Working a Scene

Today I’ve been working with those new characters I mentioned earlier, Duff and Merrin. Before today all I had down was a bunch of narrative, notes really, no action, covering the backbone of the plot, characterization, and so on.

Pages filled with “telling” sentences such as, “He felt like he was smothering under the weight of the problems held in his sighs.” BLECH! I need to go back now and “show” him smothering under the weight of his problems, let the readers come to the conclusion on their own that he is smothering under the weight of his problems. I’ve got a plan, a list of quick actions I can pop through that should demonstrate just what has happened in this man’s life and the effect it has had upon him.

That part will be the beginning of the story I think. But it’s gotta be quick, just a couple of paragraphs of set-up before Merrin arrives at Duff’s door. It will be challenging no doubt. It will probably take quite a few sittings to get it down the way I want it. I will ponder every word and only the strongest will survive . . . and who am I kidding? Some of the strongest will get axed as well, because that’s what I do. But that’s all stuff for down the road, in the rewriting stage. It doesn’t really matter when I write that part. I can do it last if I want. The main thing is that I’ve laid out a road map, so I’ll know exactly what to do when the time comes. That done, I get to move onto the fun stuff and get right into the action.

So, that’s what I was doing today. I don’t know if everyone works this way or not (love to hear comments on this from others) but often times when I work on a new scene, especially with new characters, I’ll do the dialogue first. The dialogue and nothing but the dialogue. Later I might chop it all to hell, take six pages to a couple of lines, add in some he said/she said clues, or character/scene descriptions or actions or whatever I think it needs. But quite often I start with only the dialogue as the skeleton for a scene.

I think I find this helpful because in the beginning I don’t know my characters that well, and by hearing their voices they become more real for me. I get to know them better, burrow my way into their heads a bit more. It brings them into focus for me. So, I force them to talk. And that seems to work for me somehow.

Anyway, this whole story is coming about as the result of a few lines I scribbled into my notebook one day when this idea blindsided me. I had written:

“Excuse me,” Duff said. “But have we met? Do I know you?”

She giggled and stuffed a lollipop into her cheek.

“I’m the girl who’s gonna save your marriage,” she winked and flashed a wicked grin.

It doesn’t get any more simple than that, does it? Few little lines scribbled down and I’m off on an adventure. Today, I continued that scene using only dialogue. Thought it would fun to share a little bit of something hot off my fingertips from what I would call the pre-writing stage of this story, where I’m just exploring the characters voices and having fun. So, here it is:

“I’m the girl who’s gonna save your marriage.”

“What on earth . . . ”

“Now, don’t get your shorts in a knot, settle down. I heard about your marital dilemma and as it turns out I’m in a bit of a dilemma myself and need a place to crash. So I’m here to help you get your wife back in return for room and board for a few weeks just until I get back on my feet.”

“I don’t see how a strange woman moving in will help me get my wife back.”

“Ahh, but you see, that’s exactly the thing that will help. Gets ’em every time!”

“I really must protest —”

“Ok, ok, if you must know, Agnes sent me.”


“Yes, Agnes. Your mother.”

“But, but that’s impossible. Mother is dead.”

“Sheesh, she may be dead but she’s still got some kinda lungs on her I’ll say! Oh, the bellowing! How she goes on and on. Duff this and Duff that. Listen I don’t like this anymore than you do, but your mother wants me here and here is where I’m staying until she tells me otherwise.”

“I don’t understand. Who are you? How did you know my mother?”

“I didn’t know your mother, thank the Goddess. I bet she was some piece of work though. High maintenance with a capital H. She’s certainly no bouquet of roses on the other side that’s for sure. Always hollering, demanding this and that, you’d think she was the first soul ever to cross over. My name’s Merrin, by the way, pleased to meet you. How do you do?”

“Ohh, I get it. I think I understand now. Ms. Merrin, do you perhaps reside over at the Lilyfield House? Forget to take your medication, dear? Would you like me to call the doctor? An ambulance perhaps?”

“Christ Almighty! You’re not the brightest bulb on the tree, are you? I’m not crazy. I’m psychic. Have you not been listening to me? Your mother sent me to help you get that God-awful wife of yours back, though why anyone would want her is beyond me, not that it matters. I’m here to help and help I shall. Anything to give me a little peace.”


“Listen, it’s really quite simple. You want your wife back, I want my life back, and the only way we’re both going to get what we want is if I move in here with you for awhile and we pretend to be madly in love with each other.”

