Wednesday, April 3, 2013


For the month of April I will be taking part in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. I will be using two tools besides my trusty computer - my imagination and my dictionary -The American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition.. I will turn to the letter of the day, flip the pages and let my fickle finger of fate find the word. Then I'll write - might be a story, might be a rant, might be a poem. Who knows! Do let me know what you think. To go to the list of other participants go here *** I'm number 1414 - that's a heck of a lot of blogs and there are many more signed up below me. If you make a comment I will do my darnedest to check out your blog and comment. Spread the love around!

Canasta - n. A card game for two to six players related to rummy and requiring two decks of cards.

Carla felt in her purse under the table. She didn't like card games. Why was she here and where was her puffer? Damn her bossy sister, always trying to get her involved with the community. The woman across from her, Penny her name was, leaned forward with a concern wrinkling her brow.
      "Are you okay, Carla?"
      "Yes, I just have a bit of asthma and the cat ..."
Now they'd think she was one of those silly women who are always complaining about nothing. But she wasn't. She did have asthma and the cat had plunked herself right on her lap when she'd first come into the house. She'd tried to shoo it off but like all of that breed they only seem encouraged by someone's distaste.
Carla had moved into the neighborhood four months ago. Suzy, Carla's sister, was thrilled. She'd lived there for years.
    "Now, Carla, I can't go to the weekly canasta game next week but I've told them you'll take my place. It's just until Merv and I are back from Miami. Just try for me, won't you?"
And so here she was. Gasping for breath in some claustrophobic little living room with too many cushions, too many cats and a silly game that she didn't understand. Was it her turn? Could she just maybe have a real full-on asthma attack and be allowed to go home? Finally! She felt the puffer in her hand and brought it out of her purse. As she began to raise it to her mouth she saw five sets of eyes blinking at her in shock. What the hell? She looked at what she had in her hand. It was her pocket rocket. The one she'd gotten from Venus Envy. Sold as the smallest and most effective vibrator in the store.
In confusion she flipped it on. It vibrated there in her hand. Could things get any worse? A woman with an angular hair-cut looked at her with her lips held tight - but they quivered and she began to gasp and wheeze - laughing wildly. The other four joined until Penny choked out 'we thought you might be uptight like your sister - we're delighted to have you in our group!'

And on another note - this is the monthly meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, of which I am a bonafide member. To be dead-honest I am in dire need of support right now and it is so bad I can hardly bear to even mention it. I think, after some thought, that this is the result of having such a completely chaotic and crazy fall and winter. From August 25th on through to January 25th we sold a house, lived in two other places until we could dislodge tenants and moved back into a very disorganized and dirty house. Two days after we moved in my partner had an operation. Two weeks after that we had to put our dear dear dog down. Then we went off to Cuba to sit in the sun and lick our wounds. Through all of that I kept my novel going and wrote lots of poetry. Now I feel depleted and like I don't care. So that is that. I think the April A to Zed will help and I will come out of this funk but honestly I am not feeling it right now. I will continue to edit from the revision I did in Cuba but the thought of getting anything out to be looked at by agents or publishers. Nah, not there at all.


Margot Kinberg said...

Oh, Jan, I love the way you convey your characters here! What a great story. And you made me think of my dear mother-in-law, who loved canasta. Thank you :-)

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Ha! Too funny! Glad she made it into the group, although she must have been pretty embarrassed. :) Wonderful character in Carla.

Kirsten said...

Your writing prompt cracked me up--I love the inner dialogue! I think we all have that kind of self-doubt when faced with a new group of friends.
The Insecure Writers are an different story though! We're here to encourage you, and let you know that, despite all the troubles you've endured last year, this year will be much better! Even if you only edit a little bit every day, you will finish. Your story deserves to be shared!

Words A Day said...

That made me laugh out loud! I love it, thankyou!x

ShannonAnn said...

I'm not a writer but I love to read your blog and this story was laugh-out-loud funny! I'm sorry you had such a rough time of it, but it sounds like life is starting to settle down for you... you will wake one morning to full-on spring and feel hope and inspiration once again.

Liza said...

Writers are like everyone. Sometimes we have to rest. Let yourself off the hook. After a little time off, you'll be anxious to hop back in. Jan, so sorry about your dog. One month ago yesterday, we had to make the same decision about our cat...the only pet I've ever had. It's like losing a little bit of your heart you didn't know you had.