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Writing Prompt: Rosalind at Home

So I was supposed to do A Trip to the Store for all of my characters, but I couldn’t think what good a trip to the store would do for Rosalind.  So instead I wrote a scene from Rosalind at home to help me know better how she would react in some situations.

Centripetal Force

It was after 8:00 when Rosalind got to her house.  She could hear the TV through the door.  Brad was over.  She found him sitting in his usual spot, slouched in the middle of the couch in a wifebeater and basketball shorts.  Three empty beer bottles stood on the folding side table, with a pile of mail behind it.  Rosalind crossed over to the table and sifted through the mail. Two of them had “PAST DUE” in red letters across the front.  Nothing from the talent company.

“What’re you doing home so late?” grumbled Brad.

“I was out with friends,” Rosalind clipped back.

“Doin’ what?” he grumbled louder.

“Eating pizza, gosh!” Roalind snapped, throwing the mail back onto the table and heading into the kitchen.

“Your momma and I were supposed to go out tonight,” said Brad.

“What does that have to do with me? Happy hour isn’t even open yet.”  She opened the fridge, looked in, and shut it again.

“We were gonna go to dinner.”

This piqued Rosalind’s interest.  “Oh yeah, where?”

“Swordfish,” mumbled Brad through a mouthful of chips.

Rosalind snickered to herself. The Swordfish was where her mom usually took her boyfriends to break up with them. “Lucky break,” she said as she looked into the cupboard.  She found a box of crackers at the back.

“What’sat supposed to mean?”

Just then, Rosalind’s mom, Jeannie, came out of the bedroom in a rush of perfume, calling, “Brad, are you ready?”

“Rosalind’s here,” Brad said, jerking his thumb back.

“Oh, hi honey!” Jeannie cruised over to Rosalind and gave her a kiss on the cheek.

“New perfume, Mom?” Rosalind asked with a raised eyebrow.

Her mom’s blue eyes widened. “Oh, no, just one of the old ones I have…lying around,” she said.

“Uh-huh…,” Rosalind murmured.

Jeannie gave her a look.

Rosalind responded with her own innocent look and a shrug.

Flustered, Jeannie turned her attention back to the boyfriend. “Brad, you’re not dressed yet.”

“Just a minute,” he complained, reaching across the couch and picking up a crumpled piece of blue fabric.  “Where we goin’ tonight?” he asked as he draped it over his shoulders and pulled his large frame up.

“Brad said you were going to the Swordfish today,” Rosalind said, whining out the restaurant name.

Her mom huffed and brushed a loose bang away from her face. “Well, now we’re going to Bunky’s.  Why not?  They’ve got good food,” she rushed, pulling on her red blazer too hard. “Did you get something to eat, honey?”

Nice change of subject, Mom, Rosalind thought.  “I had pizza with Gray,” she said.

A big smile broke out on her mom’s face.  “Oh, how nice!” she cooed.  “What is that, 3 dates now?  Next thing you know you’ll be wearing a white dress!”  Rosalind rolled her eyes but didn’t respond.

“I’m starving, babe, let’s go,” growled Brad at the doorway.  His frame took up the entire opening.

Jeannie snatched her matching red purse and whirled to him.

“Have fun, Mom,” Rosalind said.  “See you…whenever.”  The door shut behind them.

She sighed and flopped down onto the couch.  Chips crunched under her.  “Gross!” she muttered, brushing them onto the floor.  She flipped the TV to a game show.  Some woman had just won $3000.  Rosalind scowled. I should apply to be on that show Three thousand dollars could get me out of this dump and somewhere I can start over.  A dark, antsy feeling seeped in.  She sighed again and pulled herself back off the couch.  Time for a walk.  But first a change of clothes.

She stared at her closet.  Her closet always made her happy.  There was nothing she loved more than clothes.  When the rest of her life was dragging her down, she could always open her closet and breathe in all the pretty things.  Not only that, but clothes meant she could be whoever she wanted to be on any given day.  Today, what grabbed her first was her favorite vest.  It was oversized and fringed all along the bottom.  Next she grabbed her favorite pants, the ridiculously wide-legged white ones that the 70s forgot.  Next, her red heels with the gold studs all up the back.  What kind of top underneath though?  Impact was the important thing.  Red heels weren’t enough of a statement by themselves to counter the bland vest and pants.  She sifted through her shirts until–That’s it!  She yanked out the crop top with the large Aztec print.  Perfect.

 

Clop, clop, clop, clop. Rosalind enjoyed the sound of her heels clicking on the sidewalk.  She imagined herself on stage, belting out the last note of a song, all eyes on her.  Sprays of sparks behind her and smoke on the ground.  What a feeling!  She straightened her back and exaggerated her steps.  That’s what life was meant to feel like.  Not… The memory of chips crunching and the smell of beer intruded upon her fantasy life, causing her good mood to grate to a halt.  The image of her mom’s desperate look before she went off to Bucky’s with Brad rose up before her.  Why did her mom pick such losers to date?  “Why can’t you just stop dating altogether?” she asked out loud.

