ENG 162 Fall 2013

ENG 162 at Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor ME, taught by John A. (Don't ever, ever ask!) Goldfine johngoldfine@gmail.com

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Week 9 Prompts. Linked vignettes aka literary pointillism

Linked Vignettes or Literary Pointillism Prompts. Do three of the four; each prompt should lead you to write a short series of linked vignettes, asterisks between them (except 42 which is what it is, a list.) This week do not put all three prompts under one post! Open three separate posts, one per prompt.

39. I came, I saw, I conquered.

40. The best part of this story is the part I can't tell....

41. You never know what you have until it's gone.

42. Try one of these lists about yourself:

A list of random things about me:

1. One of my best qualities is my Yankee ingenuity
2. I can get all parts of a meal to be ready at the right times
3. I miss making yogurt cheese and miss even more eating it with my dear friend
4. My friend Terry died by crashing his BMW on Chuckanut Drive. It might have been half on purpose.
5. I forget most things I learn
6. I’m a fast learner
7. I’m a slow learner
8. In yoga, I don’t like warrior poses
9. I miss my kids when they’re at school.
10. I feel most patriotic when I flash my lights as fuzz warning for other drivers
11. I waste time, big time.
12. Looking at art kills my appetite.
13. I don’t know how to let go
14. The best thing I did last summer was swim in a stormy lake
15. My world is shrinking
16. I love sharp pencils
17. I’m terrible with money
18. I’m blessed with a good body
19. There’s not enough time in the day.
20. My relationships are treasured and easy but always sources of pain
21. We have way too much junk in our house
22. My child is not doing well in math and I don’t do flash cards with him.
23. My face feels like it’s going to explode when I talk on the phone
24. The drape of fabrics registers sometimes as joy.
25. I believe many of the things my mother taught me in spite of what I know to be true: feathers are dirty; a neat appearance is supreme; animals heal themselves.

Copyright (c) 2009 by Louise D. W.

42A. Try one of these:


by Gregory Burnham

Number of refrigerators I've lived with: 18. Number of rotten eggs I've thrown: 1. Number of finger rings I've owned: 3. Number of broken bones: 0. Number of Purple Hearts: 0. Number of times unfaithful to wife: 2. Number of holes in one, big golf: 0; miniature golf:3. Number of consecutive push-ups, maximum: 25. Number of waist size: 32. Number of gray hairs: 4. Number of children: 4. Number of suits, business: 2; swimming: 22. Number of cigarettes smoked: 83. Number of times I've kicked the dog: 6. Number of times caught in the act, any act: 64. Number of postcards sent: 831; received: 416. Number of spider plants that died while under my care: 34. Number of blind dates: 2. Number of jumping jacks: 982,316. Number of headaches: 184. Number of kisses, given: 21,602, received: 20,041. Number of belts: 21. Number of f***kups, bad: 6; not so bad: 1,500. Number of times swore under breath at parents: 838. Number of weeks at church camp: 1. Number of houses owned: 0. Number of houses rented: 12. Number of hunches played: 1,091. Number of compliments, given: 4,051; accepted: 2,249. Number of embarrassing moments: 2,258. Number of states visited: 38. Number of traffic tickets: 3. Number of girlfriends: 4. Number of times fallen off playground equipment, swings: 3; monkey bars: 2; teeter-totter: 1. Number of times flown in dreams: 28. Number of times fallen down stairs: 9. Number of dogs: 1. Number of cats: 7. Number of miracles witnessed: 0. Number of insults, given: 10,038; received: 8,963. Number of wrong telephone numbers dialed: 73. Number of times speechless: 33. Number of times stuck key into electrical socket: 1. Number of birds killed with rocks: 1. Number of times had the wind knocked out of me: 12. Number of times patted on the back: 181. Number of times wished I was dead: 2. Number of times unsure of footing: 458. Number of times fallen asleep reading a book: 513. Number of times born again: 0. Number of times seen double: 28. Number of deja vu experiences: 43. Number of emotional breakdowns: 1; Number of times choked on bones, chicken: 4; fish: 6; other: 3. Number f times didn't believe parents: 23,978. Number of lawn-mowing miles: 3,575. Number of light bulbs changed: 273. Number of childhood home telephone: 384-621-5844. Number of brothers: 3 2. Number of passes at women: 5. Number of stairs walked, up: 745,821; down: 743,609. Number of hats lost: 9. Number of magazine subscriptions: 41. Number of times seasick: 1. Number of bloody noses: 16. Number of times had sexual intercourse: 4,013. Number of fish caught: 1. Number of time heard "The Star Spangled Banner": 2,410. Number of babies held in arms: 9. Number of times I forgot what I was going say: 631.


Anonymous Zoe Little said...

List Of Random Things (About Myself)

-No matter how hot it is outside, I can not drive with my windows fully down at night for fear of something grabbing me
-I make big plans, but have a hard time following through
-Working with children with Autism (my current job) has been the most rewarding experience of my life.
-I have the attention span of a goldfish
-I'm terrified of heights, even looking at a birds eye view on a post card/Tv gives me anxiety
-Avoidance is a very strong quality of mine (if you can call it a quality)
-I've had my Dad wrapped around my finger for 20 (almost 21!!!) years
-My mom got mad at me years ago and threw a Juicy Juice bottle at my head (empty), I tell everyone
-I straighten my hair in the car (yes, I have an adapter) and drive with my knees
-I believe getting in the car and driving with no destination can solve any problem
-Tia from Pitbulls & Parolees is my role model
-I'm horrible with cash
-I'm proud of myself for purchasing my first new car and making the payments & insurance each month
-My best friend and I stole her fathers car, drunk, and crashed it in Exeter when we were 14
-I broke three plates in my neck, my leg and had a countless number of stitches after my accident
-I hate myself for almost killing my best friend, lesson learned
-I've replaced many addictions with biting my nails
-I could live off Dill Pickles
-Vinegar settles my stomach
-I have ten tattoos so far
-I'm 3 years into a 2 year degree...I'm ready to be done.

Saturday, March 19, 2011 7:30:00 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

Nice list, exactly the right tone and collection of oddities this assignment demands. My favorites: driving with your knees (no no NOOOO!) and 3 years into a 2 year degree.

Sunday, March 20, 2011 8:17:00 AM  
Blogger darci said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Sunday, March 20, 2011 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger darci said...

-I am a procrastinator when it comes to certain things – cleaning, paying bills, writing
-I am horrible at saying goodbye to people that I won’t see for a long time
-I have all of my childhood stuff in my house so it is very cluttered
-I text and drive with my knees
-I don’t buckle my seat buckle because I think that the dinging alarm is sometimes soothing
-I break perfectly good cell phones so that I can get a top of the line new one
-I love working with little children, but I have a hard time to discipline my own children
-I have ate a banana and ranch dip and it was actually pretty good
-It took almost 10 years after graduating high school to figure out what I want to do with my life
-I am scared to death of heights
-I slept with my favorite baby blanket until I was a sophomore in high school
-I can do 32 fortes into a heel stretch turn and not feel sick to my stomach
-I care to much
-I am a perfectionist
-I have never tried lobster
-Men with beards scare me
-I dislike people who smoke, yet I am married to a smoker
-I still have my dad wrapped around my little finger and I am 28 years old
-I put my son's homework before my own

Sunday, March 20, 2011 11:20:00 AM  
Anonymous reetplus3 said...

