Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Live Writing Exercise 16

I have friends who--okay, I know people who--publish entire books on their blogs, either in audio form, or the way I'm doing this now.  And they invariably claim that those books still sell afterward, even to people who read/listened for free.  That makes me want to try podcasting a longer piece, just to see if it might work.  Or I could keep doing this.

I will keep working on this, though, but I keep finding areas to expand or contract, and have gone back and fixed stuff I didn't catch when I "published" it here.  I do think, though, that podcasting a long piece like this would be more satisfying than what I'm doing now, since I could maybe say that I'd do a couple of chapters a week, put them out on a set schedule, then edit the whole batch together when I was done and sell it on Audible.

Man, I wish I were ambitious enough to do that.


            When her dad came home, he brought a pizza (it had sausage on it, though, and she hated sausage), and they talked about her day.  When Dad heard about the bus and the movie, he apologized for not leaving Tanissa some cash, but she told him they got in free.

            “Free?”  Dad had warned her many a time that in real life, nobody gets a trophy just for showing up, and that the only lottery she’d ever win was to be born in America, in the time that she did. 

            “I . . . I guess so.”  It did seem like she’d left out an important part of the story.  “Guess she knows the ticket guy,” Tanissa said, and then, “And the bus driver.”  Drivers, plural.  Strange.

            “Well, I’m glad you made a friend.  I was worried about you all day at work, and when you didn’t answer the phone . . .”

            The girl felt bad about that, but couldn’t help mentioning that if she had a cellphone like Brekkyn did, that wouldn’t have been a problem. 

            “Right,” Dad said, “like you wouldn’t lose a phone in the first day somewhere.”  He had a point; she did tend to misplace things.  But Tanissa didn’t think she’d lose something as important as a phone.  And if she did forget where she put it, they could just call it and listen for the ring like they did when Mama lost hers.

            “We’ll see,” was all Dad could respond to that.


            The next day was very similar.  Dad got up early, showered, and woke Tanissa to have breakfast with him before heading to the airport.  He made sure to leave her with two tens in case she went out again.
            “I won’t,” she said.  “I’m just gonna read and draw all day.”  He’d brought her a sketchpad with fifty blank pages on it the day before.
            Dad shook his head at that.  He could turn the television to Channel Zero, and it would still be that way when he turned it on again tonight.  “Whose daughter are you?” he joked.
            “Just yours,” she said, something they’d shared before.  “Who’s daddy are you?”
            “Well, yours, and a whole mess of kids I don’t even keep track of.”
            That was new.  Last time he’d said he was the father of three other girls, each one cuter than Tanissa.  He kissed her on the head and went in the bathroom to brush his teeth.  As soon as he was out of the apartment and down the hall, there came a knock at the door.  Tanissa thought she knew who it would be.  She was still at the table, having just lined up her colored pencils.
            The knock came again.  She didn’t want to go out with Brekkyn again, though she couldn’t really say why.  She figured she’d got to the door, and since she was still in her pajamas, tell the younger girl she wasn’t feeling up to hanging out this morning.
            Brekkyn was dressed all in purple today—a jogging suit or something—and held two enormous donuts in her hands, the chocolate-covered ones shaped like a foot.  “Gotcha a bearclaw,” the girl said, holding one out. 
            Tanissa shook her head, explaining that she’d just had breakfast, and wasn’t really a morning person.  She didn’t really feel up to a day on the town, that she was just going to lounge about, maybe go back to sleep, or at least . . .
            The pale girl began to sing.  It was eerie little melody, and though Tanissa couldn’t make out the sense of the words, it did wonders for her attitude.
            A moment later, she was changing her clothes in the bathroom, half a donut crammed in her mouth, and listening to the other girl complain about breaking her iPod.
            “. . . not really broken, you know, but the crack goes right through where the song title shows up, and it pisses me off, you know?”
            Tanissa understood.  Every one of her friends had a cracked phone or tablet or mp3 player, and often had to live with it until the next birthday or Christmas.
            “What generation is yours?  You could swap iPods with me, if you want,” the girl was asking from the living room.  Tanissa came out of the bathroom, still putting on her rocks.  “I don’t have an iPod.  I had a little music player last summer, but I don’t remember what I did with it.”
            “No iPod?” Brekkyn asked, as though hearing Tanissa had no bellybutton.  “Well, we’ll have to fix that, huh?”
            The TV was on, Brekkyn sitting at the couch.  It was on the Disney Channel, a show about a teenage boy and girl who are both rock stars, but also secret agents, each keeping it a secret from the other.  Tanissa had seen it once before, and it was so contrived as to be offensive even to a twelve year old.  But Brekkyn seemed to enjoy it.  “Wanna watch this with me?” she asked.  Kid Investigations is just about to--”
            Tanissa sighed.  “The sun’s shining outside, you know.  We could go for a walk.”
            “I forgot to show you the swap meet place by the galleria yesterday,” Brekkyn remembered, rising to her feet.  “Have you been there?”
            “Yeah, we drove past it the first day.  My dad’s bank is right in front o--”
            “We’re going,” Brekkyn said, leading Tanissa to believe she would’ve said that no matter what.

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