Thursday, December 31, 2009


Kayla first appeared in OGW Oct.1.  She has also appeared as Rain’s best friend in OGW, Nov.12, and Dec.10. Both girls are friends with Nancy's daughter, Casey (OGW, Nov.5).  The setting is Saturday afternoon, before the three girls will go to a party on Saturday night, their first party with boys, alcohol, no parents and... I'll keep after this thread until their story together becomes clear.  I know where it’s going now, and you’ll want to keep up with these three girls.

Kayla:  Waiting, waiting, waiting!  I’m always waiting for something, like for instance, I remember waiting for my breasts to grow big like my mothers -- which aren’t huge, they’re only size C’s, but I only had size A pimples on my chest for it seemed like forever. I wouldn’t have even thought of falling in love with or even liking a guy like Brian Kepler until my breasts grew… only I did like him so thank God my breasts blossomed this summer.  So now is the time for us to fall in love, but it hasn’t happened yet.  Which is why here I am, waiting again, right now waiting across the street from Brian’s house for him to come home.
     I spin a pedal.  Yes, that’s right, I’m so lame I still have to ride a bike.  I have my learner’s permit, and I’m not stupid -- I know how to drive, okay?  But no, I don’t have a car, and no, my mother wouldn’t let me drive hers if I were twenty-one or forty-five or a hundred, so she’s certainly never going to let me drive her car when I’m still sixteen.  Just wait though, next year my Dad will let me drive his car anytime, just wait.
     OMG, waiting again!  Why oh why do I always have to wait for everything?  If Brian ever asks me to kiss him, I won’t wait, that’s for sure.  But he hasn’t asked, so I’ll wait. 
     Sweat slides in a thin river down between my breasts.  I spin the pedal on my bike again, peering through the spokes of the back wheel at Brian’s house.  When he gets home, I’m hoping he’ll see my bike upside down and come over to see what’s wrong.  Maybe he’ll invite me inside for a Coke.  Then he’ll admit he has loved me since last year when we had gym class together, and he doesn’t care if he’s a senior and I’m only a sophomore because age is just a number.
     Oh shit, that’s his car!  I’m so startled to finally see him pull around the corner I fall back onto my butt.  Scrambling up to my feet, I find my legs have stiffened up from squatting next to my bike watching his house for the past whatever, half-hour?  I’m all knees and elbows and I feel like a scarecrow and wearing this tank top was so stupid, but it shows off my breasts and makes me look older I think maybe, except I also don’t think I’m really pulling it off with my stick legs barely holding me up.  I am not looking like a woman.  I’m not looking like the girl Brian will fall in love with, and shit crap damn!  There’s Amber and Caitlin.  They do look old enough.
     Amber and Caitlin giggle and follow Brian inside.  He doesn’t even see me!  And… now he’s gone.  I wait some more, in case he’ll come back, but of course he doesn’t.  But I’m going to his party tonight.  I’m going, and he’ll see me then.
     I hope he sees me then.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Nancy:  Nancy, originally from my novel Crosses, is grown up now.  She is also, as she’s always been, the most like me of all my characters.  For my holiday blog this year, I’ve taken my own experience, wrapped it in Nancy’s persona, and made something new.

Nancy:  I do not know why I wore platform heels to the Christmas Tree Shops, just to stand in lines… lines through the front door, lines around in circles and swirls, to the gift tins I came for, and around one side to get a glass strawberry-dipped-in-chocolate ornament and a deep red heart ornament that makes me think of Twilight.  Lines in and out of heaps of reduced-price baubles and stupid things, only not so stupid since I need these last minute massagers and coloring books, reed diffusers and faux-crystal santas.
     At the checkout, the woman behind me is complaining about my full basket and the long wait in line.  I look up and see that she is a nun, which makes me smile inside.  I remember when Casey was little, she shouted “A nun!  A nun!  Mommy, I saw a nun!” inside a McDonald’s.  As if she’d seen a unicorn.
     I tell the nun to go on ahead of me, since she only has one item.  She is surprised at first, then politely declines.  Whatever.  Score one for me with God anyway, is what I figure.
     And you know what?  The baubles and other gifts aren’t worth much money, but are my way of saying, “I’m glad you’re in my life,” and they’re good gifts because of that.  The thought really does count.  And Casey will love the Twilight-ish ornament.  I feel pretty good, as my aching feet lead me out the line out the door and all the way back to my car a lot away.
     My feet ache, but when I get home I’ll change into sneakers and sit down and write, and when Christmas comes, I’ll say, I did all right this year.  