42. a list about myself

1. I love to bake. I like to cook
2. I’d like to have clean sheets on my bed every night
3. I wonder what it’s like to be dead – but I don’t want to be dead
4. I hate it that size two girls are on the zumba video showing me how to do it
5. I’d like to have a tummy tuck
6. I can be bitchy when I’m stressed. I’m bitchy a lot
7. I wonder why others can’t clean the bathroom as well as I can
8. I know my mother-in-law smokes. She thinks I don’t
9. I wish we had changed mum’s clothes before they took her
10. I’m so lucky to have my husband
11. People pay big bucks for my peanut butter fudge
12. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to live alone
13. I hear every little sound when I lay in the dark
14. I’m trying to find courage for the medical test I should have done
15. I think my brother-in- law’s actions were despicable
16. I’m enjoying this class more than I thought I would. But I’ll be glad when it’s done
17. I don’t have much confidence in myself
18. I wonder if others think I do my job well
19. I’m glad I have two daughters and three grandchildren
20. I find it harder and harder to enjoy a ride in the car when my husband is driving
21. I love to see the sunrise
22. I love to see the sun setting over the Gulf of Mexico
23. The older I get, the worse I hate wintertime
24. I love the sparkly trees and bushes after a winter ice storm
25. I still regret the time I called my father Gerald, not dad
26. graphic operations on tv are interesting to me
27. I would’ve made a good o.r. nurse
28. I think donating blood is the most rewarding thing

Sunday, March 20, 2011 5:05:00 PM  
Anonymous reetplus3 said...

41. you never know what you have until it’s gone.

After ten minutes of pouring through my messy recipe pile, I found the apple pie recipe that I’d used for years. I dug again for the recipe for the crust. No bought crust for my pie. Apples, oleo, crisco, sugar, flour, and spices line the sideboard. The smell of the cinnamon as I opened it to check to see if there was enough of it was joy to my senses. There’s nothing better than apples and cinnamon cooking, filling the house with sweet smells. I also need oatmeal. After taking everything off the top shelf, where it should be, I still can’t find any oatmeal. shit! Hurry and get in the car. It closes so early.

I started my weekly grocery shopping in the produce aisle, and it appeared everyone else did, too. As I made my way to the fresh fruit section, I saw a friend from work. She was looking at the strawberries, the same item I was hoping to purchase. We both agreed that they looked good, but they cost so much: much more than in Bangor. Fact is, everything is more expensive here.

Four of us sat around the table on Monday, eating our lunches and enjoying the reprieve from the voices of children. In the middle of the second table sat a container of cookies, brought in for all of us to enjoy. Minutes later, Jack came in, in search of a cup of coffee. After pouring some in his cup, he leaned against the counter, and asked where the cookies came from. A member of the PTO made them, he was told. I said that I had had one and it was good. Not as good as your pb fudge, he said. I agreed that fudge would taste good. When you gonna make some? he asked. Not this week. I don’t have any peanut butter or fluff. I have to think ahead now that mfu closed. I can’t just go to the store on the spur of the moment to get it. I can’t wait until the 27th.

Sunday, March 20, 2011 7:09:00 PM  
Blogger emily said...

42. A list of random things (about myself)

1. I could sleep all day if my dog didn't wake me up by barking at the foot of my bed.
2. I love to dream.
3. I have great genes, my great-grandmother lived to be 101.
4. My 4 year old husky zues is my baby!
5. If I get below a 90 in school I'm very hard on myself.
6. I get used to what is comfortable, I don't like change.
7. I love taking my dog for long walks when I get upset or need a break.
8. I live behind my mom and grandmother in her apartment.
9. My ancestor was a poet. (John Greenleaf Whittier)
10. I hate when my food touch together on a plate.
11. I have been at the same job for eight years.
12. I drive a truck.
13. I love living by myself, well besides my dog!
14. I will only eat one thing at a time, then go on to the next one.
15. I can't wait to see my grandfather and great-grandmother in heaven.
16. I'm afraid of heights.

Monday, March 21, 2011 2:10:00 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

42, emily: items 10, 13, 14:


Tuesday, March 22, 2011 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

42, emily--great list!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

41, reta--yes, I read about that closing in the paper; you do a nice job of giving us three different angles on it in three linked vignettes

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

reta, list:

2, 4, 8


"16. I’m enjoying this class more than I thought I would. But I’ll be glad when it’s done"

Oh boy, give with one hand, take with the other! How bad did you think it was going to be???

"25. I still regret the time I called my father Gerald, not dad"

That's the kind of startling, deep item that makes this such a wonderful prompt.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 11:40:00 AM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

darci, 42--

"I am a procrastinator when it comes to certain things – cleaning, paying bills, writing"


"-I text and drive with my knees
-I don’t buckle my seat buckle because I think that the dinging alarm is sometimes soothing
-I break perfectly good cell phones so that I can get a top of the line new one"

Horrifying! (But funny....)

"-Men with beards scare me"

Good thing this is not a live class!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

"-I put my son's homework before my own"

Darci! Haven't I already begged you not to tell me stuff like this!!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 11:44:00 AM  
Anonymous reetplus3 said...

40. the best part of this story is the part I can’t tell…

My husband came home and said he was given a trip to Cancun. “Given?” I questioned. “Yeah, Eric won it at the trade show and they don’t want to go. He asked me if I wanted it.”
“When’s it for?”
“End of September. Do you think you could get the time off from work?” he asked.
“I don’t know. It would have to be without pay.”
I thought there must be a drawback to this somewhere along the line.
“How much for the hotel?”
“Nothing, and it’s all-inclusive.”
Am I really here? The chandelier in this lobby sparkles like diamonds and is huge. My eyeballs are like magnets drawn to the endless pool just steps from the front door. It looks like the pool flows directly into the ocean, the blue-green-aqua ocean. I am simply amazed at this place. The group we’re with is greeted with a buffet luncheon big enough to feed an army. Fresh fruit, salads, cheeses, deli meats, foods native to Mexico, breads, and desserts. WHAT is that? Oh My God.
Lounging on the beach daily with my husband is getting to be quite nice. Having someone wait on me when I want a drink, any kind of drink, alcoholic or non-alcoholic, is heavenly. Being able to eat at any of the four restaurants, any time we want, is pure bliss. Gawking at scantly clad men under cover of my sunglasses stirs up ideas. Most of these things I will share with others on our return home, but there’s one part that I won’t speak of to any one. It was good, and I still can’t believe it happened.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 3:35:00 PM  
Blogger Kristie Grant Canfield said...

