Girl Disappeared

From IWWG (International Women's Writing Guild):

 "On March 30, 1858, Hyman L. Lipman patented the pencil with an attached eraser. I can't help but think of Russell Edson's prose poem, "Erasing Amyloo". Use Edson's first sentence to launch your own piece about a daughter's experience of being invisible to her father:
A father with a huge eraser erases his daughter"

Girl Disappeared
They all thought it was so cool that my father was a magician. “A real magician!” they squealed at my sixth birthday party. It didn’t get any better over the years. In high school, they wanted him to perform at their birthday parties, wanted him to do more elaborate illusions every time. Who did they think he was, David fucking Blain? Maybe if he had been….
It all happened fast, when you think about it. I fell and skinned my knees one too many times, so he made them disappear. At least they couldn’t hurt anymore when I fell.
When I got a little older, I tried to engage my m…

The Voices We Need to Hear

Just as there are voices we must not listen to, especially that of our own inner critic, there are other voices we need to hear: those of what I like to call our Soul Posse. These are the people who are always there to listen, who never tell you to give up, and who remind you to remember the best of yourself.

In his book On Writing, Stephen King speaks of a time when his mother told him a story he'd written was good enough to be in a book. "Nothing anyone has ever said to me since has made me feel any happier," he writes.

I have been blessed with many such moments from friends and loved ones alike. One day my own mom told me in the middle of some pity party I was throwing for myself, that I musn't ever stop writing. An email I received from a friend who is an executive in television production said in of a spec script I'd sent him of New Girls: "If I were hiring for this show, you'd be a staff writer today." And sometimes it's just as simple as…

The Race

Chilled, sterile air filled the hotel room. The air conditioning was hardly necessary, and yet she left it on. Over her shoulder, she could see the harbor, and the tops of some palm trees through the gauzy sheer curtain. She sliced into the pink flesh of her steak. Being in Sydney felt good, even alone.
The television was inexplicably tuned to a sports channel. A horse race was in progress until it wasn't. A horse fell, then two more, calling over it, and finally a third stumbled and crashed down. The last seemed to have landed on its neck. She swallowed the unchewed meat in her mouth.  The camera left the track for brief moments to show the tears on the faces of wealthy women in brightly colored hats. One of them was an owner of the third horse. Why the tears? Crystal wondered. Were they for the animal? For the loss of a trophy? Jockeys soothed their charges, to no avail. All four were put down within minutes.
She pushed the plate of food away from her and left it to go cold. Takin…

Paris, She Is My Heart

I'ts no secret that Paris is my favorite city in the world. I want to write a whole collection of stories set there. I love the glamour of it, and of course the romance of it. But I also want my stories to have a realness about them. I want to show what the city can be in many aspects, not just one of tourist dreams. I'm still not sure how to accomplish that. And a city like Paris is almost too broad, too full of endless scenes with an infinite number of characters. So one story might take place in a cafe, another in the Georges V, another in an apartment with a distant view of Sacre Coeur. Who knows where my heart will take me.

What would be your favorite city for a story to be set in?
Open the door...tell your best story with one of my workshops.

Only in New York

I was crossing 9th Avenue in New York City one morning, along with a few other people, including the older woman who was in front of me. Memory tells me that she appeared to be in her 60s and had wispy, mud-brown hair with some gray streaks in it. She may have had on a sweater or a coat, and a dress underneath.  I believe she may have carried at least one shopping bag in addition to a purse. But there was no mistaking, she walked with a cane.
As the small group of us moved across the street, a taxi cab made a left turn from 42nd Street in front of us—well, in front of the her. It passed right in front of her, and yet, I never had the impression that she was in danger of getting hit. Still, it made her angry, and understandably so. As the cab passed in front of her, she took her can in whacked the bumper with it!
On a different day, in the same general area of Times Square, yet another older woman walked in front of me. I’m not as clear in my mind about what she looked like, but I can he…

Voices We Must Not Listen To

I have let myself be plagued by negative voices my entire life. Notice I said I let myself be plagued. Because that kind of negativity only has the power we give it. 

Oh, it was quite a chorus:
You'll never amount to anything
You must be writing something in all those little notebooks

Some of these even took over my own voice and became a toxic Inner Critic:

You're not good enough or talented enough. You're just not enough.

There were the silent voices which appeared as actions: when my first feature article appeared in an international daily newspaper, my father couldn't find the time to go buy a copy and read it.
Another self-proclaimed fan of mine pressed me to read my stuff many times, but wouldn't be bothered to read my magazine article when it came out.

Such is life. I thought I'd outdistanced these deflating, hurtful darts. But as it happens to many of us creative types, I was challenged with periods of depression because I'd made so little progress, t…


As she reached for the door handle, Marcy looked back at the empty chair she'd been sitting in a moment before, and wondered if she'd ever return to Paris again, without her sister. Rita sighed with exasperation behind her. The sunlight of late afternoon cast a shadow of the window decal on the restaurant wall.  The end of their last day here was imminent. To Rita's further annoyance, Marcy lifted her phone and took yet another picture before she turned and pushed past her sister to step out into the empty street.

Open the door...tell your best story with one of my workshops.