Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #474: Gift

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A Series of Fortunate Encounters

The day was young,
the night was long,
that date of March 4th–
the date Sydney breezed into the Reedsy Bluesy Cafe
where Tammy O’Shanter told her that Adelaide
(called Addie)
was the only one who had ever ordered chocolate milk (never coffee)
and a truffle brownie drenched in caramel syrup
every morning for breakfast
while she completed her morning crossword,
leaving behind more questions than answers.
Sydney waltzed into the Pence State College library
where Addie was always on the waiting list
for the newest installment of the Chocoholics Anonymous,
even as she was always late returning it,
leaving behind a Dove candy wrapper like a pressed flower,
which she had used for a bookmark.
Sydney ran into the man to whom Addie had been “practically engaged,”
into Addie’s best friend with whom she had shared the part of her life
her sister hadn’t seen,
and the mother they’d shared a space with–
a woman who had known Addie in a completely different way.
This all happened on her way to her Celebration of Life
(which they called funerals now),
with Addie as the guest of honor,
but the celebration had begun early
as Sydney retraced the steps Addie had taken every morning–
to gather the memories she would take out like holiday keepsakes–
memories she would take out when it only seemed
that she had run out of her own.

https://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/wednesday-poetry-prompts-474

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Book Review: What Alice Forgot

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On the surface, this was a breezy, light-hearted romp about a woman who loses the last 10 years of her life via amnesia.

However, once I read past the first few chapters, I realized that it had more depth, though I found myself wanting more out of this book than it wanted to give.

The book’s overall message (to me) was that kids and shared memories are enough to hold a marriage together, even when both parties don’t change anything about themselves, but rather, just accept that such is married life. (And that sleeping with other people while separated is acceptable.  Why are you dating anyone when you’re just starting to get over a relationship, when you’re not even divorced yet?  What is wrong with being single for a while and getting your life back in order first?)

The premise reminded me of my own life, and how different I am at 37 than I was at 27–before marriage and a child–and how horrified I know I would feel to wake up at not only being married to a stranger, but a mother to a little one.

When I was in my twenties, I was rather la-di-da, but once I became a wife and mother in my thirties, it was as if I’d been under a spell that had finally broken.  It was as if something in me had snapped, and I realized I needed to get serious about my life.  My 27-year-old self wouldn’t recognize my 37-year-old self (though I think she would very much approve). 

Eerily, Alice’s progression very nearly mirrored mine.

I thought the mysterious Gina (or rather, the idea of her was more fascinating as she got so little screen time) could’ve been developed so much more, as she had such an influence on Alice.  However, I abolutely hated the parts told from Frannie’s point-of-view; her story (told through letters to her dead fiance) about her new boyfriend was boring as hell and added absolutely nothing.

The relationships Alice had with her husband and boyfriend did not interest me, as those men were crashing bores–bland, bland, bland.

Though I enjoyed Elizabeth’s story (told via letter to the even more mysterious “Dr. Hodges”), I didn’t like that her whole existence was dependent upon someone else’s.  If things hadn’t (magically) worked out in her favor, she would’ve never been able to get it together.

The ending, set 10 or so years into the future, was a nice touch, but rather unsatisfying, as there wasn’t a good case for it to end the way it did.  I felt like the book ended up being more of a “love conquers all” story than a self-love story of how a woman took an unexpected vacation from herself to become her best self.  

Overall, Moriarty gets a B-.  She did a great job characterizing the kids and some of the more minor characters.  I absolutely loved the idea about the giant lemon meringue pie made using construction equipment.

“Alice” just could’ve used a bit more editing and tighter writing.

 

Sweet Little Nothings

Build a bridge with chocolate

Cookie thought Brownie was stuck up,
& Brownie thought Cookie was stuck on himself,
so they were stuck in their unfriended state,
until along came Candy,
who, distressed at their unfriendliness,
offered them each a hand,
building a bridge of commonality.
When Cookie & Brownie realized
they were better together,
Candy melted
from the fresh-out-of-the-oven warmth
that radiated between them,
only for another battle to begin:
Cookie thought their new alliance should be Crownie,
& Brownie, Brookie,
but both couldn’t have top billing.

Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #373; Theme: Card

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Pinky Tale Creations

Pinky Tickles penned greetings for anonymous givers—
cards for every anni, quarrel and bicker—
cards for divorces and broken engagements,
for the neutralizing of toxic friendships,
and friends-with-benefits relationships.

There were cards for congrats
on being canned like a tuna,
or sacked like a potato chip;
for being kicked to the curb
by roommates growing herbs.

There were cards for bad bosses,
“You’re welcome” cards and “Sorry…not!”;
for unhappy birthdays and ugly afterthoughts.

There were unsympathy cards for deadbeat dads and
“Don’t Get Well” cards for mommy dearests;
“Happy Lonely Valentine’s” days,
“Santa Hates You” Christmases,
and “Thank You for Climate Change”,
for those who fired up the works on Independence Day.

Pinky was a minus sign in a plus-sized biz suit—
a fractious little number—
but the day she finally got some shag,
her heart bloomed into a redrum rose and
her words became sweet as a lollipop gag.

http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/wednesday-poetry-prompts-373

Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #349, Theme: Running its Course

BFF

When Friendships Sail

The friendship had run its course—
through elementary, junior high, and high school,
through the Brownie Girl Scouts and countless sleepovers,
through shared, unrequited crushes,
and the occasional mutual friend
who was always the friend to one
more than the other;

but then college, marriage, and motherhood,
softened one,
divorce, remarriage, and the loss of a child,
coarsening the other,
so that when they met at the reunion,
they were simply strangers who shared the same memories.

They questioned themselves,
what good was any friendship,
if it didn’t last forever?

But so few good things do—
a Drumstick ice cream cone,
the daisy corsage from a school dance,
the friendship bracelets made in pairs,
the old house one grows up in,
sticks of Fruit Stripe gum…

And yet, the memory of those things live on,
for the memories are what is of value,
sustaining the one who makes them,
at the time they were made.
They are timeless, priceless things
that cannot be held in the hollows of one’s hand,
but rather the chambers of one’s heart.

http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/wednesday-poetry-prompts-349