Welcome to the Beginning Writers Workshop Reunion Dance!

The theme of our Reunion is “And We Keep Going!”  Yes, that’s corny, but then all reunion themes have to be corny.  It’s a requirement!  As you enter the dance, please introduce yourself and/or your companion(s) to our chaperones, John and Martha.  They’re standing by the door of the newly decorated roller skating rink now being used as the dance floor.  That’s Martha wearing the red maple leaf corsage.  John, of course, is sporting his favorite scorpion tie clasp.

Personally, I’d love to know what you are wearing.  What band did we get stuck with?  How are the decorations?  Food?  Photographers?  Are Martha and John behaving themselves or is there one more conflict brewing at the door?  Any newspeople there to report?  How does this reunion compare to others you’ve attended?

Consider that we’re going to share a third person omniscient point of view.  I’m certain your creative sides can introduce some unusual conflicts to struggle through.  Feel free to build on what others are posting!  Plan to galumph the night away!

70 responses to “Welcome to the Beginning Writers Workshop Reunion Dance!

  1. Who was it that said galumphing sounded like something you do in the bathroom?

  2. Galumphing at a roller rink turned dance hall sounds vaguely familiar…Ann, I wonder why? I’ll get back to you after my evening of Galumphing in the bathroom.

  3. I was pretty sure you’d recognize that, Peanut. On the other hand, this is a reunion of graduates instead of a prom. I found my draft of the prom invitation last night and figured it would make a good writing challenge–one more time. Reading the comments above, perhaps I should have organized this reunion in the largest bathroom I could find!

  4. You’re The Best Lady Linquist….I guess that is why you make the BIG MONEY !

  5. Ann hid behind the skate rental counter when she saw Martha and John standing by the entrance to the rink, ready to meet and greet. Who invited them? she thought. Then she covered her nose. Ugh, the rental skates all stunk of feet! Bad hiding place. What was she doing any way. She didn’t need to hide from two fictional characters she’d been pushing around for the past seven years.

    Ann dug in the pocket of her full skirted strapless formal and pulled out a pea shooter and one dozen dried peas. She nonchalantly ambled over to a bench behind John and Martha and put two peas into her shooter. Thwap! Thwap!

    Martha squeaked and grabbed her neck. John started to gag. The second pea had landed in his mouth as he opened it to greet two BWW alumni.

    • Martha noticed that John was choking so she decided to attempt the Heimlich Maneuver on him. She had never seen it done, but Martha was confident that she was capable of squeezing the living day lights out of him if she just remembered one of his many dalliances or how much she hated his overbearing, controling nature.
      Martha placed herself behind John, placed her arms around his ribcage and began to squeeze with the force of the jaws of life. She heard a snapping sound which she thought might be cracking ribs. John struggled to free himself from Martha’s tough love approach to the Heimlich, but to no avail. He was starting to experience a fainting feeling and Martha was much too inspired to dislodge the violating Pea or kill John in the process.
      In his last moment of consciousness, John remembered that whenever Martha was in this kind of hyperstate, it was best just to play dead. John went limp and sunk to the dance floor. Resorting to last resort measures, Martha loged a well placed Karate Kick right in the middle of John’s Breast bone. The pea came blasting out of John’s mouth, zoomed past Martha and hit one of the attendees Peanut Beranski, square in the left eye. She screamed in pain and turned to confront John and Martha.

      • Hours earlier, Peanut got news of the “Reunion Dance” via a text message from her longtime personal assistant, Esmirelda Fnark. Peanut was in the recovery room at the office of Oral Surgeon Dr. Sydney M. Smirkel, DDS, A.C.E., SOB., and M.O.U.S.E. The message wasn’t very clear, but few of Esmirelda’s messages ever were, as English was her second language. It read,
        “Re-onion dunce at roll & ring, BYOB and wear dress clocks.” From A.Linkest 
        In the fog of the after effects of massive doses of Novocain and Laughing Gas, Peanut struggled to place a call to Esmirelda.
        “Essy , find the sea foam green organza and pale yellow chiffon gown that I wore to the “Straighten Up and Fly Right Ball.” ( a fund raiser for the rehabilitation center that cares for migratory birds that are directionally challenged)
        “Okee Dokee Missy Peanuts. What you wear on you feets?”
        “Oh, I suppose my forest green with gold feather Pradas.”
        “Okee Dokee Missy Peanuts.”
        When Peanut arrived home, she was still considerably groggy and half of her face was sagging from Novocain. Swelling had begun to be quite noticeable on the right side of her face, and one eye was drooping to half-mast. Her hair was flat on the back,” dental chair hair,” and there were bits of ground tooth dust dotted throughout her bangs. It was a sure bet that Peanut wasn’t going to be looking her usual stunning best for the “Re-onion Dunce” but that didn’t matter. She wanted desperately to go and be with her friends and Dear Lady Linquist. Nothing was going to stop her from going

    • (You’ve created another monstrous writing orgy; you have a knack for that, my dear. You, Peanut, Gully, Barb and Parrot set the bar pretty high. I was afraid to jump in but Parrot pulled the right chain to start me up. I don’t want to ever grow up, do you?!!)

  6. I am enrolled in your on line Online Writing Essentials class at De Anza.. Today 3.2.12, I tried to up load HW (Critical vs. Creative freewriting) and other exercises and was locked out. I do not know how to contact you through the school website.

    Can I transfer to the next 6 week class? I think it is a bit late to be part of this current group of students and I don’t want to be locked out of any lesson.

    Thanks,

    Keith

  7. Call your school to transfer into the next session. If you get stuck at next time you start, go to any main discussion area page and click on the words “click here.” That takes you to the technicians, and they can help you. Good luck!

  8. Oh, Dahlings, pour yourself a Cosmo and cuddle up to the computer, because Tattling Tallulah, the Divine Goddess of Gossip, has all the latest from the big sock hop at Dreamland Bowl, all the sightings of celebs, all the who was doing what to whom, and who was there with whoever they shouldn’t have been.

    Now as you know the Dreamland Bowl is a roller rink, so all the ladies had to remove their spikes and wedgies at the door and dance in their stocking feet, if you can believe that! And weren’t some of them a wee bit put out about that? Oh, my goodness, some of the language… Well, I never. Something about making their legs look fat, as if… Oh, never mind, Dahlings. The Divine Goddess won’t go there.

    Speaking of the door, Dahlings, who else but John and Mahtha were checking IDs and invitations. I mean, who KNEW they were back together? Oh, wait a teensy here, maybe they weren’t back together. The Divine Goddess did so ever hear a bit of icy repartee that definitely took the bloom off the glam Mahtha’s maple leaf corsage.

    Maple leaf corsage? Ewwww. Now who would wear such a thing in public? I mean, like what, you know? Oh, hold on a teensy here… Do you think…. Oh, no…. Not even Mahtha would…. But, goodness, the Divine Goddess can’t help but think the leafy bit might be an allusion to fig leaves?

    That would just be so like a gaggle of writers, wouldn’t it, Dahlings. Allusion, allegories, metaphors, and all those other speechifying things that writers are prone to.

    Oh, and speaking of “prone,” did you happen to see who was hiding behind the skate rental counter? I’ll say no more. Naughty, naughty. YOU know who you are.

    And the wonderful Cuban music! Oh, Dahlings, it’s been years since I’ve heard Orlando and the Marielitos Combo and their wonderful mambo, rumba, and (gasp) was that a Macarena at the end? And the glam Orlando with his pencil thin mustachio and white Panama hat? Oh, that hombre has the power to sizzle your socks, doesn’t he?

    All the divine Goddess has to say is that it’s just too bad no one danced to those wonderful tun-ie-ohs. Not a single one of the alumnae, not a single pink poodle skirt whirled around the dance floor, not a solitary duck-tailed and side-burned fella tripped the light Fandango.

    Oh, alas and pity, Dahlings. All they did was sit around with their laptops and tap e-mail messages to each other. Isn’t that just like a bunch of writers?

    Signing off for now, this is Tattling Tallulah Titterwillow, your Divine Goddess of Gossip, hoping you’ll all join me again for the low-down on all the luscious society goings-on in Goofing Around..