A pale flash of hair just ahead startled Rosalind out of her thoughts.  A pair of steely eyes glared at her out of a petite, pointed face.  “What did you say?” the mysterious girl asked.

“I wasn’t talking to you,” Rosalind reacted.

“Good. Because my dating habits are none of your business,” she answered.

Rosalind scoffed.  “Why would I care about your ‘dating habits’?  I don’t even know you!”

The girl narrowed her eyes and pursed her lips a moment.  “You’re Rosalind.”

Rosalind’s mouth fell open.  For once in her life, she was speechless.

The girl smirked. “I see you in the halls between 4th and 5th period.  Building B.  Coming out from Mr. Burkhaus’s class.”

 

“What are you doing standing out here all by yourself?”

“I was studying constellations.  What are you doing walking out here all by yourself?” said the girl stiffly.

Rosalind shifted away a little.  “Walking,” she said.

The glanced at her feet. “In those?”

Rosalind took in the girl’s attire.  Beige jacket, knee-length skirt, blue canvas shoes with white ankle socks.  This girl needs some serious fashion help, she thought.

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Writing Prompt: A Trip to the Store (Katharine)

I made up my own writing prompt.  Write what happens to your character on a trip to the store.  Make sure *something* happens that will help the plot move along.

(Please ignore my complete ignorance of how a construction business works.)

KATHARINE

“Hi, Katharine,” said the store clerk. “How’s your father doing?”

“Fine, Alice, thanks for asking,” Katharine said as she laid clementines on the conveyor belt.  “He’s ordering more supplies for the housing development on 85th.”

“That’s the 3rd time this month, isn’t it?” Alice asked.

“Yeah. Joe just can’t get it through his head that an entire condominium complex needs much more to work with than a cul-de-sac.”

“Your father should be the one running the business,” said Alice. “He always did have a head for that kind of thing.  $38.17 today, dear.”

Katharine filled in the check.

“Do you need help out?” asked Alice.

Katharine glanced at the two bags.  “Well, I walked, so unless you’re paying Nick to walk all the way to Glencoe, I don’t think so,” she said.

“You know he would, with or without pay,” teased Alice.

“Oh stop,” Katharine laughed. ” I don’t have time for that kind of drama.”

“You sound just like your father,” said Alice with a smile. “Take care, dear. Watch out for cars.”

Katharine laughed to herself as she left with the grocery bags.  Alice had sort of taken on the “mother” role since Katharine’s mom had passed away 8 years ago, and sometimes it seemed like Katharine was frozen at that age to Alice, even though it’d been almost 9 years.  Still, it was nice to be cared for.

As she hit the button for the crosswalk, she noticed a rowdy group of kids from the high school on the other side.  Her brow furrowed and she clutched her groceries a little tighter.  Maybe I’ll let Nick help me next time, she thought for a moment.  The light changed and Katharine started across.  The kids weren’t paying attention to her, and she’d gotten almost all the way across when one of the boys shoved another one right into her, and groceries tumbled out of the top of one of her bags.

“Aw, look what you did, loser!” said the first boy to the one he’d pushed.

“Whatever, man, you did that!”

“What? C’mere, I’ll punch you again!” said the first boy as they continued walking, leaving Katharine to gather her groceries alone.  Katharine let out her breath as she knelt down.

Suddenly long blonde hair was flying back through the posse at her and she heard someone shouting, “Losers! Learn some respect!” Rosalind crew bent down beside her to help.  “Sorry about that, those guys are idiots.”

The two of them hopped up onto the sidewalk just as traffic started moving again.

“Why do you hang out with them?” Katharine asked, placing some bruised bananas on the top of the bag.

“Who else is going to teach them respect?” Rosalind asked.

Katharine raised her eyebrows and looked down the crosswalk.  The guys had disappeared with the rest of the group into the pizza parlor.

“Besides,” Rosalind continued, “Gray likes me. He’s way nicer than Leo and Neal. I gotta run or they’ll order without me. See you later!” And she was off with a dash.

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Character Quirks

Stephen says all my characters have to have very specific character quirks to make them realistic.  Like one character whose right toe always itches.  I think he’s right.

Katharine –

Lea –

Rosalind –

Megara –

By the way, I decided Lea has to be a scientist.  And that I need an entirely new set for the story.  But I like my characters too much to let them go.

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TOTC New Plot Idea: Allegory

If I were to make TOTC have more allegory in it, I was thinking L.M. could be always trying to use the girls’ weaknesses to divide up the team and tempt some of them to leave Collingwood (and quit the quest).  And then maybe after all the girls have had their various trials, there could be a big final battle at the end where the girls have mostly overcome the temptations, and they work together and decisively defeat L.M.