“That’s preposterous! Nobody will ever believe it! Janice will never believe I’ve fallen for someone . . . well, someone like you.”

“Watch it buster, you’re on thin ice. I admit I might not look like much right now, but I clean up real nice. They’ll believe it all right. If we make it believable.”

New Characters

Have I told you about the new characters I’m living with? I’m just so excited with this bunch. They have nothing to do with Callum and Limbo, it’s not part of the pseudo-novel thingy I’ve been working on forever. This is brand spanking new stuff, and I’m stoked!

It’s funny and light, like some sort of cheesy romantic comedy . . . though I do not see Merrin as being played by Meg Ryan . . . she’d be more like a young Cyndi Lauper or Annie Potts . . . I’m trying to think of a younger actress who could do her . . . aha! Of course! Kate Winslet! Merrin is kind of like Clementine only . . . weirder? And Duff is definitely no John Cusack (too tall for starters), though Greg Kinnear might do him nicely . . . Matt Damon maybe, though he’s a bit more buff than the role demands . . . Ewan MacGregor might do in a pinch . . . not sure Jude Law would be believable . . . hmmm, Philip Seymour Hoffman, that might really work . . . but wait! Hold the presses! I’ve got it! The perfect Duff would be played by Joaquin Phoenix! Excellent.

Of course, I’m not actually writing a screenplay. It’s a short story at best. Still . .. it’s fun to cast all the roles in my head.

Ay! There’s the Rub

I dreamt I went on a trip to a tiny country in South America. It was hot. Jungle-like. And in a state of civil unrest. Rebel fighting at all times of the day and night . . . but mostly night. We were fairly safe in our hotel at the heart of the city. In fact as long as you were hidden away in your home within the city walls, you would probably live to see morning. Most of the fighting was happening in the jungle on the outskirts of town.

Stacy was with me. We had picked this particular place to visit because a friend of ours was working there, doing missionary work in the outlying villages. During the day, when the jungle was less dangerous, we would go with him to these villages and help the sick, work with the children. Gut-wrenching scenes. Terrible scenarios. Very real. The suffering was endless. I woke up crying at point, my heart broke as I held a small child as she fought for her two last breaths and then drifted away.

Falling back to sleep, I found myself in the same village, hours later. Dusk was approaching. I sensed danger as the paths back to the city darkened and I knew if we were going to leave, we had to do it now. I couldn’t find Stacy, couldn’t find our missionary friend. Every second the sky darkened further and the sounds of jungle grew louder. I had heard stories of what the rebel fighters did to women in the villages. I had witnessed the carnage with my own eyes. But what they did to those women was nothing compared to what they would do to a white woman. Death would be too easy. They would take me to their camp and keep me alive for months at the very least, years, more likely. It was a frightening situation to consider. I was terrified. I found Stacy in a hut with an old woman, who was dying with some disease like malaria. She had lost track of time, but didn’t seem concerned at all that it was getting dark.

I was literally pulling at her sleeve trying to get her to hurry and come along, and she was chatting with people and stopping to give hugs and kisses, quite unconcerned. Infuriating. Just as we got to the path, machine-gun fire broke out. There were flashes coming from both sides of the path. We dropped to the ground and covered our heads with our hands. The shooting went on for minutes without a break. When it ended I raised my head and looked at the path. Through the haze of smoke and jungle steam I could see a young girl from the village standing on the path. She was about 13 or 14 years old and had been sent into the city to deliver an important message earlier in the day. I guessed she was returning and got caught in the fire. She had her hands up in a show of peace and surrender and was slowly sneaking along the path toward the village. I was terrified for her, terrified of seeing something happen to her. But she edged her way toward us without incident. For now at least, the jungle was quiet.

When she reached us, she kneeled down, put a finger to her lips to hush us (Stacy was being so loud! Not a good sneaker.) The girl pointed toward the path, showed us how she had held up her hands and urged us to go. I was practically paralysed with fear. My body felt like it was weighted with bricks. My legs and arms were heavy to move and lift. Stacy, on the other hand, (maybe she knew it was a dream) scrambled to her feet, threw her hands above her head and started walking toward the city, very calmly. I watched her back move away from me. I counted every step. I held my breath waiting for the sound of gunfire. She disappeared from sight without a sound.