  9. Barbara Burris

    Barbara arrived promptly at seven. These get togethers weren’t her kind of deal and she was enormously uncomfortable. She hoped to slip in, see a few people and slip out early. The hand lettered signs on used computer paper led her to the cloak room where she neatly placed her black velvet cape on the end hangar. Someone was giggling and shushing in the dark at the back of the room. She wasn’t sure, but thought she heard a woman’s voice saying “Oh, Walk,” followed by more giggles. She stood quietly for a moment, but all was silent.

    “Must be my imagination,” she said to herself aloud. But she hesitated a moment longer, just in case.

    As she rounded the corner, she caught her reflection in the shiny plastic pop machines that lined the hallway. She fluffed her hair one more time and decided she looked pretty good for her age. The flowing black pant suit had a slight sparkle to the fabric and the four inch spike heels made her very tall.

    There was a lot of shouting at the entrance to the ‘ballroom’ as the computer paper sign termed it. She recognized John and Martha wrestling with one another yet again. John had fallen to the floor and Martha looked about to kick him in the ribs.

    “I was sure you guys were dead after Ann’s writing challenge a few months ago,” she mused as she stepped gingerly over John’s enormous feet. “You have more lives than a pride of lions!”

    Someone had hung a disco ball at one corner of the room and the swirling pattern on the floor made her a little dizzy as she squinted and tried to focus her one good eye on the other early arrivals. She wasn’t surprised to see that no one was dancing. The brown folding chairs lining the walls were empty but for a handful of geeky types pounding furiously away on their laptops. Ann and Peanut were standing near the punch table. Ann was trying to get Peanut to stop fidgeting. It appeared she was trying to get something out of Peanut’s left eye.

    As she started toward them, Barbara’s heel found something small and hard on the floor. It felt like trying to stand on a pile of ball bearings. She struggled to regain her balance, but it was impossible. Her arms flailed wildly as she realized she was sliding in the direction of the punch bowl. Every limb stretched in a different direction as she careened across the shiny wood floor her feet now airborne. Her head bounced on the boards as she covered the last ten feet. She closed her eyes tight, expecting to be bathed in sticky pink punch. When her body finally stopped moving and she wasn’t wet, she sighed with relief. But as soon as she opened her eyes, she realized she was looking squarely up someone’s dress.

    “Nice entrance, Dahling. But we REally don’t know one another THIS well.”

    Barbara tried to force her rattled brains to focus as the yards of silky fabric grazed across her face to reveal none other than Gully in her Tattling Tallulah Titterwillow character. She was holding a microphone and smiling into a television camera that was turning its focus downward. Barbara closed her eyes and wished she’d stayed home with her dog.

  10. Sweet Ann, having successfully removed the projectile from Peanut’s right eye, turned her attention to Barbara who had made a memorable sliding entrance onto the dance floor. Ann and Peanut went directly to Barbara’s aid. Tallulah, ever the Diva for the cameras, stepped right over Barbara’s sprawling form and headed for the bar and another Tall Bahama Mama on the rocks.
    “I can’t tolerate that Miss Titterwillow and that simple, sleezy grin of hers.” Peanut said as she tried to focus at least one of her damaged eyes.
    “That is not a sleazy smile…that is Botox gone horribly wrong, Barbara hissed. Tallulah does not have one muscle in her face that has not turned to stone. Her eyebrows are cemented in a perfect state of surprise and she has to use furniture clamps to keep her eyes shut for sleep.”
    Ann, being the consummate Lady, reminded Pea and Babs that this was supposed to be a celebration of friendship and that they should concentrate on having some good clean fun and not on Tallulah’s Falsie Face.

  11. (I’m laughing so hard, I’m coughing.)

  12. The invitation also mentioned that all bloggers should notify their fellow bloggees that there was to be a reunion at the skating rink. Willowfritter (or whatever her name is) mentioned Orlando, which sent Ann’s memory waaay back. Surely there are other alumni out there who might want to don their own unique garment and dance the night away to some old Fred Astaire tunes and a bit of the ever popular Hokey Pokey. Skates optional. Come for the food (steamed parrot, mulled gull, hot peanuts, Shaddy haddock, barb B Que) and stay for the revision.

  13. Over the music there was a loud screech of car brakes. Moments later Parrot breezed in, her red, blue and yellow jacket flapping around her. She wore a matching yellow hat with feathers sticking out the top.

    She slapped at John’s hands as he tried to remove her coat. “Not now you idiot, I just got here. “

    She appeared to eye Martha’s corsage. “Nice leaf, Martha.”

    “Sock hop, huh? Good thing I brought my black bird slippers. Makes it kinda hard to drive, but I got here, and in record time. What do you mean, where’s my invitation? You should remember me; I’m the one who saved your marriage,” Parrot said.

    There was a thump from behind the skating counter and a burst of giggling ensued. They all turned as Walk jumped up and dusted himself off, then helped a lady stand. “Just adjusting our socks,” he said, giving Precious a hug and ushering her out onto the dance floor.

    Parrot spied Ann and Peanut by the punch bowl and was headed their way when suddenly, a swirl of black sparkling material hurdled towards them on the floor. Before they all ended up in a tangled mess, Ms. Tallulah Titterbaum stopped the sliding Barbara with her outstretched glittery 4 inch-heeled Jimmy Choos. “You ah-lways did like to make grand entrances, dahling,” she said as she stepped over her and headed for the bar.

    Shaddy came up behind Parrot. “Parrot, my friend. It’s good to finally meet you! I knew it was you the moment you walked in the door. I just returned from vacationing in Florida and am training for another marathon, but I had to make time to say hello to Ann and meet all my friends from BWW.” She was dressed in a sparkling red jogging suit with matching red running shoes, red sunglasses perched atop her head, and a Bloody Mary in her hand.

    Parrot gave Shaddy a hug and pointed towards Ann. “We have to catch up with Ann before she has too much of the spiked punch. Who knows what else she will come up with for us to do.”

    • You’re a dear for getting me over here before everyone passes out! I love what’s going on here. I love what you wrote. For instance to John: “Not now you idiot, I just got here.” And, Walk: “Just adjusting our socks.” Very funny in context.

      Thanks to for getting me dressed and putting that familiar drink in my hand!!! You’re the best!

  14. Knute Wheels, long-time manager of Dreamland Roller Rink, looked at the spectacle before him and shook his head. For the hundredth time he wondered why he had ever agreed to rent the place to a bunch of writers for a reunion.

    What’s a reunion for writers anyway, he asked himself. I thought writers were all solitary types, tapping away at their laptops and hiding their plots from each other, like that bunch over against the wall. Not a single one of them has spoken since they got here.

    Knute grabbed the 48-inch push duster and headed for the woman trying to stand upright amid an extraordinary amount of shiny black material. Then he spotted her four-inch high heels and moaned.

    “You’d think writers could read, wouldn’t you,” he said to no one in particular. “There’s signs all over saying “no street shoes” on the rink floor.” To himself, he muttered, “Just like a writer—breaking all the rules. Creativity, my ass.”

    The woman in black had managed to stand by the time he reached her and was carrying her shoes, so he didn’t say anything.

    “I stepped on something,” she said in an accusing tone.

    “I can’t imagine what it could be, ma’am,” said Knute. “But, I’ll sweep the floor and see if I can find it.” He began pushing the dust mop in the area where she’d fallen. It took several swipes before something rolled across the polished oak floor before the mop. Knute picked up the offending object and examined it.

    “Huh,” he said. “Looks like a dried pea. Wonder how that got here?” He pushed the mop to the edge of the rink floor, hung it back in its place, then leaned on the solid waist-high wall around the rink. He was keeping an eye on the Titterwillow woman and her camera crew at the bar. They looked like trouble from the moment they’d arrived, he thought.

    And speaking of arriving, what on earth is this coming in the door past that couple that can’t stop arguing long enough to do their job of checking invitations? Knute watched as a woman dressed like a scarlet macaw flounced in with feathers flying everywhere. Darned if she don’t look like them birds we used to eat in Vietnam, he thought.

    Noise from the bar area grabbed his attention and he started in that direction.

    Might have known, he thought, it’s that Titterwillow woman again. How did she ever make it on TV? She can’t even remember the right name of this place. Keeps calling it a “Bowl” instead of a roller skating rink. Well, wait a minute. There’s an idea. Maybe I should add some bowling lanes onto this thing.

