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Review My Poetry / A photograph of you
« Last post by Wexforddellers on June 11, 2019, 04:53:50 PM »
on a Saturday evening
beside the raised bonnet
of your red sports car,
that dirty shop rag
poking out of your pocket
and the obvious shape of a box of Carroll's.
The old monkey wrench is clutched close
to your chest with oil tracing the swirls of your smile-
some joke or other of your prowess with a pliers.
In the background is a rowan tree
with branches looming wide above your profile
like veins cast against the autumn sky
weighed down by red berries
that bleed the horizon.
Your kind are always cut down in their prime.
Review My Work / It's Flattering (Creative Nonfiction)
« Last post by Kowboy on June 11, 2019, 02:44:08 PM »
It’s flattering when someone is attracted to your girlfriend. How they go about conveying that attraction can be tricky. Sometimes it’s just a lingering glance, sometimes it’s an outright “I want to have sex with you.” Yesterday, for my girlfriend Corinne, it was the latter.

After my 37-year marriage ended, Corinne became my girlfriend about four months ago. We flew from Florida to Texas to attend an Indianapolis 500 party hosted by some Indiana expatriates. We arrived early enough to make a long weekend of it. We had dinner last night with Corinne’s friends, Karen and Ed. Ed is 70, trying to retire, and used to work with Corinne’s late husband. He had the hots for her even then. He and Karen were high school sweethearts and have probably been married more than fifty years.

We arrived at their home early enough to have a glass of wine or two before driving to dinner.
Knowing Ed’s attraction, Corinne gave me specific instructions to not leave her alone with him and to stay physically between them.  We finished our wine, and Karen, Ed, and Corinne got into their SUV while I moved our rental car out of the way in the driveway. I parked the car and was somewhat surprised to see Karen driving, Corinne and Ed in the back seat, leaving the front passenger seat for me. How did this happen? What am I supposed to do, order Ed out of the back seat and into the front? I figured Corinne was a big girl, she got herself into this mess so she can get herself out. I joked to Karen that I didn’t know if we could trust those two in the back seat. Everyone laughed.

Karen parked the car at the restaurant and she and I got out unhurriedly. We lagged a bit on the walk in, but Corinne and Ed remained in the back seat. The hostess showed us to our table and promised to seat the rest of our group when they arrived. Karen slid into the booth and I slid in next to her. By damn if you’re gonna sit next to my girlfriend Dawg, I’m sittin’ next to your wife. If those two want to sit together in the car, they can sit together in the booth, too. Karen and I made small talk until our wayward twosome sat across from us about five minutes later.

Corinne’s fun new short hair is a mess, and her lipstick is smeared. With Karen and Ed’s faces buried in their menus, Corinne looks over the top of hers, catches my eyes, and mouths out “I gave Ed a blowjob.” I was angry and humiliated, but got an immediate erection.

Okay, I made that up, but what a great twist this story would have taken huh? Sorry, I couldn’t resist. She looked fine. Corinne made some excuse about not being able to find our table.

Dinner was delicious and uneventful, but I got an earful when Corinne and I got back in our rental car. “Ed ran his hands up my leg in the back seat. He said he wants to taste me.” When Ed found out I’d be leaving Houston tomorrow morning for a friend’s funeral in Tennessee and returning that evening, he thought he’d hit the jackpot. He promised to call Corinne. She is fretting over what to do. Not answer her phone? Answer and tell him to cool it? Somehow, I don’t think either of those is gonna work very well. He’s been crushing on her for decades and that shit doesn’t go away with verbal admonitions, believe me.

