« How to post your writing introduction to the writing workshop, part 4 | Main | Broken »

June 06, 2007



Hey, look at this! I love this! I'm going to pass your link along to my sister in law. (Since all my children have fur.)


Lori-Lyn! Hello, hello! Oh, do pass it on, but also, if you feel like writing, the blog's open to all--in fact, we've had furry child only parents post already. It's only mother-oriented in name, because of THE OTHER MOTHER.
Thanks for stopping by!!


I am making sure I know how to do this.


Nine minutes. Okay. Nine minutes to tell you about finding out.

It was my younger brother Mark who first told me. My gay brother, who, as we walked in darkness along the Lake Austin cliff (!) said, "Why shouldn't I be gay? Dad is gay."

What? How dare he? How could he accuse our father of being a...just to make himself feel better? The denial had begun.
I didn't believe it for a millisecond.

But the denial phase was short-lived. The evidence was everywhere--Dad's new apartment in the tony, gay section of Bible-belted Dallas....his new friends....those "theatre" people that always visited us when we were young.."Are they BROTHERS, Mom?" we would ask so innocently. Oh, and there was that magazine of naked men I found in the second grade...this didn't belong to my prudish Mom, now did it?

There was going to be even MORE pain to wade through. The divorce pain wasn't the end of it all, after all.

But how could he have lived for thirty years as a married man? And how could we have missed this? We didn't miss it with effiminate Mark


Wowza. An excellent, and fascinating, choice with this topic. I feel like you've just started something big here, and I hope to read the rest. See how these topics can take you anywhere? Fantastic. Welcome aboard, Susan!


The screen door slapped against the door jam behind her as she walked into the sunny yellow kitchen. The cabinets were probably installed in the late 60's and being that it was her parents inherited vacation home, they never felt the need to change it. "It's a beach house." Judy's mother would say. Life shifted to eternal summer when they would move in the 3rd week of June. Clothing unpacked out of large green garbage bags. The old 10 speeds in the shed checked for flat tires. The wooden speedboat 'Our Duff' put back in the water and meticulously shined up by Judy's father. Now early August, there was nothing much to do but enjoy time with family & friends. Judy sat down at the worn wooden pine table and took out the croissant & orange juice she had just bought at the local bakery. As she pulled away the layers of flaky crust and ate the still warm buttery dough she noticed the note on the fridge held up by the 'summer here summer not' magnet her mother had bought at one of the local trinket shops.
'Good morning? Afternoon? We're at the beach, hope you'll come. Love, Mom & Alice'
It was 11:30 now, maybe they'll be coming back for lunch soon Judy thought. She sipped the orange juice out of the triangle shaped spout, wiping off the wet sticky juice from the corners of her mouth. The sweetness made her mouth tingle. She looked out the window at the water, past their dock to the activity on the bay. A handful of small sailing boats, all facing different directions but together as a group at the same time. It had to be sailing lessons from the local yacht club. Regattas were rare on a weekday morning. The bay was pretty calm, the wind light. Judy had her own one person lazer. A light small sailboat built for speed & racing. She thought about taking it out but quickly decided against it. I've absolutely no energy she thought. She felt very sluggish lately and sometimes unusually dizzy. She figured it was just from the recent heat wave. Their old house didn't have air conditioning which usually didn't matter. The bay breeze kept the house comfortable and the celing fans helped with sleeping at night. But lately the air was uncomfortably humid and still. Walking outside felt like walking into an invisible wall of thick dense heat. Judy chugged down the rest of her orange juice, threw away the mini carton & paper bag from the bakery. She walked up the stairs to her bedroom, the yellow shag carpet feeling like crushed string beneath her bare feet, then onto the warm wooden floor of her bedroom. She bent over and pulled out the dresser drawer, tossing bathing suits around until she found the matching takini she wanted. Too bloated this morning for a bikini, she must be getting her period soon she thought as she tried to remember when she had it last. Balancing on one leg as she but her foot through the other leg opening of her suit bottom, she felt dizzy. She pulled the bottoms on and stood up straight as the dizziness turned to nausea. "I think I'm going to throw up," she said aloud. Judy ran down the hall again over the stringy shag carpet and onto the lino bathroom floor. She didn't even have time to lift up the seat as she vomited all over the toilet, orange liquid & bits of chewed white dough splattered all over the rim. She grabbed a tissue to wipe away the vomit smelling snot from her nose and the teary wtness from under her eyes. She wiped off the toilet, flushed the mess down and put her face under the tap, letting the cool water flush her mouth and cool her sweaty face. She stood up looked in the mirror. She felt totally fine now but confused at what had just happened. She hadn't even been drinking the night before so a hangover was out of the question. And it wasn't like food poising was a possibility from some oj and a croissant. Thet was weird she thought as she went to grab her beach cover up. Diving in the ocean now seemed like a great idea. She walked outside to grab her beach chair just as her mother & 16 year old sister drove up in the convertible. "We got subs from Central Market", Alice yelled out from the car. "You hungry?"
"You know what? Judy replied, I'm starving!"