    Knute summoned the bartender over and asked what the problem was.

    “Aw, nothing really, boss,” said Rupert. “That gal with the permanently startled expression? The one who looks like Nancy Pelosi? She’s on her fourth Bahama Mama and getting a bit tipsy. Tried to cut her off, is all. She ain’t liking it much, so I’m watering them down. That’s okay, isn’t it? I mean it’s an open bar and all.”

    “Yeah, that’s fine, Rupe,” said Knute. “What about her crew? Guys with the lights and cameras? They behaving?”

    “Good as gold. Don’t know how they can stand her, though.”

    A loud commotion at the entrance snapped their heads around. Knute headed for the door at a run.

  15. John didn’t recognize the woman in the feathered costume get-up until she mentioned “saving his marriage” and then the memory hit him like an avalanche of slush thrown by a bus wheel.

    “Well, thanks for nothing,” he snarled at her. “I was doing just fine until you stuck your nose in where it didn’t belong. You try living with Martha for 24 hours. Just try. You’ll see why we broke up.”

    “John, you are the most egotistical, insufferable man I’ve ever met,” yelled Martha. “Parrot, don’t listen to him. If it isn’t his idea, he wants no part of it. You were kind and well-meaning. It isn’t your fault we broke up again. It’s his and only his. I don’t how I stood it as long as I did. I just wish I’d known we would be separated again when we volunteered for this job. I’d rather clean toilets than stand here with this boor all evening.”

    “Well, I never….” Parrot started to say to John before thinking better of it. She turned to Martha and said, “Thank you, dear. I’m sure you’re much better off without him. Hang in there. This evening won’t last long.”

    “Hey, you keep your nose out of our business, hear?” said John. “And where’s your invitation, anyway?”

    “Go ahead, Parrot. Have fun. I think Ann is at the non-alcoholic punch bowl with Peanut. Oh, and Walk and Precious are there, too. Stay away from the bar, though. That Titterwillow woman is there slugging ‘em down like they’re Slim Fast. The shy ones are on the far side with their laptops—you know, the ones who don’t have much to say in person but run off at the keyboard all night. Oh, and I think there’s a few others outside in the alley tasting oregano or marjoram or whatever it was they had in those little baggies.”

    “Good grief, Martha!” yelled John. “Did you let people in here with dope? You want to get us busted?”

    “Dope? What do you mean ‘dope?’” said Martha.

    “Those baggies, you nitwit. That wasn’t dried spice in those baggies. Oh, great. Here comes Charles Atlas at a run.”

    “Who’s Charles Atlas?” said Martha.

    “The owner. The manager. Just keep your mouth shut about the dope.”

    “Dope? I don’t know anything about dope,” insisted Martha.

  16. “YOU ARE A DOPE MARTHA! John screeched through clenched teeth. Just put a sock in it and look busy.”

    Martha looked at Parrot and shrugged her shoulders in resignation. Then she stepped away from the door and signaled Parrot to follow. Parrot moved to the corner with Martha and they began to talk.

    “Look Parrot, this could be my best opportunity to finally get rid of John once and for all. Do you know any of those Dried Spice smoking guys in the alley?”

    “Well, not intimately, of course. But I have done some “Spice” in my time. I recognized one of them. It is Vinnie “The Snozz” Gruberman. He was a promising young roller skating star once. He had real promise of making it on the pro tour, until he blew out his bearings attempting a Triple Lutz with a Flying Fandango Finish. It was a most horrible spectacle indeed. Ever since that dark day, Vinnie has been hanging around roller rinks and selling his Spices to other underachievers and wannabees.”

    Parrot, do you think Vinnie would sell you some stuff for tonight…I want to “Spice” things up around here. I’m going to put some of it in John’s pocket just before I call the cops. Titterwillow and her camera boys will love to get the Scoop on an honest to goodness “Spice Caper.”

    “Martha, that’s pretty down and devious don’t you think?

    “It beats homicide Parrot, don’t you think?”

  17. Bertha Butterbottom grumbled out loud and certainly loud enough for everyone in the small kitchen of the Dreamland Roller Rink to hear.

    “Leave it to a bunch of writers to come up with goofy names for chicken wings,” she said as she turned the poultry on the large sheet pans and slid them back in the oven. “’Steamed parrot, mulled gull.’ They’re just chicken wings with barbeque sauce. I don’t care what they call ‘em.”

    “Hey, Bertha,” said Lisa. “How many of these fish sticks should I bake?”

    “You mean “Shaddy Haddock?” said Bertha, tipping her head from side to side as she mocked the name. “That whole bag for starters. And remember to put out the tartar sauce in an iced bowl. Don’t need the Health inspectors dinging us for warm mayo.”

    “I have the peanut allergy signs ready,” said Ken.

    “Good. Make sure they’re plenty visible when you set them on the buffet table by the hot peanuts. And Ken? Is the potato salad done?”

    “Almost done peeling the hot potatoes,” he answered. “I have the vinegar and mustard ready to pour over them as soon as the chopped bacon is done frying.”

    “Crudites are going out,” sang Lisa as she carried the heavy tray out of the kitchen.

    “Gawd! Roller skaters are so much easier,” said Bertha. “Just hamburgers or sushi with wasabi. I’ll be glad when this night is over.”

  18. “Hell-ooooooooo, Dahlings. This is Tattlin’ Tallulah Titterworm….uh…Tatting .. uh…Tallalal… This is the Divine Goddess coming to you live from wherever this is. Some funky place out on the edge of town that doesn’t even serve a decent drink.

    “This is supposed to be a gathering of famous writers, but if you ask me, it looks more like subjects from the Wanted posters you used to find in post offices.”

    “Psst. Tallulah! You have to hold still. I can’t keep the camera focused on you when you’re wobbling like that,” said Jacob, who was trying to keep the shoulder cam aimed at a tottering Tallulah.

    “Anyway, Dahliings, I think there’s something going on over by the door so let’s just mosie-posie on over that way and… Ooopsy-doopsey. Floor’s a little tilted here. Caught me off balance,HAR-HAR-HAR. Okay, now let’s see what those two ticket-takers are up to.”

    “Pete, for Pete’s sakes. Go see if you can get her to hold still. These shots are going to be terrible.”

    “Are you kidding, Jake? Look at her! Even Botox won’t help when she’s this snockered. She won’t hold still till she passes out and falls down. I thought that bartender was watering down her drinks.”

    “He was. Just do something. When she sees the reruns tomorrow, it’ll be both our jobs.”

    “Wouldn’t hurt my feelings at all, but I’ll see what I can do.”

    “Oh, my-lordy, Dahlings, now the police are coming in. I wonder what they could be looking for…uh, searching for… uh, seeking? For whom they could be searching? For what are they looking? What the hell. Whadda the cops want?

    “Oh, my goodness. Now who are you and why are you here, Dahling?”

  19. “Ah, Senora Martha, My Amar’, I have the perfecto “Dried Spice” to assist with the demise of John once and for all.” Parrot pulled from his pocket a little vile of red dried spice. He held the vile between his pointing finger and his thumb, “Just a teaspoon of this “dried spice” will leave John breathless, My Amar’. And I might add he will not recover from the use.” Shaking the vile to loosen the powder, “A warning My Amar’ do not inhale. You must hold your breath when you use this spice!”
    “Are, are you sure? I will finally be free of John. What is the red powder?” Martha asked with a shaky voice.
    “Pure Cayenne Pepper”, Parrot said. “Add a teaspoon to his Bahama Mama drink and stand back. John’s demise will be instance.”
    Parrot pulled Martha into his arms, “Come, My Amar we have to roll to the Tango. You have not danced until you have experienced the seductive moves of the Tango on roller skates.”
    Laughing, Parrot and Martha rolled off leaving John withering on the floor as he clutched his throat trying to fill his lungs with air. Just before he blacked out, he heard Martha say to her next victim, “Ah Parrot, I will love you until the day you die. Now, tell me more about this Texas ranch you own? How many acres did you say? It’s a shame you have no family? How far to the nearest town? Bet you don’t have EMS service out in the country, do you?”
    Martha glanced over at John smiling, she thought, “John’s life insurance will keep her comfortable until, she could figure out what Parrot’s demise will be.” Laughing Martha kissed Parrot leaving her ruby red lip imprints on his cheek, “I have big plans for your future, Parrot. Big plans as she thought as she and Parrot rolled off into the Tango moves.