I’m in love with Corinne, but I’m taking Ed’s side somewhat. I have to; I’ve been Ed and remain so unapologetically. I still have crushes on girls from junior high and high school although I’ve never been quite as forward as Ed with any. Okay, I have to take that back a bit. About 30 years ago, my ex-wife, Lynn Anne, and I were at a party with lots of heavy drinking. I became smitten with a married school teacher and was determined that I was going to kiss her before I left. As things wound down, we made our way to the upstairs bedroom where our coats were stored. It was now or never. I kissed her and she kissed me back. “Aha! I caught you!” I heard Lynn Anne say. Then she laughed. And I laughed and the school teacher laughed as we picked up our coats. Amazingly, I never heard another word about it. I did not make up that story.

On my way to lunch with Corrine and another couple, I was driving slowly in a mall parking lot the other day. An attractive middle-aged woman was walking toward me. As she turned between her car and the adjacent one, I stopped my truck, removed my sunglasses, and with the window rolled down said “You look good.” She was a little startled, but quickly recovered. “Why thank you” she said.

This is not as easy to do as you may think. The circumstances have to be just right. A sunny day and lots of people around. You have to walk the delicate line between giving her a compliment that she’ll mention to her girlfriends without having her describe the creep she ran into in the mall parking lot. The trick is the word “good”. Hang onto the “oo” in “good” for a millisecond. Just enough to convey your meaning while keeping plausible deniability. Tone is everything. Practice.

The airport coffee shop didn’t have decaf this morning, so I had a small cup of regular. I got this story started, then got on my plane. Big mistake; like hanging on to my marriage for so long. I battle claustrophobia; I should be taking Valium before I fly, not caffeine. I have to sit in aisle seats, and I opened the window before my seatmate arrived. I’m hoping she’ll leave it open; it helps me cope to see the outside.

Just as I’ve buried my face in my magazine to distract myself, the air conditioning stopped. The flight attendant announced that someone dropped his hat in the air conditioner, maintenance is on their way, but we’ll be on this plane for an hour with no air. She suggested we close all the windows to preserve the air conditioning we have left, and my seatmate complies.  I’ll never make it. I think of the guy that pulled the emergency door, activated the chute to get off the plane, was fined thirty thousand dollars and banned from flying. I’ve got your thirty large, I can take an Uber the rest of my life, but I’m getting out of this shrinking can. Just before I hit the lever, the flight attendant announced that fortunately there is another plane waiting at a different gate. The air conditioning in the jetway was exquisite.

As I paced in the waiting area of our new plane, I called Corinne. Like a mother’s cooing to calm a distressed infant, her voice is instantly soothing. I will not let my irrational fears keep me from my buddy’s funeral. They can wrap me in duct tape, but I’m going if it kills me.

Ed, I feel your pain brother. Before my divorce I remember thinking that I just wasn’t miserable enough to end it which was a huge mistake and one thing my ex and I agree upon. Ed, you are miserable enough, I promise. Disregard those who are telling you “It’s cheaper to keep her.” Yeah, it probably is, but money isn’t everything. I’d live under a bridge with Corinne before I’d go back to my marriage. You’ve only got so much time left, less than I do. If you dump her, your wife will probably lose the 100 pounds she needs to drop. My ex is a size four now and so is Corinne. I take the weight off of ‘em coming or going; you will too. Ironically, her sex drive will probably return when she’s thinner. You may have to sacrifice your marriage to save her life; you’ll certainly save yours.
All the Write Questions / Re: Eleven Ways to Draw in your Reader
« Last post by Katie D on June 10, 2019, 12:19:51 PM »
Thank you!  Good info!
The Coffee Shop / Re: Your first thought today?
« Last post by HPvD on June 10, 2019, 03:13:26 AM »
How did my pillow get there...?

All the Write Questions / Re: motivation
« Last post by HPvD on June 10, 2019, 03:01:24 AM »
Besides having specific purposes for writing as I wrote about in a previous reply,
Some years ago I actually created a special - somewhat tongue in cheek - Funny Coffee Mug to help me focus, and to get some special 'external motivation'.

