January 21, 2011

Tessa's birthday bash blogfest

i admit it. i love birthdays and i love blogfests. thank goodness this one was easy. all i had to do was come up with a 500-1000 word scene that mentions birthday, cake, or presents. nice thing was, i already had one available. (to read the other entries, click on the graphic above.)

this one comes from a chick novel i play around with when i'm bored called First Comes Love. i think i started it in 2008, right after coming off the writing of my fantasy novel. i wanted to do something fun and light. i don't know what will come of this because, 1, i'm working on my 2nd fantasy novel, and 2, i still don't have a good conflict for my heroine.

anyway, to set the scene, my main character, Andee Phillips, has come home from her demanding job just in time to celebrate her best friend's birthday. much to her chagrine, her girlfriend's boyfriend--Nate--is also there, and he just happens to be the annoying guy she met on the plane coming home.

i'm not really looking for ways to improve this. it's just for your reading pleasure.

For now, Melody was settled in the living room, sitting in the blue wingback chair like a queen. Gram, Gramps, and I were gathered around her like courtiers. And Nate was off to one side, looking like – what? All I could think of was the court jester.

Gramps pulled the coffee table closer to Melody, and Gram went to get the presents.

“I can hardly wait to see what Andee got me,” Melody said.

“Very funny. I get you the same thing every year.”

“And what’s that?” Nate asked.

I ignored him and watched Gram bring in two big presents, and one small package from me.

Melody tore into mine first. “Another romance novel,” she said. “What a surprise.”

“You can thank Gram. If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t touch the things.”

“But they’re so much fun to read,” Melody said.

“And take my mind to places it probably shouldn’t go.”

“Just think of them as a vacation,” Gram said.

“I just can’t believe my silver-haired grandmother is still writing them.”

Gram’s eyes twinkled. “I have such good material to draw from.”

She leaned over and gave Gramps a kiss. You’d think after forty years of marriage they’d stop acting like newlyweds. I had to turn away before they started making goo-goo eyes.

“Speaking of cranking them out…,” Gram said, “I have the newest copies of my recent novel, fresh off the press.”

“We can hardly wait,” Melody said.

Gram pushed the big packages towards Melody. “These presents go together.”

Melody gave Gram a curious look and unwrapped the first package. She pulled an envelope from the box and when she ripped the envelope open, her eyes widened to twice their normal size. She just stared at the paper and took a few shallow breaths. Then she blinked, took a deep breath, and started to get a little teary-eyed.

“Well, what do you think?” asked Gramps.

“I can’t believe you two did this,” Melody said.

“What is it?” Nate asked.

She handed him the paper. After reading it, he said, “That’s great, Babe. Wish I could go with you.”

“I know. You just came off the river.”

“Off the river?” Gram asked.

“Nate’s a swamper,” Melody said.

“Swamper?” I asked.

“He works with a rafting company in the Grand Canyon.”

“I help with the boats, do dinner, make sure things are running smoothly for the guests. It’s a great job.” He reached over and gave Melody a kiss. “Sorry I can’t go on this one with you.”

“Oh well,” Melody said.

“What does this have to do with your present?” I asked.

She handed me the paper.

“Dear Melody, Lewis and I know how much you've wanted to take a rafting trip through the Grand Canyon, so we’ve booked a trip for you and a friend. You’ll be leaving in two weeks and will be rafting through the canyon for eight days. Now you just have to pack and decide who to take with you.”

“That’s great.” I gave the letter back to Melody. “I’m sure you’ll have a great time.”

“Open the next one,” Gram said.

“I don’t know what you could get me that would be better than the Grand Canyon.”

She was having a great time unwrapping this baby. When she finally got all the paper off, she pulled out two day packs and grinned. Only Melody would get excited over a pair of day packs.

“Look inside,” Gramps said.

Melody dug into the first pack. She pulled out sun block, a hat, a digital camera, a bottle with some kind of liquid, and other items necessary for camping.

“Wow. You two thought of everything,” she said.

Melody looked my way and dangled the other pack in front of me. I shook my head. “You know I don’t like camping.”

“But you love nature.”

“Only if I can come back to an air conditioned hotel room. And do you remember what happened the last time you took me on an adventure?”

“So we got lost in the mountains. Someone else will be in charge this time.”

“Calling our only adventure together ‘getting lost in the mountains’ is like calling the Grand Canyon a hole in the ground.”

Gram laughed. “Is that the one you called the ‘backpacking trip from hell’?”

Nate let out a boisterous laugh. I didn’t know what he thought was so funny.

“By the second day,” Melody said, “Andee was begging for a helicopter to pick her up.”

“It was by the sheer grace of God that we found our way back to civilization.”

Melody wrinkled her nose at me. “You always exaggerate.”

“I don’t want anymore adventures with you, thank you very much.”


Delia said...

Nice flow on this one. Now I'm wondering what Nate is up to. Also, I plan on being Gram some day. Good read.

Francine Howarth said...


Great read: wholesome banter and I loved the helicopter angle!


Mia Hayson said...

Totally agree with Delia, there's a tension between the Andee and Nate. Interesting!

Elaine AM Smith said...

This is a celebration of the family relationships - everyone offers something to the whole dynamic and the serenity shines through.
I wonder what Andee is up to :)

Heather M. Gardner said...

Very nice. Thanks for sharing.

Christine H said...

Really nice, Michelle! Now I want to know all about that camping trip.

Tessa Conte said...

Nice! Love the family banter going on. Thank you so much for joining in on my blogfest!!! Sorry I'm so late commenting but birthday weekends are, apparently, busier than one would think ; P

Jessica Lei said...

It's got a kind of homely feel that makes me want to curl by a fire :) Thanks for sharing!

Heather M. Gardner said...

Just read your piece about scrapbooking and so much of that is completely true! I actually am the most non-crafty person I know but my mom is like the scrap book queen!
I don't know why we (writers in training) put ourselves through it either. Thanks for sharing that link!