  20. Hey, everyone! Hey Ann, thanks for the invitation to the reunion!

  21. Lady Ann and Peanut noticed the arrival of TexasBelle at the same moment. The sight of her brought elation to Peanut but struck fear in the Heart of Ann as the memory of Belle, Captain Black, the Pirate Elijah and the kidnapping at the first class prom was still fresh in her memory. Ann was a gracious hostess and her events were never boring, but that prom turned into a freaking three ring circus.

    Belle sauntered over to Ann and Peanut after finishing the Tango with Parrot and addressed Lady Ann.

    “Hey teach…long time no see. Did you come with the skeleton riding a tricycle? Wasn’t that one Heck of a party? Tell me, who is that tipsy broad with the lisp and camera crew? And can the bartender fix a good ole Bahama Mama for the Belle? Let’s get this party rolling…YeeHaw!!!

    With that Belle was off with Parrot to Hooky Pooky, with a B-Mama in one hand and a mulled gull wing in the other.

  22. It wasn’t until her third B-Mama that Belle noticed that Parrot was a woman,

    “Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit, you are a gal !”

    Belle apologized for the Big Wet Kiss and continued to Hooky and Pooky with careless abandon.

  23. Ann caught Martha’s eye and subtly pointed toward the skate counter. Feigning a need to visit the Ladies Room, Martha eased away from the latest arm pumper (was that Carl? Hey! There’s Texas Belle!) and disappeared behind the counter. The two of them sat with their knees up, formals bunching up frothily, as if they were stranded in lifeboat filled with packing peanuts, but smelling like the bottom of an overused suitcase.

    “Wassup?” Martha kept sniffing and wrinkling her nose.

    “I just realized that you, John, and I are the only ones who know all these people.”

    “Not John. He was killed, maimed, mocked, and snubbed so often, he no longer can match names with faces. He’s making it up as he goes along. Just another writer, actually.”

    The stench was getting so bad Ann looked around for a stick of incense to light, but all she could find was a green Yankee candle that appeared to have been lit over seven thousand times. She put a lighted match to the wick. The wax pooled in a soothing way, smelling of cinnamon and reminding her of Grandma’s kitchen.

    “Aaaarrrrgghhh!” Ann screamed at the top of her lungs. “I’m caught in some sort of feedback loop of cliches, and I can’t get out!”

    “Relax. Here have a piece of candy.” Martha dug in her pocket and came up with an empty candy wrapper. “Sorry.” Martha pulled out a paperclip, a spoon, a piece of gravel and chucked them all at Ann. “See how you like being stuck in a writing assignment!”

    Ann struggled to her feet. The band was playing the old Beatles tune, “Paperback Writer.” There was a big ink stain on the skirt of her strapless formal. She wondered why she had invented such annoying characters as John and Martha. A drink, some food, and a borrowed laptop. That’s what she needed now. A little rewriting was definitely in order.

  24. Orlando put down his guitar and held up ten fingers, indicating the combo should take a ten minute break. Two of the guys headed for the restroom area, while the other three made straight for the back door.

    Orlando hoped they were going outside only for a cigarette break. He looked around the roller rink and saw that pesky Titterwillow woman by the front door where several cops had assembled and were questioning John and Martha. Good, he thought, keep her over there so I can have a break.

    Tallulah had been hot on his heels every time she’d seen him in the past and tonight was no different, except she looked decidedly tipsy which would make it worse. He moved to the rear of the make-shift bandstand and stepped off behind the huge speakers. Finding a spot that was free of the snake pit of cords and wires, but still hidden, he sat down to give his feet a break.

    “Hiding out?” Orlando turned to see who had found him and relieved to see the Lady Ann.

    “Si, si,” he said, reaching into a small gym bag and grabbing his cheese and ham sandwich. “How is the party going?”

    “Well, John and Martha are at each other constantly, Parrot fell on the dance floor, Walk and his Missus are doing who-only-knows what behind the skate rental counter, and that nosy Tallulah is plastered. I have no idea why the cops are here. Maybe the neighbors called about the loud music.”

    “Loud? Loud! I could turn up these amps so loud Che would pop out of his grave,” said Orlando.

    Both turned at the sound of someone hitting the floor in a free-fall.

    “What on earth?” said Ann. “I see someone on the floor but I can’t tell who it is. Guess I better check it out. You should join us, Orlando. You’re a writer.”

    “Ah, but my English. Well, you know.” He stepped up on the bandstand to get a better look. “Looks like John on the floor and … Uh-oh. Tallulah’s spotted me. Gotta go.”

  25. Shaddy had just arrived in town from Florida and was getting in her 10-mile training run when she passed the door of the local skating rink. She’d slowed to a jog to get a look at the odd group just inside the door. Laptops, peas, Bahama Mamas, dancing, and all sorts of nonsense were visible in the light that glittered from the “whatchamacallit light” hanging and revolving from the ceiling. Shaddy came to a complete stop. She peered in the door out of an unusual curiosity and even more unusual compulsion to be with those inside. Her eyes adjusted to the light finally and she started to look at the hodgepodge of humanity all doing whatever it was they were doing. Part of her wanted to get the hell out of there as fast as her red running shoes would take her and another part held her fast.

    She cautiously looked into the faces of those near her. It can’t be, she thought. That gal reminds me of the instructor I loved in BWW. How can I even begin to remember her face? Maybe from Goofing Around? I’ll be damned. That guy she’s talking looks like Walk. I’d know him anywhere from seeing him on Facebook. This must be some fricking reunion nobody told me about.

    There was always talk about getting us all together but I didn’t think it would ever happen. OMG! There’s Parrot. She looks exactly like herself. Thank God for her blog or I wouldn’t know her!!

    “Hey, Parrot! You look fabulous in your bright colors and feathers. I’m thrilled to see you, never thought it would happen in a million years!!! I was running by and I was attracted by the noise so I peeked in. I recognized Ann and Walk and then you!! Is this the reunion we always talked about.”

    Parrot looked surprised. “It sure is. You got my e-mail didn’t you? I sent it as soon as I heard about the reunion plans.”

    “No, I’ve been out of town for a couple weeks,” Shaddy said. “Well, I don’t have to have throw a fit then. I was getting myself pretty worked up, thinking I’d been left out. I’d probably have been afraid to show up if I had gotten an invitation so chancing upon the scene is better. I felt drawn to this place, like a magnet was pulling me.”

    “Let’s go over to Ann before she falls head first into the punch bowl. I see you brought a thermos of Bloody Mary with you. You drink that when you’re running?”

    “Hell yes, Parrot. I’ve become an alcoholic since last November. It’s a complicated story but it all began with NaNoWriMo,” Shaddy said. “Look at Walk, he’s practically got Beautiful up against the wall. He’s a horny guy from what I know of him. He’s always writing about women in the most romantic way. He’s head over heels in love with his wife and she’s the one he’s hot about so it’s all good.”

    “You’ve got to meet, Peanut,” Parrot urged. “She’s a riot even though she took a pea in her eye a little bit ago. Ann shot it at John, you know the John in the John & Mary saga. Mary beat the pea out of John with her shoe and it sailed smack dab into Peanut’s eye.” Parrot sighed. “You missed some truth is stranger than fiction scenarios and the night is still young.”

    “Who’s that dame who appears to be wearing all the black material that was available at Costco? Or is that a mannequin? I hear her high fallutin and obnoxious voice but her lips don’t move at all.” Shaddy scowled at the woman with the crew following her.

    “That’s Gullible, Shaddy!” Parrot watched Shaddy’s face as the unbelievable reality took root.

  26. Just so you know, all of you are doing a fabulous job of “by the seat of your pants’ writing here!! Parrot jerked me over her in an e-mail this evening so I had a lot of catching up to do. What a blast!! All of you have made my weekend!!! All of you ROCK! Sorry, Ann. I can’t shake those exclamation points, no way, no how.

  27. Captain Black is still sulking after being arrested for kidnapping his Sweet Pea at the Prom. “I tell you Elijah the wench needs to be taught a lesson. I did not kidnap my Sweet Pea. I only borrowed her for a night!” the Captain said with a glint of lust in his eyes. “She had no right pressing charges, I told her I would take her back, just wanted to spend some time with that quick tongued lass.”

