Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Trifecta "Check-In"

I'm answering these questions in response to the Trifecta Friday Check-In, where the authors who participate in this challenge provide verbal snapshots of themselves. 

  1. What is your name (real or otherwise)? The Gal Herself
  2. Describe your writing style in three words. Conversational, honest, journalistic
  3. How long have you been writing online? Since May 2006
  4. Which, if any, other writing challenges do you participate in? I participate in Nanowrimo, though I have yet to finish
  5. Describe one way in which you could improve your writing. I need to keep at it -- both in beginning new pieces and refining/editing the ones I've done
  6. What is the best writing advice you’ve ever been given? "Writers write."
  7. Who is your favorite author?  Robert B. Parker, William Goldman
  8. How do you make time to write? I am a writer by trade, so I'm always at the keyboard. I do these Trifecta challenges between the raindrops when I'm working. They give me an opportunity to write without having to sell something!
  9. Give us one word we should consider using as a prompt. Straight
  10. Direct us to one blog post of yours that we shouldn't miss reading. No. I won't. Instead I'll refer you to The 30 Days of Honesty posts I did as part of an online challenge in 2010. Considering how quickly I whipped them out, they reflect pretty well on me as both a woman and a writer. 


This week's challenge: Use the third definition in no less than 33 and no more than 333 words.  Have fun. This week's word is wretched.
1: deeply afflicted, dejected, or distressed in body or mind
2: extremely or deplorably bad or distressing

It was only a little after 4:00 PM, but it was already dark as night when Margaret exited through the revolving doors and found herself on windy Michigan Avenue. She reflexively clutched the collar of her full-length mink. This coat attracted many compliments from strangers on the street, as well as the occasional raspberry from silly animal rights activists, but its beauty isn’t why she valued it. Over the years it had proven to be a terrific investment – still toasty warm and she’d only had to have the shoulders altered a bit to keep it fashionable. Also, she learned cabbies were quicker to pick her up when she was swathed in fur.

At the corner cabstand she saw that same homeless man, leaning as always on a railing, rattling spare change in an orange and blue Bears mug. “Your kindness will not be forgotten,” he said to each sap who deposited a coin or two. Even though it was too dark just now for her to see them, Margaret knew from countless previous encounters that his eyes were rheumy and she was certain he couldn’t even see who he was thanking or what they had given him. The “kindness” for which the wretched old man was so grateful could be bottle caps. He annoyed her. If he wouldn’t get his damn eyes fixed and couldn’t get a job, couldn’t he at least find a spot in a publicly funded shelter and stay out of sight until his sad, sickly life ended? The presence of beggars lowered the prestige of the office building she paid very high rent to be in.

Sliding into her cab, she saw a pair of merry shoppers practically sprain themselves, patting themselves on the backs for putting bills into his mug. Yes, so it’s Christmas Eve, so what? Does that mean suddenly tonight he won’t waste their hard-earned money on smokes and booze and drugs?