series episodes now, as a fully grown woman, I am starting to appreciate not just the cartoon on a whole new level, but The Joker on a whole new level too. He is by far the funniest thing about the cartoon, and the way that he and Batman interact is just fantastic. Kevin Conroy is God when it comes to Batman, and I just think that he and Mark Hamill’s Joker work very well together.

The Joker 2

Batman: The Animated Series is definitely one of the most sophisticated and intelligent cartoon’s out there. It works on so many levels. You love it as a child because it’s full of action and adventure, and Gotham is always in peril. When Batman saves the day you feel elated and then go off and pretend to be Batman. You love it as an adult because it’s full of these one-liners that you definitely did not understand as a child. The Joker in particular had some of the best quote ever, and I do think that someone should make some mock motivational posters out of them!


Joker: I’m crazy enough to fight the Batman, but the IRS?? No thank you!

Joker: But hey, that’s the downside of comedy, you’re always taking shots from people who don’t get the joke. Like my dad, or Batman.

Joker: They sure don’t make straight jackets like they used too. I should know.

Joker: Jingle Bells! Batman smells! Robin laid an egg! The Batmobile lost a wheel and the Joker got awaaay!

Joker: (After sending Sid to his doom) Well, that was fun! Who’s for Chinese?

Joker: Live, from the city, the show that nobody wants to see but everybody will watch!

Joker: Ah, sunshine. Clean air. (Starts coughing) Oh, I hate it.

Joker: When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping!

Two-Face: Out of my face, clown!
The Joker: Which one?

Joker: Whoops! Looks like our air holes are water holes, too! Water shame!


These quotes are to name but a few! Some of them are cheesy, and some of them are just pure genius. No wonder The Joker is my favourite character ever. He’s just so much fun, in a sick, twisted, very evil way.

The Process of Form Filling

I haven’t written a blog in a good few days now, I feel like I’ve been missing something! Why haven’t I written in the past few days? Well I’ll been filling out job application forms, and to be honest with you, it’s been stressful, but surprisingly enjoyable at the same time.

I’ve been filling in forms for a couple of jobs that I really, truly desire. I’ve talked about the organisation I’m applying to in a previous blog, so I won’t mention any name now. I want to keep this blog fairly anonymous.

form filling

It’s funny how filling out application forms can suck you right out of reality. While filling in these forms I’ve been zoned out of reality for days, focusing on nothing but the computer screen. I suppose it is different when your professional life does depend on the jobs. When I was still working and filling out forms, I had a lacklustre approach to the whole thing. Now that I’m unemployed, every little thing seems like a huge thing now, and I’m taking everything very, very seriously.

One thing I am grateful for is the Job Club. Through the Job Centre, I have decided to attend a Job Club every Monday and Tuesday morning. It gives me a reason to get up in the morning, it gets me interacting with people, and it helps to keep me motivated. Fair enough I may not need the classes as much as other people would, but going to them helps to reassure me that I’m doing things right. I have Job Club in about 45 minutes, and I can honestly say I’m looking forward to it. Today’s session is on interview technique, which I need to brush up on.

group work

Filling in these application forms also has given me time to reflect on all of the things I have done over the past few years. For a woman of my age, I’d say I have some pretty good experience. My age does play on my mind sometimes, and I think things like “They might think I’m too young for the job,” or “What would she know, she’s only 24,” but then I talk to people, like the people in the Job Club, and they help me to banish these thoughts and turn them into positive ones like “Of course I can do this,” and “Age is but a number, it’s the passion that counts!”

think-positive

All in all, even though I have been sitting in front of the computer for days on end, I have had a very eventful week or so. Exploring the things that I have accomplished has given me more confidence in myself, and the dark, lingering cloud of being let go from a job, is starting to lift. Some days, I don’t even see that cloud at all! This has to be a step in the right direction, don’t you think?