    “You scared her to death Captain,” Elijah shouted. “You knocked out all the lights and took her against her will right out of the prom hall. What do you expect?”

    “No, No, I will not go to the dance if she was the last women on this earth,” Captain Black said crossing his arms over his chest.

    “I heard that you big ol’ bully,” Pea said as she stomp onto the deck of the ship. Stabbing her finger into his chest, “AND you are talking to a lady. I AM NOT A WENCH. You got that big ol’ bully! You will speak and treat me with respect.” The Captain had backed up with each jab of Pea’s finger in his chest. With no place to go, Captain Black, captured Pea’s hand placing it over his heart.
    “My Sweet Pea, I didn’t mean to scare you. Me, feelings were hurt when you went with that willy-nilly instead of a real man, like me.” Bowing deeply, “But if you will forgive me I would be honored to escort you to your writing class reunion, if you will allow me.”

    Turning her back on the Captain, Pea winked over at Texasbelle and Elijah saying, “Well, I don’t know. I’m not sure I can trust your word. After all, you are a notorious pirate. Have you been pillaging and plundering lately?” With her back still to the Captain, Pea had a smile on her face, waiting for the Captain to start growling. He didn’t disappoint her, she heard him growling like an old bear.

    “Sweet Pea, I promise ye, I’ll be on my best behavior. And No not since I have laid me sorry eyes on your quick wit writing.”
    “Are you saying you are going to be on your best behavior this time?” Pea said turning back to face the Captain. He took her hand kissing the inside of her palm sending goosebumps up Pea’s arm. Pea signed deeply, it had been a long time since a man gave her goosebumps.

    Pea guided the Captain to rail leading to the roller rink, he was grumbling about putting on rollerskates. “This is not dancing my Sweet Pea. How am I to hold you in my arms, I can barely stand on these things.”

    Texasbelle and Elijah rolled by in a waltz looking so in love in each others arms. Signing deeply, Pea said, “You promised you would be on your best behavior and I want to feel the wind of the fans in my hair as we roll around the ring.”
    “Wind in your hair, Now that I can do,” the Captain said. With a squeal of delight, the Captain grabbed his Sweet Pea by the waist taking her on the roller dance of her life.

  28. You need to ask your school if that is possible. They’ll have the answer. I’m happy either way. –Ann

  29. Shaddy rushed past Texasbelle, Elijah, the Captain and Sweet Pea on her way to the bathroom. Her flight from Florida, running 10 miles while drinking a Bloody Mary and now the excitement of the night were more than she could take. She barely made it to the bathroom before she started galumphing. When she finally stopped, she was soaking wet. Her sparkly red jogging suit wasn’t sparkling anymore and her new red sunglasses, well they weren’t atop her head anymore. She washed her hands, splashed water on her face, and went back to the reunion.

    Parrot had told her which of the women present was Gully. Shaddy had her doubts. The Gully she knew wore hiking boots and Carhartt coats. I’ll go ask her if Pablo is still editing her writing. If it’s Gully, she’ll know what I’m talking about.

    Shaddy caught up with Gully by stepping on the back of her dress. Jerked to a stop, Gully whipped around and faced Shaddy with a glare on her face evident only by her flaring nostrils, nothing else on her face moved. “I think I know you; I don’t think I know you. I don’t know what I think, do you? Heck, I’m not going to beat around the bush any more. Does your editor go by the name of Pablo?”

    “Yes, yes, how did you know, how could you know? Why speak of the devil, I just happen to have him with me this evening.” She reached down and with a great rustle within her enormous sparkly black gown, a swoosh of green feathers burst forth and headed straight for the dinner buffet on the far side of the skating rink/dance floor.

    Shaddy was overcome. It really was Gully. As if in slow motion, Shaddy tried to get closer to her but couldn’t gain any ground. She felt a strange force taking over her thoughts and movements. She needed a laptop and she needed it now. She saw the geeks along the wall and raced toward them. As she passed the skate counter, she grabbed the green Yankee candle that Ann had lit. Continuing involuntarily, she heard herself asking a skinny, pasty middle-aged man if she could borrow his laptop for a few minutes. He relinquished it warily and sat quietly watching Shaddy. She handed him the candle; he looked rather needy. “Just sit still and hold it. I won’t be long.” Shaddy felt like she was dreaming. She heard a voice telling her to describe the lit candle in her own words. She’d done that years ago as the first assignment in BWW. She didn’t move but searched the room for Ann with her eyes. She’d just about given up when she spotted Ann scrambling around on her hands and knees on the floor, picking up pieces of gravel and paper clips. If only she’d look this way, Shaddy thought. Miraculously, Ann looked up and they locked eyes. They connected without saying a word. Ann smiled knowingly and nodded. Shaddy wrote. She described the candle anew with the perspective gained by the passing of many years.

    Across the room, Pablo was the center of attention. He’d finished off the hot peanuts on the buffet table before anyone could stop him. Steam was rising from his ears and his eyes were watering something fierce. He was perched on the side of the punch bowl and it was obvious what he intended to do!!

  30. “Need a drink while you’re down there, Dude?” said Rupert, staring at his feet.

    “Shhh.”

    “Chill, man. Nobody within twenty feet of the bar. You’re safe.”

    “I don’t want that Titterwillow woman to see me.”

    “No prob. That drink? Rum and Coke? Bahama Mana?”

    Oh, Dios Mios, no! A Cuba Libre will be fine.”

    Rupert worked his mixology magic and leaned down to hand Orlando his drink. A hand snaked out and grabbed it.

    “Mmm, it’s hard to drink it like this,” said Orlando.

    “Dude, you’re sandwiched in between the ice machine and the CO2 bottles for the speed gun. Whataya think? You look like a Latin pretzel down there. Why don’t ya hide in the men’s room?”

    “HA! She found me in there before. She’d never think to look for me on the floor behind the bar.”

    “Well, cross your heart, senor. Here she comes and she’s lookin’ like a homing pigeon.”

    “Ay, yi ya! How did did she know?”

    “Well, that big white Panama hat on the end of the bar mighta given her a clue. Quiet now. I’ll see if I can throw her off the trail. You could go play a solo, you know. She doesn’t bother you while you’re making music.”

    “Good idea, Rupert. A drum solo. Help me out of here. I’m stuck.”

  31. Only Gully recognized the import of the steam billowing from Pablo’s ear holes, and it wasn’t from hot peanuts. And only Gully knew why Pablo’s eyes were glowing orange with flashes of red.

    “Get away from him,” she yelled, at the same time yanking off the billows of shiny skirt and bodice material, revealing her usual jeans and tee shirt.

    She looked at Pablo. Pablo looked at Gully and apparently approved of the usual clothing.

    “Hel-lo-o-o-o-o-o-o,” said the green and yellow bird.

    “Hello, baby bird,” cooed Gully, trying to approach him as casually as possible with her hand extended palm up.

    “Hel-lo-o-o-o-o,” said Pablo again, teetering on the edge of the punch bowl as he turned to face Gully. He flapped his wings a bit to balance himself, then crouched as if in preparation to fly to Gully.

    “Pablo! NO!” shouted Gully, but it was too late.

    ***

    “Hey! That parrot just crapped in the punch!” someone yelled.

    “Parrot did WHAT?” asked Walk.

    “No, not Parrot. That parrot. That green bird,” said Shaddy.

    “Ewwwwwwwwwww,” said Ann. “No more punch for me. What’s that you’re drinking, Shaddy?”

    “Oh, just a little tomato juice tonic I whipped up,” she said, sliding her drink behind her red track suit.

    “May I have a sip? I’d like to see if I like it before I order one,” said Ann.

    “Um, well, oh, shucks. Of course you may, Ann. I can’t deny you anything, but I doubt the bar has the important ingredient.”

    Ann took a small sip and swooned. “OMG! And I never use acronyms,” said Ann. “That is divine, and now I’m using clichés. That is to die for, and where is this stuff coming from? Someone, please help me. And order me two of what Shaddy has. Why, I might start spitting infinitives and dangling prepositions next.

    “Splitting. I meant splitting infinitives, not spitting them. Oh, what’s the difference? WHERE ARE MY DRINKS?”

