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Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Once Prompted, They Wrote
Food and whine.
That was the prompt I sent out to some five dozen writers one day last month. This month, a few folks have agreed to let me post what they wrote in response to the daily prompts – without any editing or revisions; just what ended up on the page at first stroke, based on the prompt. (How many of us are so brave?)
Here is Todd Glasscock's:
“I don’t like . . .”
Name it and my youngest stepdaughter doesn’t like to eat it. Unless she does. She liked Hamburger Helper when she ate it with her little friend at church one Wednesday. She snubs it at home, just eating the side of corn on her plate, or not eating at all and strutting to her room in a huff.
Two months ago she ate the tacos her mother made sans refried beans, lettuce, tomatoes and sour cream. (I have to admit, I don’t like tomatoes, but that’s another story . . .). Two weeks ago, as the meat browns on the stove, she says, “I don’t like tacos.”
“Last time you liked them,” I say. I try to hide my irritation by restraining my tone to Ward Cleaver-gentle.
“We just stopped liking them,” her older sister says.
Unless, I suppose, it’s Taco Bell. I think I remember hearing the youngest at some point go on about how she likes tacos from Taco Bell. No other. “No offense,” she says, in case those who cook for her find offense in her tastes, her preference for fast food tacos over homemade tacos.
No offense. Irritation, yes. Because eating is almost a daily battle with these two.
Yesterday, I drove to the store to pick up a twelve-pack of Cokes and some “snacky stuff,” as their mom had requested. I hate trying to find “snacky stuff” for the kids, because one or both of them will whine about it.
I lurk down the convenience store aisles. Ice cream. I see the Blue Bell freezer and stacks of pints. What flavor do they like? One of them likes chocolate. One chocolate left. Doesn’t the other like strawberry? And you can’t go wrong with vanilla. Can you? Two pints of vanilla. Their mother will like the vanilla. She can make a Coke float.
On the drive home I imagine a dialogue with the youngest: I don’t like strawberry, she says. No one ever gets anything I like. I say, You don’t like strawberry? I thought you liked strawberry. What do you like? Do you like anything? Is there anything you like to eat?
Todd adds: "I'm finding the prompts useful, especially on those days when it's really hard to make myself do some writing. This one elicited the best flow...a little more than rambling, and a few more details than the average sketch."
You can find Todd online at his blog.
If you want to receive a daily prompt during February, email me.