Tag Archives: weekly writing challenge

Weekly Writing Challenge: It Happened in a Second

14 Nov

It had never happened to me before. Not like this.

I couldn’t believe it. I had been so successful in avoiding it. I didn’t really see the need for it. I didn’t see the point.

I’d always see these ditzy girls pretending to know about sports and laughing that fake hyena laugh just to get close to one of my friends. I didn’t understand what that was about. These guys were like my brothers. These guys were “the guys,” and me being the tomboy that I was … I was one of the guys too.  I had always been. So I never understood the ditzy girls.

And then it hit me. I don’t know how it happened, but it did.

And it didn’t take a week, a day, or an hour.

It took a second. Maybe less than that. Maybe it was a split second. I don’t know if that’s faster, but it felt faster. Like speeding.

It didn’t slowly creep up on me. It pounced. It wasn’t a pitter-pat. It was a BOOM-BOOM.

Jake Ryan

I saw him and it hit me. The BOOM-BOOM. I had recognized this special effect. I had only had it once before with Rafa, but this time was a little different. It was louder and there were more butterflies. The butterflies were in the pit of stomach. It was the Jake RyanSixteen CandlesSomekind of Wonderful type of BOOM BOOM. There was no music in the background when it happened. No Thompson Twins, Tears for Fears, or Peter Gabriel. Just silence and slow motion.

He walked across the basketball court in a t-shirt, blue jeans, and white high top Nikes with the blue swoosh. I locked into his Ryan Gosling eyes as he smiled and said hello.

That was it.

I had lost it.

It only took a second. A split second, but it had changed my life. Love. Head-over heels-kissing-in-the-rain-first-love-kind of love.

I hadn’t become one of those ditzy girls, but I sure understood it. I was never the same.

Weekly Writing Challenge: The Pink Attack

18 Oct


This is a disastrous four-letter word. My entire childhood this color haunted me, taunted me. Poofy dresses. Socks with laces. Shoes with bows. Hair clips. Hair pins. Hair accessories galore. Apparently in my family, in my building, in my ten-block radius, girls were to be dressed in pink. Pink. Ugh … the thought of it gave me a rash.

I don’t know where they got it from. I don’t know who said that prancing around in this tragic red and white mixture made you more of a girl. Blue. Green. These were awesome colors. Colors that made me feel comfortable. Colors that brought a smile to my face. But apparently they were “meant” for boys.

What the hell? Blue was blue, and green was green. They didn’t belong to anybody. Pink didn’t belong to girls either, but apparently they staked claim on it. And pink had become the “girly-girl” color while I was growing up. Being a tomboy, made it easy not to be one of the girly-girls.


But apparently my wardrobe needed pink. My mom, my aunts, and my cousins made sure of that. And no matter all the “Wow, how beautiful that looks on you…wow that’s your color,” comments they never convinced me. I hated pink. I hated that just because I was girl I was told to wear it. I hated how it looked, and how it felt. I hated the brightness of it, although I didn’t mind yellow and that seemed pretty bright. I mean the sun was yellow. So I guess it had nothing to do with brightness, it was just the color itself.

Pink … it was the color of Pepto Bismol for crying out loud. Who wants to wear Pepto Bismol to school. I sure didn’t. I mean I didn’t care if everyone else wore it, all I knew was that I didn’t to wear it. I didn’t want to be seen shooting hoops in that color. It just wasn’t me, but no matter all the protests, all the accidental losses, and all the bleach incidents that made those clothes “disappear,” a whole new cycle of clothes made their way into my closet during birthdays and Christmases.

I vowed once I got older and earned my own money I would never buy anything pink. Not even if it had a pink tag. I just couldn’t do it to myself. And I didn’t. I got rid of it with extreme prejudice and it no longer occupied my closet.

Flash forward to 2011 … my daughter is born.


It was the return of the Pink Attack. Had people forgotten who I was? No. Had they forgotten that I specifically told them absolutely no pink, not on buttons, not on zippers, and most definitely not anywhere on the Carter’s or OshKosh clothing they wanted to give me? No. Had they forgotten that I said I didn’t care if it was on sale? No. Had they forgotten that my idea of cute was different from theirs? No.

The Pink Attack was back.

But I did what any crazy person would, I returned the clothes and came back with  greens, whites, purples, or yellows. No pink in sight. Apparently to some people, that made me jackass, but I just thought I was being myself. No need to be hating on the Guat because she hates pink. They knew it. They pretended not to, or thought I would magically change because I had a girl … dude no magic strong enough for that one.

Apparently this move seemed to stop the pink attack, momentarily. Every now and then it resurfaces, but I think we all know who what happens to pink when it tries to make its way into the Guat closet.

And when my daughter gets older, and if she tells me that she hates blue, or red, or purple or yellow.  I’m gonna listen.

If she says she likes pink … I’m gonna have to get some chocolate for that one. Lots of it.




Weekly Writing Challenge: Thinking Too Much and Guatemala

6 Sep

Everything I owned fit in a 10×10 storage unit. Smushed and stacked together in the dark, in not so neat piles. Nothing of serious material value to anyone other than myself. It’s being kept safe until we can find a bigger place to live — a place outside of my parent’s house.

But there is one item that I did not trust to leave in that concrete room protected by that Master lock. It may not be the most expensive item I own, but it is one of the most meaningful. If there was a fire and the place was up in flames I’d grab the photo albums, computer, and this item. It would definitely be in my hands.

Normally meaningful heirlooms are passed down from generation to generation, stuff like your great grandfather’s watch, or your great-great Tia Lola’s recipes. These are the treasured pieces — the priceless ones. However the only items I’ve inherited are a rare blood type, good dance moves, and nice feet.

But there are meaningful items that do remind me of family. Items I’d take with me in case of a fire. They don’t really do anything, they just sit there. But they are some of my most prized possessions.

This one happens to be one of them.

On my last trip to Guatemala I decided to travel with my dad. He’s of the adventurous spirit, so it made for an exciting and tiresome trip. And when you’re on trips like these you want to bring something home. Something memorable.

During one of our outings in the Central Market I came across this painting by Jose Antonio Pur Gonzalez. I had no idea who he was, but what he painted caught my eye.

My meaningful possession.

I’m not a painter, nor did I take art history in school, but it was something about this painting and I had to have it. The bright colors, the textures, the people. It spoke of my culture. It spoke of the coffee plantation we visited. It spoke of our trip. It spoke of Guatemala. It was like a page in my travel journal. But with all this speaking, I wasn’t sure about the price. I stood there contemplating and trying to negotiate with the seller. He wouldn’t go lower and I was worried to go higher.

My dad noticed this negotiation and looked at me.

“Do you like it?”


“Is it worth it?”

“I think so.”

“If you leave without it, will you be thinking about it in the car, thinking about it on the drive, and thinking about it once we get home?”

“Yeah, but it’s a little bit too much.”

He grabbed the money from my hand, gave it to the seller, took out his wallet, paid the difference.

“That was too much thinking, ” he looked at me and smiled. “I’m very satisfied with your purchase. But don’t tell your mother or your sister how much we paid for it. It’ll be our secret.”

I hung it in my apartment, and every time I looked at this painting I thought about our trip. I thought about the Central Market. I thought about the negotiation process. I thought about my dad. If he wasn’t with me in that moment I might not have purchased my first piece of art. Art. I might have had an empty wall, or some print from Bed, Bath & Beyond.

And now, since he passed away, the value of this painting has increased, and the trip has become priceless.