Posts Tagged ‘the red dress club’
Monday, August 15th, 2011
I don’t talk much about my other site on this space. Mainly because, well, it’s separate. No less dear to my heart, of course. Just different.
Today is special.
Today is when we relaunch the virtual writers community I founded, The Red Dress Club, into its new home, Write on Edge.
I’d love it if you went over and checked it out and let us know what you think.
Tuesday, July 26th, 2011
I am now the mother of kids who swim in the deep end.
There is no more perching on the chair by the stairs, no more having to get into the pool to act as a human floaty.
When it’s just my eldest two, that is.
Sage, upon completing swim lessons with the Swim Nazi, is now allowed to go anywhere she wants. Including where it’s eight-feet deep.
Sawyer has been water safe since he was younger than Sage is now. And just this week, he finally has a partner.
She dives. She jumps. She touches her foot on the bottom. She swims from the deep end to the shallow end and back.
She is confident.
She no longer flails around or calls for me in a panic.
It’s amazing to watch her realize her own power. Truly amazing.
It’s like when your child wakes up in the morning and you’re certain he or she has grown an inch overnight. Only I get to watch this growth unfold right in front of me as I watch.
Right in front of me, she is discovering how strong she really is, how fun it is to enjoy the water and not fight it.
I see her dive in. I keep my eye on the aqua water, still a little anxious, until I see the tips of her fingers grasp the concrete edge. And up pops her face, covered with her hair. She brushes it away and she looks at me and smiles. She waves before once again disappearing beneath the surface.
I am thankful for this summer of Sage. I am thankful for lessons learned.
This post was inspired by the prompt “End a story with the words ‘lesson learned’ ” for The Red Dress Club.
Friday, July 22nd, 2011
I unlocked the door, turned the knob and shouldered it the rest of the way open. My camera bag dropped with a clunk onto the tile floor and I rubbed away the imprint I was sure it’d left on my shoulder.
Clay’s Adidas rested on the coffee table in the next room and I heard the blare of the Red Sox game on TV. I grabbed a cold Red Stripe from the refrigerator in the kitchen and plopped down next to him on the leather couch, pulling off my shoes and curling myself into him.
“How’d it go?” he asked. I felt the rumble of his voice against my cheek.
“Good. It was just a really long day, you know?”
He kissed the top of my head. My eyes drifted closed, the beer already warming my belly. “Well, tomorrow will be better. Maybe they’ll let us take the boat out for a bit.”
I sat up. “Tomorrow?”
“Yeah, remember? We’re going to my sister’s for her birthday? Spending the day at the lake?”
“Oh. Oh shit. You know what, I can’t go. I have a shoot booked tomorrow. I totally forgot. And I have all those pictures from last weekend’s shoots to edit.”
“Keith has had this planned for Tara for a month. You knew about it. We talked about it. It was going to be a chance to finally get away and chill out.” He clicked off the TV.
I rubbed my temples. He was right. When Alexis Bishop asked me to shoot her luncheon, I was so excited I completely forgot about Tara’s party. I couldn’t back out. There were too many potential clients there.
“I’m so sorry, Clay. You should obviously go. Maybe I can get out there as soon as I’m done.”
Clay stood and took a few steps toward our bedroom before he turned around.
“You know what, Beth? You’re so busy taking pictures of other people’s lives, you’re forgetting to live your own. And one day you’re going to stop and look around and see you’ve got nothing left except for that goddamn camera.”
He disappeared inside the door and closed it firmly behind him. Tears stung my eyes. I angrily wiped them away and went back into the hallway to pick up my bag, taking it with me into the teeny room I’d turned into a makeshift office.
I booted up my computer and soon lost myself in long white dresses and brightly-colored flowers and sweetly laughing children.
This is a work of fiction for The Red Dress Club, inspired by this picture.
Friday, July 15th, 2011
They were black and strappy and high-heeled and I vowed, as I gazed at them on the top rack at Fayva, that when I was a grown-up, I would own just such a pair.
Because when you are eight, what do you know about adulthood?
You don’t think about how the high heels will make you taller than a lot of men and how you might not be ready for that. And how they’ll push your foot forward until the balls of your feet are on fire.
You don’t think about how the straps will dig into your skin, causing angry red marks that take hours to disappear.
You don’t think about how maybe they’ll be out of style by then.
You don’t think about how you’ll have nothing to wear with them, or, worse, nowhere to wear them.
Maybe you’ll buy them anyway.
Because you’re a grown-up now.
And you know a tall woman is powerful and sexy.
And you know that a warm bubble bath and a massage can fix a lot of pain.
And you know marks will fade, but it’s good to remember how they were made so you can make adjustments next time.
And you know you are unique and that is always in style.
And you will wear them and dance with abandon in your room. Alone.
And you will be so very glad you bought them.
This post was inspired by the prompt, “Shoes” from The Red Dress Club.
Friday, July 8th, 2011
This work of fiction is based on the prompt, “write out of your comfort zone” for The Red Dress Club.
Diapers. Soft food served on a spoon placed carefully between my parted lips. Legs that can’t hold me upright.
My mind is fine. Thank you Lord.
My body, though… A nurse comes in and washes me so I know I still have toes but I haven’t felt them in years.
And my hands. I don’t like to look at them, curved into a permanent question marks.
The pain isn’t so bad most days. One of the nurses, a real pretty girl, sits with me once a week and rubs lotion into my fingers. She bends over my hands, her golden hair falling over her face as she works.
Sometimes she brings pictures of her baby, a sweet chubby toddler with curly hair and big round brown eyes like her mother. We look at them together and the nurse tells me in her soft voice about how her daughter is smart and sweet and can tantrum like a champion. She promises she will bring her in to meet me soon.
She feeds me my lunch and after, pulls a silky lilac blanket up to my chin. Then she sits in the wooden rocking chair next to the lone window and pulls the blinds closed so the room, always warm, is like a cozy nest.
I nap, and as often as not open my eyes to find her still sitting, still rocking.
She stops coming.
My hands ache.
An older woman enters my room one morning after I am fed my breakfast of soupy egg. She wears a name tag I can’t quite make out and I’m not sure who she is or what she wants.
“Rose, sweetie?” she says, putting her hand on my arm. “Your great-granddaughter, Ellie? I’m sorry, honey, but she passed away. Drowned in a pool, a tragic accident. I know it’s hard to believe, after what happened to your own daughter. I am so very, very sorry. But that’s why Tessa hasn’t been by to see you lately and there’s no other family, so…”
She pauses and looks at me.
“Are you okay? Rose? Do you understand what I’m saying? Is there anything I can do for you?”
I say nothing and simply wonder when she’s going to leave. Finally, after more silence, she does, squeezing my arm before she goes, closing the door behind her.
Then I giggle. Just a little at first. Then I can’t stop, my body shakes and I can barely catch my breath.
Tears moisten my cheeks. I haven’t laughed like that in ages.
What a ridiculous story. I don’t have children or grandchildren and certainly not great-grandchildren. This woman had the wrong room.
And then I sit and wait for the young nurse with the soft voice and pictures of her sweet toddler to come and rub my hands.
I doze, and dream of golden hair spread out in blue water like the most delicate filigree.