Author Archives: monica

Life in Living Color

Hello Radishes! As you may or may not have noticed, this story is being posted not on the first of the month. That’s because I didn’t write it on time. Or, actually, I haven’t written it yet. For various reasons both interesting and mundane, it didn’t happen, but the biggest one is that I’m in a bit of a creative drought at present. However, in the last day or so I started having an inkling for a story based on the prompt Sarah gave me (the first line of my story must be “No way!” and the last must be “You still owe me twenty bucks.”) and just now I’ve decided to let you all see what a first-ish draft for me looks like because I’m making this up as I go 🙂

“No way.”

“If you have a problem, you can keep your eyes closed. Or just watch a movie. It’s a nine hour flight and if you watch me with more than a passing interest for more then ten seconds – ”

“I get it, I get it.” Even though Nick understood Claire’s tone loud and clear, that did not make the questions about what she was doing vanish. He roughed his hand through his short blond hair and rubbed the sleep away from his eyes, leftovers from their first flight of the day.

Though her head was down giving the illusion she was fiercely focused on the tray table before her, Claire did see Nick’s perplexed expression. She assumed it was perplexed, anyway. Her glasses were of no help when it came to peering out of the corner of her eye. Still, it was more than ten seconds and he was still looking. “If you have something to say, say it.” Continue reading

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The Wednesday Before Thanksgiving

Welcome back, Radishes! I know our hiatus here has been a bit longer than any of us were expecting, but it’s a new year and we’re excited to get back into short stories. Due to other things happening in our lives, Sarah and I have decided that we will trade off months for posting. I’m taking January, she’ll take February, and back and forth we’ll go. And so, without further ado, here’s a story I wrote for a contest back in the fall. It didn’t win or place or anything, but I’m still pleased with it and I hope you like it too.

The piece was called “Stuck” by Anonymous and to their eyes it didn’t look like much.

“Please tell me – because I’m absolutely dying to know – how is this art?” The taller woman cocked her head to the side, one hand resting on her hip, the other at her face. Her index finger tapped against full lips curved into a puzzled frown. “Either of us could do that.”

“I’m not so sure I could,” the shorter woman replied. Technically speaking, her friend was correct. The canvas was completely blank except for a single black dot just off center enough for it to annoy her. Of course, she wasn’t talking about the piece itself. She was thinking about the getting a piece into a museum. What kind of person do you have to be to get into the Art Institute of Chicago where people come to see a piece of velum that looked like it could be in the aisle of any craft store except for the finger print that apparently made it worthy of a $17 admission fee and security guards?

If only she knew who Anonymous was so she could look him up and ask. Continue reading

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Holiday Magic Inside

“James! Are we heating the whole world now? Close the door!”

The boy groaned and complied, but not before taking one last look around the back alley. He didn’t see the door latch shut behind him, but he heard its distinctive click and felt it in his gut.

I should have made a run for it, he thought.

“James! Quit daydreaming when there’s work to do!”

“Yes, Mom,” he said, but she had already moved on to other things. This nook was the only relatively quiet place in the shop, sandwiched between the bathroom and the kitchen. Here resided the old metal shelves full of cleaning supplies and a doormat saturated with a decades worth of street salt and crumbs.

Nothing magical here, which James found comforting as the only non-magical person working at Farmers Family Bakery. In that regard, he had more in common with the mop than he did with his parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and even the stragglers who worked here all with talents that it was feeling like he’d never have.

But there wasn’t time to dwell on that, not two days before Christmas. Continue reading

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An Update

Well Radishes, as the title of this post suggests, this is not going to be a post with a story in it. At least not a fictional one, or one that was specifically designed with this blog in mind. Nope, this is an update. While this is usually the day of the month when I’d be uploading a new story, November saw our hiatus continue and that will be the case for part of December as well.

Don’t fret, though! I promise, everything is fine. In fact, writing has been happening! I finished a first draft of a novel in early November and have been hard at work editing and revising (as they say, writing is rewriting). I also did write a short story for a contest at the urging of a coworker, but I can only post it here if I didn’t win, which I won’t know until January. It’s something I’d never thought I’d do in a million years before SaM but now, not quite so scary. And Sarah has been doing her own thing as well.

So again, be assured that this is not an end to our little radish patch in our corner of the Internet. Both of us will be writing either Christmas or holiday or New Years stories and posting them later this month, and fingers crossed we will be back to our usual schedule in 2015. But until then, please stick with us and Stay Radish!

-Monica

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Faded

Prompt: I ignored both of the prompts Sarah gave me because I am so close to being done with the first draft of a manuscript – woot woot! As such, that’s where my focus has been. However, I did recently enter a story contest where the prompt was write 300 words from the point of view of a ghost. I didn’t win, but I had fun with this snap-shot of a story.

I didn’t really notice much of a change when I became a ghost. It was a lot like living in that even though my life was over, things went on as usual for everyone else, bills to pay and time to waste. To be fair, I could still do those things. Especially the waste time part. People don’t expect anything of me anymore because people don’t expect me anymore. Continue reading

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The Stupids and the Idiots

Prompt: Two characters are in an accident and end up sharing a hospital room – tell their story. What a perfect prompt because it gave me an excuse to explore an idea I’ve wanted to tinker with for a while! Here’s hoping you like this one because I think this is something I’d like to expand on in the future. 🙂

“My grandma says there are two kinds of people in the world: the stupids and the idiots. You? You’re an idiot.”

I can’t place the voice. Literally. I can’t tell what direction it’s coming from or who it belongs to. My head feels like an elephant is sitting on it while I’m underwater and someone is kicking it over and over again. And it’s not just my head. My whole body feels completely wrecked, like I’ve been hit by a bus.

The thought strikes me along with a flash of memory, propelling my eyes open.

Big mistake. Huge. Continue reading

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Pink Lady

Prompt: The last TV show you watched is now your life story. Well, in usual Radish fashion, I’m going to sort of follow this prompt, but first twist it to meet my needs. I recently watched a documentary about the BBC show Sherlock and that got me thinking: documentary, behind the scenes, nonfiction. I also recently read Mindy Kaling’s memoir, a collection of essays about her life so far. So instead of getting a fictional story from me this month, here is a dose of truth.

Like a lot of girls I know, growing up my bedroom was pink. Not outrageously bright or anything. The walls were a soft pink, the exact same color as the Washington DC cherry trees in bloom, and perfectly matched first my Precious Moments drapes and bedspread.

When I was younger, I loved it. It was the perfect setting for adventures with dolls and hours of dress up. And then as I got older, I went from loving it to liking it to trying to convince myself that I still liked it. Finally the truth was undeniable: pink was simply not my color. Continue reading

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