I took a deep breath and proceeded, cringing at every step, expecting at any moment to be knocked off my feet by shots or rebel boys or something even worse. My head seemed to be pounding with my heart beat. This went on for a really long time until finally I rounded the last turn and could see the city gates before me. The last 100 feet, and Stacy was nowhere to be seen. I felt some relief that she at least had made it back safely. And I felt some anticipation and hope that I would too. Each step took me closer to the gate and my hotel room and a hot bath and a good glass of wine. My spirits were starting to soar. Almost there. 80 feet. 75. 50. 45. 30 . . . and the unmistakable sound of a guns cocking. Loud. I froze. Turning my head slowly to the right I saw a boy about 13 years old dressed completely in black from head to toe. Only the whites of his eyes were really visible . . . and the barrel of the gun pointed straight at me. I swung my head to the left and saw another boy about 13 years old dressed completely in khakis from head to toe. The barrel of his gun was also pointed straight at me. I realised they were aiming for each other but I was in the way. I would be caught in the crossfire. If I moved would they let me pass? Or would my movement trigger the gunfight? I didn’t know. But I knew if I stayed there I wouldn’t stand a chance . . . I stepped.

And a brilliant flash of white light exploded in my brain. It was the brightest light I had ever seen. Beautiful. Blinding. I thought about Mom and Dad and my sisters and brother and the kids, especially Samuel. I could hear Samuel saying, “It’s a beautiful day of raining!”

And then I woke up.

Mood: spirited
Drinking: water, water, everywhere
Listening To: Bryan Adams, Do I Have to Say the Words?
Hair: could it possibly get any thicker?!

Playing the Bs (or another stream of conscious rant, best avoided by those who like their rants with punctuation)

listening to winamp, songs going in some sort of weird alphabetical order, must’ve turned off the random by accident, chatting on msn, joking about abba and ac/dc, it’s all good . . . then the b-52’s and i’m back in time at flipper’s for the biggest backyard party ever to hit mississauga, charging 20 bucks a head to get in, but we’re friends and comped, hugs from the host at the gate, there’s a live band, a pit full of corn and potatoes, a pig on a spit, burgers and steaks on bbqs, some salads i wouldn’t want to chance, drugs piled everywhere in bowls and baggies, pills, powder, plant-life, whatever you want, everyone who enters empties pockets and contributes, patted down for weapons, search is not yet the norm, flipper pats me himself . . . i think nothing of this until later . . . coolers piled upon coolers filled with beer and ice, never seen so many girls in string bikinis, the band’s playing b-52s and doing a damn fine job, but i’m drunk and everything sounds awesome, it’s late, after the bar closed, people lined up around the block trying to get in, bouncers breaking up fights . . . flipper does not own this home, i think, he rents, there will be damage, they’ve dug up half the backyard with the backhoe . . . then it occurs to me that this isn’t even his house . . . i ask where we are and hon shrugs, smiles, in that easy way things roll off his back . . . and we slowdance barefoot in the dew soaked grass even though the music stopped . . . until the police come . . . slip through the fence, running away, quietly, zigzagging across backyards, lots of yelling behind us, sirens, coming on dawn, grey, i’m tired, all i can hear is my breath and heart beating in my throat, all i can feel is his hand holding mine, pulling me, all i can think is that it’s going to be okay, he’s got me and i’ll follow him anywhere . . . how much of this is memory and how much dream, i no longer know . . .

bto, bad company, blondie, i’m back on msn, remembering the eastwood, dancing to mony, mony, hey mutherfucker, get laid, get fucked . . . the owner tried every night to convince me to go downstairs to work for him . . . stripping . . . i knew a lot of the strippers, the money was good, i was tempted, might have done it, but cooler heads prevailed . . . he promised to take care of me, i didn’t need to work, focus on school, he said . . . you can do it, kel, you can do anything, he said . . . and he meant it . . . staying up all night to type my assignments for me so i could sleep two hours before final exams . . . sleeping in shifts with me during the first bush war so i wouldn’t miss sadaam . . . i was learning to be a journalist . . . and so was my construction worker hon . . . bought me my first word processor . . . forced me to do things i didn’t think i could . . . press conference with the premier, piece of cake . . . interview with great stratford director, just a joke . . . talked me down after the riot, when i didn’t know what was happening just that there were people running in the streets, cops running with guns pulled, yelling at us to take cover, screams and crashes in the distance someplace, couldn’t tell where, huddled in the payphone on the floor, hiding from . . . not sure who the enemy is . . . sitting on the floor with that other little girl, holding her hand, strangers brought together by circumstance . . . he talked me through it, got me to go back out, helped me find the courage to hang up the phone, disconnect from him, leave the school, get on the subway and go all the way to the end where he was waiting for me . . . more joking on msn, more conversation, remembering the fights at the eastwood, being swept under the table everynight, learning to crawl from one end of the club to the other and out the door into the parking lot without losing table cover, expert escapee . . . and there it is . . . billy joel, she can kill with a smile, she can wound with her eyes . . . she can ask for the truth, but she’ll never believe . . . but she’s always a woman to me . . . our song, not because i was such a bitch, but because i wouldn’t give the time of day to anyone else, and they were all trying because i was the new chick . . . and young . . . innocent and naive . . . blue cow eyes . . . everybody wanted a piece of me but my loyalty was rock-solid, a one-man woman, maybe that made me a bitch, but it meant something else to us . . . you always remember the first time, the song that was playing, the way the air smelled of poison perfume and rain, electric lips, green eyes flecked with bronze, so serious, intensity . . . in love for the first time . . . it meant something different to him . . . something different to me . . .