List about myself
I am:

•I am constantly evolving
•I take my job as a parent very seriously
•If I could have three wishes, one would be a daughter
•I can’t wait to be a grandparent
•I can’t imagine a world without music
•I spend too much time in front of the t.v.
•I rearranged the furniture again today
•I long for a closer relationship with my sister
•I want to believe in God
•I am ashamed at how much my parents have had to help me
•I am super excited for my future, now that I know what I want to be when I grow up
•My husband makes me funny
•I am a hoarder of all things sentimental
•I am a girly girl and tomboy all rolled into one
•I was popular growing up, not a mean girl popular, but the good kind, the real kind
•I am a work in progress

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 4:50:00 PM  
Blogger Rebecca C. said...

A list of random things about me:

-I am a small girl, but despite my looks, I am very strong.
-I love dogs and like to surround myself with animals
-I have procrastination problems sometimes when I make lists of things to do.
-I always have to write things down or I will forget them in five minutes.
-I have to go over something several hundred times if I want to memorize it well.
-I was not gifted with a photographic memory
-I have to be outside at least once a day and get fresh air or I will go crazy.
-I call my dad Pops
-I am a daddy's little girl
-My life is hectic 24-7
-I can't stop being active and I can't sit still. Ever!
-My family is absolutely crazy
-I am surrounded by drama queens
-I can always be counted on and never go back on my word
-I miss my friends from high-school
-I learn quickly when it comes to science or math
-I learn slower when it comes to history
-My world can be insane at times
-I have lots of energy
-I am great with animals. That I get from my dad
-I regret when I fight with my sister
-I learn quickly from my mistakes

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 6:37:00 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

That's exactly the idea, rebecca--each one of those a small point of reference on the way to creating a self portrait

Thursday, March 24, 2011 8:22:00 AM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

kristie--these are all good items, but the surprising ones are like perfect seasonings in a good meal:

•I rearranged the furniture again today
•I want to believe in God
•I am a work in progress
•I am ashamed at how much my parents have had to help me

Thursday, March 24, 2011 8:25:00 AM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

reta, 40--I think you can leave a piece unresolved, but I'm not sure you can leave it with a teaser or mystery like this--there is a difference.

Thursday, March 24, 2011 8:29:00 AM  
Blogger Rebecca C. said...

40. The best part of this story is the part I can't tell....

Wack! That tennis ball is history. "Nice shot girl!" I play my heart out on that court. I remember when I couldn't even make contact with the ball and my racket. I missed eighty percent of the time. Now I make strong, fast hits. My main concern is not just hitting the ball, but now I can focus on puting it somewhere useful. I get this game. I love this game.

"Okay, ladies I need your attention for a moment. You all have to vote on who you think should get the Most-Improved Player award this year." We all grab a pen and peice of paper. I think hard. Wow, who's name should I write? There are so many girls who have gotten so much better this season. Wack! Back to the practice. Three different teammates whisper to me, "I voted for you".

We sit in comfortable seats all dressed up. "welcome to our spring sports Award Cermony." With huge smiles on our faces, we had a great season. After the baseball team awards, finally coach stood up and made a little speach. Award time. "And the award for Most-Improved goes to..."

Thursday, March 24, 2011 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Kara said...

I came, I saw, I conquered.
***I’m sitting in my hospital bed, surrounded by close family members waiting patiently for results. Nerves are shattering the room and tears are dripping to the floor. The doctors come in and say, “We have good news and bad news, good news, there is no tumor, bad news you have a brain malformation called Chiari malformation and you need to have brain surgery.” The room is silent.

***I’m in the car riding down the highway relaxing in the back seat; its 4:00 am. We have to be at the hospital to check in for surgery at 7:00 a.m. My mother and father are in the front, my father driving of course. The car is silent, I hate the silent, so I crisply break the ice, “hey mom, dad, guess what!!!!....I am have brain surgery today hahahaha!” I was the love of their life, what would they do without me, my parents didn’t laugh.

***Waking up in a dark room connected to multiple machines, I was experiencing the worst pain imaginable. I couldn’t move my head and I had a throbing headache that made me want to throw up. I really wanted to doctors to videotape the surgery, because I can just imagine how cool that would have been, my skull wide open, cutting through the dura and exposing my precious brain.
***CRACK, the ball goes flying in the air, I’m running to first base, second, third and sliding into home, SAFE! My energy is so obvious to my friends and family. I don’t have that pounding sensation in my heart, or tingly hands and feet anymore, I can enjoy the weather everyday like I used to, exercise.

Thursday, March 24, 2011 11:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Melissa said...


- I'm a hard worker
- I have 2 jobs
- I'm weird, and my friends are even more weird
- I like to socialize
- I'm very chatty
- I eat out at restaurants every other day
- I love to travel
- Shoes and clothes are my weakness, I really think I have a shopping problem
- I have 2 dogs
- If i can pay for something on my own, I won't let any one else buy it for me
- I eat a bowl of pasta everyday
- Both of my feet have to be fully out of the room before I shut the light off
- I love reality tv shows
- I hate emptying the dishwasher
- I clean as one of my jobs, but yet I can't keep my own room clean
- I take a nap everyday
- I get scared and that someone is going to reach out from under my high bed and grab my feet while I'm standing next to it
- Sadly, I don't weigh enough to give blood, but I always try
- I think I have the best grandparents in the world
- My mother is like my best friend
- I can sing you a song naming the states and state capitals in alphabetic order
- I need to figure out what I want my career to be

Thursday, March 24, 2011 3:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Morgan said...

40. The best part of this story is the part I can't tell....

It went like this—some guy comes along and busts your balls and acts like nothing happened.
Maybe he was lied to—maybe he didn’t know what was going on, that’s why the picture online I saw showed what hurt me the most.
I should have scared him more when he spilt that beer on me in the bar. He did wipe it right off of me, with his fleece sleeve.
She told me she couldn’t, when we were watching a movie with no subtitles.
He did computer stuff. She was dumb, but damn fine.
She liked to dance, and I too, but he just couldn’t move and didn’t bother to try. Up one for me.
He lived in the apartment above. Down one for me.
She liked to play games. Scrabble in real life, but letters didn’t come in block form, but feelings drove them.
He liked to bust balls some days to me—other days he enjoyed looking like he didn’t know what was going on, that I didn’t want to tear him to pieces.
I liked to think I was crazy—mind going in every direction.
Once settled, I didn’t care.

Friday, March 25, 2011 8:51:00 AM  
Anonymous morgan said...

41. You never know what you have until it's gone.

She’d cry and roll in that little diaper changing booth—the ones you’d find at evictions when early in the morning a moving company would come and work in the cool air of the summer. It was the Phenobarbital.
She hung in the arms of a man who fought 9 cops and her mother waited in the back of a car.
A frustrated grandmother couldn’t do it all anymore. The two year old was too much and had to play all day with the toys she had.
When it was time to go to bed, her uncle would carry her to bed from the blue couch to the large, 17 year old bed.
She had a CD player where she listened to Miley Cyrus all day and my mother cursed. It was pink.
Every man that played toys with her was her father.
At a young age she said to her uncle, “she’s not coming back.”
After 3 years she was passed around like a new born puppy. Up the road, Loop road—even to Connecticut with her grandfather.