It’s an old idea, but it’s a timeless idea.

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Letters to My Characters (TOTC)

Dear Megara,

Tell me about Lea.

Love,
Minjonet

Dear M.,

She’s quiet and seems kind of angry inside.  She’s always trying to control Rosalind from acting out so much.

Love,
Meg

Dear Rosalind,

Tell me about Lea.

Love,
Minjonet

Dear M.,

Ugh.  She’s awful.  No free spirit whatsoever.  I mean, I guess she’s good at being organized and stuff, but she really needs to cheer up a bit.  I can’t think of a time I’ve seen her happy.

Rosalind

Dear Katharine,

Tell me about Lea.

Love,
Minjonet

Dear Miss Minjonet,

She’s rather harsh on Rosalind, but she means well.  She hardly concerns herself with anything outside of her own writing.  It seems like she would say a lot more, but instead she only journals it.  I do wonder what goes into all those books.

Yours,
Katharine

—————————————————

Dear Lea,

Please tell me about the girls in the group.

Love,
Minjonet

Dear Minjonet,

Rosalind is a headache.  She doesn’t seem to know when to hold her tongue, and she’s always rushing into foolish things.  Do you know the other day she crossed the stream in that gorgeous dress of hers?  She thought it was shallower, and of course she stepped right into a soft spot and got mud all the way up to her knees and now her nice dress is filthy.

Katharine seems wise, but not very brave.  I think she’d be more comfortable tending to children at home than she is here, going on excursions to fight evil.

Megara is a child.  And she says odd things.  Or sometimes she just looks at you, and it gives the creepiest feeling, like she knows exactly what you’re thinking.  Very weird.

Sincerely,
Lea

Dear Lea,

And tell me about yourself in the context of the quest?

Love,
Minjonet

Dear Minjonet,

I don’t feel like I belong here.  I don’t know why I was chosen.  All I can do is write.  I’m not even brave enough to fight.  When we get close to fighting, my legs get weak and all I want to do is hide behind a tree.  Don’t tell the other girls.  The last thing I need is Rosalind making fun of me for being a scaredy-cat.

Sincerely,
Lea

———————————————–

Dear Megara,

Please tell me about yourself.

Love,
Minjonet

Dear M.,

Well, I love my parents very much.  They’re from India and they came here to find a better job for my dad, and they wanted me to grow up with everything I could need.  I was only 4 when they came.  My nana still lives over there and my dad talks to her on the phone sometimes.  She always asks if I’m studying hard.  She wants me to work in a good job like my dad, but I think I want to work with people more.  Or animals.  I really like animals.

Love,
Megara

———————————————–

Dear Katharine,

How do you propose to change during this quest?

Love,
Minjonet

Dear Minjonet,

I propose that I become more direct with people, that I am confrontational when I realize things aren’t helping the situation, and that I become more sure of myself as a leader.

Love,
Katharine

Dear Lea,

How do you propose to change during this quest?

Love,
Minjonet

Dear Miss Minjonet,

I propose that I become more trusting of people, which will soften my rough edges.

Sincerely,
Lea

Dear Rosalind,

How do you propose to change during this quest?

Love,
Minjonet

Dear M.,

I propose that I become less resistant to changing myself.

Rosalind

Dear Meg,

How do you propose to change during this quest?

Love,
Minjonet

Dear M.,

I propose that I become more serious about life and what my direction is in it.  I already have an idea of what it is, but I propose that I learn to take steps toward it more readily.

Love,
Meg

That’s an excellent idea, Meg.

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TOTC New Plot Ideas – In Media Res

In media res.

My book needs to have more in media res.

Idea: Something bad happens before the girls have learned everything, so all of a sudden they have to learn as they go.

For that, they will need friends from the Village or from wherever they are when the action starts.

What would a full-on confrontation with LM look like?  What does Lady Morphia have?  What is she after?

What is LM after?

LM needs a different name.  Time to slip away from the game’s details somewhat.

When does Morphia learn about the Keepers?  Does she already know about them?  Are Banach and the Council just wishfully thinking?  (That would suit Banach’s personality. He’s not very confrontational. Yet he represents the Villagers at the Council.  Perhaps he’s more of a peacekeeper, although they would have no reason to fear the Council.  Leaders can’t always be peacekeepers.  Somebody on the Council ought to balance out Banach’s hesitant nature.)

I think the whole Council was established basically as a peacekeeping committee, which is why Banach is on it.  They came into existence not to fight LM, because she didn’t always exist, but simply to keep harmony between the trees, the Villagers, the animals, the fairies, and all the other living creatures in Collingwood. LM is actually an unusual circumstance.