bee gees, bob seger, who’s your favourite beatle . . . good question, no answer from msn . . . but paul for me, I like paul, tho i didn’t say . . . then bon jovi and i’m done for the night, there will be nothing else, i refuse to skip and I’ve got every song . . . EVERY ONE . . . how much do you love me . . . all of it . . . and the memories jumble, different place, different time, different guy . . . not so rock-solid . . . flimsy really, tattered, how did that happen . . . shit happens, that’s what hon would’ve said, makes me smile, cuz it wasn’t cliche then, he meant it . . . and he was right . . . reliable sources tell me he still loves me, never moved on . . . oh no, i say . . . fuck him, they say . . . seems harsh . . . but i don’t love him anymore, it’s not my fault if he can’t work through it . . . i want him to be happy, but there’s nothing i can do to help, we tried being friends . . . it didn’t work, he always wanted more . . . he wanted marriage and children and a home with a garage and a white picket fence and a little place out back to grow some of the finest weed in the country . . . i didn’t want any of that stuff . . . no compromise, sabotaging my birth control, ready to move cross country . . . who asked him, not me . . . uninvited . . . poison, I said . . . we are poison together . . . he saw it too, but refused to acknowledge it, wanted to believe this fantasy he concocted . . . i am not now, nor have i ever been, the woman he thinks he is in love with . . . so, fuck him . . . FUCK HIM . . . i refuse to feel guilty . . . i refuse to feel guilty . . . mantra, if repeated enough times will sink into my soul and set me free . . . i refuse to feel guilty . . . i am not guilty . . . i have no responsibility toward him . . . i don’t owe him anything . . . i can’t fix this for him . . . the reliable sources are wrong, they could be wrong, they’ve been wrong before . . . he has moved on, he no longer cares or even thinks about me in any way shape or form . . . yes, he’s probably married with kids and a house with a garage and together they are growing some of the best weed in the country out of a shed in the backyard . . . he’s finally put together the roadrunner . . . he’s happy . . . i’m happy for him . . . i can rest easy, go to bed and sleep have wonderful dreams about new people, interesting people . . . i am not guilty, there is no reason for guilt, it all worked out for the best . . . and then a bon jovi song i’ve never heard before . . . one of those ballads . . . you know the ones i mean . . . and it’s like he’s reached out from long branch and grabbed me by the throat, wrapped the telephone cord around my neck again, only this time he means it . . . pulled it tight . . . he’s got my attention . . . delivers his verdict . . . guilty as charged

And I would give up tomorrow
And die for one yesterday
I’d lie, beg, steal and borrow
To hear you whisper my name
Tonight there ain’t no miracles
Washing up on this beach
The angels left here long ago
But I still believe that
Maybe someday
I will hold your hand
And maybe some way
We’ll trace our footsteps in the sand
And just walk away… Baby, someday.

Now I don’t know how a heart beats
But I sure know how one breaks
Remember how I used to hold you
To share every breath that you’d take
Oh how can I forget
You’re every tear that I cry
I know you’re coming back
You never kissed me goodbye
Maybe someday
I will hold your hand
And maybe some way
We’ll trace our footsteps in the sand
And just walk away…
They say that nothing lasts forever
But we know our two hearts beat together
And though you’re far away
Every night I pray
Maybe someday… Someday…

Maybe someday
I will understand
Baby, some way
We’ll trace these footsteps in the sand
Just walk away…

Maybe someday
Baby, some way
Maybe someday
Baby, some way

— Bon Jovi, Maybe Someday

You Spin Me Round

I totally forgot this was a long weekend . . . not that a long weekend is any different for me than any other weekend . . . or really any other day for that matter. I do live in my own little bubble, where night is day sometimes and day is night, where Tuesday can be Saturday and Saturday night can be Monday morning. It’s all open for interpretation, right?