Friday, March 25, 2011 8:51:00 AM  
Anonymous morgan said...

42. Try one of these lists about yourself:

1. I wake up at strange hours to eat chocolate, and if there is none, I usually stumble up and down the hallway in a sleeping stupor.
2. I talk to myself in different languages.
3. Watching little kids fall, especially in thick winter clothing, is absolutely the funniest thing in the world.
4. One of my favorite things to do is day dream.
5. One of my faults is that I feel accomplished after I day dream about some sort of success.
6. I am reverent.
7. I love cats and despise ants.
8. I adore children, mainly because they understand me. I don’t quite understand them most times.
9. I laugh at most things people don’t, especially if it shouldn’t be laughed at.
10. My mother yells at me for eating too fast. I tell her I don’t understand the question.
11. I yell at my mother, “If we’re going to be siestaing around here, there best be some fucking Spanish food,” for eating her dinner at 11:30 at night.
12. Monday mornings on my way out of Swetts with a coffee, I almost always say, “yeah, have a good weeke—“ and then realize what I just did.
13. I learn a lot from dreams. Just the other night someone taught me the word Englanol, which, when I looked it up online, means Spanglish in Puerto Rico. Never heard it before.
14. I tend to say I never heard something before but then realize someone told me it a week or two earlier.
15. There’s this stupid fucking stuffed elephant that hangs on the side of my bed.
16. I wish I knew how to forget.
17. If I were rich, I’d be broke from giving it to people who need it.
18. I laugh at my father when he’s high.
19. I laugh at my father when he’s sober.
20. I cry about my father on paper where my heart bleeds the ink.
21. I want to marry a beautiful Spanish woman, for I am crazy about them.
22. All my new books are in a pile next to my “library” (wohohohoho scary) shelf.
23. I’m terrible with fancy names, especially when it comes to wines and cheeses.
24. I use the word ‘gay’ all the time, but in the new modern day context (Season 9, South Park).
25. My heart’s home will forever be the little island in the middle of the Penobscot river.

Friday, March 25, 2011 8:52:00 AM  
Blogger Rebecca C. said...

39. I came, I saw, I conquered.

On a mountain in New Hampshire. Alone with two dogs, brother and sister. I told her that I would take care of them for the month and that I would keep the house up and running. I imagine her fishing in Salmon River alongside the grizzlys. I am perfectly alone and perfectly content. Independence is mine.

Sunshine illuminates the yard. I am flying around the roads on my new bycicle. I am figuring out all the little quirks and brilliant craftamnship. My speed is getting much faster than it should be. I am zooming around a corner and down a hill. And then SMASH! Uh oh. I am underneath the bike. The magnitude of the crash suddenly hits me. I force myself to breath without hyperventilating. I walk through the front door. Look in the mirror. Blood is covering my legs and arm. I have no feeling in my left thumb. "Yup, it's broken"

I am standing at the top of the hill clutching my handle bars tightly. "Come on girl, let's go. We don't have all day." ok, here I go. Take a deep breathe. I take off like a rocket. My heart races, my hands tremble. I made it! I am at the bottom in one piece. A huge sigh of relief. I conquered!

Friday, March 25, 2011 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Kristie Grant Canfield said...

41. You never know what you have until it's gone.
I ask the always friendly lady at the check-out, “Can I bring my own cup to refill next time I want a coffee?”
She replies, “No dear, they won’t let you because of germs”.
That’s a bummer, I think. Didn’t stop me from getting a coffee, but wouldn’t it be nice to not have to throw something away every time I needed an afternoon pick me up before class.
My seat for math class happens to be in the back row. Directly behind me is the trash can. Every day when I get up from seat and turn to leave, I glance at that can, full of Styrofoam and returnable bottles. If I thought I could get away with taking the bottles out and no one seeing, I would.
There are three small black plastic garbage cans in my Educational Psychology class. One of them could be for recycling. But they aren’t labeled, so how’s a girl to know? I have found myself carrying my paper out with me, hoping to come across a blue can with the famous triangle of arrows. I don’t.

Friday, March 25, 2011 8:35:00 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

40, rebecca c--the winner! A very simple piece, but effective, particularly in knowing where to stop. Those vingettes are made to link very nicely.

Sunday, March 27, 2011 2:27:00 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

kara, came/saw/conquered--unusual story to illustrate the prompt--I keep resisting the baseball vignette as the ending but cannot deny the rightness of it as a topper to your story, so score one for you.

Sunday, March 27, 2011 2:33:00 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

melissa, 42--

- I eat a bowl of pasta everyday
- Both of my feet have to be fully out of the room before I shut the light off
- - I get scared and that someone is going to reach out from under my high bed and grab my feet while I'm standing next to it


Those are the kind of oddball items I love!

Sunday, March 27, 2011 2:35:00 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

kristie, 41--I like that a lot because it's based on a theme and because the three vignettes are interchangeable and could be shuffled in any order--that is unusual in student writing which is usually straight line chronological

Sunday, March 27, 2011 2:38:00 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

rebecca, 39--but these three indidents are spread out over quite a bit of time, right? YOu didn't go down the mt with a broken thumb (or did you?)

Sunday, March 27, 2011 2:41:00 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

morgan, my particular favorites in your list: 25, 18-20, 15, 13 (last night I woke up with a word I made up in a dream: pedotheocracy--rule by a child-priest or a child-god), 11

Sunday, March 27, 2011 2:46:00 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

morgan, 41--there, that's it, all the best of morkkis in one piece, all vibrating on the tightrope you like to set up, all in dynamic balance, all doing what you want, and no niggling comments from an English teacher.

That's chilling, scary.

Try it for the Eyrie?

Sunday, March 27, 2011 2:51:00 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

morgan, 40--and then sometimes you fall off the tightrope, eh?

Is this the story of a love triangle? I don't want to reach the end and have to still be guessing.

Sunday, March 27, 2011 2:55:00 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

morgan, 41--the material is scary, not the fact that I had no niggling comments!

Sunday, March 27, 2011 2:56:00 PM  
Blogger emily said...

39. I came, I saw, I conquered.

It's summertime, the birds are chirping and the sun is shining so brightly you can barley keep your eyes open. The grass is green, just enough cushion to help aid a fall if someone fell. In front of the school, right beside the tennis court is where the tryouts were.
We were all anxious well all of us except for the Seniors who of course had a "in" with the coach and didn't have to worry about not making it. Those of us who were Freshman were so worried about not making it, you could see it in our faces. Some of the girls even threw up before it was their turn to go.
I was nervous but, I knew I had to keep my cool in order to make the team. I knew I could do it, this was my turn to go out and prove it and I was going to. The sun was shining in my face which helped me not to see the judges, score. I did everything correctly, didn't mess up my cheer and I aced my jumps. YES! I knew I could do it!
The girls are all lined up, taking turns looking at the paper tacked up with everyones names who made the team. It was my turn, I walked up and looked under Freshman... I almost passed out as I saw my name. AWESOME! My first tryout and I made it. Some of my excitement was taken away when I saw some of the girls walking away sad, some crying. I felt for them, I don't know what I would do if my name wouldn't have been up there.