    “Ann, here. You can have the rest of mine. There’s a secret ingredient, you see. I’ll go get it out of my bike bag. I have a gallon of it there. Major Peters.”

    “Where’s Major Peters? I don’t remember a Major Peters from BWW,” said Ann, holding tightly to Shaddy’s tonic drink with the secret ingredient.

    “No, no,” said Shaddy. “It’s the mixer I use. Major Peters. It’s made from tornadoes. No, wait. Tomatoes. Yes, that’s it. It’s made from tomatoes.” Shaddy jogged across the roller rink towards the scrum of cops at the entrance.

  32. Detective Jock Berry was taking the lead role on this particular disturbance call. He had been involved in the October 2011 prom sponsored by the same Linquist woman. His notes of that event revealed that there had been pirates, skeletons, FBI agents, a kidnapping and some plunder and pillaging. This call had all the makings of a similar episode brewing.

    Sergeant Berry helped John up from the floor, where he was writhing in pain from the spicy pepper he had ingested. John tried his best to cooperate and give a statement but his vocal cords were in total shutdown, so he did his best to explain what had happened with charade type gestures. Berry was never, ever good at charades and he didn’t have time to waste at the futile guessing game. He assigned his second in command, Bonita Fife, to finish taking John’s statement.
    Berry turned his attention to Shaddy, who was approaching the door.
    “Stop Miss, I have some questions for you.” Barry barked

    “Who me?” Shady replied innocently

    “Yes, you. What is in that drink?

    “Just a little Major Peters and a touch of 100 proof Gin.”
    “Do you know all these people?”

    “No, but I know who does…She is over there. Shaddy pointed in Ann’s direction. That is our professor Ann Linquist and she is the hostess of this gala.”

    Detective Berry started to make his was toward Ann, but he slipped in what appeared to be Parrot poop on the rink floor and landed square on his holstered weapon, which caused it to fire, and shoot off his right pinky toe. He screamed in agony for someone to call 911 and for the other officers to bar anyone from leaving.
    Shaddy stepped over the wounded, fallen detective and went back to Ann’s side.

    “Boy, Tallulah is going to have one hell of a time writing this one up. Here Ann, I brought you more Major Peters and gin….I have a feeling we are going to need much more to drink before this night is out.”

  33. Pablo saw nothing but fresh blood and he immediately flew to the fallen cop’s foot, where he carefully and gently began preening and cleaning what was left of the shredded toe that showed through the blown open blucher.

    “Get that monster away from me” screamed the cop, yanking his foot away from the bird. “It’s eating me alive.”

    “No, no, he’s just cleaning the skin around the injury. Shoot, he picks off all my scabs,” said a woman in jeans and tee shirt.

    “I don’t care what he’s doing. Just get it away from me.”

    “Here, this will help,,” said Shaddy as she poured 100 proof gin on what was left of the toe. “Sorry. I ran out of vodka.”

    A scream beginning on the upper register of the human vocal ability sounded through the roller rink, slowly descending through the octaves, then ceasing instantly when the cop fainted.

    “Pablo must have bitten him,” said Shaddy and shrugged her shoulders.

  34. Shaddy accelerated in her red running shoes as she neared the entrance and sailed through the open door into the dark before anyone could stop her. She didn’t know what the police were doing there but she’d been stopped by a cop recently for running under the influence and once was enough. Two days in the clink without a single drop of Major Peters Bloody Mary Mix and vodka had been hellish.

    Shaddy slipped behind a nearby tree and waited for her eyes to adjust to the dark before she went to her bike. Her eyes and mind cleared at the same time. What am I doing? she asked herself. I didn’t ride my bike here. I was running when I came upon this reunion of sorts!!! Ever since Shaddy started writing creatively, she confused reality with fiction. Her mind was a fragile thing and the heavy drinking she’d been doing lately was making matters much, much worse.

    Shaddy was stuck . She was afraid Ann would be disappointed if she returned to the party without the Bloody Mary she’d promised her. Woodman’s was just up the road. She ran there, scooted inside, bought a jug of Major Peters and a bottle of vodka with the credit card she always kept in her jog bra and ran back to the roller rink.

    She filled her water bottle to the brim with the proper mixture of mix and vodka, hid the jug and bottle in a nearby bush and tiptoed through the fall leaves to the door. The cops had worked up an appetite by pursuing their normal routine of doing nothing and were eating stale donuts they’d found under their patrol car seats. They were patting their big bellies and laughing so re-entering the rink was no problem.

    Shaddy looked and looked for Ann with no luck. She was getting thirsty after her run to the store. She opened the bottle to take a swig just as Pablo made a crash landing on her back. Half the bottle splattered down the front of her red velour running jacket. “Shit, Pablo. You don’t know how many times I longed for your assistance in editing my novels. You never showed up when I needed you but now, you decide to embarrass me in front of my writing buddies. Thank God, I always wear red when I run under the influence. It’s hard to run and drink without dribbling now and then. Right now, I’m wearing half a Bloody Mary cocktail but if I brush off the chopped spices and peppers, I won’t look half bad. Hang on, Pablo. I want you to meet my friend, Parrot.”

    Pablo pointed Shaddy in the direction of the punch bowl. As they made their way through the split definitives and other junk writers always leave lying around, Shaddy turned her head a grumbled. “Doesn’t Gully ever trim your nails? You’re killing my shoulders with your toenails. Oh dear, poor Parrot. Look at her! She’s trying to clean your crap out of the punchbowl with that colander. I’m not sure she’s going to want to meet you after all! Let’s find Ann first.”

    Ann was sitting in one of the chairs along the wall with a laptop before her, scowling as she stared at the screen. “Hey, Ann, here you go. Sorry it took so long but I think it’ll be worth the wait. Thanks to the angry and obnoxious bird on my back, it’s a meager Bloody Mary but there’s more where that came from.”

    Ann grabbed the bottle and drained it dry before coming up for air. She wiped her mouth on Shaddy’s sleeve before moaning. “How many years has it been since you took BWW? You seemed so promising but what you wrote this evening is a far cry from what I taught you.”

    “I know. I’m so ashamed and sorry but I can explain it. I was writing along, blogging mostly, and doing just fine. For NaNoWriMo 2011, I wrote a novel titled Writing Under the Influence. For thirty days in November, I drank for several hours a day as I put down 1,666 words per day. I never enjoyed writing more and I never wrote better. In December, I’d reached the 50,000 word challenge so I stopped drinking and started editing. Sober, as I pored over my words, I realized my novel was pitiful. What had become of me and my passion? In desperation, I returned to my dear friend Major Peters and vodka to drown my disappointment and he didn’t disappoint me. He urged me to sell my novel as a scratch pad in my rummage sale for five cents, and I did.”

    “Excuse me, Shaddy. You mustn’t feel bad. You c…c… can mix a m…m…mean drink. Most folks would take a g…g…good stiff drink over a book full of words any old day. Did you say you had more of the Major hiding out nearby? Why don’t you, m…m…me and Pablo go get a refill?”

    An hour later, Ann was sobbing in the corner with Pablo and Shaddy at her side. The three of them had drained the Bloody Mary supply in record time. Ann was going on and on. “Ya know? Tonight is a turnpike, I mean a turning of a pint, I mean a turning point, a turning point in my life. I’m tarred, I mean tired, really tired of reading, reading the junk that comes to me in BWW. Put yourself in my place. No, Pablo, I didn’t mean that literally. Get off my lap!!! Look what you’ve done!! First in the punch and now…GULLY!!! GULLY!!!

  35. (Insider joke explanation: Shaddy and I were in BWW together in Sept. 2006. We were on Assignment 7, rewriting some sentences. One was about a tornado. A student who shall remain nameless mis-typed tornado and it was posted as “tornato.” In her inimitable way, Shaddy replied: Is that a tornado or a tomato? It would be a shame if those tomatoes down in the storm cellar were going to waste.” I started laughing and couldn’t stop. I still remember it. Thus, my reference five posts up, last graph, wherein Shaddy talks about tomatoes and tornadoes.)

  36. Gully could hear someone calling her name, but with all the commotion around the buffet table it took her some time to see Ann and Shaddy sitting on the floor in a corner. Pablo was strutting pigeon-toed away from them and his body language told Gully the parrot was highly insulted. She hurried over to see what had happened, scooping up Pablo on the way.

