Technical writers or non fiction writers scribble to pay the bills and for the love of the analytical or the exercise of truth or deception.

Fiction authors write to illuminate their world or escape it.

Whichever kind of writer, it's all about staying alive and helping or entertaining others.

The Writing Life

Like most writers, I have a love of reading and the power of words. When I was younger, I read everything I could get my hands on, but I don’t consider myself well read. I consumed books like a starved person, so quickly I hardly knew what I had read. By some strange process of osmosis, I learned from everything I read, but I cannot give you an erudite discussion of characters, plots, or authors. I can only tell you it’s lodged some where in the core of my being and informs my writing.

In addition to reading, I’ve spent a life time writing---from that first elementary school composition to my college days when I studied French literature and wrote explications de texte. Along the way, I fell into technical writing--to put food on the table and pay bills. In the 90s, I had the good fortune to take a dialog class with Sol Stein, former owner of Stein & Day publishers in New York and a prolific author. That led to his California-based writers’ group, Chapter One. It was a rigorous, ego-bruising experience, but I was intent on learning everything I could about fiction writing. A few years ago, I also had the good fortune to study with another writer, Louella Nelson, an experienced romance writer and teacher of fiction writing. She provided a different perspective and balance to my writing.

My novel, DREAMING OF LAUGHING HAWK, a mainstream, Sixties era novel, is available on Amazon in print and ebook (also available in Canada, Europe, Japan, and Brazil). Download a free sample. If you like it, I hope you'll download the book and post a review on Amazon.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Lady No Hips

The following story is my submission for Romantic Friday Writers May 4th challenge. The challenge is to write a 600-word story based on this image. I don't know from where my story came. I must be channeling.

* * *
Geez. I don’t want to be here, but my husband’s big client, Colton James, has picked out this sleezy little night club a few blocks away from his hotel in LA. A few drinks and hor d’oeuvres for old times sake and contract renewal. I’m surprised Colton can pronounce French. I’ll be even more surprised if we can get out of this place with just a few drinks. My husband, Charles, has brought me along as an insurance policy—insurance that he will have a convenient excuse to duck out early. Everybody knows what a surly bitch he’s married to. Charles is counting on that convenient truth to help him keep his client in line and stay out of trouble with me. He means to have his cake and eat it too. I hope Colton can crawl back to his hotel in the wee hours of the morning without our assistance. I don’t want to hang around to give him a lift, but I don’t want to break that news flash to Charlie just yet. Some subtle bitchiness is required.

I look around me. It’s a long room with the bar on one side and booths and tables on the other. A small stage is at the far end. The place has a strange reddish glow from the red-flocked wallpaper. Everything reeks of booze. Long-legged waitresses with oversized saline implants wiggle between the tables with trays of drinks held high. They elegantly set coasters on the table and bump their hip into the shoulder of the man most likely to pick up the tab. In this case, it’s my husband. He has a thirsty client to maintain. Colton is salivating over the cocktail waitress and is ordering up his first drink, a Black Dahlia, which the waitress has guaranteed will knock him on his ass. I'm for that. Charlie orders a Heineken, thinking that’s the safe course. I order Chivas Regal on the rocks. I’m betting I’ll need some form of scotch-induced clairvoyance to survive the evening. 

At one end of the bar, I spy a group of LA ladies arrayed in orange Afro wigs, stiletto heels, and mini skirts. I figure they’re cranking up for the night’s act.  

“Look at the muscular legs on that broad over there and the sweet ass,” Colton says to Charlie as if I’m invisible. "I think I'm in love." 

Charlie smiles weakly and then looks at me. That wipes the smile right off his face. The lady has enormous boobs and the ass is okay, but she has no waist and her hips are narrow.  

Later in the evening, the ladies are on stage singing and gyrating to something jazzy and sensual. Even I like it. Between songs they drop a dirty joke that makes Colton holler with delight. The lady he loves blows him a kiss and wiggles her hipless hips when he stands up to applaud.  

Colton announces out of the clear blue that he’s set his cap for Lady No Hips by grabbing his imaginary cap turned compass and riveting his eyes on her. This is not just the drinks talking. It’s his penis. For the first time in the evening, I burst out laughing. A horrified look spreads across Charlie’s face. Colton looks ticked.  

“I’m sorry. Scotch always makes me giggle uncontrollably,” I say, but I’m remembering that while I took a restroom break I watched Lady No Hips snatch off her wig and stride straight-hipped towards the men’s restroom.  The scotch says she was no lady.    


  1. Linda, this is priceless! I laughed all the way through. I think I'm that bitch in the story. Been there at times, lol! You have so many great lines. My favourite - "Long-legged waitresses with oversized saline implants wiggle between the tables". I get the scene.

    Love the way you used the guidelines. You did a fabulous job and as with all your stories, your ending is absolutely priceless!


  2. Thanks, Denise. I thought for sure I must be losing my mind. I don't know why I had that reaction to that picture.

  3. Great story, Linda! I agree with Denise. I love the the whole story from beginning to end; the ending is a gem. I suspected it might end that way, given you wonderful foreshadowing calling her/him 'no-hips'.

    It's nice to be back reading your texts after April's A to Z-challenge.

    Best wishes & hugs,

    Anna's RFW challenge 35

  4. Dera Linda,
    Thank you for your good advice. I have written a sequel on the same post. If you are curious and have the time, please go back and read it. Just scroll down past the 'P.S.-text'.
    Best wishes,

  5. LOL; you know, I had pretty much the same reaction when I saw this prompt. Kinda fun to channel a voice, isn't it.

    I think Colton has a terrible surprise coming :)


  6. So funny. I love the twist at the end. Your lady covers up her lie well.

  7. Hello.
    Haha! What a delightful read. I'm glad you ended it like you did...Colton was crass...I'll bet he gets more than he bargained for! LOL
    Thanks for sharing.

    Last Dance

  8. Hi,

    Sorry, late getting around this weekend...

    Hee hee, it seems trannies/cross-dressers are doing OK from this prompt!

    Nice one, Linda... A fun read.


  9. Thank you for all your comments. Forgive me if I don't get through everyone's submissions this time. My father is dying.

  10. I absolutely loved your story!! Made me laugh so hard. And I am sorry to hear about your father. I will be praying for you and your family.

    Again, wonderful story! Blessings to you,

  11. Hilarious. You certainly had me down in stitches. Love it, Linda.

    I'm sorry to read about your father. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  12. Hi Linda. Came back for another read and see the sad news about your father. I'm sorry. This will be a difficult time. I remember the pain when my father left this world.


  13. Dear Linda,

    I am so sorry to hear about your father. Then you really have your hands full.

    My father passed away 2006, and it still seems like only yesterday. Toward the end, my father was concerned whether or not my children would remember him. I promised him to speak often about him and make his memory a part of their lives. I have fond feelings to relatives whom I never actually met because my grandmother spoke so lovingly about them. In the end, we all want to be remembered.

    I will never forget the story that one of my friends told me: it's about a man who loved fly-fishing. But he was in the hospital, dying, and could not get out to any streams. His wife, who knew him well, bought him a fly fishing rod and had him practicing his casts from his hospital bed. It made him feel alive again and gave him hope, even though there was no hope. He died a happy man because of his wife's love and understanding. She let him live while he was still alive, even though the time was short.

    Everyone is different. I'm sure you are doing all that you can to help him.

    You and your family are in my prayers, Linda