Sunday, March 27, 2011 5:44:00 PM  
Blogger emily said...

40. The best part of this story is the part I can't tell....

The room was full of party hats, streamers and those loud things that kids blow on that make a horrible noise and not to mention they are really obnoxious. Her mom even bought her a blow up pit that had balls that you can bury yourself in. It was all waiting for us kids to arrive, it was like a kids play land. We were just a little too old to appriciate it.

We went outside to find something to do after my best friends mom made us play like little kids with the stuff she bought for the party. We were just looking for something fun to do, at 12 there isn't that much you can do. We were inbetween little kids toys and going out someplace by ourselves. We would ammuse ourselves somehow, i mean it was her birthday after all.

Blue lights lit up the whole sky down her dark road. Everyone in the neighborhood must have been wondering what was going on down the street, you could see it for miles down the road. We ran as soon as we saw them, except we were too stupid to run very far. Inside the house her mom looked at as and talked to the cop. "I'm so sorry officer, I can't believe those girls would do that. It won't happen again, they are inside for the night." The door shut and her face was as red as a stop light. She was mad and we were inside for the rest of the night.

Sunday, March 27, 2011 9:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Melissa said...


"Ill sell you this for $100," my grandmother told me while pointing to her recently dead brother's truck. The offer was too good to pass up. The truck was only a few years old and still in new condition. The only flaw about it, was it was a standard and I didn't know how to drive one. I had no idea on what gears and a clutch were. But, for $500 I had to buy it.


"I don't understand what to do!" MY truck was so hard to learn how to drive. The long stick in the middle with the gears on it confused me, and the whole clutch thing just didn't make sense at all. Up, down, up and down, I kept stalling try after try. I never thought I was going to learn. After 6 months of owning my truck and conplaining everyday about hating driving it, I finally was a pro!


"Go look outside!" my mom came yelling in the house looking for me. "There's a surprise!"
I ran outside into the dark drive way and saw a brand new SUV. "We bought a new car today, and you can have the old one!" She was giving me her old car which actually wans't old at all, it was only a few years old. I screamed and yelled in happiness to be getting rid of my standard. I was happy until I realized my new car wasn't as fun to drive as my old one.

Monday, March 28, 2011 12:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Melissa said...


"Hey Melis, I made plans for us this weekend and your friends are coming with us," my mother said to me one day when she came home from work on a Monday evening.
"What are we doing?"
She babbeled on about a drag at Hollywood Slots this coming Saturday night. She had already bought the 10 tickets which included me and two of my friends to go along with her and her friends.
"Alright I'll go!" I said excitedly with smile on my face.


We planned to get all dressed up in sparkely outfits that would glitter and shine. We started to get ready 2 hours before we had to leave. We put on our short dresses with high heels and styled our hair as big as it could get with lots of volume. We were ready to go out to eat and then to the show. We were ready to make heads turn.


All 10 of us sat down at our reserved seats anxiously waiting for the show to start. My friends and I had never been to anything along the lines of this. We had no idea what something like this was going to be like. All we knew was men were going to be dressed as girls in flashy outfits that would put our outfits to shame. Things happened in that show that I will never repeat again...
Just thinking about it makes my face blush. It was NOTHING like I expected.

Monday, March 28, 2011 3:54:00 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

emily, 39--yes, there are the linked vignettes, racing along to tell their tale. Only think I missed was a description of your cheer.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 2:37:00 PM  
Blogger RJ Perry said...


1. I don’t believe in ‘breakfast food’ or ‘lunch food’, food is food and I eat it when I choose.
2. I procrastinate far too often.
3. I’m busy all of the time.
4. I usually waste what little free time I have playing games or sleeping instead of on important things like laundry.
5. The closer I get to graduating the more stressed I get.
6. I love my girlfriend but she can be a pain in the butt sometimes.
7. My memory is horrible.
8. I don’t think I’m incredibly smart, and it doesn’t bother me.
9. I hate crowds.
10. I love pizza
11. I don’t have a best friend.
12. I have plenty of friends.
13. I have 2 jobs and need to find a new one.
14. I’m great at just about everything.
15. My memory is horrible.
16. I miss living with my parents.
17. I hate dealing with my landlord even though she’s nice.
18. I’m not sure I’ll have enough money when I graduate to start paying off my loans.
19. I love to tinker.
20. My apartment is too small for all my crap.
21. I’ve never broken the law, but cops make me nervous.
22. I can’t remember the last time I took a vacation.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 2:47:00 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

emily, 40--I liked the part about the mom who hadn't figured out what 12 year olds scorn, what is babyish. You had me right to the end, but I don't think you can avoid telling the reader what you bad girls did--that's taking the prompt too literally. The reader needs some hint--vandalism, arson, stealing a car, shoplifting, b & e?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 2:47:00 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

Memory, rj! Glad to see the sense of humor remains intact!


Tuesday, March 29, 2011 2:48:00 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

melissa, 41--$100 or $500? still a good deal. All three vignettes certainly are in the same constellation, deal with the same material, but it feels as if there's something missing between 2 & 3, some bridge that ought to be there--maybe about how more about how kool you felt with that shift lever in your hand.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 2:54:00 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

melissa, check my comment on emily's 40--I have the same beef here. I don't think you can get away with that big a tease. When you do that the reader walks away with an awful sense that his time has been wasted. You can tease the reader a little but you have to give some little idea about the things you saw; it can be subtle but it can't be altogether lacking.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 2:57:00 PM  
Blogger emily said...

on my 40.

yes, this is true but i thought telling what we really did at 12years old was a little too much! :) but you asked for it. okkk... so we mooned a cop! haven't lived it down to this day.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 3:29:00 PM  
Blogger RJ Perry said...

These senior projects are boring. Each one of these projects I could have done when I was 10, there’s nothing difficult about them. If these guys are going to graduate with this then there’s no reason for me to do anything difficult, is there?
I think I’ll make a battery charger! Those are easy enough that I’ll have it done in three weeks but have enough options that if I get bored I can throw something else in to make it more exciting. I think it’s a perfect project.
“Jude, can I switch my project?” I went down to speak to my advisor. A battery charger is dumb; I don’t know what I was thinking. I want my senior project to make me look good to perspective employers, not like I just tried to glide by with some stupid project.
I think I can make a sonar. I’ve seen others do it before, so I know it can be done and it will still give me a chance to design my own circuit I think it’s a perfect project.
“James, do you think Todd would let me use this as my senior project?” Todd’s one of our clients at work and James is my boss. For the last couple months at work I’ve been designing an Electronic Tuning Fork for diabetes testing. It’s really intricate but because Todd’s a client, my non-disclosure agreement would normally prevent me from using it as my senior project.
The project will actually be used to help people. It will be a real medical device, not just some project I’m making to show off to random employers. And, to top it all off, I’ll be getting paid to work on my senior project! I think this is the perfect project.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 3:35:00 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

Aw, emily, I meant in the writing itself you ought to be dishing the dirt! I didn't personally need to know!

