Introducing Henry

As I dive back into the writing life I’m revisiting the “vault,” also known as my childhood toy chest. I rescued it from the back of Mother’s closet and made it the designated repository for all things writerly. Over the years I’ve accumulated folders, and binders, and rubber banded clumps of the written word, along with a handful of flash drives containing every revision of every story. Notes from workshops, handouts from seminars, it’s all there!1229161231

It is at this point that I give a shout out to my husband, Melvin, who finances my writing life and never questions the investment of my time or his money.

While going through one of the flash drives I found the HENRY folder. His character dates back to 2002 as the love interest of another character, Veronica. The folder included all the scenes from their stormy relationship. In this scene he sees Veronica for the first time at the company picnic. He later writes his friend with the details.

I’d be interested to know, who do you see when you picture Henry? I admit to seeing a particular old flame who had a great deal of HENRY in him.What about you? A boyfriend? An ex? Or, how about someone from today’s world of entertainment? I would love to see how you picture this character. It would be great help to me as a writer.

Thanks in advance for your comment!

Henry meets Veronica

Stu,

       Here’s some news. Just came back from the company picnic. I’ve got a belly full of fried chicken and a new prospect for my love and affection. I’m telling you pal, the girl is something to see. She strutted barefoot through that grass, high-stepping it, with her gathered-up skirt and shoes in one hand, and a picnic basket in the other. Showing just enough above the knee to let you know there was a sweet set of thighs attached. Her eyes were focused on the ground and her body seemed ready to bolt at the slightest squeal or high-pitched noise. Like a fine, young filly. So this is Veronica, I thought. What a delicious piece of flesh she is. Continue Reading

What You Thought Was True

A while back I talked to a friend who had recently stumbled into a repressed memory. We talked about that feeling, falling through a black hole, observing everything in your life you thought to be true as it dissolves into flashbacks, and strange dreams, and that lopsided feeling when memories come back with different endings. It is an emotional unearthing, and it begins a ripple effect through your life, with the potential of a tsunami.

My stumble into memories past began in July, 1992, when I was rear-ended at the stoplight on Callowhill and 14th Street in Philadelphia. It was a metallic green Gremlin in the rear view mirror, and when I saw how fast it was coming, I grabbed the wheel and pressed my foot hard on the brake. The impact came to the driver-side rear, like he wanted to thread the car between the two lanes and instead put accordion pleats into the frame of my Saab and the car in the next lane.

Police were called, reports were made, and the officer told me my car was drivable, but probably totaled. “Call your agent. Get a back x-ray. File a claim,” was his professional advice.

Regarding any compensation from the driver for damages,  it seemed that besides the lack of brakes, he had no license, no insurance, and no proof of ownership. The officer told me to write it off and be glad that I wasn’t hurt. “He’s going back to jail,” the officer said, “He’s a regular.”

I stood on the corner as they walked past me to the cruiser.He was in handcuffs, shirtless, and under his ribs I spotted a long, jagged scar, as if he had been stitched up by an unskilled amateur or a doctor in a hurry. It was one of several scars that showed a man who had not lived an easy life. His name was Paul Brown and I can still see his face. His skin was coal black, and his features were sharp, almost regal. Our eyes met and I knew he was there to give me a message.

My life was different from that day forward. I wrote RAIN FALL as fiction wrapped around a reality that waited over thirty years to present  itself.

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Winston Blvd, Toledo, Ohio. 1954. With Schnitzel, my first dog.

RAIN FALL

As the rusty station wagon pulled past us in the parking lot, its rear door flew open, and a boy, maybe four years old, tumbled out. His leg was caught on something inside. The old car dragged his upper body—head bobbing, arms flailing, voice screaming—about fifteen feet along the pavement before lurching to a halt. We stood motionless as a scrawny woman in worn jeans and a faded work shirt jumped from the passenger side as the vehicle rocked to a standstill.

Continue Reading

Tribal Gathering

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It’s so good to be surrounded by my tribe! When we are together I feel a security blanket of friendship that only comes through a history of shared experiences. L to R, Mary Creamer Edeburn, Abby Moran Robinson, Ginger B. Rains Collins, Kathie Grant Caitlin.

Longest-time Friends

These are women I’ve known since we were children, when life washed over our unique spirit and imprinted on our brain, and then rolled around in a bowl of personal environment to form the values, and opinions that have driven our decisions over the years. These are friends who have known me for as long as I have known myself. They know my story down to the bone and never hesitate to call me out when they hear BS.

There is something unique about this kind of friendship. No matter how different you turn out to be as adults, that deep foundation from the 50s and 60s remains the same. It’s the touchstone to understanding.

What about your tribe of besties? I’d love to hear. Post a comment or submit a story. Talk to me!

Going Live!

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The plan was to have this blog go live on my birthday, November 16. It was a reasonable schedule Kate Irwin and I had agreed on. I provided concept and copy, she would develop the concept graphically, create the layout, and be my webmaster. We were pretty much on target until Melvin decided to spring a surprise on me.

In the first ten years of our marriage, I would drive up to Melvin’s office at Kirk-Rudy on a day during his birthday week. I would walk into his office, and say, “Shut up baby and get in the truck,” which he had told me, (while we were dating) was the Georgia pick-up line. His office staff would laugh, Melvin would protest just enough, and we would be off. Continue Reading