Archive for the writing class Category


Posted in general weirdness, writing class on October 30, 2010 by Nada

I broke my new vacuum, not seriously – just the chord retractor. I was going to live with it, but the Big Guy wanted to take it back to the vacuum store because it’s under warranty. We took it back today and Roger, the vacuum repair guy said, “Oh my. This is the first one of these that has come back.” And yes, I did jerk the chord on the new one, but in my defense, I am not freakishly strong. I think a new vacuum should withstand a certain amount of what I will call willful treatment.

In other news, I found a bullshit generator. I’ve been using it a lot for correspondences. I just made this bullshit phrase with it – “aggregate transparent technologies” and this one – “innovate frictionless web-readiness.” If you work in an office, this thing is a necessity.

And still more news, I’m enrolled in an advanced fiction writing class, which means nothing. Apparently, anyone can say they write advanced fiction these days and go to that class. Case in point. Anyhoo, the story I’m currently working on uses a steam plant as a backdrop. And yes, I do have a specific steam plant in mind that I used to live near. Shockingly, I discovered on the internet part of it (exactly half) blew up in August of this year. I don’t understand how a steam plant blows up. It’s not like a Chevron refinery. I do remember this tale my Great Uncle used to recant where one of the family cooks stuffed a match in the release value of a pressure cooker, and the cooker blew like a rocket up through the kitchen ceiling into the second story. Then, when it ran out of steam (literally) it came back through the hole it had bored in ceiling. Wonder if something similar happened at the steam plant. The news report said no one of the 400 workers was injured. How is that possible if you blow half the plant? You should be blowing people out side windows. Also, the smoke was black. Somehow I think the coal burning portion of the operation got ignited. Of course, I couldn’t find any follow up about the mess. And when I called my cousin, the plant was too far out for her to know any gossip about. I get the feeling it was one of these deals like, “Umm, the plant blew. Nevermind about it. We’re fine.” The other mysterious fact was there was no loss of power for the area. The plant was supposed to be providing all kinds of power. Weird. If I lived in the area, I’d drive over there this afternoon and eyeball the plant myself just for my own satisfaction. I’d also talk to some locals. They’d know what went on. In fact, they were probably involved in what went on. In fact, they probably stuck a match somewhere it wasn’t supposed to be.


15 Uses for an Ottoman

Posted in general weirdness, writing class on April 24, 2010 by Nada
  1. Use it as a dog. Pet it. Feed it.
  2. Use it as a hat. Wear it Easter Sunday.
  3. Drive it to work, but use hand turn signals.
  4. Stab it with your switchblade. Watch it bleed stuffing.
  5. Break the wooden legs off. Burn them in the fireplace. Roast marshmallows.
  6. Drag it behind a car until it repents.
  7. Launch it in a catapult. Break the neighbor’s picture window.
  8. Take it to Aspen. Snowboard.
  9. Ask it for its autograph.
  10. Take it back to Wal-Mart. Tell the store manager it was defective.
  11. Kick it down the back steps.
  12. Take it to the emergency room. Speak to the triage nurse. Tell her its back is broken.
  13. Give it to Seamus and Zak.
  14. Fill it under “O” in the lesser-used files.
  15. Flush it down the toilet.

Pub Away

Posted in general weirdness, health, life, writing class on December 29, 2009 by Nada

I’m all proud of myself. I got something published in the East Bay Monthly under my pseudonym Wichita Sims. Of course, it’s about my freakin’ brain tumor. Might as well pimp out that catastrophe for something.


Posted in writing class on July 30, 2009 by Nada

From writing class today, where the assignment was to write about an animal, an insect, a house, or a tree…

I appear in her dreams because I am her childhood – hardwood floors, double French doors, and a fireplace big enough to burn a car. My bomb shelter was built at the time when it was chic, when the Russians were the red scourge with nuclear weapons capable of annihilating bacon sandwiches assembled in my kitchen. And they were the best bacon sandwiches with crispy fried fat, runny ketchup, and burned toast, the kind she made when her mother wouldn’t get out of bed.

My roof was backboard to a thousand hickory nuts, heaved into the air by my peak. I watched as they tumbled into my rain gutter. She threw a baseball through my front window, a basketball into my garage door, and a boomerang into the mudroom’s screened porch. I didn’t complain. She was the last person off the property when I was sold, and the only one to return when they took a wrecking ball to me. She watched my chimney fall like a shot soldier, and the workmen run my well dry. She watched me die, not the quiet demise of old age and deterioration, but one of shouting and falling bricks.

And so, I return to her in dreams with ripe persimmons, overgrown bushes, and windows that want washing. Lightning brings the methodical plink plunk of summer rains on my patio. The dream water melts everything, including myself. For her, I die again, knowing this is an ending she can endure.