    “Keep that bird away from me,” yelled Ann.

    “Hello,” said Pablo.

    “Pablo pooped on Ann,” said Shaddy.

    “Oh, listen. Don’t wipe it off. Really. Let it dry and then scrape it off, otherwise you’ll have a permanent green stain on your clothes. I’m not kidding. Let it dry and it won’t leave a mark.”

    “This is my favorite formal,” said Ann. “I don’t want it stained but I certainly have no intention of walking around all evening with parrot poo drying on my gown.”

    “Hel-lo,” said Pablo.

    ”Ann,” said Gully, “I am so sorry, but he’s just a bird. He didn’t do it intentionally. You must understand. It’s just a natural bodily function for him, not a statement.”

    Ann eyed the bird suspiciously. Shaddy bit her lower lip.

    “Hello,” said Pablo.

    “Is that all that thing says?” asked Ann.

    “You’re a dirty, dirty bird,” said Pablo.

    Ann gave Gully AND Pablo the stink eye. “I think that creature knows more than you think it knows.”

    Gully and Pablo walked away towards the buffet table, where Pablo immediately spotted the chicken wings.

    “Hel-lo-o-o-o-o-oooo”, he said.

    Shaddy put an arm around Ann’s shoulder and said, “I’ll bet you never thought it would be like this in person, huh? “

    “No,” said Ann, “not at all.” She choked back a sob. “I thought it would be sedate, a well-behaved group of aspiring writers socializing and getting acquainted. Maybe sipping on a cocktail, exchanging points of views. It never dawned on me that so many would act so omniscient and talk in the third person. It’s like they all have two or three personalities hiding inside and tonight that all are dominant and fighting with each other. I should have realized, I guess. Especially the way Gully and….” She used ellipses for the first time in her life.

    “Gully and…?” prompted Shaddy, politely ignoring Ann’s ellipses. She knew what Ann was going to say before she stopped.

    “Hmm? Oh, nothing. I’ve forgotten. Brain freeze. Senior moment.”

    “Uh, huh. You were going to add my name, weren’t you? It’s okay, Ann. I know Gully and Dee Dee and I really acted up back then. We had a blast, in fact. We’ve formed lifelong friendships with many BWW students, all because you brought us together. We really owe you for that. C’mon, let’s go,” she said as she pulled Ann upright. “There’s still some Major Peters and gin in the bushes outside.”

    Ann resisted. “Oh, come on, Ann. Just fold the skirt fabric to hide that green and white goo. No one will notice.”

    Arm in arm they walked towards the door.

  37. “Has anyone seen Walk?” asked Ann. “He’s the only one I can count on to behave like a gentleman.”

    Shaddy looked at Ann out of the corner of her eyes, but said nothing.

  38. Shaddy held her tongue, but not for long. “I don’t think you know Walk like I do, Ann. He’s a gentleman secondly and a horny son of a gun, firstly. Don’t you remember that everything he wrote had a woman in it? He was always admiring some woman’s breasts and doing all sorts of things in hopes of getting a chance to use his dangling participle. In spite of his narrow mind, I love the guy anyway. In reality, he’s as faithful to his wife as a period is to a declarative sentence. He simply needs to get his mind from romance and love to stories about other things, for Pete’s sake.

    I’m not calling you a liar, Ann, but you’re not being fair. Walk isn’t Jesus and can’t walk on water! Oh, let’s stop talking about this stuff and get you something to put an exclamation point on your face. How about it, dear?”

  39. Ann seemed to be slowly emerging from her shell-shocked,drunken stuper. She took Shaddy’s arm and together, they moved onto the dance floor.

    “Shaddy, do you know how to do the Rumba? I once won the Junior Dance Championship with Lenny Marquart back in 1963 in New Jersey. I have had just enough Major Peters to get my groove on. Shall we Dance?” Ann queried.

    Not having a better offer on the table, Shaddy agreed to try.

    OH IF WALK TO COULD SEE THEM NOW…..HE WOULD SURELY GO
    COMPLETELY GLANDULAR.

  40. (Ok, just remember, y’all started it……)

    Walk was walking in circles towards the bar, Peanut walked over and asked Beautiful, “What’s up with the walking in circles?’

    “I tried to tell him but he doesn’t listen,” Beautiful moaned, “he has his shoes on the wrong feet. He just tells me they can’t be on the wrong feet, those are the only feet he has.”

    Ann and Shaddy rumba-ed up to the ladies, Shaddy looked at Beautiful and said, “Now I know why he writes about women’s breasts, with that low cut dress, Jlo would certainly be jealous.”

    Beautiful looks down at her dress and runs for the bathroom. Walk circles up about that time with their drinks in hand, “Guess she figured out she had her gown on backwards, I liked it that way so I wasn’t going to tell her,”

    Ann downed the last of the Major Peters, held up the empty bottle and said, “This was some good Major Peters, but when I watched the Chippendales, now those were some Major Peters.”

    Gully joined the group with Pablo sitting on her shoulder. He kept repeating “Show me your boobs, show me your boobs”.

    Gully was more than just a little ticked off, “Damnit Walk, I ask you to watch Pablo for ten minutes and now I’m going to have to listen to that all day and night. They will probably kick us off the plane ride back to Moose Pass.”

    “Sorry Gully, what was that?” Walk asked, “I can’t get the image of Ann and Shaddy dancing together out of my head, I think I may have crossed over to the GLANDULAR.”

  41. Shaddy had overheard the word glandular in two separate conversations in the past five minutes. She and Ann had been in each other’s arms doing the Rumba. “Could we cool our feet for a brief moment, my dear Ann. I need to refer to my pocket dictionary.”

    “Oh, of course, Shaddy, you know I always encourage my students to expand their vocabularies. Whatcha gonna look up?”

    “Glandular,” Shaddy replied. Ann took a few steps away from Shaddy. In an instant, Ann’s smile evaporated. She stood as sober as a judge and scowled like one too.

    “Why, I never! Good grief, Shaddy! What are you saying? You’re not, you’re not that way, you know…you’re not, are you?”

    “Why, yes, I am. I’m going to look up that word right now. What are you freaking out for. I know you’re a first class dancer and I hate to interrupt our fun but you’re also a writing instructor. You encouraged us to always carry paper and a pencil. I expanded on that and added a pocket dictionary. It’s here in my jogbra, next to my credit card.”

    From halfway across the room, Walk heard the word “bra” and as if on cue, ran to Shaddy. “Let me get that for you,” he whispered in her left ear.
    “Show me your boobs! Show me your boobs!” Pablo squawked in her other ear.

    Shaddy was oblivious to what was going on around her. She just wanted to know what people were talking about in case someone engaged her in a conversation and used that word. She knew it had something to do with glands, duh. She paged through the tiny book, found “glandular” at the very bottom of a page and read: relating to glands; innate, inherent instinct for adventure and romance; physical, SEXUAL.

  42. I have to say that this has been one hell of a party. You know it’s good when you find yourself propped up against a wall with Pablo poop on your dress, amazingly creative friends topping each other with each post, and a lot of good liquor in your belly.

    Someday I will schedule another reunion–at my house. That day is rather far off right now, but I do think about it. What fun we would have!!
    (exclamation points for Shaddy)

  43. Thanks, Ann, for getting us together. It was truly a blast.

    Regarding my last submission, to clear up any possible misunderstanding, I’m not…um…that way!!!

  44. Thanks for such great entertainment. I would love to have joined but it was flowing so well I didn’t want to interrupt. Great job everyone. Thanks, Ann, for the great prompts. Loved it all.

  45. What a party! Pablo’s running around yelling, “Glandular! Glandular!” Sigh.

  46. I walked one block from the crosstown bus stop and stopped at the large brick building, looking up at the paint-peeled marquee trimmed with incandescent light bulbs. I glanced down at the invitation in my hand, nodded, and pushed open the door.

    I had been looking forward to this get-together ever since receiving the invitation. I was a relative newcomer to this on-line group, but already felt at home with these imaginative, creative, and funny writers. I was looking forward to an evening of intellectual and stimulating conversation. While this would be my first time meeting everyone in person, I felt I would instantly know everyone from their blog photos and their warm and witty words.