Thursday, March 31, 2011 8:26:00 AM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

I see that progression in 39, rj--but are each of those three items are actually vignettes. Vignettes have a feel to them, a sense of immediacy that putting this material in the writer's mind is not conveying here. I don't really have suggestions for a rewrite so am not asking for one--I realize that telling someone that 'vignettes have a feel to them' is not exactly cutting-edge pedagogy, but that's the thing about vignettes: they are really real but hard to pin down. I can only say I know them when I see them, and they are worth exploring!

Thursday, March 31, 2011 8:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Derek P said...

42. List Of Random Things (About Myself)

1. I used to be very over weight.
2. I’ll eat anything thats deep fried or dipped in ketchup.
3. I don’t like any vegetables in anything, only by themselves.
4. I won’t drive a truck unless its a GM product.
5. I think Ford sucks!
6. I think Burton rules.
7. I spent more money on my snowboarding set up than I did my first vehicle.
8. I’ve never not had a dog in my house ever since I can remember.
9. I have an extremely gay brother and 4 gay cousins.
10. I feel like an old man that works his life away on everyday of the week besides Tuesday and Thursday.
11. I learned how to ride a bike (with training wheels) before I could walk.
12. I played every sport until high school.
13. I’ve had 5 girl friends.
14. I’ve owned 5 vehicles.
15. I’ve killed 4 deer and 4 relationships.
16. I’ve never been pulled over 11 times and never once for speeding.
17 . I’m a firm believer in the steps to the legalization of marijuana.
18. I think Pain pills are very addictive, scratch that, I know.
19. My mom wants me to stay for ever but I can’t wait to move out.
20. Pandora Radio changed my life.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011 7:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Derek P said...

39. I came, I saw, I conquered.

I’d seen this monster buck behind my house where I set my trail cam up. This is like cheating to me. I can pick and choose which deer I want to shoot before I even come in contact with them. I have a tree stand that over looks the entire area that my camera is set. Sitting about 15 feet above the ground quiet as a mouse, all by my self, in the dark of the morning, waiting.

First I heard. That big old buck trudging through the woods all horned up on the trail of the doe I just saw prancing through the woods. After my heart beating profusely, listening to this large animal walk closer, and closer and closer. I finally set sights on that gorgeous set of antlers. It’s almost like I saw him on my wall in my room before I shot. He finally appears.

He wonders around, I think he knows some ones watching him, just seems unsettled. I’m consetrating on keeping my breathing to a dull pant. I can’t help it, he like something you see in magazines. I move my click my safety off with out actually making the click. I took what felt to be a full minute to raise my gun and look down the scope. He finally comes broad side. Cross hairs just above the shoulder and back a fraction of an inch I pull the trigger. BOOM, Drop, Drag, Mount.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011 7:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Derek P said...

41. You never know what you have until it's gone.

Shot after shot after shot, my cheep first driver kept getting weaker and weaker and weaker. I got my first set of golf clubs when I was ten. I had three friends over to try them out. On accident, the first thing my driver ever hit was my friends skull leaving him with 14 stitches, remember, on accident. I don’t know if that had to do with how well I hit that thing or what but for all four years I owned this club I don’t think I hit more than 25 bad shots.

I knew it was close to the end once it starting vibrating my hands even though I was hitting it on the sweet spot almost every time. That’s not a good sign. I lived in denial for about a month until it started to effect how far the ball actually traveled. You have to draw the line some where. It had to the end of the season.

Beginning of the season I shop around. I don’t like any of the new stuff. They just don’t make drivers like they used to. Sure they might be bigger and better but they swing different. Different from all I’ve ever known. No matter the price of band, they all felt the same, different. I still don’t have to confidence I used to stepping up onto that tee box. I miss that.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011 8:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Derek P said...

41. You never know what you have until it's gone.

Shot after shot after shot, my cheep first driver kept getting weaker and weaker and weaker. I got my first set of golf clubs when I was ten. I had three friends over to try them out. On accident, the first thing my driver ever hit was my friends skull leaving him with 14 stitches, remember, on accident. I don’t know if that had to do with how well I hit that thing or what but for all four years I owned this club I don’t think I hit more than 25 bad shots.

I knew it was close to the end once it starting vibrating my hands even though I was hitting it on the sweet spot almost every time. That’s not a good sign. I lived in denial for about a month until it started to effect how far the ball actually traveled. You have to draw the line some where. It had to the end of the season.

Beginning of the season I shop around. I don’t like any of the new stuff. They just don’t make drivers like they used to. Sure they might be bigger and better but they swing different. Different from all I’ve ever known. No matter the price of band, they all felt the same, different. I still don’t have to confidence I used to stepping up onto that tee box. I miss that.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011 8:02:00 PM  
Blogger Darci Elizabeth said...

39. I came, I saw, I conquered.
I cannot tell you how much I hate hunting. But, fall afternoon my husband came up to me and said “Will you please go hunting with me?”
“I don’t know what I’m doing and if I go I won’t be shooting anything!”
“That’s fine I just want your company” he said
“Then I’ll go, only if I can buy some cute camo clothes”
“Of course you would try to get clothes out of going hunting. Fine, but we will be leaving at 4:30 tomorrow morning”
Standing in the frost covered woods before the sun comes up “Why the hell do we have to be up so early?” I asked
“The early bird gets the bird”
“Don’t be giving me some idioms this early in the morning I haven’t even had my hot chocolate.”
“I’m sorry, but hey you look pretty cute in that new camo.”
Late morning rolls around, he starts setting up his tree stand. I am so scared of heights and he knows it. I’m thinking to myself, there is no way in hell that he is going to get me up in that tree.
“Okay honey, it’s time for you to get your fine ass up that tree”
“OH HELL NO I don’t think so.”
Late afternoon sitting in that stupid tree stand, scared out of my mind. We haven’t seen anything except birds, squirrels and chipmunks. I am getting so bored of hunting. I don’t see why anyone does this as enjoyment.
All of a sudden, Nick goes “SHHHH” and points over to the west side of the tree. I see a beautiful buck. Nick starts to raise his gun.
Nick looks at me and says “what the hell! I could of got that deer”
“ O I know but he was too cute”
I know figure that Nick will never ask me to go on another hunting trip again!

Thursday, April 07, 2011 9:07:00 PM  
Blogger Darci Elizabeth said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Saturday, April 09, 2011 8:04:00 PM  
Blogger darci said...

^^^ the post above this is mine i signed into the wrong account sorry if there was any confusion

Saturday, April 09, 2011 8:07:00 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

Well, derek, 10 minutes ago I didn't know what Pandora radio was, and now I have my very own personalized station playing blues guitar legends!

13, 14, 15 were particularly amusing....

Sunday, April 10, 2011 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

49, derek--I see how your material does match the prompt, but I'm not sure it really matches the week's theme. These are really one vignette, but a very nicely done one, I will gladly admit.

Sunday, April 10, 2011 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

derek, 41--pretty much the same comment; these work togethter fine, and 'answer' the prompt, but there isn't enough distance between the segments to really call them separate anecdotes. This is simply the story of the rise and fall of your driver, not linked vignettes.

