1) Pick someone to write about who really bothers you, - perhaps someone who makes a nuisance of themselves--a brash teenager who speeds down your block playing (loud) music...,your next-door neighbor whose cigar smoke wafts through your open window, a woman in your condo...who lavishes attention on her cats, but just about runs you down if you happen to cross in front of her car.
**Keep in mind these are examples only.**
Write a description of this person and
2) Do it without turning them into a caricature. Look beyond the surface. You could try writing from their point of view, if you like.
She wiped the dust off her cherry dining room table, the one they only used at holidays. The children were not allowed to come into that room at all with special exception for homework and then only one child at a time.
Joan then ran a dust mop over the white oak hardwood floors. White oak was not as desirable as red oak, but it stood out from the other homes on her block. The windows in the formal dining room faced west and the afternoon sun poured through the sixteen paned window. Her 60 year old house needed lots of work when they moved in, but these windows was one thing that stayed, inefficient as they were.
She checked her watch as she put the mop in her tiny hall closet. She had a few minutes before she had to pick up her kids from Sacred Shepherd. The girls would stay after for Girl Scouts and her son would come home.
Before she got in the car to get Jared, she went through the house one more time to make sure everything was perfect. The dishwasher was running, the dryer was running, bathrooms spotless and she would start dinner when she got home.
She walked into the bathroom and looked in the mirror. She touched her blonde hair and pushed it back behind her ear. The bags under her eyes looked bluish in the florescent lights. She looked tired. She was tired. She closed her eyes and sighed, gripping the counter.
Tonight was Cub Scouts. She had forgotten.
She would have to see that woman, the mother of one of the boys. There was something about that woman that got under her skin. Maybe it was the fact that she was overweight. Maybe it was the fact that her house needed work and that they lived on her block.
Joan drew a deep breath and stood straight. She checked her teeth and brushed her hair. She lifted her chin and as she did the bags under her eyes were not quite so bad.
As she walked to her kitchen, she grabbed her Kate Spade bag and grabbed her sunglasses. They would hide her eyes. As she put them on, the door bell rang.
She ran to the dining room and hid behind the privacy sheers. It was that woman and her daughter. The public school got out earlier than private. And the daughter was selling cookies. The girl must have seen her shadow through the sheers because she rang the bell again.
She should open the door. She should be nice to the girl--it wasn't her fault her mother was low class and lived in a middle class neighborhood. Her son was getting out of school and she had to pick him up. Of course, it was only three blocks away, but she was home. Why should he walk?
Joan watched the little girl walk down the step and then quickly drew away. If she hurried she could get in the car and they would never know the difference.
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