So, my whole fam-damily are off at some huge reunion thing in a big field complete with campers and tents and games and feasts . . . just like when I was a kid, except now the kids are adults and the adults are practically seniors and the children are brand spanking new . . . and Grammie & Grandad are absent. I’m curious about this new family dynamic. If I were at home I think I would have actually attended this event. SHOCKING! I know.

For so many years I’ve distanced myself from that part of the family, bonding more with Dad’s side, and for no good reason other than I absolutely can’t stand certain people (who shall remain nameless . . . but we all know who they are . . . ) Meanwhile, there are a whole bunch of really cool people in my family that I don’t get to see either. Why should I miss out on the one, in order to avoid the other?

Well, it used to be for Mom, because my mother would not want me to ever say anything to these people or be at the heart of a family scene . . . but after two funerals . . . I’m thinking Mom is over that. Should I ever lose my temper and let fly, I don’t think I’ll be disowned. Not that I can’t control myself. I demonstrated perfect control at all recent family gatherings, choosing to say nothing and letting my facial expression and hostile stance do the talking when accosted by the melodramatic nonsense that flutters about these things. This worked well.

They know I think they’re nuts . . . I’m pretty sure they’re too nuts to fully understand why I think they’re nuts, but what does that matter . . . they’re nuts! So yeah, if I’m around when things are happening, my mother’s family might be seeing more of me . . . and the fruitcakes will just have to either leave me alone or . . .

I miss my kids. Didn’t really get to see them all that much on that recent fly-by. I’ll get my fill on the Fundy excursion I’m sure. Though thankfully I will not be sleeping with all the children this time in a little double bed. Though having my own bed means I’ll miss Samuel’s morning announcement that it’s a beautiful day . . . regardless of rain or fog or sleet. Looking forward to the trip. I plan to go out with my notebook and just sit and listen to the waves crashing all day and capture some new characters. I’ve got a real strong feeling about this . . . think I’m going to meet or see something really interesting.

I’d like to go on a hike, something longer than a half-hour and a bit more difficult . . . but I’m terrified to go on my own and I don’t think anyone else will be up for it, well maybe up for it but unable to go because of children. The kids certainly aren’t old enough yet to go on an all-day hike. I would like to go to the copper mine, haven’t done that since Stacy and I were kids and we carved all our initials into trees. “KU luvs RP 4ever!” (Or until I graduate and move away.) Probably killed the poor tree over that, what a shame. That trail was always too long and difficult for the kids . . . but I think it’s only 2 hours or something . . . maybe the oldest could do it now.

It’s been a couple of years since we’ve gone to Alma, I hope all the best things are still there . . . like the bookstore! I found some good stuff there last time, good deals. Bought a lot of plays if I remember correctly. Old copies of Shaw in mint condition. Although I really shouldn’t spend any more money on books, when I’ve got so many I haven’t read yet. I’ve got things from Frye Fest sitting on the shelf waiting for my attention still. People will read again! . . . I just don’t appear to be one of them. Maybe it’s because I’m writing more that I’m reading less. I’ve heard some people say they can’t read anything when they’re involved with their own work. Maybe that’s it.

I had a good day today. I baked those ribs in Southwest Sauce, scalloped some red potatoes in garlic butter and onions. Did a nice vegetable medley. Yummy. But cooked enough for four people easy, so I’ll be eating this all week . . . Felt like something sweet so I baked some cinnamon rolls. Double yummy. Not from scratch. I’m not set-up for baking yet, so they are of the Pillsbury variety. Only five in a package, but I’ll never eat them all before they go stale, so I guess I’ll freeze them for a rainy day. I know they won’t be as good nuked, but still, it’ll be nice to have a little something to pop in the microwave from time to time.

Mood: restless (really, really restless)
Drinking: some sort of generic diet soda
Listening To: George Thorogood, Bad to the Bone
Hair: cascading over my shoulders

What Band Best Represents Your Persona?

Evanescence best represents your persona. You are
gothic, dark, angsty, and you have a sick sense
of humor. You can also be very intelligent and
great for conversation about the ways of the

What band best represents your persona?
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The Saturday Six

From Patrick’s Place

1. What was your favorite childhood movie? When was the last time you saw it?

Good question. I’m trying to think of kid’s movies (Disney stuff or cartoons) and have just realised that I didn’t really watch kid’s movies. I don’t know if I didn’t care for them or they just weren’t an option. As a really small child any movie with Elvis was my favourite. I absolutely loved him!