Mark sat staddled on his surfboard scanning the ocean for the next set of waves. The weren't too many surfers out yet. He had the ocean mostly to himself, if only for a little while longer. The beach was only open to surfers after 5 pm. It was just 15 minutes past now, soon the ocean would be littered with boogie boarders and other surfers when they got off their constuction jobs. The waves were great today, not choppy, just clean glossy sets coming in. The ocean was warm too, which in a way made him a little nervous. Warm ocean in the evening brought sharks in to feed, or so he'd been told by his grandfather who always warned him about surfing at night. Even though Mark was 19 years Gramps would still come and watch him surf, always wanting to know someone had an eyeon him. "Mark, I don't like you out there alone, if something happened.. well, there would be no one to get help." he would warn. Mark knew he was right but he also his grandfather would be out soon going for his own evening swim. I guess we mind each other Mark thought to himself as he scrutinized the glassy water around him. Scanning for waves but also for a fin to appear, or worse for something razor like slicing at his feet. He shook off the chill and laid on his board on his stomach, paddling and kicking to catch the wave that was growing behind him. Paddling & kicking faster now as the hill like ripple turned into a tall wave about to crest. He caught it and stood up on his board, right foot at the back of the surfboard and left foot towards the pointed front, his body facing the face of the wave as the wind blew foamy splashes back at the waves peak. He pushed down with his right foot, the bumpy waxed surface keeping his feet in place while steering the light fiberglass board and gaining speed. The wave continually crashed behind him as he kept ahead of the whitewash riding up & down the face of the wave until it gradually became smaller and died out. As the wave lost it's power and rippled into shore he surfed over the low back lip and laid back down on his stomach. He paddled back out, duckdiving under the rolling waves coming in, flipping his longish brown hair away from his face, drips of water going with it. He felt the rush of excitement at just having a great ride, and hoped he'd get a few more before he had to head into his summer job as a bar back. The feeling made him remember the night before with Judy on the beach. They had left the 4th of July party around midnight and snuck into the dunes to fool around to whispers of "I've never felt this way about anyone." Although they had been hooking up since Memorial Day weekend, last night was the first time they had sex. Once Mark had kissed her that Saturday night back in May he couldn't stop thinking about her. He was crazy about her, just seeing her walk in somewhere put a fire in his belly. He really had never felt this way about any girl before. He was pretty sure she wouldn't have had sex with him if she didn't feel the same way. He knew they were definitely exclusive but Judy never said as much as he did. That was another thing he had never done. He was the one always keeping quiet while the girls he went out with annoyed the shit out of him with their whiny needs & questions, & phone calls. That was definitely not Judy. He was the needy one now and she just exuded a calm coolness, just giving him enough attention to satisfy his insecurity of how she really felt. She'd catch his eye across the room while talking to someone else or discreetly slide her fingers between his if they were standing next to each other.
But now after what happened last night he felt a little panicky. Somehow while or before or after maybe, he still wasn't sure how it happened but the condom they used had broken. He didn't tell Judy, the last he wanted was to worry her, and beside the chances of her actually getting pregnant had to be very slim. Maybe it had broken afterwards and not during. Mark had to believe this because when he did think of the actual consequences he had a horrible feeling in the pit of his stomach. But then he remembered waking up on the beach this morning with Judy asleep in his arms. He had opened his eyes to a beautiful peach and purple colored sky. White morning clouds infused with with pastels of yellow & orange, all in their beautiful pale morning glow, just as the sun peeked over the horizon. Those few moments before she woke up were so peaceful. He'd be reminded of it unexpectedly later in the day when he rubbed his ear only to find bits of sand still stuck to the inside it. He hadn't heard from Judy yet today and hoped she had snuck in her house undetected. She had freaked out a bit when she woke up worried that she was screwed if her dad had an early golf game. "He tees off at six am sometimes Mark. I have to think of some excuse if he catches me!" She kissed him quick as she ran off the beach, leaving him there to convince himself nothing was going to ruin this summer with this beautiful girl.


Uh oh, Judy....but you go, Ardith! Sensory writing prevails! These are fantastic: screen door slapped, unpacking from large green garbage bags, juice from the triangle of spout. ! So specific. Very fine, and ominous in the right sort of way.

For the second--I love duck-diving under the wave. I wanted to feel it even more--how, specifically, does the excitement feel? This stuff is tough, and you've done a beautiful job of setting a scene, bringing us into the water and worry. I'd like to see how this plays out. Also, I'd like to feel Mark's focus even more, but I'm only suggesting things because I know you and that you don't mind (don't worry other writers!).
Excellent, excellent work!

The comments to this entry are closed.