Again, that said, for getting it wrong, this does seem to work well on its own terms....

Sunday, April 10, 2011 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

darci, 39, true story? If so, surprised you made it home....

Definitely has the linked vignette thing going here.

Sunday, April 10, 2011 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

42. Try one of these lists about yourself:

A list of random things about me:

1. I love the rain
2. Thunder and lightning storms are relaxing
3. I would die for my children
4. For the first time in my life I do not have a cat
5. The dark terrifies me when I am alone
6. I love to be alone
7. The ability to draw is a gift I only have once every 5 years or so
8. I love to write, but get so frustrated I stop
9. My brothers and I never talk
10.I hate my real father
11.I am overweight
12.I have trust issues
13.I don't like to talk to people
14.There never, never seems to be enough time for everything
15.Sometimes i feel like a failure as a parent
16.I miss my best friend
17.I avoid almost everyone from my past
18.I love adult cartoons (Family Guy, King of the Hill)
19.I don't care to watch the news
20.I miss my dog

Monday, April 11, 2011 6:32:00 AM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

"I love to write, but get so frustrated I stop"

tara, 42--nah, why get frustrated? That's the glory of computers. Back in the day a writer would have a blizzard of crumpled up paper on the floor ripped in disgust and despair out of his typewriter. But, now, y'just keep on keeping on!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 7:49:00 AM  
Blogger oroboros said...


Ten Personal Truths
1. Nothing is ever free
2. I can never be perfect but that shouldn't keep me from trying
3. If something hurts, laugh at it.
4. I'll never be an adult; just a bigger kid
5. My friends are my world
6. If a joke doesn't break the tension, use a dick joke
7. Pain is what you make of it
8. Your behavior NEVER excuses mine
9. Faith is great in theory, if not in practice
10. I will forgive everyone before I forgive myself

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 2:02:00 PM  
Blogger oroboros said...


I'm new to this school; no friends to speak of and the only person I know is a step-brother who wants me out of the way. I am alone.

* * * *

Justin reaches out to me, bringing me into his clique. I find camaraderie there and in Justin, a find a true friend.

* * * *

Even though I've moved away, Justin and I keep in touch. Every weekend I go to his house, even though its over an hour away. He makes high school bearable.

* * * *

He follows me to Job Corps but the dynamic has changed. I've changed and he's left alone.

* * * *

He's in the army. I'm at college. We both don't know the other anymore but he tries to reach out. He wants me to come visit. I consider it but in the end decide not to. There will always be more time.

* * * *

Time has run out. I read the email again and again. Car accident. Justin Kennie dead. On one level it's all abstract to me. Private Justin Kennie was a stranger to me. But at the same time, I could (and still) feel a tangible absence. There was a gaping hole where my childhood used to be. I am alone again.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 2:43:00 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

41. You never know what you have until it's gone.

The room lite up as lightening flashed though the sky.
"One one thousand two"
Thunder shook the house and then came the whine from behind me. I turn towards the door and there he is, as always. My Rottweiler Zeus. He is waiting for his walk.He has really become my best friend. We love to walk in the rain.

I pull the blanket up as a chill runs down my spine. Zeus sets his chin on my shoulder as if in sympathy. He must be cold,I can see my breath. Hey, at least we have TV.

"He can't stay here!" Uncle Carl says as he carries Muffy outside. A couple of minutes later, as I sit beside Zeus crying, I hear the gunshot. Zeus lays his head down as if in shame.
"It's not your fault bud. What the hell are you supposed to do? Your not used to being chained and she wouldn't stop attacking you. It's not your fault."

"Where is he?" I ask my mother.
"He's fine, just forget about it."
"I Fucking hate you!" I walk away from her car and she drives away. She had taken him and given him away. So she said. Oh god what do I do now? He's gone.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 9:08:00 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

tara, 41--those vignettes, little lightning flashes or shots in the dark, do a nice job telling a dark story

Thursday, April 14, 2011 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

oroboros--that's very sharp, very effective--you really make those mini-vignettes snap and crackle and they all come together very strongly. Closes are difficult, but this one is a corker.

Thursday, April 14, 2011 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

well, oroboros, that's what makes horse races: I don't think a single one of your personal truths is true for me! Good heavens, you didn't even mention dogs!

Thursday, April 14, 2011 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

40. The best part of this story is the part I can't tell...

Finally everyone had left and she was alone. Alone with her thoughts, at times a dangerous thing. She replayed the images of what had happen over and over in her head. Could it get any worse?

The waiting room is packed. She sits doubled over in one of the chairs. Every few minutes she forces herself to get up... she has to. Her skin is pale and sickly. Five hours later she is informed that she had a miscarriage as she sat in the waiting room.

She sits up in the bed holding a boy weighing in at a whopping nine pounds and fifteen ounces. He is perfection.

Again she sits in the bed, only this time she is holding two boys. One of them wondering, very much, why his mother is holding that thing.

The story has just begun. The best part of this story is the part I can't tell you. I can't tell you because it hasn't happened yet.

Thursday, April 14, 2011 8:52:00 PM  
Blogger Ryan G said...

List of things about myself
- I never do school work early
- I love watching documentaries
- I fancy myself a "manly man"
- I'm scared of spiders/bugs/snakes
- I've never had a cat or dog
- I have the cleanest room around
- I have the dirtiest car around
- I drive a moped in the summer
- I'm the only guy I have met that likes wearing sweaters
- I love tabasco, on everything.
- I eat fast food way to much.
- On average I make $38 a week.
- I save money well.
- I play golf, and disc golf
- I do not play golf or disc golf well.
- I coach football, and I think it is the most rewarding thing I have ever done.

Thursday, April 14, 2011 10:13:00 PM  
Blogger Ryan G said...

You don't know what you have...
My eighth birthday party, what a day. I got everything I wanted, and some stuff I wasn't expecting, Like a model airplane from my grandfather.
I had finally convinced my father to help me build and paint my model airplane. It was perfect in every way. No glue showing on the outside, and no dripping paint. Perfect.
The whole point of building a model airplane is to use it, or so you thing when you are eight. So, using that logic, I took it off the shelf where my father had put it, and headed outside.
I was standing on my deck, plane in hand ready to make it fly.
All it took was one throw, and it was all gone. A plane in hundreds of pieces, never to fly again.
I didn't know what I had until it was gone. But what kind of kid wants a plane that can't fly anyway?

Thursday, April 14, 2011 10:30:00 PM  
Blogger Ryan G said...

I came, I saw, I conquered.
Thanksgiving day, a day for thanks, and giving. But almost as much a day of good deals. Every year my friends and I all eat thanksgiving dinner early, to get out of the house early. So we can get out to the deals early.
3:00 pm rolls around, and I am already stuffed with turkey legs, and apple pie. Although that is a very satisfying feeling, a more satisfying feeling is about to come.
Now its 7:00 pm. I have already been outside of best buy for a couple hours, and my friends have been with me for a couple hours.
Its 1:30 am now and all of the turkey day football games are over, and its the home stretch for all our good deals.
5:00 am, Finally the time has come, all the good deals right before my eyes.
9:30 am, All of my shopping done, and my breakfast of champions eaten, its finally time to sleep. Thank god, god of deals that is.

