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Tiaras and Trucks

Friday, June 3, 2011

What She Wants

This week's Red Writing Hood prompt asked us to discover what it is that one of our characters wants.  This prompt helped me realize a lot about Greta and (hopefully) the direction in which her story is moving.  If you're unfamiliar with Greta, there are links at the bottom of this post that explain her background.

Stopping her running music as she walks in the door, the sound of her own labored breathing breaks her endorphin trance.  Peeling off layers of sweat-tinged clothes - shorts, long sleeved tee, tank top, sports bra, socks - she leaves a trail from the front door to a small desk in the corner of the living room, purchased after the divorce, so she could occasionally work from home.

Four missed calls, two voice mails, and a text message await, and since she's been gone less than an hour, that can only mean one thing.

Detouring into her bedroom to grab a well-worn t-shirt and shorts, yesterday's pajamas, she pressed her most-used speed dial.

"Hi Mom," she says, after about a half ring.

"I was worried."

"You know I run on Saturday mornings," Greta gently reminded her, pushing away the defensiveness, knowing that genuine concern hid somewhere behind the guilt trip and constant hovering.

"You're coming to Louise's open house tonight?" the question hung in silence for an awkward moment.

"I don't think so, Mom," Greta started, taking a breath her mother used as an invitation to speak again.

"Her photography is important to her, honey, which means it should be important to our family."

"And I went to her opening at the gallery," Greta sighed, sinking to the floor, knees against her chest, back supported by the wall.

Babies everywhere.  Black and white, mostly.  Tiny miniatures of perfect feet, larger than life prints of toothless grins, flawless angles capturing moments of sleep, dreams trapped in soft skulls and cornsilk hair.

"She wants you to come tonight."

"What about what I want?" Greta threw back, breath still uneven from her run, words fueled by adrenaline.

"And what is that?"

Images flipped through her head, almost on top of each other, a carefully chosen lace wedding dress, a faded bouquet, boarding a plane to powdery beaches, painting their dreams of a family and a life together.

Their wedding.  Their honeymoon.  Their dreams.  Their life.

What did she want, now that they were no longer a they?

She loved her job, training new employees and guiding them along their chosen paths in the large marketing and advertising firm, but it was still a job, not exactly a dream.

She pictured her closest girlfriends, thrilled to join Greta for a night out or afternoon in, even their annual girls' trip, all of them eventually returning to separate lives.

What did she want?

Stretching her legs in front of her, flexing her toes, watching her leg muscles, she latched onto the feeling she had as she pushed her body to go a few more feet, another song.

Freedom.  She wanted freedom from the pain of the last year.  Freedom from dreams that no longer fit into her life.  Freedom from the guilt she carried along with her pain, boulders of regret on each shoulder.

And the strength to pursue that freedom.

Her answer to her mother explained none of those things, but the answer was kind and gentle and final.

She wouldn't be joining them tonight.

http://tiaras-and-trucks.blogspot.com/2011/05/spilled-wine.html

http://tiaras-and-trucks.blogspot.com/2011/05/ultimatum.html

http://tiaras-and-trucks.blogspot.com/2011/04/tears-will-fall.html
http://tiaras-and-trucks.blogspot.com/2011/03/godmother.html

http://tiaras-and-trucks.blogspot.com/2011/04/finding-her-rhythm.html

http://tiaras-and-trucks.blogspot.com/2011/04/hear-greta-run.html

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17 Comments:

  • At June 3, 2011 at 9:13 AM , Anonymous jentos23 said...

    I like this Greta story line...I hope you continue it!

     
  • At June 3, 2011 at 10:41 AM , Anonymous Amy said...

    Good for Greta! I love reading her stories!

     
  • At June 3, 2011 at 1:49 PM , Anonymous Kir said...

    oh wow, Ang...I loved this one, Loved how you described her and that last bit with her stretching, coming to terms with what she has and doesn't...wow!!! This story is really coming together and I love love love it!

     
  • At June 3, 2011 at 4:10 PM , Anonymous Cheryl said...

    Good for Greta! It sounds like she's starting to heal. I think we are all rooting so hard for her! I know I am!

    My concrit is the structure of the first paragraph: Stopping her running music as she walks in the door, the sound of her own labored breathing breaks her endorphin trance.  Peeling off layers of sweat-tinged clothes - shorts, long sleeved tee, tank top, sports bra, socks - she leaves a trail from the front door to a small desk in the corner of the living room, purchased after the divorce, so she could occasionally work from home.

    Each sentence stars with an -ing. It would be stronger to say: She stops her running music as she walks in the door,.... And She peels off layers... and leaves a trail...

     
  • At June 3, 2011 at 4:14 PM , Anonymous Carrie said...

    This was a great snippet of Greta finally thinking about herself. I think there are a few spots her POV or tense is mixed but some edits could fix that :) Like Cheryl, the first paragraph could be stronger with some rewording

     
  • At June 3, 2011 at 5:20 PM , Anonymous Renee said...

    I'm so glad Greta is finding herself here. And standing up for herself. To her mother, always the hardest person to say no too.

     
  • At June 3, 2011 at 10:20 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Isn't it?  Except when you're three, because my daughter says no to me all day :)

     
  • At June 3, 2011 at 10:21 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thank you!  It's about time she makes a positive turn :)  I didn't do a very good job editing this week, did I?

     
  • At June 3, 2011 at 10:23 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thank you so much for the concrit!  You are right that it's stronger that way.  Sometimes I get all caught up in the cadence of what I'm writing and don't think of a different/better way of saying it.

    I know she's going to end up in a better place, even though I don't know exactly where it will be quite yet.

     
  • At June 3, 2011 at 10:23 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I'm so glad!  I need to write her past and the pain, because it's a part of her story, but I am ready to see what's around the corner for her.

     
  • At June 3, 2011 at 10:24 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thank you!  I will write her through to the end, I hope!

     
  • At June 3, 2011 at 11:07 PM , Anonymous Mel said...

    You have a great way of putting the reader right in the moment and right there with your character.  I really like your style!

     
  • At June 3, 2011 at 11:33 PM , Anonymous Galit Breen said...

    Love it GF! She's finding her voice, herself.

    I adore the details in this piece. The layers, the body language. The flits of memories were also a great way to tell so much in so few words!

     
  • At June 5, 2011 at 12:05 PM , Anonymous Christine S said...

    I love this line "Freedom from dreams that no longer fit into her life" that really resonates with me. And I appreciate her challenge with her mom.

     
  • At June 6, 2011 at 8:08 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I think it's a tough thing to separate yourself from dreams you have had for so long, when you discover they're not really your dreams anymore!  But powerful in a way, too, to create new dreams.

     
  • At June 6, 2011 at 8:09 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I think she's healing!  Standing up to your mom has to be a step in the right direction :)

    Thank you, as always, for your kind words! xoxo

     
  • At June 6, 2011 at 8:10 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    That is such a lovely compliment!  Thank you :)

     

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