But of course even Elvis could not survive the phenomena that was Grease, which happened when I was 9 or 10 years old. Fourth or fifth grade I believe. I knew every line, every lyric, every dance move. I wanted to be Sandy (not the dowdy one, but the hot one at the end, I still dream about those shoes) or Rizzo, because she was just cool without trying so hard. I wrote sequels, skits, new scenes (all of which have been destroyed over the years unfortunately). I had every piece of Grease paraphenelia that my parents would buy me.

Other than Stacy and I, the kids our age were not into this movie at all . . . because I think maybe we were perceived as being too young to see it. I’ve often met girls a few years older than me who totally share this obsession, who did all the things I did, but not many my age or younger (family doesn’t count of course, the trickle down effect comes into play).

The last time I watched Grease was probably a good 5 or 6 years ago, maybe even more. Maybe not since the 20th Anniversary edition came out. Wow! I’m due . . . and I’ve just realised I don’t own a copy on dvd. Must add to wishlist.

My Grease obsession was soon followed by a Saturday Night Fever obsession (and NONE of the kids were allowed to watch that one, even I had to close my eyes during the mooning scene on the bridge). Much more difficult dance moves for sure, and I still have a love for disco movies for some reason. But I drew the line at Urban Cowboy, which pretty much crushed my crush on John Travolta. Country! Ewww!

Soon though, there would be a Grease sequel, highly anticipated in my little world. And that started a whole new obsession, with Michelle Pfeiffer . . . I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to be anyone more (except maybe Angelina Jolie . . . nah, even Angelina can’t go there). By the time of Grease 2, I was into the terrible teens and the movie was less about learning the songs and dance routines (which of course were terrible) but more about studying the walk, talk, make-up, hair, clothing, smile and so on of Michelle in order to mimic her in my daily life and thus pick up a cool rider of my very own. I think I’ve probably seen every movie she’s ever done. Haven’t seen Grease 2 in a really long time though . . . pretty sure I don’t need that dvd either.

2. Who is your worst enemy at the moment? (First names only, please.) Why is that person your enemy?

At the moment I don’t think I have any enemies that matter anymore. There are people out there who hate me, who will always hate me. But they’re not involved in my life in any way, so who cares what they think? I’m certainly not losing any sleep over it. If I do have an enemy right now plotting against me, I have no idea who they are or why they would do such a thing.

3. Which one of the following annoys you most when you encounter a new blog?
a. Constant grammatical errors.
b. Constant spelling errors.
c. Contrived “street” language.
d. Too many “nothing happening today” entries.

Contrived “street” language for sure. I guess I can’t relate. The language just gets in the way. Nothing happened today entries are a bit annoying too. I mean, you’re writing, something must have happened or don’t write. I’m generally very forgiving of grammar and spelling in the blog sense though. I see it as being a different kind of writing, so things that will make me throw the New Yorker across the room are okay in blogdom.

4. Take this quiz: Which alcoholic drink are you?


?? Which Alcoholic Drink Are You ??
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5. What is the last thing yousaid to a person face to face? Who was that person?

Oh man! I live alone. I know nobody. I communicate through email . . . the last thing I said to someone face-to-face would’ve been to the cab driver who brought me and my groceries home the other day. He was joking with me at buying so much stuff. (I do sometimes forget that I am not buying for a family of four anymore.) He was an old guy, new driver for me, haven’t had him before. He was saying stuff like, “Did you leave anything for anyone else?” Ha! Ha! (And it wasn’t really all that much stuff, just a lot of veggies and water which took up a lot of bags). So the last thing he said when he was leaving was for me to be careful and not eat everything all at once (we had been talking about shopping when you’re hungry, which is a mistake and I had been hungry that day). And I said, “No worries, thanks.” And that would be the last thing I said to someone face-to-face other than maybe an “excuse me” or “pardon me” or something like that to a stranger on the street. I’ve had phone conversations though, so I’m not totally without some form of speech.

6. READER’S CHOICE QUESTION #59 from Debi: When you shower, do you ever think of the Alfred Hitchcock movie, “Psycho?”

Absolutely not. Never. And if some creepy shower scene ideas try to creep in, I start singing and visualising clear sunny skies where the blue goes on forever.