This just in: Shut Up & Write comes to Marin County! I’m super excited to host a Shut Up & Write salon each week at 5p Pacific time. Wahoo! If you’re working on a super top secret book revision, passion project, poem, screenplay, graphic novel, blog, this is the place to get words on the page. #Brilliant.
Journal Camp 2020 has begun! Our first session was ah-mazing in so many ways. By tradition, I will post out-takes from the best of the best. It’s raw, it’s real, it’s #journalcamp2020
She had grown restless and one night she pulled out the kitchen shears and went to work on the haircut she had paid too much for almost two months ago and now feared would be lost forever. It wasn’t as easy as it looked. She had sat in beauty shop chairs for decades, resenting the cost while loving the results. “How hard could it be?” she said. “I’ve got an eye for style,” she said. She misjudged the accuracy a beautician’s license conferred, and ended up with the look of mange — bald spots and choppy lines. House arrest might be a blessing after all. In the weeks following her home cut, She remembered the home perm she had given herself when they lived in Phoenix. That was a treatment from which there was no return, no passing Go, no collecting $200. She had been forced to live with the humiliation of a poodle perm until her hair grew long enough to cut out the frizzy parts. She broke up with her stylist then, unable to face her in that bubblegum pink salon with a helmet of straw.
The hands on the clock said 1:15. A half hour later, they said 1:15. Even a broken clock is right twice a day, he said. He was full of platitudes like that. This is going to be a long meeting, she thought.
The wheels on the bus go round and round. The hands of the clock stay frozen in time. It would be 1:15 forever. She would sit in this chair. She would shed one billion skin cells onto the plush Persian carpet covering the floor of his office. The sun would move across the sky. Shadows would fall through the plantation shutters making slanting lines that would stretch for eternity. Time was a modest maiden who would sit quietly waiting for permission to bloom.
She would turn to bones in the chair, bones would turn to powder, and 1:15 would mark the place int he vastness of the time-space continuum where she slipped the wheel.
The color of her dress was a cross between periwinkle and the dusty blue of a prairie sky just after sunset. There was a pattern of small white flowers infused into the fabric that swayed in time to the movement of her hips. She was strong and young still, years from the strain of farms at auction, of entire communities vanishing, tilting toward the promise of union wages. Her eyes were green, and her nails were painted Ala Carte Blue. The hue of her dress and the blue of the tips of her fingers provoked a kind of stupor, a trance of scalded milk and blurry edges. The hem of her frock fell to just above her knees, exposing a slim white scar, the result of a tumble off her bike on that gravel road just off the old Red Rock bypass. When she walked a cup of coffee across the café, every head turned to watch the sway of that blue skirt, the set of those shoulders, the cadence of the quiet hum of her heart. The all wanted that coffee. They all wanted to be the cup in the palm of that hand.