I created a Coffee Mug with the text: 'I Am A Bestseller Writer' that I wrote on it with a Marker. After one time in the dishwasher it was hardly readable anymore. Because of that I created a better version, with the same text. Only this time dishwasher-proof, and also with more sophisticated Lettering, with actual typewriter-style Lettering and not only for - ME - also for - YOU - one that everybody can buy online! 
I actually did put it in my online shop and bought it myself, to check the quality. The quality is excellent and it now easily does survive the dishwasher, only - while I occasionally do sell other design Coffee Mugs - struggling artists like Writers don't seem to be the most promising target audience, and not motivated enough to motivate themselves with my brilliant looking motivational Coffee Mugs :)

So I also created an other slightly more impressive text:

'I Am A Bestselling Author'

Welcome Board - START HERE! / Re: Happy Friday!
« Last post by heartsongjt on June 09, 2019, 12:03:21 PM »
Hi Katie and welcome to MWC.
Depends on whether or not the advice had a 'helpful' intent. By that, I mean, not everyone has the best of intention when giving another advice.

Even the best of intentions can come across 'mean spirited'...I think it all depends on how one shares their opinions [gives advice].

 I think,  there are times, one should refrain from expressing  an opinion /giving advice ,if they themselves would be offended, if those remarks were directed at them or their work.  Just my opinion.    Best of luck to everyone.  jt
“In knowledge, nothing new is possible, and what you know is the universal, the general law.” Northrop Frye

That means life is a cycle that repeats itself over and over again, and it is all subject to a time and place for everything. We do not determine the rhythm of life any more than we determine the beginning or the end of time.

Experience is unique, it is alway different and it cannot be duplicated and in that sense, it is unlike knowledge, which involves the cycle of life where nothing is new under the sun -and that is why Northrop Frye said that the most technologically efficient machine that man has ever invented is the book.

We are raising a population which evidently thinks that the most technologically efficient machine is google or the personal computer or the smartphone, but in fact, it's still the book.

That is why most stories have pretty well the same shape. Each story may represent unique experiences, but the sequence of repeated cycles has been consistent throughout human history. Contradictions are too superficial to form any bombastic or dogmatic theory, of the sort that Freud tried to sell.

As Northrop Frye made clear, "Knowledge is something somebody tells you or you tell yourself or regard as your own experience when it has receded into the past and become objective. Experience, when it is being experienced is unique. Experience when it has gone into the past becomes an object of knowledge and so becomes a part of that repeating realm of existence, which is a way of saying there is nothing new. So that every second, you are experiencing the new in a world where there is nothing new."

"Knowledge is always the knowledge of something and wisdom is the sense of potential situations. And so you consult an expert for how to repair a clock and you consult a wise man for what might be the best thing for you to do."

"You can experience the particular but you cannot know it."

And so,it appears that wisdom is the balancing of experience and knowledge and it gets complicated because the uniformity of the past meets the freshness of the present moment.

Finally, to clarify all of the above, don't forget; there are two kinds of reason -there is pure reason that leads us to write books like "The Rise and Fall of Civilizations" and practical reason, which philosophers like Kant defined as the pulsation of experience.
Review My Work / Re: Chronicles of a Broken Earth - prologue {751 words}
« Last post by Katie D on June 07, 2019, 08:50:43 PM »
I like your title :-)
Review My Work / Re: First 1900+ words of a time travel story
« Last post by Katie D on June 07, 2019, 07:56:32 PM »
Hi!  I’m just a newbie on the site and have no writer credentials, but I’m a middle-aged high school teacher who likes to read and likes to help other aspiring writers, so here goes:

I like your hook: why the door is toying with the protagonist.

I like that you weave in a little bit about what sort of person our protagonist is gracefully. 

I like how it reminds me of the Twilight Zone and Quantum Leap.

I felt like there was a little too much detail about the building right away, but just for a moment and then it got more interesting right after that.

The visual description of the street stuck with me, especially the mention of fresh paint and curb appeal.  It makes me want to spruce up the outside of my house. 

That’s all I got, hope it helps! 
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