I’m curious why the Council chose earth humans–and especially the ones they did–for the quest.  But I guess that’s the whole point of writing the story, duh.  If I knew that I’d have the story written already, LOL.

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Hidden Things – Rosalind (TOTC)

Writing prompt from http://partwild.wordpress.com

Hello world!

My creator sent me a note the other day asking me to do a silly little writing exercise thing.  I can’t imagine why she wants it.  All I have to do is write about things I have hidden…But I couldn’t think of more than 4 items in all the time I was given!  But, to humor her, here it is.  I still can’t imagine why she’d want something like this.

Make a list of things you’ve hidden.  Illicit objects, treasures, presents, opinions, desires, flaws.  Go for quantity over quality. Don’t worry if it’s interesting or even true. 6 minutes.

  1. My best friend’s favorite necklace (I was mad at her)
  2. My mom’s shoes (I didn’t want her to go out with another guy)
  3. The letter I got from the first boy I kissed (I think I still have it somewhere)
  4. The flask my dad used to use

Tomorrow I am supposed to write about one of them.  But I can write about all of them in less than 5 minutes apiece, I’m sure!  So I’m going to do it now–don’t tell [scratched out].  I mean, M.  That isn’t her real name.  People are so strange.  Why hide who you really are?  It screws everything up later when they find out who you actually are.  I should know.  I’ve dated…But I should probably not say anything.

Hey, there’s an item #5.

5. The number of boys I’ve dated.

So anyway!

…Why do I hide that?

Well, see, the people I know don’t seem to approve very much of the boys I date–either what kinds of boys they are or how many there are.  I don’t get it.  I’ve never done anything super stupid with them and they’ve never hurt me.  None of them are alcoholics or crackheads.  Sure, some of them liked to party, but that isn’t the same thing as being an alcoholic.  I would know.  My dad was one.

The truth is, despite how I hate being controlled, I hate being in conflict with the only steadfast people in my life even more so.  My stupid dad left my mom and I to fend for ourselves when I was 7.  I’ve never forgiven him.  My mom can’t hold down a job, so I’ve spent a lot of my life finding random jobs here and there to do.  I was a mechanic for a while!  Most people don’t believe that; they think I’m too into looking pretty.  Which isn’t the true me at all.  Makeup and hair is just another way to express creativity.  Just like theater.

I love theater.  I love my theater teacher and his wife.  They’ve taken a lot of care of me.  I owe my life to them, pretty much.  They take me in when things are bad at home.  See, Mom has had lots of boyfriends.  And most of them have been jerks.  One of them even…But I shouldn’t talk about that.

6. That time one of my mom’s boyfriends made moves on ME.

He didn’t get very far.  I hit him right where it hurts.  With a golf club.  (I always keep a golf club by my bed in case of burglars.)  He never came around again.  My mom was pretty furious with me over that.

My mom could never see outside her self-addicted world enough to understand me.

Anyway, what was I talking about?  Hidden things.  I guess I haven’t even talked about the things on my list yet.  Well, sort of.  I hid my dad’s flask once when I was really little, too little to understand that he could just go out and buy another one.  I was trying to stop him from drinking.

And my mom’s shoes, that was when I was little, too.  Too little to understand that hiding her shoes wouldn’t stop her from going out with stupid guys.

My best friend’s favorite necklace–I hid that from her when we had a fight when we were in 4th grade.  I’m not very proud of that.  She came crying to me after I hid it, telling me it was her grandmother’s locket, and could I help her look for it?  I felt really bad, and at first I just went up to my bedroom where I had hidden it to get it and bring it back to her.  But it was gone.  I couldn’t find it anywhere… And I came back down and she was still crying, and I had to tell her.  I told her everything–I had hidden it from her, and I was very sorry about it now, but I had lost it.

The worst part was, she didn’t get angry.  She only looked even more hurt than before.  And she cried worse.  I tried to touch her, but she moved away, then moved back, as if she didn’t want me to see that she’d moved away.  “Rosalind,” she said finally.  She looked at me with those tear-streaked eyes and said quietly, “Rosalind, I don’t think we can be friends anymore.”  And that was that.  She walked away, just like that.

It was probably the worst day of my life.

I tell myself I am angry about it now, but I’m not just angry.  I wasn’t angry that day she left me.  I was something a lot worse.  I only got angry later, to protect myself.

I guess there is one thing I hide from everybody.  Only now M. is going to know and she is going to tell the other girls at some point…She told me so.  😦  I’m not crazy about that, but I trust her, and I guess that’s what this was supposed to be about.

So, the one thing I hide from anybody (please don’t tell):

7. Pain.

Epilogue

Oh…I haven’t written about the last thing on the list yet.  But that will have to wait.  I’ve done as much as I can do tonight.

Good night, M.

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