Thursday, April 14, 2011 10:39:00 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

42. Try one of these lists about yourself

-At 21, I'm still afraid to be home alone when its dark.
-I LOVE watching Criminal Minds. I could do it all day long. Sometimes I do.
-I text and drive, but get annoyed when I see other people doing it.
-I like to have a plan.
-I always wear my seat belt when I drive, but not when I'm the passenger.
-I've never been in a car accident.
-I procrastinate when it comes to writing.
-I only like to read nonfiction books.
-When shopping, I'm extremely picky about my jeans.
-Seeing birds on my bird feeders makes me happy.
-When I have to walk from my car into my house/someones house/store/anywhere in the dark, I run.
-My husband is my absolute bestfriend.
-I could eat homemade pizza once a day every day.
-I can forgive, but its hard for me to forget. If that makes sense.
-I love my dog more than most people think I should. I cant help it.
-When it comes to important or life changing decisions I'm indecisive.
-I always swerve to avoid hitting an animal in the road.
-The glass is half full.
-I was saved on February 6, 2009, after going to church for over a year.
-I don't know when I'll have any kids, or if I'll have any.
-I love reality tv shows.
-I'm horrible at math.
-Winter is my favorite season.
-I have an extreme want to help 'broken' people.

Friday, April 15, 2011 9:05:00 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

39. I came, I saw, I conquered.

I've never going skiiing or snowboarding in my life, I've only seen a few clips of people doing it on the winter X-Games, and it looked fun. But I had decided I was going to learn to snowboard. I went to the Ski Rack and bought the boots, bindings, and board. Everyone insisted that Burton was
the brand to get, so of course, I got that brand.
"Do you want to be goofy or regular" Justin asked. I looked at hime confused. "What style do you want to be, are you going to lead with your right foor or left?" "I don't know, surprise me" Before heading to the mountain, I practiced my stance, leaning, how to stop, and turn on a little hill behind my house. Seemed easy enough, lets head to mountain.
"I'm on top of the world!" I screamed after getting off the chair lift at Sugarloaf. Here we go, I thought. Back and forth, back and forth, just like we practiced on the hill at home. Five hours later, we're back at the base of the mountain after one run down the mountain. "I'm ready to go home" I said to Justin.

Friday, April 15, 2011 9:43:00 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

41. You never know what you have until it's gone.

Growing up with two brothers, the house was always loud, and something was always going on in the house. Always something to do, someone always talking, laughing, or arguing. The boys would run up and down the hall, and if I got in the way they'd plow through me. "Tag you're it!" They'd yell out. There was no quiet.
Moving day! I was finally getting out on my own, fleeing the nest.
Loudness and shenanigans filled the air while we loaded up the trucks to take to the new house. Laughter floated in the air when we were all together loading and unloading.
Day after day, I come home to an empty house. Quietness fills the air, and the only words that are spoken are those I say to my dog, to make me feel like I'm not
alone. Time passes slowly, as I watch the clock to see when David will get home so it wont be so lonely here.

Friday, April 15, 2011 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

carol, 41--another interesting variation on this idea. You've got those linked vignettes working for you very nicely--they really power a piece, cutting out the fat and getting right to the meat and leaving the writer the chance you take to use a bit of irony at the close

Sunday, April 17, 2011 1:36:00 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

carol, 39--it wasn't til I started rollerblading that I realized I was naturally goofy-footed (and my left eye is dominant too--I learned that when I started pistol-shooting!)

This doesn't seem to me to hold together as well as those 'moving to my own home' pieces--less at stake maybe.

Sunday, April 17, 2011 1:42:00 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

carol, 42

-I text and drive, but get anoyed when I see other people doing it.


-I procrastinate when it comes to writing.

:) :) :) :(

-I love my dog more than most people think I should. I cant help it.

"The more I learn about people, the more I love my dog," someone said. I agree.

Exactly the right idea for a list like this.

Sunday, April 17, 2011 1:46:00 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

ryan, came, saw--sure, there you go--a series of snappy vignettes all barreling along to tell the tale of a bargain hunter

Sunday, April 17, 2011 1:54:00 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

hey ryan, model plane--I know you weren't sure about these linked vignettes, but you are working the style just fine; you definitely have the idea and are executing

Sunday, April 17, 2011 1:58:00 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

ryan, list--yes, that sort of random mix of important and trivial works very well

Sunday, April 17, 2011 2:07:00 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

tara, 40--that's making me smile; very much a beautiful Mother's Day piece--you do a fine job hopping from year to year, just dropping in long enough for a quick glimpse and then moving along

Sunday, April 17, 2011 2:23:00 PM  
Blogger RJ Perry said...

A blanket is left lying on the bed. An extra toothbrush still resting in a cup in the bathroom. A cup give to me for my birthday. A silver ring wrapped around my finger. One less pair of shoes sitting on the floor. A note on the TV says “Good Bye”.

Sunday, April 24, 2011 2:57:00 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

rj, 41--that's a vignette, and a very a good one, but it isn't week 9, linked vignettes, so give that a rewrite.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger oroboros said...

"Come on, just one drink. How many times are you going to turn 21?"

"Yeah, but seriously, you want to go to a club that is actually called "The Club"?"

"It will be fun. Besides, it's your birthday, you probably won't have to buy yourself a single drink."

"Well, with an argument like that, how can I not go?"


"Go on, talk to her."

"Nope, No way. Can't. She's too hot. I'm too drunk. And I'm pretty sure that vomit I'm smelling is coming from me."

"Dooo it! It's your birthday, there's your pick up line right there! And she's a cougar. Cooouugar."

"No...I can't."

"Cougar. Coooouuugarrr."



"Hey, what happened to you? Tony and I were looking all over for you last night."


"Come on, spill it."

"Three words: best birthday ever."

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 7:15:00 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

Aww, oroboros--that feels much more like a fantasy than anything much to do with creative nonfiction. Not saying it's impossible to get lucky, but it's not set up in a way that gives it instant credibility as a young man's coming of age.

Thursday, April 28, 2011 7:35:00 AM  
Blogger RJ Perry said...

41. --REWRITE--
A blanket is left lying on the bed. An extra toothbrush still resting in a cup in the bathroom. A cup give to me for my birthday. A silver ring wrapped around my finger. One less pair of shoes sitting on the floor. A note on the TV says “Good Bye”.
“When’s the last time you heard from her.”
“About a week ago now. She’s pretty much disappeared off my map.”
“Do you think she’s ok?”
“I hope so.”
Three weeks and still nothing. Before she left, I was mad at her for not doing chores. Now I just miss her and don’t give a damn about chores. I just want her back, I don’t care about anything else.

Monday, May 09, 2011 5:38:00 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

grim, rj, understated, bleak--all good things!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 2:03:00 PM  

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