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>Red Writing Hood Exercise #1

July 15, 2010

The following sketch is in response to this week’s writing meme on The Red Dress Blog.

Have mercy. I do not write fiction. Ever. This is my bare-naked first attempt at dialogue. I saw an episode of “Say Yes to the Dress” the day this writing meme went out. There was a woman on there in her 50’s who spent $21,000 on “dream” wedding dress that was truly horrific. She had been, shall we say, altered. Significantly, and not well.

I kept thinking of what her kids must have been thinking as she pranced around in that getup. That was the genus for this sketch.

Feedback is welcome. Be gentle.


“Your mother called.”

Her back was to me. She wouldn’t even turn around.

“Again.” She kept tearing lettuce.

Chicken. I thought. Shooting the messenger, however, would get me nowhere but hungry.

I sighed. Like a persistent itch, mom would keep calling until I answered, or replied.
Leaving my roommate to the final stages of our dinner, I dialed the phone.

“Hi Mom!” I tried to say brightly, cringing.

The words were barely out of my mouth before she began to gush.

“Austen, you will NOT believe this dress. It’s perfect! It’s perfect! Everything I’ve ever dreamed of!”

I recall her saying the same thing three times previously. Three weddings. Three divorces. Three missed opportunities to find Prince Charming.

And now we’re back for Round Four.

“Al told me to spend whatever I needed to – it’s a Pnina. You are going to just die. I look like Cinderella!”

Cinderella with boobs, lips and cheeks that all magically defy gravity. And a fake tan.

I made all the appropriate noises of encouragement and excitement. Satisfied, she continued the tirade.

“Austen, this wedding is going to be nothing short of divine! We have the tunic and doublets all reserved for the groomsmen. I found a pattern for your gown and I’ve already dropped it with the dressmaker. You just need to stop by tomorrow for measurements. She’ll be able to do something with your cleavage, don’t worry, hon. You’ll look like Maid Marion when I’m done with you.”

On that reassuring note, the conversation ended and I went back to the kitchen for my salad.

And a big glass of La Crema. No, just give me the bottle.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. July 16, 2010 5:56 pm

    >Very good. Your character (the daughter) was real. This short snippet hints at so much more.I liked this, and I think you did a terrific job. It sounded polished, and I was never bored.You used just the right amount of words, and still told a lifetime full.Thank you.

  2. July 16, 2010 7:57 pm

    >I love that you were inspired by "Say Yes to the Dress"! I could picture the bride-to-be and thought you did a great job on the dialog. Keep writing fiction – I see a knack!

  3. July 16, 2010 8:34 pm

    >You did fantastic!!!! The dialogue seemed real and believable (if you noticed, I wasn't brave enough to attempt dialogue!). SO proud you gave it a shot!!

  4. July 16, 2010 11:52 pm

    >I think I've seen that episode! LOL Great job! You did very, very well!

  5. July 17, 2010 12:41 pm

    >I saw that episode also. The dress was horrible. Not sure what was worse- bad fashion on your wedding day or paying $21k for it.Enjoyed your fiction piece. Only thing I would say is I'd like to have the person's tone or description of how she sounded like when she spoke. Bravo!

  6. July 17, 2010 9:00 pm

    >it's funny where inspiration comes from isn't it?? and i definitely could picture this woman and her mother – i want to read more!

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