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Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Name of the Game Is Resilience

This story was awarded bronze for Trifecta 112, so I decided to tart up the post a bit with the editors' glowing review here : ) Thanks again, Tri!
"Rounding out our top three is the ever fabulous Kymm in Barcelona who gave us The Name of the Game is Resilience.  In the comments, someone likened the piece to a Tarantino film, and that seems a pretty appropriate fit.  When a writer has such command of the language that she can take risks such as these, you tend to get a really good read."

Jeanine and her makeover walked into a bar. The door shushed behind her, propelled her across the entryway. Via the doorjamb, standing speaker, barstool and pillar, she felt her way to the first empty table, grabbed the back of a chair with both hands and held on. ‘Get your bearings, Jeanine,’ she heard Chrissie’s voice admonish, and Chrissie was right, of course. The chair Jeanine clutched was facing the wall. The wall would never delight in her low-cut blouse and expensive haircut. Jeanine sidled over to the next chair, using the backs as a safety rope. When she heard a chorus of laughter break out at the far end of the bar, she made sure to place her rump squarely in the seat before satisfying her curiosity. College kids. Oh! Callooh! Callay! In her direct line of vision, she now noticed the couple - clipped from a spread in a fashion magazine - who were utterly absorbed in chewing each others’ tongues off. Jeanine tried to look away, but there was that wall again.
‘Get up and go sit at the bar,’ Chrissie’s voice hollered.
‘I will not get up now that I’ve sat down,’ Jeanine thought petulantly. ‘Barkeep!’ she thought emphatically. She tried raising her finger, but the barista was directly behind the tongueboarding couple Jeanine found impossible to avoid. She knew, she just knew, at some point they would turn to stare at her with slack-jawed expressions and one of them would drawl: ‘You’re pathetic, Jeanine.’
Jeanine shook her head. She cut Chrissie off: ‘I know, I know, I’m projecting. If I’m ever to vanquish this funk, that attitude has got to go.’
The door opened and in walked a cowboy, a doctor and a millionaire. Jeanine straightened her necklace. He was surely none of those, yet his shaggy brown hair and bomber jacket were aiming directly for Jeanine’s table. Jeanine’s makeover smiled. Jeanine held her breath as he stopped, grasped one of the chairs and asked: ‘Is this seat taken?’


333 words for , including FUNK (noun) 3 :  SLUMP  an economic funk;  the team went into a funk


46 comments:

  1. This is so delightfully surreal. This line..."Jeanine and her makeover" and this: "Jeanine’s makeover smiled." I love what you've done here.

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    1. Squeee! I'm delighted by your delight. Thanks for the love, Kelly!!

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  2. Oooh, nice one kymm! The wall would never delight in her low-cut blouse and expensive haircut - such a crisp piece of writing!

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thank you, TIZ!

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  3. Kymm, this reads just like the best Quentin Tarantino film. Surreal-as Kelly said, a little dark, and brilliantly executed! Excellent, sweet friend-but I didn't figure on anything less from you, Jeanine (or her makeover) !!

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    1. QT - haha love it. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Thank you so much, Valerie!
      As for Jeanine - the day I get a makeover will surely be due to some retirement home shenanigans. lol

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  4. In walked a cowboy, a doctor and a millionaire.. sounds like the beginning of a great joke... Jeanine and her makeover.. brilliant! I love the tongue boarding couple, and how the wall would never delight in her low cut blouse. Terrific, kymm.. !!

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    1. I'm trying to up my humor quotient, but I've never been good at telling jokes. Gotta hone the timing!
      Thanks so much, Steph!

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  5. I was glad to see a happy ending for poor Jeanine. She employs a unique voice, and I'd like to know more about her. Why is she so removed? Why does she stumble? Why do I feel so bad for her? Nice job :)

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    1. I'm glad you see a happy ending for her! (Personally, I see him taking the chair to another table. But I'm a cynic.) Appreciate the feedback. Thank you, TT!!

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  6. great 1st line that pitches the tone for the whole story

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    1. Thank you, Marc! I'm glad you think so.

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  7. Captured by that first amazing line! You didn't disappoint through out either. So sad for her though, perhaps the next one through the door will want to sit down. Great writing Kymm!

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. You know what they say: try, try again... lol Thank you, Glynis!

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  8. "Tongueboarding"--I love it! I will not get that term out of my mind for a while (if ever). This tongue-in-cheek piece (if I may use another mouth-related metaphor) is great, but I wonder if I'm misreading you, Kymm. Is Jeanine intoxicated? Even if I'm misinterpreting and she isn't, it communicates the Trifecta challenge-word well. Good work!

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    1. Hahaha sorry to give you that lingering term. There's no misreading me, Leigh. That´s what I love about fiction. I hadn´t written her intoxicated, but in all honesty I knew she was stumbling around the bar, knew she wasn´t blind, so I guess maybe her makeover had a couple before going out : ) Thank you for the insight!

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  9. Love the banter between Jeannine and her makeover. Wonderfully creative. So many tantalizing details.

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    1. lol Tell me you´ve never had conversations with your hair or your makeup. Or your blouse.
      Thanks for the love, Tara!

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  10. This is so fun, Kymm. I love it. Like the others, you had me from the incredible opening line. And I love the way you continued to personify that makeover through the piece. Excellent, compelling read.

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    1. So glad to hear you enjoyed it. You are very kind. Thanks for the love, Momo!

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  11. That's one way to break out of a funk :-) Hope she'll sober up enough to enjoy his company thoroughly

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    1. Let's just say I hope there are other ways. Somehow I don't think she went into the bar to sober up, though.
      Thanks, Steve!

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  12. You're amazing. This is hilarious.

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    1. Wow. I'm so happy to hear that. I love hilarious. Thank you, Tri!

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  13. Vivid, great. I too had that "feel" of a Tarantino scene...:)

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  14. So sorry it took until today to come read! Congrats!!!! This is awesome. I had a million ideas about Jeanine and what was actually happening. My imagination was so happy! The Cowboy did start like a joke and I couldn't wait to see where it landed. Fantastic as always!!!

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    1. Never be sorry for coming to read! I am so glad to help make your imagination happy. Thank you for such kind words, Gina!

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    1. Thank you, Susan, and thanks for the love!

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  16. Loved the incorporation of the bar joke lines :)

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    1. Especially without the punch lines, eh? Thanks for the love, Jody!

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  17. This is awesome. It should totally be in a Tarantino movie. :-)

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    1. Hahaha Thank you so much, Christi!!

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  18. Congrats on your bronze! Love the idea of vanquishing a funk. I would love to know how Jeanine's night plays out. I don't see it being straightforward.

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    1. Thank you! I don't know that you really do want to see how Jeanine's night ends... Thanks for the love, Sarah!

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  19. You've written a humorous and captivating story. I echo all of the previous comments.

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    1. Hey, lum!! Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed it.

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  20. Personifying the makeover is inspired! It's great. I hope the guy is nice. Sounds like she deserves it!

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    1. Haha We so rarely get what we deserve, though... Thank you so much, F&F!

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  21. Congratulations on your well deserved bronze!

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