We write. We revise.
There was a time, before Lawrence was born, before the company and its car, when Anthony sat up front and I had the whole back seat to myself. Back then I loved riding in the car at night—that was before Mom heard about seatbelts on television, and strapping us still. I’d lie supine across the seat, watching shadowed wires follow us home, no matter where we started they followed, weaving in and out of street lights—a lone strand of web—connectedness. My theory of car physics was that driving simply released the wheels, while the earth rotated under the car. I listened to the turns through the seat cushion. When Dad braked, we stopped, and the Galaxy turned with the planet. Some cars, like people, let go easier than others. Those were the cars ahead of us. ~Excerpt from “Mouthpiece” essay-in-progress by Mark Radoff.
I’m nearby at the kitchen table, my laptop looming large before me. I had just looked up the word love. A glassy glare adorns the white space on the screen. I’m desperate; I’m searching for inspiration in an online dictionary. The prompt for my writing group has me in a quandary, in the name of love. My only thoughts are laden with clichés. But, dictionaries rarely disappoint. Merriam-Webster stakes a hardline claim to a feeling of strong and constant affection.
I peer over my screen. My daughter moves in a frenetic motion, singing I am a champion. And you’re gonna hear me roar. I relish the smile sweeping across my face. My fingers are compelled to a relentless tapping of the keys.
Merriam-Webster is brilliant. ~Excerpt from an essay-in-progress by Jill Dyan Martin
Her name suited her despite her harshly bleached hair. A half inch of brown roots ran a dark line against her white blonde. She was perhaps twenty seven and carried a sexual, feral air of confidence and lost-ness . She wore black, nothing to relieve it and her hit and miss beauty included the nicked reminders of youthful acne across her cheeks. But she carried herself like a scarred queen. Sarah felt a vague impulse to stand back in admiration and allow Helen to walk ahead of her. ~Excerpt from novel-in-progress by Therese Rossi
I’d had enough gin to enjoy his compliments. Did I want him to stop? No, even if I never saw him again. I felt lucky suddenly. I was relieved of the usual obligation to ask the spouses at the table about their kids, or get sucked into a business conversation with one of my coworkers. There had been no Charlie sightings—immediate disaster averted—and I didn’t have to sit through dinner next to an empty seat. Joel, on my right, was someone new to talk to. Hopefully I could get him going on a subject and just watch his mouth for the rest of the night.
I allowed my gin-happy self to imagine the best-case scenario. Joel would continue flirting with me, until, two-by-two all my married coworkers would say goodnight. It would be just me and Joel, chatting over coffee, progressing to full on canoodling at an otherwise empty table. ~Excerpt from The Difficulty of Ending, a novel-in-progress by Donna Marganella.