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Juliet began as a character in a novel-in-progress, Let Her Cry, and then appeared in OGW 10/22/09.  Juliet is working on a “one-girl show”, hoping to become a performer like her mother.  Unfortunately, Juliet’s mother is bipolar, which often takes too much of Juliet’s time and energy, and leaves her with little left to work on herself.


Juliet:  Story of My Life

(a “one-girl” show)
starring Juliet McCarthy as herself

(One small dot of light expands… expands, expands, becoming a halo, illuminating Juliet’s face, becoming a spotlight of her whole body.  She is crouched on the floor, holding the microphone in one hand, tapping a cigarette with the other.  A black and white movie reel plays in the backround:  loud sounds of reels spinning, the movie is crackly -- family scenes, like a montage of old family movies

Wait.  Too campy.  Not authentic enough.  Change to: (Natural lighting dims.  Juliet is crouched on the floor, tapping a cigarette with one hand, tapping keys on a laptop computer with the other.  She is illuminated by the light from her computer screen.  The microphone rests on the floor by her feet.  Her toes, barefeet, scrunch.
Slides click into place behind Juliet -- family scenes -- click, click, then faster and faster, clickity clickity click, in time with Juliet tapping out words on her computer.  She reads:)

After the big fight over Hootie.  Mom in fishnet tights and a big tee shirt with Dad’s Irish-green down vest over it for warmth.  He’s so happy when she kisses him.
            I’m happy too.  No, really.  Mom’s eyes look like clich├ęs – sad clown or raccoon eyes, streaked make-up.  From the fight.  But it’s over now, they’re happy, and I’m happy.
            Really.  (Looks up at the audience.)
            But you don’t believe me.
            After the big fight, Mom with raccoon eyes kisses Dad and he runs his hands over her down vest.  They retreat to the bedroom, and Dad leaves his drink.  Scotch Rocks.
            I’m so happy for them, and the fact that they don’t see me anymore.  I’m so happy for me -- and the fact that I don’t see me anymore.
            (Juliet looks down at her computer and types as she reads:)  I don’t believe in me.

            I drink the scotch. (Mimes drinking a glassful in one gulp.)

            Tap my cigarette.  Suck hard.  Crouched over laptop on the floor of my room, Achilles tendons stretching, knees popping.  Writing.

            This is my story.

(The last slide clicks into place – it is Juliet, posed as she was a moment ago -- as she was in her bedroom that night.  She rises, and faces the screen and the slide, reaching out to touch her own image.)

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Rain first appeared as herself in OGW, Nov.12.  Her mother has run off to NYC, her father is a drunk.  Rain has also appeared as Kayla's best friend in OGW, Oct.1, and both girls are friends with Nancy's daughter, Casey (OGW, Nov.5).  The three girls are preparing to go to a party on Saturday night, their first party with boys, alcohol, no parents and... I'll keep after this thread until their story together becomes clear.

