Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Vignette: Treasures

(The dialogue experiments continue, in a crankier vein.)


"Do you know what I just found in the trash?"

"I'm sure you'll tell me, Mom."

"A sewing pattern. A collectible Issey Miyake sewing pattern. You threw it out, didn't you?"

"Yep. It was mine, from high school."

"You were a minor. That makes it mine to take care of. You were always irresponsible with your things."

"It's missing half the pieces."

"I'll find the other half."

"It's covered in mildew."

"I'll iron the tissue. That kills mold spores. You just don't value anything, do you? If you were in charge of the Smithsonian, you'd just call 1-800-Got-Junk and throw everything out."

"Absolutely. And then I'd move on to the Louvre. When was the last time you sewed anything?"

"This is about my life choices, isn't it? You never supported my decision to quit my job and become a homemaker."

"Mom? I was four."

"I found it in the trash!"


"I need it. I'm getting back into sewing."

"Can you even open your sewing room door?"

"Well, that's hardly my fault. Nobody ever helps me clean up this place!"

Image: By KoS. Wikimedia Commons.


  1. I love this. Beautifully written. My own mother is a pack-rat and so this conversation makes total sense to me. THIS is great.

  2. Teeny little typo: "An sewing pattern..."

    My favorite line is "Mom? I was four." I don't like the question mark, though. I think you character is a too indignant at this point for a question mark, unless she is just incredulous, in which case, save the "I was four" line for another part. I'd like to see the mom thrown off balance by the "I was four" line, but I can appreciate the fact that she hardly notices it.

    Anyway, I am feeling inspired by you to try some dialogue myself. I used to kind of be known for it in college creative writing, but that was 20 years ago, so who knows now.

    More vignettes, please. I love 'em.

  3. I do love your posts.

    There is so much truth in them.

    And humor.

    You're wonderful, please keep writing.

    - Lauren

    Ladaisi Blog

  4. Hey, Melody! Thank you. I'm glad that I hit it right; I know enough hoarder/packrat types that I hoped I would. :)

  5. Yo, Happy Dog! Hmmm. I need to think about why I like that question mark, because I do. I think that I see the daughter as being fairly controlled, because as I imagine it she's had essentially the same conversation hundreds of times before, about hundreds of different pieces of junk. At this point she's just sort of batting the ball back out of habit.

    I've been slacking off on the vignettes. The 200 words are still sort of coming along, but lately they're not good enough to blog.

  6. ladaisi! Thank you! I'm still writing; no doubt something bloggable will emerge in not too long. :)

  7. Geesh, you humble me. You actually decide what's blog-worthy? I guess I should get a bit tougher on myself about what I post. I fear that if I start holding myself to a rubric of any kind, I'll never post anything again. BTW, you should ignore my advice. Anyone who has TWO typos in a single comment should not be taken seriously.

    But re: the question mark. Is she saying it like "Mom? Are you seriously saying that?" or "Mom? Are you listening to me?" or "Mom? Huh?"

    It just occurred to me that MAYBE you could interrupt the daughter (who is a kick-ass character, clearly the grown-up here) and maybe do it like this:

    I was four.

    Because then the question would SOUND like a question, with the upspeak. Otherwise, because the words are so short, and the line is so short, it all runs together visually and a comma seems more appropriate.

    My god, I must bore my friends. Did I really just write all that about a punctuation mark?

    Anyway, loving your stuff with or without question marks.

  8. No, no, no, Happy Dog. I am in complete and total agreement with a "just post it!" philosophy. (And your posts are great.) Poking perfectionism in the eye is actually one of my more firmly held philosophies.

    On my perfume blog, I can follow my own advice; I post good and bad and random, indiscriminately. It's when I'm posting writing _as writing_ that I occasionally struggle with decreeing that good enough is good enough.

    On that question mark... yes, I think it's something like, "Mom? Is your brain still in there or did it step out for a breath of air?" Sort of like a person might yoo-hoo at you and wave their hand in front of your eyes to see if you're awake.

    Sort of.