    The minute I entered the lobby, Gully, wearing a monstrous shiny black dress, bore down on me, followed by one man toting a camera and another a waving a wireless microphone. She grabbed me by the arm. “What on earth are you wearing? Didn’t you know this was a formal?”

    I squinted against the glare of the camera light blazing in my face and looked down at my white jumpsuit decorated with silver sequins. “Um, we’re in a roller rink, this is my roller skating outfit?”

    She waved her hand dismissively and yelled at a tuxedoed man holding a sheaf of papers. “John, you have another arrival!”

    He ignored her, leering at a young woman who was attempting to apply a name tag to her sequined tube top.

    Gully snorted. “Oh for… Martha! Martha, where are you? Someone here needs a name tag!”

    I took a step back. John and Martha were both here? Hadn’t I read a newspaper article about them claiming to have been kidnapped by aliens?

    I shifted my new pink and silver rollerblades from one shoulder to the other. “You know what, never mind, I just came to try out my new rollerblades.”

    I hurried over to a bench near the skate rental window and sat down. I looked around to see if I could identify any familiar faces.

    Out on the rink, Walk and Beautiful danced in stocking feet, arms wound around each other, gazing into each other’s eyes.

    A small group surrounded a punch bowl by the waist-high wall encircling the rink. They were behaving rather oddly. I recognized Peanut, cupping a hand over her left eye and grimacing; Barbara, rubbing her lower back and wearing a pained expression; Shaddy, dressed in red from head to foot and chugging from a large plastic water bottle slung on a lanyard around her neck; and Parrot, attired in a bright red, yellow, and blue get-up with what appeared to be a stuffed parrot on her head.

    Nobody appeared to have roller skates or roller blades on. Well, I really wanted to see if my adult roller-skating lessons were paying off. I looked around for the DJ. A man in a white suit and panama hat sat by himself on a small stage at the side of the rink. I strapped on my roller blades, wheeled over to him, and whispered in his ear. His face lit up and he nodded.

    I skated out to the center of the rink and struck a pose. I thought the sequins on my white suit and the glitter from my silver boots contrasted nicely with the light reflecting from the slowly revolving disco ball hanging from the ceiling

    As the strains of the BeeGees’ “Staying Alive” thumped from the speakers, the punch-table group snorted and giggled. Someone snickered, “…like John Travolta from Saturday Night Fever…”

    Ignoring them, I pushed off with my left foot.

    I really should have paid attention to the instruction booklet that accompanied my new blades, advising the purchaser to ensure all the screws were securely fastened before first-time use.

    A wheel flew off my right roller blade, sailed across the rink, and struck Peanut in the face. She dropped her punch cup and clutched her right eye. “I’m blinded! I’m blinded!”

    I thumped to the floor in an involuntary display of the splits and grabbed my groin in a most unladylike manner. “Aaaahhh!”

    The hat on Parrot’s head came to life and, squawking, flew straight at my crotch, pecking where my hands clutched.

    Visions of the marauding gulls from Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” hijacked my brain. I screamed and kicked at the bird with my remaining good blade. “Get him away from me! Get him away from me!”

    Parrot rushed over. “Pablo, Pablo! Don’t hurt him, he’s only trying to help.”

    A young woman hurried over and helped me get up. “My name’s Lisa.”

    “Nice to meet you Lisa,” I gasped.

    I slung my arm over one of her shoulders and limped towards the bench by the skate rental window. I removed my roller blades and slipped on my street shoes.

    From the lobby came a loud bang, several shrieks, and a couple of thuds. Lisa and I dashed in and stopped abruptly, open-mouthed.

    A police officer (what was he doing here?) lay on the floor in the middle of the lobby, cursing, blood spurting from his foot.

    John writhed on the floor by the entrance, clutching his throat. An empty glass lay in in a puddle of liquid beside him.

    Our instructor, Ann, crouched against one wall, tears running down her face. “…just like the last time … just like the last time…”

    A squad of paramedics burst through the door and began slinging stretchers and bandages around.

    One began wrapping gauze around Peanut’s eyes, another applied an ice pack to Barbara’s back, a third slipped an oxygen mask over John’s face, a fourth began working on the police officer’s foot, and a fifth hovered uncertainly by me (I still held my groin with one hand). I waved him away.

    So much for intellectual and stimulating conversation. But maybe the evening wasn’t a total loss.

    I turned to Lisa. “There’s a Dunn Brothers Coffee Shop right across the street. Would you like to get away from these lunatics?”

    “Sounds good to me. Let’s go.”

  47. As I pushed open the exit door, something hard whacked me in the back of the head. “Ow!”

    I spun around. “Who did that?”

    “There’s your stupid wheel back!” Peanut cried. “The least you can do is apologize!”

    I bent down and picked up the wheel rolling around at my feet. I had forgotten about it in all the commotion. Rubbing the back of my head, I muttered, “Geez, for someone who can’t see, she has pretty good aim.”

    Louder, I said, “You’re right. I’m sorry. If there’s anything I can do to help you once you’re home, let me know.”

    Then I got out of there.

  48. The Power of Free Writing
    Three weeks ago, I lost a friend, not by the death of her, but by her personally ending a thirteen year friendship. Along with that devastating event, and without being spoken, she also ended the prospect of seeing our manuscript through to publication. A viable first draft that had been re-written numerous of times for the last two and half years.

    From the first of three phone conversations that culminated in these events, I have been free writing all of the feelings, thoughts, and angry statements that entered my mind. I started immediately using the little notebook that I have kept in my purse since taking my first writing course because I desperately needed to put this mess into some perspective.

    Utilizing this technique and along with several others I was able to journal my feelings, which also gave me the format for a new book. One that I felt I need to write for my own sake, thus putting to use all the writing essentials that I have learned from taking online classes.

    I want to thank you Ann for sharing the free writing and all of the other great essentials within our Beginners Writing Course! Thank You! It has helped my mental status, allowing me to move forward on both a personal and professional level.

    Anna St. George

    • I hope we will hear more from you, Anna. Stop by this blog often and see if there are any writing challenges you want to try. I’m glad to hear you are still writing. –Ann

  49. OMG!!! these are so hilarious. I am only half way through and can’t stop laughing

  50. I love it. Laughed till I cried. Great running story. I envy the thought and how your minds ramble. Great Party. Thanks for the fun, fun read.

  51. Eunice Somerset

    Eunice, having just returned from a trip to Italy, was looking through the 256 e-mails that she had reeived in her absence. Delete, delete, delete, her finger stopped short. Peanut had sent her an invite. A reunion dance!
    REALLY?!
    She flashed back to the Prom, her first. What a fun, wild night that had been. But, did she really deserve to go? After all, her writing had been non existent since the BWC.
    She went to push the delete button, but something stopped her.
    A deep longing, a feeling that she had been missing for weeks, even months.
    What did she had to loose? She would just pop her head round the door, take a quick peek to see what everyone else was doing and then go quitely
    home. No one would ever know she had been there…… except….. a party is a party. “Hi ya guys and gals, I’M BACK!”

  52. Eunice, THE ORIGINAL PROM QUEEN. What a delight that you could stop by. I have missed you so much. You must continue to write, especially since you’ve toured Italy. There are a bunch of crazies here, just like in our class, and TexasBelle too. Welcome home and welcome to the Reunion.

  53. Eunice! See what you’ve started!!! Welcome back.

  54. Newbiewriter(Diane Doyker) had been away on sabbatical from the crazy world of blank pages, when finally ready to face print again she checked her email. Hooray a reunion of the best writing class ever! and I still have time to go-okay what do I wear? Oh yes that homemade blue crepe gown with my fluffy white scarf, I’ll look like sky. we all need to see things in the clouds. Oh I can’t wait to see all my old friends- Ann, peanut, Martha and John well maybe forget about him.
    Okay so i get to the party and of course it is a blast, even the police are there again, John is attempting some type of mime with a seriously red face-
    I decide to mingle in the other direction. I spot peanut across the room and hed that way, EWWW what is that smell as I pass Ann- what happened to our leader?
    The music starts playing and this time i’m dancing one of those country line dances, then of course the old time hokey pokey like I try to teach the grandkids’

    I spot Peanut and go in her direction but passing by Ann I smell something fowl. Oh dear what happened to our dear leader? The candle is burning brightly across the room, and around the tables are really? paperclip circles, small mounds of pebbles and

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