Rain:  Kayla holds my hand while I’m getting pierced, and In a breath, it’s done.  The rush is spectacular, and makes me forget how sad I am.  I’m no longer afraid.
     But I should be.
     Why I should be becomes hideously clear when Kala is climbing on the table to get her belly button pierced.  There is yelling outside in the waiting room.
     Oh God, not now, I think as I rush out without buttoning my jeans.
     “Leave him Rain!”  Kayla shouts.  “Just do it,” she says to the piercer, frantic.  Now I wish I’d let Kayla go first.  It means so much to her!  But the piercer hesitates as I run out and the yelling gets louder.  Oh Daddy!
     “You hafta let me back there she’s my baby unlock the door now I demand—“
     “Daddy, no!” 
     I run out the door and nearly knock him over, grab him in the nick of time.  He touches my face, gently, looking down on me like I’m still his baby, even though he’s leaning on me now.  He pulls out his iced tea, what’s supposed to be iced tea, as if no one would guess it’s spiked.  He leans on me harder.
     “Sir, there’s no drinking in here.  Sir!”
     Daddy doesn’t listen.  The frizzy-headed goth girl behind the counter was so nice before talking to Kala and me about the star tattoo behind her ear, showing us her piercings.  Now she turns her scorn toward me.
     “He has to leave.  Take him out.”
     I only nod, and comply.  Kayla emerges before I can get my Dad to the door.  She’s crying.
     “You knew how important this was to me!” she shouts. 
     She’s right, but I can’t deal with her, with guilt or shame right now.  Right now, I have to get Daddy home.  Shit, what a day!  His arm roughly scrapes my new piercing, and it hurts like hell, but I can’t worry about that either –
     “It’s your fault!”  Kayla says, lunging at my father.
     He steps back quickly, almost falls.  The bitch-girl behind the counter has come out to open the door for us and has the nerve to grab my Dad by the arm like he’s a bum, and I turn on both of them—
     “Leave him alone!”  To Kayla I say the unforgiveable, “If getting pierced was so important, where’s your mother?”  To the gothic thug I just say, “Cunt,” and to my Dad I say, “Go, Car.”
     No one is happy.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Meghan is a new character.  I sat down to write and thought, "I'm tired.  The Red Bull doesn't cut it for me anymore"... wrote that down for the hell of it, and Meghan emerged!  All I know about her so far is what you read in her Outsider Girls entry.  Her father has a drug problem, maybe her mother too, maybe Meghan herself.  We'll see...

Megan:  I am tired.  The Red Bull doesn’t cut it for me anymore.  My father let me try cocaine once, and it got me up, but not enough, you know?  I mean, it felt good and all that, like it was supposed to, I guess, but
     I am never smoking pot again.  No, really.  Yeah, yeah, I know, that’s what I said about the coke
     Of course I found his stash, well, Stacy who wants to be called Grimelda – no shit –
     “Stop, just stop!” that’s Grimelda, and she’s all yelling and shit at Angel to stop rubbing her back against the edge of the door cause, and I agree, it’s going to really hurt her.
     Grimelda found my dad’s stash of cocaine in his sock drawer of all places, I mean how lame a hiding place was that?  Also a rectangle sample of the same granite we eventually did our counters with
     They weren’t even his regular socks.  Just the holey ones without matches in a drawer covering his coke.
Fuck. Never. A. gain.  No.  More.  Pot 
“Yeah sure,” I say to the offer of a shot of vodka in my Red Bull.  
     Once I heard Daniel Pesco’s dad found his bottle of vodka in the freezer frozen, and Daniel was in like so much trouble, and he’s such an idiot which is why we don’t hang out with him anyway and
     OMG, my mother flipped out when she caught Stacy I mean Grimelda and me into Dad’s stash, she was like, “Fuckin’ A’ Richard—“
     Dad prefers to be called Dick.  No, just kidding.
     I think I want to die here now.  I’m never smoking pot again. 
“Angel, it does not itch that much you’re just stoned!” She better just stop before I before I
     Dad was like, I mean later, when Mom was gone, after she’d stormed off, after she’d made an appointment with me I mean for me to see her shrink
     Dad was like, “Meghan, you just have to ask, honey, you don’t have to steal anything from me, I’m your Dad!”
     I think I’m going to die here.
     I think I might as well.
     Angel stop rubbing your back against the fucking door and everyone just chill out why are you yelling
     Oh yeah, that was me.