Monthly Archives: January 2016

642 Days of Writing: Day 3-Broken Things

When Sylvia, at age 12, dubbed herself a great breaker of things, it was after she had broken her third glass in one week. This went beyond mere clumsiness, she thought, this was truly a gift, a skill. So she called herself a rebel, a counter-culture anti-establishment revolutionary and adopted it into her personality.

At age 16, she broke her first bone. It was coincidentally at the same time she broke her first school rule. In accordance to her counter-culture creed, Sylvia decided it was ‘cool,’ and her friends decided it was ‘cool’ to skip the school pep rally. En route to escaping an hour and a half of half hearted cheering and mediocre band playing, while they were skipping some of the wide steps on campus, Sylvia had landed poorly, fell, and broke her leg. Sylvia told her self it was broken in the name of skipping a school sponsored event, so still fell into the realm of rebellion.

Her college boyfriend, Brayden, broke her heart at age 21, and Sylvia learned for the first time that other people could also be great breakers of things. She had spent the next few months broken herself, and spent some time trying to put herself back together. Her roommate would sometimes find her sleeping on the floor, claiming that she was undeserving of her bed, of the luxuries of her life, that she was worthless. It was not an easy process, piecing herself back together again, and for a short while Sylvia told herself she would never break anything again.

But man she was good at it. By the time Sylvia was 27 she had broken no less than 13 state laws of Pennsylvania. Some were minor and ridiculous, and Sylvia broke them to prove that point. She refused the purchase a business privilege license for her blog, sang loudly in her bathtub, and even emptied her fridge to sleep on it outdoors. When she was 24 she tried to find 16 women to live together in a house. She was unsuccessful not only because she could not find 15 other women willing to break the law, but also because she couldn’t find 15 other women who wanted to live with women. Happily she broke these laws, and considered her infringements small works of social justice, fun ways to bring attention to the flaws in the system. Others, drug use, violence, and petty theft were less innocuous.

When Sylvia was 34, she had long since left her breaking days behind, or so she thought. She had met and married a stable, nice guy who had persuaded her to pursue per painting and craft through institutional (read: money making) means. However conventional he was, she forgave him because he so inspired her and her work. He fixed her, completing something in her that was perhaps broken for a long time. Together they had a daughter, a bouncing, bright-eyed six year old girl named Emily.

At the moment, Emily was neither bouncing nor bright-eyed. She looked sadly up at her mother, “Mommy, you promised.” Sylvia’s heart filled with stone. In her daughter’s small blue orbs, she saw reflected a lifetime of disappointment and brokenness in those three little words.

Sylvia was, after all, a great breaker of things.

The prompt was to write about a time when I had broken a bone, law, promise, or/and heart. But since I have never broken a bone, I decided to try and find a way to put the four together.


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642 Days of Writing: Day 2

  1. Tweet Hamlet
  2. Tweet the original Star Wars
  3. Tweet the story of my life
  4. Tweet my day so far

1: Hamlet—Sighting of dead King’s ghosts causes deaths of entire royal family, too thoughtful Prince could have prevented tragedy if more filial

2: Star Wars —Star Wars: In which R2 and Chewie save the day but never get recognized oh yea and Darth Vader’s actually not a bad guy #skwalkerfamilydrama

3: My life — college educated and employed but sorta want to join a nudist colony. what, you don’t know my life #rebel #pantsareevil #whatsacareerpath

4: My day — Day 8,030: Gym. Work. Food. Work. TV. Work. Write. Sleep. I’m sorry were you expecting something more interesting? #itswednesday #humpday

That was more difficult than I thought. Partially because I had to skim sparknotes for hamlet (I know, I’m such a horrible literature major), but also because hashtags count in your characters. Gr.

Day 2 was pretty low key–skipped what I deemed part 2 of day 1 which was “write last years fortune cookie, it got everything right.” Maybe I’ll go back to that one later but it seemed too similar to the prompt of day 1.

Also I know it’s technically late, but DC got hit with #snowzilla which killed all motivation for me to do anything but finish watching Jane the Virgin and eating junk food.

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642 Days of Writing: Day 1

Day 1: write yesterday’s fortune cookie, it got everything wrong

Vanessa stared down at the tiny slip of paper that mocked her silently from its place next to her sub-par Chinese take out dinner.

“You have a strong desire for a home and your family interests come first”

She wanted to scoff at it, and dismiss it for what it was: a piece of paper stuffed in a poorly made cookie. But scoffing at it would only be giving it power. It would be admitting she had let a small piece of paper that came out of a cookie that tasted cardboard get to her.  Vanessa was not about to test what sort of power ignoring the seemingly innocuous cookie message would do. So she pulled the piece of paper closer to her in front of her keyboard, pushing aside a plate of half eaten lo-mein.

It sat there, framed on three sides by her arms and keyboard, inviting her to fill the empty space below with her thoughts.

Unconsciously she looked over to where Peter sat at his desk, shoulders hunched over some new excel sheet with fascinating figures that would predict where the economy was going. His combination fried rice half-eaten and already forgotten on the side. He looked up at her, feeling her stare, and gave a wry grin. Vanessa could not help but grin back, but it slowly faded as he turned back to his work.

She could not forget the harsh words her family had said when she told them they were moving in together yesterday.

“It is too early”

“No. I said no. No daughter of mine will—no.”

“It’s your choice.”

“I don’t understand it, why him?”

They reverberated in her head when she came home, when she went to work, when she talked to Peter, when she went to the goddamn bathroom. And every time they did, it was as if the wounds had been opened fresh. Sometimes worse; it was as if the stitches that had been so painstakingly put there to stem the bleeding had been ripped out, creating new, fresh scars.

At that moment Vanessa wanted to cry. The ridiculousness of having this tiny, meaningless fortune cookie from the crappy but cheap Chinese place downstairs be the catalyst of a fit was not lost on her. But she could not help as a weak whimper escaped her lips.

Peter rose from his place at his desk to come over and comfort her. She felt pathetic. Trying to think of something reasonable to tell her boyfriend why she was all of a sudden in tears, the best thing Vanessa could come up with was, “It’s wrong. The fortune cookie is clearly wrong.”

It was all she could say between sobs, despite wanting to try and explain herself to her extremely confused and very concerned boyfriend.

Finally, she was able to choke out, “It’s wrong because I have so clearly betrayed my family by choosing to live with you, but what am I supposed to do when being with you is being home?”

Now that the statement was out there, now that Vanessa’s truth was out there, hanging over her head as she sobbed into her boyfriend’s chest, she did not suddenly feel free or light. She felt, overall, worse that in her reality, home and family were not only not synonymous but were irreconcilable antonyms.

Vanessa cried and cried, and decided she hated fortune cookies.

Having received a book called 642 Tiny Things to Write About for Christmas, I thought I would take on a tiny project. That would help encourage (read: force) me to write more often than my bi-weekly blog with my sister.

Thus, I will work chronologically through the 642 things from Monday through Friday, using one prompt a day until–well, until some major life change happens and I decide I don’t want to write anymore or don’t have time to, or until the end of the 642 things.

Hope you enjoyed, and I welcome you on this project with me 🙂

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